Friday, October 4, 2013

Exciting news

I've been asked to be the featured speaker at the Kitchener-Waterloo (two cities in Ontario) Knitters' Guild on October 8.  This is a huge guild with 180-200 members and as many as 140 people showing up for meetings.  Their theme for the year is Accessories and I will be talking about shawl pins and how to use them.  I've prepared a PowerPoint presentation on the history of shawl pins and then, using my mannequin, I will demonstrate a bunch of different ways to use shawl pins with various types of scarves and shawls.  This should be fun!  Not only are they going to pay me a speaker's fee, but they are going to let me sell my pins after the speech!  Some photos from the PDF I'm going to send folks who sign up for my mailing list:

Friday, August 30, 2013

Clay Carnival, Part 2

Donna Kato's method for making big cabochons with precision lines was very enlightening and the technique will be useful for lots of designs:

and Meisha Barbee's class on mica shift caning was fun.  Everybody made lovely pieces:

Finally, Donna and Leslie Blackford collaborated on a class involving inclusions and carving.  Again, while the instruction was excellent, carving is a technique I'm not likely to use very often.  It takes a lot of practice to do it well.  My minimalist attempt:

All in all, it was a terrific retreat.  Good classes, nice people, and an interesting environment.  Now if that darned slot machine had just paid off.....

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Clay Carnival 2013

I had the good fortune to attend Clay Carnival this year.  Las Vegas was its usual bizarre scene, but we spent most of our time in the classrooms with ladies who were not dressed in "Daisy Dukes," bra tops and high platform shoes.  However, the members of the Rowdy Room did partake of Fat Tuesday's large daiquiris during a couple of classes. 

I had a great time in all of my classes and learned some good things.  We were very lucky to have an all-day class with Diane Keeler, one of the foremost sculptors working in polymer clay.  Despite her excellent instruction, I do not believe I will be taking up sculpting on a regular basis.  Making realistic faces is HARD:

Julie Eakes showed us how to "deal with the hand we're Delft."  Her method for making blue and white canes was easy and fun and produced lovely results.

Judy Belcher showed us how to do "Tatoo Caning".  Here are some sample tiles:

Leslie Blackford taught us something fishy.  We were supposed to cut the fish into thirds and put it back together with a flexible attachment, which I did with the striped fish, but I couldn't bear to cut the red fish.  Now I have to figure out how to wear it even though it is kind of big.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week 29 Year of Jewelry

Here is another new design for my line of copper shawl pins.  I used wire wrapping to define the shape and it features a large lampwork bead from Laurel Mountain Glass.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Latest Shawl Pin Design

My copper shawl pins seem to sell very well at the knitting oriented shows I do, but I decided I need some new designs.  This one is simple in concept, but it was difficult to make the 10 gauge copper wire cooperate.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I'm thrilled!

I am delighted to see that The Wearable Art Show is using a photo of my jewelry as the cover photo on their Facebook page.  I don't know how long they will keep it there, but I'm thrilled to see it.

Check it out here:

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Half way through

I'm half way through with the Year of Jewelry project.  Here are my entries for weeks 24-26.  The first earrings are made of polymer clay scrap canes and look sort of like little quilts.  They are folded into a wavy shape to look like fabric.

The earrings below are made from large copper "beads" placed on niobium ear wires which are colored to look like copper.

 These are copper wire pieces I purchased and put on the niobium ear wires.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Faux Knits in the Missoni style

My friend Carolyn Good, who is about the most creative and prolific clayer I know, and I have both been working with faux knits in the Missoni style.  We got the technique from Judy Belcher's excellent tutorial on CraftArtEdu.  I've been making pendants and bracelets, and they have been quite popular at the knitting shows I've done over the last year.

 However, when I saw Carolyn's adorable faux
knit sock pins, I was inspired to make a little sweater pin. 

 You can see Carolyn's work on Artfire, Etsy and on her blog.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Faux jade, Week 20 YOJ

This faux jade shawl pin is my entry for Week 20 of the Year of Jewelry project.  It's made with Premo clay since that brand of translucent is better than the Kato which is my clay of choice.  I tried Pardo clay, but it didn't like the texture sheet.  It tended to stick, even when using water as a release, and it didn't hold the design as sharply.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Week 18, Year of Jewelry

Well, I got a bit behind on the Year of Jewelry project while working on my shows, so here is Week 18.  These are polymer clay earrings with crackled paint on the surface.  I cut them with a "cookie cutter" I made myself.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Year of Jewelry, Week 17

I've been busy preparing for two shows on consecutive weekends, so I've been doing variations on prior designs.  These pendants are polymer clay, die formed, with handmade cords.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Week 15, Year of Jewelry

I love the retro pixelated cane (thanks Bettina Welker) and I love die forming (thanks Dan Cormier).  Here is my latest pendant using these techniques. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Year of Jewelry, Weeks 12, 13 and 14

I'm in the middle of production mode for two shows coming up in April, so my time to develop new designs is limited.  The shawl pin is a variation on one I've done before and the woven pendant is similar to a prototype I made about a year ago.  The mokume gane pendant is a new design.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Weeks 9, 10 and 11, Year of Jewelry

I'm a bit behind in my posting.  Here are my entries for the 9th, 10th and 11th weeks of The Year of Jewelry Project.

This is made with three lampwork beads from my sister, Melissa Blanton of Laurel Mountain Glass and the two copper elements at the bottom are my first attempt at wire weaving.

These earrings represent my very first attempt at soldering sterling silver.

Another necklace with my sister's beads and handmade copper elements including the clasp.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Week 8, Year of Jewelry

This necklace features three lamp work glass beads and handmade copper elements and clasp.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Year of Jewelry, Week 7

Back again with another piece of copper with a heat patina on a torn piece of polymer clay.  This one looks completely different.  I took last week's to the melting point to get the red color, but I was more gentle with this one.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Year of Jewelry, Week 6

I like the look of distressed metals, and this piece is really distressed.  I tortured a piece of copper with a torch until I got this amazing red and gold patina.  The black polymer clay backing piece has torn edges and is textured to look like lava rock.  The copper is riveted to the clay.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Year of Jewelry, Week 5

These weeks sure roll around fast!  Here is my entry for Week 5.  It is made from a piece of copper with a naturally occurring patina.  Then I laced around the edges with green leather and also made the cord from it.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Year of Jewelry Project, Week 4

Free-form and loose are not words usually associated with my work.  Precise and controlled more accurately describe my typical style, so I am using this weekly project to try to expand out of my comfort zone.  I wish I could take full credit for inventing this piece, but the general design of this necklace, particularly the squiggly base and a couple of the charms were "borrowed" directly from a pin by Dia Daniels in the Feb-March 2011 issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry. 

Close-up of charms

Handmade clasp

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Year of Jewelry Project, Weeks 2 & 3

I made this polymer clay pendant and the earrings to go with it using a Retro Pixelated Cane (from Bettina Welker's tutorial).  The pendant was made by die forming using one of Dan Cormier's dies.  I needed the earrings to be long in order to show the transition from light to dark, so I used a custom cutter I made.