NewslettersRuby Lane's newsletters are designed to celebrate the antiques and art, vintage collectibles and jewelry communities around the world. Our Past Times newsletter focuses on antiques and collectibles. Our Creative Hands newsletter celebrates fine art and handcrafted jewelry on Ruby Lane. Our shop owners are frequent article contributors, sharing their expertise and their passions for the items they collect and create. Enjoy!
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
Ruby Lane's Creative Hands Newsletter for January 2009
In This Issue
- Happy New Year!
- SHOP SPOTLIGHT: Opal Moon Jewelry
- Welcome: A.A.E. Glass Art by Tanya Veit
- Share Creative Hands With A Friend
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Click here to see a special January 2009 video message from Ruby Lane, or go to:
B BOLD Jewelry for Boomer Girls
Sterling silver Bali and Lampwork Bangle Bracelet
SHOP SPOTLIGHT: OPAL MOON JEWELRY
My career in jewelry design did not come as a result of a goal driven desire. I attribute it to the kindness of a friend, the gentle support of my husband, my willingness to be vulnerable just long enough to hear the inner whisperings of my heart and my great-grandmother's beaded glass curtains.
I have a memory of visiting my great-grandmother when I was about five. In her living room she had made curtains out of beautiful glass beads. I remember how the sunlight splashed rainbows of color all over the walls of her living room. The ancient memory of my great-grandmother's beaded curtains would become part of my life's tapestry that would eventually lead me into a career that I love.
After about 12 years of working in a law form, I became interested in the art of stained glass and enrolled in night classes. I loved it! Soon, I was designing stained glass doors and windows at night and eventually began teaching stained glass to others on weekends, while still maintaining my job at the law firm. It became increasingly apparent to me that any enthusiasm I had for my day job paled in comparison to the thrill that I enjoyed in my new found creative endeavors. Although, one part of me liked the security, familiarity and the benefits derived from my day job, a greater part of me was crying out for something more. One day, as I was going through the uninspiring routine at the office, all of a sudden I thought that if I stayed for even one more day, I would surely burst! I gave notice that day without another job in place.
As the fear of not having a "real job" set in, I did the only thing I knew and blindly updated my resume and sent it out to other law firms and companies, with the hope of acquiring a new job.
While lunching with a friend one day, I told her of my situation and she asked if I would like some advice. Upon seeing my tentative nod, she smiled and told me to go home, take some time to quiet my mind, maybe put on some soft music and center my mind. Then, in that space, she told me to ask myself the following questions . . . "If you could have any job, without any limitations, what would the components of that job be? What would be present for you while being there?" Then "write them down." I did as she suggested and the resulting list of components was not at all what I expected. I found the process directed by my heart, my list went something like this . . . love and appreciation would be present, my creativity would be unleashed, and it would be fun and exciting.
After the process, of course my mind quickly jumped back from my heart into my head and entertained thoughts such as..... what a waste of time and effort... I would never find the perfect job... where would I find a job with my components? I started getting calls from prospective employers for interviews in response to the resumes that I had sent out. In the midst of my fearful frantic efforts to land a job, my inclination was to set up as many interviews as I could. Like a guardian angel, the loving support of my husband was offered when he said "before you go on any interviews, why don't you first look at your list of components?" I never did go to any of the interviews.
Soon after, I thought of my great-grandmother's beautiful beaded curtains. . . and with some old vintage buttons, chandelier crystals, gemstones and glass beads, I designed a curtain for my kitchen window which contained more than 100 strands of gorgeous beads. This window just happens to get the morning sunlight which splashes rainbows of color on the walls of my kitchen. As I was gazing at the curtain one day, I put a few of the beaded strands against my wrist and thought wouldn't this make a beautiful bracelet. . .? That was about 10 years ago and since then I have been designing jewelry and feeling grateful for the opportunity to do what I love!
If you happen to own one of my pieces of jewelry, know that a whole lot of courage went into it, as well as creativity and fun and inspiration. But most of all it was made with a lot of love, as my heart is in every piece of jewelry that I have made. And if you find yourself relating to any part of my story, my hope for you is that you too will listen to the inner whisperings of your heart, as they will take you on a journey of self-discovery and lead you to a magical place, a place where only your heart can take you. Roe Smith - Opal Moon Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry
ARTISAN SPOTLIGHT: GILLIAN SOSKIN OF BRILLIANT BEADS
I have always loved bright, shiny things and as a child collected all sorts of pretty stones, shells, and beach glass. I still have many of those cherished objects.
Beads have fascinated me for years and I have been embellishing clothing with them for a long time. I made my own wedding dress and beaded the bodice and sleeves in a vine and leaf pattern.
