Archive | October, 2011

Brief History of Lampwork Glass Beads

31 Oct

Lampworking is an ancient artistic technique that today utilizes a flame to melt glass around a steel mandrel to create beads.

The origins of lampwork beads can be traced all the way back to the Syrians around 1700 BC, the Chinese around 550 BC, the Egyptians around 1450BC.  The Romans were creating them at the turn of the first millennium, with the Italian, Indian, Islamic, French and German folks bringing us up to the present day.  Today individual artisans from all walks of life create lampwork beads on both a large and a small scale.

France and Italy were using blowpipes and oil lamps in the seventeenth century, which is the origin of the “lamp” in lampwork.   This was done by blowing thru a small pipe, by mouth or with a bellows, into an oil lamp flame.  This created just enough heat to soften the softer types of glass to create beads with.  We have come a long way with the tools available to us today to create even more amazing unique pieces of art with which to create stunning pieces of jewelry.

Remember each lampwork bead is handmade and unique unto itself.
To read more about the technique of lampwork, check out our other blog post on Blogger.

Transitions

30 Oct

Entwined Vines has had two blogs running for quite some time now and it works well for us. Tammy mostly maintains our blog on blogger while Tina had been maintaining the blog on Artfire. We cover many different topics and the few that are covered by both of us are from very different perspectives so this has worked well for us the last few years. Artfire has been busy upgrading and changing things in the system for the better but the blog section has been a pretty low priority verses things like how SEO’s match and the site is crawled with the holidays approaching. Well this all is reasonable but Tina really enjoys keeping up on the blog most of the time and many people were having a hard time looking at past posts that held great information such as the history of Lampwork beads and how to make Viking Knit. With this we decided it was time to make our move to here, WordPress. We LOVE it here but it is taking time to get the really important stuff moved as well as a TON of hard work. We also have been having fun re-reading old posts and realizing how far we have come in our comfort of blogging.  We hope that as we finish settling in you will take the time to look around and leave us a few comments.

Holiday Gifts for All

29 Oct

It seems like the holidays are a long way off yet but I stopped and thought about it and found that if I want to get everyone I need to get something for, a gift that I would be proud of on a very tight budget that I would have to get moving like a piece of yesterday. We here are Entwined Vines have started reserved space at for “festival days” here at the Portland Saturday Market to vend and with that I start my list. This list is who do I want or need to buy for. I have to remember;
* best friend from school
* mom
* grand parents (yes I have almost all of mine still)
* daughters
* husband
* daycare families
* employees
* all my helpers
* the mail carrier
* My ex-husband and his wife and combined children (I do this because they are amazing and just because we are not married does not mean we are not still tied together by amazing children)
The list goes on and on and I really look for something that I know each person will LOVE that is unique and handmade/handcrafted. This can be a huge chore that I look forward to but am glad when I have it all done and get to sit down to wrap.

Please share what you go through to get the “right” gift for everyone on your list and please share all the places you look. We will share some of our favorite places in the next post so keep your eyes open.

Top 10 Reasons Why to follow Our Blogs

28 Oct

1) learn more about us
Blogs are a great place to learn more about the people who create items you enjoy/want/have. Bloggers tend to share little bits about themselves throughout time and that makes having their products more personal.
2) learn more about the techniques we use
Sometimes we see something that we really love but have no clue how it is created. A great way to learn more about this or to find out why something has more worth than that of face value reading how it is made and all the steps can help. Also it is really cool when a friend comments about something they see you wearing or using that you can tell them all about it.
3) learn more about the materials we use
Ever wonder about what kind of wire is in a piece or the properties of a stone? Blogs are an amazing place to gain more knowledge in these areas and more.
4) find out what interests and inspiration is used to create pieces
From time to time Tammy and I share a new piece or a story of inspiration. It is not always easy to create everyday but you will read over time how we stay motivated and inspired.
5) get to know a bit about what drives us
Why do we create? What keeps us going? How do we handle the day-to-day and still look forward to what we do? Keep reading and you may find out the answers to these questions and more. Our stories may even help you on your path…
6) find out about the ethics of the person behind the business
In today’s market many of us really want to know that what we support through our purchases fits our own ethics and values.
7)education on industry practices
Tammy and Tina are always learning more about industry standards and practices. We take a look and see what we have to follow and what we should. We look at how these practices and standards fit our own practices and our values.
8) education on specific aspects of our business
Ever wonder about social networking? How about what it takes to do an event? How to make displays? Why things are prices as they are? We share these and many other aspects of our business here in our blog.
9) learn more about other artisan’s, that we showcase
Tammy and Tina enjoy featuring a different artisan every week. Between the two blogs we regularly post on, we introduce a huge variety of crafts, techniques, and people.
10) trend and fad tips
Do you enjoy staying ahead of the game in fashion and jewelry? We love sharing what we are tipped on before the latest shift.
BONUS) gift giving ideas
With shopping for the perfect gift driving us forward we share our tips and tricks as well as great places to get just what you need in time for that special person.
Follow us here on WordPress or checkout us out on Blogger

Basic History of Viking Knit

27 Oct

I went to my local bead store (Bead Happy in Milwaukie, OR) and looked at the listing for classes. I have been working with beads and wire most of my life but am always on the lookout for something new to me and fun. I saw a listing for Viking knit bracelet and even though I had no clue what it was, I signed up. I am drawn to old Norse things and this sounded so fun. When I got home, I started looking up pictures and fell in love with the look of this woven wire art. After I looked around I told Tammy all about what I had found and promised I would teach her once I had a clue as to what I was doing. We both have fallen for this craft as we find it very meditative and mildly trance like. We love the colors and beads that we can use and the face that the pieces always turn out looking unique. After playing with this art form for a few months, I got a wild hair and wanted to learn about the history of Viking knit as I know how to knit with yard and had never assosiated this form as knitting. I was correct. Technicly viking knit is an artform of Nalebinding. The biggest difference seems to be how the fiber is drawn through. In knitting the fiber is not pulled all the way through where nalebinding you insert the end of the fiber and pull through. There are pieces dating back to the viking age although the number of verifiable finds of Viking Age nålebinding is, alas, quite small. So, while we know that nålebinding was practiced in the Viking Age, we don’t know much about what was actually produced. This is due to the medium used. Wool shows signs but does not really last.

Parawire and why we love it

26 Oct

Tammy and I spend a lot of time and energy working with wire and have tried many types. We have our favorites as do most people. We are drawn to color and so we have looked at a few different brands of colored wire that comes in a wide range of gauges that also come in a wide range of cost. Our goal was to find lots of colors, wide range of gauges, and keep it all affordable so we could pass our savings onto our customers. We found all of this in Parawire. We LOVE the colors available to us in Parawire, although we are still on the look out for just the perfect shade of red. The shades of blues, greens, pinks, and purples to name a few just make us feel giddy with antisipation for the next great project. What are a few colors you enjoy and how would you like to see them incorporated into a piece of wearable art? Let us know…