Lisa Atchison - Master Glass Bead Artist Lisa uses Ameritool's Universal Grinder in her work, and recommends it to her students and associates. Discover more about Lisa at her website - Click Here
Biography: In 2003, not long after discovering handmade art glass beads, I entered the world of lampworking and never looked back. I took a beginners class at a local bead store, and was completely hooked with the first light of the torch. I love everything about it….the creative outlet, the artistic fulfillment, the chemistry…everything!
About the same time, our daughter decided it was time to leave the nest, and unknowingly donated her room for my studio. My husband was a bit skeptical when I told him that I wanted to plumb natural gas into the room, and purchase oxygen and a torch! Three weeks later the transformation took place. I spent the next few months setting up the studio, and the next two years reading books, practicing dots, stringer control and shaping, trying various techniques and trying new things.
I then discovered that I love making organic focal beads. With nature as my inspiration, I strive for a soft, elegant organic style in my beads by using blended flowing transparent colors to achieve depth, cubic zirconia, dichro, fine silver, copper and murrini. A secondary process of copper electroforming, using leaves from my yard, is often incorporated into the bead design.
I have been fortunate enough to take classes with some of the finest instructors including Michael Barley, Andrea Guarino-Slemmons, Trey Cornette, J.C. Herrell, Cynthia Tilker, Kim Fields and Brent Graber.
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The Amazing Work of Char Jorgensen - AFMS Wire Master 2009
I used Tronex tools in many of the 10 pieces of wire wrapped jewelry that I submitted for competition in Billings Montana in July of this year. They are strong, and easy to handle for even my small hands, and the do not mar the wire. The more I use them, the better I like them. The cost is equivalent to name brand tools that you need to condition to make them mar proof. I am already recommending them to my students. Oh, and I did take the National trophy for Wire Wrapping! Char Jorgensen AFMS Wire Master 2009
http://www.skeenastormstones.com My name is Shelby Raymond. Collecting, cutting, polishing and admiring stones are some of my greatest passions. I am fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world! Kermodei bears, rambling moose and soaring Bald Eagles make their home in the boreal rainforests of northwestern British Columbia, Canada.
The ocean, several rivers and hundreds of creeks amble through the region, bringing with them a glorious variety of tumbled stones. The Skeena River Basin, the Rocky Mountain Range, Pacific Coast, and Haida Gwaii (a.k.a. Queen Charlotte Islands) have a fascinating variety of geological origins and the rocks native to this area and to the exotic terrains come in a dazzling array of colours, shapes, sizes and compositions.
When I moved to British Columbia, I moved into a home previously lived in and loved by a lapidary. Up to this point I had noticed rocks, but never really considered doing anything with them. I began digging up the yard to put in flower beds and dug up rock odds and ends, cut pieces and slices of rocks in every colour and design. I began bringing them into the house and one day my Sweetheart suggested, quite kindly, that perhaps I'd like a rock tumbler...and that was the beginning of an obsession!
I adore making all kinds of pretties with stones - pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings, pins, key-chains, and magnets as well as other fun things that tend to pop up! Entranced by the local stones and geology, I scour the northwest with my best friend (my husband) and our precious black lab, Gracie, in search of unique stones.
"First thing I need to say, now that I have a few years working with my rocks, making jewelry and buying supplies at Ameritool - you guys and gals ROCK!
The products and customer service have been awesome and I appreciate every effort made by your staff to help out. That’s why I keep coming back, even when there are stores up in the hinterlands of Canada who sell similar products - it’s the customer service that keep me loyal, and make me not mind additional customs charges, extra shipping time and additional taxes to the cost.
Please always remember that - so many places tend to forget how much good quality customer service creates. Many of us don’t mind paying a bit more, as long as we’re treated well.
I adore your equipment. I can work in my studio or on the upper deck – they’re portable, lightweight, do a grand job and don’t shower the neighbors with rock bits and water spray. I’m not limited to only cutting my rocks during the summer, which was the case before I got my trim saw. I do my rough cutting on a tile saw, but use my tough little trim saw now as well - year round! Sacrilege I know, but I’m playing with river rocks, not emeralds. Although, I must admit I do get a bit fussy when I’m working with the B.C. jade and the trim saw wastes nothing with its tiny kerf. :-}" http://www.skeenastormstones.com
Chad Trent As long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with creating. From Legos as a child to drawing, painting, and playing music as a teenager, I have always pursued forms of creative self-expression. As an adult, I struggled to find a creative medium that satisfied my need to create.
