Monday, December 14, 2009

St. Lawrence County Arts Council

Taylor by Sue Thomas Free Motion Quilting

Cows! by Linda Nowak

Suzy McBroom and Hanna Stevens at the front Desk

Buddha Figures by Becky Harblin

Reconstructed Lamp Shade by Sue Thomas

I went this week to the St. Lawrence Arts Council to deliver new work for their shop. I had a wonderful time sharing enthusiasm and exchanging ideas with board member Sue Thomas, seeing new work by my former student, John Beamer (he certainly learns fast and well, of course) and viewing the new show in the gallery, called Fiber Arts Showcase. Most of the pictures here are from that show.
There is still time to shop at the St. Lawrence County Arts Council Gallery and Shop. They have some extended hours to accommodate shoppers who work and have been hampered by our wicked cold and snowy weather. They will be open every day now from Thursday, Dec. 17 through Thursday Dec. 24th. Late hours on Tuesday Dec. 22 ( 10-8PM). Other days open 10-6PM and Saturday and Sunday 10-4PM. They will be closing at 4PM on Christmas Eve. and back open again Dec. 26.
Hope you find your way over there so you can shop Handmade this season.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Indigo Found and Collaboration Complete

Once I found Indigo, as I said yesterday, I was good to go.
Here are the pictures of the beads that Cindy Gimbrone and I collaborated on for the ArtBeadScene December Challenge prize. Cindy has written a wonderful post about our inspiration for these beads. She calls it Untitled, Mary and Me .You can read it here.
And please enter the challenge so you can get a chance to win these beauties. Click this link and you will get all of the how to's.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Looking for Indigo Part 2

When Cindy Gimbrone and I began our collaboration on beads for part of the ArtBeadScene December Monthly challenge prize, we first picked the colors we would work with. She in glass and I in ceramics.

After picking a color palette, I made a number of samples with round beads to get the colors we were looking for. Cindy wrote about this part of the collaboration in one of her Studio Saturdays for ArtBeadScene. I had no problem with the bright lime green and the deep purple. When I made a sample bead using these colors and my conceptualized idea of how I would combine colors and the white/ivory linear feel of the painting, I was pretty disappointed in how it turned out. See pic above.

After a few days and considerable agonizing, I realized what was wrong, I needed a non glaze background color to work from. And that is when I began thinking about how to make Indigo. I hadn't been able to find a commercial glaze in indigo that was really indigo. So I tried mixing some stains together. I ended up using black and cobalt. First the black and then the cobalt added on top of it.

Once that happened I was on my way and the beads below are what resulted.

I have just listed some of these beads on my Etsy shop.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Looking for Indigo

Lee Krasner's painting Untitled and beads I made

When Cindy Gimbrone first asked me to collaborate on a set of beads for the December ArtBeadScene monthly challenge I was very excited to have the chance to work with the colors of Lee Krasner's painting and Cindy's great glass beads. During the process of making these beads, I found that I had to do a lot of looking and trying out to get close to what I was imagining would be a good match. What I like most about the painting, in addition to my personal connection to the the artist's environs, is the use of colors and white. I did not want to a literal graphic interpretation, so I chose to use a botanical theme and made beads imprinted on both sides with organic impressions. I thought at first that I could use the ivory/white in and on the impressions and then add color around them.

The beads below were my first try at turning my idea into beads. Nice colors but not exactly what I wanted.

I will continue on tomorrow about how I my beads developed.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Hardware Challenge

This is my entry into the Inspired by Hardware challenge currently on the wonderful blog of Erin Prais-Hintz. If you are interested in entering you have until Dec. 6 at Midnight. You could also check out her lovely necklace in the new BeadStar Magazine out on news stands Dec. 8. She has a great necklace in there.

