ISGB “Gathering” …Awesome experience.

 Okay! I had an awesome time in Minnesota at the ISGB gathering. I met some amazing people who are extremely talented. I want to tell you a little bit about them and their work. (I noted the retail value to give you an idea of what Art beads can be worth;  FYI: this is a growing industry, and art is an investment. If you would like to invest, I would highly recommend investing in these people. They are a big part of what will follow; no doubt!)

1st; Andrew Brown

Andrew creates borosilicate (hard glass) pendants, paper weights and sculptures. He is one of the first to try cold working with borosilicate glass. He really has mastered many techniques; from pulling points with boro (Pyrex/hard glass), to detailed implosions, and polishing glass lapidary style (grinding/polishing stones). (I usually work with soft glass (moretti); I am hoping to apply some of this information to soft glass…well; Now that I have spent a week with some “boro” boys, I am inspired to work more with this hard glass. Wow! The possibilities; another blog!) 

 Andrew was my instructor for a three day class. The information I absorbed is precious and it is going to really help my work get to where I want it to be. He is very easy to talk to; I would recommend his class to anyone. 

  We did become good friends, and Andrew was very open an honest with me about my work. He gave me some really good encouragement and advice that I appreciate. His sharing these thoughts is flattering; “You are making one of a kind recognizale shit!” (Ofcourse he followed that up with a …”not that I think your shit is shit!”)

~This first picture is a pendant (by Andrew) that you can also display as a work of art. It is 3″ long and is made with borosilicate. This is an implosion stretched to this shape.  The colors are beautifully exploding inside, and the surface is smooth!  Andrew focuses on the organic colors and shapes, and I LOVE IT!

(retail value-$155.00)

 This next picture shows you the hole for the chain; if you want to wear it.


The picture down there is of one of Andrew’s demonstrations (in the class that I just took with him). I polished it on the flat lap for him; and he gave it to me!

Harold Williams Cooney; a genius! This man is very intelligent.  He was assisting Andrew’s class and he did a really good job.   I had the opportunity to really bond with him the last few days in Minnesota. I look forward to a life long friendship with this man.

Herold’s work reminds me of nature; with organic colors and radial designs; I also think of my old Tye-dye T shirts. 

This piece is 2″ round and is hollow.  This can be displayed as art or worn as a pendant.  These are some of my favorite colors …

(Retail value-$45.00..somewhere around there… I think they could be more…)

The back side is beautiful too.

 This blue-green bead is my favorite! This bead is made with Pyrex glass in the flame. Then, he grinds the surface to get that texture and shape. The finish is (I think I remember this right?) rock tumbled and oil sealed (maybe sand blasted too?).  This bead is an awesome thumb fondling device. And I really LOVE the swirl in it when you look at its side. Reminds me of the golden mean, the golden rectangle, or the Fibonacci sequence of numbers…which is relevant to me, because I have always been fascinated with those philosophies.  It is great for my collection too; it reminds me of how smart Harold is.  He made many of these and they all look the same size; he is very good at production.  You should see his rings at glass…BEAUTIFUL!

(Important note- Harold’s hippie name is, “happy Harold”…Love that!)

(reatail value-$50.00; this is a bigger one; he had some smaller ones for $30.00)

Bronwen Heilman is a wonderful artist. She practices painting on glass with enamels and then fusing the glass to her beads.  I have read her book on the subject and have recently invested in some enamels to give it a go…Bronwen is a talented musician as well. I did get to hang out with her on the last night of the trip…well, the music was loud (we danced). I hope to get to know her more at next years gathering.  

When I saw this beads face, I thought, how peaceful….then I turned it around and it said, “peaceful”. I was meant to have this bead.

(retail value-$40.00)

James!  What a wonderful guy. Lives in Washington with his wife and four kids. Very good energy! His borosilicate work is fabulous!  This piece is a 3-1/2″ pendant that has chunks of gold encased in it, and this piece is perfect!  He has been making glass art for many years. VERY talented, and a great friend.

(retail value-$160.00)

Margaret Zinser…what a fun person. She has bonded with these other torching people and she brings lots of Joy to the environment. Positive good thoughts all around. She is super talented too.

This bead is a maze bead. You can solve the maze too. Both of my kids LOVE this bead. Nathe (6) solved the maze right away. I am really looking forward to a life long friendship with this girl. She is some good energy…

(retail value? somewhere around $100.00…)

Sabina!  She is beautiful, talented and unique! Her sense of style is so much fun.  She makes beautiful marbles that I have been seeing on the Internet for some time. 

This piece is a paper weight (one side is flat). Notice how clean the clear encasement is; that takes a lot of practice. Her butterfly technique is awesome!

JC Herrell; she is a good friend. I went to her house last October 2006 for a torch party.  And, we got to reconnect at the gathering. I did not get one of her recent pieces but I do have a few in my collection from the last couple years. This Goddess sits on my kiln. Very important job. 


(retail value? won at auction for $72.00)

I became friends with others too. I did not get all of the last names down and I did not get to collect every ones work. 

I hope to see my new friend Brian, some day. He grows geckos (yes, alive beautiful creatures. The sex can be determined by temperature. Certain temperatures make girls, and certain temp.’s make males. You can Strike the sex! Just like you can strike the glass colors! I thought that was cool!) and he makes marbles, and is a lot of fun.

And! Sarena! She rocks the house too! And! MANY MANY MORE PEOPLE I met, they were all awesome! Can’t wait to see them again!

 I did not take any pictures…except this one…

Jc, Harold, James…

(retail value-priceless!)

(Aren’t they cute!)

I plan to share some pictures of what I made in Andrew’s class.  That will come out in a few days.

 I think this is my longest blog EVER!

BTW- family- If you ever wonder what I want for Christmas or a birthday? Bookmark this spot. Work from any of these artists would be GREAT!


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