Wednesday, 26 December 2012

December Four A Month - New Art Clay Silver!

My last Four A Month of the Year!!!
This month I was fortunate enough to be asked to test out the new formula of Art Clay Silver so all four of my pieces are made using the new clay.
Verdict? - I LOVE it!!
It is lovely to use and really does seem to combine the best qualities of all the existing formulas and then some.
It works very well with baby wipes (those who know me will know that was always going to be a BIG concern for me - I would be lost without my baby wipes!!) - and of course - my other great concern - it enamels beautifully!!
This pendant above is called Renaissance....

... this one is called Tartanicity (for obvious reasons!)...

... this one is called Swirling Rainbow Ring (and I will be teaching Enamelled Rings like this very soon!) ...

... and finally Oriental Pagoda.
I have had a lot of fun playing with the samples of the new Art Clay Silver, it has a much longer working time and will be great for teaching with.
Many thanks go to and for letting me test out samples of the new formula of Art Clay Silver before the release date on 1st January 2013.
I will be doing a round up of all my entries for the Four A Month Challenge early in the new year. It has been a fun year completing my two challenges and I am looking forward to my new Weekly Critter Challenge for 2013 :)
Joy x

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Bird a Month 12/12 Winter Wonder!

My last Bird a Month Challenge piece - yay!!
A lovely seasonal little robin on a snowy branch. He is made of fine silver with enamel and is a pendant.
It has been a fun year doing this challenge and I shall do a little review of all my challenge pieces early in the New Year.
Check back next week for my last Four a Month Challenge pieces, I shall post them on the 26th or 27th ;-)
Meanwhile I hope you all have a lovely Christmas.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

This Little Piggy....

Whoo Hooo!!! I am getting into critter mode ready for next years challenge!!! I just had to share this little guy with you :)
He is made in Goldie Bronze and measures about 22mm x 12mm. Tiny!!

I haven't decided on a name for him yet....

Having gone past Piglet, I have also thought of Hog Roast and Pork Scratching, but I think I am a bit food obsessed!!

Any ideas?

He does bring a smile to my face every time I look at him - he is VERY cute!!!
(Hope you like him Bev!! :) )
Joy x

Sunday, 9 December 2012

My Challenge for 2013...

It is that time of year again when I am thinking about challenges for the coming year.
In 2011 I took part in my first challenge. It was the Bird a Week Challenge and I have to say I really enjoyed it. From having never really made any birds I really got into them by the end of the year. So much so, in fact, that for 2012 I could not quite let them go and continued with a Bird a Month 2012.
Having got the hang of making a piece each week (although I would admit at times it was hard), I felt I needed more than one piece a month for 2012 so I also took on the Four a Month Challenge. That meant every month I was making 5 pieces. OK at times I was behind but now I only have my December ones to finish and I will have completed both challenges!!
On balance though, I preferred 2011 and the weekly challenge. Making monthly pieces allowed me to procrastinate more, and leave things to the last minute. Of course on the weekly challenge I also got behind at times, but overall, for me, it was much more of a challenge.
So... enough of the waffling... I am sure you can see where this is going!
For 2013 I am going back to a weekly challenge. I think I am fairly birded out so I have decided on critters!!
Now I am already gathering not everyones' definition of a critter is the same as mine, so let me clarify what mine is!! To me a critter is a creature. And any type of creature is fine :)
Looking back though my work I actually found very few pieces with any kind of creature other than a bird (what a surprise!). These are five pieces I did find, and possibly they are a taste of what might be in store for the year - or maybe not ;-) 
Above is a pair of guinea pig earrings and below is my tree frog... 

then of course there was my fluffy sheep...
and there just HAD to be something rainbow, a seahorse...

and finally a pair of piggy earrings.

So my challenge for 2013 is the.......
other wise know as WCC :)
(no abbreviating please! - we don't want to lose one of those Cs -lol)
If anyone wants to join me they are more than welcome, or I shall happily go along on my own if not ;-)
Here are the rules I have set :-
1. Make one piece every week and post a photo of it here (and everywhere else of course!)
2. The theme is critters - any type of creature or anything relating to one counts
3. Any medium
4. It must be created by you.
5. Join in for as many weeks as you want to, but the real challenge is to see if you can make 52 entries by making one and posting one each week (and no getting ahead!).
So watch this blog and my Facebook page for weekly updates and expect an assortment of critters in 2013!!!
Joy x

Friday, 7 December 2012

November Four a Month (again!)

At last I can upload photos again!! So here is my Four A Month for November. These are four tiny stone set pendants. The cabochon stone in each one is 8mm in diameter. They are all made in fine silver using Art Clay Silver.
The one above has a garnet...
..this one is a goldstone, and below is a matrix turquoise...
...then an amethyst below...
... and finally all four pendants together.

These are now in my Etsy shop although the garnet cross is already sold.
Tomorrow I will be at St Barnabas in Bexhill, East Sussex for my last fair of the year.
It is a lovely friendly venue :) Maybe I will see you there?
Have fun
Joy x

Friday, 30 November 2012

November Four a Month - stone set pendants

Bear with me - my Four a Month is done and coming soon - but Blogger won't seem to let me upload any photos :(
I have tried several times so I may have to try again tomorrow.
Meanwhile... I will be doing a craft fair in Rye tomorrow at the Community Hall from 11am to 5pm.
I would love to see you there! :)
Joy x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Bird a Month 11/12 - Night Owl

Here is my Bird a Month for November. I know I have done owls before but everyone keeps asking so I thought I would make another, and he is a variation on a theme ;-)
He has bright yellowy orange eyes and an alert look!
This little fine silver pendant measures about 26mm in diameter and the reverse is set with a lovely little orange CZ.

I am currently updating my Etsy shop and adding new things all the while, and this little guy is already there!
Updating the shop on my website is my next job.
Only one more bird now for the end of the challenge. It is time to start thinking about next years challenges. Any ideas?
Joy x

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Christmas is coming!

So... what is on your wish list for Christmas?
If you are into metal clay and are thinking of buying an online workshop now is the time!
CraftArtEdu have a 25% discount on one class of your choice if you buy it by 30th November!!
There are lots of great classes on there. You will find two workshops by me, my Ritzy Rings and Retro Circles Chain with variations as well as other metal clay workshops by Gordon Uyehara and Lorena Angulo!! 
My Ritzy Rings is a great technique for making lovely strong rings, and I have my very own Retro Circles, an easily mastered chain making technique which can be used for chains, bracelets, earring and pendants.
Check out the workshop previews now!!
Don't miss out on this great offer :)

Joy x

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Crafts at Cooden Beach

Tomorrow and Saturday I am doing a fair at Cooden Beach Hotel. I really like this fair, it is a lovely venue as the hotel is right on the beach and the people are always really nice.
Today I have been enamelling some more earrings as I sold out of all my blue and green earrings at my last fair. I also finished another pair of my Sakura earrings with a matching pendant. Normally I patinate like all the rest of my pieces and then the little branches go a nice brown, however I think I might leave these bright silver. These also have some purple on which I don't normally add.
I have also been having a good sort out of my half made pieces and scrap silver clay.
Below are three pieces that I finished off out of them. The cross is made using little branches from my fuchsia bush. I may yet decide to enamel the bee piece :)

Below are the backs of the three pieces. They can all be worn either way round.
I shall be finishing all of these off tonight to take to the fair, and I shall be listing new work for sale on my website and in my Etsy shop next week :)
Joy x

Monday, 19 November 2012

October Four A Month - Colourful Rings

I've made it (well almost!). This is the last of my late challenge pieces.
Colourful Rings! - my Four A Month for October.
These four rings are all fine silver made using Art Clay Silver. The first three have the stone fired in place. The one above is called Pink Diamond.
Below is Green Sunshine.
The next one is called Purple Dots. It has a slightly different construction method to the other two, which are made using my Ritzy Rings technique.

