Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Treasures!! Tussie Mussie Dragon Sculptures! :)

So, we've been amazingly busy this last season! We totally revamped our studios, and expanded our equipment. I'll post pics of all that soon.

Dave is waist deep in creating new custom knives with some exciting new wood we acquired. He is doing a retro thing with designs based on old European cultures: Seax style, Skean Dhu style, and American Frontier Roach Belly knives.

In my space, things are very busy. I've created several series of new dragon sculptures which I'll be sharing over the next weeks. Today, my Victorian Tussie Mussie Dragons are itching to say "HELLO!!" to the world.

These little dragons lurk about, looking for any opportunity to nibble tussie mussies. They prefer to nibble bouquets since they find the mixed fragrances quite alluring and appetizing.

When their bellies are full, they like to bask in sunbeams, then race around acquiring shiny objects to fill their dens. A Tussie Mussie Dragon is a rare creature, and very selective about which homes it will settle into.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Finding the Courage to Create Soft Glass Sculpture

This spring I redoubled my pursuit of soft glass sculpture, convinced that cooler flame of my Hothead was holding me back.  So, I ordered a Carlisle Lucio torch through the Fire Lady website (who also offers a payment/layaway plan for torches for those who long to finally own that dream torch), and all the hardware, and waited with bated breath as Carlisle machine works built my new torch. 
But, while I awaited the arrival of my new baby so I could miraculously sculpt with 104 COE Italian glass, I finally tracked down what I was looking for all along… a solid DVD by a soft glass genius, teaching me some brilliant technique.
There are many DVD’s out there on sculpting with Boro, it seems that 33 COE Pyrex type glass is forgiving with temperature ups and downs.  But the expensive glass and pricey torches were hard to justify when I already have a small fortune tied up in a gorgeous palette of soft glass.  (Especially when there are artists out there performing large scale sculptural gymnastics with soda glass.)
So, for those who drool over the craftsmanship of those beautiful figures by Gianni Toso or Lucio Bubacco, or the brilliant insects and creatures by Vittorio Costantini or Wesley Fleming… or those who long to work off mandrel but can’t find teachers in your area, and Tink visits and ruins your fun…
Let me encourage you to try these DVDs available from ARTCO:

Lucio Bubacco:  The Anatomy of the Figure
The 3 DVD set runs 6 hours and 44 minutes, offering a unique look at Lucio behind the torch.  After all, even if you flew to Italy for his workshop, would you spend the whole class looking practically over his shoulder?  Well, you do in these DVDs.

So, Lucio treats us to a Medusa figure in the first DVD, with an insane number of little snakes with tiny, flicking tongues.  The ease with which he sculpts the human figure with minimal shaping and mastery of gravity assist is astounding.  His confident manner and humor will stir your courage to trust the flame, the glass, and his specialized annealing method. 
The next DVD repeats the miracle of flame annealing by creating a woman with a scorpion head, then a fantastical bird woman in high heels.  The third DVD creates a goblet with a large, red devil holding a delicate rose, and the session also shows Lucio working with an assistant to speed up the creation process. 

Lucio Bubacco:  Master Flameworking Series
A single DVD that runs 3 hours and 15 minutes, but offers a couple simpler figures to learn from, and some nice examples and discussion of some bridge work, and blending glass to create an intermediate glass for joining different COEs in goblets.  He creates an Eve Goblet, an Eve figure, a winged mythological creature woman, a spider with thread-thin legs, and one of his signature red devil figures.

I don’t regret getting both teachings because these DVDs inspire you to see soft glass in a new light and to work with its properties, coaxing it into new dimensions.  By the end of the lessons, I understood my limits weren’t so much set by my torch heat as they were set by my limited technique and understanding of my glass.

So, try them.  They’ll inspire untold bravery.  Even after over a year hiatus from the torch (writing takes up a lot of my free time), I fired up my trusty Hothead and created a 5 inch black dragon with orange accents, and then a (rather cool if I say so myself) 3+ inch grey spider alien.  (I went on from there to try a small ogre figure, but it cracked badly, so I’m still learning…)

When you get the DVDs and create something cooler than you’d ever hoped, post and let me know about it!  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our New Glass Creations!!

African Baobab Tree Bead (Front view)
Lampwork focal or pendant bead
featuring an intricate African Baobab tree
design on front and back.
Italian Effetre and Vetrofond glass.
Decorated with stringer, dot work, and marvering.

Quince Fruit Tree Blossom Bead Set
Lampwork branches
of beautiful fruit tree blossoms on a soft backdrop.
Italian Effetre and Vetrofond glass.
Decorated with stringer, dot work, and marvering.

Island Medicine Man Mask Lampwork Bead Set
A fun and intriguing face mask focal or pendant bead
with matching complimentary beads.

Italian Effetre and Vetrofond glass.
Designed by marvering, masking, stringer, and dot work.

