Category Archives: art

Stitch it with a wiggle…

lori greenberg stitched with a twist glass bead

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How to be successful in the art business…


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Carnival of Creators

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Oh no. What did I do?

glass lampwork focal bead lori greenbergDo you ever get that feeling of ‘oh no. what did I just do?’ I’ve had that feeling a few times in my life when big decisions were made and there was no turning back. Even if I was happy with the decision it was the feeling of being forced to stay committed to something based on my own choices. I felt that way the day we signed the papers for our house. That was a big decision. I felt that way the morning I woke up after I got married. Hee hee. I felt that way when I took my first pregnancy test. No turning back now guys. So no use in worrying about whether it was a good or bad decision.

I also felt that way the first time I turned my torch on in my studio. I had previously been working in polymer clay and sold everything to fund the new glass lampwork studio. I was fully committed to glass in all of my beginner-ness. I was so excited. I had been renting torch time at Cave Creek Glassworks and decided I was ready to have a place where I didn’t have to pack up my supplies every time I worked.

The day came to light my torch and and aside from being terrified of it exploding because of the way I hooked up the gas and oxygen, I was giddy with anticipation. It lit just fine. The fire stayed where it was supposed to. Ventilation worked perfectly. Time to melt some glass. I made my first donut bead (I worked very tiny in those early days) and it didn’t work like I expected. I tried a few more and it wasn’t feeling as good as it was supposed to or as it had in the past. It was then that I had the distinct feeling that I had made a big mistake. I missed my polymer. What had I done?

I still get that feeling every once in a while. I have so much time and money invested into this thing they call glass lampwork. Some days (usually after a long day of production work) I wonder what would happen if I started to lose the desire to do it? What if someone moves my cheese? What would I do? What if one day the designs just stopped coming out of me and never returned? What would I do? I see people changing mediums and working into different areas like painting and precious metal clay and it scares me a little bit. It’s like breaking up with a boyfriend and having to start all over.

And then I tell myself to stop it and focus on what I’m doing. If that day were ever to come, I’d be ready for the change, right? Yikes.

Unconventional inspiration…

ford and forlano city zen caneToday, while making beads, I was thinking about what inspires me. Usually it’s words and people’s stories but I started thinking specifically about images that inspire me and how they influence my work. It was interesting to me that the things that inspire me don’t necessarily inspire my work. Like Ford and Forlano, f/k/a CityZen Cane. When I worked in polymer I remember their ikat technique (I can’t find an image anywhere…they must have erased those days from their memories). But they worked in very bright, vivid colors. Their work has transformed into very high end gallery jewelry of polymer clay and precious metals…very earthy and organic. Love it. Seeing the images of their work just makes me want to create.

I guess I call this unconventional inspiration because when I think of being inspired I think of work I look at that has influenced my work directly…not something that is just plain amazing. Hm. I’m not sure where I’m going with this.

Another thing that inspires me is animation. I think I wrote about this a long long time ago but Bing and Bong inspire me. Those flockers are beads waiting to happen. I’ll have to finish that thought later since I have to run out right now. Enjoy the F&F site!

Tap into creativity in motion…

As I’m working today I’m starting to formulate what I will show and talk about at the Arizona Society of Glass Beadmaker’s demo day this Sunday. I have a chunk of time to fill and there is so much to tell. I think I could show everything I know in that amount of time but have been told is unrealistic and modest…hee hee.   There’s that thing of needing to wait for the glass to melt….if only I could work as fast as the words that come out of my mouth…I’d be able to teach everything I know in ten minutes or so.

I am realizing that I have more to say about the creative process and being unique, or trying to be unique, and developing a style than I do about the actual techniques. I’d rather teach and inspire creativity than how to pull a stringer and put in onto a ball of glass. I wonder if that’s even something you can teach; creativity, that is. Or if anyone is even interested in that. I try to share as much of that as I can here but oh to talk about it in action! That is when the words and thoughts are fresh and raw…while in the zone. The other thing I wonder about is whether I’d go into the zone while demo-ing in front of a large group.  It’s one thing to have it going on in your head but for it to actually come out of your mouth?  Interesting concept, I think.

shiver beads glass lampwork lori greenbergShown here are some more beads a la the Shivers set that is on eBay for a couple more hours…These haven’t made it into a set because I’ve been trying different color combinations.  I’ll show more as the days go on.  In the meantime, I’ve veered back into focals again…small affordable ones this time and I’m going to explore a set that matches one of them so I can keep up my eBay promise of having a killer set up regularly.  I do think I should do more sets for the specials though, don’t you?

You can do it, I know you can.

spring harvest compartment glass beadDid you see the comment from Leisa on my Hot Head ramble a few days back? I agree with her when she says that a subtle change in perspective can really make a big difference. Leisa’s comment brought back a memory. Wanna hear it? It goes a little something like this…

While growing up I often felt defeated and discouraged. I would cry and complain, much like my own five year old does. My step-dad would tell me that he didn’t want to hear me say, ‘I can’t’ and would tell me that I could do anything to which I set my mind. He knew that I could do it, and he was probably the only person to tell me that and keep on me about it. Unfortunately for me, I really thought I couldn’t and no words were going to change that. I already had a firm perspective of what I could and couldn’t do.

Fast forward about 25 years (and a couple years of counseling in my twenties that combatted some pretty low self-esteem) and I still didn’t see it. Oh, I had big dreams of being successful and respected, blah blah blah, but I was stuck in my smallness. It’s not until I met my husband that I really started to believe that anything was possible. He was at the end of a yucky divorce, had lost everything (and I mean EVERYTHING). Oh wait, he got the car that was financed upside down. He was deep in debt from legal fees, and decided to start a computer consulting business.

I watched him work from his tiny, two room condo with his desk in the living room and papers everywhere. I listened to him on the phone talking with potential first customers like Motorola and Honeywell. I realized that the thought that something couldn’t be achieved had never entered this man’s head. It still doesn’t. Everything was possible. You just need to figure out how to make it possible. Brilliant!

I always thought (and would ask him), ‘how do you think you can pull that off if you actually get them as a customer?’ His answer? ‘I’ll figure that out when I get it.’ And he did. And he did. And he did. I’m amazed at what he’s done and how he’s grown his business.

Watching him, my perspective has changed. I have learned that anything is possible and more importantly, it doesn’t have to be done like the people who came before you. As they say, there are more ways than one to skin a cat…or something like that. Take a risk here and there. Especially in art…who is to say that something isn’t right or acceptable? It’s ART. Be yourself and convince people of who you are and what you do.