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".

Friday, June 27, 2008

Treasured Newbie Beads

This necklace is a tribute to all our newbie beads! The beads that initiated us into the world of hot glass lampworking!

They represent that special time when getting the glass onto the mandrel without breaking the bead release was an accomplishment, and managing to get puckers on the bead ends meant that you had arrived!!

Starting on the far right with our first plain white Effetre round beads, those are the very first beads we made, one is mine and one is hubby's. The beads move chronologically to the left, and gradually improve in shape and design as you go around the necklace, ending with my amethyst hollow (man, that one was hard).

All of these beads are made on a Fireworks torch and 1/8 in mandrels, out of the fireworks beginners lampworking bead kit we bought to get our feet wet.

You can read my more detailed photo notes on the various beads here at Flickr.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We All Start Somewhere!

My first exposure to the world of molten glass was at an annual local Viking Festival. One of the vendors had a lampwork beadmaking demonstration, and it was fascinating to watch her work. It planted a seed, the idea that working with glass was attainable for the average human who was motivated to try.

Fast forward a couple years, and we found ourselves waist deep in searches on the internet, and totally boggled by the whole new world and language of hot glass and lampwork. It was a lot to absorb- loads of torches with tons of specifications that read like Greek, tons of glass, differing COEs, and tools out the wazoo.

It was like stepping through a portal onto another planet. We were in total brain arrest trying to sift through all the information, translate it, and make decisions of varying expense. It was like being caught in quicksand, the more you tried to figure it out, the more stuck you were in the predicament.

Finally, one day we decided that, if we were going to try this lampworking thing, and see if we even had a knack for it or a true interest, then we needed to do it on a shoestring. So, that is where we started... dangling from the aglet of a frayed financial shoestring.

For us, the answer to the newbie, entry-level, lampwork-for-idiots, on-a-shoestring dilemma lay in the treasured and prized "40% off One Item Coupon" from our local Hobby Lobby. There we found the Fireworks Beadmaking Lampwork Kit, for the bargain price of $99, and that coupon made it a little over $60 out the door- including glass! That plus a $9 Mapp gas canister put us on the threshold of the molten glass experience!!

It was just enough to get our feet wet: A Fireworks torch and clamp, a fireproof surface, ceramic fiber blankets, mandrels, bead release, two marvers, one glass rake, and a mix of glass rods. Plus a beginner beadmaker booklet to get you started, thin but better than winging it alone.

In no time at all, with the ever fraying shoestring in mind, we were making the trek to our beloved Harbor Freight tool supply. The goal: to find an eclectic selection of affordable tools that could manipulate our melted glass. Bags bulging with plier sets, stainless spatula sets, pick sets, clamps, stainless dental picks, and miniature files brought us to the next level of our lampworking experience.

Add a copy of Cindy Jenkins affordable and informative book for beginning beadmakers and lampworkers ($14.95), and we were well on our way to developing a feel for the glowing medium we so enjoyed.

The Fireworks torch, also referred to as the "QT" (quiet torch), gets a lot of flak in the lampwork community, but for what it is- the absolute bottom-rung on the lampwork torch ladder- it does the job. It gets the beginner familiar with torch setup, safety, and the physical properties and behaviors of molten glass. It has a very cool flame (this is relative as compared to other super hot torches- don't stick you hand in there or let your kids play with it- LOL), so the glass melts slowly, and it is easy to pull stringer and learn to make twisties. You learn to watch the flow and glow of the glass and get a feel for when it is happy and when it isn't, and the coolness of the flame makes this all slow motion. It melts pastels (solid colors) faster than transparents which tend to need a bit more heat to get moving and workable, so it isn't the best torch for learning to encase. When working on perfecting round beads, stringers, and dot work, it does the job.

On the down side of the Fireworks torch, the automatic lighter only worked once, after that we used our grill lighter. Also, using small canisters, once the canister is about 1/2 empty, it starts to freeze up, so the already cool flame gets cooler and next to impossible to melt anything with it. So, the canister has to be submerged in warm water, or have a heating pad wrapped around it on low, to help keep the gas moving to the torch with enough pressure to keep the flame hot.

