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Murrini Signature

Letters fully encased and ready to pull down.

Its been 7 years in the making, and it finally happened! I made myself a lampwork glass signature murrini. Now I can sign my work like a real artist.

I’ve wanted to make myself a signature murrini for many years. Setting aside the time to actually accomplish it though was always the problem. Making a letter murrini involves many steps and many hours to complete. Another thing this takes a lot of, glass. Lots and lots of glass.

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There is a special project that I’ll be working on the next couple of months and having the pieces “signed” will make them all the better. See I’ve been working on the same torch for the past 7 years and I realize that If I want to keep growing in my artistic abilities, I need an upgrade. There are so many things that I want to make but I can’t because my trusty little torch can only get so hot, and the flame only so big.

My studio 2.0 overhaul is going to be a pricey undertaking, to the tune of 4 grand or more. So I’ll be attempting to raise the necessary funds through a kickstarter campaign. This is the main reason behind me finally biting the bullet as they say and making my signature cane.

Do feel something is more collectible or value a piece higher if it includes an artists mark?

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Lampwork Tube Bead Necklace


A lot of the time when I sell a bead, pendant, or what have you, I don’t get to see what great things it has gone off to become. Each piece that goes out the door feels like a piece of me and I’m saying good-bye to it forever.

Once in a while I get lucky and I receive an email from someone and get to see that bead or pendant again and what the buyer decided to create with it. Like seeing an old friend my face lights up with joy as I take in what has become of that bead I brought to life.

A couple of days ago I was lucky enough to get a conversation on Etsy showing off one of my long tube beads.


Tube Bead Necklace Lampwork necklace

Thank you Chris for brightening my day with these photos and your beautiful work with the necklace and lampwork focal bead.

If you’ve used one of my lampwork beads  or pendants in a jewelry design of your own, please send me an email at joe[at] and It’ll be showcased here on the blog.

Do you prefer to use large focal pieces like my lampwork tube beads or several normal sized beads when designing a necklace?

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Lampwork Spike Necklace Continued


Having too many options can be a bad thing sometimes. In this case, having too many jewelry findings just begging to be used can make putting a necklace idea together harder than it should be.

I dug through my ever-growing stash of semi-precious stones, sterling findings, seed beads,  constantly getting side tracked by shiny things, before settling on several options.

Note to self, buy more strands of stones :)

So many choices

The first possibility (above) is a mix of green lampwork accent beads, black seed beads, and round black onyx stones.  I like this one a lot but you kinda have to like green, a lot!

Black square jasper

Round two gave me a more striking classy look with square jasper, black seed beads, and just a couple of the lampwork green accent beads.I like the contrast in shapes on this one over using all round objects.

Green and white agate stones

The last one I put together went for light colors yet eye-catching. With those sterling silver spikes thought, I think anything I use will be eye-catching. This design has white and green agate rounds, along with the black seed beads, and six of the green lampwork accent beads.

Now the big problem is, I like all three of them! Of course I can make all them into finished pieces but I’m out of silver wire for the spikes at the moment. I’m afraid to go look at the cost of silver. Someone, please tell me it’s selling for $1 an ounce. No? Wishful thinking I guess.

If you were standing at a jewelry counter and were given these three above choices, which one would you be wearing and showing off?

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Necklace Design Sneak Peek


I’ve been brainstorming a lot lately. I call it “creative insomnia” since it mostly happens while I’m trying to fall asleep. It gets annoying not being able to shut off and drift away to sleep, but I’ve come up with lots of good ideas in the process.

If you watch the Avenue Beads facebook page I’ve been posing questions this week in preparation for this new design. Mainly I’ve been curious what colors were the most popular. Seems green is right up there so I decided to go with it for my first necklace.

I guess you would call this necklace a statement piece, whatever that’s suppose to mean. All jewelry should be a statement, shouldn’t it? Makes it sound more special I think :). In the end though it will be quite eye-catching with all the silver spikes showing off glassy jewels. There will be two versions of this necklace, one with less spikes (read more affordable) and one over the top necklace with a full neck of spikes.

Spikes Of Color

spike necklace
Simple Elegance

This is just the beginning of the necklace so it may appear a little underwhelming but even with the way it stands right now, I kind of like it’s simplicity. I’m also using old patina-ed sterling silver findings that I’ve had for a while, so once I tumble the pieces it’ll be all sparkly and pretty.

The plan right now is to use beading wire as the stringing base. With all the spikes this will probably be a weighty piece so the stiffer beading wire will in theory give the necklace its structure. The closure will be one of my handmade clasps.

As the best laid plans sometimes go, they can always change. Stay tuned for more updates!


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Lampwork Bead Blowout Sale!


My bead stock has reached critical mass and they are taking over the studio! Someone, save me! After some thought I decided that I will no be selling at any bead shows this year for many reasons. So instead of all the pretty beads collecting dust, I am blowing them out at unbelievable prices. Most are being listed for 50-70% less than I normally sell them for at my shows and online. As the saying goes, my loss is your gain!

Avenue Beads Etsy store
Avenue Beads Etsy store


I am clearing out old stock and new. I want my bead boxes empty, or close to it :).

All the on sale beads are being listed in my etsy shop. There is no need to enter coupon codes or any other thing. All listings have already been discounted for the easiest buying experience. All you have to do is click the “add to cart” button.

To see all the beads that are on sale together, while in my etsy store you can do an in store search with the word “sale” and all the beads that have been drastically marked down will be shown.

Avenue Beads Etsy Store

There are about 200-300 beads to photograph and list so you will see many new listing being offered every day. The selection will consist mostly of focals and a hand full of sets here and there.

So come take a look around and help me clean out the bead boxes. If you don’t see anything you like, check again later or the next day for new listings.

Happy Browsing!