One of the most popular necklaces I made for art shows is this necklace. It’s made using handmade fused rectangle glass pieces that I made. I make them by layering pieces of different dichroic patterns of glass. There are 4 different layered patterns put together like a puzzle. I fuse it in a kiln, then use lapidary equipment to shape the rectangle shape, then fuse again to fire polish. The necklace is beaded using Beadalon 24 k gold plated flexible stringing wire. I used Delica beads, gemstones or Swarovski crystals on a double wire necklace. The connection is gold fill lobster claws. Measurements ranged from 16 inches to 18 inches. I loved making these because each one is different and always a delight when I take them out of the kiln. The fun part was picking out the colors of beads to string them with. I have a couple of these necklaces left that I posted on Etsy.


With this new computer I can finally access photos from past shows. I had a terrible virus a few years ago, (the dreaded UPS email), which corrupted all my pictures, documents. My internet company even quarantined my computer.  This is new computer with no viruses and I am a bit wiser!

Bracelet of fused glass, 18kt, 14kt gold, sterling silver, and beaded inlay
Photo by Ralph Gabriner
Necklace of fused glass, 14kt. gold, sterling silver and peyote bead woven necklace
Photo by Ralph Gabriner

Even though I have not blogged in a long while. I have always been creating jewelry. Commissions for weddings including my own daughter’s wedding! Necklaces for my new English inlaw families. Gifts for friends, which I love doing more than anything. The necklaces I made for my daughter’s wedding are 43 beads each, which can be worn long or doubled. Altogether I made close to 500 beads! They are made with cranberry glass, dichroic glass and 23 kt gold foil. 11 different types of beads. I have been making a lot of dichroic beads in the cooler weather in Florida, (December to May), and making earrings, which my next step is posting on Etsy. I finally broke down and got a new computer which should make this easier as the old one was having serious problems! I was putting it off because of course with a new computer you have to update everything! Here are pictures of cranberry necklaces, which three of bridesmaids were wearing, daughter’s wedding, which was beautiful.

Wedding necklace
My daughters wedding

It has been awhile since I have blog! I am definitely more a maker than a writer! I finally took pictures of some of the jewelry I have been working on since the summer. Even though we have an air conditioner in the garage where I lampwork beads it is really hot in the summer months and this year summer seems to continue right through December and January! Today it is 83 which is unbelieveable for January. We are supposed to get a cold front, as in the 70’s, tomorrow  and I personally will be happy for any cooler weather! I tend to work on metalworking and fused glass in the warmer months because that part of the studio is more cooler and these pieces are what resulted. I will probally list similiar work with the fused glass and sterling silver for sale in the future as these pieces were mostly gifts and my personal items. I had been holding on to these fused glass pieces for quite a while and felt they where some of my best fused pieces and wanted to be able to spend adequate time making jewelry with them. They are made by fusing many layers of glass and then sliced through the fused stack with a lapidiary diamond saw. I will then cut out the areas that are the most interesting composition. They are further grinded and fused to get the resulting pieces. I feel glass can be even more beautiful than gemstones and treat them as precious. The next step is creating the silver pieces using traditional metalsmithing with sawing, soldering, filing etc., hope you enjoy looking at them!

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The art show that I will be in is almost here! Its this weekend Saturday & Sunday March 17 & 18th, 10:00 am – 5 p.m. The location is at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. For more information here is the website of the art center that is putting on the show

I am busy cleaning silver, pricing (unfortunately repricing some things because of rising cost of precious metal)!  Organization is the key word! When you are at the art show is not a good time to remember you forgot the calculator, or hand wipes, etc. I am really excited, a little nervous because it has been 2 yrs since doing the shows because of my shoulder. Luckily for me my husband will be with me and doing the heavy work. We will be blessed with perfect weather and that is half the battle when doing outdoor shows. I have been in shows when a powerful cold front came through lifting the tent completely up with me holding one pole and a good samaritan holding the other! I ve been in shows where the wind blew all my jewelry off the top of display and it hitting the asphalt ground and thanking my blessings with glass jewelry only one piece was damaged! So I have been anxiously watching the weather especially in March. One of the good things when you are doing a show is looking at all your work in it’s entirety. I believe it is a good time to see how far you have come and pat yourself on the back and say yes I did make all of this! Well wish me good luck, I will post how well it went and if you are in the area please come! This is a great quality, perfect size show and the shops and restaurants on Main Street will be open  with plenty of parking! Here are a couple pics of my work that will be there.

