Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rust and Rocks / Fun with Focals

Here is the first necklace using one of my handmade sagger fired ceramic Artbeads. I made it after reading about Heather Powers (humblebeads) Fun with Focals Challenge.
One of the Challenges is to make a piece with a horizontal focal. I Jumped right on the challenge... After all I have a brand new style of Art Beads to work with, and was just looking to channel all those options into one project at a time!

My Square Art Bead has so many rusty and brown colors, greys and tan... It really has different looks depending on the side of the focal you are looking at. I added some stone beads and the body of the necklace is made with my current favorite material waxed linen.

I also added a few Medium sized donut beads from the sagger fire last weekend to my etsy shop.
I really like how they turned out, and I really like the medium size! If you missed the photos from my outdoor sagger pottery firing last weekend... there are pictures here-

Hessonite Ice by Carol Dean Sharpe

Just look at this beauty by the wonderful Carol Dean Sharpe!

I just love Carol's way with words, here is her description of the piece--
A while back, the talented Kristie Roeder of asked me to create some special pieces using her beads. She wanted to use these as examples of what can be done with her work for her booth at Philadelphia Bead Fest this fall. Kristie had a good show and has returned these "samples" to me so that I can now offer them to you.
When I first opened Kristie's box of goodies and saw this cabochon with its deep reddish brown glass, I despaired of ever finding beads to match. And so I didn't try to match it, instead worked with crystal and tan delicas to create the bezel.
I created the focal pendant by taking the beautiful wheel-thrown, glass-fused clay medallion by weaving a crystal, white, and tan open-back bezel for it in peyote. Part of the bezel is an outer row of beaded ruffles that really soften the look of the piece beautify. I completed the wonderful pendant with a simple white/crystal tube that serves as a (almost hidden) bail. The pendant is 2.25" across.

I was thrilled with the pendant but I wanted to present Kristie with a completed piece of jewelry. I was thinking quartz crystal and smoke crystal, but when I got into my stash of semi precious stones, I found some long forgotten hessonite garnet roundels. They match the brown glass perfectly!

The necklace portion consists of alternating hessonite garnet roundels and faceted quartz crystal round beads, sparkly yet earthy at the same time. The closure is a 1" long sterling silver S-hook. All findings, including the crimp beads and crimp covers, are sterling silver.

Here's artisanclay's description of how she creates her glass-fused pieces: "The Piece itself has been fused with Stained Glass during the Kiln-firing process. I have combined many kinds of glass (clear, opaque, milky, and different colors) The Glasses become liquid and bleed into each other in the kiln swirling ands blending at the edges. Finally as I cool the kiln the glass fractures and crackles but with a smooth glass top. The crackling refracts light and glistens in the sun."
Again Here is a link to this wonderful necklace available in Carol's Sandfibers Etsy shop--
Thanks to Carol for letting me share her work with you!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Drum roll Please!

And the Winners Are----- For the second giveaway (pictured first here, LOL) the winner is....
My friend Dave! How did you manage that? It was #25 so I counted 2 for everyone that Let me know something that they would like to see me make or make more of and there it landed, Dave. WOW!! Do you want me to make your pendant into a quick necklace for your lovely wife?
And for the first giveaway.... Marcie! Bella Joya!
When she said---"My favorite item? The copper colored donuts. INCREDIBLE!" she was entered for a second chance and the lucky number was #2! Yay! Marcie... I think your were really rooting for the second giveaway prize, do you think you can settle for this one? ;-)
Thanks everybody!!! I wish I could give you all a prize for being so awesome and giving me such great ideas!

So... Where Was I, anyway?

I had a big outdoor firing yesterday that I thought wouldn't go that long... It did, BUT... I have at least a hundred WONDERFUL new beads from it! Originally the firing was supposed to be last weekend, but the weather didn't cooperate and it was rescheduled for yesterday. Silly old me thought I could do it all, but come 12:30, my work was still inside multiple kilns and there was just no way I was going to make it! The beads above were from the "horse-hair" Kiln
Here the beads are cooling on the rack. In this firing, the pieces are heated to 1500 degrees and pulled from the kiln HOT! Then while burning HOT, things are touched to the clay and burn instantly. The supplies on hand for this firing were: Horse Hair, Feathers, Leaves, Wild Barley, Sugar, Orange Rind, ect. These were my favorite beads of the day!

