May. More like Mayhem…

 Mayhem most definitely. 

The month of May – the one that is over half gone asI write this? Whew. So many wonderful things… here is a whirlwind tour to catch up. I do resolve to return to a regular scheduled blog presence, but you KNOW how things are… 

CPS article

I have a feature article published in “Cloth Paper Scissors”!!! The article features the mixed media pieces shown above; combining metal, shell, fibers, wood, found objects…The original (pictured on the left) was inspired by a short story by Charles DeLint entitled “The Conjure Man”. You can read all the details on the original blog post if you desire. Or for the step by step details pick up a copy of “Cloth Paper Scissors“.  

my Novel art

I took a break from clay and beads to return to books, altered books to be precise. This was for a library fundraiser  called “Novel Art” for the Ligonier library in PA. I knew of the event from Andrew Thornton as its his town… It was great fun to do something so different, and for a worthy cause. My piece is a shrine built inside an old hardback. The theme ws inspired by the ttile “Singing Waters” which instantly meant SIREN to me. She is polymer, with sheet music behind her. The ocean image on the left is transparent so text reads through.  

new tiles!

I am always adding new tiles to my library! Here you see the Harpy and the Mermaid of Zennor that debuted at Spoutwood Faerie Festival. This week I started a Greek Sphinx – another in the series of sassy women from myth, and  a Ganesha. You can see a bit of my process as the sphinx is sketched out, tahn built up. Next she will be carved into detail. 

Group shot Spoutwood

Spoutwood! What a wonderful festival! Why do I never take enough pictures?! The weather was gorgeous! The crowds were huge! And I love seeing old froends and making new!!!

me and Em

When worlds collide: my teacher’s aide and friend Emma also off work to cavort with the fae… 

for the wood fire

This week and last have been a frenzy! (Check out #creativefrenzy on Instagram) I signed up rather last minute for a “Norigama” firing at the Perkins Center for the Arts. I have three weeks to create and dry and fire… 20-3- pieces. Whoa.

CABM

And I am involved in the creation of a great new auction site on Facebook: Creative Artist Bead Market. The goal is to showcase the best of the best, quality ceramic beads that are truly artist made. Hand made. Its an auction sirte, great fun, and a growing community. I like this new model as Etsy has completely sold out… But also – you will see a few new pendant designs in the picture above! Hare! Fox! Mermaid! 

All this and more detailed in my newsletter! Sign up here! ( top right column sign up box) 

See? May IS mayhem.

Until next week… 

Getting plastered…

My year goes in cycles. This time of year is one of the times when I push to do new tile designs. My final big show is coming up – <gulp> in three weeks, and I like to debut new designs there. The show is FaerieCon – a wonderful fantasy convention in Baltimore MD. I have written about it here and here... 

So a new offering in my “Mythic Nature” series is in order. Or 2 if I can convince palster to dry faster, and faster, than nature would allow. 

Here is the first tile – a triple hare design – being cast… 

Triple hare original tile

 

Casting process

The process is relatively simple. And I use the most commom materials: Build a mold box of cardboard. Seal every nook and cranny with duct tape. Glue tile down – wouldn’t want it to pop up, or float. Coat the surfaces with a wee bit of Vaseline to aid in seperation later.  Mix up plaster, I do this by eye… pour the first bit in amongst the details, then fill the rest. Set aside and wait. That last bit – the hardest part!

Here is the second design that I cast today. 

Mr Fox.

The hare mold came our perfectly! 

open the mold

Remove the cardboard, gently peel out the clay… and voila!

Triple hare mold 

Now if only that plaster would hurry up and dry!!!

 

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

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 

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.