Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rakusu and Robe

 I want to share a blog post with you  :-)

Petra of Etsy's LillaJizo is the new owner of Mary Lou Holvenstot's Atalanta necklace.  Mary Lou made the collaborative piece last year for my display at Bead Fest Philly. 

Check out Petra's Blog post here

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New firing/ Beads of Clay-Beads of Courage-Swap and Donate

How about cutting it close?  I am participating in the Beads of Clay bead swap and this time around we including some extra pieces and we are donating them to the Beads Of Courage organization.  They work with children in hospitals and they use heart beads in their program.
I also glazed some more beads of this style.  It is a new style of bead that I made for the Bead Fest Philly show.  They all sold at the show!  I never even got a chance to play with them!  It's alright though-- I had these sets already bisque fired and glazed them up so I could have some myself and maybe add some to the etsy shop or send out to a trunk show.  I think I will be making more of these!

I feel like a blog slacker these days.  SO much has been going on with Artisan Clay that I feel as if I could blog about it all everyday.....  But then I wouldn't be able to keep up with it all.  I hope you are having a great Sunday!  Today is the last day of summer vacation for us and a big party at my mom's house!  My brother wanted to have a pig roast for his birthday.  He's a crazy busy business person too, so a month later we are finally going it.  FUN!  :-)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bead Fest Philly 1

I just have to share some quick photos of my booth at Bead Fest Philly this weekend.
My generous friends Mary Lou Holvenstot, Carol Dean Sharpe, Marcie Abney and Staci Smith lent me their work to display at the show. 
I am so thankful to have the opportunity to have their work with me.  I admire them all so much as artists and friends and I love to talk about their work with new friends.  I would like to show off their work in more detail at a later time.  Every single piece deserves a spotlight.
I am so tired from the show.  It was a really great time.
I didn't have a booth helper this time around and I couldn't get out and walk around except for before and after hours and even then I needed to be brief.
That's a little bit different than I am used to.....  I am usually the artist known to not be at her booth.  Usually I end up wondering around and chatting with all my favorite artists for most of the show.  This time when I did run out to take a quick break I found people at the booth and security hovering nearby. 
Somehow I still shopped at the VERY LAST MINUTE and found some fun chain and wood.  I kept to the list.  Thank YOU ----->  (pointing right at you) Yes, Thank YOU for coming by and saying hello! 

And Thank YOU----->  (pointing finger again)  for following my work :-)

So now I will rebel from my 10x10 cubical and go on a road trip tomorrow.  Quite quickly following, I will need to figure out what work is going out to a few new venues.  This is a pretty cool job ;-)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fall Stinging Carnival~~ She Plays With Fire ~~ AND SALE

Thanks for stopping by!  Today I am blogging along with the Fall Stringing Magazine Blog Carnival.  My blogging friend and great customer Jen Judd Velasquez write a great project for the current issue.  Jen included one of my rectangle beads in her "Urban Escape" Necklace featured on page 27 of the magazine.  Jen is blogging today along with the carnival as well a over 20 different project writers and bead makers included in the issue.  Don't forget to check out Jen's Blog as well as Michelle Mach's Blog for a list of all the participating blogs.  Michelle has organized the event and is holding a few giveaways on her blog!

As I said yesterday-- I'm going to tell you a bit about the techniques I use to create the random finishes in the "Smoke Fire" style of beads I sell. 

First of all~~~ It is all about the moment!  Random finishes they are!
The bead Jen used in her project was made in a small batch last year.  Sometimes beads made in the same grouping turn out to have a similar finish..... sometimes they don't.  I like smoke firing because of the surprise.  I never know what the beads will look like until I open the chamber clean them off and polish them up.  Sometimes I'll do the exact same things in the exact same order and end up with two completely different results...  I never know how the fire will burn and I never know the exact placement of a bead inside the firing chamber.

I have a lot of fun experimenting with different material in my smoke firings.  I like to think about how different elements will burn and what kinds of colors they will bring to the bead.  This photo and the first photo are of beads fired at the same time.  What a difference!  I made these beads at a group firing with my local potter's group.  I think we all love to watch things burn :-)  For these beads I added sea weed a friend brought home from Nova Scotia, New Jersey sea weed from another friend, and different materials from a hardware store.  Yep~~ if we had it, we burnt it. 

These beads were made in a wood fire.  I decided to try adding salt to the fire and the result was the black spots on the bead to the right.
Different wood also burns with different colors.  Some wood burns with a brown smoke, some grey.  Some seed pods can make an iridescent finish. 
The two barrel beads here were fired at the same time.... The flames hit them differently and I prepared them in slightly different ways.
Lots of different results.
Here are some of the Smoke Fired beads I will have in my Booth at Bead Fest Philly at the Valley Forge Convention Center this weekend.  Stop by and see me!  I will be in booth #1436 downstairs on a corner. 
Can you tell by my smoke firing that I love surprises? 
Guess what-- Jen actually got the bead she used in her necklace project from one of my surprise sales!

Her rectangle bead was a surprise included with a purchase from my etsy shop.  I thought it was only appropriate to hold a surprise gift sale to celebrate the Carnival Blog event.       


The photo above shows some beads that I did not get to organize for the show.  It's a little bit of everything, a lot of one of a kind pieces or experiments, some raku, some stoneware.....  For every $50 in purchases you can choose 2 pieces from this tray....   Spend $100 pick 4 beads....  Spend $150 pick 6.....    Just let me know you read about the sale.


Make your purchase from my etsy shop and I will include your beady surprise in your package.  Just write "CARNIVAL" in your note to seller and I will choose the goodies for you.  Purchases made Wednesday or later will be mailed on Monday of next week (since I will be at Bead Fest and unable to ship your order until then)

Don't forget to stop by all the blogs and enter the giveaway!
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Getting Ready for Bead Fest Philly

Oh Boy!  It's time to get ready to set up Bead Fest.  I took some really quick photos to show a few of the things that I will be taking to the show.
I made some fun blacks this time around..... Autumn is good for showing your dark side :-)
Here's the scene in my spare room.  I am trying to figure out how to display my recycled glass pieces.  Usually I have had them separated by style and then by color, but this time I decided to group them by color only...  I wanted to see a rainbow when I looked at the table. 
Here is some new work that I had fun getting ready.  I have been really making a lot of crescent shaped or bib pieces.  I like them a lot.... I would like to steal a few of these for personal use.  :-)

I think I may just pile my bead sets across the table...... because I made quite a few beads to get ready for this show.......   and I haven't even shown you the smoke fired beads yet :-)

If you are planning on coming out to Bead Fest Philly Please stop by my corner Booth #1436.  It is downstairs on the right hand side. 

Interweave has given me an email coupon to share with my customers that gives you free admission to the show.  If you would like a free pass leave me a comment or etsy convo with your email address and I will email it to you.

The Fall Stringing Carnival Happens Tomorrow!

Guess what!!! 
~Jen Judd Velasquez used one of my beads in her "Urban Escape" Necklace on page 27 of the Fall Issue of Stinging Magazine!  Woo Hoo!  We're famous!  ;-)  That's not all!  We are participating in the Fall Stringing Blog carnival tomorrow.  Michelle Mach has organized the carnival and is giving away some great prizes on her blog. 

24 contributors and bead makers will be participating in the event.  We will all be sharing our inspiration for our contributions.....  My contribution is a bead, so I will be sharing a bit of the process I use to make the random finishes on this style of bead and sharing a special sale for carnival readers  :-)

Don't forget to stop by Jen's blog and see what she has to say about her wonderful Ribbon Necklace!

Monday, August 2, 2010