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. )

img_2290

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

Celestial Moon – the Art Elements Component of the Month reveal

I can’t believe we have turned the calendar page to December… Before we deck the halls, and fatten the goose – lets take a minute or two for the November COM over at Art Elements!

This month we had a guest artist! Kristie Roeder of Artisan Clay donated a few of her signature glass/glaze circular pendants. They are rich in color – pools you can dive in to! As you would expect – I forgot to take a picture of mine when I received it… I got the one pictured here on the top right!

The donated pendants from Artisan Clay

The colors were evocative of the night sky to me – and we had a Super Moon on November 14th. Wheels are turning… the Muse taps me on the shoulder. And I knew I would wire the “moon” into the center of the piece. Then stars, then crystals… and it all came together quickly.

Jasper “moon” wired into the celestial sky

Umm –  love it all and its too big for me to wear – even better! I’ll hang it in my studio!

Finished pendant

I decided to add to the piece with a top section: nickle silver and faux bone. The Latin translates ti: “From darkness, light” and is a favorite quote of mine. I love the engraver – for those freehand swirls! I need to experiment more! I’m not sure how I want to hang the piece, but this ribbon is one option. What are your thoughts? Overall I am really happy with how it turned out  – and I have been beading so much lately, it was GREAT to saw again…

Thanks for stopping in and please don’t miss the other designs this month from guests and team mates alike.

Guest Designers:

Sarajo Wentling

Lola Surwillo

Beti Horvath

Kate Kemp

ArtE Team

Susan Kennedy

Lesley Watt

Claire Fabian

Jen Cameron

 

 

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…  

 

 

Old is new again… rejuvenated shrines.

February is short and speedy. I realized that I hadn’t blogged yet all month, and I have a lot to share. This month my show opened at the Palette and the Page in Elkton, MD. We had a fabulous opening on First Friday! So many friends attended, old and new, and I thank you all! 

The timing of this show created a challenge for me. The ceramics studio where I work and fire larger pieces was closed from early December until the third week in January. I had started quite a few shrines, and some large sculptural figures… but it wasnt meant to be. I couldn’t get them dry/fired/glazed/fired in time. So I turned to some orphans I had waiting patiently in my studio. These are pieces that were perfect; no flaws or faults… but they hadn’t ever been completed with their interior elements. I was waiting inspiration, and this year it came! So I wanted to share a few of these with you. 

“Hope springs eternal”

B/F Hope Springs

It all started with the hare, a carved boxwood netsuke bead. The polymer egg is the work of Barbara Bechtel of Second Surf. From the hare and the egg, symbols of spring in many cultures, the rest fell in place. 

“Into the Woods”

Into the Woods

This was loosely inspired by the topic of Red Riding Hood and a discussion that occurred on Terri Windling’s blog. Terri is a Muse of mine, a fountain of folkore knowledge. The piece was carved with trees, intending to have a woodland theme. I sculpted polymer bread and a jug to go inside, referencing the items Red takes to Grandmother… 

And so you see – pieces that were waiting for me. This altar (below left) was a blank slate. I decided I wanted to hang elements, but hadn’t drilled holes before firing. The solution? Fabricate decorate wire hooks, or course. The bright butterfly piece shown below – that was dates 2011. The intense colors are not my usual palette, and it languished. But a polymer moth, hovering in from of a floral collage? Really visually pleasing to me… 

New shrines

Making the links

This piece is a personal favorite, a successful blending of techniques. I have been happily seed beading and adding bead embroidery to my jewelry repertoire. I want to make the wearables and the sculptures cohesive as my body of work. Beading the bottle element in this shrine adds a level of detail and color. It also makes connections to jewelry pieces displayed in the show. 

I hope people do get a chance to see the exhibit, which will remain up for this month. I am represented by the gallery, and do have other ceramic and mixed media pieces on display. Patti Paulus, one of the artist/owners created this wall for me. I was giddy! 

Gallery wall

The Palette and the Page: 

120 East Main Street ~ Elkton, Maryland
410.398.3636
Tuesday – Friday 11am-6pm  &  Saturday – 11am

Stay tuned for the next February update: February FunADay! 

 

 

 

 

 

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… 

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

 
 
 

Clay Camp

Where have I been? Clay Camp! Every summer I teach an intensive ceramics class at my work studio. ( As opposed to my home studio) Its great fun, a lot of work, and a bit tiring. I just startled mysefl awake in a chair, iPad in my lap. When did I fall asleep? Whatever… 

The numbers: 

2 sessions. 10 days each. 1.5 hours a day in class. 2 classes a day. 

ages 6-9 – sculpting and hand building/ sculptural and functional work.

ages 10-17 – same as above with wheel throwing in the mix and taking priority. 

The saving grace – I have 2 ( yes – 2!!!) fab student teacher’s aides! Sweet! And I can pay them in clay… 

So I thought I would show you exactly what we have been up to… 

Jo's LOTR tile

The first teen project was a relief tile – inspired by reading, and loosely book shaped. Here is Jo – during the laborious painting process. This took at least 2 hours, painting the details in underglaze. The finished tile is outstanding and full of symbolic images in every space. It looks better in person! (Can you find Orthanc? Boromir’s horn? A swan ship? The Eye? )

Throwing

Center the clay, open the clay, raise or pull the clay… repeat. Get dirty. Enjoy!

dipped and drying

Wheel thrown pieces by the teen age group. Dipped in the high fire ^10 glazes! Awaiting kiln loading!

dry. Fire. dip.

