Friday, 23 March 2012

My First Online Class!

I am very excited to tell you that my first online workshop is now up!

It is on the CraftArtEdu website here. It is called Retro Circles chain and covers an easy to master technique for joining links. As silver clay is not the cheapest at the moment it includes variations to make a pendant......

... earrings .....

... and a bracelet!

Here is the blurb!

In this Retro Circles silver clay chain class you will discover an easily mastered way to make and join chains entirely in the clay form before firing. There are variations included for using this exciting technique to make a bracelet, pendant and earrings. We will cover making links, joining them, adding textures, making bezels and setting stones securely and there are tips throughout the class to help you get the best results while working with metal clay.

Do keep a lookout on the CraftArtEdu website as there are a lot of exciting changes happening in the next month. You can sign up to the site so you hear all about the relaunch which is going to be good!! :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Metal Clay Fusion by Gordon Uyehara

I have to admit I am a book addict and I do own a lot of metal clay books, so I was very excited when I heard that Gordon Uyehara had written a new book called Metal Clay Fusion. Gordon is undoubtedly one of the icons in the metal clay world with his own very unique, recognisable style and a wealth of knowledge learnt through hands on experience and experimentation with metal clay.

This hardback book has 144 pages and can be roughly divided into two parts. The first 60 pages cover techniques, designing and firing information and advice, and I particularly like Gordon's Artiquette Artist Declarations and Competition Tips. This is followed by 22 step by step projects which include a range of items such as jewellery, a spoon, a bell and an incense burner. Using varying combinations of base metal and silver clays there is something for everyone.

Throughout the book Gordon's explanations are clear and easy to follow with not just how to do things but also why he does them that way. The techniques are covered in depth with each skill well illustrated. The book is written in a chatty informal way as if Gordon is there talking to you which makes it an easy and engaging read, and gives an insight into the artists mind.
My main metal clay of choice is silver and whilst a lot of the information in this book covers base metal clays I found lots of useful tips, tricks and ideas, which I shall be adding to my way of working, even in the non silver projects.

Gordon states that the book is aimed at intermediate to advanced users so some areas do assume a certain level of knowledge but there is a wealth of information to benefit beginners and give them something to aspire to. The book is well illustrated with lots of photos and line drawings, including a plethora of lovely gallery pieces by a whole host of other excellent metal artists scattered throughout to inspire and delight. In fact nearly every page is graced with one or more full colour photos.

As metal clay books go this should be at or near the top of your list. This book is the first in a new series of Metal Clay Master Classes by the publishers Lark Crafts and in my opinion it certainly lives up to its billing :) 

Friday, 16 March 2012

Flowers for Mothers Day

Instead of buying flowers for Mothers Day this year I thought I would make some! :)

My Mum has a lot of my jewellery - what a surprise! As I have been making some pins recently though, and she has not yet got any of those, I made this as a pin brooch.

It is fine silver with enamel made using Art Clay Silver. It is a nice size but the flowers were still a bit fiddly to enamel. Good job I always use a magnifier!

The reverse is just a plain texture with the pin set into a flower shape and my Joy logo.

Hopefully I have included enough colours that it will go with most things!! ;-)

I think Spring has sprung!!

Friday, 9 March 2012

A Colourful Life

This is why I so love colours and textures!......

Tomorrow is my first fair of the year. It is only a small one in Bexhill on Sea but it should be fun. It is organised by a local community association and as well as the craft stands they are doing a big fair trade promotion with all the refreshments side so it should be fun.

I have been making more stock as I was a bit low on the smaller items. Above is a photo of pieces made in the plain silver.  Add a bit of enamel and a liver of sulphur patina and hey presto!

Now doesn't that just brighten up your life? :)

If you are interested in learning how to zing up your jewellery with some colour check out my enamelling workshops. There is a link at the top of my blog and I would love to meet you.

I have more exciting news coming soon about classes as well.

Watch this space.... :)

Friday, 2 March 2012

Bird A Month 2/12 - A Breath of Spring

I'm late!! It is March and I have only just made my February Bird a Month. Things got a bit busy. Must try harder this month :)

Anyway here he is. A cute little bird on a spring branch with some budding blossom. It was lovely here yesterday when I was making this so it seemed just right.

This is a little pin brooch. You can see how small it is in my hand.

I really like this and was quite tempted to keep it for me :), but no, I won't, and he will be in my website shop and my Etsy shop later today. I don't currently have a section for pins and brooches in my shops so I am just off to make one!

The reverse has a sturdy little pin with a clip back which fits nice and securely. The tiny little spike to the left of the pin stops it from turning while you are wearing it.

You could put him onto a scarf, label, jumper or tie. In fact almost anywhere. He would be a perfect Mothers Day gift :)

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