In just two months of minimal use, I had killed my first Fireworks, bought a second one at $29.99 (with my trusty 40% coupon), and had sent off to Sundance to get my first Hothead torch. We also made our family crockpot a dedicated vermiculite pot for garaging beads, such a worthy job!! :D

So, even with buying the kit, the second Fireworks torch, Mapp gas, extra glass, tools, and a Hothead... we still managed to keep our start up at under $200.

You can learn to lampwork on a shoestring. Remember, it isn't the torch that makes you a artist, it all comes down to skill. Don't be embarrassed to start wherever you have to, in time you can realize your dream. 8)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Glass Bead Workshop- worthwhile!

Glass Bead Workshop by Jeri Warhaftig

Just when you thought you had aquired all the tools and goodies you would ever need again in your lampwork adventures (yeah... right... LOL) Jeri Warhaftig has authored a new lampworking book that is guaranteed to challenge you to see the world of lampwork in a new light.

This full color book is 144 pages packed with information! It dives headfirst into advanced techniques and concepts, just giving the faintest nod to basic info. Definitely a text designed with the more seasoned lampworker in mind, and it doesn't disappoint.

Advanced techniques are taught using step-by-step photos, thorough explanation, and very creative projects. Each project touches on a variety of materials, tools, and techniques which include: dichroic glass, copper and silver inclusions, enamels, cubic zirconia use, multi-stage bead assembly, fuming, etching, pressing, coldworking, hollow mandrels, disk forming, flower sculpting, vessels, and much more. The tips and appendices of the book condense a lot of great experience into an easy to access and utilize format.

Artist galleries that are included at the end of each chapter, full of inspiring examples of mixing the skills you learn with imagination and creating new, exciting pieces.

If you are looking for some fresh, new ideas and skills to spark your imagination and challenge you, this is the book for you. Tons of experience for the lampworker at the bargin price of $24.95!

Check it out for yourself, and add it to your lampwork glass library! It is available at Glass Bead Workshop by Jeri Warhaftig

You can learn more about Jeri at her website:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Copper and Lampwork Jewelry Gallery

A Sunny Day on a Greek Isle Necklace

This first piece features Italian Vetrofond lampwork beads and Czech glass beads on custom worked copper links. The soft colors of the beads accent the delicate appearance of this 22in. necklace. Colors include Lichen, Smoke Rings, and Bloody Mary.

Splashes of Pink on a Blue Day Bracelet (front)

This bracelet is a playful and eyecatching combination of bright Rubino pink and Pajama blue lampwork beads on custom copper work. Eyecatching fun for casual day and evening wear. The lampwork is Italian Effetre and Vetrofond using encasing, plunged bubbles, and stacked-dot work.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Useful Book to Add to Your Fused Glass Library

A Beginner's Guide to Kiln-Formed Glass
by Brenda Griffith
Here is a book well worth it's affordable price tag. Cover to cover, 128 pages of ideas and information. Designed to be useful for both beginners and those interested in exploring some more challenging and varied techniques in the world of fused glass. Page after page of well photographed examples to guide the reader, and beautiful glass artwork to tantilize and inspire.

Chapters include basics like materials, tools, supplies, skills like straight and curved glass cutting, and basic information on slumping, draping, fusing, and polishing. The author covers mold preparation, polishing, sandblasting, etching, and drilling.

There is a useful troubleshooting guide for the more common things that go wrong with your fused glass work, and suggestions for fixing those when possible.

The projects included in the book are varied and visually interesting. They range from simple pate de verre or draping to more complex work like creating and using bars or making various types of melt fusings. All the projects are artistically beautiful, and most of them are also functional.

The directions and fusing schedules are clearly outlined and easy to understand.

Brenda Griffith is a talented artist who has taken her time, experience, and considerable thought to put out a well written book at an affordable price for both beginners and those who are looking to add to their fusing skills and knowledge.

At the retail price of $24.95, it is worth adding to your fusing library.

Check out Amazon for your own copy of A Beginner's Guide to Kiln-Formed Glass.

You can learn more at Brenda at her website:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Our Latest Venture!

