Wildlife Art: Grama Tortoise Glass Beads And Sculpture

One of the great things about helping my sister Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan (aka Grama Tortoise) at the Best Bead Show in Tucson is getting to see her latest work. Since we live in different parts of the country, I hear about her new lampwork glass pieces long before I get to see them. Her photos on Etsy are wonderful, but there’s nothing like seeing them in person. Here are some of the pieces that caught my attention this year.

Cleo is known for her owl and raptor beads, but she also makes other birds, including chickens and geese.

Sultan chicken bead by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan
Sultan chicken bead by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan
Canada goose glass sculpture by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan
Canada goose glass sculpture by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan

Her interest in animals has also lead to a line of romance horses in unusual colors. These borosilicate horse heads have loops on the back for stringing and make surprisingly comfortable necklaces (I got to wear one while I was in Tucson).

horse_web

Cleo has also added glass sculpture to her repertoire. Some of her pieces can be treated as cabochons: worked into bead embroidery, or wired into a necklace or brooch. Others, like the Yoga Frog and the Canada Goose, are designed for display on a shelf or in a case.

Hawk's bill sea turtle glass sculpture by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan
Hawksbill sea turtle glass sculpture by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan
Yoga Frog: Tree Pose, glass sculpture by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan
Yoga Frog: Tree Pose, glass sculpture by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan
Tortoise, glass sculpture by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan
Tortoise, glass sculpture by Cleo Dunsmore Buchanan (This guy is tiny. He can sit in the palm of your hand.)

She also makes cute little furry animals: rabbits, mice, squirrels, even possums and sloths, but I’ve run out of room for pictures. You can see more of her work at her website and in her Etsy store. Definitely take the time to go look through her galleries. I’ve barely scratched the surface of her latest work here.

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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