Shortly after meeting my fiancé Amanda, I started making jewelry. Simple jewelry designs led to complicated designs which led to many many trips to bead stores. I was immediately drawn to the beautiful colors and unique designs of lampwork beads. Amanda and I eventually took a lampworking class and I was immediately hooked. We left class, bought a torch, kiln, glass, and tools, and I have spent very little time away from the torch since then.
I started off making beads out of soft glass, but was soon attracted to the ethereal and organic colors of borosilicate glass. I began working with borosilicate glass and have not looked back. I soon fell in love with making marbles. I was fascinated by the amount of detail that could be fit into a small orb of glass. I was also drawn to the magnification qualities of clear glass, and declared clear to be my new favorite color.
Eventually, Amanda told him “marbles are great, but I can’t wear them”, so I began exploring ways to translate his favorite marble designs into shapes that could be worn.
Amanda and I now own Soleil Et Lune Studio and Gallery, a glass studio and bead store in Salem, VA. We teach classes there ranging from beginning beadmaking to marbles and sculpture, and classes in metal and wire working.
My work can be found in public and private collections in the US and beyond. I have been asked to be a demonstrator and teach classes at many venues up and down the East Coast including Lapidary Journal’s BeadFest in Philadelphia, and Hot Time in the Mountains in Asheville, NC. I also feel honored to have won the Best Vortex category of the 2007 Carlisle School of Glass Art Marble Flame-Off.
Michele Manzella (click images for larger versions) I've just purchased your new micro flat nose pliers and they are just what I have been searching for. They get into the smallest spaces, are easily held, and very workable.
As a fiber/bead artist I work with beads to create jewelry designs. But I also work with pieces of nature such as driftwood, leaves, pods and shells from which I create sculptures inspired by the Navajo/Hopi Prayer Sticks. Sometimes the pieces are very fragile and need a delicate touch. The micro pliers are perfect!
I was a professional dancer for most of my life and I think it's fascinating that the same artistic principles apply to fiber/bead work as to choreography and stage direction .... use of space, line, texture, color, depth, etc. And most importantly, the ability to communicate through whichever artistic medium you choose.
I've had a fascination with beads since I was a kid when my Mom's necklace broke and I decided it needed to be put back differently. "Restrung" wasn't even a word in my vocabulary back then.
As a dancer I became fascinated with the concept of "prayer sticks, talking sticks and walking sticks" while spending some time on a southwest reservation. But I'm Italian from New Jersey, so to remain true to myself, I had to find my own way while being inspired by what I saw. So I started creating WishingSticks sculptures as well as jewelry designs.
I can't imagine a life without beads or dance (or good Italian food and wine!) I hope you'll check out my new website and share some of that excitement with me." May angels surround you ~ Michele Manzella www.m3beads.com
Sarah Lewis "I use my ameritool universal grinder and diamond wet saw to cut and polish my glasswork and stones that I use to create jewelry. They are an integral part of my studio, and I couldn't work with out them. There's nothing like the right tool for the job! Thank you for your well designed equipment and friendly customer service!"
"I was born and raised in upstate New York and began working with borosilicate glass in 2000 at the Museum Glass Works in Ballston Spa, NY. I quickly fell in love with the art form and set up a home studio. I have since attended several lampworking workshops and have learned techniques through practice and from friends over the years.
While living in Arizona, I began learning jewelry and metalworking at Arizona State University and was introduced to lapidary at the Mesa Art Center. I instantly found the excitement of combining these disciplines with my glasswork. When you can hot-work and cold-work glass, and then combine it with stone and set it in silver, the possibilities are truly endless!
I feel that I have developed my aesthetic through the fusion of these techniques and mediums. My current focus has been on jewelry, which I consider to be small-scale wearable sculpture. I really enjoy the preciousness and functionality of jewelry and the way it interacts with the body. Although I feel that I am at the beginning of my career, my work has won a few awards and has been included in juried shows and exhibitions. My work is currently for sale in a few galleries, and can be viewed on my website at www.sarahlewisjewelry.com
I currently live and maintain my studio in Savannah, GA. I attend the Savannah College of Art and Design for metals and jewelry and product design and will graduate in the spring of 2008. I am a lover of nature, travel and music, and I draw inspiration from everything around me, and everything I do. I am very passionate about my work and am grateful to be able to practice everyday!
