Planes, Trains… or postage stamps?

 

I am an Anglophile. To those that know me that comes as no surprise. I lived in London for a semester in college and it was the most formative impactful period in my life. My husband and I went to the UK on holiday for our honeymoon and my 40th birthday. (That was a surprise, too. I have never happy cried so hard!)

My work is deeply, fundamentally inspired by my Celtic heritage, by folklore and fairy tale, by myth and magic. And every so often I try to “cross the pond”. You may know I also write for a fabulous blog called Art Elements. My team mate and friend Lesley has invited me to visit and have an art retreat of sorts. ( We have done the same here at my house the last few years). So in an effort to raise the necessary funds – I have created these pieces. This year is the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee – what better way to raise funds and nod in respect to Queen Liz than there?! The stamps come from my childhood stamp collection – and may go even further back to my  Dad’s collection.

The pendants are double sided – the back included UK map sections. Maps taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica atlas from my childhood! They are going to be listed on Etsy as soon as I finish here… and while sold as pendants with my fellow creators and designers in mind…. can easily be made into a pendant with a gemstone angel for a small additional fee. If you are interested in supporting me and my travel fund – please check them out! I am designating 100% of the sea of these pieces to my travel fund!

IMG_3568

Convo me if you want a necklace with gemstone dangle! 

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…  

 

 

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… 

 

 

 

 

 

For the love of lino…

 This week is brought to you from the Dining Room table, my new temporary studio. I am tending a furry kid, who needs darn near constant watching… as he worked long and hard, in stealth, to remove his sutures. He is an angel IF I am in the room. 

DR studio

I have been working on my daily art journal cards – the ones to fill my vintage Rolodex. And I have been carving linoleum. 

Lino desk

There are new Celtic and mythic designs in the works. These lino blocks can be pressed into clay to create a detailed, low relief tile. Perfect for painting! There above – the Uffingtom horse, an ancient chalk figure from Britain. Below: previously carved Celtic knot, swirly cresent moon, with a test print of sorts, and a small triskele, perfect for pendants. 

Love Lino collage

I have always loved linoleum printmaking. And this was a focus of mine in San Diego when my ceramcis studio access was severely limited. I have been incorporating linoleum carved designs into my beads/pendants for a while, but I had a wonderful lightbulb idea… to create prints and tiles in tandem. My original drawings, whether my designs, or historical references; pressed into clay, printed onto paper. Working in a series, different colors, maybe some hand tinted prints. The idea is very exciting to me! (I wont be able to take these to all my shows as some jury processes are more limiting than others… )

Pendant designs

A trio of Celtic designs, all under 2″. I want to test them in clay today! 

Uffington stamp

Working in parallel series – the Uffington horse. Pressed into clay the horse design will be raised, allowing me to easily glaze the background and keep the horse white. 

 

Ok – off to the studio, I mean the dining room. I love my job! Stay tuned for test prints and test pressings on the FB page ASAP!

 

Beadfest planning and preparation.

Beadfest. 

Tomorrow. 

After 2 months of focused preparation, the weekend is here. I have hundreds of pendants. 

Mythic Nature pendants

They are almost all priced. 

pricing

The process of planning is a visual one. I will have an 8′ table in Artisan’s Alley – #461 is you were wondering. I wanted to maximize my space and create a pleasing display. A display that showcases my “Mythic Nature” series of original designs. But I have SO MUCH inventory – I need to use every inch.

So I do a mock set up in the basement studio:

 

There are trays for pendants, necklace displays to show finished pieces… I really like the antique cigar boxes – I can pin up samples in the lid and set out more stock in the bottom. 

I have new work, featuring new pendants… Half the fun is planning waht to wear, and display… I made a new batch of necklaces featuring my pendants and time in the studio was a joy after marathon glazing sessions – 6+ hours a day, 5 days a week. 

Veritas necklace

Now I just have to pack up: 

packed

Hope to see you in Philly! 

$5 entry coupon

 

 

Clay and linoleum – an unlikely duo?

Update from the studio… 

!. Glazing all day. 

2. Bisque firing what may be last load before Beadfest. 

3. Mopping up basement as its a monsoon out there. 

4. Waiting… to unload new goddesses from the ^10 reduction firing at the “work” studio!

And thinking of printmaking. 

My friend, fellow clay artist and AJE member Diana P. wrote a post this week regarding her foray into carving stamps. She is working with EZ carve – similar in consistency to white erasers. Its great to carve, but a little springy. Too soft for what she wanted to do in clay, but great fun nontheless. 