Here is a shot of The Potter's Exchange member's work from the Horse Hair kiln. It might be good to view this photo larger so that you can see the different markings a little better. Unfortunately there was SO much firing going on that I was running between all of it and didn't get the best shots of every one's work-- (which was wonderful!)

Here are Deb, Roy, Monica and Guy setting up the burner for one of the Raku Kilns

Here is Monica after she removed her work from the Raku kiln. The Burning hot pottery is placed inside metal containers full of sawdust, newspapers, ect and the sawdust immediately ignites and the pottery is trapped inside the container with the smoke. This causes chemical reactions to take place on the glaze surface and makes all those wonderful flashings and variety of color that comes with Raku pottery.
Again Here is a not-so wonderful shot of every one's Raku work. My beads are inside the dish on the right.
So Yesterday I posted this photo of my beads being prepared for the Sagger kiln. I used sea Weed, copper mesh, sawdust, Something called Swamp Juice, and other weird potter made concoctions. That's just my kind-of thing. Mad Scientist gone pyro-maniac!

Here is the half loaded Sagger kiln. The group made this during a workshop with North Carolina Artist Edge Barns.

And here is the result of the first Sagger Firing. Burnt reds, Oranges, browns, touches of green. There were lots of Mossy looking surface designs.

And here are my beads pulled fresh from the ashes, full of ashes. I will be polishing them up and photographing them this week! Maybe I'll even get some in my Etsy shop by next weekend, so check back every now and then or become a fan of Artisan Clay on Facebook if you want first picks!
So that's where I was! I really expected to be Live at the Open Studio Event :-( But, I hope you forgive me! Sometimes I just can't be everywhere at once, though I do like to make myself crazy by trying!
I am going to announce my the winners of both of my Give-aways late this afternoon. I am giving plenty of time to enter-- since I didn't keep to the correct timing yesterday! So, check the post for yesterday and enter BOTH giveaways! You do not have to let me know what you like and want to see more of in my shop to enter, but if you do you will be entered for 2 chances. I am really enjoying reading all your suggestions and I am making a to-do list!
Thanks again for coming by--

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cause one Give-away is just not enough!

It is Second Give-away time! Here's the drill. Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win this pendant. Let me know something that you would like to see me make or make more of and you will receive a second entry!

Here is the list of all the participating blogs!! ---

Studio Field Trip!

Hey Guys!!! I am so sorry that I missed the timing on the Open Studio Event!! I am back now and I am posting my give-aways now! I will announce my winners on Monday! Sorry for the mix up! Yesterday and today my top studio assistant and I are thrilled to attend a group outdoor pottery firing with The Potter's Exchange. All pictures here were taken on Saturday as we prepped our work for the day of Fire on Sunday. I know such protective equipment is not standard in most pottery operations, but with such valued assistants we are leaps ahead of OSHA standards. Today her position was mostly supervisory, and she helped keep track of the cat and dog and horses and chicks living at our friend Steve's farm where the firing was taking place.
Our pottery Group is run as an UnOrganization, with all the member taking turns volunteering to host and organize events. We all pitch in to pay expenses and we have amassed a good collection of group Raku Glazes. We have a Specialized Sagger Kiln which members made during a workshop Steve hosted.

I am going to try out my new firing racks that Beads-of-Clay member Barbara Lewis Had designed for her work and so graciously offered up her extras for us to buy! I can't wait to see how they work! This rack will be used for Raku firing and hopefully Horse hair firing as well on Sunday(today)

This is my first time taking part in one of our group's Sagger Kiln firings. Here is an outdoor station where a special mixture is sprayed onto our work in order to get a red flashing affect. You can see I have set out quite a few pieces for this firing, since it is not something I am easily able to replicate at my own studio.

