Draconic inspiration: the theme reveal at Art Elements!

Here be dragons! 

When Niky posted the theme for December it was instantly inspirational!  I count myself lucky to have many visual artist friends and I shared some of my dragon favorites earlier on this blog. I love dragons versatility. They are creatures of air, earth, fire… They appear in myriad forms across all world cultures. For this month I worked with a vintage image and one of my original carvings:

First up – this archaic watery dragon pictured on the top right. I cast a vintage button – and cast these in porcelain. Infinite possibilities.

Below ( bottom right) are mu original hand carved dragons. These are cast in stoneware and I was really delighted/surprised with the intense colors! They were fired to ^10 in a gas reduction kiln – known for earthier tones, not usually such intensity. (This is one reason I love AMACO velvets. )

Last but not least I pressed a few polymer dragons. The one pictured here feels Art Nouveau – and I love the copper patina paint finishes.

cabs-pendants

Dragons are available in the Art Elements Extras destash group on FB. 

The polymer dragon I kept was treated with Swellegant paints/patinas. I used an iron base with a rust patina and color accents. It makes me think of sunken pieces of eight recovered from a deep ocean wreck. I beaded the bezel and then was stalled: tiger eye vs tiger iron? Both colors in the cab, but which to accentuate?

img_1890

img_2284

The finished pendant – with pearls, citrine, goldstone, tiger iron.

The finished piece! Beaded… I added citrine and copper pearls since I had chosen the red tiger iron. I am really pleased with the results – and I love the effect of the red-orange lined yellow seed beads.

details-dragon

Details of the crusty patina and the gems.

Bonus dragon: vintage image, applied as an image transfer to a polymer cab. (Banner photo: includes red City of London dragons and the Welsh flag. )

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Bonus dragon: image transfer onto polymer

Thank you Niky for setting us of on this path! I have more dragons flying around in my head. But for now – please join us in this reveal blog hop!

Guests

Shai Williams

Kathy Lindemer

Anita Rao

Kelly Rodgers

Tammy Adams

 

AJE Team

Susan

Cathy

Jen

Niky

Diana

Laney

Caroline

Claire

Glass treasures – the May COM reveal

Once again – a month comes to a close. I may not have blogged much – but I do have treasures to show you! Its time for the Art Jewelry Elements COM reveal!

I am spoiled. Sue gave me a selection of these new wee gorgeous cabochons when we briefly met up at Bead Fest April in Philly. I was greedy and asked for THREE (!!!) of these stars. I envisioned them as a crown over a celestial goodess face. 

Sue star cabs

But its Spring, and I have had a chance to go to the beach a few times. Walking dogs, with a coffee, early in the morning is my favorite pastime. And beach combing. Very quickly this became a starfish, destined to be nestled in a mermaid’s hair. (Late in the month I realized that #MerMay is a thing on social media. Google it). So when a new batch of stoneware face cabs came out of the high fire gas kiln… this happened: 

May 2016 COM

Shells from Bethany DE, antique coral, abalone from NZ (long story)… Sue’s cab sets the palette, and Caroline’s sea urchin bead completes the piece! Here are some detail shots: 

COM details

I need to stitch on some beaded loops or closed rings. That part always happens last as it seems like a chore to me. 

Umm – so I was at the beach this past Memorial Day weekend – and I always pack beads. The weather was a bit grey… so while tired dogs napped after morning hikes… 

Mermaid tapestry

This is a small tapestry. The enamleled mermaid is from Anne Gardanne. I have been treasuring it… You know I am doing a beaded goddess each month? Well, I have further challenged myself to sculpt all those cabs. So this is a bonus! The May goddess is done; the June piece is laid out. I am not sure where I am going with this – but that purple! It was as if Sue’s cab and Anne’s mermaid were destined! I’d love to hear what you think… 

I was very inspired, and rather prolific; please visit my team mates and our guests to see other creative designs featuring Sue’s wee cabs!  

