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08 June 2008 @ 08:46 am
There are always raging debates in the lampwork bead communities about copying - one beadmaker copying another - what constitutes copying, what line in the sand to draw and on and on. I've always been more relaxed about the idea of copying than many in our community. I figure if someone wants to copy something I make, that's fine. I don't intentionally copy others because, frankly, my twisted self insists on changing things even if I TRY to faithfully replicate. But my attitude is not the prevailing one on this debate.

Recently, bead artist AngelinaBeadalina had some refreshing things to say on the topic. I felt they were worth capturing.

Below text is quoted from two posts made in an online discussion forum by AngelinaBeadalina:

We each make our own footprint in glass. If you look ahead of you, there will be the footprints of those who came before you. You will notice their footprints crossing over one another, sometimes landing in the same space even though they've come from different directions and once again diverge and follow different paths. If you look behind you, there will be the footprints of those coming behind you. You will notice some that appear to follow you, but if you put yourself in the shoes of the people ahead of you, then you realize that to them it may look as if you are merely following in their footsteps. You will also notice those behind you moving at different speeds and in many different directions. We are each making our own footprints, but you'll notice it is inevitable that all the ground as far as you can see before you and behind will become covered with footprints. Before you assume someone else is following your path to closely, better look at your own from a different perspective. . . just because your feet have landed momentarily in the same spot does not make either of you owner of that spot

No one owns a piece of the path, no matter how heavily or lightly trodden it might be. Just enjoy the walk!

--If you have made some superduperspecial bulldozer to clear part of the path, don't forget that someone ahead of you probably used a different version of it somewhere along the line. Feel proud of your work, but it might be arrogant to assume no one else in history has ever used the same type of idea. Also, remember that just because you moved part of the path still does not give you ownership of the path itself.

--If you pay someone to guide you along a new or difficult part of the path for you, show them respect and thank them for their help. If you take money from someone for guiding them along a part of the path you know well, show them respect and thank them for trusting you. Both of you should remember that neither of you owns the path.

--Remember that babies learn to walk partly by observing others and partly by trying to walk themselves.

--If you always ride piggyback, certain things will happen: you may never learn to walk by yourself again; or you may get a needed break and then walk stronger; or you may only succeed in hurting the back of the one who carries you while simultaneously deepening their footprint. Still, no matter what happens with the footprints, neither of you will be able to claim that part of the path as your own.
--If someone alongside you could use a hand as they traverse the path, please be kind. You never know when you will need their hand in return.

--This path really is a wonderful one. You share it with many wonderful people. Share it, enjoy it, glory in it
27 May 2008 @ 04:59 pm
I have amazing friends and customers (some of whom have become both over the years). This past year I've been given several amazing jewelry gifts that I have to say are both breathtaking and appreciated. Finally I took some time to get photos of these pieces together and this entry is all about showing you the goodies. I have, of course already thanked each of the gift givers, but I want to thank them again, here. I am a very lucky girl!

Amy Johnson Beaded Beads
This first set was created by Amy Johnson Designs and features my lampwork beads. Amy does the most exquisite seed bead work. She knows I don't wear fussy things so she kept this design clean and simple for me. She surprised me at one of my bead shows with this gift for me. How sweet was that?

Missy Silver Neckwire
This piece is a hand hammered sterling silver choker created by Missy Powell. I wear this all the time with pendants (like the one from Amy's set above). I love it!

Robin Aragon Bracelet
And last but not least today is a photo of an amazing collaboration piece I did with my friend Robin Aragon. I made the lampwork, she made the amazing jewelry including all the chainmaille work. This piece is stunning!!
The current topic over on Flaming Hot glass worker's blog is tools.

I've had to come to terms with the fact that I have excellent taste for the finer things in life. Often that equates to expensive taste, as many of you well know from your own fine desires. Fortunately, I'm fairly comfortable with a simple life, doing with out many things that others simply *must have* (like fancy shoes etc).

