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!

 

 

 

And now without further ado… Bead Soup!

Reveal 1 Banner BSBP

Hello and Welcome to the first Bead Soup Blog Party reveal! If you are here, you are most likely familiar with Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party ( or BSBP…) but if you just arrived from the far flung reaches of the Universe then here is a synopsis: 2 people, personally paired by Lori, exchange packages, beads aplenty. Head to the studio and make magic, whether it be ornate, simple, a new style, a challenge… Share your creations here. (For all the details, including the future Hop dates – Bead Soup Blog Party. )

My partner – what a nice way to ‘meet’ new people! – is Cassie Donlen. Cassie is a lampwork beadmaker, jewelry designer, and artist extraordinaire. Her work was new to me… was I out in the far flung reaches of the Universe? I love every thing she sent me, and she was so generous! Here is my loot: 

BS6 from Cassie Donlen

( For what I sent Cassie – she has great pix on her blog. )

Donlen lampwork

The first thing that popped into my head was “Exotic blossom”. 

I need to pause here, to build anticipation for the reveal and also to give you a bit of back story/inspiration. My Bead soup from Cassie got lost. There were a few tense days – and the Postal Service is NOT to blame. I sent her my address typed incorrectly. (The whole story is posted here in my first BSBP blog. ) Clearly I did retrieve my package. While some people would attribute this to luck, or coincidence – I think there is a message here. The Universe was shouting at me. The message you ask? Well its all tied in to the ‘exotic blossom’ …

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anais Nin

Exotic blossom

I kept the 2 main flower focals together, and added dangles.  The stamped copper reads “Risk” and “Blossom” to remind me to move forward and push the boundaries. I hung the blossom on a link of chain, showcasing another of Cassie’s lovely beads. The green and blue together, contrasted with the red…and the nature of the focal were all so visually appealing that I found myself designing a simple piece to accentuate the focal. I had planned to use the fab copper chain Cassie sent for this pendant, but I needed more red for balance. (Silk from Marsha Neal Studio). This is an amulet to me, and while I may add more charms – for right now it is complete. 

The pendant wasn’t the only creation… The first thing I did was this…

BSBP6 bracelet

…using Cassie’s clasp and focal bead. I admit – it was my favorite bead so it got singled out for deluxe treatment. Strung with copper and glass from the Soup, and paired with copper chain, and hand spun sari fiber. (You read that right. Its not ribbon. It was hand spun from recycled saris. YetiandYarndrygoods on Etsy) I am thrilled with this one, and plan to wear it often – whenever I am not in the Ceramics studio, that is…

On a final note – thanks to Lori and to Cassie for yet another fantastic BSBP experience! I appreciate all the time and effort went into organizing, and the creation of these beautiful beads. Each year I participate I am excited to have a chance to PLAY, to do something new and unusual, to be inspired, abe to experiment a bit. But enough of ME – you, my dear blog reader, have other treasure to view, creations to see!

Here is the link to the complete list of participants in today’s reveal: Bead Soup Blog Party July Reveal. Have fun! And thanks for stopping by…

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/

 

Clay Camp

When I taught full time – weekends and summers were my own. Now as a freelance artist and educator my schedule is quite the opposite. I teach a two week intensive Ceramics camp every summer – two sessions in fact. There is wheel throwing, sculpting, hi fire reduction and more for the “teens” ( the 10 and up crowd). For the little ones ( ages 6-9) there is a variety of hand building – both sculptural and functional pieces. Whatever I dream up for any given summer… Currently in week 2 – glazing week,  I though I would show you what we had been up too…

fresh off the wheels

Freshly cut from the wheel…

pots: keepers and recycle

Symetry and asymetry are equally welcomed. Recycle in the back. 

Throwing Porcelain.

Emma is my oldest student this year, and she has graduated to porcelain. She is loving it!

Emma's first porcelain

Plethora of pots

Trimmed, carved, embellished… drying now. 

Plethora of pots continued

All of those pots – 8 students, 4 days. (Class is 1.5 hrs each day.) I am pleased!