 Guests
Allison Herrington
Lola Surwillo
 
AJE Team Members
Susan Kennedy – host
Diana Ptaszynski
Kristen Stevens
Jenny Davies-Reazor ( here)
Caroline Dewison
Lindsay Starr
Lesley Watt
Jennifer Cameron
Niky Sayers
 

AJE Buried Treasure reveal

Welcome to the 2016 edition of “Buried Treasure” challnege sponsored by Art Jewelry Elements blog.

AKA “Use your stash” 

Its been great year so far for me – filled with friends, adventure, and best of all – studio time! I am working hard to balance time in the mediums that I love and allow time for new pursuits. After a week in Mexico working in metals, they are now demanding equal studio time. The snow days make me want to sit and do nothing but bead embroider, patially because I am sore from shoveling… 

Here is what I have to offer for this challenge – with pieces from my stash by Jen Cameron/Glass Addictions, Lesley Watt/Thea Elements and Sue Kennedy/Sue Beads: 

Lesley's cab and resin

Oceanic pendant – ceramic cab by Lesley. (Resin cab by me)

The glaze Lesley selected for this detailed spiral ammonite? Perfection! It accentuates the detail in her ceramic piece and breaks across the texture so well… I wanted to base all the colors of her cab and really showcase it. I like the resin cab… it has made me want to experiement with other resin cabs and collaging paper behind… creating layers in the piece. 

Sue beads in turquoise

I confess – I have done a piee similar to this before. I have a veritable hoard of Susan’s cabs. I am addicted. This apple green with turquoise makes my eyes happy. (Sounds silly – but you KNOW what I mean) 

These two came together easily, a pleasure to work with… then there is the piece that challenges you at every turn. Well, here is mine:

Jen/Sue WIP

Again – an ammonite cab by Sue. It has sat in a small glass dish nestled into those same gems and pearls for over a year. They were extras from another piece waiting to be put away. Then I liked the palette. Then it sat there to be pretty. Then it sat there to be on deck, and I finally decided what to do… After the aforementioned week in metals I decided to bezel set it. 

Yes it has issues. ( Bezel wire was too heavy a gauge. Bezel may be a bit less than 100% soldered…) But its for me and it represents moving back into metal after years. I’m happy with it! And yes – those ar the same gems that were in that bowl originally! 

Ammonite!

Please join me in looking at my team-mates work – and our guests this month. And maybe dig into your treasure trove of beads and USE them! What are you waiting for? 

AJE team:

Guests

Shai – Shai’s Ramblings

Melissa – Bead Recipes

Tammy – Paisley  Lizard

Sarajo – SJ Designs

Kathy – Bay Moon Designs

Lola – Bead Lola Bead

Samantha – Wescott Jewelry

Mona – Bijoux Gem

Suntsa – Suntsan
 

 

 

 

 

Back to work, back to reality

Last month when I was doing some of the creative business entrepreneur journaling stuff – year in review and all – I relaized that I felt like I was in production mode all year in 2015. Not enough time to sculpt new designs, not enough time to play and develop new pieces. So when the ceramics studio re-opened this week, it was nice to get my hands back into clay. And it was nice to play a little bit. 

New clay 1

Celtic knot cabs are destined for The Bead Binge in Cherry Hill NJ. ( March 19 & 20). The larger rectangular pieces? Who knows? Mixed media pieces? Beaded into felted pieces? 

new clay 2

Tree of Life. Triquetras. Triple Spirals… and again some large I’m-not-sure-what-for-yet peices. But I look forward to glazing them! 

new clay 3

These are pressed from an antique cookie mold – you know the Springerle style of shortbread cookies?

New figure WIP

And this lovely lady… muse… goddess will go in the high fire reduction kiln next week. JUST IN TIME for the members show at The Palette and the Page next month! I have a few days to ponder what organic/sculptural elements will be included. She has a nature/woodland/plant theme. 

Now – off to prepare for a much anticipated snow storm. I have books, and coffee, and oh! dog food. Must see that all this house’s inhabitants are cared for as we settle in for the weekend! Until later…  

 

 

Back from Berks!

 Berks Bead Bazaar! 

