Tuesday, 28 July 2015

25/52 Tenacity

A few weeks ago I had a fun play day with Penny Akester. Penny bid on, and won the workshop I offered in the MCAM Auction. It was Penny's choice as to what to make during the day, and she went for making a Moon Flask...but more on that in another post! ;)

Why am I telling you this? Well, Penny took her almost complete flask home in one of my little tins to finish and fire at home. I told her not to worry about sending back the tin, but a couple of days later a package arrived for me. The tin felt very heavy when I unwrapped it...and inside were some lovely wands/points that Penny had sent me! I was delighted with them!!!! The little one at the bottom is really rainbow coloured, it doesn't show up well in my photo though.

Some of them were drilled through, including the lovely hematite which measures about 35mm long. I really like the patterns on it, so it is the first one I have used :)

I made a silver top for it using Art Clay Silver. I put a couple of little spirals on the front that I added gold to after firing, and then riveted the silver to the hematite with a little sea bamboo coral bead as an accent on the front.

The back is fairly flat so it sits well, and has a hammered spiral accent with my Joy logo.

This is the third wand I have used on the challenge so far this year - and I have several more ideas in mind for some others!! It remains to be seen if they all come to fruition!!! ;)

Have fun!

Joy x

Do you want to learn how to use metal clay and/or enamel? Or improve your existing skills?
I run 1-to-1 workshops all year round :)

Monday, 27 July 2015

24/52 A Creative Spin

When I started this year long challenge in my 'mission statement' ( that sounds grand doesn't it!! :) ) I said that I would include some element of metal clay with each entry.

So this one is pushing it a bit!!! ;)

BUT...as it involves organising my tools etc to help me work more efficently with metal clay I think I can get away with it!! :D

When I'm working I have a whole crop of tools and little boxes that I like to have in front of me on my worksurface so they are readily to hand. For the last few years I have used a rotating desk tidy which is great (thank you Tracey Spurgin for that idea!), but now it has got to the point where I struggle to fit in all the tools, and I have a few others I would like to add! When I go to pull something out maybe another tool falls out at the same time. Something had to be done about it!! I laid them all out on the table and they looked quite a lot!!

I had a good search around various websites and couldn't find exactly what I wanted, but I realised that I did have things laying around to enable me to create my own customised work tidy :)

This Lazy Susan had been kicking around unused for quite a few years! It measures about 9" across.

Then I had these lovely little bamboo pots, bought a couple of years ago...becasue they were cheap and I liked them, but never used!! (I'm sure you have things like that too!!). 

So...time to break out the trusty glue gun! It is amazing what you can achieve with one of these :D

First I glued the base of the revolving desk tidy to the Lazy Susan, making sure it would still turn.

Then I glued on six bamboo pots. I still have another six of these pots, but I decided on restraint for the moment. Easier to glue on a few more in time that to try to pull them off again!! :)

Finally I loaded everything back in, and hey presto, organization!!! :)

 No doubt in time I shall move things around as I find what works best for me - but I'm loving the end result!!! 

Here it is in action!!!

Have fun!

Joy x

Sunday, 26 July 2015

23/52 Aquaocity

I had fun making this piece! 

I've been trying out some new techniques for making a surface to enamel onto adding textured areas by hand. I'm liking the result and have another piece underway to see where it all takes me :) 

The little shell shapes have 24k gold added onto them, and there is also gold under some of the enamel. The little blue stones are 2mm lab sapphires and the pendant is set with a 5mm sea bamboo coral cabochon.

The back is also a change for me as I didn't add my normal style of bail but went for two half loops to attach the chain to.  

I wanted to make a chain to complement the pendant, but I searched through my bead stash and really didn't have anything I thought would go with it. In my mind I knew I wanted translucent watery look in the stones. So a trip to my local stone shop Stone Corner was in order. It is a wonderful shop, the problem is there is always too much to distract me!! True to form I returned with beads for this project...and things for a couple of future ones I haven't even thought of yet!!! ;)

I love being able to visit a local shop to buy, I went thinking I wanted aquamarine, but when I put the pendant by them they really didn't work on their own, they are the pale blue ones.

After much rummaging through bags of beads (and a great deal of patience by the shop owners!!!! :) ) I eventually ended up with a mix of aquamarine, apatite, labradorite, howlite turquoise and sea bamboo coral. 

Then  it was beading time! This was the end result.

The chain has more sparkle than I can capture with the camera, and the little labradorite chips have lovely flashes of colour too. 

All that was left was to think up a watery name for it.  

So this is Aquaocity :D

Have fun!

Joy x

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

22/52 Marchionesque

A Ring! 
Yes, I know I make lots of rings, but this one is a bit different. It is something that was on my challenge list for the year and it's all about the stone setting.

I've been wanting to make more large stone rings so this is just the first one, but also to start adding stones around the setting. I was really pleased with how this turned out.

The blue stone is an 8mm lab zircon and it is surrounded by 6 x 2mm lab rubies. I decided to carve the sides of the setting as well and was really pleased with the effect - the silver sort of looked quilted around the sides.

As it happened this one fitted me perfectly! ;) Unfortunately I decided to put it out for sale at my show last weekend and sold it immediately though!! So I'll have to make more along these lines now!

The texture around the band is one of my own designs. They will be for sale soon!!

Have fun!


Monday, 13 July 2015

21/52 Cornflower Demo-ing

 OK, so these are not the most complicated metal clay pieces in the world!! :)

The challenge here was doing a 30 minute demo from start to finish. I do quite a few talk/demos about silver clay. There is one particular group that I have been back to several times (they seem to like me!!). Recently I was due back for my sixth talk (this is over several years of course). I have done a different demo each time, including making a small cross, an angel, and an enamelled earrings demo. I was struggling to find something new to show them this time in the very short space of time they allot for the talk.

At the time our garden was full of cornflowers (very pretty and shows a lack of weeding on my part!!). I decided on a cornflower pendant.

So in the space of 30 mins I made a mould from a fresh flower, let it set, made a pendant using Art Clay Silver with a 2mm lab sapphire set into it, dried it and torch fired it. It is so much fun to be able to show people just what you can do with silver clay. I nearly came a cropper this time though as I am used to quenching pieces on a demo, and only just remembered not to at the last minute as I had added a stone!!!

Of course my photo at the top of this post is a bit of a cheat as I didn't enamel or patinate the pendants on the demo, that came later :) 

Not too sure which I like best, with or without colour. What do you think?

Why two of them? Well I did a quick test run in the morning before the demo to make sure it was going to work ;)

Now the same group have already asked me back for next year. What I will come up with next time??

Have fun!


20/52 Stud Earrings!!

OK, time to catch up on my challenge and my blog posts. So here we go, they all be along in time, albeit they might be in the wrong order!! ;)

Stud earrings - in the past I've never really made them!

Why? Well firstly I don't wear them myself. I used to in the dim and distant past. Before I ever started making jewellery I only ever wore stud earrings. But I also only ever wore gold back in those days as well! :)

Once I started making jewellery I changed to wearing dangles as I liked making them, and generally the ones I make are a bit larger so I feel I have more design scope. But people always ask me for studs. So recently I decided I really should start to make them.

I made a batch of silver flowers with 24k gold added by Keum Boo method, and then started on some with stones set into them. I like the more rustic stone set ones, and they seem slightly medieval to me, a style I always like!! The cabochons do glow nicely on the ones with the stones fired in place. the turquoise cabs are 3mm and are bezel set after firing. A bit on the fiddly side but I like the result!!

At my show last weekend I sold some straight off :)
So I guess I'll be making a lot more of them from now on! Time to try lots of new designs! :D

Have fun!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails