Friday, June 27, 2008

Toggle clasps

New toggle clasps ready to glaze.

New glazed toggle clasps fresh from the kiln.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Art Bead Scene Submission for June

This is a photo of my submission to the ArtBeadScene Monthly Challenge. This month the theme is Pearls of Wisdom. I have titled my necklace Mom A Pearl of Wisdom. The necklace is made with my handmade copper pendant stamped with MOM in numerous places. I have also used one of my handmade raku beads with a copper finish. The two chains are antiqued brass. I have wire wrapped one Swarovski pearl as well as other charms to hang from the pendant. The clasp is copper as well as some of the jump rings and wire wrapping on the raku bead. The green glass is beach glass I found on the shores of Lake Erie. I drilled holes in them and they too are on copper jump rings that I made. I did not preplan to use Mom in this necklace but when I went to make the pendant the word Mom just popped up and off I went. I don't think of this as a sentimental tribute to my Mom or myself. But as I grow older and become more aware of how Mom's can and do change the world, I have the idea of Mom on my mind more often.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Let Us Now Praise Famous Beaders

This extraordinary lady is going to be the photo for a new section in my newsletter I am calling Let Us Now Praise Famous Beaders. And indeed let us praise the children of the Elmwood Village Charter School who created her. She is clearly a beader in her own right with a fabulous necklace in white. Unlike James Agee, I will be focusing on beaders both known and unknown with the purpose of exploring some of my favorite artists and finding new ones. Check out my newsletter by signing up for it here or on my website. I ususally send it out the last Sunday of the month.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This Year I am Having a Garden

For the last quite a few years, we haven't had a garden because the deer have eaten it up. The final straw was the year they took a bite out of all of my tomatoes. That was it. In the meantime, I have been using a very tiny garden that we annexed onto the chicken yard. It has a very high fence and has never been bothered by much of anything. The only problem is that it can only grow a few things since it is so small.

So this year we are fencing in a plot to keep the deer out and our veggies in. You can see from the pics our progress. The most recent photo shows the fence up and veggies planted. Some were above ground when I planted them and some are emerging at this very moment. So exciting.

This last photo shows how much the peas in the first photo have grown already.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Art Therapy Workshop

I attended the most incredible workshop last week in Syracuse on Art Therapy. The subject was about using art therapy for grief and loss issues. The woman, Pamela Hayes, was an excellent teacher and gave us many hands on experiences and ideas for our work. I was introduced in a meaningful way to mandalas which I had heard about but had not really done anything with. We made several. But the part I like the most was the SoulCollage. We all brought a photo of a loved person or pet that had died and we used this technique to help process the loss. It was truly magical. I had brought a picture of our dog we had for over 15 years. The pictures above illustrate the soul collage and a mandala. Very enlightening experience. You can see a preview of Pamela Hayes new video on her website.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Isis Saturday Glass Bead Making

After we learned how to knit we set up another Isis Saturday and two fabulous glass beadmakers brought all their equipment and let us have a chance learning how to make glass beads. Our bead makers are Melanie Connor and Kim Klatt. They were great teachers and we all took home some beads.

Here is the set up we used. We are using a hothead and mapp gas. This is a good choice for beginners to get a sense of how beads are made. All the really well known bead makers use a combination of propane and oxygen which is faster and hotter. But we did well if we could make a bead in this slower, cooler mode. I came away from this experience with even more awe for the contemporary glass bead makers. In fact, I can't even imagine how they get all the detail they do into the beads that they make. Also, being a ceramic bead maker, I felt as if I could not control what I was doing at first since I am used to having the clay in my hands and having quite a bit of control over its shape. But you had better not reach out and touch that hot glass bead!!

We had the usual beginner's difficulties i.e. several beads did not come off the mandrel despite using a bead release medium, and several beads popped apart when we took them out of the vermiculite where they were cooling, too soon.

But we all enjoyed the process and learned that the torch is not so fierce and fearsome as we thought. In fact it is quite easy to use and handle.

Kim demonstrates making a glass bead. She holds the rod up at right angles to the bead. She makes a disk shape and them rounds it out. This makes a nice dimple in the center of the bead.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Spring Landscape Closeup

This Spring we have been treated to a fantastic display of flowering trees and bushes. This is a photo of our pear tree in bloom. It has never done anything like this before. I have never seen a Spring like this before in the North Country.

Pictures of some new colors for my square beads. They go well with this verdant landscape that is surrounding us in trees and grass. Greener than ever this year.

Raku Bead Video Part III