Beads of Courage – Charm swap and charity auction

 BOC button

AUCTION! ART CHARMS! BEADS! A WORTHY CAUSE! 

I want to introduce you to a new-to-me charity event called Beads of Courage. This year I was able to participate in this fundraiser; raising money for arts-in-medicine programs for children. As an art educator and advocate, I have seen the power that an arts experience can have on a child. At any age, at any time. 

The charm swap and auction is a prodigious task, undertaken by Jennifer Cameron of Glass Addictions. (And my team mate at Art Jewelry Elements.) Participants made a dozen charms (or in my case 2 dozen!) and received an assortment back. Charms by each participant are being auctioned off, NOW! ( Click here.) 

Beads of Courage 2014 theme: Soar!

 Winged things, flitting, floating. Fairies? or their more earthy cousins – dragonflies and butterflies? Yes! These charms are hand carved, an entirely original offering. These original designs wer sculpted and carved in earthenware clay. A plaster mold preserved the image and multiple new charms can be pressed from soft clay. Each one is hand painted, and customized with “Soar” and date on the back.

Butterflies are symbolic of the soul in many cultures of the world. They are the agents of transformation, and ethereally beautiful. Their delicate wings allow them to flit, fly… and soar. Dragonflies are similar in many ways… and even represented the warrior spirit in Aztec Mexico!

Soar charms

But I was still inspired and signed up to do another batch! These are my newest love: the fusion of polymer and copper! 

These unique mixed media charms combine polymer clay and copper. The copper shapes were cut, stamped, polished and tumbled to create the dark glowing patina. The polymer goes through the copper, holding itself in place with rounded top and bottom shapes – like a rivet! Textured impressed in the clay are accented with oils and acrylics.

courage charms

Now – I have to tease you with images of SOME of the charms up for auction! These could be yours… Remember, I got a double batch! 

Art charm booty

1&2 Toltec Jewels 3. Rosebird’s lamp work  4. Windbent  5. Blu Mudd  6. Lamplight Crafts  7. Pepita  8. Dream Some Design
9. Shaktipaj Designs  10. Firefly Design Studio  11. Culturezine  12. NEDbeads  13. Artisticaos  14. Wanderware  15. Zenith Jade  16. SueBeads

BOC charm loot

1 & 2-Fulgorine  3 & 4-A Half Baked Notion 5 &6- Silver NikNats

 

Thanks for stopping by – I’m off to look at the auction offerings! 

Please feel free to visit the blogs of my fellow participants, check out their designs, and hear their stories! 

 

2014 Art Charm Exchange Participants
Jennifer Cameron: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Alenka Obid: http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com
Alicia Marinache: http://www.allprettythings.ca
Andrea Glick: http://zenithjade.blogspot.com
Caroline Dewison: http://blueberribeads.blogspot.co.uk
Cassi Paslick: http://badatbeingmom.blogspot.com/
Cate van Alphen: http://fulgorine.wordpress.com
Cheri Reed: http://creativedesignsbycheri.blogspot.com
Chris Eisenberg: http://www.wanderware.blogspot.com
Cory Tompkins: http://www.tealwaterdesigns.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Auld: http://www.beadsforbusygals.com
Genevieve Gabbert: http://www.glassaddictions.com/blog
Jami Shipp: http://celebratinglifewithdamamashipp.blogspot.com
Jill Bradley: http://www.jillybeads.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak: http://www.cianciblue.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman: http://stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Lennis Carrier: http://www.windbent.net
Lesley Watt: http://www.thegossipinggoddess.blogspot.com
Mallory Hoffman: http://rosebud101-fortheloveofbeads.blogspot.com
Melissa Trudinger: http://beadrecipes.wordpress.com
Michelle McCarthy: http://www.fireflydesignstudio.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart: http://ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com/
Moriah Betterly: http://mlbetterly.blogspot.com
Nancy Dale: http://nedbeads.blogspot.com
Nancy Smith: http://wirednan.blogspot.ca
Niky Sayers: http://silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Perri Jackson: http://ShaktipajDesigns.com/blog/
Renetha Stanziano: http://www.lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com
Shai Williams: http://shaihasramblings.blogspot.com
Sheila Prosterman: http://catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Susan Delaney: http://susandolphindelaney.wordpress.com
Susan Kennedy: http://www.suebeads.blogspot.com
Terri DelSignore: http://artisticaos.blogspot.com
Toltec Jewels: http://www.jewelschoolfriends.com
Vanessa Gilkes: http://culturezine.com/blog/