Poison Arrow Dart Frog and Baby Tadpole Lampwork Pendant
A glass sculpture pendant of a poison arrow dart frog
carrying her young tadpole.

The base leaf is Italian Effetre petroleum green,
pea green, and light transparent teal,
and decorated with Italian Vetrofond pale blue transparent rain drops.

The frog is a combination of discontinued
US ASK scarlet dreams and Vetrofond black.
The tadpole is Effetre intense black.

This sculpted piece was inspired by:
Anny's Pal's flickr photograph "Poison Dart Frog CostaRica"

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bet Your Paperweight Can't Do This!

Our flame throwing workhorse is the ever faithful Hothead. This little torch catches some undeserved flak since it is a bare bones, single gas torch considered by some as only fit for beginners. Yes, there is a bit of torch snobbery that goes on in the glass world from time to time (like anything in life), and the other day a fellow lampworker stated that the Hothead was only good as a paperweight. LOL. Well, our paperweight makes some fine beads and sculptures, what does yours do?

The Hothead is practically indestructible, easy on the pocketbook, easy to set up, easy to use, and extra-easy on the fuel. Other than our newbie beads, which were made on a fireworks, all our work to date has been created on this little wonder. A worthy torch in its own class. Granted, this torch, like any other, is only as good as the skill of the person behind it. Rounds, disks, encasing, hollows, murrine, millifiore, reduction, silverwork, enamels, beads and sculptures up to 2 inches long... all quite doable. Works great with any 104COE glass or higher (ie. Satake).

Recently we've begun the process of considering and researching other torches to fit our needs and style, hence the discussion that led to the paperweight comment. You might wonder why, if the Hothead is so wonderful, would there be a need for another torch. The biggest reason is that we need a larger flame if we want to make larger projects. Also, melting large diameter rods or making murrine takes a lot of time and patience on a Hothead. Another consideration is that it is easier to melt 90 or 96 COE glass on a hotter torch, or even the more resilient 33COE boro if you get a hot enough upgrade.

How to shop for a torch:

Are you on the market for buying a new torch?

You wouldn't believe how many torches and brands of torch there are for glasswork. Carlisle, Nortel, National, Bethlehem, GTT, etc. Each with its own pros and cons, each able to handle certain glass or types of work. Torches for glass blowing, torches for just boro, torches for just soft glass, torches that have bushy flames for large work, or tight flames for small work, torches that have more knobs than a car stereo to let you customize your flame needs... Torches that look like flamethrowers, or torches that look like a small soldering torch. Some have changeable tips that allow them to do many things, others are simple. Prices range from $200 to $3000 or more. There is nothing simple, or cheap, about getting a new torch. It is not a decision made to be made lightly if you don't want to be back on the market for a new torch in 6 months because the torch you got didn't fit your needs.

It is important to narrow down what you plan to do with your torch, and also take into account directions of interest you may want to dabble around in from time to time. Will you work with soft glass, hard glass, or both? Will you be working on small projects like beads and the occasional marble or will you be stretching out more into sculpting, if so- how big? Will you use tanked oxygen or an oxycon (oxygen concentrator)? Do you foresee possibly needing a footpedal controller later down the road? What is the price range you can afford to consider? Do you have adequate ventilation for the type of work and size of torch you are considering?

Once you have your list of needs, it is time to get down to specs on torches and see what fits the bill. Catalogs are an invaluable tool for descriptions of torches, capabilities, and prices, a great resource for information. They are also nice because you can flip through them and comparison shop easily between them. You'd be amazed at how some companies can offer some nice specials if you are buying a full torch set up or kit. It can pay to shop around.

Another place you can find good information on torches is the Online forum glass communities, tons of folks who already have the torches, or had them, and are happy to discuss their torch experience. This is the place where you can run a search and find out the good, bad, and ugly on your torch choices. Some torches are more prone to breakdown or clogging, some are oxygen or propane hogs, some don't produce the same quality of heat or control that others might in the same price range (or sometimes less). Sure sometimes there is the odd lemon which may be 1 in 1000, but if you find a half dozen people had $500 lemons within a certain torch type and the customer service with the company basically sucked when they tried to get help... then you might want to take that into consideration when shopping.

All that research and careful planning should narrow the field down for you to one or maybe two torches. From there it is just matter of placing your order, or sometimes you can find one used from someone who had to upgrade because they didn't get the torch they really needed the first time... :D... or couldn't afford it at the time.

Our personal search has narrowed itself to the GTT Lynx. We considered many, many, many models for our particular style and needs, but narrowed it down to the GTT Cheetah or the Lynx. The Lynx won out because it offers a very fine flame range down to 1mm. What we really want at some point is a GTT Phantom, which incorporates lynx torch center but has many more ports around it for a nice large flame when needed, but that will have to be an upgrade down the road a little ways off.

For those who love their Hothead torch, it is a fine workhorse, worthy of your admiration. It will hold its own nicely.

For those who are shopping for something to allow them to work larger or hotter- Happy Shopping!!! 8)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fun & Fanciful Creature Pendants!!!