When I lust, I lust for tools. Not just any tools, mind you. In fact, most of the time the 'tool of the month' in my industry is something I can easily do without. No, sadly, my lusts are for the high ticket tools. Things like the new Nikon Pro grade digital SLR 330 series camera and some slick lenses to match (that can set you back a cool three grand before you even buy the case!!) or a lovely and amazing 24" flat lap grinder with easy change top - in fact I'd like three or four of them so I don't have to keep changing the grit tops off (a thoroughly unpleasant job full of wet gritty glass sludge and grunting). I'd love, but can hardly justify at this stage, several lovely jacks at $2-300 a pop. I'm not greedy, I'll "settle" for the Jim Moore version rather than those made by our Italian masters...really!

Then there are the 'other' tools. I have a pretty sweet set up but it could always be better. I'd love to have the entire house refitted for multimedia throughout. Oh and those darned LG machines (washer/dryer etc) are pretty sweet. Hard to justify a need for those things, especially when what we have is in fine working order.

Whenever this overweening urge to consume hits me, I try to remind myself that the tools I do have are all pretty sweet and I've been fine without all of those nice to haves, so why spend the money, the resources, and the mental space acquiring more?

So, given that I don't need this stuff but it would be sweet to play with, I think instead I want a local studio space near me to buy all of my dream work tools (maybe not the LG washer, but the rest of it). Then I could rent time in a shared zone without having to own them all myself. Anyone willing to step up on this one or is that thinking way too communal? Grroovy dude.
27 April 2008 @ 09:02 am
As some of you know, my home has been hit hard with seasonal influenza this past few weeks. Here's a CDC link: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/disease.htm

According to that CDC site, "Influenza is a respiratory illness. Symptoms of flu include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches." That has been us to a 'T'! I'm actually just about over all of the symptoms but I've gone headlong into seasonal allergy season so it's still a fun time.

Because of all this exciting flemmy stuff (ew), I've been avoiding the torch. It's really hard to melt glass while having uncontrolled coughing jags. Lest I turn into a COMPLETE vegetable, however, I decided to revamp our family dog site. Here's a link and pic to the new version:

Adams family dog pages
Adams Family Dog Pages

I still have more to do but since I seem to be feeling better, the torch is calling and the dogs will have to wait until I return to their site later....
16 April 2008 @ 02:28 pm
It's been a busy few weeks. I visited Atlanta, Georgia at the start of April, both to meet friends as well as to participate in a bead show. I had an excellent time while there and met in person many whom previously existed only online for me. On my way in to town I brought a Ratbones Rescue Rat Terrier dog who was enroute to her new foster home in Florida. I was happy to meet Paula, who is a very active Georgia Ratbones Rescue person. Paula kept Cammie overnight and then sent her on to Florida where she is currently staying. This is Cammie:

rat terrier foster
Cammie Ratbone - Adopt Me!

So after a hectic rush hour meeting to transfer Cammie, I arrived, had a satisfying meal of Pho with the lovely Mincot and then visited her copious furry crew (3 kitties and a pooch). It was a great landing.

While in town I did a quick run by my former stomping grounds (the college where I attended) for a new alumnae tshirt. Here's a photo of one of the stately buildings on campus. Agnes Scott is a fabulous, small, private college for women. Walking the campus took me back. Plus all the trees were starting to bloom so it was very lovely.

Butler Building ASC campus
Agnes Scott College

After an awesome visit and a great bead show I traveled home. While trying to catch up on sleep and make enough beads for the next weekend's show (since many had sold in Atlanta) I did take a short break midweek to visit my goddaughter's school where she starred as "a spotted eagle ray". I made the costume for her since her mom isn't much for creativity (esp. involving sewing).

spotted eagle ray sighting
Spotted Eagle Ray Sighting (note the white underbelly)

Then I trundled off to Traverse City for the Fire and Ice show. I was lucky to get there ahead of time and meet with friends (and fellow glassies) for dinner at the lovely and delicious Trattoria Stella. Here's a shot of me with my good friend Maria - she's the cute one on the right. I had an amazingly yummy smoky eggplant dish (much more creatively named but there ya go, I can't remember).

