Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paragon Kiln Video Contest Now on YouTube

Did you know Paragon was having a Paragon kiln video contest?  I didn't!  I especially loved this video (2nd place winner in the jewelry contest) because it covers several applications.  To see the other winners, go here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Out of the Studio Wednesday

Last week I had blogged about Judith Kinghorn.  I love the richness and strength of the black & gold color combination.  I thought I would post a picture of some things I've made over the past couple days that came from this inspiration.  Also, I thought I would share something fun.  When I was at Bead & Button, Mak from MakuStudios was wearing a really cool bracelet that she had made using 3 of her beads and a silk ribbon.   I found a link on Class Act Designs (to Lisa Kan Designs) where there is a tutorial to make these bracelets.  Another great thing about these is their flexibility.  As you can see in pictures 3, 4 & 5 - they can be worn as a necklace with 3 urchins, a necklace with one urchin or the bracelet.  Bonus!  But please note:  use of Lisa's tutorial is for non-profit and personal use only.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Marvelous Monday

In researching the internet for today's post,  I came upon the work of Els Vansteelandt.  She is a gold and silversmith working out of Brussels.  Her work is just so pleasing to the eye.  From the contrast in finishes on the metal to the folds and curves which evolve, I was smitten!  It's no wonder her work has received such international acclaim.  Her work was also selected for the German Silver Triennial, a contest and travelling exhibition . . . twice.  She also makes objects out of metal.  You must see her cutlery.  Each utensil  is shown individually, they then stack upon one another, and finally they're displayed in a red leather case.  How beautiful is that?  Hopy you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

No Bones About It

It doesn't look like I'll be able to post any of my pictures this weekend, but here's something for your viewing.  The Bead Art Originals challenge "No Bones About It" is now live.  Five members put their "spin" on it.  The voting has begun - see what some of our members created and then don't forget to vote! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Out of the Studio - A Little Renewal

I found it very interesting today, to see that the Art Bead Scene blog post was about renewal.  That's exactly what I've been in the process of.  I've had many things that have kept me from getting into the studio in large chunks of time.  Some, even days.  The high holidays, beginning of school shopping, physical therapy (yeah, again), and a regular workout routine (hopefully, my physical therapy preventative).  I've learned through my past experiences that when I finally do get into the studio and have the feeling of not knowing where to turn first - 9 times out of ten, it's because the studio needs some organization.  Only then can I continue to work with a more creative mindset.  So, I knew I finally had to address what had morphed into a mess on my work bench in the metals studio.  Seriously.  I had jump rings, wire, ez bead changers, paper towels containing smaller parts, beads, earrings in process, a reticulated bracelet with kuem boo (I really need to finish that this year and start wearing it!), tons of bezels of varying sizes, and this list just keeps going. Every group was put in a little plastic baggy and put in my "handmade sterling" container.  When I start a new project, I'll go to this container and see if I can use something from there first.  Next, I swept it off (metal shavings, polymer dust, etc.) and proceeded to grab a bag of finished items that I wanted to re-work.  Yeah, it happens.   I removed the polymer centerpieces that had been inlaid previously, re-sanded the metal, tumbled, patinaed, and prepared them for their next stage of polymer.  Here's some photos of those stages. The first photo are some pieces that have been sanded and are ready for the tumbler.

Here are some pieces right out of the tumbler.  The chain you see had a patina on it and needed to be tumbled.  It came out all tangled up but with a needle tool, I simply unwound it very easily. 

And finally, I reapplied patina.  Today, on my to do list, I'll polish them and bag them as well.  I am putting one necklace a week on my to do list so I will not be overwhelmed with trying to do them all at once.  Sometimes, we really need to listen to that inner voice.  So, what's your gut saying?  And also, do things really all have to be done at once?

I now feel like a load has been lifted and I can get to what I really wanted to accomplish this week.  Monday, I had blogged about Judith Kinghorn.  Her combination of black and gold got me going.  I had listed one of the items in my shop but have others that I want to get to today.  With a sense of renewal, I'm heading to the studio.  Who knows, I may even post pictures this weekend!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Marvelous Monday

Judith Kinghorn is a jewelry designer from Minneapolis who works primarily in gold, sterling and precious stones.  Her work is simply spectacular.Her website has only two pages, but the home page is well worth the trip.  Here's a preview - hope you have a marvelous Monday! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

No Bones About It

Our next challenge the Bead Art Originals were presented with was to design a piece of jewelry inspired by the style of pieces worn by Dr. Temperance Brennan on the television series "Bones."  If you aren't familiar with the show, here is a Flickr page with lots of close-up examples.  The description that best fits her style is kind of tribal with an ethnic flair.

