Thursday, December 11, 2014


My beads in Stringing magazine.  Torch fired enamel with text.
Thank you Stringing!!!



BlueAntiquities Everyday Sayings Enamel Beads

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mastering Torch Fire Enamel Jewelry

Hello, if your visiting from the Facebook page with the launch of "Mastering Torch Fired Enamel Jewelry" by Barbara Lewis, I am glad your here!  The necklace below is featured in the contributor section of the book which is devoted to the color wheel.

Barbara does not disappoint with the new book, and projects.   There is a lot more to learn, so go and grab your copy, at Painting with Fire Studio, Amazon, or at a book store new you.  There are lots of new projects, tips and things to learn.





Thank you for stopping by!  I welcome your comments!  Be sure to share the post on Facebook for more opportunities to win gift certificates with Painting With Fire Studio! Laura


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grandpa's Journey

Grandpa and Grandma Carlson, and me.

I am honored to have a necklace featured in Barbara Lewis' new book, Mastering torch-fired enamel jewelry.  My necklace is in the section of the book on color.  I have a monochromatic color scheme using green.  The entire necklace will be revealed soon!



The inspiration of my necklace is written with the project in the book.  I am very excited about that, as my story is a fond one, be it about a simple man, yet a man who led a life of hard work, and was a family man through and through.

His name was Clarence, although everyone called him Kelley.  He is my Dad's Dad.  He lived in and around Mitchell South Dakota most of his life as a farmer.  He encouraged my Dad to pursue college and a different life, when he saw my Dad was not the farmer at heart.

Grandpa gave all the little kids life savors after church on Sunday.  This is the way he was.  I remember the trips to get root beer for root beer floats!  Check out the book for that story. I was very young when we would travel there during the summer, but I have vivid memories.  I remember a warm and loving set of Grandparents.

The photo here is the one that inspired the necklace.  When I found the photo decal, it reminded me of this photo, and it inspired my story of Grandpa, and his life's journey.

Photo connector'Grandpa's Journey
I just noticed seeing them side by side, that both the men
have hats, and both the ladies have head wraps! (what would be the proper
name for those?)
My Paternal Grandparents
   
Here is a photo of me and my 2 sisters with my Grandparents in front of the Mitchell house.  I love this photo!  This conveys a lot about them. 
I am the little one on Grandpa's lap. 

My Granparents
(BlueAntiquities)
Thank you for reading a little bit more about Grandpa's Journey.  Visit again when I reveal the entire necklace!  I am listing some pieces over time on my Etsy site in the section, Life is a Journey. I hope you will check them out.  
xo
Laura


Monday, September 1, 2014

Is there a problem?

Hello all!  I decided to create this little chart of "problem" beads,  to show what the enamel looks like on the beads after firing with different issues.  When you are just starting out with the immersion technique of torch firing enamel on iron and copper beads, these are typical things that can occur with the process.  

 Believe me, I had plenty of problem beads to pick from in my bin!  Don't be discouraged when you first begin.   You will get the beads stuck on the mandrel.  
You will have beads that are uneven.  You will have beads with vermiculite on them.  

But, as you fire and practice, you will get better at the coordination.  You will figure out your own rhythm and match it to the system.  Things like how long you need to leave it in the flame, when to dip it in enamel, when to move it to the bead pulling station and so on,  will soon become habit, I promise! 

My biggest advise is to be sure to move the bead when it is red hot: to the enamel for dipping, to pull it to the end of the mandrel or to the BPS for removal.  Another words, 
don't let your bead sit too long in any one position, once it gets red hot.  The process is quick.  

Typically a bead firing would go like this: 2-3 coats of opaque and 1 transparent, 
then to the BPS for removal, and cooling in vermiculite.  

Good luck as you learn and practice!  Be sure you have lots of mandrels on hand, and inexpensive beads to play with. Go to the stores with a magnet, and purchase some things to try.  Wear a mask when firing these items, as they may release fumes, and be careful, as they may burn. 
Most of all, have fun with the process! 

Contact me with any questions, or if you would like a hands on workshop, and are in the triad area of North Carolina, I would love to teach you! 




Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tonya's Hope Bracelet
A couple of weeks ago I was in the craft aisle of Walmart,  preparing for my workshops in Southern Pines.  A lady and I struck up a conversation when she asked, "How do you make a bracelet?" Now is that a loaded question?  Where do I begin? 

