Getting plastered...

My year goes in cycles. This time of year is one of the times when I push to do new tile designs. My final big show is coming up - <gulp> in three weeks, and I like to debut new designs there. The show is FaerieCon - a wonderful fantasy convention in Baltimore MD. I have written about it here and here... 

So a new offering in my "Mythic Nature" series is in order. Or 2 if I can convince palster to dry faster, and faster, than nature would allow. 

Here is the first tile - a triple hare design - being cast... 

Triple hare original tile


Casting process

The process is relatively simple. And I use the most commom materials: Build a mold box of cardboard. Seal every nook and cranny with duct tape. Glue tile down - wouldn't want it to pop up, or float. Coat the surfaces with a wee bit of Vaseline to aid in seperation later.  Mix up plaster, I do this by eye... pour the first bit in amongst the details, then fill the rest. Set aside and wait. That last bit - the hardest part!

Here is the second design that I cast today. 

Mr Fox.

The hare mold came our perfectly! 

open the mold

Remove the cardboard, gently peel out the clay... and voila!

Triple hare mold 

Now if only that plaster would hurry up and dry!!!


Entries and exhibitions - DCCA

Today I have a few loose ends to tie up before heading to the studio. The deadline for the DCCA Altrenatives Holiday market/show is today! Time has flown... luckily I can deliver this in person. I am submitting a sampling of sculptural and wearable pieces - all perfect for gifting and collecting. 

Chelsea Monday

"Chelsea Monday" - copper, brass, lens, antique paper, image transfer, wool, gems. 



"Heritage" - copper, antique key, resin, antique paper, image transfer, map, micro fasteners, gems. 


Buddha shrine

"Buddha Shrine" - stoneware, Buddha netsuke, shell, mica, pewter twig. App *" x 5" x 2". 


Selkie's Shrine

"Selkie's Shrine" - stoneware, artist's book ( includes suede, paper, image and text) shell, egg case, bottle, sand, bookcloth, beads. App. 9" x 6" x 3". 

Blank slate

The beginning

I find it both exasperating and exhilerating to start a new sketchbook. 

I am aware of the places I will go, the ideas I will have, the inspiration, the magic that will be housed in those pristine uncharted pages. 

But I feel sorrow having to put aside the book currently filled with the same. A chronicle of where I have been, classes taken, ideas hatched, lists made, and sketches... I will miss the former book as an old friend that has moved away. 

the canines


sketches notes

Here's to odeas and inspiration. And thoughtful musings on this grey autumn day. 

Blissed out. ArtBLISS 2013


 Follow your bliss.

I know this J. Campbell wrote may be used overmuch - but it is a mantra for my chosen life and creative career. And it relates to the past weekend where I spent a blissful time with friends, old and new, creating, learning, experimenting, sharing and socializing. 

ArtBLISS 2013. 

Many heartfelt thanks to Cindy Wimmer and Jeanette Blix for the community they have created. Yes, its an art retreat; classrooms and a small sales venue. But its much more. Lifelong friendships are started, and nurtured. Support and encouragement offered freely. Inspiration and creativity are the daily norms.  


ArtBLISS faces

The only complaint - there arent enough hours in the day. Or night for that matter! So refreshing to meet faces that priviously had been a computer avatar. Equally satisfying - spending time with like minded people... 

AB 13 charm swap

The annual charm swap - gorgeous, diverse charms created and swapped amongst particpating students. Amazing packaging! Great work, a priceless momento. 

AB 13 polymer

Saturday I had the pleasure to work with Christine Damm for a second year. The pastels and crayons dazzled the eyes! Class mates Terri, and AJE teammates Karen and Diana working, each piece stirring new ideas... 

3 ring circus

Friday and Sunday I was taking class with Richard Salley and Jessica Papke. Two rings of their "Three Ring Circus" class series. It was so phenomenal... I am going to go a little more in depth into that experience in another post. Really. 

My Ab 13

My weekend's treasures. A polymer work in progress - a palette, and a process to work with going forwards. The rings - as I said - the class was so rich, and so fantastic... and it carried extra weigth with me. I am giddy with pride at the results of my labors and so excited moving forwards. And yes - I am wearing them now - a talisman to keep in touch with the energy of the weekend. 

I will save my philosophical musings for another time - I have supplies to order, and artwork to create. Thank you one and all for making the weekend so magical!


Art Jewelry Elements' September reveal!

Its the end of September already!?!?

Welcome - its the reveal day for the CoM over at Art Jewelry Elements blog! This month we are working with bronze clay bead caps from our one-and-only Lesley Watt! When I saw them I had a brainstorm. One of those far fetched, push the boundaries ideas that leaps to your brain fully formed. An idea that challenges you to go beyond your current level of experience. Lesley very graciously send me 2 - as the grand plan/challenge/hare brained scheme... required 2. 

Lesley CoM

I am not done. (ArtBLISS happened. More on that tomorrow!) 

