Tuesday 7 December 2010

Hastings Hot Houses

This weekend I am doing the open studios in Hastings. I am at 84 Croft Road and will be at the house myself Saturday and Sunday from 2pm - 5pm. Do come along and say hello, and do the trail of all the houses in the beautiful Old Town of Hastings. Full details are on the website http://www.hastingshothouses.co.uk/.

A great opportunity to finish off your Christmas shopping with unique handmade gifts.

Saturday 4 December 2010

Koi Bowl


So here are some more pictures of the little Koi Bowl I made.

Dinky isn't it. Just 39mm in diameter. It will be off for hallmarking in the next batch and then up for sale.

Meanwhile our 14inches of snow has now melted in just 24 hours helped by copious amounts of rain today. I am glad we live on a hill!

Before the frozen conditions went we had some fantastic icicles. Here are just a few piccies. I am going to put a load more up on facebook. I am sure these will inspire me to make something - just not sure what yet:-)

Friday 3 December 2010

Snowed off

Sadly my show this weekend at Bentley has been cancelled due to the weather. I am not surprised. By yesterday we had about 14 inches of snow here. 

I will be at Battle Late Night Shopping this coming Thursday evening in the Memorial Hall. Next weekend I am doing Hastings Hot Houses but I will post more about that in a day or so.

The little dish above is a new Japanese inspired piece I have just made. I have called it Koi Bowl. The koi is enamelled and the rest of the piece is just patinated. It is quite tiny, only about 39mm in diameter and is made using Art Clay Silver. I will post some more photos soon but blogger is playing up and refusing to load them at the mo!

Maybe it is the snow ;-)

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Bring Me Sunshine - a bit of a Challenge!!

Like many of you I am now in the midst of the snow with several inches outside. My workshop I was teaching tomorrow is off - it is snow go! (sorry)

So I was wondering if some of you might be up for a bit of a challenge in your unexpected free time. I'm calling it Bring Me Sunshine. If you are snowed in make something that is warm, sunny, or just brings a smile to everyones faces in any media. Post your photo in the Flickr group Bring Me Sunshine. If you are in sunnier climes just post something to warm and inspire others.

The prize - you will be inspiring yourself as well as those who are stuck in the snow and hopefully bringing a bit of sunshine into their cold and frosty lives. Go for it - why not!!

Joy x

PS I actually have no idea if posting your photos to this Flickr group will work as I have never set one of these up before so if it does not perhaps someone will tell me how to do it properly!! :-)

Tuesday 30 November 2010

No Jempsons :-(

Today I should of been at Jempsons in Peasmarsh near Rye and again next Wednesday 8th December. Sadly due to circumstances beyond the organisers control yesterday evening the whole thing had to be cancelled. I do hope you are no disappointed if you made the journey to see me as I know some people were going to.

I am working away but it is mostly commission work which I don't want to post on here in case the wring person sees this before Christmas! So here are a coupe of pairs of earrings I have made which are now up on my website. I am adding more bits all week to the website.

This coming weekend, 4th & 5th December I shall be at Bentley Wildfowl so maybe I will see you there. Santa will be there too!

Keep warm meanwhile ;-)

Friday 12 November 2010

A Few Bits of News

Good news!
My Radiance pendant that I entered into the Ya Meana Patina Challenge came third!! So thank you if you went to the Metal Clay Today site and voted (even if you didn't vote for me). These competitions would be nothing without everyone voting :-)

I have been busy on some commissions recently and have quite a bit of work in progress. I have managed to finish a few rings. These are waiting to be polished and patinated...

and this one is finished. I made this a couple of weeks ago while teaching and we were thinking of calling it Farewell Paul (the octopus!) or something along those lines.

I hadn't planned for it to be octopus like but once finished it just had that look!!

I have been updating my website and am gradually adding new work to it. I like to photograph in the daylight and the weather has been so bad this week that I have not managed to get as much on as I would like to though. There is more to come.

This weekend I am at Michelham Priory at the Christmas Craft and Gift Fair. I am with the East Sussex Guild of Craftworkers and we are in the Elizabethan Barn. The forecast is not too good but that does not normally deter people from coming out to this fair. It is in a lovely setting and there are some great stands so do come along.

