Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Inspired by Reading Book Club The Cookbook Collector Blog Hop

This month for Andrew Thornton's  Inspired by Reading Book Club we read The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman.  I really like this book. It is well written, and has a great story to tell.  And of course I liked all the tech details and the old books.  A perfect combination for my reading taste.
When it came to thinking about what I would make, I knew I wanted to make some peach beads.  There is a spectacular scene/section in the book about a peach. I won't tell more so as to be sure you also enjoy it when you read the book.  Once I began planning to make the peach beads, I noticed that the cover of the book had a picture of peaches on it.  Funny that I hadn't seen that before.  Since making peach beads is a new experience for me, I bought some peaches and took a very nice one to my studio. 

A real peach

I studied it carefully to see what makes a peach look like a peach.  By the time I got the beads made, sponged and bisque fired, it was time to replace the over ripe  peach in my studio with another one to help me figure out the colors I would need to glaze my beads.  It is surprising to me that I used so many different colors: red of course, yellow, orange, brown, and blue.  All those colors turned into this handful of peach beads.  Since they are made of porcelain clay they were fired to over 2200 degrees F.  I was so excited that the colors came true.
Handmade porcelain ceramic peach beads by Mary Harding

My second inspiration came from Andrew, our group leader.  He posted a picture of a computer motherboard to our Pinterest Boards  and that gave me the idea to use some techno pieces in my necklace.  I immediately looked up my Art Walk Etsy Team friend Patricia Johonson's  Etsy shop and found just what I needed.

There were quite a few of these in my order of Techno Trash from Patricia L Johnson GlassArt on Etsy

These little guys needed some altering to make them into beads.  I clipped off the tops and re-wrapped the copper wire and carefully pulled it through the middle of the piece so that it would not surface and be sharp. Then I wire wrapped them with lots of wire since the  "holes" are not round but little rectangular slots.

Techno trash from PLJohnsonGlassArt  Etsy shop

For the pendant, I made a soldered bezel and filled it with electronic resistors from PLJohnsonGlass Art and then covered them with resin which magnified and intensified their color.  

Recycled Electronic Supply. Computer Scrap. Techno Trash Art Supply. Rust Tan Orange mix. RRCD-1
Electronic resistors, capacitors and diodes from PLJohnson GlassArt on Etsy

I hung some additional resistors on the bottom of the pendant.  To me these resistors under resin look like some kind of text.  The copper wire spools look like scrolls:  all references to written language and ancient texts which the cookbook collector  and book collecting in general bring to mind.  

Close up of pendant.  The light at the end of the dangle is a nod to Diogenes who carried a lantern around in daylight looking for an honest person and a reference to the theme in the story of the characters looking for their authentic selves.

This is a full photo of the necklace which is quite long.  No clasp.  Prayer or mendicant style.

a closer look at some of the necklace elements

I had a wonderful time bringing all of these techniques, alterations, and creations together to make a necklace.  For me this book club is such a rewarding experience because I am introduced to new reads, and get a chance to experiment with new techniques and bring them all together into a piece of jewelry.  Andrew this is such a brilliant idea that just keeps on inspiring.  Thanks so much for organizing and hosting this book club.

Please join in on this blog hop and visit the other participants.  Thank you so much for stopping by.

Mary Harding  you are here

Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Amy Roadman, Terri Greenwalt, and Connie Parsons

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Texture Focus on Life

Copper headpins on 20 gauge copper wire

This week our prompt from Sally Russick for the Focus on Life One Week at a Time is TEXTURE.
I have been so busy for the last weeks keeping up with the weeding in our veggie garden due to all the rain we have been getting and  preparing for two jewelry making classes that I am teaching later this month that I have not posted for awhile.  But this week the texture prompt fit right in with what I was doing, making balled end head pins for one of the classes.

I thought I would contrast two different metals and illustrate the different textures they create when heated into a ball with a torch.  The first picture is of copper headpins.  They often make a kind of shriveled up ball which I really like.  In order for mine to get them red like many in the pic I have to be patient and let the ball fully form and them I pop it into cold water.  When I hear the sound of the hot metal hitting the water I know that it will be red.  I love that red color.

Over the winter I read a blog post by Silver Maple Designs by Andrea discussing the merits of Argentum silver wire.  When the price of silver went down I purchased some.  The headpins below were one of my first tries.  It balls up very quickly and is SO smooth. Thank you so much for showing me the way with Argentum silver, Andrea.   I love these headpins.  BTW if you do not know Andrea you can see her blog here.  I love the jewelry she designs!!!

Argentum silver balled end headpins

I hope you will take a look at what the others have photographed for texture this week.  You can get all of the links HERE

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy 4th of July

                                                              A Celebration
                                 Happy 4th of July!!!

Raku Bead Video Part III