In case you were wondering wher I had been - I have been in the "glaze cave" as I afffectionately call the basement studio. I have been glazeing all day every day and firing the kiln daily as well. All in preparation for my first national bead show. Its a convention really. Beadfest, Heard of it? It is August 17-19 at the Greater Philly Expo Center (actually in King of Prussia). Classes, demos, book signings, and a huge retail sales area. Bead mecca. Bead porn.
And I will be there at #454 in Artisan's Alley.
A group of my fellow beaders/designers... and I decided to host a sale in all of our shops. Because there's nothing else going in my life this week, right? (wink, wink). Please take a look and support the artists in their endeavors if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
Melinda Orr ~ Melinda Orr Designs ~ 15% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL ~ Enter for the Leather Bracelet Kit Giveaway on the blog
Lorelei Eurto~ Lorelei Eurto Jewelry ~ 20% w/coupon code BEADYGIRL
Karen Totten ~ Starry Road Studio ~ 20% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL
Marsha Neal ~ Marsha Neal Studio ~ 10% off your entire purchase from my Etsy shop including the special SALE section that has items marked down 30% off.
(Marsha is my bead show guardian angel/consultant!)
Every listing purchased during this date from Marsha's Etsy shop will get entered into an additional drawing for a $25 Marsha Neal Studio Etsy Shop Gift Certificate (see her blog for extra info).
Staci Lousie ~ Staci Louise Originals ~ 20% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL
Etsy Components: http://www.etsy.com/SLArtisanAccents
Sue Kennedy ~ Sue Beads ~ 20% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL ( My BEADFEST neighbor!)
Lisa Peters ~ Lisa Peters Art ~ 20% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL (sorry not applicable for RING KITS)
Jenny Davies Reazor~ 20% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL
Mary Hubbard of White Clover kiln: coupon code BEADYGIRL
For me - the shop is sparse, I admit it, but its all been about Beadfest prep:
Hello and Welcome to the first Bead Soup Blog Party reveal! If you are here, you are most likely familiar with Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party ( or BSBP...) but if you just arrived from the far flung reaches of the Universe then here is a synopsis: 2 people, personally paired by Lori, exchange packages, beads aplenty. Head to the studio and make magic, whether it be ornate, simple, a new style, a challenge... Share your creations here. (For all the details, including the future Hop dates - Bead Soup Blog Party. )
My partner - what a nice way to 'meet' new people! - is Cassie Donlen. Cassie is a lampwork beadmaker, jewelry designer, and artist extraordinaire. Her work was new to me... was I out in the far flung reaches of the Universe? I love every thing she sent me, and she was so generous! Here is my loot:
( For what I sent Cassie - she has great pix on her blog. )
The first thing that popped into my head was "Exotic blossom".
I need to pause here, to build anticipation for the reveal and also to give you a bit of back story/inspiration. My Bead soup from Cassie got lost. There were a few tense days - and the Postal Service is NOT to blame. I sent her my address typed incorrectly. (The whole story is posted here in my first BSBP blog. ) Clearly I did retrieve my package. While some people would attribute this to luck, or coincidence - I think there is a message here. The Universe was shouting at me. The message you ask? Well its all tied in to the 'exotic blossom' ...
I kept the 2 main flower focals together, and added dangles. The stamped copper reads "Risk" and "Blossom" to remind me to move forward and push the boundaries. I hung the blossom on a link of chain, showcasing another of Cassie's lovely beads. The green and blue together, contrasted with the red...and the nature of the focal were all so visually appealing that I found myself designing a simple piece to accentuate the focal. I had planned to use the fab copper chain Cassie sent for this pendant, but I needed more red for balance. (Silk from Marsha Neal Studio). This is an amulet to me, and while I may add more charms - for right now it is complete.
The pendant wasn't the only creation... The first thing I did was this...
...using Cassie's clasp and focal bead. I admit - it was my favorite bead so it got singled out for deluxe treatment. Strung with copper and glass from the Soup, and paired with copper chain, and hand spun sari fiber. (You read that right. Its not ribbon. It was hand spun from recycled saris. YetiandYarndrygoods on Etsy) I am thrilled with this one, and plan to wear it often - whenever I am not in the Ceramics studio, that is...
