"Glass is always moving," Tasha said. "The colors are intense and vivid."
Like the medium these newlyweds have chosen, Tasha and Lincoln are always moving. Expanding their gallery space. Working full time jobs. Enhancing their studio with jet-like ventilation. Completing Lincoln's nursing program. Learning Italian. Preparing to study glass overseas. And that's in addition to celebrating their first full year with the Juneau Artists Gallery.
"I love the wild variety of color and texture that I have at my fingertips," Lincoln said. "I never appreciated how fire can be responsible for such beautiful pieces of art."
Husband and wife team Tasha Walen and Lincoln Farabee of Basement Studios will feature their custom beads at the Juneau Artist Gallery through the month of July.
"I love to watch people looking at our beads, exploring the patterns and designs. Even more I love to answer their questions on how a certain color was made or what really is in the glass."
Tasha and Lincoln start each bead by placing a glass rod in the flame of their oxygen/propane torch. They heat the glass into a molten ball and apply this to the stainless steal mandrel rod used to form the center, or hole of the bead. From this point, they add different colors, shapes and textures. They also like to experiment with adding silver foils, metal rods, enamels, etching and glass frits to create chemical reactions.
"Often we work with the glass without a mandrel. This is more of a sculpting technique," Tasha said.
"This can be very challenging and rewarding."
Tasha and Lincoln also create twisted cane and murrine to apply to the beads. Twisted cane is a process of combining glass to create spiraled rods of glass. Murrine are formed by layering different colors of glass to create a pattern or image. The murrine rod is cut into slices so that the surface you see is the cross section of the design.
Lincoln Farabee applies heat to glass to make beads.
A wide assortment of glass is used including Italian, German and Australian soda-lime glass.
Lincoln has started working with borosilicate glass, which is similar to Pyrex glass.
It's considered a harder glass so it moves slower and works better for sculpting and marble making.
All of their beads are annealed in a kiln to assure a stronger more durable bead. After the beads are cooled and cleaned, Tasha and Lincoln incorporate them into jewelry creations such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and pins. They use sterling silver ear wires, chains and clasps to accent the uniqueness of each bead.
"When people realize that we make the actual beads in our studio they become intrigued and seem to realize that we are making more than an arrangement of beads," Lincoln said. "We are making the actual beads."
The beads created at Basement Studios are considered lampwork, or torchwork, beads.
"We will be there for several weeks and are really looking forward to being submerged in the learning and experimenting process," Tasha said.
Tasha and Lincoln are exploring more fusing and slumping techniques for future pieces, which can be used with the torchwork pieces to create intricate designs for flat glass works and wall art. Basement Studios will also have a table at the Christmas in July Show the weekend of July 8-9.