Saturday, 30 July 2011

Bird a week 29/52 - Nestled In

Another week, another bird :)

A rainbow birdie nestling down to roost. This is a fine silver pendant made using Art Clay Silver. The bird and the spirals are added using my Enamelled Accents technique, then I have added some 24k gold and patinated it.

The reverse is set with a 3mm CZ and, of course, my little Joy logo! I really love this texture on the back so you can expect to see this again soon :) 

And the Haiku to go with it...

Fading sunlight glow
Night time fast approaches
Nestled in to roost

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Snakes and Brushes!

OK, first the brushes! Have you got your free copy of Metal Clay Today yet? You can download it for absolutely nothing and even better (or maybe not depending on your point of view!) there is an article by me in there! You can read all about my love affair with my water brush! Now that should get you interested! Go over to the site now to download the current issue and sign to be notified when future issues some out.

So... the snakes. Well, the current issue of Metal Clay Artist Magazine, I am delighted to say, has my chain making project in it. The chain is stone set and requires patience to make but if you take the challenge on you sure will be good at making snakes of silver clay by the end of it :)))

Here is a sneaky peak at the reverse of the chain.

If you do not yet subscribe to Metal Clay Artist Magazine you really should. It is dedicated to our medium and full of wonderful articles. You can either buy the printed version or the digital version.

Have fun...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Bird a week 28/52 - Blossom Time

This weeks bird is a fine silver pendant made with Art Clay Silver with enamel, keum boo and a liver sulphur patina. I am actually still a week behind but I will catch up I promise :)

On the reverse is a handmade paper texture using Lynne Glazzard's technique and it is set with a 2mm lab ruby.

And the Haiku....

Flecks of red blossom
Gold and silver reflecting
Bird with Sakura

Saturday, 23 July 2011

MCWC 2011

So I promised to tell you more about the Metal Clay World Conference in Chicago. Here is a little resume of the event :)

I got to the Hilton Indian Lakes Resort Hotel on the Sunday July 10th. The hotel itself is really interesting and the design was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. All the rooms are hexagonal and in the centre of the hotel is a lovely atrium with waterfalls and plants and a cave bar!

On Monday 11th July I taught my Enamelled Accents workshop. It was a full class with 15 people. It was a really fun day. Everyone produced great pieces and I am waiting for some photos to come through to show you as we did not have time to photograph pieces at the end of the day.

On the Tuesday and Wednesday I had two free days. Time for a bit of sightseeing! On the Tuesday I headed into Chicago in the company of Lesley and Keith Messam. We had a lovely day. We went up the Sears (now renamed Willis) Tower and the views were wonderful.

Then it was a water taxi to the Navy Pier for a nice lunch and taking in more of the great views.

We had not realised there was a stained glass museum there so we spent some time looking at all the wonderful panels. Here are some of my favourites.

On Wednesday we headed out to the local Mall for a bit of shopping and then Wednesday evening the conference proper started.

There was a mad bustling VIP reception mixed with the clay trade. This was where everyone swapped charms they had made. I took 50 silver and enamel charms with me. I will post all about them another time! Making them ended up being rather a labour of love :)

Thursday kicked off with the keynote speech by Michael David Sturlin. Michael is an inspiring person and everyone thoroughly enjoyed his talk. Then it was presentations, presentations, presentations for the rest of Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning! I did my presentation on Enamelled Accents and Beyond 3 times which allowed me plenty of time to take in others. Each presenation was one hour long. Among my favourite sessions were Lorrene Baum Davis on Keum Boo, Pat Evans - A Tool Diva tells All and Jeannette LeBlanc on How to write a Step by Step article, but I enjoyed all the ones I attended. So much to learn.

Thursday evening started off with Meet the Masters - these are the Art Clay World USA Master instructors. This was in the fireside lounge with a roaring fire (It was about 30c outside!!!!) Mind you the air conditoning in the conference centre did seem to be set to artic mode most of the time :)

After that we had a Meet the Presenters evening so I demonstrated how I make wire shapes for Enamelled Accents. Friday evening was the Art Clay Society social and again I was demonstrating. This time it was my good friend Lynne Glazzard's paper texture technique.

In between all the learning there was of course the shopping!! Loads of vendors with lots of fantastic tools and products. I will be telling you more about some of the things I bought in due time. Saturday finished with some closing speeches after lunch and then we all started heading off back to the various parts of the globe we had come from. Phew! I was exhausted.

It was a wonderful conference, exhausting but tremendous fun and so lovely to meet so many names that I know from here and Facebook. If you are on FB you can see more photos in my albums. If we are not already friends please do send me a request:)

I really hope to be able to go tho the next conference in 2013. Maybe I will see you there ;)

Now I must go back to my workshop and finish the bird I am working on ......

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Bird a Week 27/52 - Born in the USA

I have just returned from 10 days in Chicago teaching and presenting at the Metal Clay World Conference. I had a wonderful time, but more on that soon.... :)

I am now a couple of weeks behind on the Bird a Week Challenge but I did manage to make one bird while I was over there. It was an obvious choice really, it had to be an eagle, and so was the name for it - Born in the USA.  It is hand sculpted using Art Clay Silver to make a fine silver pendant. It has a bail on the back.

So now I just need to make two more birds this week to be back up to date...

Will not be doing that today though, I just want to sleep. I have been up nearly 36 hours now, I never manage to sleep on planes :(,  but I want to hold out for a few more hours yet to try to adjust back to UK time.

More tomorrow ;-) 

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Bird a Week 26/52 - The Blackbird

Halfway through the challenge already! Amazing - where does the time go.

This week's bird is a rather large lentil bead I made. It measure 30mm across. I usually use this size for a single sided domed pendant but I made this while demoing during a workshop last week and then wanted to show how to make lentil beads so I ended up with this. It feels nice and chunky though :)

It is made of fine silver using Art Clay Silver and has wires added using me Enamelled Accents technique and then Keum Boo  and Liver of Sulphur patination.

The reverse has enamel and LOS patina.

I fly out to Chicago this Wednesday ready to teach a pre conference workshop on Monday 11th and give presentations during the Metal Clay World Conference itself. This may mean I get a bit behind on birds but don't worry, I will get back up to date upon my return!

If you email me and don't get a reply you'll know why, hubby and the cats are not so good at dealing with the incoming emails ;-)

I will try to blog from the conference but no promises :))

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