Charlie Chameleon Lampwork Focal

On a cylinder of Italian Vetrofond Ivory creme and Italian Efftre Periwinkle blue-purple, decorated with a branch and petroleum green leaves, this yellow, brown, and turquoise spotted Nile green chameleon lizard with conical eyes sits patiently awaiting a snack.

For a beautiful necklace, turn Charlie into a beautiful focal and combine with our Cream and Periwinkle bead set listing.

Freddie Frog Silvered Lampwork Focal

On a cone of Italian Vetrofond Ivory creme and Ochre green-yellow glass with Effetre Petroleum Green lily pad designs, this Black spotted, Silvered Ivory frog with beautiful green toes sits awaiting a snack.

For a beautiful necklace, turn Freddy into a beautiful focal and combine with our Cream and Ochre bead set listing.

Sammy Salamander Lampwork Focal

On a cylinder of swirled Italian Effetre Bright Red, Petroleum Green, and Dark Blue Cobalt Transparent, this Coral spotted Black Salamander lizard with green eyes sits patiently awaiting a snack.

For a beautiful necklace, turn Sammy into a beautiful focal and combine with our Green and Red swirled bead set listing.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Conducting a Symphony of Glass

"Creak!" The handle turns.
The soft hiss- beckoning.

"Snap!" A tiny spark takes life.
Blues, reds, yellows- reaching.

"Hissss! Hummmmm!" The song.
A melody of flame- hypnotizing.

"Tink!" A tiny vibration magnified.
A shining shaft of glass- changing.

"Sigh!" Soft silence of a molten ball.
Stretching, sagging, moving- creating.

The Symphony of the Journey of Glass.
Same heart in a new form- comforting.

written by Zoie Hawley

Monday, June 30, 2008

Nudibranch Lampwork Pendant Gallery 1

The first lampwork nudibranch in this sculpture pendant series is a blended base of silvered Vetrofond Dark Ivory, Vetrofond Dark Avocado Marble odd, Effetre Red Roof Tile, and Effetre Light Amber.

The nudibranch is made of Vetrofond Black with Effetre Intense Black and Effetre Clear, and detailed with stringer of Effetre White encased in Effetre Dark Aqua tranparent, and twistie of Effetre Intense black, Effetre Dark Turquoise, and Effetre Clear.

The coral is Effetre Dark Red and Vetrofond Bloody Mary odd, and the sea squirts are Effetre Light Green Transparent with Effetre Grass Green Opalino centers, and Effetre Petroleum Green highlights.

Inspired by Anthony Wooldridge's "Nudibranch 3" Photo.

The second nudibranch in this lampwork pendant series is on a blended base of silvered Vetrofond Dark Ivory, Vetrofond Orange Dreamsicle odd, Effetre Red Roof Tile, Effetre Light Amber, and Vetrofond Bloody Mary odd.

The nudibranch is Vetrofond Black and Effetre Intense Black, with custom mixed accent glass.

The red coral is Effetre Dark Red and Vetrofond Bloody Mary odd. The yellow coral is Effetre Light Yellow. The Anenomes are Effetre White with Effetre Dark Teal Transparent accents.

This lampwork sculpture was inspired by gt60k's photo "Nudibranchs".

The third nudibranch in this lampwork pendant series is on a blended base of silvered Vetrofond Dark Ivory, Vetrofond Mighty Azuritey odd, Effetre Gray, Effetre Intense Black, Vetrofond Lime Sweet odd, and Vetrofond Smoke Rings odd.

The nudibranch is Effetre Anise White and Effetre White, with Effetre Orange, Effetre Transparent, and Vetrofond Red Transparent accent stringer.

The red coral is Effetre Dark Red and Effetre Light Yellow, and Effetre Transparent. The blue anenome is Effetre Pale Blue Transparent, Effetre Cobalt Transparent, and Effetre Cobalt twistie. The sea squirts are Effetre Petroleum Green and Effetre Dark Cobalt.

This lampwork sculpture was inspired by Colin Zylka's photo "Nudibranchs, Lembeh Straits, Indonesia".

About Us

My photo
Texas, United States
Welcome to Hawley Studios!!

This is the place where imagination and fire collide! Wherever our imagination and creativity take us, that is where we go! The sky is the limit......

20 years together has caused this married couple to play with fire, hammer and grind metal, and design guns and knives! LOL!! Welcome to our world of marital bliss!!

Enter in to experience creations of glass, polymer, silver, metal... whatever we can get our hands on! :D

Hawley Studios is family owned. We specialize in lampworking, fusing, slumping, jewelry, metal work, custom knife making, and custom gunsmithing.

Proud Members of:

* Etsy Christian Artists Street Team (CAST)
* Creative Glass Guild of Esty (CGGE)
* Etsy Lampwork Etc. Street Team (LEST)
* Self Representing Artists- lampworking (SRA #H109)

Sign Our Guest Book!!