It’s Small Business Saturday y’all! I love that there is a day to celebrate shopping small, though I wish every day were a day to recognize, and make a conscious effort to support small businesses.
Sometimes the products that we sell cost more, because we source our materials differently, trying to ensure they are produced with care or fairly, humanely, that the workers who create them or harvest them are paid a fair wage etc. Sometimes we are making our products by-hand, or making them here in the United States, where labor costs, commercial space, utilities, and the cost-of-living is significantly greater than developing countries, and thus, our products cost more. So if you can still support us with your shopping dollars, we appreciate it!
This holiday season, I am introducing new pieces to the Hieropice product line, Botanical Magnets! They are miniature landscapes designed to attach to any metal surface, and come in a variety of styles. I will have them at my upcoming art markets at the Old South Church Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday, December 3rd, and at the Etsy Artists of Boston chalet at City Hall Plaza December 16th through 22nd. I love making them. Tiny, perfect ecospheres preserved in time. Yay, nature! And yay, handmade!
I am so thrilled that Fall has finally come. It is the best season, in my opinion! There is an incredible natural color palette that forms just about everywhere in New England that makes every vignette look like a painting.
I’ve been experimenting with making my own liquors and bitters, starting with a cardamom/vanilla pod-infused liquor that I haven’t gotten quite right yet. I figured, why just make the glass vessels, but not the liquors to go in them?
For my first attempt, I toasted the cardamom and vanilla pods, which gave a powerful flavor, but perhaps too anise-y/too much like licorice. So the next batch was made with raw pods, and no vanilla. We shall see how it goes!
I collected a number of my etched glass vessels, etched and painted lanterns, and all things Autumnal for this Fall-inspired scene to remind you of why Autumn is just the best thing ever. A number of these pieces are available at my Hieropice on Etsy shop. Happy Fall!
Excited to announce that I’ve added a couple of new workshops to my August roster, in addition to the upcoming glass-etching workshop on August 27th. I’ll be teaching two workshops on terrarium-building on August 14th and 23rd! These two classes will focus on how to create sustainable tropical ecosystems under glass, with step-by-step instruction and tips on keeping your terrariums beautiful long-term. Attendees will get to personalize their terraria, and we’ll use truly unique glass vessels (no fishbowls here!) to build in. Very excited to offer this class at the Presentation School Foundation in Brighton, as previously, I’ve only offered it and Brookline Adult and Community Education and Newton Community Education. If you live in the Greater Boston area, or will be on August 14th or 23rd, join in! You have to pre-register to attend, register here.
This Sunday, I’ll be exhibiting at SOWA Boston, debuting some new pieces. I’ve created new terrarium ornaments, botanical-gilded lanterns, terrarium shadow boxes and botanical-etched decanters. SOWA is open from 10 AM – 4 PM on Sunday, and is free to attend (it costs $10 to park, but you can use the parking voucher at any of the vendor booths!)
I am still as obsessed as ever with all things botanical. I took the most truncated vacation ever, and, as it was me on vacation, spent a significant portion hunting for lichen to use in future terraria.
I have also had this long-term plan/goal, to make lighting around my terraria, and I’ve been playing around with a bunch of different concepts. I’ve built some pieces, created elements, but haven’t quite created anything I feel represents what I see in my head.
BUT I had a thought while I was on vacation, and when I returned, started working on it. I just completed it, after a bunch of experimenting. Lots of cutting glass, applying chemicals, applying more chemicals, changing techniques, and I quite like what I’ve made now. Here it is! My phone is pretty abysmal and ancient, so photos are not great, but I’m pleased with how the lantern came out. It’s a bit hard to see the reflective nature of the floral pattern on the glass in the photos, I’ll take others somewhere down the line. I’m looking forward to playing with the techniques more to create more pieces. Yay for being in a creative period!
I am expanding the Hieropice product line, after a couple of years of awesome responses to our terrarium ornaments. I used to do a lot of glass-etching in my youth, and started incorporating etching into last Winter’s ornaments. During the holidays, I offered ornaments with etched designs and pressed botanicals. I am now expanding my etched pieces to bud vases, lanterns, cruets (those dispensers for oil, wine, etc.) and more, that I offer at art markets and online at Hieropice.com and hieropice.etsy.com. The pieces feature the thematic elements customary of Hieropice, ferns, orchids, and bits of nature I fall in love with as I explore. I create original drawings and etch them onto reclaimed glass, and, in the future, will create some pieces that incorporate more glass techniques (mosaic, stained glass, painted glass, etc.). I hope you enjoy these new pieces, I am really enjoying creating them!
FYI, if you’re in Greater Boston, you can still register for one of my glass-etching workshops taking place on August 4th and August 27th, at the Presentation Foundation Community Center. Pre-registration is required, and the registration link is here: http://bit.ly/29ztFz6
If you’re in the Greater Boston area (or you will be in August), come to one of my workshops and make something awesome!
On August 4th (Thursday) at 6 PM and August 27th (Saturday) at 1 PM I will be teaching workshops on glass-etching at the Presentation School Foundation Community Center. The Center is at 640 Washington Street, Brighton, MA, and we’ll be in the New Balance Room on the lower level.
We’ll take reclaimed glass and transform it using custom stencils we’ll create right there in the workshop. Your own original artwork, permanently emblazoned on glass that you take home with you the same day. A vase, perhaps? An oil diffuser? It’s up to you!
And no, you don’t have to be an artist to participate, I’ll teach you everything you need to know! You can register here (registration is required, no drop-ins).
The workshops are 18+, because, you know, chemicals and all. Safety gear will be provided. I will be teaching terrarium-building workshops in August as well though that are all-ages, so stay tuned!
The folks at Etsy reminded me it’s wedding season! While my appreciation of weddings is primarily relegated to drooling over bouquets, head-pieces and gowns, I did remember serving as a bridesmaid in several friends’, then my sister’s, wedding. I got my dress together, my shoes, my makeup, my hair, and then, despite being a jeweler, found I had no clue whatsoever what jewelry to wear.
The weddings were all fairly traditional, with bridesmaids in similar, if not identical dresses, and I wondered if I’d blow up the whole cabal with some off-kilter embellishment. And if you’re thinking, why worry about such a thing? I hand you the following anecdote.
Standing in the chapel doorway at my best-friend’s wedding, I went to take the arm of my assigned groomsman, a gentleman I had just met, before we walked down the aisle. I was wearing the pre-selected bridesmaid uniform, marcasite post earrings and a feather fascinator. He leaned over to me and whispered, “Now, we don’t want to take any attention away from the bride, now do we?” Ahem! So, people notice these things!
Accessory-shaming aside, I thought, there should be tasteful, customizable jewelry pieces available, preferably that a bride can select and purchase for her bridal party, that she could match to their dresses. The bridesmaid would’t have to worry about selecting appropriate jewelry for the occasion, and the jewelry would double as a gift from bride to bridesmaids as a thank you for supporting her on her special day.
I have just listed a set of gold and semi-precious gemstone drop earrings in my Hieropice on Etsy shop, customizable, of course, for exactly this purpose. Earrings are available in turquoise, lapis lazuli, coral, and malachite, and other colors are available upon request. The set comes with four pairs, but more, or fewer, are also available. Happy wedding season, everyone!