Thursday, September 27, 2012

Claying Around...

The second cataract is fixed and currently I can't see worth a darn but at least I know things are coming along.  While I recovered from the knee and the other eye this is what I've been doing....slowly but surely.  Here's my plate of new bisque to be painted, glazed, and listed.  Lots of new things coming up.  I'd have some glass too but I was busy on a special order for Glitterbug and have sent her about 20 earring sets over the past two weeks.  You'd of thought I could get a few photos in during that - but no - duh - lost my photo rhythm somewhere.

I did a bunch of holiday stamping and scraffito on the clay.

If you are in need of a focal bead I think I'm going to have quite a few.

Everyone have a wonderful week and enjoy the fall weather - I know I am.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Meet a Kindred Spirit

I love making eye beads.  They are such a great talisman.  Quite a while ago I sold an entire orphan set of beads I had - mostly extras from the focus group beading for Jeri Warhaftig's book.  This great person snatched them up and promised when she made some jewelry she'd let me.  Wow, she did and here is the incredible result of her work.

The artist is Amy Semenchek of Chek Designs - Amy has a Etsy snipet for her piece and I asked her if she would mind if I passed along the information - here is what she said:

"Can't you see? It's all perspective!" - Mixed media necklace. Etched and enameled copper tube accented with crystals and amazing lamp work "eye" bead create a fun "perspective" on life! It jingles, too! $52.
Look at the great etched eye on the copper tubing - it's just right up my style with the talisman intent.  Nice job Amy - it's great to know what my beads are used for and I love the eye candy a great piece of jewelry provides.  Thank you for sharing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A New Tool - Yum

I've always loved CG's graphite paddles.  I have several of them and use them frequently to make nice round beads and check the sizes as I go.  Mallory Hoffman recently posted about a new one she purchased and it looked just awesome - just like a calf following the Mommy cow I just had to have one.  Sometimes a simple bead with a great surface texture (this is a ribbed bicone) is just the right compliment to what you are creating.  If you haven't used them go and check them out at CG Beadrollers - they're wonderful tools.

The new one I ordered is so long (it has all of these graduated sizes) I couldn't get it all in the photo I was taking so I've imported a picture from the site so you can see - LOL.  When I make some new beads with it I'll post them. 

Have a great day.  Sharon

Monday, September 10, 2012

Feeling Like Franken-Sharon

I couldn't help it...I've been working on the torch and on some clay.  With all the new parts they just put in me I'm feeling a little like Frankenstein.  I am also temporarily as clumsy and with one eye having cataract surgery and the other one waiting until September 27th my spacial vision is for crap.  My glasses are useless and it will be until mid- October before they can fit me with a new pair.  Mostly I'm just laughing this off but I know there are times I have this contorted look on my face because people look at me like I've been in a car accident or something.  I occasionally have drop foot and feel like I'm dragging it Quasimodo style through the grocery store.  I must be a sight...what are ya' gonna do?   I should put a little orange or something in my hair for Halloween and then watch them stare at the Walmart.  I had the best fun one year when I did hot pink...
Not to worry - it will all heal in good time if I don't hurt the physical therapist.  I'm starting to get a little "sassy" with him.  Once I even went so far as to tell him, "Nope, not doing that one - let's move on."  I gave him the old delinquency worker look and we moved on and added a different one.  Turd.
Frankie here will go on Etsy probably on Wednesday.  I am way to lazy for photography - hence the awful hands that need hand cream.  Getting older is just plain shitty.  I'm smarter but the parts department at the hospital is going to run dry if this keeps up.
Love you all....hanging in there.  I'm surprised Frankie turn out - I squinted when I made him and upped the lenses on my optivisor.  LOL

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I’ve been working on new clay pieces every day here after PT.  My friend, Sharon Berkan-Dent(Mystic Swan) was recently featured in the latest edition of Lapidary Journal’s Jewelry Artist.  Sharon is a fantasy artist who works in cast metal – primarily silver and gold.  Her world is filled with Fae and magical creatures.  As plain Jane as I am Sharon is the opposite and I have never seen her without a great piece of jewelry, unless of course we were at an art show and sharing a room after a very long day.

This is the newest Dragon (in wax) and it's ready to be cast.  The stone will come out first and then the casting will be done before the stone is set into its proper position.
Not everyone is into fantasy art but I don’t know of a little girl of our age who wasn’t impressed by Tinkerbell, Fairy Godmothers, or the Evil Witch.  These days it’s more dragons and Game of Thrones but whatever your flight of fancy her jewelry is fun and I love wearing the pieces of hers that I own.  They take me back, they make me feel whimsical, and at times I’ve even worn my dragon to a meeting for spiritual protection.  Everyone can enjoy the little girl in themselves and the desire to have a Faerie Godmother or a Dragon to curl up on for protection. 

Allium Faerie
I’ve only shown a very few of Sharon’s pieces here but have included a link to her site.  I wish you could all see the process by which she works her wax for casting.  It’s simply amazing how minute and meticulous she is.  Every scale is done in detail and put on one at a time.  I know she has a Facebook fan page where you can see her works in progress – I’m sure a lucky duck that I get to see them close up and talk them over with her.  If you stop by her Etsy, Blog, or web page tell her Hello – she is so nice and will enjoy hearing what you think of her work.  Maybe even tell her what you’d like to see next – you never know when it might turn up.
          Sharon K. Berkan-Dent  -  Mystic Swan Jewelry

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Halloween fun.