On a final note - thanks to Lori and to Cassie for yet another fantastic BSBP experience! I appreciate all the time and effort went into organizing, and the creation of these beautiful beads. Each year I participate I am excited to have a chance to PLAY, to do something new and unusual, to be inspired, abe to experiment a bit. But enough of ME - you, my dear blog reader, have other treasure to view, creations to see!
Here is the link to the complete list of participants in today's reveal: Bead Soup Blog Party July Reveal. Have fun! And thanks for stopping by...
I was so horrified! To realize that because of clumbsy typing on my iPad I had sent my Bead Soup partner the wrong mailing address! After work I knocked on the door of #10. ( I live at #109...) The resident's Mom was dog sitting. And yes - there actualy was a package! ( My heart is racing! I could have hugged her!) So here to my relief - is my bag-o-treasure from the lovely and talented Cassie Donlen!
( If you are lost: here's the condensed version. Sign up, get a partner. Send them beady treasures, they reciprocate. Make something fab, test your comfort zone, play and experiement. Blog it, hop around, share the love. Its the Bead Soup Blog Party)
So many packages spilling out, bountious goodness on my kitchen counter! "Be a Bad Girl" I love it...
First there are the colorful beads of the soup itself...
Delicious copper chain! Spiral beads! And to think she has NOT met me - so perfect!
The lampwork - Cassie's own. What a magical mysterious flower, an exotic bloom...And a sweet clasp.
The lampwork glass beads in detail. I love the enamleed copper with the green polka dot drop/head pin.... They are going to have to remain together. I have a tendency to design pieces where "Less is more" and the details of the artists bead can really stand out. That means I have multiple pieces starting to take shape in my mind's eye.
I am so thrilled with what Cassie sent, and thank her for her calm patience while I tracked down my loot! She was sooo generous to me!
Her shop, you ask? Why yes - its here.
What did I send her? Her pix are better than mine.
We are part of Reveal #1 on July 28th. So stay tuned, its just over 2 weeks away!
You can find all the details and list of participants at Lori's site... our insanely organized hostess. Can you believe she matches us all with our partners individually?! And there are 399 participants over three reveals?!
Summer! It is here - no questioning that! Temperatures in the 90's here in Delaware have me dreaming of the ocean. Luckily all of DE is relatively close to the beach (as opposed to the shore in NJ) and headed there for a respite soon. The summer charms from Diana arrived ages ago - and a lovely lampwork from Jan as well! I confess, I finished this yesterday. I have been up to my elbows in clay, teaching sculpture and wheel throwing at Clay Camp - and found it hard to switch gears. But with such lovely ingredients in my mind's eye - I think I was designing this piece weeks ago in my head!
Here is the first pile of potential pairings. I knew I wanted to use my own ceramic mermaid pendant, how could I not? The colors in Jan's bead were so inviting! And the gorgeous paairing of sandy brown and celadon in Diana's - so my style! Here is: shell slice, mother of pearl, stick pearl, sea glass, river stone.
I wanted to bring more of the earthy sand color in - so Marsha Neal Studios silks to the rescue. I have a huge stash I sell with my pendants - so I am spoiled and have a color for every need!
Hmm. The pile of potential has changed. Abalone, amazonite, recycled bottle glass beads, copper green pearls, jasper... What jasper is that? THe dark teal-y one with drown matrix? You know the one I mean...
And here she is: "Denizen of the Deep". I ended up with pearl and kyanite as the dangle, abalone, amazonite, MOP, pearl, and that jasper as the gems strand.
I wanted the larger components on the right to be balanced visually, so the left side is a double strand of gems and matte olive seed beads. Here's a detail of the pendant and the SGD Team featured components:
The starfish, you say? Where is the starfish? I had to go rogue and do a companion piece. I wanted the starfish to get equal attention, so it is the focal on the matching bracelet ( silk, seed beads, and gems - as inteh necklace)
Hope this finds you cool and content - enjoying the best of summer and avoiding the worst. Have a cold beverage, some sushi, and channel your inner mermaid!
