Monday, April 28, 2008

Felted Bead Making Class at Fiber Options

The Flower

Our multicolored layered beads were a favorite. We learned the basic skills first on making the round beads.
The picture above shows a student rolling the what will become the flower. She is applying pressure to the bumpy bubble wrap which has been tied around a foam tube to give the fibers the necessary agitation and pressure to felt.

Here are some photos of the beautiful creations from my Felted Bead Making Class at Fiber Options ( a fabulous--take your breath away-- yarn and fabric store) in Rensselaer Falls. The photo above of the set up looks likes a very unusual dinner. The crock pots on the other table have the hot water in them for the felting process. Our dinner mats are a bath towel, a bamboo place mat, and some bubble wrap with a a squirt bottle of soap, and a coffee cup for soaking the beads in hot water or for pouring the hot water onto the felt. The bath towel did a good job of absorbing the extra hot water. The light blue box is upholstery foam for any needle felting we needed to do. Didn't actually do any. The three hours went by fast but we were able to finish two kinds of beads and a gorgeous flower, as seen in the picture.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Visit in Buffalo

This page has tw0 self portraits hidden in the pictures of this entry which is a good place for them since I am a bit camera shy. The photo above was taken at the Albright-Knox Art Museum in Buffalo, NY when I was visiting there over the weekend. This piece is outside the door we entered. Our grandchildren and their parents are in the photo as well as my husband and myself. I think the piece is wonderful and just for fun we all posed with our reflections. We did that several years ago in the Botanical Gardens in front of a Victorian Mirror Garden Globe. Just updating the album. There is another place in Buffalo where I love to take reflection pictures and that is the round pound in front of a museum in Allentown. I have a great photo of an American Flag in that reflectiive pool.

Here is the first New York State sign of Spring that I have seen. Had to be Buffalo since there is still snow on the ground where we live when this was taken 2 days ago. Very lovely little blooms we planted in the fall with the grandchildren in Buffalo.
A new pair of earrings I made with Swarovski crystals and right angle weave. I don't think they are really relevant but I wanted to keep up the beady theme. So here they are.

Buffalo Bound

Over this past weekend we traveled to Buffalo to visit family and especially two adorable grandchildren. I have posted my Buffalo bead above since it is was originally inspired by a piece I made for my youngest grandson called Buffalo Farm House to kind of unite his city life and our country life. I carved all the farm figures out of wood and then had the Buffalo on the roof of the house. Since I liked the Buffalo so much I made a mold from it and then roughly cast the bead and then carved a few more details so that it would be three dimensional. And best of all I sold two of these beads right before the trip to a Buffalo beader. Coincidences are such fun.

And this bracelet above is also about Buffalo since I made it in the car on the way over and now am donating it to the Westminster PreSchool Annual fundraiser. And those gorgeous blue green turquoise beads are ones I bought in NYC at the Whole Bead Show.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Out of The Kiln

Here are the beads and pendants that you saw in my last post before they were fired. I think they came out great. The leaf tree is an unexpected surprise. And that is truly the thrill of ceramics, you never quite know how something is going to turn out. Could be a dud or like this one a rare beauty.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Working on some Beads Today

These are some square beads that have been fired two times already. They just came out of the kiln with the cobalt blue stain fired on. Now I am going to glaze them with a clear gloss glaze and fire them again.

These are some pendants and two hole beads that have not been fired at all yet. They are dry enough now for me to trim and smooth. Then they will be fired for the first bisque fire which for me is cone 06. About 1850 degrees.

These are some two hole beads and pendants that are in various stages of being ready to fire for a third time. The two hole beads need some clear gloss glaze, the pine cone pendant has not yet been hand painted and the leaf tree pendant has been hand painted and is ready for the final gloss glaze.
This is how the kiln load I am firing right now looks. I am trying to get the kiln full without having a disaster. The beads are on high temp wire which can only hold a light load. The wires are held in place by the posts that are on top of them and making the next layer for more beads on high temp wire. This is my small AIM 88 Kiln which only measures about 8x8 inches by 9 inches high on the inside. This is not a particularly good example of how to stack an AIM 88. Yolanda at Yolanda's clay has some great photos on Flickr! on how to really fill an AIM 88. I am firing this kiln load at a low fire 06 cone. My kiln has a digital control which is a joy to use. I just push the button and on it goes. It takes about 4 hours to fire to cone 06.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Visit to New York City

The last weekend in March I had the pleasure of visiting NYC again. It has been awhile since I visited and quite awhile since I lived there and attended college there (Barnard College). Every year, my husband and I visit my college roommate and attend the wonderful Bryn Mawr Book sale in Princeton. And some years we venture across the river and see the city.
This year was one of those. I attended the Whole Bead Show briefly and had the pleasure of meeting my Beads of Clay Yahoo Group friend Natalie Gillihan and purchased one of her lovely pendants. I chose the Tree of Life since I have such an affinity for trees and leaves. I was also able to meet some very nice folks from the Tucson Bead Shop, another connection for me since I grew up mostly in Tucson.
But best of all I spent some time with my son Brian who designs my webpage and gives me invaluable advice on all things technical and computer. He is indeed a computer whiz. I don't know what I would do without all of his help and enthusiasm for my work.
I took some great pictures of city buildings and visited Barneys on 59th Street and looked at all of their cool unslick jewelry.
And we had a great meal at a restaurant called The Brick.
And another great thing, it was a beautiful sunny day.
I am planning on making some right angle weave bracelets with the stones I purchased. I am quite Bead Show deprived since the only show that comes remotely near where I live--The Innovative Bead Show--I couldn't attend this year due to our worst snowstorm of the winter. Mind you that was in March and we had had plenty of bad weather before that time.
But now we have some signs of Spring. Check this lovely out on my website.

Raku Bead Video Part III