Metalwork in Clay

 I had so much fun today at Lolly’s house!  She invited me over to have more fun with metal and settled me in at this wonderful desk her hubby made for us (seriously, he made it for us — he’s awesome!), one side for her and one side for me. It is my studio away from home. It is wonderful!

We took out our tools.  We started at 10 and took an hour for lunch and I left at 5:30. Time flew!  I can only hope I didn’t overstay my welcome.

 I am trying to learn now to solder and I’m not having a lot of luck with the torch so I used an soldering iron and copper tape instead.  It was fun.  

This one has just a tiny bit of copper tape, which I cut into an oval and draped over both sides of the pendant.  Yes, I had to use a dab of e6000 glue.  It is a good solid hold though.

I fired these particular pendants a week or so ago. They are of an ivory stoneware clay and a dark red stoneware clay. I coated them with a pale pink glaze.  I like this effect of this particular glaze with these two types of clay. And of course, I love decorating using sprigs of clay.

  This is a pendant I wrapped all the way around with copper tape and then applied lead free (of course) silver solder.  I attached a jump ring to the back for a bale.   The great thing about this pendant bead is that the back is not covered so my potter’s mark is visible.

I am thinking I may add some Swarovski Crystals to the little dimples in this bead.

 Here’s another in the same style.

 A long long time ago I bought a few tiny mirrors and scrapbook odds and ends. So I made this. 

 I tried to solder two halves of copper domes together numerous times.  Here they are. This is called pure determination.  I used a clear flux and painted it on each dome.  I held them together with tweezers and attached a glob of silver solder on both sides to hold the two domes together.

Then I realized since the entire copper dome was covered with flux that I could simply ‘paint’ the silver solder on with the top of the soldering iron. So I did.  When I was done I pickled them and used my Dremel to shine them up.

 When I got home Joy was thrilled to see me.

Mister was extremely glad to see me too, because that meant the grill would be started, and the grill always means good smells and a bite or two of whatever is cooked that night.

So that was my very fun day!  Thanks for stopping by!

Something Fun to Show You – Micaceous Clay

I had to use Google to see how to spell ‘micaceous’.  I often wonder what the Google spy/advertising staff thinks of me and my weird inquiries because I often use Google to double check my spelling.

My ceramics instructor this semester brought some micaceous clay to class that she had bought in Albuquerque, NM  earlier this year. She gave me some and told me to have fun. So I made this bead. I fired it to cone 06. I applied a clear glaze and refired to cone 05.

Do you see the golden glitter flakes?  I want to see what these look like with a transparent blue or green, or even yellow and pink.

Thanks, Jackie!  I’ll go in halves with you next time you visit New Mexico.

Whistle Giveaway!

 I mentioned this a few weeks ago and now have a whistle that I absolutely love and so I want someone who also absolutely loves it to have a chance to win it.

As you can see, it is quite small.  1 1/2″ from tip to tip.

It has a high pitch because it is small. Click here to hear this whistle.  To see how I make these, check out my tutorial.

I am going to run this contest for two weeks and will announce the winner on April 1st.  NO FOOLING!

I’ll use the random number generator at the sidebar of this page to pick a winner.  TO QUALIFY all you have to do is promote my whistle shop in some form or fashion. You can tweet it, favorite it, add me to your etsy circle, facebook like it, blog it, email a link to a friend, you decide. Just leave me a note here letting me know how you promoted it and you will be entered.  ***The more you promote and leave a comment the more chances you have to win.

A word about my whistles … they are very fun to play with.  But they also have this built in feature that if you blow really really hard on them they make no noise at all.    Of course, a regular size blow is quite loud, but it never gets any louder than that.

Side story:  I knew a lady years ago that would take great joy in picking out her gifts for her nephews.  I got the feeling she didn’t like her sister-in-law because she picked the loudest most obnoxious toys she could find. This whistle only has a small annoyance factor and probably wouldn’t work for that kind of a gift.

I’m just saying …

SO what is the link to my whistle store?

Thanks and have fun!

New From the Kiln

I took these out of the kiln this morning and even have them listed already (  Look in the Sprig section if you’re reading this a few days after I publish this post.

Yesterday I glazed about 10 whistles and handpainted some stamped beads so that the stamped part was a different color than the rest of the bead. It was very tedious but I was in the mood to do something tedious so it was a perfect way to spend the day. And it did take all day. I’m a slow glazer.  They are all in the kiln today and I have just turned them on high. They should finish firing in a couple of hours.

Today I unloaded the kiln and I was happy with these but I have some other beads that I’m disgusted with and I’m going to reglaze them. I’ve often said beads are like children, that neither can ever be ugly but I’m rethinking that. These beads are very ugly!  Ick!  That particular blue green glaze comes out shiny on one side and matte on the other and it is a dark glaze and it looks like an acrylic finish instead of a glaze finish.  I will reglaze them.  They are so ugly I can’t even bear to take their photo. You’ll just have to believe me. They are ugly.

I spent the better part of the morning watching how to videos from Art Jewelry Magazine on You Tube on how to make a bezel for a cabochon.  It was a 5 part series, each one about 4 minutes long. Great series!  Now I get to try it on my own. We’ll see how THAT goes.  😉

I hope whoever is reading this is having a great day!  And thanks for stopping by!

New Whistles and Studio Progress

 These all came out of the kiln this morning.  I posted each individual’s photo on flickr  (click here) .  Some have two holes, some have one hole, but most are single tone whistles.

I still have about 20 more to glaze and fire.  My next batch will be a bit bigger I think. I don’t know. I still may change my mind and make more of these. They are fun to make.

Yesterday I posted a photo of my empty shelves.  Today I am showing a picture of the same shelves. I bought 30 clear shoebox size containers and I filled every single one up. I actually have to go buy more! 

I still have to clean off the top shelf, but it is a good feeling to have this small part finished.  I have a lot of glazes, yes?  And I have lots of chemicals to make more glazes.  I like glazes. Can you tell?

I have one section of this shelf system full of nothing but bisque beads ready to be glazed.  I actually have some more containers to add to this shelf but one can only do so much in one day!  I hope to tackle the long wall part of my shelves today.  That will require a trip to the store to buy more containers.  My goal is to finish this reorganization project by Friday.

Dashing Along

I’m just dashing up a quick blog post to let everyone know what I’ve been doing.  I’ve been trying to organize my studio. 

If I wasn’t so vain, I would post my before pictures.  Just trust me. It’s awful in there.
Here is what the shelving looked like when I first built them a few years ago. Imagine them now, stuffed full of everything fun, fun but unorganized fun.  It is the type of fun that falls over if not handled correctly and trust me, that’s no fun at all!

I have this great space and I have let it get way too cluttered to the point where I have to bring my projects out to the other room just to get anything done.  Enough!

A couple of weeks ago, when I went enameling at my friend’s house, I fell in love with her studio. It is camera ready, and by that I mean a television studio could walk in and film her and they wouldn’t have to straighten anything up to get a good shot.  I may never have a ‘camera ready’ studio, but I could definitely organize things into a great fun space to work that is also a bit decorative, that I actually have space in which to move around.

In the meantime, I do have a small kiln load of 18 whistles firing today outside.  I have two trimmed mugs with handles attached drying. I will take them to the college on Saturday to be bisque fired.  I have beads set out to start taking pictures tomorrow.  I have metal forming tools burning a hole in my studio dying to be used.  First things first though ….

Thanks for stopping by!