Making of the Spirit Mask

  • September 22, 2010 6:46 PM

So it’s been an interesting journey. Creating the mask was a really smooth process. We were on a tight schedule though, and I actually ended up completing the mask my first full day at Burning Man.

If you’re curious to know how the spirit mask was made, you’ll find this video interesting. We used a number of different tools including angle grinders and a plasma cutter, and a torch for the brazing. It doesn’t cover the painting or adding the beads (both of which were done last minute), but you can definitely follow how the mask took shape. Feel free to ask questions!

Making of the Spirit Mask from Brandon Mason on Vimeo.

Spirit Mask

  • September 15, 2010 8:57 PM

So awhile back Brandon was talking about creating a wearable piece of artwork that he could take to the Burning Man festival. We talked about it on and off for about four months, and finally we sat down one afternoon and started to hammer out a design. He wanted to incorporate his new bead making skills into the mask, and wanted to make it out of metal. The design wasn’t clear, and there were many possible directions we could go. Drawing from my own experience with mask designs from different countries, and some of his own thoughts on what he wanted the design to convey, we began to sketch out some variations.

mask-sketch visage

One design inĀ  particular really stood out, and we both agreed that we were very happy with the numerous things we saw in the design and it’s overall potential. After deciding on the basic design, I felt that the predominant shape was closest to that of a motorcycle fender, and suggested that Brandon find a junkyard that specialized in motorcycle parts. He definitely came through and found exactly what was needed. From there we sketched out the design onto the fender, and employed the use of various tools including the plasma cutter for the eye holes. Most of the metalwork was accomplished in a day.

From there Brandon created the paint scheme, and produced some beautiful beads that were strung into the wire crest. Foam padding was inserted, and cordage was used to affix the mask.

mask1 mane

The finished work at Burning Man!


Making a Bead

  • August 6, 2010 7:08 AM

Here’s a treat: a video of me making a bead. It’s been about three weeks since I did this, but it’s taken me a while to figure out the computarmachine and get the video edited.

Making a Bead from Brandon Mason on Vimeo.

Now that I’ve got that figured out, I’ll have another up soon showing how to make a hollow bead.

Examples From Laurie

  • July 31, 2010 5:32 PM

Here are some examples that Laurie told/showed me how to make. It will probably be a while before I’m able to make these myself. :-)

I’ll have ample opportunity to practice on my own now that I have my setup at home, so the last few classes I’ve asked for some demonstrations of more advanced projects which I will have to work myself up to. First Laurie showed me how to make a frog. Here’s the one she made:


I plan to practice making some components of that before I jump into the full thing… It looked pretty involved.

She also demonstrated making a bead with a hollow mandrel. My hollow bead didn’t turn out so well – the walls came out pretty uneven and after one side touched the mandrel I had a lot of trouble keeping an even shape. I’d like to get a hollow rod at home so I can practice it some more. It seems like a good way to understand the basic concepts behind glass blowing.

Laurie also explained the techniques behind making a marble. This is one that she made, and you can see the awesome 3D effect she was able to get. This is definitely something I’d like to try out in the future:


Desert Bloom 2: Beats And Brushes

  • July 22, 2010 4:17 PM

I’m a little late posting this up, but just for the record here are the finished murals, and a link to a video. Thanks to all the artists, musicians and sponsors who made it happen! I’m glad you all had a great time!


4 Photos

First Beads

  • July 10, 2010 5:18 PM

I’m heading into my second half of Laurie Nessle’s flameworking class. Here are some of the creations from my first four weeks.

hollow bead I’m particularly proud of the hollow bead.
evil bead …and the evil bead. }:)
galaxy The free form ‘galaxy’ bead shows how much fun I am having with the temperature control on my stringer.

Enjoy the rest!

First Beads

19 Photos

Desert Bloom 2: Framing the Murals

  • July 10, 2010 3:45 PM

So Desert Bloom 2 is coming right up! We’ll be hosting it next Friday the 16th at the new Gangplank location in central Chandler. I’m really excited to see all the activity in that area. Shauna and I went around talking to local merchants about the event and were met with a lot of encouragement and interest.

A few weeks ago Eric helped me design the frames that will hold the murals for this event and last weekend Kyle and I built two frames. Each of them will hold a mural on both sides, for a total of four murals. They were a bit shaky but once I applied some cross supports as Eric recommended, they became quite sturdy. I’m confident that they’ll be useful for this event and many to come.


Today I dropped by the studio to build the last components needed – some braces to put at the ends of the shelves. I’ll put them on this weekend.


The planning crew and I are hoping to head down to Gangplank on Wednesday to test lighting, get the frames constructed, and the murals primed and ready. Not much time left! Can’t wait to see what people create!

Desert Bloom Event – Art and Music at Gangplank

  • May 8, 2010 11:41 AM
Desert Bloom

Next Friday March 14 Studio Meridian will be contributing to an event called Desert Bloom. This event is about bringing out creative spirit in the valley. There will be hours of live music and sculpures, prints and paintings with the artists present. If you are passionate about what you do, come out and party with us! More info and FREE tickets here.

We will have the damselfy on display as well as a pair of Kokopelli. Hope to see you there!


  • March 10, 2010 8:31 PM

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted anything. We’ve been bad, and busy, but that is no excuse. You see, after suffering some serious setbacks with the nautilus, we took the opportunity to look back on our entire process, and see if we can do things a little better for the business( It is a business after all). While Brandon is working on another unrelated project, I myself have decided to go back to school. This leaves us with less time to pursue artwork. However, I do not believe that this will have as substantial an effect on the studio as it might sound. Now that we’ve had some time to evaluate our process for producing work, we believe that we will be able to make better use of our time in the studio, and be fresh for the next opportunity to get in there and work at what we love. We have come to the determination that every part of the business should be approached as an art. This gives us a unique mindset towards the business as a whole, and especially the works that we are crafting. Soon you will have a chance to see the results of this change in the way we do things. I for one, cannot wait…

Till next time (Which I promise will not be as long between posts as before),



Lampwork Experiments

  • November 26, 2009 3:40 PM

Last Sunday was the second day we’ve spent working with the new torch. I was trying to get a feel for how the viscosity of the glass changes at different temperatures and how best to keep the pieces from cracking due to heat differences. A couple pieces made it out intact – here are some pictures. trinkets tetrahedron