What a fabulous time was had by all! There was threat of impending snow-mageddon, again… This was my first time vending at this great local show – I loved every second of it! My regrets: not buying any cabs; and not taking more pictures. But here it is: 

My territory

My home away from home: earthenware, stoneware, and polymer trays piled high. Class samples for Beadfest. And a great visit from dear friend Sally Russick. (Also great to see Sue Kennedy – who I have to thank for one of these booth pix.) 

Porcelain and glass

Porcelain and glass: (Clockwise from top left)

Louise Mehaffey, Joan Miller‘s robot cuties, Alice St. Germain beads, Joan’s sea creatures, Louise’s display. 

Marsha and Dona

Marsha Neal beads and seed pods at D7 Studios; torched copper and whimsy from Dona Jones. 

Staci !

My friend Staci and her amazing polymer creations. Happy to have her as a neighbor.

And a huge shout out to Diana of Suburban Girl Studio, and Patti Cahill – also neighbors. What a great weekend sharing time and space with these fellow artists; sadly with no pictures… 

Greg's cabs

Um – these are the cabs I wish I had… from Greg Graupp

Berks loot

But these are the treasures I did bring home! (Clockwise from top)

Top: Polymer and metal from Staci Louise Originals

Porcealin and stoneware form Marsha Neal Studio

Lampwork by Alice St. Germain

Enameled stunners from Anne Gardanne

Seed beads for my new obsession from Leslie of Twisted Sistah fame. 

Wee tiny porelain cabs from Joan Miller

Gorgeous ceramic pairs, and cabs from Diana/ Suburban Girl Studios. 

 

Thank you Joan and Louise for organizing a great show, and welcoming me into the collective. It was a pleasure, and made work truly fun! Sorry to be so breif – I have beads to go gaze upon… 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating with Cabochons

 Welcome! Here it is – reveal day for the “Creating with Cabochons” hop hosted by Sally Russick. 

The challenge was to create using cabochons – no holes! I admit – I use cabochons, and make ceramic cabochons frequently. I wanted to challenge myself to set cabs four ways: 1. tabs 2. a soldered bezel 3. polymer  4. seed beads. 

I know that sounds crazy – and it was! I havent soldered a bezel since my metal smithing days in college. I want desperately to reclaim those skills, and I will – but it did not happen in time for this hop. I have set cabs in polymer before — with a textured clay bezel. My favorite is using tabs. I like the challenge of designing tabs that are decorative and functional. And I love sawing. But let me show you what I DID accomplish… 

porcelain flower

Cab #2 – just beginning. Porcelain cab/my work – irregular shape. 

 

tab set cabs

My tab set cabs. ( All my work – polymer Ganesh, stoneware butterflies and Green Man foliate head). I was using brass for a change, and left it shiny! Not my usual preference, but I was trying to challenge myself… 

first owl cab

Athena’s owl ( earthenware cab, repro of antique drachma coin) The first attempt. Its a little wonky – a few beads sticking out of line here and there. I learned peyote stitch 10+ years ago when I worked at The Shepherdess in San Diego. Never did bezels until now… I adore the painterly aspect of choosing bead colors to accentuate the ceramic glaze!

peyote backing

Full disclosure! I had an assist from Cooky Schock – she was in town for Beadfest and we had a few days of “Art Camp” before she headed home to SD. (She was my original peyote stitch teacher, BTW!) She gave me valuable insight into finishing the backs on my pieces.

From top right: 1. bezel complete – stitched onto pollon in lieu of Stiff Stuff. 2/3. The back plain and then with pellon stitched down. 4. Ultrasuede stitched down! 5. first owl cab with messy stitched sueded cloth. compared to the final of the three cabs with the clean presentable backing! 

 

final three

The final three peyote stitched cabochons. I am pleased with how they came out! It was new to me – even though I had tried peyote stitch in the past… and its very exciting to have a chance to use my own work in such a different context. While I dont know if I will ever switch to seed beads completely – I am glad to have them in my repertoire. I often sit and bead while watching tv… I am so glad Sally threw down this challenge! 

