The Process

Unique Life-Inspired Jewelry

NOAgems makes one-of-a-kind pieces that are handcrafted in my San Diego studio and each piece expresses the way I see something in the world around us. Examples from nature such as woodpeckers and ants are included as well as wrapped gifts, colorful icicles, and other earthly objects that become miniature works of art. There are no mass-produced or molded pieces, and I am proud to be a juried artist of the Spanish Village Art Center of San Diego.

 

The Materials

NOAgems art glass jewelry is made from the highest quality fusible and dichroic glass.

All the findings (the metallic items that are used to attach, hang, and otherwise transform the glass piece into wearable jewelry) are gold and silver and either filled or plated.

The silver chains are sterling silver, silver filled, or silver plated. The gold chains are either plated, filled, or 14K gold.

 

 

The Creative Process

The breadth of colors, texture, transparencies, and sheen of the fusible and dichroic glass available today makes it possible to create stunning designs and process them into truly elegant artwork. In addition to the pieces representing real things, some pieces are made just because I find the color, design, and balance irresistible. But no matter what the inspiration is they are all designed to become miniature works of artistry and elegance.

The process I use to make these creations is not simple. Once the design has formed in my mind, all the composite glass pieces must be precisely cut, arranged, combined, and layered into the envisioned shape.

 

When ready, the piece is put into the kiln and fired to temperatures up to 1700 degrees. Once the desired level of glass meld is achieved, the work must be cooled to room temperature slowly so that it won’t crack or break. Some pieces are complete and ready for finishing after just one firing in the kiln, but many need to be refined and re-fired once or even twice. Because of the time required to heat and properly cool each piece for each firing, it can take several days until the glass is ready for finishing.

Occasionally a piece will emerge that is very different from what I had intended. Often it is fairly easy (and fun) to envision a completely different design from these pieces and work with it to create a new piece.

The finishing process includes grinding and shaping for form and rounded edges. Some pieces need a small amount of soldering or other torch work to complete the glass part of the finished product. Then the glass is moved to my finishing studio and combined with the findings to hang or have a wearable wire wrap design and hanger. The quality of the findings ensures durability and beauty. Everything is hypoallergenic and made for simple, safe, and comfortable wearing of the elegant art glass piece.

The prices for the jewelry across this broad range of pieces vary greatly. At the low end, items can be priced for as little as $10 to $20. The high-end pieces cost hundreds and thousands of dollars. The prices for my art glass jewelry range between $50 and $175 because of the quality of my materials, the amount of work I put into creating each piece, my skill level, and the use of more expensive chains.

The breadth of colors, texture, transparencies, and sheen of the fusible and dichroic glass available today makes it possible to create stunning designs and process them into truly elegant artwork. In addition to the pieces representing real things, some pieces are made just because I find the color, design, and balance irresistible. But no matter what the inspiration is they are all designed to become miniature works of artistry and elegance.

The process I use to make these creations is not simple. Once the design has formed in my mind, all the composite glass pieces must be precisely cut, arranged, combined, and layered into the envisioned shape.

 

Making Fused Glass Jewelry

Click through the slides below to see how I show my granddaughters how to make fused glass jewelry at my studio.

 

The Making Process

The Finishing Process