This is the work table where Kim and Delana are preparing their work for the kiln. Their pieces have been sprayed and they are applying a Foaming concoction the inventor calls swamp juice. Everyone has contributed wire, copper scrubbing pads, steel wool, leaves, ferns, sea weed from New Jersey, Nova Scotia, and Cape Cod, sawdust, miracle grow, and an occasional banana peel. Any number of these things are bound against the pot (beads) with Super Strong aluminum Foil and packed into the Sagger Kiln!

Yep! We potter's will do anything it takes to get that perfect effect! :-)
Here is one of my Saggers as I was putting it together. (my assistant was on a Pumpkin Cake break while I applied all the goodies to my beads) I have some New Jersey Sea Weed, Nova Scotian Sea weed, Special Solution, Swamp Juice, and Copper Mesh here with these pieces. I added a fist full of Sawdust on top and bundled it up like a baked potato! I think I wrapped up 7 of these bundles, all different. I can't wait to see what happens. Like I said I have never used this kind of kiln before or any of these chemicals. It could be great.... It could be terrible... We'll see when the smoke settles.
And here is my lovely studio assistant again, posing with the Sagger kiln. It is my understanding that everything will be packed in there nice and tight and then.... FIRE!!!

Again Here is the link to a list of all the Beads-of-Clay Blogs participating in the Open Studio Blog event today! ----

Did someone say give-away?

I am giving this potter's wheel thrown Pendant away to a commenter on this blog.

So leave a comment. In your comment tell me what your favorite item is in my shop and why and you will be entered for a second chance to win!

Don't forget to check out all the giveaways on all of the participating blogs! Here is the link for all of the blogs again! ---


Welcome to Artisan Clay! Today, Sunday, you will receive 30% off your purchases in my etsy shop I will refund 30% of your purchase via Paypal!

I have worked hard this week to fill my shop for this event. You will see many new smokefired donuts and organic link sets available. It wasn't easy filling my shop as I have had record sales this week as well! Thank you! If you have been putting off buying that certain special piece, now is the time! Sale prices are for EVERY SINGLE ITEM IN MY SHOP! Jewelry, beads, Sets, pendants Cabochons, lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!
I am also holding 2 giveaways today along with the other Beads-of-Clay Bloggers participating in this Open Studio Event! Check out the list of Participating bloggers here-- That page has live links to every participating blog! That will come in handy as you navigate the fun!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What's new?

Oh boy!!!! What a week Folks! I started off adding this wonderful Fall Colored Cabochon to my etsy shop. Isn't is lovely? Have I told you how much I love Brown Lately? I do! I even traded with an awesome etsy artisan for a new brown hat this week. Check it out-- I also loved so many of her hats, had some they been in brown I would have had to get more!

Seeing Spots Connectors

And then, my Art Bead Scene Challenge Entry was chosen to be the featured design of the week! Now that'll make a girl feel pretty special!

Pea Pod

So where does that lead me? ---To add some more "organic" style pendants and connectors to my etsy shop. I use the word "organic" since that's what the Editors of Beads 2009 called them in the issue. I kinda call them Pods.

Silver Sliver Connector

I am glad I did too, because I didn't have many left in my shop!

Shades of Blue Connectors

I also set up a facebook fan page. Yay!! It's too cool! You should go on over and be a fan of Artisan Clay ;-)

Blue Toggle Shank Button Set

So when I looked over my stash for some "Organic pods" I found some buttons. Yay! Some folks have been asking about buttons here and there. (like my hat-maker)

Color Grid Shank Button Set

and I have seen so many cool buttons on cuffs and bags and more cuffs lately that I have been having designer envy. (I have been dying for those designers to use my previously unavailable buttons in their work)

Shades of Blue Shank Button Set

So I made these three sets of buttons available. Guess what! It worked! As soon as I listed the blue toggle set, a designer I was admiring purchased them! Yoo Hoo! So with the buttons going so fast after I listed them... You know I will be making more. And some with 4 holes like a certain somebody asked so nicely for too!

Not a Cloud in the Sky Wheel Thrown Stoneware Clay and Fused Glass Pendant or Necklace

So I have been busy busy adding new work and the fan page this week. I have also restarted my weekly volunteer position which I love, but I sometimes have trouble getting organized for.
The Big outdoor pottery firing with my Potter's group was rescheduled for this weekend, and I am participating in the Beads-of-Clay Open Studio Blog Event on Sunday starting at 1pm...