Please stop by my partners pages as well!
Diana Ptaszynski http://www.suburbangirlstudio.com/
Jenny Davies-Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Kristen Stevens http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com/
Jan Onipenco http://moltenmayhem.typepad.com/
Marla James http://marlasmudmoments.blogspot.com/
Sandra Basara Miller http://www.sandra5461.blogspot.com/
Michelle Buettner http://misheldesigns.blogspot.com/
When I taught full time - weekends and summers were my own. Now as a freelance artist and educator my schedule is quite the opposite. I teach a two week intensive Ceramics camp every summer - two sessions in fact. There is wheel throwing, sculpting, hi fire reduction and more for the "teens" ( the 10 and up crowd). For the little ones ( ages 6-9) there is a variety of hand building - both sculptural and functional pieces. Whatever I dream up for any given summer... Currently in week 2 - glazing week, I though I would show you what we had been up too...
Freshly cut from the wheel...
Symetry and asymetry are equally welcomed. Recycle in the back.
Emma is my oldest student this year, and she has graduated to porcelain. She is loving it!
Trimmed, carved, embellished... drying now.
All of those pots - 8 students, 4 days. (Class is 1.5 hrs each day.) I am pleased!
It started with a rabbit. And a pocketwatch. There are so many iconic images from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, but to me it all starts with the rabbit. Yes, I think caterpillars, vials of potions, cards, roses, tea parties and top hats, even flamingos and croquet. But I have a thing for rabbits...
(In case you just fell down the rabbit hole - you are currently on a Blog Hop. There was a challenge presented by Staci and Genea to create a piece inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Twas brillig - the idea, that is!)
This is the rabbit I pictured in my piece - a Japanese carved ivory netsuke ( as noted below) Its a full moon hare - myths of the moon hare abound in cultures across the world, between cultures and over time. But thats another story for another day. This story is a white rabbit... The round shape had me thinking of the gears IN a pocketwatch, and the face of a pocketwatch. Suddenly it was not a rabbit WITH a watch, but a rabbit IN a watch.
Ivory Manju Netsuke – Rabbit in full moon shape
Kyoto School, Circa 18th Century
The pocketwatch casing I decided to use - I have a few - was open on both sides. I wanted to be able to fill the space and keep the weight of the piece down. But I had to create a back that would be completely sealed as I planned to pour resin at the end stage. What you see here is a antique glass lens holding enameled gears & vintage gears embedded in resin and layered with paper. The sticker on the lens is original - I left it as it reminded me of the Mad Hatter's hat size stuck in the brim of his hat. I have fabricated copper wire into a prong setting - as the lens is too small to fit completely.
The polymer hares after baking, awaiting an acrylic stain to add the patina of time. ( The owls are for a mixed media piece inspired by the Greek Goddess Athena...)
The lens in place - epoxy putty as the bezel. It was a sticky mess, like sculpting with molasses. Once cured it had to be sanded and painted. You can see on the right the prongs supporting the piece from the inside. The paper created a visual barrier seperating the front items and the back items.
The rest came together quickly. The hare, gear and watch parts, and an antique enameled watch face from my favorite antique store in Austin TX. ( I live in DE. Long distance!)
The entire piece is currently filled with resin. Lets see how it cures over night, and hopefully I can add an update in the morning! I haven't addressed how to wear this piece yet. That would depend quite a bit on the wearer, I think. Velvet ribbon; choker length? Chunky chain, worn long over the chest? What do you think ?
Saturday morning: resin for the win!
Thanks to Staci and Genea for hosting the Hop! I had a great time with this piece; I had a chance to play, to think outside the box, to experiement. Please take some time and see what my fellow participants have creatied! Curiouser and Curiouser!
Staci Louise Originals (hostess!)
Genea Beads (hostess!)
Jenny Davies-Reazor (Thanks for stopping by!)
Nicole Valentine Rimmel
Jo in Wonderland
Earrings and a necklace. Daily wear! Whether I am in the studio, teaching, working from home - I am not dressed without them. So - when Diana of Suburban Girl Studio announced an earring swap - sounds good to me!