Looking forward to seeing all the diverse cabs put to use on this Hop! Here are the participants! Before you go – I would love to hear your thoughts! And thanks for stopping by… 

 

Your Host:  Sally Russick

D Lynne  Bowland

Alicia Marinache           

Lynn  Jobber           

Jenny Davies-Reazor  ( you are here)         

Jo-Ann  Woolverton           

Marde Lowe           

Dawn Doucette           

Mary K McGraw           

Gloria Allen           

Cheri  Reed           

Sonya Stille           

Elizabeth Owens Dwy           

Veralynne   Malone           

Tania Hagen           

Lynsey  Brooks           

Christina Miles           

Holly  Westfall           

Kathy  Lindemer           

Patti Vanderbloemen           

 Therese Frank           

Adrienne Berry           

Liz   E  

Tanty  Sri Hartanti           

Ginger Bishop

Renetha Stanziano           

Marlene  Cupo           

Sandi Volpe           

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson           

Niky  Sayers

 Mischelle Fanucchi           

Tracy  Stillman           

Skylar Bre’z           

Ann Schroeder           

Paula Kramer

Jess Green           

Susan Kennedy           

Stacie  Florer           

Cathie  Carroll           

Susan F.   

Michelle Caballero       

Sabine Dittrich           

Kristina Johansson           

Kimberly Sturrup-Roberts           

Melissa  Meman           

Cheryl McCloud         

Michelle  Timms           

Cindy  Pack                 

Lynda  Carson

Cynthia  Machata           

Julia  Harris           

Karin  Slaton

Ingrid  Anderson           

Karin Grosset Grange

Jasvanti  Patel  

Inge  von Roos

Molly Alexander

 
 
 

Retail therapy

Saturday was a day of retail therapy and fabulous friends – old and new. I went to the Berks Bead Bazaar with my friend Marsha (Marsha Neal Studio) and her daughter Chloe – bead babe in training! I stated emphatically in the car ” I don’t NEED anything…” but was very much looking forward to lunch with friends and a bit of eye candy…

First stop: Lisa Peters Art

Lisa Peters1

Stoneware, cabochons, buttons Oh my!

Lisa Peters2

I met Lisa – what is it now? – 4 years ago at the Moravian Tile Festival – through Marsha. We three had a great time, and I have counted Lisa a friend since! She is a generous, creative, funny, fabulous woman who makes exquisite one of a kind ceramic creations. Why – you ask – do I need to buy ceramic cabochons since I make them myself? They are attractive, inspiring, different… Every truly creative clay person makes pieces so unique, stamped with their personality – I need all the more because I love clay so much…

Next up – catching up with Diana P. of Suburban Girl Studio ( back to her later) and finally meeting Staci from Staci Louise Originals

Silly. Silks.

Staci Smith at her booth

Staci’s booth display was gorgeous!( As is her polymer.) She works on PMC, bronze clay, and polymer. I especially like the crackle finish pieces. They had an air of antiquity I liked: 

crackle polymer

We had an epic lunch with Sandra Miller and Mary Hubbard & Molly Hubbard and Kristie Roeder and Melinda Orr  and Diana P. – service was slow, but we were talking and talking and didnt notice – except that there was a bit of shopping to be done…

bead babes

(L to R: Melinda Orr, Lisa Peters Russ, Marsha Minutella, me, and sleepy Chloe)

But I said I didnt need anything… I was very restrained, let me show you the loot: 

loot1

2 Stoneware cabs from Lisa Peters Art. Strands of green garnet, amazonite and aqua terra jasper. 

loot2

And thinking of Spoutwood Faerie Festival, I wanted some cabs to tab set. (wrote them down, cant remember…) That bronze moon face by Staci might be mine to keep!

And I did get one more bit of bead loot recently! I said I would tell you more about Diana of Suburban Girl studio? Well, I am a member of her first annual design team. She is going to give us challenges – seasonally – to create an original piece using one of her ceramic components. This Spring challenge includes a lampwork bead from Jan at Molten Mayhem (also a design team member). I think the palette is very “Spring” but a bit out of my comfort zone. Well, it IS called a challenge.. I definitely have some ideas percolating in my head. I will keep you posted!

suburban girl loot