My bracelet is a right angle weave bracelet with stainless steel hex nut dangles and focals. I had such fun making this. The hex nuts shine and glisten and make if feel kinda classy when I wear it.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Thank you For Your Vote

I am so happy to at last be able to thank all who voted for me in the BeadStar 2009 Contest. Yesterday the news release went out announcing the winners and now our promise of silence about all this can be broken and we can blog and brag away.
I won Honorable Mention in the Stones category. You can see all of the great winning entries in the Bead Star Magazine which goes on sale at news stands on Dec. 8.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cilantro Love

One of my very, very favorite herbs is Cilantro. I often try to grow it in my garden. For awhile it does well, but before long it turns into Cilantro berries, which have their own special flavor. But for me the leaf of the Cilantro is where it's at. I love how it enhances any sauce or soup. Did I ever tell you how I grew up in the Southwest. ( At least a hundred times ) So this year I decided to make my love for Cilantro into a heart. And here it is. It came out well. You can see it in my Etsy Shop. I don't know if wearing this heart pendant protects you from anything, like garlic, but it will keep you in a happy, sunny mood thinking of all that delicious salsa and sauce you could make. And for me, it keeps that sunny Arizona/ California feeling close at hand.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I am posting a picture of my Blessings Necklace that I made with friends last year in an exchange. I hope you all have a wonderful day and that your life is full of blessings. I am thinking about all of us who made the lovely charms for this necklace, my family and friends today. I feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful online community of bloggers and artists.

Lynn Davis wrote about this Blessings Exchange originally last year and it was reposted for the ArtBeadScene recently and you can see pictures and have weblinks to all the participants here.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

MarshaNealStudio Buy 2 Get 1 Free Sale

I've notice that there are several of her new beads with decals. First time I have seen them for sale.

Here in Blog land fellow bloggers like to help each other get the word out. I am writing today about a wonderful sale from a wonderful ceramic bead maker, namely, Marsha Minutella of MarshaNealStudio. She is having a giant sale and probably her last one until after her baby is born. This is a great chance to stock up on some super pendants and beads. Check out the sale HERE.
Here is her description of the sale

Throughout this week I'm going to be adding more items to my Etsy shop for this sale. When checking out, please choose Other for your payment type, and I will send you an updated invoice through PayPal once the sale is over and I have put all the items together and adjusted the pricing.I would be happy to create a custom listing for you if you need one for any of the Marsha Neal Studio Apparel, Porcelain Decal Pieces, and Silk Strand Bundles that have already sold. I have a number of them in stock, or can remake them for you. The textured pendants all come out different, and remaking the same item is quite difficult. Just send me a convo with what you would like, and I'll create the listing for you.All items will ship the week following the sale or as soon as your items are all ready to go. Have fun shopping!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Scenes from the Studio Tour

Here are some scenes from the Artists' Studio Tour in my studio last weekend. Above is a small printer's tray filled with rice to set the pendants in. This tray has a mix of fused glass and ceramic pendants. I grouped all the same priced pendants together for easy of labelling and shopping.

This is a photo of a good friend with a view of two of my three tables and windows in the background looking out on our pasture. I have used pretty standard jewelry displays except for the picture frame display that I don't seem to have a picture of.

This is a just finished free form peyote stitch necklace with many of my handmade raku beads. I was wearing this on one of the days. It now has a new home with a wonderful woman who loves jewelry and especially loves my peyote stitch necklaces. I am so happy this necklace with be worn and loved.

Here is a picture of two guests making a fused glass pendant. Edie and Cait (the barefoot weaver check out her beautiful handwoven scarves and shawls). They were among many who made a piece of art when they visited my studio.

A close up picture of one of my bracelet racks. Again, they were grouped by price. I just hate putting on those little price tags and they always interfere with trying on . I had especially good prices for this Tour. Since I live quite far out in the country, I feel folks should be extra happy that they visited me.

And last but not least, another peyote necklace that has found a new how with a wonderful woman who looks absolutely fabulous in it.

My drawing for the Adirondack Love pendant and $25.00 gift certificate was won by Barbara V. from Riparius, NY. Indeed a long drive from here. Thanks so much for making the trip.

Thank you one and all who came to see my work and visit with me during the tour. I so appreciate it. I look forward to doing this again next year.

Friday, November 13, 2009

And the Winner Is...

The winner of the drawing for the above pendant, Adirondack Love and a $25.00 gift certificate for my website store is Barbara V. from Riparius, New York a hamlet in the Upper Hudson River Valley of Warren County, New York. She traveled all the way from the Adirondacks to visit me and others on the tour. Congratulations Barbara!!! Your pendant will be in the mail along with the glass pendant you made in my studio, in just a few days.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fun With Focals

I have really been enjoying Heather Powers' Fun With Focals challenge. This is my contribution to the Flickr! Group she started for the entries. I must say that I have been very inspired by all the wonderful pieces on display.