I could live in a perpetual state of Spring and Fall....skip the rest.  Those are my seasons.  Love them!  I had a special order for a long time friend and customer - Cherie Smith of Glitterbug Originals and this is one of my "outakes" from that order.  Cherie loves to challenge me with her ideas.  Some of them (LOL) would take a microscope and thread thick stringers to accomplish.  She's not a lampworker so she doesn't always get what is doable in that flame.  It doesn't matter though because she is always flexible and understanding.  This time she listed several things she'd like to have created and I did my best.  I should have taken photos but there wasn't time.

Often, if it's a new thing for me to make, I have to do a mock up first.  It lets me know which layer of the design goes on first and what challenges in the process need to be altered.  Some times I will work in the actual size (Cherie likes earrings) or I will go for a larger piece I can sell on my site
and then downsize after the process and design is worked out.

This time I ended up with a cute witches shoe in a larger size to list on Etsy.  I think it would be a cute necklace.  I happened to have this rubber stamp that says "I have my eye on you".  Don't you think it would make a cutie of a necklace?  Etsy seems to be having its issues today so I'll probably get it listed tomorrow.  I wonder what else I should be making for the Fall season - ideas?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Glass Gardens

I work in small glass beads but have always been fascinated by cast glass.  Twice I have taken classes with Loren Stump.  It is inevitable we will make a paperweight near the end of that class,  They turn out very well and it's great to try something new.  It's definitely not my thing - paperweights, that is -but a class with Loren Stump is an event.  I learned things I use even now, fifteen plus years later.  If I could afford it  I'd take a third one.

"The Lightness of Being" by Howard Ben Tre'
What I always find remarkable about the glass artists who work sculpture size is the planning it must take to pull that off.  To think that some of the pieces they make must cool in a kiln for several months - - - well, that is just mind blowing.  It would kill me to wait that long to see how my piece turned out.  I'm more of an instantaneous gratification kind of person with glass.  I don't even want to put my beads in the kiln to cool.  I want to see the color and if I got the composition correct. So, my overnight cool keeps me on pins and needles.

In the Dennos Museum they had one exhibit hall dedicated to an installation by Howard Ben Tre'.  It was beautiful.  The tall sculptures looked like trees, sundials, people standing tall in the wind.  Spectacular pieces!!!  DH and I sat in the gallery for awhile admiring them and resting my cranky left knee while we contemplated which one would look good in our yard.  Then I had to laugh - uh, they are impervious to weather but what about dog urine?  Okay, skip the dreaming about a sculpture garden.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Out and About

Finally I'm moving around - it's plenty awkward and I feel like a baby at times, with the same wobble, but it's all upward from here.  YES! 

Yesterday the opthomologist checked out the eye the cataract came out of and guess what - I am street legal to drive without glasses.  Look out world!  Since I grew up near Detroit and my father worked there I can drive with the best of the "ditch" drivers.  For those who don't know - a lot of Detroit's expressways were dug into the landscape rather than laid on top.  So one of the main thoroughfares into the area from where I lived was lovingly known as the ditch.  Aside from being cut into the landscape it had an early design flaw that was later repaired - it flooded - hense the ditch to those of us who remember or had parents who passed down its moniker.  I was lucky enough never to have witnessed an accident on that thing but imagine all kinds of crazy drivers doing about 80 in three lanes with cement walls on the sides averaging 8 -12 feet tall.  Talk about a training ground.  Another unique feature was the fact that many entrances to the ditch have on ramps - and don't confuse them with merge lanes.  You are either on the ramp or IN one of the lanes of traffic.  I often wondered if that is where the 0-60 in ten seconds was born.  It's not like up north here where we amble down a ramp and have plenty of extra lane to merge into the traffic flow.  Nope.  You hit the end of a Detroit ramp doing 60-70 mph and get your fanny over - or else - because there is no more ramp.  I loved it.

Anyhow, I digressed there.  Back to the trip.  While in Traverse City getting my future eagle eyes checked out I wanted to test out this new knee and get in some exercise so we went to the Dennos Museum.  It's a small but mighty place with beautiful gallery spaces.  They have a children's area, a great Inuit gallery, sculpture gardens, and then several galleries with rotating exhibits that come in. 
This time they had an art quilts exhibit, and a glass exhibit from the collections of Habitat Galleries.

I don't have any current work finished as I rehab but I thought you might enjoy a little inspiration from my outing.

Shame on me for not getting the artists name but this is a beautiful cast sculpture that is about twice as tall as I have photographed.  It's title is "Sonya" - which stuck with me because it's my DIL's name. 
Section of the art quilts by Katie Pasquini Masopust.  The main gallery was covered in exquisite art quilts this is a section of a large one that was so beautiful.  She used her thread like pencil and it was so lush with painterly qualities you didn't realie it was fabric until you were close.  What a great exhibit.

                                                            Have a great weekend.