Friday 29 October 2010

Metal Clay Jewelry Magazine - How Exciting!

My Enamelled Accents technique is published in the new Metal Clay Jewelry Magazine which is a special edition published by Art Jewelry Magazine. My copy arrived today and I was thrilled that I even managed to just sneak onto the front cover of the magazine, my piece is in the top right hand corner.

Here are the first two pages of the step by step technique inside the magazine. This magazine is published in the USA but you can order from their website to have the magazine delivered directly to you. 

I shall be going to Chicago next July for the Metal Clay World Conference 2011 to teach this technique at the pre-conference workshops, and I shall also be presenting about this technique and related uses for it during the conference itself. You can read all about the conference and the workshops here. If you are going to the conference I would love to meet you and why not consider signing up for my workshop. We will be making a piece from start to finish in the day so you will learn the technique hands on with lots of extra advice and tips and tricks!!
P.S. If you have not already voted in the Metal Clay Today challenge (see my last blog post) do pop over to their website and vote for your favourite piece :-)

Friday 22 October 2010

Ya Meana Patina Challenge

The latest challenge from Metal Clay Today is entitled
Ya Meana Patina.

The challenge was to create a piece with no naked metal, the surface having a patina of some kind. This is the piece I made especially for it. I have called it Radiance. It has pale blue turquoise and green turquoise enamels with a patina created using Liver of Sulphur XL Gel. I am just loving this XL gel (available in my eBay shop!). I am getting great colours with it straight out of the bottle.

So pop over to Metal Clay Today and place your vote for the piece you like best in the Challenge. There are some wonderful entries. If you are not already signed up for Metal Clay Today which is a free online magazine do so while you are there. You only have to enter your email address.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Remember Dudley?

If you read my blog regularly you will recall a while ago I showed you a photo of Dudley with a promise to tell you more.

Dudley is a beautiful little handmade bear and he is about 10cm high. He was created by Andy West and Dudley is a Westie Bear. All Westie bears have Andy's trademark little bee on them. Cute eh!

When I was at the Rudgewick Steam Fair at the end of August Andy's stand was opposite mine and Andy spent all weekend creating. It was fascinating watching him working whenever we had any quiet spells. Over the weekend Dudley was created (born?). Hubby and I decided I really should have Dudley as my stand mascot especially as I had been there at the birth!! (sorry this is getting worse :-) ).

However, Dudley could not be my stand mascot without his own bit of jewellery could he?,  so I have made him the cutest little medallion to wear. He is proudly wearing it in the photo above.

It measures just 18mm across and is of course silver and enamel. Only the best for Dudley!

I put a bit of my favourite Japanese cherry blossom on the back for him.

So if you collect teddy bears and fancy a handmade bespoke pendant or medallion please get in touch. Maybe I can start a whole new line of work!! ;-)

Anyway... back to reality and I have been busy creating ready for the show this weekend. Mostly earrings with some pendants. These are a few of the pieces waiting for findings.

 And this lot below have just come back from hallmarking so will be going out on the stand this weekend and then onto my website for sale afterwards if I still have them.

Do come along and say hello this weekend at Lancing College and you can meet Dudley. He would love to show his medallion off to you!

Monday 18 October 2010

Getting Back to Normal (I hope)

Long time - no post!

It has been a mad few weeks. We have had a short break away but also we have had some partental health problems which has meant lots of rushing around and not much posting on here! Things are settling back down again now though.

So a quick update.
  • My eBay shop ArtClayUK is open again and I have been restocking it back up. 
  • I have been doing quite a bit of teaching which I really enjoy. If you fancy a workshop in Art Clay Silver you can read all the details on my website here. (Remember a workshop makes a great Christmas present to give and especially to receive!)
  • This weekend sees the start of my Christmas Craft Fairs. I will be at Crafts at Lancing College in Sussex on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th October. Lancing College is a fantastic venue and worth the journey alone as you can have a look around the wonderful chapel. The Fair is all handmade crafts and a high standard. You can do all your Christmas shopping in one place at this fair.
  • I have recently had a Guest Blogger piece about Enamel published on the Metal Clay Today blog. Metal Clay Today is a great FREE online magazine. Just go to their main website and subscribe by entering your email address address. Easy as that!