And I have just learned that the challenge may go on so please post a comment on Heather's blog if you would like to have it continue.

The picture above is of my take on the Day 1 Challenge: Create a horizontal focal using chunky beads lined up on wire.

I used some of my ceramic beads along with rich burgundy colored sea glass beads from The Beadin' Path. I thought the dangles were a good idea to enhance the focal and give it some movement.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

NYSARC Donation Bracelet

This is a freeform peyote stitch bracelet I made for the annual fundraiser for our local NYSARC, an agency that provides services to adults and children with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. I especially enjoy supporting this organization because of its forward looking ideas of inclusion. I also donate at least one art class a year to the St. Lawrence NYSARC Community Arts Program, a program that includes visual arts, music, dance and theater arts. For the last several years I have brought my kiln and we have made fused glass jewelry. I have also demonstrated how the glass is melted in the kiln. Some of the jewelry we make helps raise money to support more opportunities in the arts.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Another Studio Tour

I can hardly believe that it is time once again for the St.Lawrence County Arts Council's 22nd Annual Artists' Studio Tour. The photo above is just a sampling of some of the work I will be displaying this coming weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday Nov. 6th, 7th and 8th. In addition, there will be some hands on activities and a giveaway. All this will be actual, not virtual this time. I wish all of you were in the area and could come.
I have always been a great supporter of this Studio Tour here and over the years it has grown and become a much looked forward to event. I can remember when the brochure was a piece of paper with a rough sketch for a map and a list of names. Now we have a wonderful glossy brochure with photos of our work and a detailed map with each site clearly marked. All this thanks to the great leadership and hard work of Hilary Oak and her staff at the St. Lawrence County Arts Council and some financial support from NYSCA ( New York State Council on the Arts).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Thank you each and all who visited my blog during the Beads-of-Clay Open Studio Tour blog event. It was so exciting to have you visit and leave comments and write comments back. I could feel the great swirl of energy in cyberspace as you swept through and visited my site and the 16 others that participated in the event. Your response to this event was beyond my wildest dreams. What a wonderful sense of community and appreciation you communicated to me and the others in the event. Thank you so much for being there and having a fun day visiting us.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

And the Winner is...

And the winner of the 2nd Giveaway had just been picked from the hat by my husband and it is Katie Nelson.
Thank you all who came and visited my blog and left me such wonderful comments. I have enough good Karma to go on for a very long time. You have been so wonderful to me. I cannot thank you enough.

A Look Inside My Studio

This is a closer look at the internal structure of this old barn that my husband is restoring.

My studio door enters into a hallway that was once the entrance into the room where the milk was refrigerated (the milkhouse.) My actual studio is in a part of the barn that was once home to some very sweet and lovely Jersey cows.

This is a picture of my AIM 88 kiln. My little workhorse. I also have a larger kiln. I am fortunate that all of kilns are digital. It is a bit of a walk from my house to the barn so it saves me some running back and forth. Much appreciated in the winter.

This is a long counter space that I have for making my clay pieces. It is a great space. I always work standing up and it is just the right height. My husband is so good to me. He does all the carpentry and building work on this barn and my studio. Those things on sticks are some beads and pendants in the process of being glazed.

My studio tour today consists of a number of photos of my work place. Here we have from left to right The door to my studio. My studio is part of an old barn that was built about 1850. I have included photos of the interior of the barn so that you can see the hand hewn beams(last photo on the right). My husband also has a workspace in this barn. The restoration of this barn is a big project and not yet complete. It is a great feeling to be in this space because of its age and the fact that we once milked cows here. From my studio, I look out over pastures that have been in use for over 150 years. Many of the plants that I use to make my ceramic pendants have been growning here for at least that long. I sometimes feels as if I am preserving the history of this farm in my art work. But most of the time I just enjoy looking out on green grass. I grew up out West, and am still in awe of the greeness of this place and the abundance of water. No too far down the fields from this barn is a great river that begins in the Adirondack Mountains and flows[Photo] by here on its way to the St. Lawrence River. And that is another kind of journey that I enjoy watching and partaking of in our chubby canoe.