So I decided to share some linoleum I had carved, and stamped into clay. This is the economy “battleship” linoleum that I used to use when I taught art/printmaking as a public school teacher. Its shallow but very firm and worked well for my new dseries of icons. 

Lino pendants

Yin Yang and Om signs in clay – awaiting finishing.  

carving area

Here’s my carving area, complete with bench pin, and a few other “icons” in progress. This series I designed to keep simple and have the symbol itself be very clear and legible. I like the texture the carving leaves – as contrasted to the smooth background surface. These are going to be glazed in an array of colors… 

Fairy door tile

And one more example of linoleum and clay in tandem: this is a clay tile/print from a linoleum block I carved in San Diego. When I lived there I had an amazing artist/mentor in Sibyl Rubottom. This was from a printmaking and letterpress workshop I took at her studio, Bay Park Press. It was carved to print  and accompany text set in letterpress. And so I tested it in clay – was thrilled the depth was sufficient to give me a print to glaze. This was the test piece; I plan to do more for my fall shows. 

I am excited to be able to draw on the creative energy of that fruitful time – although I work in such different materials. I am glad the block carved 10 years ago and across the US can be reborn here, now. In many ways my series of “Mythic Nature” tiles and pendants are similar to a run of prints… but that philosophical musing will wait for another day. I have more to glaze…

 

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. 

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!

 

 

 

Beadfest or Bust!

 

Beadfest or Bust

In case you were wondering wher I had been – I have been in the “glaze cave” as I afffectionately call the basement studio. I have been glazeing all day every day and firing the kiln daily as well. All in preparation for my first national bead show. Its a convention really. Beadfest, Heard of it? It is August 17-19 at the Greater Philly Expo Center (actually in King of Prussia). Classes, demos, book signings, and a huge retail sales area. Bead mecca. Bead porn. 

And I will be there at #454 in Artisan’s Alley. 

A group of my fellow beaders/designers… and I decided to host a sale in all of our shops. Because there’s nothing else going in my life this week, right? (wink, wink). Please take a look and support the artists in their endeavors if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Melinda Orr ~ Melinda Orr Designs ~ 15% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL ~ Enter for the Leather Bracelet Kit Giveaway on the blog

Etsy: www.orrtec.etsy.com

Blog: www.orrtec.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/melindaorrdesigns 

 

Lorelei Eurto~ Lorelei Eurto Jewelry ~ 20% w/coupon code BEADYGIRL

store: www.LoreleiEurtoJewelry.etsy.com

blog: http://Lorelei1141.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LoreleiEurto

 

Karen Totten ~ Starry Road Studio ~ 20% off w/coupon code  BEADYGIRL

Blog: http://starryroadstudio.blogspot.com

Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/ktotten

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/starryroadstudio

 

Marsha Neal ~ Marsha Neal Studio  ~ 10% off your entire purchase from my Etsy shop including the special SALE section that has items marked down 30% off.

(Marsha is my bead show guardian angel/consultant!)


Every listing purchased during this date from Marsha’s Etsy shop will get entered into an additional drawing for a $25 Marsha Neal Studio Etsy Shop Gift Certificate (see her blog for extra info).

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MarshaNealStudio

Blog: http://www.marshanealstudio.blogspot.com/

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/MarshaNealStudio

 

Staci Lousie ~ Staci Louise Originals ~ 20% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL

Etsy: http://www.stacilouise.etsy.com

Etsy Components: http://www.etsy.com/SLArtisanAccents

 Blog: www.stacilouise.blogspot.com  

 

Sue Kennedy ~ Sue Beads ~ 20% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL ( My BEADFEST neighbor!)

Etsy: www.suebeads.etsy.com

Blog: www.suebeads.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SueBeads/241806885873855

 

Lisa Peters ~ Lisa Peters Art ~ 20% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL (sorry not applicable for RING KITS) 

 Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LisaPetersArt

Blog: http://www.lisa-petersart.blogspot.com/

 

Jenny Davies Reazor~ 20% off w/coupon code BEADYGIRL

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/jdaviesreazor

Blog: http://www.jdaviesreazor.com/blog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JDRshrineart

 

Mary Hubbard of White Clover kiln: coupon code BEADYGIRL

Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WhiteCloverKiln

Blog: http://www.whitecloverkiln.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhiteCloverKiln

 

For me – the shop is sparse, I admit it, but its all been about Beadfest prep: 

earring pairs

 

glaze table.

 

Happy Shopping!