Monday, 30 November 2009
I shall be wearing it this weekend at the craft fair in an outside marquee, that is for sure with the current weather forecast!! Thanks Laura.
So... here they are. My second ever batch of lampworked beads made on my one to one workshop with Laura Sparling. I was very happy with the results. A very long way from perfect but Laura did keep reminding me I could not expect perfect in two lessons! :-) I was at a craft fair when these arrived and hubby texted me to tell me. I sent back a message saying open them at once and tell me what they are like! (ok, I was quite excited they had arrived). I got a reply that they were "quite startling!!". That's husbands for you! Laura also sent me a fab burnt orange neck warmer she had knitted for me. I shall have to try to get a photo of me wearing it. It is cashmere and gorgeous!
The beads from my first lesson had rather a rainbow effect with me trying every colour rod of glass I could get my hands on so this time I had decided to keep it simple with just 4 colours. I am really quite taken with ivory so used that with black, a transparent red and an opaque red. I even got to encase a couple of beads in clear. You can sort of see my progression in the flower design as I eventually managed to get the dots big enough. The bead at the bottom is a sort of sculptural bead (!!!) that rather took on a life of its own as it went along as I had started making something quite different. Now to buy my own torch....
I did two craft fairs over the weekend. Saturdays was very good, Sundays was a bit lacking in people but that meant all the craft makers had a good chat and a laugh together so I enjoyed the day anyway.
I am doing an extra craft fair this weekend at Stone Cross Nurseries near Eastbourne. I shall be there on Saturday 5th in the craft marquee. Pop in and say hi if you are in the area. They are having their Xmas Tree event and I think you may even get a free glass of mulled wine. Now there is an incentive to come along!
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Sunday, 22 November 2009
When you are used to using Silver Clay opening a 50g pack of Copper seems an awful lot of clay, especially as I wanted to use it all up in one go. I started off by using a bit of Gloves in a Bottle on my hands. I am fine with Silver Clay but I did notice when I tried the Copper Clay at the conference it made my hands itch a bit so I had bought a bottle of this ready. It coats your hands and prevents the irritation.
The photo above is just some of the pieces I made. I still have a large fish and a pendant which need finishing off and firing. I was mainly working with the idea of making elements to combine with Art Clay Silver. The Copper clay has to be fired first as it fires on the open shelf in the kiln at 970c for 30mins. At this temperature the Silver Clay would melt if you tried to fire them together.
Why the large holes in the flowers I hear you asking. Well the next stage is to combine the silver clay with the fired copper pieces, but silver and copper will not actually fuse together so to join them I need to have silver clay through the hole which will hold it all together after firing. Sounds a bit complicated? It will make more sense when I get a chance to finish them off.
I was delighted with the way the Copper Clay worked and felt. A bit softer and wetter than Art Clay Silver it took the textures well and moulded beautifully. Best of all once dried the baby wipes worked fantastically well on it. Any of you who have taken a workshop with me will know I am the biggest fan of baby wipes for cleaning up the edges of dried clay pieces. No dust and mess and lovely smooth edges. I had heard it suggested baby wipes might not work well with the copper but no - they were fab. Even better than on the silver clay.
The pieces come out the kiln literally red (well orange actually) hot and are dropped straight into a bowl of cold water. This makes the black firescale ping off, and then they go into the pickle to finish removing any black from the surface. After that these pieces have just been given a quick brush up with a brass brush under running water.
I wont actually be getting to finish these off for a few days though as this week I am off to do a workshop myself. Whoppee!! I am going to Oxford to learn a bit more about making lampworked beads with the wonderful Laura Sparling. I did a one to one workshop with Laura at the beginning of the year. I had never tried making beads before but I just love all the fabulous beads Laura creates. I had a brilliant day last time and under her expert tuition I was amazed to produce all the beads below.
Of course I came home full of great excitement and enthusiasm to make more beads but then hit a very big logistical problem. My workshop is upstairs and a cylinder of propane needs to be stored outside for safety. I still have not gotten round this problem. Back in the summer I decided the solution was to clear the garage (full to the brim with years of junk). Hubby agreed he would have a go, but as it was the start of Wimbledon it would have to wait a few weeks. Then came the cricket, and then autumn and it was getting a bit cold etc etc and guess what!! - still no room in the garage. Oh well. I shall thoroughly enjoy my workshop this week and when I get back I shall see if I cant get something organised.
I shall also be doing my best to post here more often.
I only have 3 more craft fairs before Christmas so maybe I will see you at one of them.
28th November 2009
29th November 2009
Christmas Fair at the Llama Park
10th December 2009
Monday, 16 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
It has been a really busy week and in amongst everything else I have been trying to make a few bits of new stock for the craft fair this weekend. Here are some of my efforts all made using Art Clay Silver. Now I just have to add all the findings! They are a bit of a mix muddle. I have found it is the more moderate priced things that are selling well so I just went for a bit of a variety. You will probably notice a bit of a lack of colour as well for me, but these are the sorts of things I sold well on last week. The gorgeous blue beads are by Laura Sparling.
This is also my first "evening" photo with my new daylight lights. Normally I always photograph everything in the natural light in the mornings. Now I will be able to photograph in the evenings as well. It is not perfect and needs some playing with but it is not too bad a photo for my first quick attempt.
Ok, now where did I put my pliers.......
Sorry I have been a bit lax on the blog this last week. Last week I sold so much I have been trying to sort myself out for the next craft fair at Mitchelham Priory tomorrow and Sunday. It is a wonderful venue and I am there with the East Sussex Guild of Craftworkers and as usual we are in the Elizabethan Barn. The forecast is not too good for the weekend but this is normally a busy fair regardless. Do come and say hello.
Friday, 6 November 2009
This is the girl, Shuki, checking out if the paint brush is edible or not
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Karen obviously is very talented and took to Art Clay Silver really well. She made some great pieces. You can see more of her lovely jewellery she makes using Swarovski crystals and semi precious gems on her website Precious.
Over the two days she made
this beautiful owl brooch (my favourite piece I think)
and a silver cross pendant with a fused gold top surface using Art Clay Gold Paste.
She also made a ring and set some small stones into flower shapes for future use. We really covered a lot in two days, but having travelled all that distance for a workshop we were trying to cram in as much as we could.