Whirlwind of beads. AKA Beadfest 2014

 Bead Fest was two weeks ago?! Where has the time gone? Don’t answer that – I know: packing, unpacking, sorting. Sleeping, fondling beads, visiting with friends, art camp, field trips… More on the latter soon.  

So here are the hightlights, and the loot. 


1. Bead Fest is social!  Hanging out with Staci and Linda on Wednesday, the annual AJE dinner! So much fun! 

BF14 social!

2. Bead Fest is colorful and diverse. My display is for sure! I always bring a few tiles as they run parallel to my Mythic Nature pendants. Sold a few too!

BF my display

3. Bead Fest is preparation – for me! So much to pack and remember for display, class, swaps…  This was my class room still life from set up. Even though it was early Sunday morning – it went so well! And everyone had a great time, it seems. 

BF class prep

4. Bead Fest is learning. Teaching. Creativity. Exploration.  I was thrilled to teach at my first Bead Fest. I taught a mixed media class that incorporated quite a few techniques – that I am confident the students will apply in their work moving forwards. Here you see student work-in-progress, my concentration face, and class samples below. 

BF class WIP


Beadfest is shopping. Art beads. Glass, clay, metal, polymer, gems…

BF loot1

(Diana/Suburban Girl, Anne Gardanne, SueBeads, Jen/Glass Addiction, Humblebeads, HMB Studios)

BF loot2

(Sue beads, Caroline/Blueberri beads, Karen/Starry Road, Kristen Stevens, Melissa Meman, Diane Hawkey, Staci Smith, Lesley/THEA designs)

BF loot3

(Caroline/BlueBerri Beads, Mary/White Clover Kiln, Basha Beads, Kristi Bowman, Staci Smith, Green Girl Studios)

Hope you enjoyed that whirlwind recap! Now off to the studio to make more stuff! Fall shows are around the corner… 

Mixed Media Amulets – my Beadfest class draws near…

 Or – how an idea evolves and grows!

In just over two weeks I will be setting up to exhibit at my third Beadfest Philadelphia. But this year will be my first year teaching, and I couldn’t be happier! (Details are here!) The idea for my mixed media amulet class started with a ceramic cab I made – and a piece I designed for Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month… The theme was a labyrinth – and I dove onto the meanings of the symbol. To me it represents journeys – both inner and outer. My journey to teach at Beadfest has been both. 

BF class samples

From top left: class sample with porcelain cab, necklace with polymer cab, the original CoM piece with labyrinth. 

I have been making, and making and preparing inventory for Beadfest, or course. But I have paid extra attention to the cabochons my students will receive in their “kit”. I have made many designs, in different clay bodies. I look forward to making a few more sample pieces – all in the nature of preparing to teach… 

^10 kiln loading

There were app. 300+ cabs in this firing of the gas kiln at the “work” studio. We fired to ^10 reduction – app 2400 degreed F.  

class cabs 2

Knotwork, triskeles, labyrinths… and a few pairs for the seed bead people!

 class cabs1

Athena’s owl, cobalt on porcelain, butterflies… 

face cabs BF

Faces – porcelain, stoneware, and glazed… 

I am grateful for the support of my teamates at the Art Jewelry Elements blog! I even have three of them enrolled in class! There are spots available – although some sawing experience is needed. Perhaps I will see you there? My class is Sunday morning – on August 24th. Here’s the link: mixed media amulet class. 

Oh – and an admission coupon for those of you planning to come and shop! Enjoy! 

BF coupon #461

Polymer Clay Collective Conversation: my interview

Polymer Clay Collective, a Facebook group, is devoted to Polymer. Canes, sculpture, whimsy, jewelry, skinner blends, etc. Its a fun group of people willing to share and discuss a medium that we all have in common. In an effort to get to know each other there is an interview series – and here I am! 


Tell us a little bit about where you live:  I live in Newark DE – a decent sized college town in Northern DE. I love that I am within 2 hours drive of the beach, Washington DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia! I grew up in this region and am a big fan of four distinct seasons. 


What do I do when I am not “polymer claying”?  – well – I am a full time working artist… I used to teach art full time and now I have gone freelance, teaching ceramics classes on weekends and summers. I also teach workshops in the region. I divide my studio time between the ceramics studio and the mixed media studio. My “Mythic Nature” series is comprised of ceramic sculptural tiles and pendants. I also create ceramic shrines and altars, incorporating found objects, hand bound books and the like. My mixed media work ranges from jewelry to collage. A diverse array, I know, but I love the having the freedom and the skills to incorporated so many different mediums! 