Finally the piece above is a new pendant I recently finished which I have called Radiance. More about that in a few days....

Tuesday 5 October 2010

So sad to see

I have just been down to the seafront to have a look at our pier. (see my last post). It is a very sorry sight. Clouds of smoke are still billowing out all across the town and every now and then you can see flames coming out where it the fire has rekindled in the strong winds.  The shoreline is littered with debris washing up in the waves.

For most of my teenage years I lived with my parents in a flat nearly opposite the pier. I have put together a (not very good!) montage to show you. Our flat was on the fourth floor of Palace Chambers where I have put a red dot.

It is now pouring with rain, that can only be a good thing.


A Bit of History Gone Forever?

This is very sad :-(((

Our historic Victorian pier in Hastings burnt down last night. Looks like it was probably arson. The pier has been closed since 2006 because of safety concerns but plans were currently afoot to get it restored and open again. An iconic building of the town and a place full of childhood memories for me.

I am just off to go and have a look at what is left this morning....

Saturday 25 September 2010

Conference Workshops

At the Art Clay Conference there were workshops over three days. On the first two days I did workshops with Ryota and Dice who had flown over from Japan especially for the conference. Aida Chemicals who make Art Clay had kindly sent them over and also supplied all of the Art Clay that we used at the conference. Fantastic support and everyone was very grateful.

Ryota is a master Art Clay Instructor who teaches and helps plan the new projects in Japan. Dice is head of the Oversea Division and also provided valuable translation as Ryota does not speak much English.

On the Thursday the workshop covered making pieces to create a Mokume Gane type effect by texturing using cuttlefish bone and plating pieces in copper which was then polished back to varying degrees depending on taste.

Here is a (very poor!) photo of the group work.

Ryota demonstrating the technique

and these are the pieces I made.

On the Friday I did the Resin workshop with Ryota and Dice. As an enameller I was a little dubious about how much I would like this as usually when I have used resins before I have soon realised I could do it quicker in enamel!

This technique was to make a raised domed area which really is not something that you could achieve in enamel to have any strength.

I really enjoyed this workshop and it is definitely a technique that I will use again. The colours are hollow domes and look lovely. I was very pleased with the result.

Here is a photo of all the pieces made by everyone in our group

Mine is the rather startling orange one at the top (well it would be wouldn't it ;-) ) and you can see a larger photo of my piece at the start of this post.

On the Saturday I taught an enamelling workshop with my good friend Lynne Glazzard. We combined her paper texture techique with my enamelled accents and we had a fun day. Unfortunately neither of us remembered to take any photos all day!!

Here is a photo of some of the pieces from the show and tell the next day, but unfortunately quite a few people had to leave early so quite a bit of the group work is missing.

Still it gives you an idea of what we were up to.

I also managed a bit of sightseeing and have some nice photos in York Minster to post next...

Friday 24 September 2010

Conference Competition Pieces

The theme of this years competition at the Art Clay Conference was Past Times. These are the two pieces that I made to enter. I didn't win anything with them but I really enjoyed making them.

The pendant above is called

That Anglo Saxon Feeling

My inspiration for this came from the Staffordshire Hoard with all its wonderful gold pieces inlaid with garnet. For my piece I made it in Art Clay Silver. The twists are actually moulded in the Art Clay. I twisted fine silver wires together and then made a mould from it so I could do it all in the clay. Here is the piece after firing and polishing.

Then I added fine silver spirals, the tiny fine silver circles around the edges and the wires in the centre using my Enamelled Accents technique. I enamelled the piece just with red enamel and then patinated it with Liver of Sulphur XL Gel. I find this new XL gel is giving me great colours in the patination. A light polish on the high spots and viola... finished.

Below is my entry in the ring section of the competition.

I called this

Just a simple textured band ring with some black enamel and again patinated. It is actually quite chunky. A retro knuckleduster ;-)

I'll post photos of the conference workshops next...

Thursday 23 September 2010

Having a great time!

Oooh I have loads to tell you about.

