Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Year of Jewelry Project - Week 1

I entered a challenge to produce one piece of jewellery (jewelry) each week for 2013.  Here is my entry for week 1.  The disk and "stone" are made from polymer clay, but the beads on the cord are metal.  I made the design on the disk using cutters and a small screwdriver while the clay was raw and then antiqued it after baking. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More metal fun

Playing with fire and copper is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you are going to get.  And you never know if it will stay when you try to preserve it.

The center of this convertible brooch/pendant is made from copper which was heat treated with my torch.  I got an amazing array of colors.  Then I sprayed it with PYMII, to prevent further oxidation, and the color stayed.  Sometimes a heat patina will go away when you seal it, no matter what you use.  Then I framed the copper with some black clay with a torn-out window.  The edges are torn too.  There is more black clay for the backing and the convertible pin back is held in place with a clay covering.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Faux knitting

In addition to the heart-shaped faux knit pieces I've been doing using a tutorial by Claire Wallis (on Flickr), I also made some pendants and bracelets using Judy Belcher's Micro Knitting with Polymer Clay tutorial from CraftArtEdu.  These pieces look like Missoni Knits, and when I displayed them at a craft show, people always felt them to see what they were made of.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

More metal work

I made this necklace by etching the hand-drawn design on copper and then doming the piece.  I used a brown patina to give it a nice warm look.  I made two paddles by hammering bronze wire and wired the two pieces together with very thin copper wire.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Working with metals

I'm taking a bit of a break from shawl pins and working on some jewelry.  I've been experimenting with copper and looking at different patina options.  Of course, the best patina I've seen is some that occurred naturally on some old copper flashing.  I just wish I had more of it.  In the necklace below, the disk beads are faux turquoise made of polymer clay and the patina on the copper panel is all natural.  I sealed it with Renaissance Wax.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My second craft show

I haven't been blogging because I've been making inventory for shows.  On the 13th of October, I participated in the Woodstock Fleece Festival in Woodstock, Ontario.  This time I got to use my own tables and table coverings and my cell phone credit card reader worked just fine.  I sold about as much as the last show, so I'm happy.  Now I need to find more shows to do.

One problem with being a vendor is that you don't get to see all the other booths.  This show had lots of lovely natural wools, both roving and yarns, from people who raise alpacas, llamas and sheep and rabbits.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

My first craft show

I did it!  This weekend I participated in my very first craft show, the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters Festival in Kitchener, Ontario.  I wasn't sure how I would like doing shows, but I'm pretty gregarious and really enjoyed the process of talking to people and trying to convince them that "you don't really need a shawl to wear a shawl pin.  It can be a brooch, or a scarf pin or" get the idea.  I sold about $900 worth of pins, a bit jewelry and a handful of buttons, so after a booth fee of $200 and $75 for liability insurance (required by the show), I ended up with over $600.  I think that's pretty good given the low cost of the items I'm selling.

There were a few glitches.  After all that work to build my own tables and make custom coverings for them, I wasn't allowed to use them.  The venue made me use their tables and their fire-resistant table drapes.  Apparently the fire marshal is quite strict.  And then my credit card reader that fits on my iPhone wouldn't read cards.  It had worked fine when I tested it at home.  Fortunately people were very nice about paying with cash and I don't think I lost any sales.

Next I will do the Woodstock Fleece Festival in October.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Retro Pixelated Cane Shawl Pins

I decided to jump on the bandwagon and make something using the Retro Pixelated Cane.  Thanks to Bettina Welker for her tutorial.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A showcase of shawl pins

I've been making shawl pins using every technique I can think of.  Here are some examples:
This is a "Bend it Yourself" safety pin with silver zinc beads, silver-plated wire swirls and red glass beads.

This pin was made from black, white and gray layers of clay, imprinted with different texture sheets, and then the high spots shaved off.  Sanded and buffed so it is completely smooth.

Imprint mokume gane using Dan Cormier's wide peeler,

Mica shift with gold clay.  Imprinted with Helen Breil's texture sheet and then high spots shaved off.  Sanded and buffed so it is completely smooth.  It really looks 3-dimensional in real life.

From the cane I made in Carol Simmon's Kaleidoscope Cane class.

Design made in raw clay using various implements.  Antiqued after baking.

Imprinted with Helen Breil's texture sheet and then highlighted with Perfect Pearls while raw.  Wondering if I need to seal it.

Made using Wendy Orlowski's Feather Boa texture sheet.

Button, button, who's got the button?

I've got the buttons.  Lots of them.  I've been working flat out for the past couple of months building inventory for my very first show, a Knitters Festival.  After that, I'm doing a Fleece Festival.  In both shows I will be selling my shawl pins, buttons and knitting-themed jewelry.  I've also been creating a booth for the shows, making tables and table coverings, making pegboards, and buying grid walls, lamps and other accessories for the booth.  So these are my excuses for not blogging for over a month!

Here are some photos of my booth.  It is set up in my basement so the backgrounds are a bit messy.
Tall revolving Pegboard with bags of buttons.

Big buttons in containers and square buttons on the pegboard.  An Ott Lite for color matching.

The big buttons

Table with shawl pins

Examples of using the shawl pins hanging on the grid wall.
An attempt to get around the "But I don't have a shawl" problem.
My homemade fitted table covering.  I made three of these.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Faux Knitting

I love knitting in addition to making things with polymer clay, so why not combine them?  The convertible brooch/pendant and earrings are not really knit - they just look like it.  Thank you to Claire Wallis of England for her tutorial on this technique.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Faux denim and leather

I'm teaching a class on faux denim and leather at my polymer clay guild this month.  Here are some items I've made for examples:

Wooden picture frame covered in faux denim with a faux leather belt.
Faux leather with studs of polymer clay

Altoid tin covered in faux leather

Friday, May 4, 2012

Week 18 of the Earrings per Week challenge

Here are my latest earrings for the challenge.  Barely got them done in time.  The design is related to my latest shawl pins.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Here is the final design for my beaded shawl pins. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Earrings for Week 17

The theme for week 17 of 52 Earrings a Year was Tangerine Tango.  Here is my entry complete with Swarovski crystals:

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Shawl Pin Design

I've been working on a new shawl pin design that will fit through closer knit fabrics.  Here is my first prototype - it resembles a safety pin:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Primitives Collection

Here are the latest pieces in my Primitives collection, faux stone and copper, inspired by cave drawings and petroglyphs.  The drawings are hand carved after the clay has been baked and then antiqued.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Some things to show off my shawl pins

I've been knitting as well as making things out of polymer clay and metals.  It all started because I needed some things to show off my shawl pins.  Here is a lace shawl knit on my standard gauge machine...

and here is a sweater knit on my bulky gauge machine...

Both are shown on a mannequin -  that's not me!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Week 12 Earrings

Here are my earrings for Week 12 of the 52 Pairs of Earrings Challenge.  They are made with brass fishing swivels from Cabela's.  Who knew they carried jewelry supplies?!  All three parts of the swivels move independently so you get a lot of motion when wearing them.  The beads are coral chips and some kind of black beads I got while in Hawaii.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Latest necklace for sale

I just put this Madonna and Child pendant necklace into my Artfire store.  I'm not a religious person but I love the warmth of this image.  It looks like a vintage oil painting or an antique icon.  It is an image transfer onto polymer clay and the frame is real copper electroformed in place.   I feel like a mad scientist whenever I do the electroforming.