Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Friday, January 13, 2012
Sunday, October 09, 2011
Thursday, October 06, 2011
|A bead inspired by fabrics found on Google's image search|
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
A lot of action has been going on around the studio. Starting in December, I set out a new business plan. Mainly it is to be in the studio on certain days, every week, and create a thriving Etsy store.
It seems to be working, I now spend Monday through Wednesday in the studio, Thursday I teach at the Visual Arts Center in Richmond Va., and Fridays can be a studio or a computer day. As of right now there are about 140 items in the Etsy store (http://www.etsy.com/shop/pearsonglass?ref=si_shop ). Items are moving on a regular basis, keeping me on my toes.
The studio time has paid off. I have been able to begin exploring some new bead and marble ideas. I feel that the work so far this year is some of my best ever.
This new schedule does have some drawbacks. I am actually a little sore form all the bench time. My yoga mat is getting used a lot, as I stretch away the day’s kinks every night. I can highly recommend a little stretching to all my fellow lampworkers; we are not getting any younger. The other drawback is less travelling and teaching. I do miss the interaction I get when I go to another city for a few days and work with other artists. I always learn something, no matter what the skill level of the class is. I decided to spend this year working on my own art, something had to give, and it was travelling. Hopefully when I get back to teaching, I will have a whole new bag of tricks to share.
Here are a few marbles from the last week, these all feature the new matching stands. I plan to have a lot of fun with the stands. The ideas keep flowing in.
Thanks everybody, take a look at the Etsy store and let me know what you think of the new work.
Thursday, July 01, 2010
I got this question on one of the message boards I frequent and thought the question and answer would fit in nicely on the blog.
"Would you talk a bit about what you do to work out a design or how you approach laying your design down on a bead? It's clear from your website you are very methodical and thorough. It would be so neat to hear some of your approach and thinking process on work."
It really is kind of hard to explain. Over the years I have developed a "vocabulary" of design elements through trial and error. Through masking I can make certain parts of a design. When I sit down to make a bead now, it is just a matter of recombining the shapes into a well balanced pattern.
When I sit down, I have a rough idea of which series I am going to make, I can kind of doodle with elements I already know how to create and keep building upon these to make a cohesive pattern. The trick is to know when to stop. If you think of every bead as a mini sculpture then the glass has to stand on its own as a finished work. I think of color and form, exactly as if I were making a larger glass vase or paperweight.
That is one reason the bead as a form is so appealing. In a given day, I can run through ten variations on a theme and really flesh out what works and what can be discarded from my "vocabulary".
I am not as methodical as you might think, but other times I know I can get deeper than I need to. My big thing when I teach is to design with intention. Basically, learn to work with your medium so that no matter what kind of design you work with you know what to expect, from your material.
If you take Micheal Barley for example, his beads look very random and organic. But after studying his body of work, you can see logic in the way he makes choices about design. You can find seemingly random dots that perfectly balance a swirl of color on the other side of the bead.
I hope this helps, I think I rambled a little bit. The biggest advice I can make is to make lots of beads. Study each one as you are making it, and remove the things that don't work, and add the things that do to the next bead.
Feel free to ask about any thing that is not clear, it really is a hard thing to put into words. But I think it is important for everyone to ask this very question of their own work.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I have a special class coming soon , On Tuesday and Wednesday before the gathering I will be teaching at :
STUDIO 34 CREATIVE ARTS CENTER and GALLERY
34 Elton street
Rochester, NY 14607 USA
Marylin is breaking down my usual class and allowing people to take one day or two. I am a big fan of taking both days to get the most out of the class, but you have the option to take either day. I have broken down the lessons to give you an idea of what I will be teaching.
Beyond the Basic Bead
Masking and good dots techniques
Long beads with masking and a solution for perfect ends
Simulating wood grain with cane and learning to work with metal punties.
Two different styles of disk bead
Using metal punties to create off mandrel pendants, this opens up a world of new possibilities for all levels of bead maker.
All lessons focus on heat control and good techniques, I try and talk about how and why I do the things I do. We also talk about designing with intention, no matter what style of bead you like to make. As always I try and run a fun energetic class. No matter what your current style is, I guarantee you will be able to apply the skills to your own work.
So come on and join us, I promise great music, lots of learning and some fun. Contact Marilyn for more info and to register.
Monday, May 17, 2010
I am also redesigning a lot of thew work from the ground up. Same techniques and care, but some newer shapes and richer color palletes.Below is a marble from about a year ago. I love this marbles, but currently I am working in more analogous colors and a more varied color scheme.
Here are some of the beads from the last month,
As you can see, a lot more color, some new shapes , and a greater attention to color as a whole. Its not just about the pattern any more. I love the new work. Come by booth 411 at the B&B show and see it in person.
Friday, October 16, 2009
As many of my readers already know, I am a house husband. Not only do I try and work a full week in the studio, I also do the cooking, school drop off and pickup, and the house maintenance. I am the first to admit that I am about the worst house cleaner out there, but my family is well fed, no kids are left outside the school, and more importantly, my kids are still in one piece( so I must be doing something right).
