Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Bit of the Blues, Cross-Wise

A bit of the blues today: Woke up to find a small waterfall occuring in downstairs entry hall; seems a pipe from upstairs had sprung a leak...end result for now a hole in the downstairs ceiling and a big hole in the wall between the upstairs laundry and master bath. Two fans a'blowin' for the next 2-4 days to dry everything out before repair.

The upside, no doubt had this gone on for another few hours or so, the laundry and maybe part of the bath would have been in the entry hall. Mixed feelings about that as I wouldn't mind a bath remodel...oh well. Stuck, as I was, I took the opportunity to upload this bangle and earrings to my Etsy shop along with a tiny bit of my too-many-beads stash and rephotographed two of my pretty crosses.

David and I went out for a nice lunch.

Could have been much worse.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Autumn Beads .. Soon I'll Hear Old Winter's Song ...

A week or so ago I spent the day building stacks/loaves of colors inspired by the colors outside my window. While we haven't had a spectacular autumn, more one of those one tree at a time things, the colors are still in evidencef, rather like a slideshow when one segment dissolves into another. That said, I've made a selection of beads. Here are two. More to come.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Red Pendant

Busy week; I spent Thursday doing the finishing work on almost everything that needs assembly, sanding, etc. I had hoped to get it all photographed Friday, but weather didn't cooperate, and as a natural light photographer had to wait. Yesterday I was able to get a few things done but didn't allow enough time so the light in my favorite area ran out on me. But this piece came out well and I love it! Hopefully I will get a satisfactory photograph of the coordinating earrings and bangle bracelet today.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

On the Worktable from Monday . . ...

When I started making my color stacks last Sunday, I was inspired by the colors outside; brilliant Carolina Blue skies, autumn leaves and shades in between. This was my greenest stack, comprised of gold, bronze, two blues, two greens, two yellows and a dash of alizarin and pom reds.
I'm especially pleased with two things: The surprise of learning how to make a herringbone or modified bargello design due to an unintended cutting of the stack, and the wonderful way the odd bits, when cut into tiny circles made that delicious focal bead into a complex and rich mosaic.
Some finishing yet to be done...a fragment of the stack is visible; also can be seen, I think, on the larger picture posted earlier.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

This Week on the Worktable

For myself more than anything, I have started to take a few snaps of the week...on days when I feel as though I'm accomplishing nothing, maybe this will encourage me.
Sunday I made a bunch of stacks, some, not yet cut into, shown. Each day since (3 so far) I've taken a stack and done something...
A couple of the stacks are really ugly but marbelized into yummy burgundy and port pieces ....
Will have to see where the rest goes.
Am eyeing the bits lower right that might go with vintage Italian millefiore glass beads.
One bunch, not shown here coordinates gorgeously with unakite.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hand Carved Artifact Bangle Bracelet

I loved making this bangle as well as a number of others using similar techniques. I built the mosaic on a simple bangle base; tiled inside and out for comfort and strength. The textured tiles are patterned from an original design of my own, and are accented with circular tiles and small individually made balls. The piece has been glazed with a burnt umber-burnt sienna glaze.

The inside is also tiled and signed. The interior diameter is just at 2 3/4 inches, medium to medium-large in size, and the width of the bangle is 1 1/2 inches.

It is currently in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Square Bling Mosaic Bangle

Another bangle, using some of the grout sticks (thank you Laurie Mika) from my tessarae box along with several hand-painted squares, on a SQUARE black bangle with gold and silver leaf channel edges. Soon to be in my etsy shop.
Very blingy...can't capture the sparkle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blue Currents Mokume Gane Earrings

Very thin, ultra-lightweight slivers of silver and blue(s). Buffed, polished and glossed on the front, the back is deliberately left somewhat "unfinished" which feels to me like a bit of exotic shell.
Overall length about 2 5/8"; drop 1 3/4"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Tidal Blues Bangle Bracelet

Not exactly leftover scraps, but I had been fooling around and came up with this mixture and then didn't know what I wanted to do with it. After making a couple of pairs of earrings (not yet photographed) and a small pendant (ditto) I decided, being on a bangle binge and all to make this ......

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stropple Cane Inspired Bangle Bracelet

Two forces inspired this my desire to use up pretty bits and pieces and two, the wonderful technique of Alice Stroppel, Stroppel cane. I don't work with canes, except once in awhile, in the most basic way, but thought it might be possible to cut tiny pieces of lots of colorful scraps, layer them between thin sheets of black polymer clay, squish them all together and then slice.

By their nature, the slices were less complex in design than they would have been had they been canes, but with some careful running through the pasta machine, interesting blends formed. I then sliced the results into thin strips and affixed them to a previously cured black bangle base.

Thank you Alice!

Tiny Squares Mosaic Bangle

As the year approaches its end, I have felt the need/desire to use up as many of my little bits that I felt to interesting or pretty to mush up. This is another bangle designed to help in that quest.