My first partner is Linda Younkman. Arent these lovely? The blue beads are very detailed. and I love a spiral motif!
And then these came from Mary Shannon Hicks! They are a bit heavier, so not every day wear for me, but that owl! Thank you so much for all the work in that wire wrapping.
I know you may hop to other blogs, just wanted to post a picture or 2 of what I sent to my partners...
I enameled these copper washers, and originally had them paired with enameled discs (seen below). They were so uniform in composition, and lacked movement. So - I had to swap them out for pearl and gem dangles. The vintage bells will add a bit of jingle as they dance around. The extra discs? Sent to my partners -a little bonus for them to make into something...
Here is the list of participants. Have fun taking a look. I am sure there will be diverse offerings for every style!
I enjoy the challenge of a Blog Hop - as evidenced by the frequency of Hop related posts lately. I am a full time working artist, in one studio or another every day. I alternate between the ceramics studio and the mixed media/ jewelry space, but as my jewelry contains ceramic components, and my ceramic shrines contain collages and found objects - you see the flow, the continuity there. These Hops give me a chance to experiment, to play, free from the deadlines of a show, hanging an exhibit, doing production work. And because I have the opportunity to share my results, my offerings, with the community, it assuages any guilt I have in not "being at work". So without further ado:
I chose to pay homage to one of my favorite genres, and one of my favorite authors. Charles de Lint is a Canadian author, known for his mythic and fantasy fiction, or 'urban fantasy' . His work is filled with folklore, faerie, music, urban settings, and contemporary themes. To quote Terri Windling: ...the importance of myths in our modern society, the need for tales rich in archetypal images to give coherence to fragmented modern lives..." (xv, DU). De Lint's stories are such moderm myths.
I picked up "Dreams Underfoot" (The first deLint I ever read) a collection of de Lint's short stories set in the town of Newford. I love all his work, but there is so much to choose from - so I went back to my beginning. These are loosely interconnected tales as he weaves a web of characters; artists, musicians, writers, dryads, conjure men...
This piece "Whispered Tales" was inspired by the story "The Conjure Man". The story revolves around the loss of the community's Tree of Tales - a rare Quercus robur/oak. (Common in Europe, but Newford is in Canada). " She was a Tree of Tales...She held stories, all the stories that the wind brought to her that were of any worth, and with each story she grew." (DU, 229) The traditional ways are growing weak with the influx of technology and people are becoming estranged; as symbolized by the loss of the Tree of Tales. There are many new tales but "a Tree of Tales is an act of magic, of faith. It's existence becomes an affirmation of the power that the human spirit can have over its own destiny. The stories are just stories - they entertain, they make one laugh or cry - but if they have any worth, they carry within them a deeper resonance that remains long after the final page is turned, or the storyteller has come to the end of her tale..." (230, DU) The Conjure Man, a wise old soul, inspired Wendy, a young poet to start a new seedling, nurturing it with tales and poems until it can be planted.
My piece: Cedar stained with acrylic paint, nickel silver, copper wire, tree branch with bud, grommets, micro fasteners, silk, leaf/face charm, gems, hand forged links.
My intent: Woven elements as the tales are woven; the branch, cedar and text to evoke the Tree of Tales.
It only seemed fitting to select a tale about tales for the Challenge of Literature Hop, where we are looking to the words on a page for our creative inspiration. de Lint's stories do resonate long after the pages are turned. He creates a real world, filled with the things I wish I could find in my real world...Perhaps you will pick up a book, or tell a tale. ( Quotes taken from Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint. 1993)
Here are the list of fellow storytellers:
Hello and Welcome! Can I just tell you quickly how excited I was? One of 9 spots, and it was mine! Kristi Bowman of Kristi Bowman design works wonders with bronze and copper clay. We were aquaintances online, and I jumped at the chance to participate in a challenge using her pieces. I love metal clays, yet do not work with them myself. I like the fine details Kristi gets in her textures, and think the colors are rich and inviting. So - thrilled? Yes, I was. Here is what she sent me:
My thoughts immediately went to turquise. Was it the color combination of turquoise blue and copper that I was seeing? Was I influenced by pieces from her recent bracelet focal challenge? Well, I had that idea firmly in my head, and true to nature did not start the piece until right before the hop. Actually I completed it while waiting for parts of my button hop piece to cure...
I wanted to do a multi strand bracelet to use the cones in a traditional way. I had thought one strand would be all those large chunks of green turquoise, but they were too much, the scale overpowered the cones. So smaller blue turquoise... The sari silk is a snippet from a variegated hank I have, thankfully the aqua/yellow was long enough.
The matte blue iris size 8's bring out some of the darker indigo tones the copper patina holds. I created a simple clasp from 20 ga. copper. (Nope, didnt pickle or patina it. Want it to age naturally.)
The large turquoise chunk is the prefect counter weight for the copper caps; keeping the design balanced physiclaly and visually. I love it, and am wearing it often. This one is mine!
Thank you Kristi for the chance to work with your lovely pieces! It was a pleasure, and I think the caps are fantastic. And there is a sale today, you say?!
Go take a look at my partners posts! There are only 8 more - you know you are curious...
Good Morning! Welcome to the Button Swap Blog Hop! Thanks Cindy for hosting! I have quite a journey to share, with interesting results - so refill your beverage and let me tell you the tale...
I got gorgeous buttons from my partner Sandi Volpe. I knew right away the button she cast was the star; organic shape, interesting design... I sort of see a female partial figure in there! I couldnt get to work until Thursday - yes, 2 days ago - but I knew exactly what I wanted to do...
The buttton was going to be "set" in Faux bone, creating a frame and a backing structure. Wires running through the shank in the back woud form prongs over the edges of the FB to secure the button.
(Do you see the female form? Are those breasts? They also look like owl eyes...)
Way too much color at first - I knew I would sand it back to a minimun, the antique look I desire.
There it is! Button set - front and back views. I inscribed the words "Bandia taobh istigh" on the back, Gaelic for 'Goddess inside you'. I cant NOT see the female owl faced woman at this point in time. She is there every time I look.
The problem? I dont like it. The button is deep, and currently sits up too high. The copper prongs are too visually busy and distract from the button, and I want it to be all about the button...
Here is where the FB piece is going. This is another gorgeous antique button from Sandi. Framed and cushioned with leather, it is 'glued'. (Shh dont tell. I almost NEVER use glue.) The plan here is a bracelet, triple strands - the leather, 2 strands seed beads and the clasp as shown. That is as far as the piece has gone for now...
Back to button #1. (Love the alcohol ink fingernails!) I have deep copper bezels from Nunn Designs, and I have been waiting for the right thing. This may be the right thing.
On the left: set into epoxy putty. On the right: collaging in a plastic lens for the back, *text and a feather.
Left: painted and distressed epoxy and tentative dangle choices. Right: Similar treatment to epoxy, lens in place.
*Caillech-oidhche is one Gaelic name for the owl. It literally translates as " Crone of the Night" a reference to the Goddess the Cailleach - a crone, or aged wise woman; a Scottish goddess of winter, storms, stones. Since I was seeing a female form and an owl this dual reference sprang to mind. Owls are seen as symbols of wisdom and far-seeing/perception; both attributes we gain as we mature into wise women ourselves.
This is as far as I have traveled. I am sorry to not have a finished piece, but I am sure you can appreciate the trials and tribulations. I am very happy with where this is headed. If I had planned the lens from the beginning I could have set it into the epoxy earlier. Now I will have to set it in and camoflauge the adhesive as a separate step. I had thoughts of collage and resin directly into the back over the epoxy putty but wanted to be more finished for today...
Please take a look at my colleagues - who may have finished pieces for your viewing pleasure! (The list is alphabetical, names do appear twice. ) I loved this challenge - I had a secret stash of buttons I could share with a new freind, and it has definitely inspired me to stop hoarding and start integrating them! Especially my collection from my Grandmother. I think it would please her!
Thank for stopping by, happy travels!
Kim Roberts and Partner unable to participate at this time.