Sunday, January 30, 2011

New necklace... hoarders edition

I love the fact that I keep everything I have ever made/had any contact with in any way. Yes, some might call it hoarding. I call it being prepared for any given situation. If it weren't for my "serial collecting" ways this necklace might never had happened.

You see, I made the two focal porcelain pieces about three or four years ago. I loved how the glaze came out but didn't have any fabulous ideas for the pieces at that moment so I hoarded them away in my special drawer full of other pieces I made a million years ago. Some day I may use them all! Or... they will continue to live happily in my drawer until the event of my death when some poor unsuspecting family member discovers (what will surely make a great documentary film some day) my not so secret piles of precious bits and baubles. I remember my grandmother once expressing concern over what people would find once she passed away. I've moved beyond concern into pity...

Anyhoo, on to the necklace! There's all kinds of things going on in this piece! I started the whole piece by attaching a lovely shard of mother-of-pearl to the porcelain using my new favorite Memeory Thread wire.

Then I wrapped two copper ring links with the same ivory Memory Thread. The toggle is a metal button that I found in NYC last week and it works great as a closure.

The rest of the necklace is comprised of pearl and mother-of-pearl (the rest of Pearl's family refused to participate... snobs), white turquoise, dyed jasper (or agate, can't remember) and bone. I made it to fit rather short, almost a choker length. Might have to hang on to this one for a while. I like it a lot. :)

A bunny named Wren

We have a new bunny in the house! Her name is Wren and she is a year old Harlequin Rex. She belonged to a friend who is going through some tough times so I offered to take Wren in and spoil her as I do all bunnies. :) She seems to be settling in quite nicely and has been playing non-stop since she arrived yesterday. She's a big girl, the biggest bunny I have ever had. Her ears are gigantic and I am convinced that she can hear the sound of her treat bag opening a mile away.

My hope is to one day be able to bond her with Emma who is upstairs by herself. Since Petey passed away Laurel and Finch have developed a friendship that is truly adorable to watch, though I don't leave them alone for even a second. Laurel is still very aggressive, but seems to be getting better. They still miss Petey, as do I. I think of him every day and still can't believe that he is gone.

Anyhoo, here is a video of Wren playing in her blanket. If you have ever wondered what a bunny does when it plays here is a good example. Can you imagine keeping this gorgeous rabbit in a cage? Or any rabbit, for that matter? I can't.



Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

EXTRA Shop Preview - Update Tomorrow!

I'm pretty pleased with this latest batch of goodies. I tried out some new glazes and a few different techniques and for the most part they came out pretty cool. A few didn't make the cut, but that was to be expected. The main problem I have is the fact that I can't figure out what is what. Which glaze is which.... one of these days I will write things down and stop fooling myself into thinking that I will be able to tell once it is fired. So wrong, I am. (said in my best Yoda voice)

Anyhoo, the Extra shop update will be tomorrow around 1:00 pm EST. I wasn't able to get all of my photos done today so I have to give myself a little more time in the morning to get ready. But I digress... First up is this fun group of dark stoneware pendants (above). They are chunky and have a bold geometric pattern stamped in them. I really like them.

I made one piece like these a long time ago and have been meaning to make more. So here they are! They might not seem that exciting, but they are. Really!

See?! They are made to slide ribbon through! Of course you could use them in any way you see fit, but this is what I had in mind when I made them. Porcelain buckles. Love them!

And this is a round version of the buckle. They look like giant buttons with giant holes and you could certainly use them that way if you wanted.

Or you could slide a ribbon or leather through the holes and party like it's 1999. Woo-hoo!

This week's shard collection is very bullseye-ish. Some have one hole, some have two. All are very cool. :)

Here is a little assortment of textured stoneware pieces. I particularly like the football shaped pendants with the askew holes. They will hang at a jaunty angle.

These are tiny little pansy charms. Very cute and dainty. I think I will put these in multicolored sets of three.

These shells are little big to be called charms so I guess I will go with pendants. Small pendants.

I just love these pieces! They have three holes, one at the point and two at the other end, which allow for them to be used in several ways. The pattern is raised and really defined on some of them. They are just so pretty!

This is a fun assortment of round pendants/connectors. They are larger in size and some have many holes for many design options. All are very textural and took the glazes nicely.

Lastly I have this group of dark stoneware "things." I'm not really sure what to call them. I guess some could be considered beads and the ones with the holes are for separating multiple stands.

