Monday, May 31, 2010

Updating going on

All of these fun etched copper pieces are making their way into the Extra shop at this very moment! It's such a good batch, I need to make myself some one of these days. :)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hello, etched copper washers

Where have you been all my life?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Swimming in soup

I am participating in the second incarnation of the now famous Bead Soup Party that was started by Lori Anderson at the beginning of the year. This time around I have been paired with Mel Poxon of Kookie Designs. Lucky me! Just look at all the of the gorgeous beads that she sent me!

Almost all of them are lampwork glass beads made by a variety of amazing artists, along with some colored pearls and silver components (including a PMC bead that Mel made herself!). My jaw dropped when I opened the box!

The only problem now is trying to decide what to make. I have so many ideas floating around my brain and they are all screaming "pick me! pick me!"

Friday, May 28, 2010

Color and texture...

...make me very happy.

And so does a killer day in the studio. And that's what I had today. It was KILLER! Killer, I tell you! Creativity was flowing like hot lava. It was cool. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Updatin' me shops

I have just updated the Extra shop with all of these goodies. Well, almost all of them. I kind of pooped out after a while so a few of them will have to wait.

I have also been listing some killer earrings in my jewelry shop over the past few days and just had to share them with you. They are a colorful bunch, for sure!

A truly amazing glaze!!! It's just one glaze - does this all on it's own - the clever boots! Modern Asymmetrical Rectangles in Pistachio.

This pair has begun to crackle since I photographed them. This glaze tends to do that. Sometimes it crackles, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it crackles days or even weeks later. No matter what, it looks gorgeous! Radiant Flower in Deep Turquoise.

Feeding the addiction

A few weeks ago I attended the National Button Society's NY state show that, for some reason, is held right here in my little upstate NY town every year. Lucky me! Those who have followed this blog long enough are well aware of my obsession with antique buttons (or antique anything, for that matter). I look at them as miniature works of art, perfect sculptures, that represent the aesthetic flavor of a particular era. And nothing thrills me more than to see these designs reinterpreted in porcelain; preserved for new generations to enjoy and cherish.

Of course I have already made molds of them.... I think I may enjoy doing that just as much as making the final pieces. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Here fishy fishy

I made some really big fishing lures today. They also happen (totally by coincidence!) to double as necklaces.

I made a round one.

And an oval one.

And now I have a bad case of Jump Ring Finger.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Building a necklace

Several months ago I chose a bunch of new components from to review as part of my blogging partnership with them. Yesterday I was finally able to sit down and finish the necklace I started way back then. How the heck does time pass by so quickly?

For this piece I chose a beautiful porcelain butterfly wing bead as my focal. I thought it would be fun to combine it with my own porcelain pieces and see if I could make it work harmoniously. I like the result quite a bit! At first I was focused on the whole butterfly theme and then I decided to just scrap that idea and not pay attention to the butterfly at all. I just focused on the colors and the structure of the wing design and then I was much happier.

I used mother-of-pearl rings and some Czech glass beads along with copper wire to create a sort of celled structure. I did something like this a while ago and have always wanted to explore this idea a little more. The celled structure of the butterfly wing gave me just enough inspiration to give it a go.

I chose this beautiful silk ribbon to tie the whole piece together. Typically I am not a huge fan of using ribbon in my work. I know, sounds weird, especially since I do love how it looks. But for me it is more a matter of longevity. The historian side of me tends to wonder where my pieces will be 100 years from now and this ribbon doesn't really work into that equation. At least in a functional, durable kind of way. However, I'm living in this moment and I am quite happy with the ribbon on this piece. It provides a nice splash of color that ties the piece together and also gives a softer edge to what could potentially be a rather ridged necklace.

Disclaimer: I was sent these components free of charge to honestly review. I was not paid to do this.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend wood-firing

I spent the past weekend attending a wood-fire workshop at fellow guild member and friend Bill Perrine's house. Bill is what you would call a real wood firing fanatic. He loves his kiln (he built it himself), he loves the whole process, the chemistry, the science of it all, the wood, the smoke, the ash.... he get's rather giddy about the whole thing and his enthusiasm is quite contagious.

Every one had a chance to glaze some pieces for the firing. The photo above shows some people applying wadding to the bottom of the pots. This is a necessary step to prevent the pots from fusing to the kiln shelves.

Above is Bill talking lovingly about his pyrometric cones. ;) Cones are used in firing to indicate how much heat-energy the pots in the kiln have absorbed. They are placed in several different places throughout the kiln and can be observed during the firing. The temperature throughout the kiln can vary quite a bit so the cones can let you know just where things are at in the front or the back of the kiln.

And here is Bill feeding the fire.

And feeding the fire some more... it's a big job, this wood-firing business. And I was pretty slackery in helping out... so..... I spent most of my time hanging out inside with Bill's wife, MaryAnn. Many of you probably know her as macarroll on Etsy. She is a clay bead-maker. I will blame her for the fact that I didn't help out much with the wood-firing. I mean, get two bead-freak people together and nothing else really matters, right? Below are some of the beads that came out of her latest firing. Gorgeous, aren't they?!

And here we are! I had so much fun with MaryAnn (and her pack of goofy dogs) and I look forward to hanging out again.

Be sure to check out Bill's blog to enter his giveaway for a mug or a yunomi, and his Etsy shop for his wonderful pottery (Trust me, this is good stuff. I drink out of one of his mugs every day!). And also check out MaryAnn's blog and shop for all of her amazing beads. Thanks to both for a super fun weekend!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Facets in a beady way

Forgive my absence from bloggy land. I did a show last weekend that wiped me out both physically and inventorily (new word!). I've been spending all week trying to get caught up; with sleep and new pieces.

These beads are among some of my new goodies. I came up with an idea for a necklace a few weeks ago and sat right down to flesh out the idea. These beads are the result and I couldn't be happier with them! They are big and chunky and feel wonderful in the hand (and they make the most delicious sound when rattled around). I'm going to try to make the necklace I had envisioned later today, so I will share that with you when it's done.

I'm not really a bead maker, per se. Not in the sense of making a round(ish) object and putting a hole through the center. It might seem like it's not far off from what I usually do, but to me it feels very different. As I sat there poking holes through each bead I thought how crazy all my bead maker friends must be. ;) Anyway, each bead is individually hand-carved so no two are alike. I wanted them to look like strange little faceted gems.

I'm not sure if I will be making these beads to sell in the Extra shop just yet. They are very time consuming to make so I need to have a big block of time to sit down and focus on them. Let me know if any of you beady people would be interested in them and if there is enough demand I will do my best to get some in the shop within the next several weeks. :)