The piece is made entirely of polymer clay, tho' tiny bits of leaf are evident here and there. The squares were built on a cured polymer substrate.

Marbelized Bangle

I love working with leftover bits and peices and know many of us do. This bangle reminds me as much of marbelized paper as anything.
The piece is made entirely of polymer clay; the scrap mokume gane added to a base bangle.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sept 5 Blue CollarOliver

Poor guy was savagely attacked by a cat somewhere in the woods. His front right shoulder was bitten down almost to the bone. Many stitches, kitty morphine...but he did get it open with his rear leg, so it had to be restitched. Dr had us put Ora-gel around wound to deaden sensation...he's almost himself now ...
HOWEVER, grooming is difficult and we have watched him lick the collar then, using his paw to raise it, rub his face ... by the end of the day, he's looking pretty ratty.
He is learning to enjoy warm washcloth grooming....about 2-3 more days and he will be free. Today was last of the pain medication.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another cedar cigar box with a sliding top. After a base layer of white clay, I added a second layer of textured sheets which I cut into strips varying and rotating their application. Obviously the strips also create more interest as well.
When done, I glazed with raw sienna, then burnt umber. While I was not striving for a faux finish per se, the end result has the look and feel of bone or old ivory.
After that I added a natural agate, which is really quite pretty, striated in shades of cream through umber & black and which will show up better in future photographs.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Playing with Cats . . .

While waiting for my most recent cedar cigar box to cure for a total of almost three hours, I decided to play with cats.
I've only done one piece featuring a cat, but know that sooner or later I must find a way to add more of them to my clay work.
I think I will my hand at making some molds and see where, if anywhere that takes us (the cats and I) No matter what happens, or doesn't, this is fun!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rosy "Ivory" Bangle

Photographing items is often amazingly revealing. I had thought this piece was complete yesterday, after color washing and buffing, but when photographed this morning, I found it just wasn't quite "right", so back to some 320+600 sanding and a lot of buffing on my jeans while I watched part of a really bad movie and did some extra loving on Miles our neurotic but beloved Siamese.
So, now it is finished, looks good on, and is ready to join the coordinated necklace, once I get the toggle finished. (Forgot to colorwash the two beads yesterday when doing the bangle).

Blue "Ivory" Bangle ... Complete!

I was very nervous about starting the color wash on this bangle as I liked it so much as it was. Wouldn't have done it except for a bit of aging had I not wanted a piece to coordinate with the necklace I made this for.
Happily it turned out fact I love it.
This bangle has opened my eyes/mind to all sorts of possibilities -- cannot wait to continue on.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Two Antique "ivory" Bangles in Progress


I must say I really like the bangles just as they are (with some finishing yet to be done). However, they will be color washed to coordinate with the two necklaces nearly finished. Like many artists, I tend to work sequentially, so no doubt "unwashed" pieces are in my near future.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Two Antique "ivory" Necklaces

These two necklaces are nearly done; final assembly will be done on the four I have completed for the Fat Cat Gallery in Oakridge, NC one day next week.

I'm really pleased with the way they have turned out, and will now get to work on the coordinated bangle bracelets.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Almost There . . .

In some ways this box took control of itself somewhere along the way and morphed into something slightly of discovery in terms of design and technique. I’ve enjoyed the journey.

Now just some final tweaking here and up the tiny bits of claydust in the gazillion crevasses and then some final buffing and perhaps a tiny bit of wax or polish here and there.

Day 6: Coral-copper/gold striated veneer applied to center motif......crisis! While the colors looked fine together I expected the coral to deepen more than it did in curing and simply didn’t care for it. After a day of looking at it.....

Day 7: Dremel Stylus to the rescue ....not only did the carving dilute the strong color contrast, but I found I loved the element of additional texture

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day Six

Day Six: A veneer of polymer clay tiles in a blend of moss green, ultramarine, turquoise and copper (Premo) was added and hand-buffed.

A lot of buffing remains, but I am taking the day off.

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22 2011 Cedar Box in Progress

Day One: Cedar box, gessoed black and incised with Dremel Stylus to establish overall design.

Day Two: Top covered in Polymer Clay (using old fashioned Terra Cotta school clay) at various thicknesses to establish dimensions of design. I then textured the “cross” motif with a ball tool, and incised the outer “frame”.

Days Three & Four: The sides were covered (two each day) in the same manner as the top.

Day Five : The textured areas were antiqued with straight black acrylic paint, forcing paint into the grooves and divots, then wiped.
Then the center motif was dry brushed with a mixture of metallic gold, copper, green and black. Three very light applications were done to achieve sufficient contrast with the outer area with was simply wiped.

Next I will apply polymer clay veneers to the "raw" terra cotta areas and set stones, most likely turquoise, in the centers of the motifs.