Sketch CoM1

The original plan, a sculptural piece - build a polymer pod with a flanged lid, using the bead caps as ends. They are organic, and so perfect... I have never build hollow forms in polymer before... 

Sketch CoM2

The revised sketch - only using one cap and drawing more inspiration from the shape of a poppy pod. I decided I would like the piece to be wearable, and researched Japanese inro boxes. The tops slide up the cord from which the piece is worn, allowing access to the interior. 

polymer inro 

the pod

The pod form in cured polymer. The color Lesley sent me is a gorgeous muted eggplant, inspiring a palette of olive greens, yellow ochre and the eggplant color. At ArtBliss I was in a polymer class with the inspiring Christine Damm and I spent time with the charismatic Erin Prais-Hintz, both polymer influences of mine. So I feel primed to get back to this ASAP!

the top

The lid... 

Wip Sept CoM

Here is a picture for scale.  I have to address the lid, I think I will drill into the sides horizontally and insert wire/wrapped loops. Paint, patina, Gilder's paste.... Fall is in the air, crisp cool air comes inthe open windows, leaves are starting to turn.  A perfect time to work on a fall themed organic pod form! 

Lesley - I am so sorry I did not have it finished! I hope I will make you proud regardless! Thank you for a gorgeous piece - I look forward to adding color - and I  will post pictures ASAP! In the meantime - please check out the work my friends and colleagues created!

Here are the links to the other artists participating this month: 

AJE team

Lesley Watt   



Creating with Cabochons

 Welcome! Here it is - reveal day for the "Creating with Cabochons" hop hosted by Sally Russick. 

The challenge was to create using cabochons - no holes! I admit - I use cabochons, and make ceramic cabochons frequently. I wanted to challenge myself to set cabs four ways: 1. tabs 2. a soldered bezel 3. polymer  4. seed beads. 

I know that sounds crazy - and it was! I havent soldered a bezel since my metal smithing days in college. I want desperately to reclaim those skills, and I will - but it did not happen in time for this hop. I have set cabs in polymer before -- with a textured clay bezel. My favorite is using tabs. I like the challenge of designing tabs that are decorative and functional. And I love sawing. But let me show you what I DID accomplish... 

porcelain flower

Cab #2 - just beginning. Porcelain cab/my work - irregular shape. 


tab set cabs

My tab set cabs. ( All my work - polymer Ganesh, stoneware butterflies and Green Man foliate head). I was using brass for a change, and left it shiny! Not my usual preference, but I was trying to challenge myself... 

first owl cab

Athena's owl ( earthenware cab, repro of antique drachma coin) The first attempt. Its a little wonky - a few beads sticking out of line here and there. I learned peyote stitch 10+ years ago when I worked at The Shepherdess in San Diego. Never did bezels until now... I adore the painterly aspect of choosing bead colors to accentuate the ceramic glaze!

peyote backing

Full disclosure! I had an assist from Cooky Schock - she was in town for Beadfest and we had a few days of "Art Camp" before she headed home to SD. (She was my original peyote stitch teacher, BTW!) She gave me valuable insight into finishing the backs on my pieces.

From top right: 1. bezel complete - stitched onto pollon in lieu of Stiff Stuff. 2/3. The back plain and then with pellon stitched down. 4. Ultrasuede stitched down! 5. first owl cab with messy stitched sueded cloth. compared to the final of the three cabs with the clean presentable backing! 


final three

The final three peyote stitched cabochons. I am pleased with how they came out! It was new to me - even though I had tried peyote stitch in the past... and its very exciting to have a chance to use my own work in such a different context. While I dont know if I will ever switch to seed beads completely - I am glad to have them in my repertoire. I often sit and bead while watching tv... I am so glad Sally threw down this challenge! 

Looking forward to seeing all the diverse cabs put to use on this Hop! Here are the participants! Before you go - I would love to hear your thoughts! And thanks for stopping by... 


Your Host:  Sally Russick

D Lynne  Bowland

Alicia Marinache           

Lynn  Jobber           

Jenny Davies-Reazor  ( you are here)         

Jo-Ann  Woolverton           

Marde Lowe           

Dawn Doucette           

Mary K McGraw           

Gloria Allen           

Cheri  Reed           

Sonya Stille           

Elizabeth Owens Dwy           

Veralynne   Malone           

Tania Hagen           

Lynsey  Brooks           

Christina Miles           

Holly  Westfall           

Kathy  Lindemer           

Patti Vanderbloemen           

 Therese Frank           

Adrienne Berry           

Liz   E  

Tanty  Sri Hartanti           

Ginger Bishop

Renetha Stanziano           

Marlene  Cupo           

Sandi Volpe           

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson           

Niky  Sayers

 Mischelle Fanucchi           

Tracy  Stillman           

Skylar Bre'z           

Ann Schroeder           

Paula Kramer

Jess Green           

Susan Kennedy           

Stacie  Florer           

Cathie  Carroll           

Susan F.   