Her name is Tonya, and she was holding some bright orange and pink beads in her hands. She started explaining that she wanted to make a bracelet with these colors, because she would soon undergo treatment for cancer.  Bright orange is the color for leukemia and pink, the color of breast cancer. 
She wanted to wear a bracelet when she went for treatments.

After talking for a little while, we left each other with a plan for me to create a bracelet for her.  I didn't like the cheap charms at Walmart!  I wanted to create some handmade charms. 
So, here is the bracelet.  The design idea came from the book Chain Style by Jane Dickerson.
I really hope Tonya likes the bracelet and that her treatments go well.  She's a lovely lady.
I am hopeful!  Do you like?

Tonya's Hope Bracelet August 2014








Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Southern Pines Workshops!

 
BlueAntiquities Painting with Fire Workshops
Returns to Southern Pines!
 
I am very excited to teach in Southern Pines once again, on July 26th and again on August 9th.
This is a great opportunity to learn the technique if you have the urge. 
 The shop, Swank Coffee Shoppe and Handmade Market is amazing,
and it is really fun to learn in a group setting!  I hope you will join us!
 
 

 
July 26th 2-5 pm $75
Learn the Basic technique, you will leave the workshop with a
good foundation of the technique and be able to apply what you've
learned to your own components and jewelry!

 
 
 
Beyond the Bead August 9th 2-5 pm  $75
Adding techniques!  Decals, liquid enamels, sifting, and much more!
 
I hope you will join us in Southern Pines, at Swank!
Call 910-692-8068 to register!
Contact Laura
text or call 678-570-4622
 
 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

 
 
Coming Soon to Etsy!
Everyday Sayings
Text Beads
 
 
I would  love your feedback!
Thank you!  Laura


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Coming in August 2014!  I am excited to have a necklace featured in the pages of this new book, among other talented artists, Carol Wingfield Myers, Lynnea Bennett, and Heather Marston.

Mastering Torch Fired Enamel Jewelry

the next Steps in painting with fire

by Barbara Lewis
 
This book is going to be loaded with new projects,  things to do
with enamel and other materials,  techniques, troubleshooting, and much,much more.
 
Mastering Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry
 
 
Barbara and I the day I received my certification in St. Petersburg Florida.
This is outside of her wonderful gallery and shop.
 If you have the opportunity to go and visit, it is worth the trip!

Thanks for visiting BLUE ANTIQUITIES!
 
 

 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party

Welcome to the Party!!!
Thank you to the amazingly talented, Lori Anderson! 
My inspiration for my pieces came straight from the Bead Soup I received from my partner Laura.
Her lamp work beads are amazing.  Both sets are fabulous,
but I especially loved the "striped" set with the bold and fun color ways.
Bright orange, tangerine, lime green, shades of blue, lemon yellow and yummy colors of red.
See the bead front and center, it caught my attention! Look at those cool colors, the plum, the blue, the orange.......... such a cool color combination!

Visit Laura at Open Studio Beads to see her amazing beads and jewelry.
Click here


As soon as these arrived in the mail, I got an idea for a mixed media project, with the focal point being that front and center bead.  Not sure where the idea came from, it just showed up in my brain, WAITING TO BE REAL.  Does this happen to you?  Anyway,  here it is...I hope Laura wont be dissapointed in how I used her lovely bead! 

RUBY'S DRESS
Mixed Media Wall Art 6" x 6"

Ruby's Dress-Mixed Media Art-Laura Guenther-Blue Antiquities
Burlap canvas, copper, fiber, nickel silver, pewter, ribbon, sterling silver wire,
XL lamp work bead- (Laura Blanck), Czech glass leaf bead

Mixed Media Art- Ruby's Dress
Blue Antiquities- Laura Guenther
Large lamp work bead by Laura Blanck
I created the dress pattern out of nickel silver, added the decorative edge at the bottom, then added the holes to complete the edge design. I  textured  the dress edges with a punch, then soldered the copper trim to the sleeves.  I cold connected the brass flower/pewter spacer with an eyelet.  I soldered the wire for the stem of the flower and added the leaf bead. Next, I added patina, fiber and the focal, the beautiful lamp work bead from my partner Laura of Open Studio Beads. I made the wire hanger when I couldnt find the ones I have. It took some figuring out, to get the dress on the hanger and have it hang well with the necklace chain and bead. 
  Do you like? 