Here they are grouped together by color. It's an odd group, I will admit, and I have a lot more of them that I didn't get glazed this time around. I like how the colors pop against the darker clay - very earthy and raw. Not my comfort zone, for sure, but I need to do this to myself now and then. Silly, I know. I'm a freak. :)

The update in the EXTRA shop will be at 1:00 pm EST tomorrow, Friday. Hope to see you all there!

Recovering

As many of you know I took a quick trip to NYC last weekend with a group of crazy bead-loving friends. We shopped like it was our job.

Tinsel Trading Co. was our first stop and I am still spinning from the visual feast.

This is the back of their dress form window display.

I wanted to take all of these mannequins home with me.

Especially this one....

Group photo op with a big mirror.

Walking to dinner... stopping to take in the view of the Chrysler Building.

A wonderful meal with great friends..... (that is Lisa Peters Russ with us! My new BFF!)

This is a display in Anthropologie. It has to be my most favorite display EVER!!

I mean, look at it!

Bunny candle stick holders. I wanted a whole army of these...

Pretty lights in our hotel lobby.

I just accidentally deleted my last photo which was a face-down shot taken in the hotel lobby and I am feeling far too lazy to fix it... so, I'll post it later.
Since I've been home I have been feeling a bit run down. Very little energy. And yet I had to jump immediately back into work. I spent all day Tuesday glazing and today I get to open up the kiln and see what kind of pieces I have to offer tomorrow. I played around with several new glazes and glazing techniques so I am really keeping my fingers crossed that they came out lovely and not not-lovely. I'll try to put up a preview later today. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Studio time

I spent all day at the studio today getting my next batch of pieces ready to bisque fire. I even made several dozen more pieces after these were all sanded. I was feeling THAT ambitious.

My goal is to have a Friday, January 28th, Extra shop update, as long as I get all my glazing done on Tuesday. I'll try to post preview photos on Thursday as soon as I take them out of the kiln.

And here is a parting photo of forlorn doggy, Nebu. She gets very sad when Maryanne leaves the studio and whimpers and whines like a big furry baby. I had to give her two treats after she looked at me with such sadness in her eyes. Then I realized that this is her normal "give me treats" face. And then I realized that this is her normal FACE face.

Dogs have that whole pathetic-me-shower-me-with-treats thing down to a science.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seeing the clay & and a sneak peek..

I have finally put several pairs of Valentine-ish earrings in my Big Cartel shop. I started these pieces a few weeks ago, you may recall, and just today I made the ear wires. And.... I love them.

There is something so pleasing about unglazed porcelain. Perhaps it is the potter in me, but I know I am not alone when I say that I have dumped more than a few cups of coffee on myself after turning someone's pottery cup over to see 1. who made it and 2. what kind of clay and firing methods were used. I like to see the clay.

From time to time I am asked "why don't you glaze the back of your pieces?" The answer is simple. I want to see the clay. For me, that is part of the experience of buying/wearing/using ceramic jewelry/components. Just as I look at the bottom of a cup to see what it is made of, I want to see that history in my pieces as well.

I really love these little heart earrings. Very simple yet elegant. I made them in two different styles; a hook ear wire and a hoop, which I oxidized to a nice dark gray finish. The matte black you see is a stain that I rubbed in and then wiped off to give it that wonderful antique look that I like so much.

They can be found here.


In other news... I have been playing around with my new riveting ribbon technique that all started with this piece. On this piece I am using a beautiful 3" wide ribbon. I'm really enjoying "sculpting" the ribbon; coaxing it to bend and fold the way I want it to. It's part dressmaking, part jewelry making. I can't wait to see how it comes out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Face-down Tuesday - 1.18.11

The weather kept me from going to the studio today so I had to take my face-down shot at home. This is now my favorite FD shot yet! Not because I have dared to show the world one of the many cluttered corners of my house (this is actually the LEAST cluttered room in my house..... yes, I know...), but because my sweet little bunny, Emma, decided to show up at the top of the stairs. I set my camera timer to take three shots and two of them captured this little fat bunny looking at me. I just love that little furry thing! :)

Click on the photo to see Emma a little better.
And for those who have no idea why I photograph myself face-down on Tuesdays... Check out the Flickr group to see more crazy people. :)


Thursday, January 13, 2011

EXTRA Shop Preview - Update Tomorrow!

