Ocean Mist

You only have to drive about twenty minutes or less from anywhere in Rhode Island to get to the ocean. The water that surrounds us very often influences our art. The collaborative team of Wendy Thatcher of Designs By Wendy T and Kim Vredenburg of Kim V Glass created a beautiful jewelry set with an ocean theme and color scheme. In Ocean Mist Wendy used borosilicate glass beads born one at a time in Kim's torch, coral, pearls and silver to create a gorgeous blue green necklace and earrings set. We asked them about their collaboration.

Please tell us a little about yourselves and what kind of art you make.

Wendy: My name is Wendy and I wear many hats. In my spare time (yeah, I have none) I design jewelry. My favorite materials have always been stones, wood and any other natural material. It is my passion, and it is what I would rather be doing at any given moment!

Kim: I am a lampworker. In other words, I play with fire. :-) I've been doing this for about 5 years and it still amazes me that I can take glass rods the thickness of a pencil melt them in a torch, manipulate it a bit....and end up with a little work of art.

Can you tell us how you got started on this project and how it has evolved.

Wendy: I have always had a desire to work with lampwork beads, but honestly, at first, this was a little intimidating for me. Kim makes such AMAZING creations! Because I have not worked much with glass, I was afraid that I could not do Kim's beads justice. I decided that I would handle this in my usual way. I took Kim's beads and hung them in front of me on my work bench. This is what I do with stones that I have purchased just because I love them, but don't have a plan for. I work on other projects, all the while glancing at the beads that I SHOULD be working with. For some reason, this works for me. Eventually, it hits me! This is exactly how it happened with out collaboration project!

Kim: When the Arts In RI team members were discussing doing collaborations, I remember thinking that since I make beads it was only fitting that I work with a jewelry person....Wendy.

What inspired you about your partner's art?

Wendy: Everything about Kim's art inspires me! She is an incredibly talented person who I secretly stalk through Etsy. I love to see her new pieces when they are listed! Besides being a wonderfully sweet human being, and so much fun to talk to, she inspires me to learn as much as I can about my art form.

Kim: I absolutely LOVE Wendy's designing ability!! It seems that, no matter what she is working with, it always "goes together" so beautifully. I swear she could make something fantastic out of junk!!

How did you ultimately decide to make what you did?

Wendy: As I mentioned before, I needed to wait for the right idea to hit me! I saw Kim's boro beads working well with blue sponge coral, some blue topaz and lots of other little fun things! In keeping with my natural style, I also added some unique little faceted bronze freshwater pearls.

Kim: I knew from the beginning that we needed to do an ocean themed project....after all, we are from the Ocean State :-) I had made a set of beads in the past that resembled ocean waters and had been unable to duplicate them. Torch chemistry has a definite effect on borosilicate glass. My goal was to recreate them.

Can you give us some insight into your brainstorming process?

Wendy: Kim and I discussed what we would like the end result of our collaboration to say. We are Ocean State girls, so this seemed the natural way to go. I waited to see Kim's work before ever thinking any further in to it. I needed to see the colors, shapes and sizes that she had chosen before I could even think about working with her boro and my stones.

Kim: After some chatting at one of our meetings and then through etsy's email system, it was agreed that I would try to recreate that set of ocean water beads. If I was successful, Wendy would work her magic with them.

Did this collaboration stretch your creative limits?

Wendy: Absolutely! I had never worked with boro beads before, and I truly wanted this project to be unique! I made and then took apart 3 or 4 different pieces before I was happy with the design.

Kim: I was definitely stretched in a technical way. I really wanted to create beads that would do justice to Wendy's design!

Were there any roadblocks or setbacks?

Wendy: Only my lack of confidence at times, but in the end, I was so pleased with the outcome.

Kim: Well, there were some beads that didn't come out quite like I wanted them to :-) But, I persevered and was able to make enough that Wendy could make a necklace and a pair of earrings.

Did you find this to be a rewarding experience and why?

Wendy: This project was very rewarding to me! I really do feel that it forced me think outside of my comfort zone, which I really needed to do anyway! Kim was a blast to work with and I am ready to do it again any time!

Kim: Absolutely! Most of the time, when I send off a set of my beads, I don't get to see them in a finished piece. I was so excited to see them as part of a finished piece, and a gorgeous finished piece it is!! I would love to collaborate with Wendy again!!
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5 Responses
  1. Julie Beck Says:

    the necklace is gorgeous!! good job Wendy and Kim!


  2. Diana Says:

    Beautiful necklace and great interview!!


  3. Valerie Says:

    Your necklace and artwork is stunning! Great interview.


  4. WOW does this say "ocean" or not? Beautiful work! I love the interview!