Beads of Clay Open Studio Event

Welcome to my blog and my First Beads of Clay Open Studio Event.

Take a deep breath, bookmark this blog and come back to it later in the day or week. Because of family obligations I am opening up comments to last
until the 11th. I will be announcing a winner on the 13th. There will be two giveaways, so I will hold two random drawings via the Random Number Drawing widget on the bottom right hand side of this page. That means you are leaving one comment but you have TWO chances to win!

If you subscribe to this blog via Feedburner (on the right side column), you will receive an email on the 13th and know right away if you are a winner. But I will also announce it here on this blog.

ABOUT ME:

I work in all types of clay, from earthenware to porcelain. I also throw on the pottery wheel and also handbuild as well as create beads. Lately I seem to be interested in attaching sprigs to my beads. Form is important and surface decoration is just as important. I enjoy creating both sides of this coin. When I am making beads I think to myself, “Whatever you can do to a pot you can do to a bead” and when I am making pots I think to myself, “Whatever you can do to a bead you can do to a pot”. This helps keep me focused.

1st GIVEAWAY

Here is a photo of my 1st giveaway beads.

I do not use any toxic glazes on any of my pottery or beads. All glazes which are commercial are labeled non-toxic by the manufacturer. When I mix my own glazes I do not use toxic materials. Toxic glazes are are stable and perfectly safe once fired, if fired properly. I, however, decided that I didn’t want the additional task of being careful because I am quite clumsy at times and I could see myself accidentally dropping something mega-toxic all over the floor and making my entire studio off limits for 6 zillion years… okay that’s an exaggeration … maybe it is just too difficult to clean up.

I’ve taken some photos of my studio to share with you all. I don’t drink or eat in my studio. I usually work in silence without music or noise. It’s calming and
easier to concentrate. For the first few years I didn’t have a studio. I stored everything in plastic tubs in closets and such. When my son went to college I immediately claimed his room. I ripped out the rug and installed a snap-in wood floor. Next my husband helped me build shelves all along one side and part of two other walls. It looks spacious but it is not. I barely fit in here and usually the tables are completely covered with projects.

Instead I take a small foldaway table out to the living room and create and glaze beads there. The pottery I make exclusively in the studio, because that’s where the wheel and slab roller are located.

Because my studio is in my house, I am careful with the dust. If it gets in the lungs can be very dangerous. I never sweep, only mop. If I am sanding beads or pots, I go outside and wear a special mask. I also have a special air filter which runs 24/7 in the studio and I rinse out the filter every two weeks.

If I didn’t have my studio in my home perhaps I wouldn’t be such a worry wart, but I am a worry wart and I accept that about myself. So the most dangerous thing about my studio is the dust and I do my best to limit that with wet clean ups, air filters, and such.

2nd Giveaway:
Here is a photo of my 2nd giveaway beads.

Here in North Central Texas we enjoyed summer right up into mid-December. It was warm and balmy, in the 70s and mostly 80s. January came and went, same thing.
Then about Super Bowl time, WHAM, we got hit by snow and ice. We were buried for days. It’s a miracle the Super Bowl happened at all. We even had rolling blackouts
because the electric companies didn’t anticipate the cold weather and they were not equipped to handle the extra output needed. Now at the end of February as I prepare
this blog post, we are up to the 80s again. It’s like living in Florida but without the beach. Personally, I would prefer the beach.

I suppose that is why I’ve been enjoying making beads and pottery so much the last few months. I’ve been doing more creating than marketing. My favorite thing about
spring is the crispness of the air and the excitement of knowing that summer is right around the corner, and with summer comes heat, and with heat comes bike riding,and I love to ride my road bike. I didn’t do much of that last year but this year I hope to ride much more often.

When I ride I mull things over in my head and this is a good time for me to think about new ways to design beads and how to implement those same designs into the pottery side of it all. Beads amaze me in their complexity and simplicity. They are all such simple things, a lump of something with a hole, and yet when I look at all the beads I see being created around me I am in wonder at how each bead artist is able to put so much of themselves into each one.

I hope everyone enjoys looking at all these ceramic bead artists’ blogs and their beads. I know when I am able to get back online I will be making the same rounds you are able to make today. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about me. Don’t forget to bookmark the official Beads of Clay blog (http://beads-of-clay.blogspot.com), because we are always giving away something beautiful! Also, stop by our Etsy Beads of Clay team store (http://beadsofclay.etsy.com).

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to leave a comment for two chances to win!

Natalie

18 thoughts on “Beads of Clay Open Studio Event

  1. I just love those beads in the giveaway. Please enter me. And it is no fair you get so much warm weather!! We are having a snow storm today. But the good part about the Northeast is all the wild flowers, the grass and water. So it kinda makes up for the lack of a long warm season.

  2. I am glad you decided to participate. It is a delight to find your claywork. I love your decorated beads. I imagine a lot of work has to go into each one. It must be very meditative though. Thanks for sharing your art.

  3. I'd love the chance to win some of your lovely beads! Nice to meet you, I am new to Beads of Clay but looking forward to checking out all the blogs today 🙂

  4. Hi Natalie! I quite happily stumbled upon your etsy shop a few weeks ago & am now a happy owner of some of your beautiful beads! It was fun to see your pottery studio!
    Janet/Pink Poppy Studio

  5. I am really liking the sprigs on your beads. I've been really attracted to beads in designs that have bead caps on them, and have been bouncing around ideas about adding "caps" to clay beads. Then the glazing of them – wow – it could go far! Those shelves are awesome (Ikea?) I'm with you too about clay dust safety. We have a new air unit in the house and the business also pays to have the ducts cleaned annually to be on the extra safe side (I work wet and avoid clay and glaze dust as much as possible). Thanks for joining us for the Open Studio!!!

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