You could say I took this literally, working with bones and all, but I always wanted to do something different with the shape of the wishbone.  I had laid them out and started playing with their orientation next to one another.  Eventually, it morphed into the picture below.  I also thought it needed contrast and seeing that I was going with the organic kind of theme, I went with black stones and Maine beach stones.  I added black seed beads, again for more contrast to finish off the necklace.  It's finished with an S-hook, but I wish I had more time.  I would have made a small faux bone toggle clasp. I might just add one later.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Out of the Studio Wednesday

Twice a month, the BAO team does color challenges.  If you follow along on our blog, we ask for input from our readers.  Sometimes, the colors selected are really difficult as they may not be colors I normally work in.  For those challenges, there's usually a lot of scrap clay at the end.  This particular challenge we were given copper, deep red and gold to work with.  Here's a few of the beads I made with the top bead being reversible.

Stop by our blog and see what other members created.  If you'd like to participate in the challenge for the end of the month, be sure to leave a comment on our blog.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Marvelous Monday

Crossing boundaries between handmade paper and precious metals, Sabrina Meyns, creates delicate jewelry and sculptural pieces.  Simple, yet intricate and very lightweight. 

Dandelions are a great symbol for the end of summer.  Once bright and yellow, they almost turn overnight into a white globular seed head.  One strong wind and . . . whoosh.  Sabrina's dandelion rings are made with a translucent handmade paper and 18K gold.  They appear just as fragile and vulnerable. 

Sabrina also co-founded the Workhouse Studios which is in the chapel building of the old Kilmacthomas Workhouse located in Ireland.  It's the home to seven craft designers with products including glass, textiles, ceramics and jewelry. The group of artists were selected based on the philosophy of design-led, innovative products including jewellery, glass, ceramics and textiles.  There's plenty to see, so go explore and have a marvelous Monday! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Carved to Perfection

Ann Sacks is a tile and stone store located in the Boston Design Center.  She has a new collection of carved teak tiles that has me dreaming of an accent wall.  They're called Indah, which is Indonesian for "beautiful".  They come in 4 different varnishes. I love the thumbprint texture.  I could see a beautiful mica shift, yes?  Or a nice silk screen.


She carries many designer tiles. I came across Natalie Blake's work and found they had a video of her making some tiles. You will see the link on this page.

And if you like color, take a look through her glass tiles. Here's a couple that grabbed my eye.  Figures I would like anything that looks crackled. 

And if you like stone, you'll find slate, and some bold and unusual artist mosaics.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Feelin' the Love

A good friend of mine has been painting hearts now for about 6 years.  She woke up one day and started painting them, and hasn't stopped.  She calls her business "The Heart Painter".  Her tag line is "Think Love  Know Peace".  I was reminded today of an email she sent me, I'm ashamed to say, a while back.  She had sent me some photos of her work.  She was, at the time, making hearts with polymer clay and putting them in shadow boxes.  Prior to that, she was doing a lot of decorative painting work.  As chance would have it, a gallery in Florida picked up on her work and  put together a successful show.  Here's a couple of photos from the show.  This first photo was captioned "Dancing With Love".

This one below is titled "Family Love".

Evelyn now has  a website.  I love her "Bag of Love" filled with love tokens!  She's such a positive person with a great message.  Hopefully she'll inspire you!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Marvelous Monday

The Wave, along with the Second Wave, is one of the most wonderful rock formations in Arizona near the Utah border.  This remarkable sculptured swirled sandstone sits in the shadow of the Coyote Buttes and is reached, not by trail, but by navigation using landmarks or GPS coordinates. A permit is required to hike to this natural wonder, and only a lucky few are privileged enough to possess one on any given day.  Enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Celestial Celebrations

I first saw these coasters at Antropologie earlier this summer.  I was happy to find them online so I could share these images.  Aren't these wonderful?  I've often thought about  using polymer with glass.  I even have a friend who's a glass artist.  We talk about it every now and then.  Someday maybe.  But for now, I'm just dreamin' . . .