Welcome to my all-new website! (Yes, I have re-done my website!) After a pretty long creative pause - a wise decision - I am pleased to be back onboard! Call it a fresh new start, if it pleases you; and as with each new beginning, it's naturally apt to re-design and re-style my website. My website now includes my own online store.
What have I been up to in the past 18 months? Lots.
The saddest part of the sabbatical was I had to let go off our 15+ year old Golden Retriever, Sandy, last June. My old faithful dog reminded me the virtues of patience and toe-tapping sure isn't going to speed up anything. I am immensely grateful for the 15 memorable years Sandy has given to me and my family.
We still miss him now. He was a huge part of our lives.
Sandy, taken in 2010
The happiest part of my sabbatical is our new family member, Jenny - a red-coloured, short-haired standard dachshund! She joined us in August when she turned nine weeks old. Jenny's breeders, Anja and Stefan Wiese, own and breed a line of smooth-haired standard dachshunds called "von Maaskamp".
Jenny, at nine weeks old
At first, my husband and I though that we ought not to get another dog right away so we can do things spontaneously on the weekends. Well, that thought didn't last very long. After four weeks of moping around - the evenings were the worst without Sandy - I decided it was time to get a new dog.
Before Sandy's passing, we talked about getting smaller breed for me to lift the dog if necessary especially in its old age. I used to have dachshunds and that more or less settled what breed we'll next have. We are meant to have Jenny, who is born on the same day that Sandy passed away on. It is a parting gift from Sandy - one dog departs this world to let the next enter.
I begin each day, no matter how the weather is, with a two-hour walk with Jenny - it's not just Jenny who needs the walk, I do too. These walks have come to signify a fresh new slate each day - you start with a clear head and mind, you can take on any task.
Jenny, July 2013
Sometime this year, I hauled my glass rods, bench burner (torch) back into my studio - our younger daughter, Sydney, moved to Hamburg to cut down travel time to her university and we, my husband and I, converted her former bedroom into my studio-to-be/office. Indeed I was proud of having a "new" studio-cum-office; it was sparkling clean, tidy and neat. Good for a brand new re-start, isn't it?
Well, well, well, it sure wasn't like what we always say about bike-riding, "ohhhh, you can never forget how to ride a bicycle...". Yeah, whoever said that definitely didn't lampwork. I may plan and design my pieces on paper before turning on the torch and kiln, but I do not keep any notes on my techniques. So much for that "can't-forget-how-to-ride-a-bicycle" notion.
After countless trials and errors with stringer work. I decided literally, to hell with stringer work, and began from ground zero again - the little dot. Ahah! That was just what I needed to get that rhythm again. Can't begin to tell you what it means to get into that lampworking rhythm, it's like, you suddenly found the light switch while groping in the dark for ages and desperately have to pee (for that matter, I do know where our home toilet light switch is! I'm talking about being at e.g. a campsite or friend's house or hotel room...). That relief washes over you, you haven't forgotten how to ride a bike after all! You just forgot how to use the brakes when going downhill too fast...
Anyway to cut the l o n g story short, I have been dotting my beads. I have also done a couple of beads with stringer work, it did work after I figured out the P's and the Q's but I became carried away with making glass cabochon toppers once I found out my supplier was making larger discs for the on-mandrel cabochon toppers. If you have been to my website for the new work, please check out my new work, documented by Ralph Kerpa, a freelance photographer whom I work with.
As mentioned right in the beginning, I now have my own online store integrated with my website. I shall be also listing with Etsy again shortly. For now, you will find my items as well as the interchangeable jewellery system and accessories from Silberwerk GmbH in my online store.
Here's a collection of some of my new glass cabochon toppers which can be used as either pendants or ring toppers. The diameters range from 38-42mm.
Last but not least, the prices in my online store have difficult price levels for international and EU buyers. Please read my pricing policy on my website when purchasing. International buyers enjoy export prices, i.e. VAT-exempt.