Stella's TC
Trattoria Stella

If you've never eaten at Stella's I recommend it highly. The food is creative and yummy, the atmosphere is interesting (it's housed in a converted former insane asylum) and there are wonderful little galleries and shops to visit after you eat. Maria is a total gourmet foodie so she always brings her guests to the best places in town.

I'm home now and I managed to come down with a doozy of a head cold over the course of all this merriment so I've had a few days in a horizontal state. I'm back and nearly better so today is a day for posting and torching and catching up.
10 April 2008 @ 07:07 am
The current topic over on Flaming Hot glass worker's blog is about business diversification.

I am always a little surprised and saddened when I see other glassies, especially bead makers, complaining about slow sales. You see, since the start of my glass adventure, I've had ideas for products and markets that I haven't even begun to tap into. If ever my sales dry up I know there are many other ways to hawk my glass.

Here are just a few thoughts pulled out of my brain at random as I type this entry, but the list goes on and on:

- I've never tapped into local bead store sales (or even planned a trip to store hop and sell around the nation). You could even put together a wholesale packet/catalog of sorts.

- I've never done a large wholesale gift mart with finished work (yes, it means I have to create a production line but it could still include variety).

- I've never created custom items for other industries (wedding cake toppers and items or fancy knitting needles or whatever) and advertised in their main magazines.

- I've not done local selling or art shows or finished work in years.

- I haven't expanded my fusing to encompass production windows or other big ticket items

One thing that makes me different from some others in the bead world is that I am willing, to a point, to make what sells over what my heart demands. I allow time in my schedule (most Fridays) for pure play time but the rest of the week is devoted to creating items that will sell or filling custom orders. For the most part I adore custom work and I think this allows me to be more diverse without having to range too far afield within the bead world.

There are TONS of market opportunities out there that are untapped. Lots of products that could easily be adapted to a glass bead theme are just waiting for you to jump on them and go. Don't let a slow economy bring down your melting joy - find another way to sell it!
08 April 2008 @ 08:35 pm
It's been a busy few months. I've decided to revamp my bethanyadams.com site. Here's a peek at the new look:

studio picture or lampwork beads by Bethany Adams

The point of the site is for showing off examples of my finished designs, fiber work, web site designs etc. It's a slow process as there is much else that demands my time, but I'm happy to be making some progress.
10 January 2008 @ 10:00 am
So after much stalking, I have finally gotten a chance to play Treasury curator on Etsy! Here's what I came up with:

studio picture or lampwork beads by Bethany Adams

What do you think?

As long as you are over browsing on Etsy, why not take a peak at my latest goodies?

studio picture or lampwork beads by Bethany Adams

Here is a link to one of my current favorite beadies listed:
08 January 2008 @ 04:52 pm

Today's Tips Tuesday is talking all about testing new colors before dedicating hours of work with them. This is excellent advice, both for color (striking mixing) and compatibility. I am forever impressed with people like Candice Mathewson who have these really methodical work styles. She is forever making charts and records about which colors mix with which. I've seen her pull out a giant list of things she's already tested when asked, with detailed notes and photos of each test as well. It's awe inspiring for me.

And yet, I know I will probably never work that way. So, in order not to completely waste time, I wait until most new colors have been tested by others for a little while. If I don't see someone screaming about 'ALL MY BEADS WITH THE NEW PURPLE YELLOW CRACKED, WHY??' then I plow ahead with abandon. Foolish me, but it's fun to walk on the wild side! I mean heck, it's only glass, what's the worst thing that happens? It cracks!
08 January 2008 @ 04:46 pm
Here's the black and white as promised...