Here are a few of the tasks that I am responsible for in any given week.
errands and school stuff
etsy sales (or lack there of)
emails, taxes , scheduling classes and various other assorted computer time activities.
Now I am sure I am forgetting something is this list ( like something fun ), but you can see my problem. Which ones are priority, and how do I decide. First one to go, to my wife's dismay, is always cleaning. I can live while a few socks hang out on the floor, I can not live with out food.
I try and schedule three days in the studio, one to teach at the Visual arts Center, and one to work in the office. Here is the problem: Life gets in the way.
Let me give you and example. Two weeks ago my son got a very minor fracture in his foot. This started a huge avalanche that impacted two weeks of careful planning.
First I had to cancel class to take him to the ortho doctor. Which led into the next week when I lost a day in the studio to make up that class. Which led to two days out of the studio. I can not even remember all the ways in which the universe conspired against me, but I have not set foot in the studio in a week and a half. All of my scheduling and good intentions, gone out of the window. Next week we will try again.
Now I know a lot of my beadmaking buddies out there are in a similar situation. So come on and give me your solutions.
I do gripe a lot, but I would not trade anything for my ability to be there when the family needs me. The glass can wait, even if it gets a little impatient every now and then.
And here is the pay off, one of the new marbles from before the broken foot issue.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Over the years I have had the pleasure of jurying all three Bead Review Books and I can now tell you that form is the single most important factors in your beads. A lot of us are guilty of thinking of form last. The first thing we think of when we sit down is our new secret technique, or the latest batch of silver color to come into our hands.
None of this matters if the design and shape of the bead is poorly executed. When I open up a slide, the first thing your brain hones in on is the form. If the ends are not straight, or if the curves of the bead are off, then your eye tends to stop at the flaw. The extra cool pattern or shiny new glass becomes secondary to the flaws of the form.
In my beginning classes, most of the first six weeks is taken up by the donut bead shape. Until you can master the heat control required to get a clean even dimpled shape, there is not much point in moving on to bi-cones or more complicated forms. We do dress the beads up with the basic skills like dots and lines, but every bead contains the basic shape.
In my own work I am constanly tweaking the form, and trying to match shape with design. It is a matter of making a lot of beads, and trying a narrower end on this on and a gentle dip in the middle of the next one, and on and on, trying to create pleasing shapes, and then concentrating on the desgin of the pattern.
All of this ghoes back to a critique I had in college. We were all told to bring in our best piece( a glassblowing piece). All of us trotted in with the best designs, dichroic glass, and glass bling that we could muster. My proffesor( Kent Ipsen) then proceeded to paint all of the work flat black. His next words have stayed with me for twenty years.
" Now is it still your favorite piece"
When the work was all painted in a dull flat black, we sat down and got all nitty gritty on the form. That is one day I think we all learned a lot.
I also gleaned this other pearl from the days critique. " A vase with a bad lip, is like Marylin Monroe with a cold sore" . I took away the lesson that no matter how pretty the package, we will always see the flaw first. So get out to your studios and always think of the all important form.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Things are a little slow sales wise. I guess I am the grass hopper. I always forget to save beads and money for the month of August. I am taking the month of August to spend some time with the kids, get my Etsy shop all in order and fully stocked, Keep ebay trickling along, and finishing plans to take over the bead world( these plans are continually evolving and changing so stay tuned).
About 1 month to go until the kids are back in school and I can start working in the studio again. First up will be a new stock of Skull and hearts series stuff. Next will be a new smaller line of beads for Etsy and Ebay.
I have started a new Etsy street team with a few fellow glass artists. We have an empty blog, which we will be filling out over the next few weeks. The purpose of the group is to promote ourselves as a group to the different online sales venues. I will keep you up on that front and link to the blog as soon as it is running..
Last thing today is a note about Drama. There seems to be a lot of it this month. I do not know if bead makers are all getting over heated or what. I think we should all just go make beads and stop worrying about who did what to whose design, and who said what on all the forums.
Take a look at the now stocked Etsy Store and let me know what you think.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
If you are into making beads, this is the place to be. You can always find the heavy hitters sitting and talking to people who are new to the art form. The gathering organizers did a great job this year and the socials were fun and interesting along with all of the artist who put on some wonderful demos and lectures. ( I was one of them and I survived with out embarassing myself on stage).
You missed my demo on "using the masking tecnique to create squares and angles". I know it does not sound exciting, but these are the skills I am currently using to make my work, and it is all about designing hard geometric shapes to blend with the graceful curves of the bead. Below is an example of what I made in my demo.
My head is still swimming with the suggestions I got in late nite bead talks down with the ladies of room 806, so look for a few minor new directions in my work. As always the ladies would like to see more colors.
Thanks to everyone at the conference, see you in Rochester.
For more info on the conferences and the great organization that puts them on got to www.isgb.org
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I have renewed my Etsy store and fully stocked it. I am spending a lot more time in the studio( and I must say that some cool new stuff is coming). Ebay is now a regular activity at the studio.
