Monday, June 28, 2010

What a weekend!

    The Clark County Recycled Arts Festival was such a great time. The weather was incredible and the people were so friendly. Organizers estimate 15,000 people attended. I had a great time explaining how I have been making beads from old bottles.  

    In addition to seeing amazing creations by the vendors, there was excellent entertainment on stage, craft activities for kids and education about recycling throughout the event. It was great to hear people commenting on the signs that were posted around the sidewalks which gave interesting facts about recycling. I think many people walked away with great items purchased from vendors, and also an appreciation of little things we can do each day to conserve resources and protect the environment. As a person who was born and raised in Clark County, I was proud that such a great event takes place here.

    I sold many pairs of earrings, some that will travel as far as both Boston and Toronto.  This was my first outdoor event in over 2 years. It was so much fun...I am looking forward to my next event. 
A look at my display and bottles (including the cats)  that will become future beads.

This is my display of large hole bead sets. 

Check out this blog!

At the Recycled Arts Festival a lady asked me how I made my beads and took some pictures of my work. She then told me about her blog and plans to include me and my work in her blog post about the event. 

Check out the post about the Recycled Arts work is featured as "Lesson Number 8" that blogger Kaitlin Smith learned at the event: Wine bottles recycled into jewelry can be way more interesting than gemstones.

Thanks Kaitlin! Here is a link to Southwest Washington Zest: Celebrating People, Places and the Good Life in SW Washington State.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

New Pieces for this Weekend

This bracelet features 33 beads made from beer and wine bottle glass with some clear beads made from a salsa jar. In between the handmade beads are brown irridescent brown beads that really accent the colors of the upcycled glass. 

The necklace was made with vintage, black, cut glass beads, brown irridescent beads and five large hand-torched beads from beer and wine bottle glass. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Big Hole Beads

I finally have enough large holed beads to create some nice sets for bracelets. These beads will fit Pandora, Biagi, Brighton and other build-a-bracelet styles. Currently I only offer unlined, but in the future plan to line them with sterling silver. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pinot Grigio Bottle Beads

All of the beads I have made from this bottle are filled with tiny little bubbles, which seem to add an extra sparkle to the beads. There is a faint tint of blue green in the glass. 

Salsa Jar Beads

These beads were made from glass from an old salsa jar. I like the combination of the copper and sterling silver accented with black. 

Tequila Bottle Earrings

My sister gave me an empty bottle from Cabo Wabo Tequila after her annual Cinco De Mayo party. It was the most vibrant color of teal. I thought these brightly colored beads accented the color and spirit of the glass. 

Chardonnay Bottle Earrings

Finally a sunny day when I can take some pictures! These beads were created from an old chardonnay bottle. These are among the earrings that I will feature this weekend at the Recycled Arts Festival in Esther Short Park.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Blue Upcycled beads

I finally got to work with the blue bottle glass! The beads on the left were from an Italian sparkling Pinot Grigio. On the right are from a bright teal Cabo Wabo tequila bottle. 

This picture shows the beads still on the stainless steel mandrel coated in bead release. Bead release is like a muddy clay that the mandrels are dipped in so that the molten glass doesn't stick to the mandrel. When you take the bead off of the mandrel, that is where the hole is. Sometimes people think the hole has been drilled in the bead...the hole is simply where the mandrel was. 

In addition to be being excited about the blue glass, I was also just happy to be able to take pictures today. Most of my latest photos are taken outdoors in bright sunlight. Well, we have had 20 days of straight rain and cloudy weather...not unusual for Clark the FALL! Today is the first day of dry, blue sky, so I took advantage and got some photos taken. 

This afternoon, I am soaking the label off a Pinot Grigio bottle that is faint, teal green color. I think it will look nice combined with some of the blue beads shown in this picture. 

Textured Beads

For the last week or so, I have been experimenting with adding texture to beads. After I take the bead out of the flame of my torch, I then roll the bead over different textured surfaces before popping them into the kiln to cool.  I was so excited to see what the combinations look like, I just strung them together on a stretchy cord. I think they look pretty cool. I really like the look of the organic color mix of the various wine and beer bottles.