The conference was wonderful. An excellent meeting of like minded people and we all had a fun time. I shall be posting more about the workshops I did etc soon.

First I had some great news over the weekend regarding the piece above. If you read my blog often you may recall I gave you a little taster of this piece above a while ago. So now you can see it in its full glory!! The idea was to make a piece that enhanced the pearl which had to be a Japanese Saltwater Pearl.

I entered it into the 14th Pearl jewellery competition in Japan and I was awarded Selected status. This is higher than the Honourable Mention I achieved with my last competition piece so I am dead chuffed about that but........

if that was not enough ........

within a couple of days I also heard the same piece had got into the

The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry Calendar 2011
I am sooo happy!

This calendar is produced by Holly Gage in the USA and it is wonderful. I can't believe I made it into it.

Here is the press release for the calendar...

The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry 2011 published by Holly Gage of Gage Designs is scheduled for release at the end of October 2010. The beautiful 28 page, 11 x 17 (open) - wall calendar features fine silver jewelry from today's most innovative Art Clay and PMC jewelry artists. Each page beautifully illustrates the diversity, artistry and pure magic of transforming a moldable metal into fine jewelry. You can expect to see silver, bronze and copper pieces studded with gems and precious stones, embellished with gold and rich textures, and accented with the touch of the artisan’s hand.

Throughout the calendar approximately 50 jewelry conferences, classes and competition deadlines are highlighted to encourage the jewelry artist to enhance their education and step out and show what the metal clay community has accomplished in their short history.

Holly Gage was joined this year by 3 prominent jewelry and metal clay artists: Lisa Cain, Robert Dancik, Julia Rai to jury the publication. Erin Meharg, Holly's apprentice, assisted in the process as well. As usual, photo selection for 2011 was difficult, but with the generous help of the jury panel, they were able to narrow 300+ artful submissions into a stunning 12 month calendar.

The 41 artist’s work from around the world that you can expect to see are Jonna Faulkner on the cover and Cindy Miller, Juanita Burton & Karen Richard, Christine Norton, Deb Steele, Claudia Atkins, Donna Lewis, Gwen Bernecker, Tracey Spurgin, Hattie Sanderson, Susan Breen Silvy, Daine Sepanski, Lisa Barth, Emma Baird, Gordon Uyehara, Jennifer Smith-Righter, Delia Marsellos-Traister, Angela Baudel-Crispin, Pam East, Linda Kaye-Moses, Tim McCreight, Vickie Hallmark, Julie Beucherie, Laragh McMonagle, Sondra Hirssig, Wendy McManus, Lora Hart, Lorena Angulo, Maggie Bergman, Joy Funnell, Pat Gullet, Lesley Messam, Lorrene Baum Davis, Nicola Callow, Liz Hall, Natalie Knott, Julia Rai, Lisa Cain, Robert Dancik, erin lane meharg and Holly Gage.

The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry 2011 is a must have for jewelry lovers and makers alike. There will be a limited printing of the calendar, which will be released at the end of October 2009. The calendar will sell for $22.00 plus shipping. For a sneak peek and to reserve your copy, go to http://www.HollyGage.com .

There were quite a few of us Brits in the calendar this year so we must be doing something right in the UK!!

More conference stuff coming soon....

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Off to Conference

Sorry I have been a bit quiet of late. Tomorrow I am off to the Art Clay Conference in York. I am teaching a workshop with my good friend Lynne Glazzard on enamelling. Should all be good fun. I will be home again next week but hope that I may be able to blog from the conference so watch this space.. (just don't hold your breath in case I can't!!)

I will have some nice photos to show you when I get back though ;-)

Monday 6 September 2010

Back from Japan

No I don't mean I have just come back from Japan, I mean that my venetian mask Spirito di Venezia has just come back.

Earlier this year I entered the International Silver Accessories competition in Japan and was delighted to be awarded an Honorable Mention. My piece has been on exhibition in Japan and has now just made its way back home to me along with my wonderful certificate. It is large and beautiful on heavy vellum with gold embellishments. It came if a lovely tube so was quite curled and I had to use my murano glass (appropriate don't you think!) paperweights to hold it down plus the mask itself in the bottom right hand corner.