Blue Wonder Stoneware clay and recycled glass Pendant or Necklace

You should plan to attend if at all possible! A lot and I mean A lot of Ceramic Bead makers are participating and all are having giveaways and super special sales for the length of the open studio! I think my giveaways will include at least some smokefired beads since I will be smokefiring with my clay group at the same time. Also If all goes well I live up to my promises of photos of my potter's group outdoor firing. Check out the schedule over at the beads-of-clay blog so you can get an idea of the open studio event--

Inspiration From Others- By

I just love seeing what all you talented designers do with the clay pieces I make!

Hollis aka recently sent me a link to a new necklace she made with a pendant she picked up at Bead Fest Philly! Thanks Hollis!

You can check out her listing Here-Inspiration From others

and here is her description of the necklace-

I just love finding unique and one of a kind pieces to use in my creations. That is what I found when I purchased some wonderful stoneware clay pendants, which have recycled glass in the center, from

I took the wonderful stonewear pendant and accented with wire wrapping and a glass czech flower bead that has the same colors as the pendant. I just love how feminine this looks without being over the top fru-fru (cause that is just not me).

The pendant (with the wire wrapping and flower) measures 2 1/2 inches (6cm) from top to bottom. The sterling chain necklace is 18 inches (45cm), which does not include the length of the pendant. The necklace has a hook and eye closer which I created out of sterling wire.

Such a great piece and the colors are neutral to go with so many fall and winter outfits.

I hope you have a great day!! Hollis

Thanks for sharing your work Hollis! I love it!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

October Art Bead Scene Challenge

My big meeting of the pyromaniacs was cancelled for the weekend. So with unexpected time on my hands and yucky yucky wet cold weather outside, I decided to try the ABS challenge. Most of you know how it goes, right? Every month the team over at ABS pick a Challenge painting for us beady folks to try to create a piece in the spirit of the painting. Here is our Folk Art Painting by Ruby C. Williams. Ruby, boy I love that name!
Can you see it? Do you see my "cow" and her Piano? I really enjoyed the inside the gallery page on Ruby's website. It reminded me of my "kiln shed" and I felt it gave a nice window into the Artist's world. Cool Site! Cool Artistic Image she is conveying there.
The bright colors and folkness of the work made me want to use crow beads, bright bright color, and my organic hand formed components.
And look! For all it's folksieness it wears well too! So I will pat myself on the back for attempting a challenge this month, pat, pat... Cause I don't always make time to step outside of my own to-do list and creative box.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Keystone Quilters Annual Show

I had a blast today going to my Mother's Quilt Guild's Show. This Piece above was made by my Mom's dear friend Lynn Lentz. I hear her work is published in a book or two. I love this piece!
There seemed to be a lot in the turquoise-blue-purple range.

This is the center of a full sized quilt made for charity. It was really impressive, but the fabric did all the work and made it look like a much much more complicated piece. Pretty cool! All those stripes make you think that it is many kinds of small pieces, but really it was just one fabric.
These three are my Favorites! This one was made of neck ties and the silkiness of the piece looked really rich.

The picture doesn't do this one justice. It is the most striking black and brown SHARP pointed bed sized quilt. That would do nicely on my bed, Thank you!

I think this one was the best in the show. And I do have a big thing for Pennsylvania Dutch symbols. All the blue was a thin thin applique and the quilting really made the lines a lot higher than the background. I absolutely love it! I would love to add it to my hex sign collection.
So what was the best part of going to the show???? The Boutique/Recycled room of coarse
and what did I buy????
I got a steal on a Serger! and the best vintage thick fabric ribbons for a quarter a bag! and buttons!
and my daughter got a BIG box of ribbon and a ribbon cutter and a couple of ribbon flowers.... You should have seen us walking out glowing over our boxes of loot!
The show was in Quakertown, Pa The Keystone Quilter's Show, Relish the Moment
It is going on tomorrow 10-5 if you are in the area and can make it out.