Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

beads of clay still wet  just made them this morning

It is time to wish all of you Happy New Year!!  

Here are some pics of what I have been doing lately.  

New double wrap bracelet I made for a Christmas present but the BIG SNOW interfered with out travel our plans.  Hope to be able to give it soon!!

Fun flea market find and the mold I made from it.  Also I cleaned it up first.  Didn't look this good.

The snow is still very deep on our deck.  That is all that shows of the railing.

I thought this year my word for the year would be "dig deeper."  That is actually a line from the TV show Bones.  I am choosing it because it has so many possibilities:  like take an idea and explore it further--make some beads and keep making them so see what new shapes and forms I can come up with.  Make a double wrap bracelet and then make another to see how I can expand on the idea.  And so on...
Another view of the bracelet showing off the the copper button clasp I made for it.

More stoneware beads.  Not yet fired or sponged off

And some more--digging deeper into ideas for shape and form.

Our mighty Spruce  looking very seasonal

may it be full of creative ideas for living, being and making

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Studio Tour 2012

                           Make and Take project:  Fire Patina copper earrings 
These earrings were made by guests in my studio on one of the 3 days of this weekend long event.

Every year our local Arts Council sponsors a Studio Tour.  As due paying members of the Arts Council, we can participate for an additional fee.  I have participated in this event for many years and way back when-- was helpful in getting it on its feet again after our Arts Council went out of business for a few years.  Now it is a flourishing event and has been for some time.

peyote stitch double wrap bracelet
The Artists Studio Tour is a time when I sell my handmade jewelry.  This year bracelets were the most popular item. Second was earrings
                                                          ceramic heart earrings

and after that my peyote stitch necklaces
                                                           freeform peyote stitch necklace
And equally popular, my nature inspired pendants

                                                         ceramic Marguerite  daisy pendant
                                                            from a French Garden ceramic pendant

Guiding my guests through the make and take earrings project was my  favorite part of the weekend.  Here is how we did it:  A tutorial

Overview of the wooden oak desk that we used for a work table.--a bit low but it worked out

Before the Studio Tour I prepared the materials.

First I cut out the copper circles with my handy disc cutter

Then I drilled holes in them with my drill press

Then it was time for the making

To decorate the copper discs, we used image stamps (see Beaducation for a free stamping video techniques class)


                              and Texture Hammers

And when they were happy with how their earrings looked, we colored them in with permanent black Sharpie markers so that the stampings and marks would show up better.

                                           Textured copper disc partially colored in with a Sharpie marker

                                    Then we let the fully inked discs dry  for about 10-15 min

                                        And rubbed off the extra ink with 0000 Steel Wool

                                                      Guests working on their earrings

                                                      THE FLAME PATINA

Small Lenk 500 Butane Torch and Quench bowl with metal sheet in background--hold you piece beyond that blue tip of the flame so it doesn't get too hot too fast

and then we did the FLAME PATINA    that was the most exciting part for everyone.  It is like magic.

                                            Disc being held by pliers during the heat patina process

Disc colored with a Flame patina

One of the secrets to creating a great colored patina is to realize that the color comes after the heat.  So it is important to heat, quench and look and then go back for more if the color is not intense enough.  If you heat up your piece too long and it goes dark, it is just a matter of going back to the the steel wool and rubbing off the patina and starting over.

Here are some of the beautiful earrings my guests made

Thanks so much for stopping by and viewing my Studio Tour happenings.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Its First Friday Art Walk Weekend

Handmade Ceramic Pendant Daisy Petals

Its First Friday Art Walk over at Etsy  for our Beadof Clay Professional Artists Group. Here are some pictures of new pieces I added to my shop this morning.  Please use coupon code FREESHIP at checkout to get free shipping all weekend (Dec. 7 through Dec. 9.)
Daisy Petal Pendants set of 2

Fir Bough Tree Pendant

A set of 2 pendants -- connector Beads in the Ural Mountains palette

Decorative Striped Pendant--connector--bead

Decorative Daisy Pendant or Connector Bead

Ceramic Toggle Clasp

 And please stop by the BeadsofClay Professional Artists Team blog to see who else in participating and see samples of their incredible work. Thank you for visiting today.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Challenge of Color

Today is the Reveal of Erin and Brandi's Challenge of  Color Blog Hop.  This is my first time participating in this Challenge of  Color and I was inspired to join in by the beautiful photos I saw of The Earth as Art Project that they used as the structure of this event.  Each of us was given two photos to use or  choose from.  Brandi made the palettes for all of them.  What a visual treat these images are.  All of them a magnificent array of colors.I chose to use both photos that I received.   Here is what Erin tells us about these pictures:  (She has a brilliant scientific explanation of how these colors relate to the actual earth being photographed here )

The Earth As Art image gallery is a group of over 120 pictures taken from the Landsat series of Earth observation satellites since 1972. These pictures of the unique features of our beautiful planet are a vital resource for understanding scientific issues related to land use and natural resources. Plus they are just so darned cool! 