I got everything done, whew! And I am very pleased with all of it. Yay! So, that means that tomorrow, Friday, at noon Eastern Standard Time, I will do an Extra shop update.

Above are all of the limited edition dragonflies that I am offering this time around. They have been one of signature pieces in my own jewelry for several years and now I am giving you a chance to have one. There are 20 of them and this is the only time I will ever be offering these pieces so.... ya know...

As you can see I glazed many different colors. There is certainly something that will appeal to everyone. I personally love this purple one. :)

These are wonderful large connectors/pendants. They are made to use vertically. Very modern and simple, but bold, don't you think?

This is my idea of a Valentines component. It's a large circle (about 2" in diameter) with little hearts cut out all the way around. It's a very versatile piece - you can attach a chain, cord, or whatever you want in any number of ways. As always, more holes means more fun!

This batch of shards features a sweet little flower design. And something new for the shards: some of them have two holes so that you can use them as a connector (bracelet, maybe...)or dangle something from the bottom. Yay!

Here is a fun little batch of buttons! Not one to waste clay, I used the ovals I cut out for the large oval connector pieces, flattened them a little and put two holes in. Waste not, want not, I always say...

And here are some more hearts. These have a funky texture going on. Very zig zaggy.

I need some feedback on this last group of pieces. As you can see they are made up of broken dragonfly pieces. I made extras just in case some broke when I was sanding them, as I knew they would since these pieces are sooooo fragile before they are bisque fired. However, I really like the broken pieces so I continued to finish them and thought they might be pretty cool as wing fragments. What do you think? Should I list them in the Extra shop? Does anyone else find them as interesting as I do?

So that is the preview! I will begin listing at noon, my time, tomorrow in my EXTRA shop. Click here! Just so there is no confusion, this is my Big Cartel shop. I am no longer selling components on Etsy. My apologies to anyone who was waiting over at that shop last time. If you would like to see things as I list them please join me over on Facebook. I don't think you have to have an account to see my business page, though I may be wrong, so come on over! :)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Can we talk about food for a moment?

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(Photos by ixeniya)

The other day while cruising around on Flickr I came across these photos from one of my contacts. As some of you know I have been doing a cleanse since the first of the year. I've been eating veggies and fruit. Fruit and veggies. An occasional egg. More veggies and fruit...

It is safe to say that I am more than little tired of veggies and fruit. I feel fantastic, however, so it has been well worth it. My energy is through the roof and all my usual food allergy problems have gone away. BUT, I want chicken in the worst way. So, at this very moment I have a whole chicken slow cooking away in my new crock pot AND I have rosemary bread baking in my bread machine. The smell in my house is MAKING ME CRAZY. I am drooling (seriously) as I wait for the chicken to be done (30 more minutes!!!!).

Back to the above photos. It was love at first sight. I mean.... a bread "boat" filled with some sort of crumbly cheese topped with an EGG!!! Holy crap, I need to know how to make this!!! (I am fairly certain that everything tastes better with an egg placed on top and I actually seek out foods that have eggs on top. I've been thinking about starting a support group for other "Eggs on Top" enthusiasts but I fear I might be the only member.) Anyhoo, I asked the woman who made this creation what it is called and she replied "
Ajarian khachapuri." It's a Georgian dish. I will make this soon. I must.

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OK, I had to stop and eat and let me tell you.... the chicken and the bread were awesome. Just what I needed. I found the chicken recipe on Cathie Filian's blog and it couldn't be any easier or delicious. Not only do you end up with a perfectly cooked, tender chicken but then you can make stock right in the same pot. Love that! The rosemary bread recipe came via my friends Ken and Don who found it here. I just ate half the loaf. It's that good.

Soooo, I'm done chatting about food. I got my fix and I feel satisfied. Time for tea, some snuggling with the bunnies and sleep, sleep, sleep. :)



Face-down Tuesday - a day late...

This was actually taken yesterday, so it is a true Face-down Tuesday photo. I'm just a little late getting it up here.

This was another self portrait so I had to set the camera on the hood of my car and run like mad to get in place. One thing I didn't anticipate was how slippery that little roof would be. I slid off right after the photo was taken.

BTW, all of those little garbage cans are used in Raku firing. Once the pots are removed from the kiln they are placed in a can which is filled with shredded paper or sawdust. The paper bursts into flames, lots of carbon is produced and magic things happen. :)