Emma

 

Capers with Copper! Kristi Bowman’s End Cap Blog Hop

Kristi Bowman's end cap hop

Hello and Welcome! Can I just tell you quickly how excited I was? One of 9 spots, and it was mine! Kristi Bowman of Kristi Bowman design works wonders with bronze and copper clay. We were aquaintances online, and I jumped at the chance to participate in a challenge using her pieces. I love metal clays, yet do not work with them myself. I like the fine details Kristi gets in her textures, and think the colors are rich and inviting. So – thrilled? Yes, I was. Here is what she sent me: 

k. bowman end caps

My thoughts immediately went to turquise. Was it the color combination of turquoise blue and copper that I was seeing? Was I influenced by pieces from her recent bracelet focal challenge? Well, I had that idea firmly in my head, and true to nature did not start the piece until right before the hop. Actually I completed it while waiting for parts of my button hop piece to cure…

end cap bracelet

 I wanted to do a multi strand bracelet to use the cones in a traditional way. I had thought one strand would be all those large chunks of green turquoise, but they were too much, the scale overpowered the cones. So smaller blue turquoise… The sari silk is a snippet from a variegated hank I have, thankfully the aqua/yellow was long enough. 

view 2

The matte blue iris size 8’s bring out some of the darker indigo tones the copper patina holds. I created a simple clasp from 20 ga. copper. (Nope, didnt pickle or patina it. Want it to age naturally.)

view 3

The large turquoise chunk is the prefect counter weight for the copper caps; keeping the design balanced physiclaly and visually. I love it, and am wearing it often. This one is mine!

model shot

Thank you Kristi for the chance to work with your lovely pieces! It was a pleasure, and I think the caps are fantastic. And there is a sale today, you say?!

Go take a look at my partners posts! There are only 8 more – you know you are curious…

Jenny Davies-Reazor ( that’s me!)
 

Bloom and Grow – Suburban Girl Design Team Spring Challenge

Good Morning! I am pleased to welcome you to the Spring edition of Suburban Girl Studio’s Design Team Hop and Reveal. I was thrilled when Diana asked me to be on her design team. She and I totally hit it off, and have so much in common – including the fact that we make ceramic pendants, charms… So why be on her team? Her work is lovely, and totally different from my own. What a creative  ‘shot in the arm” to be sent lovelies in the mail and get to make jewelry with them! And to be in a sisterhood – the Design Team…I know – all you bead/jewelry colleagues out there know of what I speak. Had to put it in context for the Muggles. So this is what I unwrapped from the postman…

It arrives...

Uh – pink? orange? Not Jenny colors. Excellent. Like I said – not like my work… And look at the gorgeous lampwork bead! A challenge bonus from Jan – from Molten Mayhem and fellow design team member…Going to think on this a bit…

The plan

OK – thought it over, sketched it out as I always do. My personal challenge was to use metal. Metal smithing was one of my two areas of concentaration in art school. (With painting the other) But teaching art full time, living in rental apartments right after college – not a torch friendly lifestyle. I am thrilled with the new equipment available in the metals world and glad to have a chance to dive back in…Sorry, I digress. I decided to tab set the flower in copper and use the words “Bloom and grow” on the border. ( I use text frequently in my work) And dont miss those glass headpins from Sue at Sue Beads. They were very inspirational in the design plan…

raw materials

The cast of characters; Jan’s bead, Czech glass leaves and flowers, assorted silks and suedes…

Fit and finish

Ready, set, go! To me the antiqued copper gives an earthiness and grounds the vibrancy of the glaze color. 

clasps?

There it is! Set ceramic flower with a frenzy of floral inspired goodness hanging below. The flower centers are the SueBeads glass head pins – just the right color pop and size. It is long, and there is a lot going on visually so I decided to keep the rest simple. Those clasps? No, thank you. I made them to correspond with the piece – but wont need them now. Worth a try…

first option second try

chain?   winner!

Top row: I tried wide silk, and thin suede. Nope. 

Bottom: Chain – yuck. Need a green element. The winner – fairy silk from Marsha Neal Studios!

put it on.

(Sorry for the wet hair/just out of the shower shot. Had to take the picture minus dog hair…)

I would wear this short, with a v-neck. Thats my style. But with the silk you could wear it long as well. What do you think? I would love to hear from you before you click away to visit my bead sisters on the design team… Thanks for stopping by!

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/


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

Clay. Creations. Friends. Fun…

pendants

Wow – all last week was a blur. Getting ready for Wicked Faire, firing the kiln multiple times, packing, prepping. Phew. (Wicked Faire was fun. No, there werent many pictures taken. Yes, I saw Gumby, Santa, Papa Smurf, Jesus, demons, a faun, pirates, and so many more characters. But what happens at Wicked should stay at Wicked…)

So this week – already Thursday? Show applications, paperwork, etc. Doing quite a bit of catching up…Working on Fall themed submissions for magazines, mailing my charms to Ornamentea for the “Lucky charm swap” and thinking/sketching for my Music blog hop

Exciting news…I am one of the newly selected members of the Suburban Girl Design team. Suburban Girl Studio is owned and operated by Diana Ptaszynski – who I met last fall at Beadfest in Philadelphia. (She organized a bead swap that went from fun to epic. Friends were made, hijinks ensued.) Diana makes ceramic beads and components in stoneware, porcelain and raku. Like these: 

Suburban girl beads

And these: 

Suburban Girl raku

The design team will receive a piece – seasonally, and we will create using that component, blog the results and share the love. You know the results are going to be radically different,and extremely creative. It will be interesting to see especially as the team members all have different packgrounds in art, clay, design, metal smithing. I am looking forward to the creative challenge. 

