Friday, May 28, 2010

Gorgeous Paintings by Noriko Wakayama of Tokyo and Hawai'i

We recently took a trip to Oahu to celebrate my stepdaughter's graduation from the University of Hawai'i (and do I need to say I'm so happy she attended there? Great excuse for a vacation!). We stayed in Honolulu, and on our very last morning made an artistic discovery that added an extra layer of enjoyment to the trip.

Noriko Wakayama paints large, absolutely gorgeous paintings of tropical flowers. She takes you right into the flowers, as if you are a bee or butterfly, honing in to get that nectar. In fact, our favorite painting is of a huge butterfly (maybe 3' across) with translucent wings perched dead center on a giant sunflower. It is a stunner.

It would be easy to say that Noriko's work reminds me of Georgia O'Keefe's flower paintings, but surprisingly, it doesn't. The feel of the paintings is entirely different, perhaps in part because the flowers themselves are so different. O'Keefe often painted the flowers of the desert--perhaps that's it. She also focused, usually, on just one flower. Noriko's flowers are rich and vibrant, evoking the lushness of Hawai'i, and many of her paintings show a whole armful of flowers.

That being said, Noriko's singular rose paintings are memorable. How does she do it? See for yourself . . .

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New Fused Glass Jewelry Class Announced

Wendy and I have added two NEW classes in Fused Glass Jewelry. These are going to be so much fun! I can hear the excitement in womens' voices when they call to register. I'm busy now (even at this moment!) fusing new jewelry pieces to show students, playing around with dichroic glass, sepia slides, and 22kt gold adornments. And frit and stringer and glass paint . . . all the goodies that make creating jewelry so much fun.

So when are these classes?

Date: Saturday, June 19, 2010
Time: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Place: Arts of Snohomish Gallery; 105 Cedar Ave., Snohomish, WA
Price: $65
Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Time: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Place: ArtWorks; Dayton and 2nd Ave., Edmonds, WA
Price: $65
Date: Saturday, July 10, 2010
Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Place: Arts of Snohomish Gallery; 105 Cedar Ave., Snohomish, WA
Price: $65

In each class, you will learn how to create beautiful fused jewelry using Bullseye glass, dichroic glass, frit, and metals. All materials are provided for in this class. By the end of instruction you will have up to 10 pieces of beautiful glass jewelry to keep for yourself or gift to friends and family.

Jewelry will be fired and ready for pick-up 1 week after class. Class size is limited; first-come, first-served, so sign up now to reserve your spot!

You can email Judy at or see our website for more info:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Evolution of an Idea in Fused Glass Spurred By, "What Do I Do With Bits of Glass?"

I love our customers! They look at our work and get ideas that push us into new realms.

It all started with a simple tile I made when I piled up hundreds of bits of colored glass on a 4" clear glass. When I took it out of the kiln, Wendy and I both said, "Cool."

Then I thought, "If that looks good, then I'll bet it will look good as a bowl!" And it did! So I named this line, "Anything Goes."

Weeks later, an etsy customer contacted us. Could we make her an oval for her fireplace mantel in the same style? Yes, we could! And did! And IT looked cool.

So I tried it with a little bit of design, using orange, yellow, and blue frit swirled in the middle. (Truthfully, I did this because I was running low on glass bits, but I had jars of ready-made frit.) Thus I created "Starry Night."

Recently, a woman from Connecticut contacted me and asked if I could make her a piece similar to "Starry Night," but as an 18" platter. Whew! That's big! Her plan is to mount seven bowls/platters on her stairwell, kind of like bubbles (she said). When I opened the kiln to my fused 18" circle, we all stood around and said, "Wow. That's big." We liked it. We saw future table tops in it. We saw possibilities.

I slumped that bad boy into a platter, and now it is "Super Nova Explosion." My customer received it the other day, loves it, and is going to send me a photo when her installation is complete. And that's my story.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just 12 More Days of our Fused Glass Art Garage Sale

May is the month for us to clean our shelves and make way for new art. We have reduced our prices to garage sale lows on many of our fused glass art, so you can get a terrific bargain.

The sale ends May 31, so hurry for the best selection. Visit our etsy shop: and grab a bargain today!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Car as an Inspiration for Art?

Yes! My husband and I went to lunch today at a bread bakery that sells lunches (it was as wonderful as it sounds). And there was this car parked right in front. Painted beautifully. I looked at it and looked at it, and the more I looked, the more I began to see a fused glass piece. Hmmm . . . Not sure when I'll make it, but I will make it! And I'll post the photos to show how a car can inspire art.