In my professional career as a dentist, I work with my hands every day but found that I needed a creative outlet. Jewelry making was a natural extension of this, requiring a degree of fine motor control and skill. My hobby has happily turned into a small business for me.
I discovered lampworking, also known as flameworking, two years ago, and was hooked after I took my first course. My husband recognized this newfound passion in me and very kindly agreed to build a glass studio for me in our home.
Lampworking involves melting rods of different colored glass in the flame of a very hot (2000 degree) propane/oxygen torch, and winding the molten glass around a stainless steel rod (mandrel) which has been coated in a releasing agent...otherwise the glass will melt to the rod forever. When this happens it is known as a "pot sticker". Glass rods get their color from various metal oxides, much like paint, but the colors don't mix the way paint does...the reaction of the different metals within the glass can give rise to completely different effects at the edges where the colors meet. This can also be affected by the proportion of oxygen in relation to propane...an oxidizing flame or a reducing flame.
Proper ventilation is crucial when working with glass; both the metal oxides and the fine particulate matter can be harmful. Special glasses are required to protect the eyes from the flare of the glass as it melts. Other safety equipment includes proper regulator valves for the controlled flow of propane and oxygen, high volume ventilation hood, fire extinguisher, smoke detector, and carbon monoxide detector.
After the bead is made, a process which can take from a few minutes to over an hour for a single bead, the mandrel and bead are placed in a hot kiln (approximately 1000 degrees) to "soak" for a period of time, then very slowly cooled over a period of many hours, to relieve the stress in the glass. This process is called annealing, and is a critical part of lampworking. Without being annealed the glass will be prone to cracking, shortly after being made or many months in the future. When buying lampwork beads, be sure to ask if the beads have been properly kiln-annealed. Inexpensive, commercial, or mass produced beads often are not, and will be prone to cracking.
Lampworking has given me more freedom and flexibility in my jewelry designing than I ever thought possible....colors, patterns, and shapes can be created for custom designs, as focal pieces, or accents.
As much as I love designing jewelry with my own lampwork beads, I also love to see what other jewelry designers create with the beads I sell as components. Ruby Lane has so many talented jewelry artisans and adding a "Components" section to the Artisan Jewelry Lane was a wonderful idea. I would encourage everyone to check out this section if you haven't already.
Happy New Year to everyone, and I wish you a happy, healthy, and safe 2009! Gillian Soskin - Brilliant Beads
WELCOME: A.A.E. GLASS ART BY TANYA VEIT
I remember being strongly influenced by my free-spirited maternal grandmother. She encouraged my creative thinking by supplying my art supplies all through my childhood. This gave me the ability and power to create. In fact, my entire extended family had a natural artistic path in one way or another. They were passionate about expressing their freedom of creativity.
My ideas are shaped further by my dreams. Like magic, my dreams helped launch the making of one-of-a-kind and original creations. I keep a sketch pad by my bedside, and many times, I am not able to sleep until my ideas are on paper.
By my late twenties I began designing my own style of jewelry that defined my reputation as an imaginative jewelry designer. I used store bought beads and then graduated to glass bead making using the fuming style of color patterns as well as gold and silver. Eventually, this evolved into what I am now doing - glass art.
I am passionate about my total product from the beginning to the end of the creative process - from the quality of the materials to the designing of the packaging. It is important for me to know that my artistic creative realization will become someones favorable lasting impression of me. Therefore, I would like to extend an invitation to fellow artisans and art lovers to enjoy my latest designs and life work.
We are fortunate enough to do what we love on a full time basis. We are passionate about our art, our customers and our business. This is our livelihood, so you can be assured that customer service is our number one priority.
Our studio is located in Chicago, Illinois. We specialize in the latest glass fusing techniques resulting in fresh, cutting edge designs. We are constantly attending glass artisan seminars, workshops and attending classes to evolve our craft. Dichroic glass is our favorite medium, however, we are currently expanding into glass blowing and lamp working.
We guarantee all work 100%. In the unlikely event of breakage, we will repair your glass free of charge. If wish to return an item, we will promptly refund or replace your item. We DO NOT mass produce, and each design is a one-of-a-kind and signed by the artist, unless it interferes with the design. We welcome and encourage custom designs. This is where we shine as artists. All jewelry and gifts will arrive in a velvet pouch and gift box.
Tanya Veit - A A E Glass Art
SHARE CREATIVE HANDS WITH A FRIEND
Did you enjoy this issue of Creative Hands? Do you know others who would enjoy receiving it? We invite you to forward this issue on to others. Happy reading!
Subscribe Now to our Newsletters
© 1998-2013 Ruby Lane Inc. ® All Rights Reserved.
Press the Back button on your browser to return to the previous screen.