Wednesday, April 15, 2009

West Coast Crafters Spotlights #2

Remember to take a ride on the Crazy Train: Today features 3zArt and some beautiful items. Tell me which is your favorite on my blog and you may win a Swarovski Crystal earring pair or silver plated bracelet. Only a few days left to decipher the cryptogram in the Easter Egg Hunt. And remember that the ArtFire Jewelry Design and Jewelry Supply Guild will have a treasure hunt beginning on the 17th.

Here is a link to our West Coast Crafters guild roster.

The next few of us in the alphabet are Alisuns (that's me!), AwakenJewelry Under Construction, and Beadwife.

Here is a recent blog about me that I did for the Crazy Train.


Welcome to Awaken Jewelry, and thank you for stopping by.

AwakenJewelry is currently under construction. Here is what the owner says, "Our studio is currently in development; please check back soon!

If you would like to be notified of when the shop will open in addition to other sales, promotimes, and offers that Awaken Jewelry will offer in the future, please send us your full name, birthday (month and day only), and e-mail address via Artfire.

One more thing; please check out our referral program located at the bottom of our policies. We are sure you will like the incentive.

God Bless You."

About herself, "Hi, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to visit my studio. My name is Leah and I am the artist behind Awaken Jewelry. This is my passion and my calling; to make jewelry to glorify God. I am Christian woman of 21 years old. I have two young children and a supportive husband. I have always been a creative person, even when I was a child, arts and crafts activities would be an everyday joy. Your jewelry is created in my smoke-free animal-free studio; and a portion of your purchase will be donated to our Charity.

Please take the time to visit my Artist Blog and Flickr because I love talking and sharing about myself! You will find my everyday joys and triumphs on my Blog and my absolute favorite pictures on Flickr. You will also find a wide variety of studio and work-related pictures that I hope you will enjoy."


Beadwife says, "I'm Kalera Stratton, a Portland, Oregon lampwork glass beadmaker. All the artisan lampwork beads you will see here are lovingly handmade in my studio, with painstaking attention to detail. My beads are annealed as I make them, going straight from torch to a digitally-controlled kiln. With lampworking experience since 1992 and a constant thirst to improve my skills, it is my goal to bring you beads that will delight your senses, enhance your designs, and last for generations to come."

Of herself, "I got my start making beads in early 1992, at the tender age of 21. My friend Jen had just learned how to make beads, and gave me a beadmaking demonstration in the kitchen of her apartment. I was addicted! Fortunately, my birthday was approaching; with the help of a gift certificate from my mom, I was able to purchase my very own Hot Head and an assortment of glass rods.

Keeping in mind that I had never taken a class, had never heard of the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers), and the soon-to-be-published seminal works of James Kervin and Cindy Jenkins were still but a twinkle in the eyes of their authors, it will be no surprise to you that my first few years making beads were spent fumbling in the dark. I didn't even know what the technique I was using was called! In 1995, some research on the Internet turned up information on "Lampwinding", and I at least had a name for what I was doing. I had been selling simple pendants and earrings made from my beads on a limited basis to friends and coworkers; I now got brave and approached a local gallery chain. My work was immediately accepted, and I started selling a few items a week consistently.

In 1996 I was able to special-order Jim Kervin's book "More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Glass Beadmaking", and shortly after that, Cindy Jenkins' "Making Glass Beads". The quality of my beads improved dramatically! I also got my hands on a glass fusing kiln and, with the help of a year-long stint with a major art glass manufacturer, was able to enrich and expand my education about glass.

Fast forward to the present day. Instead of the small starter torch I had, I now work on a powerful Bethlehem Barracuda, and instead of cooling my beads in a can of vermiculite, I anneal in a digitally-controlled Fusebox 10 kiln! What a world of difference! Although I have STILL never taken a class, (and boy, I can think of several I'd like to take; there are some brilliant teachers out there!) association with other glass artists has opened my world to techniques beyond what I could have dreamed. A decade of more-or-less dabbling proved to be a solid foundation for my new thrust as a serious lampworker, and, a few months after the birth of my newest baby daughter, I left my retail career to earn my living with artisan glass - which brings me to the present.

Me and my kids live in our much-loved 1909 bungalow in Portland Oregon, along with a mellow Sheperd named Nikko, a Chug named Leda, a freewheeling cat named Sol Rosenburg, two parakeets, assorted foster-kittens, and a turtle named Wayne. My studio is set up in the newly-renovated garage... it's all mine! I finally have room to spread out and set up all my doohickeys and gadgets.

I am grateful for all the people and circumstances that led me to this point, because this is exactly where I want to be, and I am happy!

You can see more at my website at

Thank you so much for visiting! "

So let's explore the studios of our guild members of the guild by visiting their shop and letting them know what's best about it.

Remember to note here what you found the most extraordinary so that you might win the earrings or bracelet (gentlemen, I have one for you as earrings though. I haven't bought stud findings yet.).

I hope you enjoy today. Have fun!

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