And finally this one is called Rustic Red Too. This has the same construction technique as the previous ring but the stone is set after firing. This gorgeous red CZ is a stone I brought home from my Japan trip a couple of years ago. You may remember I made me a ring called Rustic Red earlier this year using one of these stone but then sold it straight away :( I blooged about it back in July.
This one I really do plan to keep for me! It is on my finger now as I type...
... and to show it really is mine I put my name on the outside at the back of the band. That could be really handy if I forget who I am... ;-)
Here are all four ring together.

Now I just have to finish this months challenges and I am totally up to date.
I guess I will need a good finale for my December pieces - time to get thinking!!
Have fun :)
Joy x

Saturday, 17 November 2012

A Quick Play with Faux Bone

At the end of September I went to the Art Clay Festival in Switzerland. I had a lovely time!! I had great students on my two workshops and met wonderful people from all around the world. The whole event was exceptionally well organised by Erna Piechna-Sowersby and her husband Harry of  Creative Glass in Zurich and Rochester UK. They were the most gracious hosts.
One delightful person I had the pleasure to met and spend a little time with was Melissa Cable who had flown over from the USA to teach Faux Bone. Melissa was standing in at the last minute for Robert Dancik, the creator of Faux Bone, who could not come due to a back problem.
I have looked at Faux Bone before, and indeed even had a small stash on my shelf. I bought it with great enthusiam a couple of years ago and then didn't really know what I was doing with it so there it just sat. It is basically a type of plastic that Robert uses to make wonderful things that often do have the look of carved bone to them.
Melissa was working with this material in different ways and showed me lots of her samples, and she really quite inspired me to revisit it and give it another go.
Today I took delivery of a small set of alcohol ink pens for colouring the Faux Bone so I dived right in and just made this little rainbow bangle. There is no great skill involved in making this, as you can see!! I just wanted to try the pens and heating a bit of FB to get a few ideas going in my head.

I plan to work more with this material and to combine it with silver. We will see what happens. Melissa and I are also going to work on a project together which is going to be fun!

Friday, 16 November 2012

September Four A Month - Colourful Carnival Masks

Here are my Four A Month Challenge pieces for September. Four Colourful Carnival Mask pendants. They are all made in fine silver using Art Clay Silver and have Enamelled Accents. I have already posted two of these masks before, but my intention was always to make four new masks for a FAM entry so here they all are.
I am really enjoying making these masks now. They have come a long journey since the first one  I made (that I still use on my website, cards etc) back in 2009.
The first of the four is my little alien mask. OK, so maybe not so much of a traditional carnival mask but he is fun! I called him VMA - why? Well - because he is a Venetian Mask Alien!! :)
This little fella didn't hang around long and zoomed off to a new home on his first outing to a craft fair! I think I shall make more little aliens!

The next one I have called Cosmic Rainbow as she also seems to have something a little space age about her to me, but someone else who saw her could see a sort of 1920s flapper style in her. That is what I so love about this type of jewellery - we all see different things in it!
The next two masks I have blogged about before so I will just remind you of their names and you can look back on the blog if you want to read more about them.
This one is Japanese Mystery...
... and this one is Arcbaleno all Moda.

I shall be teaching a workshop on making these masks in June next year up in the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors.
I have also just taught this for the first time to two wonderful students and I shall be posting photos of the masks they made really soon!!
Have fun!
Joy x

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Bird a Month 10/12 - Peacock Splendour

OK, I am on catch up now :) Long time no blog, (bad blogger - wrist slapped!) and I have challenges to get up to date with!!
So first of all my Bird a Month Challenge. Here is my piece for last month, I've called it Peacock Splendour (for obvious reasons!).
It is a fine silver pendant made using Art Clay Silver and has Enamelled Accents and an aquamarine cz stone.
This is one of two pieces I have recently made using QuikArt Ultralite templates from Metal Clay Supply in the USA. These templates are designed to allow you to save clay but I ended up using them a different way to create texture plates and I am quite pleased with the outcome. I post more about how I used them in the future.
Below is another piece made the same way. I have called this one Rainbow Zing as it is so bright and colourful :) 

