Monday, March 30, 2009

Book Sale Find

I recently went to a book sale in a small village in Canada. I had a wonderful time despite the fact that there wasn't a bank in town for changing money and the wait in line was a freezing experience.

I found a wonderful book about the history of jewelry called Jewelry Ancient to Modern (with about 714 illustrations that are numbered and explained in detail) which I have checked and found is available on (used). I was so excited to see the photo above which depicts Egyptian faience figures. I have always wanted to see how these were used in jewelery since I have molds of them from the Metropolitan Museum and have made quite a few in the past out of clay and Paste Clay which simulates faience quite well.
In any case, the book is just packed with illustrations from the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Etruscan, Byzantine, and on to the present with the more recent work being that of Lalique.
This book has more illustrations than any other historical book about jewelry that I have seen. Indeed a great bargain at $1.00.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Use the Muse Contest

Here are two photos of my entry in the Use the Muse Contest organized by Scarlet Lanson. I enjoyed making my piece as I had never used Filigree in my bead work. The Challenge kit came with many lovely swarovski crystals, pearls and tiny seed beads. I used my own size 6 and 8 seed beads for most of the bracelet and then used the small beads for more detailed decoration. You can view all of the entries in the Use the Muse and see the winners here.

Others that I know who are also in this contest are Lorelei, Melissa Lee , Christi Clothier and Andrew Thornton ( he won a prize).

Thank you Scarlet for doing the contest. I really enjoyed making my piece.

Below are some close up shots and a different view so that you can see the vinatage button and how I clasped the bracelet.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Carved tree pendant and wrapped felt bead

Today I am showing off a photo of a new tree pendant that I made and then strung with a wrapped felt and wire bead. I carved the tree into clay and made a mold. Then I fired an impression from the mold, stained it and painted with multiple colors. It is simply coincidence that the colors match the wire wrapped felt bead. The bead is one I learned how to make in a tutorial by Deryn Mentock which you can see here. The tutorial for making the wire wrapped beads is now on sale at her Etsy shop.What a wonderful tutorial. It has sparked so many ideas for me. Thank you again Deryn. The felt on the bead was made by me also. It was an unsuccessful flower that I have been cutting up to wrap around the metal bead frames which are then wrapped with the wire and seed beads. I love it the way something unsuccessful in one context is great in another.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Colorful Clover

These are some colorful clover pendants that I made last week. I have them listed on my Etsy shop for now as they are one of a kind.
I think they go along with welcoming Spring after a long cold winter. In the Northeast we had more cold than usual. Colors look so hopeful and cheerful. I am glad that the weather is changing. This is the best time of year because we have so many months of great weather to look forward to.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Spring

The river that runs through here has openned up just in time for Spring. I took this photo a few hours before all of the ice was gone. This year the melting was slow and gradual and there was no dramatic crack and bang and millions of ice chunks rushing down the river. Just a slow lazy gradual melt. Maybe I should take a cue from the river and take time to enjoy the season.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thermocouple Woes

Just in case you have a digital AIM Computer and your Thermocouple fails, here is how to get the right new one. Now that AIM is not taking any orders it has been hard to find out how to replace this. Luckily I found a helpful person at Bailey, who I could talk with once I had learned from Marla James that I needed a K type thermocouple.

Very specifically this is a 7" 14 guage thermocouple. However, it has to be cut down about 4 inches. The sheath on the wire is in sections and we left 3 on. We also took off the porcelain block since the one in the kiln was fine. It is important to keep the yellow and red wires in the right part of the block. The wire comes with a red and yellow sheath and under the sheath the wire has a red mark on it. When you take off the high fire sheath in order to bend and cut the wire the red make will no longer be there. So it is important to bend the wire in the control box of the kiln so that you know the red wire can only go where it is supposed to be. We must have done everything right because the control read out lit up immediately and I could get the program I always use to come back.

Specifically the order number at Baily is C-172-50. Here is the catalogue page link.

Now the woe part. Actually, not that bad. I ordered the wrong part the first time, I made several calls to Aim and looked around quite a bit on the internet before I ran into the nice person at Bailey who let me return the wrong part and told me about the right one. It has been about 4 weeks since I have been able to use my AIM Kiln. Although, I have other kilns, I love my AIM and am not willing to put a small load in the big kiln. It is so great to be able to do that again.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Innovative Beads Expo

These are some of the brown tone beads and pearl sticks that I bought for using with my peyote bracelets and necklaces. Browns to die for!!

I attended the Innovative Beads Expo when it was in Syracuse, NY last week. It was even better than the last time I went. It has been awhile -- last year there was a blizzard and I couldn't go. The very first time I went I was lucky enough to meet Marsha Neal at her booth. She isn't on the circuit as much now that she has a child. She is such a friendly and fun person. It was wonderful to see her work in person. She had other beads as well and I believe it was the first time I saw Gaea's work in real life and I bought one of her Mermaids.

The show was packed but I had a fabulous time going from table to table. I was mostly interested in the gem stone tables. This show has fantastic prices on stones. Usually I have to buy on the internet so it was a real treat to see these in real life.

These are some of the stones I bought. They are specifically for the Right Angle Weave bracelet class that I will be teaching this summer at The Handweaving Museum in Clayton, NY.

I also had a great time at the Bead Embroidery table and was able to get some ultra suede. I had just heard of it but I had never seen it before. It makes sewing on the bezel for a cab so much easier. I usually use leather and it is very hard on the hands since it is so tough by comparison.

And, since we were in the "city" I went to Brennan Stained Glass and picked out some basic glass for my upcoming Fused Glass Class workshop (Saturday April 4). I already have the cool dirchroic that we are going to use. I get that on the internet at Artisan Dichroic .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Etsy Mud Team Stamp Exchange

These are the three stamps I sent to Amy Esther as part of the Etsy Mud Team stamp exchange. She wrote about them in her blog yesterday. You can see Amy's ceramic work in her Etsy store here. Her blog and her work are very interesting and full of great colors and great food and delicious recipes. I love the name of her blog: In the Night Kitchen. Also one of my favorite Maurice Sendak's books.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Clovers To Celebrate March

Despite the huge snow storm blanketing the east coast, I am thinking about Spring. Luckily I live too far north and west to be even getting much snow today. But my heart goes out to anyone who has to cope with a foot of snow.

Raku Bead Video Part III