EBSQ Blogger of the Week: Vickie Miller

This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is another amazing jewelry artist, specializing in lampwork beads and pendants. I find her work so bright and refreshing, it’s like an embodiment of Spring!

Who and where are you?

My name is Vickie Miller and I’m a glass beadmaker and jewelry designer from Camano Island in Washington State.

Hearts Delight, Lampwork Glass

How did you get started art blogging?

Over the years as I’ve followed the blogs of some of my favorite artists I’ve found it fascinating that these creative and talented people were people just like me. They made me feel as though they really wanted to share and connect with me personally and allow me a glimse of their day to day existance. By sharing their photos they invited me into their homes, and introduced me to their families and friends, and they also shared other interests they have outside of their art. I came to realize that I wanted to share in this way also. To show people not only what I do, but that I have a life in addition to my art. I love it when people stop by my blog and leave a comment. It makes me feel approachable as a person and not as just the art they see on their computer screen.

Caribbean Rhythm, Lampwork Glass

Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?

I would recommend regular updates to your blog. Even if it’s only a few sentences. Show photos of not only your finished art but maybe the process of you creating your art, steps along the way, or photos of your studio or supplies that you use. People like to have a peek inside your life. Treat them as if they
were a visitor to your home.

Hollow Cone Pendant, Lampwork Glass

What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?

Ahhhh, what music inspires me? It could be anything from vintage rock…Foreigner, Elton  and Fleetwood Mac, to contemporary jazz…..David Sanborn and Wynton Marsalis……to Christian artists such as Mercy Me, Jars of Clay, and Amy Grant.

Flip Flopped Feet, Lampwork Glass

What’s coming next from your easel?

What’s coming next from my “easel” or “torch” in my case? I would love to try some of the newer silver laden glass that’s been developed in the last couple years. There are so many beautiful choices I just don’t know where to begin.

http://www.rubysshoes.blogspot.com/

Thank you Vickie for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!

If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?

Join Today!

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EBSQ Spotlight on Artist Made Jewelry: Vickie Miller

This month’s featured gallery is Artist Made Jewelry. Handcrafted jewelry is not only an expression of the artist who created it but of the one who wears it.  Whether created in silver or gold; plain or sparkling with gems and stones, artist made jewelry is a coming together of personalities that is unique. Throughout the remainder of March, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some of EBSQ’s Jewelry artists.

Vickie Miller

Antiqued Hollow Cone Pendant - Vickie Miller

“I love it when I hear someone say that my work makes them smile. There are two things that drive and inspire me when it comes to creating jewelry, color and whimsy, and since I also design and create the glass beads used in my pieces, I can create whatever mood and color combination I desire. My jewelry can be as happy or as elegant as I choose depending on the color, texture, shape, size, and theme, of the glass beads I make.” – Vickie Miller

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

EBSQ Spotlight on Hot Glass Art: Vickie Miller

This month’s featured gallery is Glass Art: Hot.  There are three types of glass work – cold glass, warm glass and hot glass. Hot glass involves a flame. Whether the flame of a torch or the flames of a furnace, the result is striking and captivating to behold.  Throughout June, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some EBSQ artists who work with hot glass.

Vickie Miller

Pendant - Vickie Miller
Pendant - Vickie Miller

As a jewelry designer being able to create my own lampwork glass beads means I can customize the design into pretty much anything I want. I get to choose the color, the shape, the texture, and the mood. I can choose a floral designed bead for a feminine feel or I may want a more organic, earthy look. A funky chicken applied to a large focal piece adds a lighthearted bit of whimsy and draws plenty of interest. – Vickie Miller

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EBSQ Spotlight on Hot Glass Art: Bonnie G. Morrow

This month’s featured gallery is Glass Art: Hot.  There are three types of glass work – cold glass, warm glass and hot glass. Hot glass involves a flame. Whether the flame of a torch or the flames of a furnace, the result is striking and captivating to behold.  Throughout June, we are going to take a few moments to catch up with some EBSQ artists who work with hot glass.