We are excited to welcome you to our Brand New "real life" Store Front!!
Come and take a peek at our lastest creation!!

For the last couple of weeks, our spare time has been devoted to fixing up this new booth at a local craft and antique mall in the Whitney, Texas area!! It features custom jewelry, custom lampwork and polymer beads, custom glass art, and other bead & jewelry related items.

This is just one of several new projects Hawley Studios is currently working on, but we are very excited about the results!! The best part is seeing our ideas & dreams come to life! Creating things is exhilarating, but sharing our creations is what makes the experience that much more fun!! :D

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Silver and Fused Glass Gallery 1

Irridescent Puddles of Nature Pendant:
The understated colors of this sweet blue and green dichroic glass
are a perfect compliment for the leaf of this handcrafted silver bail.

They are fused together, not glued.
Pink Bubble Vine Pod Pendant:
Pink-purple dichroic glass makes a beautiful pod
adorned with handmade tendrils of silver "bubble vine".
Nature and imagination bonded together in glass and silver
make a whimsical pendant for your pleasure!

Glass and silver are fused together, not glued.
Rainbows and Flower Vines Pendant:
A rainbow of gorgeous, bright, fun-loving dichroic glass
highlighting a bed of trumpet flowers and tendrils.
A beautiful pendant of fused glass and silver.
Completely unique, and all handmade.

Glass and silver are fused together, not glued.
Industrial Pink- Pendant:
The pink-purple dichroic adds a feminine feel to this pendant,
and the industrial-modern bail balances it.
It creates a playful piece that you can use brighten any casual wardrobe.

Glass and silver are fused together, not glued.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lampwork Gallery 2

Italian Effetre off-mandrel heart pendant with a black base adorned with complex twisted stringers.

Coral Experience:
A raked disk focal of coral, black, and ivory Italian effetre pastel glass, with compliment beads in the same color scheme. These beads would make a unique necklace, especially if the focal were displayed on the flat.
Designed with dot and raking techniques.

Focal: 23mm X 18mm
Raked rondelles: 14mm X 5mm
Rondelles: 4mm

Springtime Festivities Bead Collection.
This set of beads is a gorgeous minty Chinese CIM glass adorned with Italian Effetre flowers and twisted stringer. A soft and beautiful combination.

Turkish style eye beads and old-fashioned Venetian trade beads.
I have really enjoyed creating beads inspired by the old Venetian African trade beads, and exploring the glass work of other cultures.

Here are examples of the work that comes from that inspiration.

Modern interpretation of the Nigerian Bidi Beads.
I love to see the bead work other cultures and eras created. It amazes and inspires!

These beads were inspired by the recycled glass Nigerian Bidi beads. The glass is Italian Effetre transparent and opalino. Hand marvered, these have the imperfections of shape and design that are characteristic of the true Bidi bead.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lampwork Gallery

Implosion Style Pendant
Made with Italian Effetre transparent and pastel.
Off-mandrel and implosion techniques.
33mm X 10mm

Floral Implosion Pendants
Made with Italian Effetre Transparent and pastel.
Off-mandrel and implosion techniques.
25mm X 9mm, 29mm X 9mm

Lampwork Heart Pendant
Made with Italian Effetre pastels and transparent.
Off-mandrel, hand sculpted, with complex stringer design.
15mm X 27mm

Lampwork Tall Summer Tree Bead.
Made with Italian Effetre transparent and pastels.
Hand marvering and complex stringer.
43mm X 17mm

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Welcome to the Hawley Studios Blog!!

We are thrilled to announce that our new studio is up and running!

With a nice big, new kiln, lots of new supplies like glass, metal, clay, steel, gun parts, we are anticipating having a very busy and creative season ahead!

Also newly up and running is our Hawley Studios at Etsy!! store. Please feel welcome to take a look at our unique, handcrafted treasures! Each is one-of-a-kind, and we don't duplicate our work, so once a batch is gone, that is it.

Hawley Studios at Etsy!!

Bookmark us and visit often, we will be updating regularly with our creations, tutorials, studio news, and other related topics!! :)

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!!