Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Celebration of Ceramic Clay

'Ceramic Bead Collection' by MarshaNealStudio

Here are a bunch of handmade ceramic beads (Earthenware, Stoneware, Porcelain) that are finished in a variety of ways: all unique to their creator. Want to learn more about ceramic beads:

Pendant Maple Leaf Seed Pods...

Lentil Shape Hollow Focal Be...

Petite Crystal Heart Bead Se...

Pastel Teal Hearts Ceramic B...

Hand sculpted ceramic bird f...

Blossom- handmade aqua and o...

Handmade Ceramic Green Flora...

Porcelain Baby Bunny Amber w...

Word Bead: your word, custo...

Handmade porcelain hare Cabo...

Porcelain Oasis Blue Dragonf...

Blue Green White Face Barn O...

Handmade Porcelain Cabochon

Pink Porcelain Rose Charm

Clouds.... handmade ceramic ...

Ceramic charm pair tree of l...

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Beautiful works of art handmade from ceramic clay which has been fired to high temperatures in a ceramic kiln. Beauties to behold. I am honored to be among them.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bead Table Wednesday

   Free Form Peyote Stitch Bracelet on my bead table this week.

I was happy to learn that Heather Powers is starting up her Bead Table Wednesday posts.  I was part of it when she did it before.  I really enjoyed it and met lots of cool beaders as well.

My bead table has several locations.  This one is in the house.  My others are in my studio which is located in our 1850's renovated barn.
Here I am working on a free form peyote stitch bracelet.  I chose the bead colors before I found this ceramic clay focal in my handmade beads stash.  I made this bead last year out of porcelain ceramic clay which I fired in my kiln to cone 5 which is about 2200 degrees F.  It takes that  much heat to mature (harden and seal)  this mid range porcelain clay.  I love the glassy glossy feel of this focal and the wonderful range of blue colors and how it enhances the seed beads in the bracelet.  Hopefully by next week it will be much further along.  See you then.

You too can participate in Bead Table Wednesday.  Just check out Heather Powers' blog post and see how you can play along.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Saying Goodbye to a Wonderful Online Class:Homesteader's Metalsmithing: Revamped

pieces made during Stephanie Lee's  Homesteader's Metalsmithing: Revamped online class

For the past 4 weeks I have been in soldering heaven with Stephanie Lee's online class Homesteader's Metalsmithing: Revamped.  Tomorrow it will be over.  Sigh.  But wait, the class comes with an ebook of all the videos and written material and the questions we asked during class with our instructor, Stephanie Lee's answers.  So really, I just have to deal with the downtime between the end of the class and the mailing of the ebook.  But, actually an online class is more than just the lessons, it is the sharing of info and pics with the other students in the class.  Although we share on the internet, it feels as if we are all together in the same boat, posting our struggles and triumphs through pics in a Facebook Group. So I will miss that too!!  But guess what I just found out she will be leaving our Facebook Group active indefinitely.  What good news that is!!
New info.  I just learned that the class videos and instruction will continue to be available on the site until the ebooks comes to  us and that new folks can still take the course and will get the videos and everything else!!  So if you are interested in taking this class, registration will continue until the ebook becomes available .  Once the ebook is available that will be the way for new students to take the class.
Today I am sharing my favorite accomplishments from the class as a way of finding closure to a very stimulating and fun time.
The picture at the top of the page is just about everything I made during the 4 weeks of class.  Lots of learning curve pics with mediocre results.  But it's a class so no reason to feel inhibited.  We are all learning together.  That is also part of the fun.  That negative self critic has no grist in this mill.  One of my most favorite pics I did not post because I made it as part of a piece for the Andrew Thornton's  Inspired by  Reading Book Club and that reveal has been postponed until March.
But my next favorite is this one:
                     Lake Erie beach glass:  wrapping found objects that don't have holes

Bezel with one of my ceramic cabochons:  I made a very thin one to try out on this shallow cup bezel ( from Objects and Elements ( the bezel) )

Copper beads:  I had made these before the class but I tried out the soldering techniques I learned on them.  I like them even more now

Several solder techniques:  flooding; stamping; attaching a bail


My favorite stamping that I made during class.  I used African Bronze and Rust Guilders Paste to color it.  It seems to keep on aging.

Soldered link chain, Stephanie Lee style.  I loved making this and plan to do more

This is my own idea using what I learned.  A toggle clasp.  Still have to drill the stringing hole.

Stephanie Lee  thank you so much for such an upbeat and informative class.  I have had your book since it came out 8 years ago, and missed your first Homesteader's Metalsmithing class.  So I am so happy I finally got to participate in your class bringing all these exciting techniques together. You are a superb and very generous teacher!! Your videos are excellent.  Your inspiration: sublime!!!

Raku Bead Video Part III