Bonnie G. Morrow

Lampwork Art Beads - Bonnie G. Morrow
Lampwork Art Beads - Bonnie G. Morrow

I became interested in glass early on in my life. I would go to the dime store and everyone in my family would receive something made of glass from me every year for Christmas. I have a collection of Art Glass that I have been collecting and enjoying my entire life. In 2006 I discovered lampwork beads and decided to do a little reading on it. I found that with some study, work and investment I could certainly teach myself how to make lampwork beads. It was very challenging for the first couple of years, but now it is entirely a joy. I look forward to each and every day when I get behind the torch. I learn something new everyday and this year have been working on learning how to blow glass. I also work in paints and find that working in glass is that much more intriguing, as the colors don’t mix as simply as they do in paints. One must learn to layer the colors to achieve certain outcomes. I am currently working on a new type of bead that I call watercolor beads and will be presenting them sometime in July. Glass is a wonder to work with and there is so much to know that one will never know it all. No matter how hard you work, there is always more to try, learn and do. I finish each day in the studio feeling totally uplifted, satisfied and exhausted in the most pleasant way.  – Bonnie G. Morrow

Like what you see here?  We hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or subscribing to one of our feeds. Never miss another cool post from EBSQ. Subscribe to EBSQ: Art Meets Blog v2.0 by Email today!

Got art? We’ve got shows!

The Bat Show

From 10/1/2008 thru 10/31/2008

  The Bat Show

Bats. The only mammal capable of true flight. Most bats eat insects, some eat fruit and a few are carnivorous. They are nocturnal. They … more

 

Fragile! Handle With Care: Glass

From 10/1/2008 thru 10/31/2008

Glass

Glass as a medium creates magic. There is something about the quality of glass that we are drawn to. There are three different categories of … more

 

Flower of the Month: Black-Eyed Susan

From 10/1/2008 thru 10/31/2008

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susans were a great favourite when I was a child. My mother used to have what felt like an acre of these magical late-summer … more

Food for Thought: State of the Biz

This was originally posted in the EBSQ Glass Forum (now viewable by the public!) by resident glass artist Dawn Thompson and I felt it was extremely appropos for Labour Day. If you’d like to weigh in on this conversation you can post a comment  here or respond to Dawn directly in the EBSQ Glass Forum

It’s tough out there folks! What strategies are you employing to compete?

The glass business is certainly not unique in being hard hit by China, but it has definitely been particularly hard hit, along with other labor intensive fine craft. The stained glass lamp business in the US is virtually non-existent, with the exception of repairs. In the span of 5 years, nearly every lamp maker in this country has been put out of business. Cheap Home Depot lighting has taken a product that was once considered to be truly a luxury item and reduced it to trinket trash. Of course the product itself is not trash. It takes hours of painstaking skilled labor and is intrinsically beautiful. But perception is everything. Where once, the customer was willing to pay for that beauty, now they perceive it to be “cheap stuff” and can’t understand why a lamp made by an aritsan, taking many hours and hundreds of dollars in materials, should cost any more than the one at Wal-Mart.

Panels are suffering the same plight. As are garden items, chimes, fused vessels, jewelry…..the list goes on. When I first saw Dianne’s garden stakes and Andrea’s wind chimes on eBay, I had never seen anything like them. And they were fetching good prices for their work. But in the last several years, I’ve seen similar, albeit inferior, products in the aisles at Hobby Lobby. It is a known fact that the Chinese manufacturers’ marketing teams scour the internet to see what labor intensive craft is popular and fetching good prices. Then they copy it and sell it to US marketers for pennies. Their turnaround time is staggering to me. How quickly we have to adapt!

The smaller items suffer less, as time and materials make them more affordable to the consumer, and thankfully, some consumers are still willing to spend on artisan made craft.

Add to that the massive influx of “hobbyist” competition in online sales; those who truly don’t care if they make a profit, or are even paid at all for their work, but are simply subsidizing their hobby material expenses, and the full time artisan is in a real bind.

Are we being phased out? Is there a place for us any more?

I believe there can be, but it calls for hard work and hard choices.

One choice is commission work. I don’t know of any artist that would rather realize someone else’s vision rather than do whatever moves them, but for me, it is a necessity. To get good consistent commissions, you have to develop a whole different set of skills. Patience. Making the client feel special and involved. Educating the consumer. Easy for some, tough for others.

Another tough choice; maximizing the efficiency of your operation. “Elite” materials v. affordable materials. Home studio v. outside studio. Difficult and unique products v. fast, easy and saleable products. More expensive marketing v. legwork and simply “getting your stuff out there”. This requires experimentation and is in constant flux.

Above all, I’ve found that I have to be adaptable. The moment you’ve come up with a fast, inexpensive and unique item, someone will copy it and offer it for less. You have to constantly be changing and stretching.

What are your thoughts? How are you adapting? What are your strategies to compete?

Food for thought for the long weekend!

Peace,
Dawn