 

 

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!

 

Give a hoot! And vote for a hoot…

While the title of this contest makes me laugh – I had to enter, and share…

Hooters challenge

The timing corresponds with Halloween, naturally. Artisan Whimsy is an online social networking group for beaders and the like. They are hosting this contest! There are categories to vote for owl components and finished jewelry featuring owls. I make quite a few: 

1. Stoneware owls – fired to ^10 reduction for you potters out here. 

hi fire owls

Earthenware owls – more colorful, more contrast. 

low fire owls

Athena’s owl: this mold I made from a reproduction on an ancient Athenian drachma coin. I did NOT carve that myself!

Athena's owls

4. Mythic Nature pendant line – owl totem. This one I DID carve from wet clay, carving and modeling the features from scratch. I then made a mold, and can make multiples from my original design. Each one is hand painted and takes approximately 20 minutes for the underglaze only! I love the variations I can achieve though…

My OOAK owls

A few of these owls have found there way to my Etsy shop. ( Although start a “convo” with me if there is something you want not listed.) Please wing on over and take a look!

Happy Halloween. 

Treasures delivered…

Over the last few weeks the postman has been steadily delivering magical packages to my door. Well, my mail box anyway. Thought today was a good day for “Show and Tell”. 

First up – Staci Smith. Her shop is chocked full of goodness. She works in a variety of materials: fabricating components and jewelry, sculpting in polymer and bronze clay, silks, sea glass… but thoughout maintains her sense of style. It’s gypsy/folk/tribal/boho if you ask me. And I quite like it! We had a chance to trade…so I selected the “Moon Baby” focal and she selected other treasures to surpirise me. (Sorry for the pix. The moon baby and discs on the lower left are a dark peacock patina that is gorgeous in person. )

trade from Staci

Then there arrived a sweet package from Australia! I have followed the blog and shop of Penny at Sparrow Salvage for years. She has a finesse at upcycling materials that never ceases to amaze. Her style is very gypsy/tribal/boho and I have wanted a piece forever. Recently Penny had a series of traumatic events in her life and I was happy to help out with a purchase, however small. Check out her shop, make a purchase, show some support for a fellow self-employed jewelry artist!

Sparrow Salvage earrings

They are definitely shoulder dusters! I look forward to wearing them at my next festival!

Sparrow Salvage earrings2

Imagine my luck – when I won a give away. You know the type – like our FB pageSecret Scents is line of perfume lockets by Mystic Memories. I was familiar with them because my friend Brigid Ashwood is one of their featured artists. So I left a comment, and Fortune smiled… Its really a lovely piece and smells fantastic. I like the idea of wearing it choker length on velvet ribbon. Suits the locket well. And great packaging too!