Michelle Caballero       

Sabine Dittrich           

Kristina Johansson           

Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts           

Melissa  Meman           

Cheryl McCloud         

Michelle  Timms           

Cindy  Pack                 

Lynda  Carson

Cynthia  Machata           

Julia  Harris           

Karin  Slaton

Ingrid  Anderson           

Karin Grosset Grange

Jasvanti  Patel  

Inge  von Roos

Molly Alexander


A lovely day at the Faire...

This past Sunday we headed out for a day at the RenFest. It was gorgeous weather and we had a great time strolling, chatting with friends, and shopping a little... 

JBR stiltwalker

JDR posie house

JBR bubbles

JDR kiln gods

JDR Beth of Feywood

JDR Greenman

JDR fountain

Thanks to my talented husband for supplementing my photos - I will post again later this week with more sculpture by the amazing Feywood. It was a great day!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the reveal of the "Create with Cabochons" challenge!






August holds the key. (AJE reveal)

August CoM

It was a treat to have a deadline right after Beadfest. No, I am serious. It meant I was obligated to be in the studio Friday, not cleaning, or glazing, or running errands. Sure - there was a bit of pressure as I had one day only. But this focal was easy/lovely/inspiring... 

Made by Melissa - they are copper, solder, and charms. I received a key - and knew right away I away going to do a bracelet. 

Inspiration pile

It started here with these amazing lampwork beads from Kaz Balidon of Cheeky Cherub. They are planets to get lost in, deep rich jewel tones with flecks of silver. I wanted to play up the bead palette, and finally use them! Melissa's focal was SO versatile that I knew I cooudl go in any direction... 

Design collage

I wanted a multi strand bracelet. This fiber was too big; that fiber too small. Colors were off... so seed beads. Looking for a color to enhance and not compete with the lampwork. Here is the result: 


The seed beads are a bit dark, but I like the volume of the three strands. It is well balanced and doesnt get to floppy when worn: 

While worn

( I was parked in the driveway, people!)

Please stop by the blogs of my AJE colleagues and our guests this month! I look forward to seeing what designs they unlocked with their treasures... I have keys on the brain now and am headed back to the studio to work on a mixed media bracelet. Coffee is perked, I am inspired!

Thanks for stopping by... 






The Beadfest bounty.

... aka the LOOT post! 

But first - a message from the business woman - 

Beadfest 2013 was great. Sales were up from last year. There was networking, talking to magazine editors, teachers, and general personas inthe bead community. I will be submitting paperwork for 2014 this week, with glee and anticipation. My new pieces were well received - as in scooped up. And my signature Mythic Nature line held its own. All in all a good show. Event staff and security were on top of things, it ran smoothly... 

BF 13 booth pix

Now - the artist's perspective: I spent a weekend surrounded by creative people who speak my language! I was immersed in my tribe, and it was exhilerating and rejuvenating. Seeing work that sparked ideas! Chatting with colleagues about materials and methods. I lef the show tired, yet ready to make more things as thoughts blossomed in the fertile environment. ( Yes, I really do think in images like that...)

This was my second big bead show - although I have been involved in the online community for longer. I am continually inspired and encouraged by these friends and colleagues. It honors me that they often choose to trade beads/art with me... as I am drawn to and appreciate their work, and flattered that those feeling are reciprocated. I look forward to working with your creations - and seeing how you integrate mine into your work!

I am home and rested and unpacked now and I miss them all!!! So to soothe my lonliness I look at my treasures. Magpie? Why yes, I am!


BF13 purchases

From top left: Diane Hawkey, Kelly of White Clover Kiln, Julie Miller Glass, Green Girl Studios. 


Loot and trade 1

White Clover Kiln, Glass Addictions, Dia Daniels, KAS beadwork, HMB Studios

Loot and trade2

SueBeads, Starry Road Studio, Genea Beads, Suburban Girl Studio, Staci Louise Originals. 

 More Beadfest posts coming in the next few days... but I am off to start - and finish my COmponent of the Month for the Art Jewelry Elements blog team... Until later... 





Beadfest planning and preparation.



After 2 months of focused preparation, the weekend is here. I have hundreds of pendants. 

Mythic Nature pendants

They are almost all priced. 


The process of planning is a visual one. I will have an 8' table in Artisan's Alley - #461 is you were wondering. I wanted to maximize my space and create a pleasing display. A display that showcases my "Mythic Nature" series of original designs. But I have SO MUCH inventory - I need to use every inch.

So I do a mock set up in the basement studio:


There are trays for pendants, necklace displays to show finished pieces... I really like the antique cigar boxes - I can pin up samples in the lid and set out more stock in the bottom. 

I have new work, featuring new pendants... Half the fun is planning waht to wear, and display... I made a new batch of necklaces featuring my pendants and time in the studio was a joy after marathon glazing sessions - 6+ hours a day, 5 days a week. 

Veritas necklace

Now I just have to pack up: 


Hope to see you in Philly! 

$5 entry coupon



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