It’s so funny, this is one of the most exciting things to happen for me business wise this year and I forgot to post about it! I found out on October 31st that one of my big enamel focal beads was chosen to be in Lark Crafts new book “1000 Beads”!
The Lark Crafts books are absolutely gorgeous. Each page is a full shot of some stunning work, whether rings, glass, enamel, ceramics, etc. They have quite an extensive series. I’ve always admired them so when I saw their call for entry I thought I would give it a shot.
The piece that was chosen is called “Lava Flow”. It’s a very large focal bead I made using plumber’s pipe and a LOT of layers of enamel. I think this bead went through about 50 firings before I was happy with it. Because I fire each layer flat it’s hard to realize that each of those firings was an additional layer of enamel, with a total of about 10 or 12 colours (maybe more, I lost count!). It also takes a careful burn firing to make the colours blend this way. And because there is so much enamel I had to keep flipping it each time I fired so the enamel wouldn’t all slump to one end. So a lot of work for one bead ;)
I’m really looking forward to April when the book comes out and I can see my piece and all the other wonderful creations by artists from around the world!
Here is my lovely Lava Flow :)
I finally made it to the new Ripley’s Aquarium in downtown Toronto this week! I love aquariums, from the small home version with guppies to the huge Osaka aquarium with it’s whale shark (yes, I was lucky enough to visit that one a long time ago).
The aquarium has very strict guidelines for animal care and is involved in a lot of research and conservation projects, including the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. They have many educational programs for those visiting and for teachers to share with their classes.
I like the fact that the Toronto aquarium has native species as well as the more exotic and colourful varieties of fish. The tanks are large and beautifully presented. The Pacific Kelp Exhibit even has a wave maker to simulate the surge conditions of the British Columbia shoreline – it’s mesmerizing to watch the kelp and the fish swaying back and forth!
It’s really hard to pick my favourite part of the aquarium. It’s amazing watching all the different species of rays in Ray Bay. There’s such a hypnotic effect to seeing them gliding gracefully past. But of course Dangerous Lagoon is so amazing too, I swear those sharks are watching me as they swim by! And the jellyfish! Oh the jellyfish! I could stand there all day watching them undulate and change colours with the light. I think I took about a hundred pictures of them!
Needless to say I enjoyed my visit. Apparently they have sleepovers in the aquarium too. I can just imagine going to sleep while watching sharks swim over my head! Magical :)
If you’re interested in visiting or more information here is their website - http://www.ripleysaquariumofcanada.com/
And here is a little slideshow of some of the pictures I took. I have some amazing videos too but they’re a bit large to put on line.
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Tagged canada, conservation, eel, fish, grouper, jellyfish, kelp, nemo, octopus, ontario, rays, Ripley's Aquarium, sharks, Toronto, tropical fish