Open Studio Blog Event 2nd Giveaway

It is at least 2:00 PM and my husband picked a name from the hat and the winner is Lorelei.
For those of you who didn't win this round, your names stay in the hat and I will add any more that show. Good luck to all.

Here is a picture of my 2nd Beads of Clay Open Studio Blog Event Giveaway. This is a ceramic pendant that features the small flowers of a tomato plant. I love the way they radiate into a circle. This is one of my favorites and I am pleased to share it with you. It also comes with a $25.00 gift certificate to my Etsy Store. I hope you are the lucky winner.

Open Studio Blog Event First Giveaway

My first giveaway today is a ceramic pendant of a dill flower gone to seed. It also comes with a $25.oo gift certificate to use in my Etsy shop .You can be the lucky winner by making a comment on my blog about this event or about your favorite fall activities. All the names of commenters will be put into a hat and I will draw one out and announce the winner at 2:00PM.
I look forward to reading your comments. I will be on line so I can answer questions as well. And I will be sure to comment as well. Good luck.

Welcome to The Beads of Clay Open Studio Blog Event

Welcome to the Beads-of-Clay Open Studio Blog Event. I am excited to be participating today and looking forward to greeting you on my blog. You can talk to me through the comments section of the blog. As a special celebration for today's events, I am giving a 40% discount on any purchase in my Etsy store between 1:00PM and Midnight tonight. I have put each part of today's activities into separate blog posts but I will be keeping up with comments.

This event is about visiting my studio, seeing my creative process and celebrating Fall. I will celebrate with two Giveaways that will be announed by picture postings at 1:15PM and 3:00PM. You can be part of this Giveaway by making a comment on my blog during this event. The first drawing of names from commenters will be at 2:15PM and the second winner will be announced at 3:00PM. So you have two chances to win because I will be putting all the names back in from the first drawing for the second drawing.

By way of introduction, I am a ceramic bead artist. I have been making beads out of clay for about 10 years. I happened into this wonderful art form by chance. I was making macrame jewelry at the time and I couldn't find beads with holes large enough. When I had an opportunity to take a clay class at my friend's gallery Ladies First, I made my first ceramic beads, while the rest of the class was making bowls and tiles. And it has gone on from there.

I including a schedule of events so that you can pop back and forth between the 17 or so artists that are participating in this event. You can find their live links at the Beads-of-Clay blog .
Here is the scedule: ( I have made a separate blog post for each of the events but your comments will be counted no matter which one you put them on.)

1pm: Individual Artists welcome people to their blog by introducing themselves and announcing any special discount prices in their Etsy store or website.
1:15: Picture posting of 1st giveaway to commenter on your blog post.
2pm: Commenter winner giveaway announced
2:15: Opening up your studio space: Share pictures of your studio
3pm: Picture posting of 2nd giveaway to commenter on your blog post.
3:15pm: Commenter winner giveaway announced
3:30pm: Here are some "Fall" info that we would like to share
4:00 End of event but shoppers can continue with my "sale" prices until Midnight

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Pieces for BOC Open Studio Blog Event

I am spending this morning listing new pieces on my Etsy store to get ready for the BOC Open Studio Tour on Sunday, Oct. 25 from 1:00-4:00PM EST. The pieces will be listed in my store and then the discount price--40% off will be listed early Sunday to be ready for the event. This way if you see something you like you can be ready to pick it out on Sunday at the discounted price. Also, I will be choosinig my giveaways this afternoon and hopefully I will be bloggintg about them later on today.

Here is the most up to date list of participants in this event.

Indian Creek Studios

Melanie Earthenwood Studio

Creative Impressions in Clay

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Here is a picture of some bisque ware pieces that I have been working on to get ready for the Beads-of-Clay Open Studio Blog event on October 25, 2009 from 1:00-4:00PM EST.
We will be blogging live as we open up our studios and communicate with you through the comments section of our blogs. You will have opportunities to win giveaways from each participating artist by commenting on their blog and having your name go into the hat for the two drawings that will take place during the event. Each artist will also be offering their work at a sale price on their Etsy store or website. You can visit my Etsy store here. Most artists will continue the sale price of their work until Midnight.
I have included a schedule of the event and all the participating artists so that you can navigate around the sites easily. Be sure to mark your calendar for this exciting multi site event, giveaways and sale prices. And what fun it will be to look into the studios of all these artists.