Thanks so much!" Sarah Lewis
Kari Richards: I have both an Ameritool 4" Trim Saw and the Universal Heavy-Duty Grinder and Polisher. I learned how to use them then taught my husband how to use them and he's been busily cutting stones for me ever since.
I'm a wire-wrapper, jewelry artist and he cuts me beautiful stones that we've mined across the country for use in my jewelry work.
I just want to say thank you for providing a superior product at affordable prices. We full-time RV, so the compact size is perfect for us while we are traveling. Visit my website at: http://www.woundaround.com/
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Furlong Glass Studios
Brayton Furlong of Furlong Glass Studio Emerging Artist Brayton Furlong practices the art of flameworked glass in Santa Cruz Ca. Noting his tireless dedication to the medium; he has been awarded numerous scholarships from Penland School of Crafts where he has studied under such notable masters as, Paul Stankard, Brian Kerkvliet, Lauren Stump, Henry Halem, and Gary Beecham. Brayton Has worked in almost every facet of glass there is, from scientific to off hand, fusing, slumping, casting, mold blowing and flameworking. Brayton owns and operates Furlong Glass Studio, a flameworking studio dedicated to teaching and producing handmade one of a kind flameworked art glass for galleries throughout the US. - For More Information about Brayton Furlong and Furlong Glass Studios Visit: http://www.furlongglass.com/
"I use Ameritools 8" lapidary wheel daily to facet my glass paperweights into a perfectly polished, and finished product. I hold a high standard for the quality of my facets, and ameritool has the right equipment to get the job done quickly, with very little cleanup or maintinence. The highly durable and light designs of their equipment make them easy to operate and completely portable!"
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KB Glassworks is the collaborative team of Brian Kitson and Andrew Brown. Their glasswork is not only wildly creative but shines with old-world craftsmanship. Their website - www.kbglassworks.com features examples of Kitson's Borosilicate Beads, Pendants including some amazing Butterfly Pendants and unique Paperweights that draw the viewer into a microcosm of color, designs of mysterious depth. Andrew's gallery shows his diversity as an artist with a crosssection of his work including his Ammonites and Faceted Ammonite designs. Andrew's borosilicate beads are both elegant and quirky, some segmented, some with tactile protrusions of the glass.
Both Brian and Andrew use the Ameritool Universal Grinder/Polisher and the 4" Trim Saw to work and finish their creations.
A great example of this is the "Cherry Red Pendant". This borosilicate pendant was made using Glass Alchemy color, fumes of 24k gold and pure silver, and a Gilson opal. The pendant is lampworked then fully kiln annealed. After the annealing process it is then cut then ground down, and polished using the Ameritool Universal Grinder/Polisher to reveal the core (similar to a geode).
Both artists use the Universal Grinder to finish borosilicate beads and paperweights to a gemstone-quality. Using the Ameritool Universal allows them to create a curved grind that produces a subtle color gradient in the glass
Beads and the Butterfly Pendants are worked into a cylinder which are sliced then ground and polished using the Ameritool Universal. Andrew uses the Universal Grinder to accomplish the delicate finishes on his Amonite and Faceted Amonite pieces.
(At Right - click for Image for Larger Version) This is a larger faceted amonite pendant.. The inside has segments of golden green fumes with red/gold dichroic glass spiraled in the center.. The faceted and beveled edge give this piece a truly organic, natural feel.. The back has been heavily silver fumed with an organic texture. Pendant measures 53.54mm x 39.8mm. -
Perhaps most fascinating are their Paperweights. Andrew Brown's examples on the website evoke watching eyes, spiral nebulae, and floral anemones nesting an exquisite Gilson opal amongst its arms. This is a classic opal eye paperweight from Andrew Brown (Shown at Left) The piece features a solid black outside with a single facet revealing multiple layers of organic reds, and golden amber. There is a Gilson opal in the center sitting on top of a fumed implosion.
Like a cut-away view into another reality, Brian Kitson's Paperweights draw the viewer in to a micro-universe of spectacular colors and fascinating shapes.