All the images that we will be using in this Challenge of Color and all the information that I found came from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which donated all these images to the Library of Congress.

The images in these galleries are spectacular. The views of mountains, valleys, islands and forests as well as agricultural patterns and even heavily populated areas are quite striking in their abstraction. The colors are much different than what you might expect. The satellite land imagery uses a digital palette that relates to the different levels on the infrared spectrum and help to give insight into the specific geography of the image.  

The Colima Volcano is my all time favorite. This volcano is located in Mexico and is quite active.  In this earth photo I love the juxtaposition of the ice blue with the cranberry.  I was able to find some wonderful matte turquoise seed beads from Whimbeads and I had the cranberry beads on hand already.  They are from Charlene's beads. I also used a dark blue mix from Whimbeads for that slate blue color from the palette Brandi made.  

I decided to make a triple wrap bracelet in peyote stitch.  This photo shows the whole bracelet wrapped up and sitting on the photo of the Colima Volcano to show how it captures the colors.  I think the bracelet also reflects the Southwestern   influence of my childhood.  And more especially my love of Mexico, a country I visited as a teenager and later as an adult.  It made an enduring impression.

This photo give a better view of how the bracelet is worm.  Here the colors are a bit bleached out.
This photo of  a close up of the button I made for this bracelet from one of my ceramic beads is the closest to the actual colors of the bracelet.  This bracelet is so long that it can also be worn as a necklace. 

The second photo I was given to use for inspiration was of the Atlas Mountains.  The Atlas Mountains is a mountain range across a north-western stretch of Africa extending about 2,500 km (1,600 mi) through MoroccoAlgeria, and Tunisia. The Atlas ranges separate the Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines from the Sahara Desert. (info from Wikipedia).

I made a set of heart charms based on the color palette I received for the  Atlas Mountains. I used a different technique than usual to reflect the arid and rugged environment of these mountains.  I painted the colors of the palette on a group of heart charms that had been stained.  I did not do a final glaze coat which is how I achieved this very clay like, arid look.  I think they came out better than I even expected they could.

Heart charms reflecting the Atlas Mountains palette

I used a decorative chain from Miss Ficklemedia for the base of a bracelet for these charms.

Bracelet with Atlas Mountain Heart Charms

Closeup of the bracelet links and some of the heart charms

I have totally enjoyed this Challenge of Color.  I have lived with these photos for many days now and they have enriched my sense of color.  I am so grateful to Erin and Brandi for making all of this possible. 
And to you my readers, thank you for taking the time to look.  I hope all these colors have enriched  and inspired you as well.

Below is a list of all the participants in this blog hop.  I hope you will give them a visit.  I am sure you will be awed by what they have created. 

Erin Prais-Hintz
Rebecca Anderson
Kris Auderer
Chrizette Bayman
Lori Bowring Michaud
Courtney Breul
Lynsey Brooks
Stephanie Buss
Iveth Caruso
Shannon Chomanczuk
Lisa Cone
Cece Cormier
Lori Dorrington
Dawn Doucette
Jeannie Dukic
Kim Dworak
Beth Emery
Janice Everett
Pam Farren
Donetta Farrington
Gloria Ferrer
Cherrie Fick
Therese Frank
Patty Gasparino
Tanya Goodwin
Ambra Gostoli
Jess Green
Denielle Hagerman
Mary Harding
Karla Hartzog
Kim Hora
Brandi Hussey
Emanda Johnson
Jennifer Justman
Sue Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Lee Koopman
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Cynthia Machata
Alicia Marinache
Beth McCord
Mary K McGraw
Karen Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell-Reed
Aimee Moisa
Karla Morgan
Penny Neville
Becky Pancake
Kashmira Patel
Alice Peterson
Kayla Potega
Debbie Price
Bobbie Rafferty
Caron Reid
Nicole Rennell
Cynthia Riggs
Andrea Ross
Sally Russick
Annie Scherz
Pam Sears
Renetha Stanziano
Sandra Stein
Kristen Stevens
Tracy Stillman
Sherri Stokey
Lola Survillo
Kay Thomerson
Jo Tinley
Emma Todd
Cory Tompkins
Pam Traub
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Tucker
Shelley Graham Turner
Monique Urquhart
Rachel Van-Walsk
Patti Vanderbloemen
Lesley Watt
Lynn White
Joan Williams

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Last Day Cyber Sale New Listings

Handmade ceramic toggle clasp by Mary Harding

This is the very last day of my Cyber Sale.  You can get 25% off all the pieces in my Etsy shop by using the coupon code Cyber25 at checkout.  I have added all of these pieces this morning.  

Pine Needle Toggle Clasp Wrist Wrap Style in my Etsy Shop

Rust red and Lime Green Toggle Clasp in my Etsy shop

Fir Tree Charms in Sets of 2  --5 sets available  Etsy shop

Thanks so much for all your support and interest in my work.

Raku Bead Video Part III