Dry. Fire. Glaze. Dip. The hardest challenge of clay camp is drying. The humid weather forces me to break a few rules, and dry pots fast, on a hot kiln. Generallly this is a no-no. But the first week we are sculpting and throwing – I have to get things fired so we can glaze them! 

WIP

New work from this week in Session 2. The book project tiles –  expanded a bit to include the favorites Dr. Who and Star Trek. A coffee monster pinch pot. (How did you know it was me? ) And 2 sleeping creatures – an elephant tucked in with radio at his head, and my sample – a bunny reading a book, that I hope to finish tomorrow!

Trim, carve, sketch

This is Emma, my teacher’s aide,  trimming pots for the teens. In the time we have – I choose not to teach trimming right away. We clean up the pots on the wheel, and by hand a bit as needed. Some I trim, and now Emma volunteers. It IS rather Zen… So while Emma trims – her mom, artist Sarah Dressler, carves intricate designs into Emma’s thrown porcelain pieces. Sweet deal! And a great way to pass the time as Sarah isnt teaching this session… 

So – in a week or so I will be fully immersed in bead and pendant making – getting ready for Beadfest in Philadelphia. But for know I am playing with clay, loading kilns and just having a good time. See you soon!

 

 

 

Clay camp and a kiln unloaded…

Argh

Welcome to clay camp. 

Well – its my primary focus for the next 5 weeks. I have up to 24 students in 2 age groups. Ages range from 6-17. They are with me for 2 weeks – one of creating, sculpting, wheel throwing, hand building; and another of finishing, glazing, decorating. 

And in my off time – I am making things like mad in preparation for Beadfest in Philadelphia in August… 

Last Friday I did a post over at Art Jewelry Elements blog about the loading of the ^10 high fire reduction kiln. We unloaded today! It was a great firing. Not a ton of reduction – so out copper bearing glazes flashed more green then red. Simply beautiful in my opinion!

The big reveal

The first thing I saw this morning!

kiln pix collage

Taking it apart – shelf by shelf. 

porcelain components!

I am so happy with my organic porcelain charms! There are coral prints & sea urchin, in 4 colors. And I didn’t “Lose” any stuck to the shelf or chipped, etc. Many of them have 2 holes. I want to make earrings with dangle, and bracelet links… 

Coffee is done. Headed to the studio. I’d love to hear what you think!

 

Denizen of the Deep – Suburban Girl Design Team “Summer” reveal!

Summer! It is here – no questioning that! Temperatures in the 90’s here in Delaware have me dreaming of the ocean. Luckily all of DE is relatively close to the beach (as opposed to the shore in NJ) and headed there for a respite soon. The summer charms from Diana arrived ages ago – and a lovely lampwork from Jan as well! I confess, I finished this yesterday. I have been up to my elbows in clay, teaching sculpture and wheel throwing at Clay Camp – and found it hard to switch gears. But with such lovely ingredients in my mind’s eye – I think I was designing this piece weeks ago in my head!

Summer sampler Summer loot

Here is the first pile of potential pairings. I knew I wanted to use my own ceramic mermaid pendant, how could I not? The colors in Jan’s bead were so inviting! And the gorgeous paairing of sandy brown and celadon in Diana’s – so my style! Here is: shell slice, mother of pearl, stick pearl, sea glass, river stone. 

Idea pile 1

I wanted to bring more of the earthy sand color in – so Marsha Neal Studios silks to the rescue. I have a huge stash I sell with my pendants – so I am spoiled and have a color for every need!

Add some silk...

Hmm. The pile of potential has changed. Abalone, amazonite, recycled bottle glass beads, copper green pearls, jasper… What jasper is that? THe dark teal-y one with drown matrix? You know the one I mean…

Getting closer...

And here she is: “Denizen of the Deep”. I ended up with pearl and kyanite as the dangle, abalone, amazonite, MOP, pearl, and that jasper as the gems strand. 

Denizen of the Deep

I wanted the larger components on the right to be balanced visually, so the left side is a double strand of gems and matte olive seed beads. Here’s a detail of the pendant and the SGD Team featured components: 

details...

The starfish, you say? Where is the starfish? I had to go rogue and do a companion piece. I wanted the starfish to get equal attention, so it is the focal on the matching bracelet ( silk, seed beads, and gems – as inteh necklace)

partner piece

The completed pair

Hope this finds you cool and content – enjoying the best of summer and avoiding the worst. Have a cold beverage, some sushi, and channel your inner mermaid!

Please stop by my partners pages as well!

Diana Ptaszynski http://www.suburbangirlstudio.com/
Jenny Davies-Reazor http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog
Kristen Stevens http://kristen-beadjourney.blogspot.com/
Jan Onipenco http://moltenmayhem.typepad.com/
Marla James http://marlasmudmoments.blogspot.com/
Sandra Basara Miller http://www.sandra5461.blogspot.com/
Michelle Buettner http://misheldesigns.blogspot.com/