What did you want to be when you were little/do you think you will ever be? I wanted to be a florist. I wanted to be my own boss, have my own storefront, and work with flowers. Will I ever? NO. I have brown thumbs. But I do get to run my own business, work with lovely materials in all colors and textures… Oh – then I wanted to be an archaeologist… 


Tell us something about yourself that we dont know. Hmm. I spent a semester of college living and studying in London. Its the single most transformative, influential experience on my adult/artistic life. I went to Art History class in the Tate Gallery once a week. I traveled to ancient sites and museums every spare moment. London still feels a bit like home… 


Tell us your polymer clay story: What made you first try polymer clay and how long has PC been part of your life?  I first tried polymer in… 1989? Kathleen Amt, Kathleen Dustin, Tory Hughes… the pioneers where my  inspiration. I taught polymer at a fine arts Summer camp. Then I put it aside in favor of earthenware/stoneware clay for years! In more recent scope, I was inspired to try it again when I had a chance to take a class or two with Christi Friesen. I started to apply my earthen clay sensibilities to PC and love the immediacy and the option for inclusions… 



What’s your favorite PC technique? My current favorite is image transfer onto PC, but my work ( PC or stoneware) always has texture… 


What are your art/design inspirations? So many! Thematically my work is inspired by mythology, folklore, goddesses, and nature. Keith LoBue is a friend and a mentor who has influenced my found object sensibilities. Lana Wilson is a ceramic artist whose textural language, use of symbols and hand carved stamps, and slab construction methods has been profoundly influencial to me. I have had the good fortune to work with both artists in a classroom setting. If we open an Art History book – its the Pre-Raphaelites that come first in my heart for their narrative works, incorporating myth, folklore, and fairy tale. But I could  mention Brian Froud, Andy Goldsworthy, Sulamith Wulfing, Joseph Cornell, William Morris… 


Show us something you’ve made with polymer clay. OK! 


 JDR PC transfers

As I mentioned – I love PC transfers! For bead embroidery, as shown here… or mixed media pieces – I love having another layer of meaning in my work. 


 JDR PC/resin

Resin! Layers of meaning… you see the theme? The “Language of Flowers” pieces incorporate vintage illustrations from a children’s encyclopedia. ( from my choldhood!) The text pieces  were features in January as the “Component of the Month” over at Art Jewelry Elements blog. Both will be available at Beadfest this August! 


JDR PC/mixed media

Tarot card inspired shrine pendants and my Athena piece from Diana Ptaszynski’s Waxed Linen blog hop – this was a hollow focal and has started many new ideas brewing! 


JDR PC Beadfest

Last, but not least! Mixed media amulet pendants – the class I will be teaching at Beadfest Philadelphia ( August 20-24th) Tab set cabochons, textured PC and all matter of paint finishes! 




 Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my PC work – Leave me a comment if you feel so inclined! 

Until later… 


I can be found: 

FB – The Art of Jenny Davies-Reazor

Twitter – JDRshrineart

Etsy – Jdaviesreazor










Many meandering paths… coming together!

MM amulets


I am thrilled to be taking the next step in my teaching career and offering a mixed media workshop at Beadfest Philadelphia this August! ( Information can be found here.) These mixed media amulets bring together metals, ceramics and polymer in a unique and colorful way. Students will design, saw, texture, and create their own personal amulet. Acrylic paint is used to accentuate the impressed designs. Whether colorful or rustic, bold or subtle – they will be gorgeous. 

The work I am am doing now is truly the culmination of many years of experience in the arts. From studying painting and metal smithing in Art school, to early experiments with sculpting polymer in the early 1990’s. I have painted and sculpted my entire life, and as my full time job for over 24 years. I was fortunate to work with Lana Wilson at Penland a few year back, and she really opened my eyes to texture. ( My Penland posts are here and here.) I am thrilled to share the things I love with a new crop of students in the Beadfest environment. 

Thanks to all who have supported me along the way, I look forward to this new exciting chapter! 

A few more pictures, you say? I value the diversity of polymer: 

Dragon transfer

Testing out polymer transfers. (Original post on Art Jewelry Elements blog)

Celtic Amulet

My Celtic amulet – contains sand and amber from the Baltic Sea.  

And just for fun: Dont laugh too hard! The early Art History inspired polymer – from my days as “Jewelry Jenny” at Appel Farm Arts and Music camp. Teaching polymer over 20 years ago… ( Munch’s “The Scream, A Klimt woman, and Medusa…)

AH polymer

Thanks for stopping by! 





Beadfest planning and preparation.



After 2 months of focused preparation, the weekend is here. I have hundreds of pendants. 

Mythic Nature pendants

They are almost all priced. 


The process of planning is a visual one. I will have an 8′ table in Artisan’s Alley – #461 is you were wondering. I wanted to maximize my space and create a pleasing display. A display that showcases my “Mythic Nature” series of original designs. But I have SO MUCH inventory – I need to use every inch.

So I do a mock set up in the basement studio:


There are trays for pendants, necklace displays to show finished pieces… I really like the antique cigar boxes – I can pin up samples in the lid and set out more stock in the bottom. 