My second piece also spotlights one of the striped beads as well, being the focal at the center of
this long necklace.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I knew I wanted to make a long necklace and add a tassel at the bottom.  After reflecting and playing around with ideas and beads on the table, (struggling)  I settled with this design. I am always challenged by large beads, but, I'm happy with how this turned out. I wanted to use more of the lampwork beads, however I kept going back to using only 1 bead, the bead showcased better. I set out beads for the basic design, and then I remained flexible as I strung the beads. I used most of the colorful beads and the Czech glass leaf beads from my soup,(at right)  in this arrangement.  I added small neutral seed beads for a contrast of color.  I decided to go with a double strand at the bottom of the necklace for added interest. As I worked, I kept in mind repetition and color as I worked  around the strand.  I wanted to be sure to have balance of color and visual weight with an asymmetric piece.  My photo of the necklace doesnt show how nice the extra beads are that Laura sent me as above, that are scattered in the long length of the necklace.  


The Aspen Willow Necklace

Aspen Willow Necklace- Mixed media beaded- seed beads, yellow patina chain, green patina ring,
 Czech glass beads, leather tassel, lamp work focal, gold clasp, brown leather, red peanut beads

Aspen Willow Necklace BSBP #8
BlueAntiquities
 

Aspen Willow Necklace- BSBP #8
BlueAntiquities-Laura Guenther
Lamp work focal bead- Open Studio Beads
Gold Clasp- Bead Soup

Finally I am adding another tassel necklace
with the largest bead pictured below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 I did struggle with this design,
as before, working with large beads is a challenge for me.  I tried all different kinds of things.
I ended up with this, and I do love the bead with the ribbon.
 

 
  
Click link to go back to the party!

Thank you for visiting BlueAntiquities, and enjoy the party!
 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 
HELLO FRIENDS!
 
I was excited to see my necklace featured on the table of contents page of Belle Armoire Magazine!  The front page of my article is also featured as an online promo for this issue. A big thank you to Cynthia Levens for including my work. I have submitted again, with some decal enamel pieces, but I don't know, I have no idea about being accepted, one never knows, until the email arrives.  We will see.  In the mean time, I have some of my decal artist components on Etsy, for you to consider for your own designs,  
Some other exciting news, I will have a piece published in Barbara Lewis' new book coming out in August.  It will be in the section on color.  I cant wait to see it in print, and I can not wait to see what Barbara has in store for us!
Thank you for stopping by the studio!  Come back by for the Bead Soup Party Reveal where I will have 2 pieces with Laura Blanck's fabulous lamp work beads.  I hope to see you then!  Laura
 
 









Monday, March 24, 2014

 
 
Bead Soup
 
 
Here are the pictures of the soups that Laura times 2 have sent each other.
 
I received many of Laura's lamp work beads. 
 I already have some projects that have popped into my head. Now, to see if I can create what I see in my imagination, will be the challenge. Another challenge for me, will be working with large beads.  Laura's beads are bigger than the beads I normally work with.  So, this is perfect, because this is what the Bead Soup Blog Party is all about.  Creating and challenging yourself!  I am thrilled to work with these beads! The colors and the designs are fabulous.  Laura was very generous in what she sent me.  Besides the handmade beads, she sent a beautiful clasp, some wonderful leaf beads, and some sparkly glass beads.  The soup is simmering!
 
 
Laura Blanck - Open Studio Beads

 
 Focal Beads by Laura Blanck
 
 
Clasp and extra beads that Laura sent to me.
 
 
The pictures below are the Bead Soup I sent Laura.
 I created the enamel beads and pendant with the text "Sing" and "Dance"
because Laura is a performer. 
I also created the enamel art quote pendant. 
 I made the silver solder clasp and wing of which
I was happy with how they
turned out.  I wanted to give Laura a choice with the focal.

 


 
Here is the picture of the entire soup together.  I chose bright colors, because Laura is bright and cheerful.  I cant wait to see which focal Laura uses!  Stay tuned for our pieces in the May 3rd reveal.


Monday, March 10, 2014

8th Bead Soup Blog Party

 
 
The party has arrived!  I have my partner, and the fun is just beginning!  Meet another Laura.  Laura Blanck of Open Studio Beads.  Laura is a lamp work bead artist, creating fabulous beads!  She works with fire and a torch to create her wonderful artisan beads.  I think we will get along!
 
