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.

Raku Bead Video Part III