A lot of the new focus is towards streamlining my items, and keeping my artistic integrity at the same time. This can be difficult when trying to make a living, but I want to be proud of my work, not just make production work for money.
So here is your job, take a look at Ebay and Etsy and let me know what you think, any comments or helpful suggestions are welcome.
Here are a few of the new rings from the Etsy store
Here are a few of the new pieces. The silver is kept really simple to allow the glass to be focus. I will say that silver soldering is a royal pain. I am not used to careful measuring, cutting, filing, cleaning and all that goes with metal work. My hats are of to you full timers.
Any way, here is the work, what do you all think??
Sunday, May 10, 2009
One of my students( who is a wonderful artist herself) and I have begun a collaborative series of Focal beads. I am making beads with recessed areas for her to make woven bead sections. As we move along we plan to make things more complex. These will be available at our respective shows, Ebay, and Etsy. These first few were about the mechanics of the process. My partner in this is Ingrid Bernhardt. You can see all her creations at :
Saturday, May 02, 2009
I am having a lot of fun introducing some new colors into the designs. Those of you familiar with my work know that I like to stick the simple high contrast colors. Well all that is changing, so bring on the color wheel.
Let me know what you think. Its time for me to head to the torch.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I've got lot of heart
For the last month I have been working on these hearts. Pictured you see about 150 of the after cleaning. They are ready to be signed. This project was a commission by Bon Secours. They were great to deal with and the hearts will go to the donors and staff that will attend the opening of a new world class heart center here in the city of Richmond. The second picture is all of the finished pieces nestle in their packing foam awaiting delivery.
Now we can get back to our regularly scheduled art work.
Look for some new marbles in the near future. But first I plan to take a few days off and rest my wrists, and hands.
Greening the Studio
Often I worry about the environmental aspects of my artwork. Is what I make worth the impact of running a studio. I do try and keep everything to a minimum.
Here are a few of my efforts:
My studio is at home, no car rides or energy used to get to work. Services such as telephone and internet do double duty for home and office.
Order supplies in bulk. This keeps down energy and money used to ship supplies. It helps me and the environment.
I try to conserve materials and minimize waste.
I have been cutting back on traveling, trying to sell more work through the internet, and teach more local classes. I know that plane trips really hurt my yearly carbon footprint.
I do not air condition the studio.I just adjust working times in the summer to match the cooler parts of the day. A fan is my best friend in august.
My newest tinkering has come up with this solar air heater. It pulls warm air from the studio and uses the sun to heat it up about fifteen degrees and returns it to the studio. It is still a work in progress, and I hope to add a solar powered fan to move air through the system. Right now the fan is on a timer that is set according to the sunny times of the day.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I am pleased to announce that the Visual Arts Center now has a full time lampwork area. I taught the first marble workshop in the new space last Saturday. As usual it was a great bunch of students, and the class went off with out a hitch. I must admit that I was a little nervous about teaching marbles to people who have never lit a torch before. They all did great and everybody got a couple of nice marbles to take home.
I am also in the middle of making 350 heart shaped pendants. A local hospital( Bon Secours) is opening a new heart care facility , and at the opening, the doctors and donors are all getting one of these hearts. This happens to be the same hospital that my mom went to when she had a heart attack, so I am of course glad to see that they are continuing the work that saved her life.
I am also pleased that Bon Secours is buying gifts from a local artist, and not some vase that any number event cordinators may get. Lets hear it for supporting the local art scene.
Some day soon I may get back to my own artwork, I have a bunch of marble designs floating around in my head.
All for now, Brad
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Otherwise all is quiet. I am having trouble deciding where to go with my art work. So expect to see a lot of experiments on Ebay over the next few months.
All for now,
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
I did learn that Chattanooga is a really long way from Richmond. I also learned that the mountains are a wasteland for really good radio stations. I also learned that Chattanooga is a pretty cool town, not the small southern city that I pictured.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
As you can see it is good work but it is not the inventory that I need for the show.
On top of that, it is now dark when we used to go to the playground. So now on top of all the other stuff we are stuck in the house after the nap.
I HATE THE TIME CHANGE.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
As soon as we put away the shorts and got out the pants for colder weather she has been convinced that it will snow soon. So all of you in the south , this is your warning! According to Avera it will snow tomorrow. It is funny that no matter how many times it does not snow, she does not get discouraged in her meteorological aspirations.
Later, I am off to finish formatting this weeks auctions. Keep your eyes out for them on Saturday, there are some great winestoppers for x-mas presents.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Last night in the studio, I continued the work on my new Idoleyes series.
It usually takes twenty or thirty pieces to get settled into to the direction of a new series. I have to find a balance between the swirling eyes looking mystical and downright busy. There always seems to be a fine line that is easily crossed into chaos. A good friend of mine always said , "working with glass is like cutting hair.... You have to know when to stop!" At least last night went better than the previous. After working 1 hour on a single bead I ended up with a piece of crud and a nice little burn. That was one experiment that did not work!!
For those of you who want to see the work in person, my next show will be in Richmond at the intergalactic bead festival the first weekend in November.