Secret Scents locket

And last – but definitely not least: BUTTONS! Cindy Wimmer (Sweet Bead Studio and ArtBliss) is hosting a button challenge blog hop. I am partnered with Sandi Volpe – who treated me to this lovely package…

sandi buttons1

and this treasure trove of possibility. Vintage buttton covers, tiny antique buttons, lovely earthy colors, and the sculptural button bottom right? She cast that one. I see a female form in there. Its calling my name. 

detail buttons1

The hop reveal will happen here and on my colleagues blogs on May 13th. Stay tuned. I have ideas flitting around my head. The possibilities are endless, really. 

detail buttons2

 

There IS one more thing I wanted to mention in this epic post. Sandi and I have nearly met… We both attended ArtBliss workshops last year, hosted by Jeannette Ryan and Cindy Wimmer. (Yes, the button hop Cindy.) This weekend long art/jewelry retreat is held in Northern Virginia/DC in late September.  This will be its third year. It is a great weekend of learning, sharing, immersion, socializing, creating, and camaraderie. I have made great friends there that I look forward to see every September. If you are interested in lampworking, metal smithing, polymer… check out the classes. Registration is open!

Art Bliss badge

 

 

Charmed I’m sure! or “The Postman rang thrice…”

Lucky Charms. Hearts, stars and clover? Yes, and more! 

The crafty creative chicas at Ornamentea in Raleigh NC hosted a “Lucky Charm Swap”. Send in 7 charms, made by your own hands. Pay for shipping. Recieve 7 charms! What a deal! So here is the first package of bead goodness: 

charm pkg

charms1

How tickled was I to recieve charms from Diana P. of Suburban Girl and Elaine Ray! Friends and fellow ceramics people – and both hearts. Too funny. 

charms2

Hey wait – Dawn Gallup is my friend from ArtBliss! Thats her adorable clover charm on the vintage Irish postcard. Nice!

And love the other charms – thank you one and all. Check out the origami box this one arrived in…

charms3

But I did say the postman rang thrice… Package number 2! My custom, one of a kind quote bead! Erin of Tresori Trovati drew names from the contributors in her Challenge of Music blog hop. I won; and I love that she found this quote here on my site and surprised me with it! Lovely! Her packaging is top notch…

treasures found

Oops! I untied the ribbon in my excitement before I thought to take a picture…

Magritte bead

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” Rene Magritte

(Hand stamped and hand painted polymer.)

My third delivery – just arrived today from Staci at Artisan accents. We had met at Berks Bead Bazaar – and she sent me some beads I passed up, and regretted leaving behind… So excited – I respect the polymer, although I prefer “real” earthenware and stoneware. I love her antique finishes. 

artisan accents

So tomorrow definitely a studio day; looking forward to designing with the new bits and baubles.  Today was errands, housekeeping, settling in after a weekend out/reunion with the college girlfriends – what did we do? I will post a few pix tomorrow. The hint: “Aloha” …until then…

 

 

 

 

Art Bliss.Pure and simply – art bliss! DC 2011.

Art Bliss 2011

The second annual ArtBLISS retreat was held in Dulles VA on September 23-25th. Our hosts Jeannette Blix and Cindy Wimmer created another magical weekend of creativity and camaraderie. In some ways its hard to write about… I find as an artist that I need times away from all of the life/human/house/pet responsibilities when everything is attended too and I can simple create. And be inspired, experiment, share ideas, and recharge. I work alone in the studio most days, with dogs at my feet. Although I do talk to them, they are not so well versed in critique and composition…

So this retreat weekend is very valuable to me. I made some good friends last year, and it has been a pleasure to see them on Facebook and the like. I anticipated more of that relationship building and networking. Add to that that my best friend Jen was coming! Hurrah! We met in college, in drawing class… but I will save that for a follow up ArtBliss post… 

Jen and I took “Rings and Things” a class with Robert Dancik to work with his material Faux Bone. I had worked with it on my own, and liked it, but wanted to go straight to the source as it were. Here is my workspace early into class – and a ring in progress. 

FB begins 

The material is a plastic, and it is incredibly durable and versatile. Saw it, file it, sand it. It sculpts on a belt sander like soft clay! Its non toxic, and takes color…The ring below was sculpted out of 1/2″ thick material and designed to showcase that antique button. 