Here are pics of some of the work I will be posting on Etsy. I had a lot of fun making these pendants. The size is 1 1/4 x 1 1/4 in the lentil shape. Lots of layering of glass with dichroic, murrine, and silvered glass. I especially like the combination of the handmade dyed silk ribbons with the glass. Very comfortable to wear and becoming one of my favorites. Here are more pics of the holidays!

My daughter and I celebrating at Moores Stone crab restaurant

Hubby James and daughter Ashley at Starfish Seafood Restaurant

Starfish Restaurant great seafood and atmosphere!

Sunset at Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island

Lampworked green pendent with hand dyed silk ribbon

Amethyst pendant with hand dyed silk ribbon

I realized after looking at my last blog it is definitely time to update! I have been hard at work getting ready for the Lakewood Ranch Art show in a couple of months. I will put more info on the show when I get closer to the time. Winter in Florida this year has been nonexsistent. The temperature has been running at 80 degrees ! I know I shouldn’t complain but being a hot glass artist working next to 975 kiln I look forward to the cooler weather when we get it. I have to admit though the Christmas holidays with my daughter spent out at the beach was hard to beat. All three of us fell asleep on the nice warm sand listening to the sound of the waves.
We always celebrate birthdays at the Moore’s Stone Crab restaurant on the island, which is the best fresh seafood restaurant ever. I have been going there since I was a kid. I am including a few pictures from the beach and restaurant along with a couple of photos of recent work. Lately I have been working with metal to add to the glass pieces, as I do love metalsmithing also. I am photographing work and will share on post plus will be putting work on Etsy in the next day or two. Hope everyone is having a good start to the new year!

Bradenton City Pier

Brown Pelican

Sunset at Coquina Beach

View from Moore's Restaurant

Handmade Lampwork beads with Sterling Silver

Hi! I am getting so excited about the fall weather coming! For Florida that is the end of October, November and December! Winter isn’t usually until January! I can’t wait for that first cool breeze. I took a hiatus from beadmaking this summer and polished my metalsmithing skills up but I am ready for glass! It’s the color that I love and miss. I am excited about finally having a shop on Etsy, (I know I am way behind the ball here), but taking the time this summer was worth it. I have customers at shows and the people you meet on errands, ( that remark about that beautiful necklace you’re wearing), always asking where they can buy. At the shows they would wonder when your next show was, but sometimes you don’t know because of the policy of having to get juried in. You just never know for sure even though you were accepted for the last 5 years! It will be great to offer another outlet to see my work. Here are 2 necklaces I just listed on Etsy. Check back often because the great thing of Etsy you can list anytime and it’s relatively inexpensive.
This necklace is called Safari and made with 5 different animal patterns. A great classic design that never goes out of style and can be passed on to future generations. The 2nd necklace is 3 tiered with handmade sterling silver rings and my favorite glass Triton.

I am excited to announce that I am opening a Etsy store! The name of the store is CharmaineParker, (that’s with no space). I have been working this summer in sterling silver. It has been a while since I’ve worked with just metal, but with this brutal Florida heat taking a break from glass torch work seemed like a good idea! I actually started jewelry making 15 years ago learning metalsmithing. It has been a joy taking saw to metal and I have some wonderful Fretz jeweler hammers that I just love to use. As some of you know I have struggled with a torn rotator cuff from a previous art show and even though its better, ( I am grateful to be able to work with no problem),  I am excited to be able to sell my jewelry online without having to deal with the heavy booth set up. Most of the jewelry I am posting now is sterling silver metal but more glass with jewelry is to come. I will be uploading new jewelry all the time so please take a look! Here is a sample of the earrings I have in the store for now. This oak leaf is sawn from 18 gauge sterling silver sheet, the earrings are polished then textured with hammers. The gems are gorgeous AAA deep sky blue Topaz faceted tear drop briolettes and parrot green Peridot micro faceted tear drops. Address for shop:    When my web tech, (darling daughter) comes home I will have her link to website. Thanks!

I am busy working on metal pieces to go with the lampworked beads. It’s great doing metalsmithing again after concentrating  on lampworked beads for 2 years. This is the creative process I enjoy the most, bringing together different mediums, different techniques. It keeps me from getting bored! I have been concentrating on sawing and piercing to create designs, specifically nature themed, (flowers, leaves). It is amazing what you can do with just sawing metal and I think it’s good for your creativity to concentrate on one particular technique. I also have been doing Keum Boo with 23kt. gold foil and riveting those parts to the metal

It’s getting miserably hot in Florida now! This is the time of year when we are all praying for those summer showers. That is another good reason for me to work in sawing metal, that part of my studio is in the air conditioned  house!