What do you mean you can't understand what it says!
OK, me too ;-) so here is the translation which was also enclosed (phew!)

I am going to get it nicely framed.

Now the mask is back I took the opportunity to take a photo I forgot to do before it went to Japan. All three of my masks together. I decided I would keep my first mask on the left as I use it for all my advertising and the one on the right has not yet found its new home so I pleased to be able to put them all together below.

Finally - meet Dudley....

Dudley is sooo cute, handmade and about 10cm high when sitting.

I tell you more about him soon....

Sunday 5 September 2010

Wot no news?

Oooh - er, it is over a week since I blogged!

Check back tomorrow for a new post :-)

I'll take some photos in the morning.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Back in Stock!

At last I have the Graduated Spacers back into stock on my eBay shop!

These are one of my favourite, could not do without, tools that I use everyday.

Created by Pam East in the USA these are the original and best set of spacers in my opinion. If you are using metal clays you will notice that more and more books now show these in the tools lists.

I had been holding out on ordering waiting for a better exchange rate to try to keep the price down on them and they have come in at just about the same price as my last lot.

If you want to buy a set you can order them here. My eBay shop stock generally is a bit low at the moment but it will be nice and stocked up again early next week so keep checking back.

This weekend I am at another fair. The Rudgwick Steam and Country Show. I have not done this event before but it looks good fun. The weather forecast for the Bank Holiday weekend is not too bad but it has been raining all week and there are flood warnings out in the area around the show.

Time to pack the wellies I think  ....... :-)

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Metal Clay Today Challenge

The latest Challenge is up on the Metal Clay Today website and voting closes tonight so VOTE NOW. Pop straight over there and you might even see a familiar piece in the entries!!!

If you do not already subscribe to Metal Clay Today then please do so while you are there. It is a wonderful FREE online magazine with load of great articles. All you do is put your email address in to subscribe and that is it. Simple. Not many places you can get something really worth having for nothing these days so make the most of it! ;-)

Friday 20 August 2010

Show Time

This weekend I am in the craft marquee at Shoreham Airshow in West Sussex. I love this show. When I say I am in the marquee all things are relative, I shall be rushing outside as often as possible to see the planes!

It get kind of interesting. The craft marquee is packed with people, there is the roar of a very loud jet engine outside and suddenly there is no one left inside but us standholders so we rush out too. All great fun ;-)

Here is a photo of a few pairs of earrings waiting for finding to top up my stock a bit. You can see I have been on a bit of a Keum Boo phase with the 24k gold!!

Have a good weekend....

Tuesday 17 August 2010

A great workshop with Gordon!!

Last weekend I went to Corfe Castle to attend a wonderful 2 day workshop organised by Petra at Silverclay with Gordon Uyehara who had flown over from Hawaii especially to teach. I find Gordon's work to be so inspiring and am a big fan.

We were to make his brilliant bail linked bracelet. Above is the photo of Gordon's example bracelet. Good isn't it!!

There were 14 of us and we had a lovely time. Friendly people and enthusiasm make for a fun weekend.

I was on a table with Ann, Jane and Adela and they were really good company. We all had a laugh as well as working hard. The workshop was quite intensive but when fired bracelets started to emerge from the kilns there were smiles all round. We could not believe what we had managed to create.

We made lots of links and bails...

with Gordon giving us plenty of demos on what we should be doing while we all listened intently...

in between which we worked and giggled!! (Jane on the left and me on the right) ....

and then did more listening and watching - this is Adela concentrating! ...

finally we all breathed a big sigh of relief when our bracelets held together and made it into the kiln...

nearly melted my camera on this shot!! that is about 800c ....

Here are the bracelets the four of us made fresh out the kiln and awaiting finishing. Mine is the largest one at the bottom. No, that does not mean I have fat wrists!!!! I wanted it to fit and like bracelets to be loose anyway .....

So here is my finished bracelet....

and this is the reverse of it. You can see the bail link technique.

This technique definitely needs a lot of patience but is worth it in the end. It has really got me thinking about other designs.

And yes, it does fit, and I love it!

Thank you Gordon.
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