Back in the Jewelry Studio

It has been almost a year since I published my last coloring book. In true form, I’m on to the next thing. Or should I say, back to an old thing? This foray finds me back in the jewelry studio. I thought it would be fun to show you the process for one of the bracelet styles I’m making using scrap soft glass and silver fabrication.

First, I pull out some old scrap glass rods, stringer, and murrine cane, and chop it all up.
Then I line a steel tube with kiln paper and throw it all in.
After a 16 or so hour fuse in the kiln i have a nice puck of colorful glass with which to work.

These pucks get sliced into disks to reveal the designs hidden within.

I then slice them up into funky shapes.

Sometimes I use the scrap from this step.

And configure for another, shorter, fuse in the kiln.

Then comes the polishing. Sometimes I stop at a matte finish.

And sometimes I take them through six different grits of grinding and polishing wheels to achieve a higher shine.

Here is where it all starts to come together. Setting them in silver. I create a silver bezel to frame the little masterpieces.

And then cut out more silver to give them a nice backing.

From there, I solder the bezel to the backing and file the edges to a nice smooth finish.

And add some type of decorative element to make the back just as fun as the front.

If it’s a pendant, with a larger cabochon I am starting to get a little more creative with the setting, for more visual interest without being too busy against the design in the glass.

With the bracelets, the chain links that I solder between the pieces are just enough to pull it all together.

It feels really good to be back in the jewelry studio. Thanks for following along throughout the years!

If you’d like to see more of my process shots in almost-real-time you can follow me on Instagram or my facebook page.

You might also want to check out  my new web site to see all of the other pieces I’ve been creating this year at

This Adult Coloring Thing

I think I’m starting to get it, and realizing that coloring can be viewed as an art form in itself. All of you purists out there, don’t balk. And I’m not digging into the art vs. craft argument either, but as usual, when I’m working at something that allows me to go into the zone, awarenesses happen.

Without trying it, I didn’t understand the interest in coloring someone else’s designs. I’m excited to get my books published so I can color in them, but even coloring on my home-printed copy of the images, I’m finding an artistic outlet.

Mandala Adult Coloring Image

Yesterday I started coloring this image from soon-to-be Meditative Mandalas Volume 1. I used flat markers and took my time going at it. As I got closer to finishing the main design elements I found myself antsy to be able to get on to the background and shading.

I pulled out my Prismacolor pencils and started, then did basic shadows. I found myself wanting to layer more color for more depth and then thinking, “This is a piece of printer paper, not even good quality, what am I doing spending so much time on this???” It reminded me that art is in the eye of the beholder, or something like that. It’s not about what it is, but how it makes you feel.

I felt relaxed, letting my mind drift while streaming my favorite Chicago radio station. I felt accomplished, filling in all those little areas so precisely. I felt artistic, pulling out shading techniques. It reminded me also that I need more time to just sit and do something that isn’t work. Something that has no tangible purpose, something that will keep me in the present moment.

It doesn’t matter what the outcome is. It matters what you’re doing and how it makes you feel in the moment. It’s a weird thing, presence. When you’re fully present you feel like a master. You feel in tune. Nothing else matters. It’s when we start thinking, that we start to feel bad about what we’re doing, or how it’s going. It’s hard to stay in the present moment but I have a feeling that this coloring thing might have the same effect as meditation. The more you do it and the more you achieve that state of just being with it, the more it will spill over into the rest of your life. I bet if I’d read all of the articles that have been floating around about the adult coloring craze that it would say the same thing. I don’t have time for that…I’m busy coloring!

I get it.

My Coloring Journey

I am calling it a coloring journey because, as you might remember, I haven’t considered myself a color-er, let alone a Color-ist. This past week though on a working retreat with friends I picked up the markers and tried it again. Let me just say, the medium you choose makes all the difference. So far, I had tried colored pencils and Copic markers and while I liked them, the Bic markers I used recently felt really good and I liked the even effect of the coloring. Luckily, I have a small stash in the studio so that is what I started with today.



I gave myself an hour to color, which turned in to almost two hours with little bit of time where I got side-tracked organizing my Copics, which I didn’t even use. Of course, seeing all of the colors just made me realize that I need more shades. When I couldn’t find a color I wanted with the Bic Mark-Its that I had on hand I reached for my paint pens.

I really like them but they’re not for everyone. With them you actually lay down a layer of paint on the surface and they’re opaque so they will cover the black lines if you start to go out of the lines. Also, I’m using regular printer paper and if you scratch back and forth, the wetness of the paint will start to loosen and ball up the fibers of the paper. It’s best to be able to lay the color down in one stroke, or at least as few as possible.
lg100927a03I’ve gotten used to paint pens in my art journals and I quite like them. They do need a few seconds to dry but they don’t bleed through. As you can see above though, not all pens are created equal. One of the yellows I used was a Derwent Graphik’s pen and they have a tendency to explode little blobs of paint when you least expect it. If you’re careful and you watch the tip closely while you color, you can catch it in time and sop the explosion up with a paper towel. I can usually do this but it would probably drive more than a few people bonkers.


I started out taking notes on my blotter paper of the pens I was using and as usual, one thing leads to another and it started turning into my “Inner Sanctum” thoughts. Things to remember, things I want to come here and tell you about, and other randomness that runs through my brain while my mind wanders. I can’t decide if this is as crazy as talking to myself, or worse.



This is as far as I got. I made a commitment to go into the studio and color (or do something else creative) for at least an hour in the morning, after school drop-off. This page is from Meditative Mandalas – Lori’s Mandala Coloring Book for Adults – Volume 1, due out next month, as well as Volume 2 – Relaxing Mandalas.

Now, back to working on Volume 3 – Calming Mandalas.