I have new work, featuring new pendants… Half the fun is planning waht to wear, and display… I made a new batch of necklaces featuring my pendants and time in the studio was a joy after marathon glazing sessions – 6+ hours a day, 5 days a week. 

Veritas necklace

Now I just have to pack up: 


Hope to see you in Philly! 

$5 entry coupon



Beadfest Sneak Peek

Taking a glazing break – actually I am almost finished, having met the epis task I set myself! I will have a plethora of pretties at Beadfest this month in Philadelphia – my classic “Mythic Nature” designs and new items as well. Needless to say – I havent been doing much else lately. Heres a recap of the last weeks… 


Milagros – sorted into piles, 4-6 colors each! in the designs, fresh from the kiln… 

Hi fire

A new, OOAK batch of vessels and goddesses. High fire stoneware with a wash of iron oxide. Very happy with these… 

Matroska cabs


Matroska cabochons, raw glaze before firing.  There will be pendants too. 

resin rings


Limited edition  pendants – some will have resin inserts of vintage illustrations/antique text. Others will be open… 

If you are a beader, wire worker, metal smith – or even a newbie bead stringer… please stop by and sat Hello! I will be at Booth 461 in Artisan’s Alley. 

Beadfest pass 

Clay and linoleum – an unlikely duo?

Update from the studio… 

!. Glazing all day. 

2. Bisque firing what may be last load before Beadfest. 

3. Mopping up basement as its a monsoon out there. 

4. Waiting… to unload new goddesses from the ^10 reduction firing at the “work” studio!

And thinking of printmaking. 

My friend, fellow clay artist and AJE member Diana P. wrote a post this week regarding her foray into carving stamps. She is working with EZ carve – similar in consistency to white erasers. Its great to carve, but a little springy. Too soft for what she wanted to do in clay, but great fun nontheless. 

So I decided to share some linoleum I had carved, and stamped into clay. This is the economy “battleship” linoleum that I used to use when I taught art/printmaking as a public school teacher. Its shallow but very firm and worked well for my new dseries of icons. 

Lino pendants

Yin Yang and Om signs in clay – awaiting finishing.  

carving area

Here’s my carving area, complete with bench pin, and a few other “icons” in progress. This series I designed to keep simple and have the symbol itself be very clear and legible. I like the texture the carving leaves – as contrasted to the smooth background surface. These are going to be glazed in an array of colors… 

Fairy door tile

And one more example of linoleum and clay in tandem: this is a clay tile/print from a linoleum block I carved in San Diego. When I lived there I had an amazing artist/mentor in Sibyl Rubottom. This was from a printmaking and letterpress workshop I took at her studio, Bay Park Press. It was carved to print  and accompany text set in letterpress. And so I tested it in clay – was thrilled the depth was sufficient to give me a print to glaze. This was the test piece; I plan to do more for my fall shows. 

I am excited to be able to draw on the creative energy of that fruitful time – although I work in such different materials. I am glad the block carved 10 years ago and across the US can be reborn here, now. In many ways my series of “Mythic Nature” tiles and pendants are similar to a run of prints… but that philosophical musing will wait for another day. I have more to glaze…


Lingering Summer, approaching Autumn

me at Beadfest

For so many years this was my back to school part of the year. Now its the back to the studio time – after teaching Ceramics camps over the summer – time to design and create new work for the upcoming Fall season. 

The month of August was all about Beadfest Philadelphia! Glazing, firing, preparing, and finally exhibiting at my first bead show. It was a fantastic time and a success! That’s me pictured at my Beadfest table. But it may be partly to blame for the complete lack of a Summer newsletter…


So while it still feels like summer, I have Fall on my mind. Fall festivals and events, fun and frolic. This update is going to be brief – out of necessity as I head to the beach tonight for a show this weekend…


Bethany Beach Boardwalk Festival – THIS SATURDAY  (September 8th) in town on Garfield Parkway and the Boardwalk. I will be on the boardwalk between Parkwood and Hollywood Sts.  The show runs from 10-5, and I find this to be my favorite time of year at the beach . There is also a Silent Auction to benefit area schools. Their site: http://web.bethany-fenwick.org/events


Artsfest at Annmarie Garden – Next weekend! (Sept. 15 -16th) Imagine it – dappled sunlight through a canopy of trees, music drifting in on the wind… artists galore… Its a lovely setting and a great show! Their link: http://www.annmariegarden.org/annmarie2/content/artsfest-2010


The following weekend I have some “me” time planned. ArtBliss is an art retreat held outside DC, in Dulles VA. In its third year, it hosts art, mainly jewelry themed, workshops by nationally acclaimed instructors. I look forward to being inspired, experimenting in polymer ( a new/old medium for me) and catching up with friends! ( Find out more at: www.artblissworkshops.com)