BOC October 25, 2009 Open Studio Fall Theme Schedule of events:
1pm: Individual Artists welcome people to their blog by introducing themselves and announcing any special discount prices in their Etsy store or website.
1:45: Picture posting of 1st giveaway to commenter on your blog post.
2pm: Commenter winner giveaway announced
2:15: Opening up your studio space: Share pictures of your studio
3pm: Picture posting of 2nd giveaway to commenter on your blog post.
3:15pm: Commenter winner giveaway announced
3:30pm: Here are some "Fall" info that we would like to share
4:00 End of event but shoppers can continue with your "sale" prices until Midnight
Chinook Jewelry
Diane Hawkey
Marsha Hedrick
Joan Tucker
Indian Creek Studios
Lisa Peters
Kristie Roeder
Tracy Isley
Melanie Earthenwood Studio
Winchell Clay Works
Summers Studio
Jessica Sharrah
Creative Impressions in Clay
Donna Kornegay

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BOC Open Studio Blog Event

Beads-of-Clay Open Studio Blog Event. Here is a mosaic I made from mosaic maker. I am using it for some promo for this exciting event that is happening next Sunday Oct. 25.
I hope you will join me and all the other artists who are participating. Tomorrow all participating artists will be listed with their blog links so you can travel around this event with ease.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Open Studio Blog Event

Marsha Minutella (owner and artist of Marsha Neal Studio) and Mary Harding invite you to participate in a Fall Open Studio Blog event on Sunday Oct. 25. This event is designed to help Beads-of-Clay members and other "ceramic" clay bead makers promote their work via the internet. All you need to do to participate in the Open Studio event is to sign up by Oct. 14, have a blog, and follow the general format of the event(Marsha Minutella designed this so you know it is going to be good.) If you don't have a blog right now, you can start one so that you can participate. If interested in being a part of this please contact me by email ( and please also include your blog web address.We will be promoting this event through our own blogs, the BOC blog and our newsletters. Participants are encouraged to promote the event as well. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

On our recent vacation in Maine, I visited Freeport for the first time. I had wanted to see the Beadin' Path and L. L. Bean. We went on the rainiest day possible which turned out to be the busiest day as well. That gigantic parking lot at L. L. Bean, which was empty when we arrived very early in the morning, was completely full by 10:30 AM. I had no idea what a nice and cute place Freeport would be. And best of all, I was able to visit the new and expanded Beadin' Path, and what a treat that was. The photo above is of some of the wonderful beads I took home from there. I am working with some of them this morning, which prompted me to get this post written. I had been planning on it for some time.
Those lovely greens and dark burgundy/orange reds are their sea glass, and the teal leaves are lucite. They come in every color imaginable.
In fact the store is wonderfully organized by color for each different category of beads. And well stocked, indeed!! I have more pics that I am saving for my newsletter which should be coming out soon. Meanwhile, I am enjoying a rainy day at home beading.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Use the Muse III

I might use one of my small toggle clasps
and add in some of my terracotta raku beads

My Use the Muse III kit arrived a day ago and here is a picture of the lovely beads that are in it and some of my own creations since you can add all you want from your own stash. The Muse, of course, is not included in the photo. I really like the color palette. And I am a great fan of the Copper plated pieces from Tierra Cast that ArtBeads has contributed. So the kit is really going to be an inspiration for me. I am on my third time participating in Scarlet Lanson's inventive and exciting challenge for beaders. If you are interested in participating you can go to her website and purchase the kit for a very reasonable price. The deadline for getting your kit order in is Monday September 29. Last time they ran out early so if you want to participate you should do it soon. Once you get your kit, you have until Monday October 19, 2009 to submit your photos by email to Scarlet. She includes very specific details on how to do this. I especially like this challenge because it is so well organized and because Scarlet has such good taste in beads. Her picks have been fabulous each time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Toggles Still warm from the Kiln

I just got these toggles out of the kiln a few minutes ago. Oh, the small kiln I have is such a pleasure to use.
Some of these are on their way to new homes and some will be on my Etsy store by Monday.
And speaking of my Etsy store. My Labor Day sale was a great success. I want to thank all of you who looked and purchased. It was my first sale and it was such fun I will try one again. Again many thanks to all of you.

Raku Bead Video Part III