I had been thinking perhaps I would go out into the blog world, and see if there was interest in a design team of my own. My pendants are one branch of my body of work, I do quite a bit more. (Tiles, shrines, collage…) Perhaps after this design team experience, I will launch my own. What do you think? 

Stay tuned for the music blog hop next week and new tile designs in the works. 

Ornament Swap! Make new friends and keep the old…

OK – Good morning! Sorry I wasnt “here” sooner. This is the first Saturday in over 2 months that I haven’t rushed off early to teach Ceramics classes at the studio. But I can’t think of a better morning than coffee and a blog hop/swap!

 I met Sally Russick at ArtBliss in DC. Can I just pause here to rave about that retreat! Close to home! Fantastic national teachers? Great hospitality! Fantastic hosts – Cindy Wimmer and Jeannette Blix! Ok – back to the blog post… Sally posted about an ornament swap – a million years ago – it seems. Of course I was interested! Make a pretty and recieve a pretty? Yes! Meet new friends? Yes! Keep in touch with old freinds? Yes!

When it came time to make, and mail said ornament, I realized time had crept up on me. What was a generous time frame, well – I procrastinated a bit. I usually work in clay. Earthenware and stoneware. Now with drying time, firing time. glazing… it wasnt going to work. So, I turned to polymer. I like it. I want to experiment with it more. I respect it after taking a class with Christi Friesen. The most frustrating thing is weeding out the old and crumbly in my stash that frustrates me every time I try to work. Fresh polymer is quite nice!

I wanted to do a winter theme. My preference in decorations are seasonal, and having email-chatted with my partner  Christine Altimiller and perusing her blog – I thought this would be a good fit. ( Enough chatter – pictures please!) 

my ornament

I went with the shrine shape as that is a style I work with often. A reporoduction of an antique postcard shows a winter angel decorating a tree. She is framed in polymer and stamped copper. 

ornament detail

For the dangles I knew I had to include river rock,  a fav of Christine’s and an artist’s bead – one of my stamped ceramic eucalyptus charms. The pod print recalled snowflake shapes in my mind. 

The ornament I recieved, you ask? It was as if Christine had been in my house! So perfect! She must have super mind reading powers…

Christine's ornament

Driftwood, ethereal beautiful seed beaded snowflakes in icy blues and lavendars! Delicate and gorgeous!

details

details 2

I was completely stunned. I am so appreciative of the delicate seed bead work done here! The time and patience it takes! Mad skills! Thank you to my ever talented and creative partner for sharing this sliver of winter magic with me!

So – refill your coffee and please head over to Christine’s blog – One Kiss Creations! And definitely check out the other ornaments. I am feeling festive already! 

 

Thank you for stopping by! I would love to hear from you… 
Happy Holidays!

 

Wednesday – Work in Progress

Just a quick update – what is actually happening this week? Some people blog a Wordless Wednesday – here is a Work-in-progress Wednesday. I try to be in the ceramics studio on Mondays and Wednesdays. I work at home the other days – on everything from mixed media, glazing, jewelry…

So here is the clay in progress: 

Celtic flora tiles

Here are the initial sculpted pieces – a set of tiles depicting the four Celtic plants. (Scottish thistle, Irish shamrock, Tudor rose, and Welsh daffodil.) They are rough at this stage, and obviously one tile short. When the clay is a bit dryer and firmer, I will carve in details and neaten everything up in general. The shamrock is tough, it is such a simple plant, I may take out the four leaf and enlarge it even more. They are 5″ square, and will be ready for fall shows. 

Yesterday was a glazing day. I moved things up to a temporary spot in the dining room; it was too lovely a day to be in the basement for hours. (Now when it gets hot – I love the basement!)

goddess pendants

From an Indian goddess icon, these are half way there. The color to bring out the details and a transparent glaze will be applied over that. 

Plate-o-pendants

I wish I could say I got all these done! – but they are also awaiting their clear transparent coat of glaze…

Milagro pendant WIP

These milagro eyes are my current favorite. I have a finished one I wear almost every day… 😉

But there is more to be done:  the chipmunks for Robert, the buttons for Noelle, and the molds for Cooky… and that glazing to finish. Back to work. Maybe I will load the kiln before dinner…