Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Out of the Studio

I've been in the process of getting ready for my October Bead Affaire show every chance I get.  My beads always seem to be changing - I'm not sure that's a good thing or a bad thing in terms of my customers. Here's a few beads I've recently added to the shop.  As you can see in the top two beads, I'm enjoying working with translucent clay.  It's not a clay I've worked with a lot in the past, but I love the magic that sometimes happens. 

The last bead was for our recent BAO Challenge.  It's always great to see how other people interpret the challenge.  I'm finding lots of inspiration for the challenge contenders on Pinterest.  You can get lost in there for hours.  I haven't spent a real lot of time there as I know myself too well.  But so, so tempting. 

This past Sunday I went to the Boston Metal Clay Guild's meeting on Kumihimo.  One of the members, Monte Nikkel, gave a fabulous demonstration.  We all came bearing kumihimo boards, rattail, thread and beads.  What a fun time.  Monte brought a suitcase, filled with her goodies - no kidding.  There will be pictures over at the Boston Metal Clay Guild's blog in the near future so I'll be sure to post a link here.  Thanks to Lori Magno, the iPhone wizard (I'm so jealous) for all the on-the-spot photos.

Beginning Thursday is the Jewish New Year so I'll be back on next Monday for another Marvelous Monday!  Happy New Year to all my Jewish friends!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Marvelous Monday

It was love at first site when I saw the work of Melissa Huff.  Her enamel colors are scrumptious and her designs are done beautifully in copper and/or silver.  I didn't realize it until I read her "Processes" section and saw she gets the results by using organic materials such as seed pods and electroforms them.  To add the enamel, she paints a resist to where she wants to have color and continues to electroform.  This, as a result, creates an etched effect on her piece.  Where the recesses now are is where she places the enamel.  Hope you enjoy her work as well and have a marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Out of the Studio Wednesday

I finally got around to finishing a project that's close to my heart.  This past July I had the pleasure of travelling to Israel. One of the sites that really struck me was driving into Jerusalem.  Every building has to use a particular stone on its facade.  The stone is known as "Jerusalem stone".  It's no wonder that Jerusalem is called the City of Gold.

Anyhow, I was compelled to make myself a ring using the color of the stone as the inspiration.  So . . . after fooling around with polymer, some paint and some silver, my ring was complete.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Marvelous Monday

Using the ancient technique of cloisonne to decorate her jewelry, Francis Kite adds wonderful color to all the compartments (or cloisons).  Each compartment is made up of silver or gold wires that are soldered to the metal preparing it for the enamels.  Her final pieces are a combination of enamels, precious metals, diamonds, or pearls.  These pieces become family heirlooms and will be passed on to future generations.  Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Out of the Studio

Here's a new design I've been working with.  They're basically two different sized sterling discs, dapped and cold connected with the balled up earring wire. I did the first one for the most recent BAO color challenge

Because I've been working with translucent clay lately, here's the pattern I used for the 2nd pair.

And here's something I finally got around to trying - my Nikolas Spray.  I had purchased it from Whole Lotta Whimsy a while back.  Can I tell you - I LOVE this stuff.  If you do any patina treatments on silver, this puts such a nice, clear finish on it.  I've been brushing the silver with scotch brite pads, treating it with a patina, brushing the patina off a little and then spraying the clear lacquer on. It's my new favorite supply.  Here's a photo of the backside.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Marvelous Monday

Every now and then something catches my eye on the front page of Etsy.  It came as no surprise when I saw the shop name as I had blogged about this artist back in 2007.  So this past week, it was the work of bbusbyarts.  Betty Busby is the quilt artist behind this shop.  Her designs seem to have become more organic yet are still very polymer friendly.  There's lots of skinner blend color combinations to be had.  Like in her Endoplasmic Reticulum for example . . .

or this Primordium.

Here's the original quilt that caught my eye.  Take a look at her beautiful quilts - they're sure to inspire.  Enjoy and have a marvelous Monday! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Out of the Studio, Pantone Fall Colors 2011

My rather large order is officially filled and on its merry way.  Rather than playing hookey like I might have done in the past, I'm trying to remain focused on getting some things done in the studio and organizing other things that need to be worked on.  One of things I've been working on, happens to be branding.  This is something, I'm ashamed to say, is something I just haven't dealt with in the past.  My packaging consists of a box, with my business card attached under a tie ribbon.  Yeah, people recognize it's from me because of the business card (photo of my work on the card), but every time I wrap a box up, I always feel it's a cheesy way that I represent myself.   It's one of those things that was always on my long term "to do" list.  But I do admire those artists who have really created a brand for themselves.  Branding doesn't necessarily help you with sales, but it will help make your work stand out in the crowd.  BlockPartyPress, Humblebeads, and SandFibers are just three I thought of off the top of my head who I think do a nice job of it.  Maybe I just never really understood the importance of it. But one day, I received a package in the mail from my friend Carol Dean Sharpe and it all made sense to me.  Without even looking at the return address, I "recognized" it was from her through her packaging.  So I'm finally coming clean, I'm announcing my inadequacy and am vowing to move forward.  So, hopefully soon, I'll be posting some photos of the artwork I'll be using.

Even though it's already September, I thought a post on the Pantone Fall Colors for 2011 might help serve as a reminder for help in making those design and color palette choices that we sometimes struggle with.  Similar shades of cedar, phlox, deep teal, coffee liquer brown (love me some of that), orchid blush and bamboo are colors within my usual palette, but it's going to be a real stretch for me to incorporate honeysuckle, emberglow, and especially quarry.  Is it my imagination, or has sea foam green (or a cousin of sfg) reared its, well, not so pretty head again?  Sorry if I offend anyone . . . just my personal taste.  I really should force myself to create something with that color.  Really.