Next I will get my Four a Month Challenge back up to date, and then I can make my pieces for this month!
Still, I guess it is better to be too busy than bored!! ;)
Have fun!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Art Clay Festival Switzerland

Phew - well my case is full to the brim but shut, and tomorrow I head off to Switzerland to teach 2 one day workshops at the Art Clay Festival.
I am very excited and both workshops are fully booked. On Sunday there is a one day conference and then I am home again.
No time for pleasure sadly, and hubby just gets to be a taxi to and from the airport for me!
I am sure it is going to be a lot of fun though!!!
If you are going make sure you catch up with me ;-)
Joy x  

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Teaching Mask Making!!

Here she is! The second of the two masks I have been working on. She is called Japanese Mystery and is another fine silver and enamel pendant, made using Art Clay Silver. She measures approx 42mm x 42mm.
I am delighted that I will be teaching my new workshop - Colourful Carnival Masks - next year in the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors at Glaisdale.
It will be at my friend's Lynne Glazzard's wonderful newly refurbished studio on 29th & 30th June 2013. You can read the details here. Spaces are limited so book early!!
After I finished this mask I thought it would be fun to put a small collage of some of my masks to add to my Facebook page so I thought I would post it here as well. It is interesting to see how the masks are developing as time goes on :)
Joy x

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Bird a Month 9/12 - On Rainbow Shores

And now for something a bit different!! Bird a Month for September - well 4 birds actually :)
I am quite enjoying playing with small sculptures. The seashells and starfish on this are fine silver made using Art Clay Silver and enamelled. The birds are made using Goldie Bronze.
The overall size of the sculpture is 165mm x 85mm x100mm, The enamelled seashells are 4mm - 7mm in diameter and the bronze birds are about 40mm long.
I had fun making this! Each little seashell has a small pin in the back to fix it into the wood.  

Watch out for the second mask coming tomorrow!!
Joy x

Monday, 10 September 2012

Arcobaleno alla Moda

Here she is... finished!! What a difference a bit of colour makes :) I do hope that you like her. She is called Arcobaleno alla Moda because she is a fashionable rainbow!
The reverse is simply decorated with a few little sparklies.
You can see from the photo below she is quite small.

This is the first of two workshop examples I am making - now it is back to finishing the second mask.
Watch this space for more photos in the next day or two;-)
Joy x 

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Work in Progress

I am working on a new carnival mask (well two actually!). Here is the first one fresh out of the kiln.
Now all I need to do is polish it, add the Enamel Accents wires, enamel it, patinate it, polish it again, etc, etc...  lol.
Well you get the idea!
It will be a Colourful Carnival Mask when it is finished!
Watch this space ;-)
Joy x

Thursday, 6 September 2012

In Print!

I was delighted to hear yesterday that one of my pieces had been juried into The Art & Design of Metal Clay Jewelry and More 2013 calendar! My Piece is my lovely fine silver and enamel seagull brooch called Wot! No Fish? Joyful Jewellery! I was so pleased, this is the third year I have submitted work for the calendar and the third time I have been accepted!!
The calendar is created by the wonderful Holly Gage, and you can read all it and see thumbnails of each page here. It looks like it is stuffed full of wonderful pieces and I feel very privileged to be a part of it:) It is available to pre order now and will brighten up any wall, or make a great Christmas present!!
I am also delighted to tell you that the book Metal Clay & Color is now out and I have a chapter in it! I was invited to write a project about enamelling and I called my piece Luminosity.

Here is a little sneaky preview of my chapter. There are 24 excellent projects in the book covering lots of different techniques for adding colour to metal clay. You can buy it at various places including Amazon.

With the run up to Christmas about to start I have quite a few fairs booked over the next three months, but I am also teaching all the while as well, so if you are thinking about coming to Hastings for a workshop with me just get in touch! I still have dates available ;-)
Have fun :)

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