FB rings

But I decided it needed to have another focal, and so this button is interchangeable! So sweet. Never would have imagined. But I had never used the myriad forms of microbolts before either…. Each button has a microbolt epoxied to the back where the shank was – and that is what connects to the ring shank itself. Ingenious!

Fb ring 2

Glad I finally got to work with Robert – it was a great class. 

Davies and Dancik

Saturday night – a trunk show of my ceramic beads and charms. Thats Jen there sketching in the room. It was such a party! Thanks to everyone who came and made it a success! I hope to see your creations here on the Interwebs in the future! I got to meet so many beaders/designers/artists whose blogs I read, whose work I follow. A pleasure! 

JKM and trunk show

On the second day… there were watches. “Watch this” with Richard Salley to be exact. I have know Richard for a few years, having met and worked with him at the Shepherdess in San Deigo. I have a huge stash of watches, and was seeking inspiration. Here is the day’s breakdown: 

Salley class1

Setting up: coffee, clean table, sketchbook. (Isnt the pen bandolier the best? Cleverhands on Etsy) 

Salley class2

In progress/sketching: I wanted to use the antique cigarette card of Athena – so I wanted to take the time to plan and thing things through. How to create tabs? Where to rivet? What embellishments? To do her justice and not mess up the only one I have…

Salley class 3

Working: tools strewn around, notes, seltzer…

watches WIP

This was the end of the day. The Strongbow cider lid/watch needs Faux bone for the backing. The Athena watch awaits resin. I will post pix when they are done!

watch crew

The crew – thanks for a great class, and being a part of a great weekend. I wish I had taken more pictures! The Meet and Greet, the charm swap… The whole experience is so rich – I will come back another day. Stay tuned. But for now – back to the studio, and a heartfelt thanks to the teachers, the organizers, my fellow attendees…It really is aptly named “art bliss” 

 

 

 

The fire is SO delightful…

The weather outside IS frightful – in the 30’s with wind chills in the teens at certain parts of the day. Blustery, breath-stealing wind gusts. And today – the fire was so delightful: 

kiln burner

Kiln

 

And to finish the song reference – Let is snow, Let it snow, Let it snow…

Now this kiln load is eagerly anticipated. (SPOILER ALERT if you are my sibling, or in-law!) I have many gifts inside, firing away to the neighborhood of 2400 degrees. I wont go into more detail, as I know some of my siblings read my blog. ( As well they should, ahem.) Since FaerieCOn, all thoughts have been geared toward the holidays. J and I are heading west, to Austin for the family festivities. We are driving – who doesnt love a road trip? And I can pack anything I want! since I dont have shipping concerns or airline restrictions. That helped inspire my gift-giving and gift-making this year! Now you get a sense why I havent posted too much lately? 

One thing I do want to share with you out there…

The Ceramics studio where I work and teach has an annual pottery sale. It is a diverse offering, featuring the work of novices, hobbists, experienced craftsepople and talented artists. ( I know that categorization treads on dangerous ground. Art vs. craft? What makes someone an artist?  Yadda Yadda Yadda. Thats another blog post, or a whole series.) There will be functional pottery, sculptural pottery, fused glass, jewelry, perhaps some fiber art. Diverse offerings, indeed. If you are in the area – please stop by: Monday to Wednesday, Dec 13-15 10am to 8pm, and Thursday, Dec 16, 10 am to 5 pm. It’s at the Art Studio, Ab Jones Bldg, 310 Kiamensi Rd, Wilmington DE 19804.

earrings in progress

packaging

These earrings are brand new, never before seen wee ceramic charms, with gemstones. The necklaces are simple, everyday pieces. Pendants and stones, as well. These will end up on Etsy sooner or later, if not this batch , then the next. They are fun to do…

This Sunday I also put together a box-o-treasures – ceramic pendants, that is…for the Shepherdess. I was thrilled to be invited to be a part of “Twas the Art before Christmas” open house/trunk show event this Friday. So if San Diego is where you call home – check it out. I am in amazing company there…