Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sol Bijou Introduces: Etsy Shop shufflestudio

Today the big spotlight is on an incredibly talented artist. She captivated my eyes with her vibrant colours, her imagination and her lively personality. Her name is Cara, the creative force behind "Shuffle Studio". This Etsy shop offers an array of gorgeous lampwork and blown glass beads.

Recently I commissioned Cara to create some custom pieces for one of my future projects. She was thrilled by the challenge, and very eager to fulfill my request. As she very well put it: "I love experimenting with glass, and custom orders allow me to do things I wouldn't think of". Soon you will be able to see her mini "master pieces" in my jewelry.

Below is a mini bio on Cara and some photos of her beautiful art. Thank you Cara for making this world a little brighter with your creations!!!

“When I was young I used to make jewelry and little crafty projects with my best friend (we would go to the local craft store and spend hours debating which supplies we HAD to have versus what we could afford) And that carried into a school career full of art classes and basically getting my hands into whatever type of art I could learn.

In college I saw myself as kind of an art groupie, no great drawing/ painting talents, average sculpting ability etc; and I wondered if I was one of those people who love art but weren't very gifted at creating it. However, one day on a jaunt to a local headshop with friends I met a glass artist who gave me a list of people who offered instruction in hot glass blowing.

I began taking classes in full scale glass blowing in Ann Arbor, MI at Baron Glassworks from the incomparable Annette Baron, and immediately found my niche in the art world. The best way to describe it is to say that working with molten glass made the voices in my head literally “shut up”. I was able to completely focus and give my entire being to the creation of something beautiful. And the lovely part about glass is that even the mistakes are very often gorgeous.

After 3 years of molten glass work I began to long for a way to work with glass that was closer to home, and I bought a starter kit and a copy of "Making Glass Beads" from a local stained glass supply house and taught myself to make lampwork beads. It was a nice way to keep my hand in the glass when I couldn't make the 3 hour trip to the studio.

My biggest challenge in glass is my literal mind. I love the abstract work of artists like Micheal Barley and Sarah Hornik, but when I make beads that are more free form, they never look right, I am happiest when creating my version of something I know and love, like the peacock bead series that I have been working on lately. My goal is to do more abstract work this year and not be so determined to achieve symmetry and "perfection".