A (somewhat) daily rambling on the life of a polymer Clay metal clay and Fused Glass artist/teacher/author.

Very soon my blog will move to my website...as soon as it is done that is. This blog will be my Theatrical life of directing The Secret Garden

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vacation time to dance about...

So, okay, I get Cynthia Tinapple's blog every day. Today she had the greatist utube vidio ..... Really great.

I am posting the link here because it just made my day and I want to tap back into it whenever possible. What is really cool is that I've been to some of these places and it brings back wonderful memories. Such as another place in Ireland, Ross Castle at Lake Kilarney..... below.

We are heading off to Southern Europe this coming November and I hope to post some images when we get back.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hard Metal History

Every now and then I love to go back and look at my metalsmithing work. Usually it is only in images... most of the work sold. Okay, okay... I kept my favorites. Now that I am not in the corporate/business world, I don't need as much jewelry as before. I can go days in my studio without wearing a bit of baubles ~ or bling.

After eleven + strenuous years as a goldsmith in our gallery I reached a burn out stage. Now all I create with is metal clay, polymer clay, fused glass and graphics.

A Metal clay friend suggested that I join technorati and make connections with my blog. So I need to add some stuff for the connection.
Technorati Profile
Add to Technorati Favorites
So now that this has been done....

The above suite is a multi level work. The base is sterling silver with an oval tubing that supports the 18 karat gold bent metal bezel. The Stones are drusey chrysocholla and I inset diamond set with 14 karat gold bezels. This was a challenge and I enjoyed every minute of it. The pendant has a pin back on it too so I can wear it on a suit lapel or on my neck with a lot of skin.

Must be off to get some organization done in the studio. I am going to donate a lot of stone beads to the M.O.R.E. workshop. I do not do as much beading anymore and I'd like them to go and help the developmentally challenged adults find some more joy in creating.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jewel Carnival Blog - My favorite Hand Tool

While thinking about today's blog and what tool is my favorite, I thought about the new one that I just made. I was bouncing back and forth between the chasing hammer, the hammer hand piece for my Fordom, small escapement files, plastic sheet roller or the ever wonderful slats by Pam East. Several months ago someone on our metal clay gallery asked about a finger brush. My mind went wild with the possibilities.

So, about a month ago I started buying pieces and parts, making early prototypes and starting all over anew. I spent just about a day thinking about the engineering, the wear ability, the functionality and the look of this item. Two days ago it all came together. I pulled out the brushes I was to decimate, the polymer and the holders and started the process.

That said, I did make prototypes and sold them to my students in June. They were very functional, but not artistic. The reason I hadn't put it out there that I was making them was because I wanted to make sure they held up, looked kinda cool and needed to start the patent process.

Patent process.... hey it was my wonderful husband's idea. He wants to mass produce them. I am not sure about that. I am selling them now for $7.50 plus Shipping and handling. Only have a few made... not sure I want to spend my free time building these things. But.... there is always a need for a new widget.

(click on images for a better view)

You can see that I just got sick and tired of filing the metal clay, putting the file down, picking up my dry brush - then brushing the valuable metal clay sandings off of the work, setting down the dry brush (always facing the wrong way too) and then picking up my file and starting all over again.

I made them one size fits all. After you read the following blogs from our JewelCarnival Bloggers, click here for more information on the FingerBrushes. Patent Pending.

Kirsten Skiles
Angela Crispin ---- scroll down for the english version
Tamra Gentry
Chris Parry
Lorrene Davis
Marco Fleseri

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Cane: Victorian Autumn New tool: to be made

So, while I was getting ready for sending some photos and work to this Portland,OR gallery, I got the itch to create a new cane. I love the fall colors of turquoise, adobe and pale sand and decided to use those hues in clay. Instead of just sending images of what I have to the gallery (wouldn't that have been easier?) I was aching to make something new. Do any of you get achy inside when you haven't created lately? Well, I was near to tears, it had been so long. So - okay.....

My husband, Phil, has been after me, no - nagging, to make my large bead neckpieces. Every one I have made to sell has sold. And, well, you know the guys ($$$$). He even offered to make the base round beads for me. Yikes! Can I turn THAT down? No. So, while he was using those great plastic bead making tools I sat down and drew out the cane.

Now, it is one thing to draw the cane and another to make it. Hah. We all know that so well. He must have looked over at me a hundred times and all he saw was moi staring at a sketch. The trooper he is ~ he said not a word. This time I wanted to 'engineer' it. Same size beads (large & small), same size cane slices and, of course, the same size base bead. They came out very close.

I decided that I needed a new tool. I will make one sometime this week. The process I used on this cane worked... fairly well. But, the technique I developed needs a permanent tool to grab at a moments notice.

Oh, and I developed a new tool for metal clay too. That will be on the JewelCarnivalBlog here tomorrow. Up to ten jewelry/metalsmiths blog once a month on a universal theme. Tomorrow's is "my favorite hand tool". We have other blogs here for May and June if you want to scroll down. You can click on a link to see what they have written about on the same topic du jour.

So, back to the neckpiece. I'm gonna have to sell it for a bazillion bucks. Not only did the cane take a bit o'time, but the small polymer beads that give the elements a quilted look took time-ola. Then the small tools I found in my metalsmithing grab bag were perfect for adding very small textures. Oh, my.... this might be the only one I make. Each 'leaf' was hand stamped with a very small ... I mean VERY small phillips screwdriver bit.

But, hey... I am pleased with the results. I have two images. The second is a close up for the texture and to show the clasp and earring. I like to make my large beaded neckpieces without a noticeable clasp. .... that is just me. The beads are somewhat close to a 50 cent piece in diameter.
(Click on right image to enlarge)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Home improvement vs creativity


I am having a tug of war situation. My son is finishing off our back patio and I have work to finish to send off to a Portland, OR gallery for jurying.....

So, yours truly has been out moving my planting station and spending HOURS and HOURS in Home Depot. No one can fathom how jazzed I am at both prospects. This is incredible... I have been bugging my DH for four years now. What I had to do was save my art/teaching money and a small inheritance to pay for the project myself. Do I mind? Nah! It is getting done.

I have been in a polymer phase the past few days, not only because I love it but, I want to send some of it to the Gallery in Portland. I was wearing this polymer DecoBox and one of the staff was impressed enough to get me an application. This is timely too... they only jury in new work four times a year and July is one of them.

So, with everything going on my blogging has suffered....my buddy in N.Y., DebbY has been hinting... love her.

This Friday is our Jewel Carnival time again. I will be writing on my favorite hand tool. Actually it is my newest favorite hand tool.... I developed it myself. So, if anyone is out there, come back on Friday the 11th to see it and read about it.