(Left) This borosilicate paperweight was made using Glass Alchemy color, old Corning white, fumes of 24k gold and pure silver, and a Gilson Opal. After the weight has been fully annealed it is then cut, ground down and finely polished using the Ameritool Universal Grinder/Polisher to reveal the inside (similar to a geode). I then carved a pattern into it with a dremel tool and an Ameritool Diamond bit making it have an artifact feel. This one measures 2 1/4 inches.
"Ameritool makes my artistic vision a reality." ...... Brian Kitson You can learn more about the work of these two artists, and view many more photos of their pieces at www.kbglassworks.com.
KAREN PESTER For as long as I can remember I have been involved in art. As a child growing up in Ann Arbour, Michigan I spent many hours watching my grandfather, who was an artist, paint. Every summer I would accompany him to the Ann Arbour Fair where he would display his paintings. One year his booth was next to LeRoy Neiman’s booth. Watching him paint his wonderful athletic figures was amazing!
I have been teaching art to children for about 20 years in Palos Verdes and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. It has been a very rewarding experience.
I also teach adult glass classes and share my glass art skills with friends. During our classes we exchange ideas and glass making techniques which fuels everyone to create new and exciting projects.
When I purchased my first kiln for firing ceramics, I discovered that I could fire glass in it. This was the start of my glass art interest and have been working with glass for over 10 years. Glass has become my passion in art. When I travel I get inspired by my new surroundings and try to put that inspiration into my glass work.
I have recently been welding and incorporating glass into my welding – it is so much fun! I have more ideas than I have time to get them done.
"I use my Ameritool grinder everyday. I couldn't make my glass pieces without my Ameritool grinder - it is one of my favorite tools!" - Karen Pester www.mothstoaflame.com
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The exquisite jewelry of Carmen and Bob Menelly
In Memoriam of Carmen - You are always in our thoughts.
The incredible work of John Gullak. John uses Ameritool Products Click On Images for Larger Versions
Here are some beautiful beads made with the Ameritool All in One Flat Lap.- Click Images for Larger Versions Courtesy of Donna Ballard
I am a 25 year old glass artist - I use your flat lap for grinding and polishing my lampworked borosilicate glass beads. "By coldworking the glass beads - I can bring out the organic nature of the glass - Ameritool's grinders helps makes this process easy."
"Your Universal Grinder makes it easy to bevel, shape and polish fused glass pieces. Thank you for a great machine. From Lucile - Startup WA
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"I had thought about buying "another brand" for this, then Tim Thomas of Tibarra Opals pointed out I couldn't see what i was doing at the lap interface. His point, was well taken, and I bought your lapping machine. Well, this picture is out of a LR nobbie, and is the 3rd opal I ever cut and polished! These machines are fool proof, fun and really work well. Thanks for the excellent product! John LeBourgeois
"I do a lot of intarsia on the Universal flat lap machine. I use leather pads on your backing plates for lapis and jade and avoid undercutting. Your equipment is great!" Steve - Glendale, CA
Click Image for Larger Version Linda - Little Rock, AR "I've enjoyed collecting rocks for years. Now that I have your trim saw and grinder, I can do something with my collection! Thank you for tools that are quality, affordable and easy to use."
Click Image for Larger Version Jerilyn - Faceting instructor, Kirkland, WA "Faceted citrine. Your discs are great!"
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Harold- Seattle, WAI received my Ameritool 8in flatlap today and I'm well pleased. It's everything that I had expected and more. The design engineering is fantastic. What's just as important, and your design engivneers incorporated this into it, it's simple and easy to keep clean. Thank you for your prompt service.
Respectfully, John H. Barton
Ameritool wants to show-off your work in our New On-Line Gallery. If you have used an Ameritool Product to make or craft virtually anything - we want to show it off for you. Please send us an email with information about yourself, your work and the piece you want to display. Attach an image of the project to the email and we will post it ASAP. This is a GREAT, FREE way to get your work recognized and displayed to millions of people. Send Emails to email@example.com Note: Images should be Jpegs and less than 500kb in file size. If you have questions, or need help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also postal mail us photos.
"5 yrs of Genie and I finally got on track. I'm getting a better gloss and in less time with your Ameritool Universal Grinder."