 Each and every bead Laura creates is  absolutely stunning.  Bright and cheerful and full of detail.  Laura sells at art and craft shows and her beads have been published in Belle Armoire magazine and other publications I believe.  

There are some amazing focal beads and bead sets available on her Etsy site.
  You can visit her shop here.



 Laura is originally from Buenos Aires Argentina, and now lives in Florida.
I love Laura's fun and creative style, and her love of whimsical and funky comes alive in her work.
She is also a poet, and loves to dance, sing and perform.  I am excited to get to know Laura.  
 
I am also looking forward to seeing what soup Laura has simmering for me.  I need some color and fun after the dreary days of winter. I am ready!

 
 
Stay tuned for my reveal, as I will include a giveaway! I already know its going to be spectacular, if Laura has anything to do with making the beads!



Thanks for visiting Blue Antiquities!
 
 

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Romance is in the Details
 
Hello everyone.  I am very excited to have my torch-fire work published for a second time in Belle Armoire Jewelry.  This is the Spring issue, due on shelves nationwide March 1.  My pieces are spring colors of pinks, purples and greens, so it fits that my article got delayed a couple of times to this publication.  I still feel uneasy when it comes to writing.  My pieces and the titles for them, were inspired by the streets of France and the Bridge of Sighs located in Venice Italy.
 
I really would like to go across the ocean and see all of the lovely places we hear about and see in the movies.  It's a dream of mine, along with so many other people.  Anyone up for planning and saving for a trip?  Seems so out of the realm of possibility now, with my kids and where they are in life.  And the responsibilities of family, and marriage.  Ah, a girl can dream, I dream of Paris flea markets.  Yes, and the  gorgeous buildings and walkways, the Eiffel tower, and little antique shops, and the flea markets I see in the pages of my decorating magazines.  But for now, it is only but a dream.
 
A little information on the Bridge of Sighs, the title for my necklace published in the "Romance is in the Details" article in Belle Armoire Jewelry.
 
 
 
The bridge was built in 1602 and made of white limestone with windows having stone bars.  It is the last view of beautiful Venice by convicts going to their imprisonment.  The bridge name given by Lord Byron in the 19 century comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their last view of Venice before being taken to their cells. 
 
On a happier note, there is a legend that if lovers kiss at sunset under the Bridge of Sighs while the church bells ring, eternal love will be granted.  In the movie 
A Little Romance  featuring Diane Lane this legend served as a plot line.  
 
 
Bridge of Sighs Necklace- Torch Fire enamel,
and patina with Gilders paste
 


Petites Maisons Roses Earrings
"Little Pink Houses"

 

 
Romantic Ruins Earrings
 
I really enjoyed creating these pieces, and I would love to teach you how to torch fire enamel with the Painting with Fire method. It's quite easy to learn, and there are many different things you can do with the technique to personalize and add an artistic element to your components and beads in your jewelry.  If your in the triad area of North Carolina, contact me here, lkguenther@triad.rr.com
I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for visiting my blog!
Laura
 
  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hello friends, many of you know that I am not a writer, in fact I am terribly uncomfortable writing things for my blog. And many of you know I moved to a new state this past year, and it was crazy I have to admit.  So, why I am I blabbing about this? Well, the words below came to mind when I was putting together a photo table in my new living room.  I am so thankful to have space to put a lot of family pictures about the house.  I have them all up and down the stairway and 2 tabletops are full, and I have frames scattered about.  I know most people have pictures, so what's the big deal?  Well, with 5 of us sort of crammed into our old house, I didn't have a lot of room for photos, without it looking terribly cluttered. Anyway, I decided to risk embarrassment and put the words here. 
An attempt at poetry.
 
~Into The Light~

 

It was all quiet in the room, when the day had ended and night fell, 
the trees still and bare, in the winters light. 
She carefully placed the table, perfectly under the window, 
arranging each frame, each family, lovingly on the tabletop. 
She secretly wished they were all there, everyone. 

She lights a small candle and sets it next to the smiles that are missing.
Sorrow and grief have been replaced,
 with faith and solace, for within their treasured faces 
shines a reminder of an everlasting promise. 

It is there in the quiet of the night, 
one candle lights the darkness.
It is there in the calm of the night, 
she felt the reassurance and safety, and peace,
that she desired. 
 
And somehow she knew, she knows,
that it is all true.

What awaits will have no pain, no suffering,
no worry, no guilt,
only love and light.
And the smiles of treasured souls awaiting.
Welcoming. Light. Love.