Mermaid tile and pendant


The final Fall show of the trilogy: Art on the Avenue – Saturday October 6th in DelRay/Alexandria VA. This to me – is a “Welcome Autumn” show as there are pumpkins, kids building wacky floppy scarecrows… you name it. Great music, tasty food – and the festival is huge! Definitely time to do Holiday shopping! Their list of artists: http://www.artontheavenue.org


On a different note I have a series of workshops that I am offering this Fall at The Art Studio. It is located in Wilmington DE, and houses “my” ceramic studio. My classes will be a mix of jewelry and ceramics, projects and techniques – suitable for all experience levels.  I will send a more detailed list next week, as time allows. You can check them out if you are interested: http://www2.nccde.org/artstudio/default.aspx


Until then – sorry I have to run! Fall is my favorite time of year! I am looking forward to sweaters & jeans, crisp breezes, creating new work, and all that Autumn brings! Enjoy!





For details, links and more pictures – as well as up to date work in progress, please stop by my blog on my website: www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog. As always – if you no longer wish to receive the newsletter – simply email me. Thanks!

Beadfest bounty.

I wanted to share with you some of the treasures that I brought home from Beadfest. As I may have mentioned – I am thrilled to be a part of this creative community, and found the environment of Beadfest invigorating. I came home with materials, artist beads, and ideas to last me a good while. I do have a tendency to live with the new materials for a while before incorporating them into new pieces. The artist beads and focals are handcrafted by colleagues, fellow artists; I want to share their information here – we all support each other with marketing, blogging, social media… wherever we can. And although I have unplugged these last two days in an effort to feel restored before I dive back into the studio – I am inspired to create with: 

S+S Shivam

Cabochons – S&S lapidary

Gems – Shivam imports. (Labradorite, citrine, garnet, labradorite, spiniel)

Dakota Stones

Dakota stones  – onyx, ?, dragons blood jasper, moss agate, apatite,?, amazonite.

Carol DeeZigns

Gorgeous enameled components from Carol Myers of Carol DeeZigns. Carol is the FIRST certified “Painting with Fire” instructor!

glass clay booty1

Lampwork Strands ( top to bottom) SueBeads, HMB Studios, Gardanne beads. 

Lampwork “stone” – Kerry Bogert of Kab’s Concepts. 

Polymer Buddha – Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf

Matte finish lampwork beads – JoAnne Zekowski of Z Designs in Glass

Moon/ocean lampwork focal – Jan Onipenco of Molten Mayhem

clay metal booty

Left: Ceramic components by Mary Hubbard of White Clover Kiln

Bottom: Bronze pieces by Staci Smith of Staci Louise Originals

Right: Ceramic and raku pieces by Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio

Green Girl treasures

Green Girl Studios!

Andrew Thornton originals

Andrew Thornton sculptural bronze components and focals. Andrew was one of my Bead Swap partners…

And – one of the highlights of Beadfest is the BEAD SWAP organized by Diana P. of Suburban Girls Studios. My lovely partner this year was Sandy Miller – and she showered me with goodness! Interesting that it was the ceramic artists I knew, and the lampwork artists that I am thrilled to be introduced to… I was tempted to unwrap one wee parcel each hour Saturday afternoon, but I quickly lost that will power and dove in: 

Bead Swap goodies

From top left to bottom right: Studio by the Forest, Nancy Schindler at Round Rabbit, Chinook ceramics, Outwest glass, Lori Lochner, and Lava Lampwork


Thank you to all my artist friends for doing what you do, sharing it with the world, and pursuing the (not always easy) path or a self-supporting artist! Until next year…

BeadFest – these are the people in my neighborhood

My first Beadfest as an exhibitor has come and gone. It was most definitely worth the days spend firing and glazing in a frenzy! I had a wonderful time – seeing my pieces well received, meeting new friends, catching up with old friends. And I managed to fit in a little shopping and a bit of barter (tomorrow’s post). For now – a recap of the booth, and a few of my neighbors. I regret not taking more people pictures…I seem to have focused on the beads. 

My booth

high fire and words

"Mythic Nature" series

Lunar Hare

Lampwork lovelies from my neighbor Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads

 Sue Beads

What patience! Hundreds of raku beads from Amy at Xaz Bead Company

Xaz Bead Co.

One of a kind ceramic focals and buttons from Mary Hubbard at White Clover Kiln.

White Clover Kiln

Green Girl Studios – pewter charms, buttons, pendants…

Green Girl Studios

Lampwork from Heather of HBM Studios. 

HMB Studios

Lampwork focals from Anne of Gardanne Beads. 

Gardanne beads

The show was great, although long hours on one’s feet. The atmosphere was very invigorating, and creative. I am thrilled to be part of this community; I am very glad I took the leap and applied. Although it seems very quiet here at home, alone – I am full of ideas and energy – so thank you friends!