Hello, My name is Christina Nixon Cole, and I torch my art.

I'm a glass, micromosaic and silver jewelry artist. Welcome!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

my little mermaid

I love making goddesses and mermaids. Something about the female form is so beautiful, and the glass seems to naturally melt into place creating those luscious curves.

This piece is 4 inches long. She has elements of silver, blue frit, Reichenbach powder.

Her inspiration comes from a show I am trying to jury into. Wish me luck.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beading random household items

As a glass artist, I'm constantly looking for fun and new ways to apply my glass to something. For our wedding we decided to put a teapot on the registry list, and of corse, I had to put my own bead on the lid.

Have you seen glass push pins? I made these for my Dad's birthday last year. They are being used in a shadow box holding up wedding photos.
I've also beaded wall hooks, drawer knobs, cabinet handles, and more.

Friday, February 19, 2010

How I customized my blog

It says you can do this in an hour, but between watching the Olympics and being tired, it took a bit longer. If you want to customize your blog go here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

And the Whales were naked

Last weekend we spent a lovely warm day at the beach. The highlight of that day was watching a gray whale jump out of the water three times. I missed the first one, barely saw the second, and definitely saw the third jump. Actually it was more of a "peek". The whale poked it's head up out of the water and plunged back in. It was still so exciting.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Heating your hot glass

Using soft glass, sometimes it can be a bit finicky introducing it into the flame. Taking room temperature glass and throw it in the flame, and there can be a problem. The glass can be a bit shockey, especially with some colors, and guaranteed some popping glass if there is a small bubble that has been pulled or stretched the length of the glass.
One helpful technique is to warm the glass very slowly in the flame, but this takes time. And if you tend to be a bit impatient or want to make more beads per hour, then use something to warm the glass.

One nice invention adopted by quite a few lampwork artists is the curling iron heater. Instead of heating the curling iron, throw some rods of glass in there. There are a few different models, but if you get the one with the flat top, it can be used to place glass "condiments" like dichroic glass, murrine chips, shards, or cane, etc. You can get one here.

A few months ago I got my hands on a hot plate heater thingy. Yes, that's the technical and brand name. It gets super hot, hot enough to burn your finger if you grab the glass in the wrong place.

So, being that it did not have a "lid" I grabbed some sheet metal and with a simple bend and tucking it in the sides, it becomes a garage. To further the functionality, I added a back wall to trap the heat. And even though mine is curved, I can still manage to add my "condiments".

Friday, February 12, 2010

Blessed Marble Toss - Wedding

In addition to the wedding post, I want to share another glass influence from the wedding. Have you ever heard of the "Blessed Stone Toss"? When I heard of this I had to make it my own, so here is what we handed out on note cards just before the wedding:

We are passing out marbles for you to hold and bless during this service. As you cradle these marbles in your hand we ask that you transfer the magic from these moments into them - to bless them. Use words that you wish upon these newlyweds like hope, love, family, connection, unity, etc. At the end of the service we will all follow the Bride and Groom down to the surf to toss them into the sea (the marbles, not the couple). The waves and tides will keep the marbles and their blessings alive in constant motion as long as they remain in the surf. If these beach tumbled treasures are found and taken home, the new owner will then posses a piece of magic and the blessings that were born from this beautiful day. May they unknowingly posses what loving words you chose to bless these marbles.

So, after we said "I do", and kissed, Dave and I took some marbles and marched back down the isle to the water's edge. We gathered and at the prompt, we all threw our marbles into the waves.
Little by little in the following weeks some of our friends found a marble or two, but most are likely to find a long existence tumbling in the pacific.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My beaded wedding hair

I got married in August on the beach with a group of 100 family and friends. It was very casual, in fact, I forgot to even put on make-up. However the highlight of my wedding attire was my boquet and the beaded necklace my dear friend, and fellow beadmaker, Kim Osibin made for me.

This necklace was intended to be worn as a necklace, and I suppose it took some getting used to the idea that I decided to put it on my head. After all, the amount of work, time, money, and love Kim put into it, and I put it on my head? Sorry Kim, but I LOVED it. I wasn't going to wear a veil, so this worked perfectly.
Catering to the beach theme, Kim created this dazzling composition of beads of aquas and blues. From beads made by herself and other lampwork artists, as well as Hill Tribe silver, and carved Polynesian nude figures to represent the Bride and Groom.
She sent it to me before the wedding in a beautiful blue box. As I opened it, my breath was swept away. It now has a spot on our bedroom wall in a glass shadow box.

You can see more images of her work on her facebook page.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I have my Father's eyes

Well, not really. And he's not my father either, he's a friend's father. But they're my eyes.

A few years ago my friend, Kim, and I were in Hollywood doing the tourist thing. We stumbled on a really crazy store with lots of crazy things. I want to say it catored to the goth/Vampire scene. They had stuff like preserved snakes and bats, and sold books, candles, capes, and canes. They also had a collection of glass eyes. So Kim and I decided to get one each ans a souvenir for that day. I'm not sure how I ended up with both of them, but one still belongs to Kim.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Recycling Glider

About two years ago my hubby (then boyfriend), gave me a bag of parachute cords. They are durable, colorful and best of all, re-purposed or recycled. And for two years, I've been asking the people at the Glider Port if they have any old gliders ready for retirement. Rather than seeing them go to the land fill, we use the wing for wind breaks and bags. The string I use in my "Beach Jewelry" line.

In colors of bright orange, yellow, teal, purple, and pinks, I string up my own glass beads and found objects from the beach like stones, sand, shells, glass, etc. The sand is melted into my beads creating a number of looks from sparkly, salt and pepper, to a mottled organic texture. I can either encase it or leave it on the surface, melt it, boil it, or leave it be. Although if I add too much, it will break the glass bead.
So just last week I finally got a glider. You can see I had a blast with my new, very large treasure. I found that the cords were quite dirty, but my little ultrasonic cleaner brightened them up. It took over an hour pilfering thru the ruffles of the wing to find where the cords were attached, and then more time to untangle the mess I created. So, now we have fabric for our beach gear, and I have more than enough string. And now I don't feel like I have to hoard it, I have plenty to use!

Painting the studio

My husband is the best! He is so supportive and helpful. He built a wall to enclose the patio so I have a real room. Last year we used a tarp that was cold and flapped in the breeze. This year, he built the wall frame, mounted the windows and door, and nailed up siding and the inside wall. He even painted it white to match the newly painted ceiling we painted just after the wedding.

I already feel the difference. Not only is it brighter, it's warmer too. Thanks Hubby, you're the best!

If you would like to see more of my studio please watch this video.