Thursday 31 December 2015

48/52 Texture Testing = More Joyfulness

I'm very excited about the new textures I'm working on!!

We have been doing testing on the production of them and we seem to have it sussed now. YAY!!
These are very different to the laser cut card Joyful textures that I already sell. These are new designs and a different material for the texture plates. They are durable and produce really sharp details as you can see from the photos. 
I can't show you an actual texture plate just yet - trade secrets and all that you know ;) lol

The earrings above are combined with various semi precious beads - sleeping beauty turquoise, imperial topaz, carnelian and amethyst. (These are all for sale so I must get on and list them!) The black beads in the photo below are tourmaline. 

Next I'll make some enamelled examples :D
I should have these for sale in January, I'm still finishing off all the designs. If you want me to let you know when they are ready just let me know.
I do hope you like them!

Have fun!

Joy x

47/52 Joyful Torii Part 2

Back in September I made this Torii pendant as part of my challenge. You can read all about how I made it in 31/52 Joyful Torii Part 1

This is the back of the pendant.

Now for Joyful Torii Part 2!!!

The plan was to try using some glass Filato that I bought in Murano, Venice years and years ago. I always wanted to try doing a bit of micro mosaic, but of course having bought these, there they sat, unused!!! Filato are made from Smalti glass and are long rods that are only 1-2mm wide.  

I've never tried anything like this before - so I will say straight off that I was winging it as I went along!! :D It largely depended on some internet research and a bit of trial and error ;)

First was cutting up the rods into small bits for the pattern. I wanted to stay with something really I just went with some coloured stripes. I used some sticky stuff on paper so I could work out the design, you can see the pieces being put together on the left in the above photo. 

 Next job was to start gluing all the pieces into the frame. If you've read Part 1 you'll know I wasn't too sure about the overall shape of the frame. As you can see from the photos I went with taking off the two lower side pieces.I like this shape better.

I had already realised that I should of made the frame deeper before I ever got this far, but what the heck, I was going for it anyway :)  I knew it would mean I couldn't really go for the mosaic surface being flush with the frame, but it was all a learning process!!

My cutting of the pieces was quite an inexact science so the top surface wasn't very even, but at least they all fitted in!!

I let the glue cure and then started to file the surface off to make it more even.

The glass filed down quite easily.

Finally I sealed the top surface. The plan here was to use Lisa Pavela's Magic Gloss to give a nice shiny raised finish...however that idea went out the window when I found the new bottle had gone off and set solid :( Apparently it has a shelf life and I'd had mine for years!! 

So instead I just sealed the surface with more Weldbond. Not ideal and I'll probably redo it in time. Anyway here is the finished piece on a chain with a few complementary beads!

It is far from perfect but I learnt loads doing it. I know I need to cut pieces to a much more even size and shape, I probably need to find a different glue, I need to make frames deeper etc etc...but mainly I learnt...I liked doing it!!!

So this is another technique I'll have another go at in the future to see if I can make something much better :D

Have fun!

Joy x

Tuesday 29 December 2015

46/52 Japanese Mask

As I'm sure you know I've made masks pendants for quite a while now. Most of my masks are based on Venetian ones, but I've also made an assortment of animals and aliens!

When I was in Japan I saw lots of festival masks and decided I really should try to make a Japanese style mask! I was just taking a photo of them in this shop window when Dice Minagawa did his impression of one as well! ;)

That kind of made up my mind which style to try! I think this comic mask face is whistling and is called Usofuki from Kyogen traditional comic theatre (but of course I might be wrong!!) :)

I started out using my own mask mould, the same one I use for all my masks. This mould has the eyes cut out though and for this mask I wanted to add eyes (a first for me!!). I decided to fill the eye holes with more Art Clay silver and then set about building up the cheeks and nose to make the comic face. This is a work in progress photo. At this point I was still creating the shape and just trying out how the eyes might look with some dry scraps of clay. 

Once I was happy with the face I finished the back (more on that in a moment) and then fired the piece. Here it is after a quick polishing.

Next was enamelling. A little red in the mouth, some white and yellow for the eyes and black for the eyebrows and nostrils. The dark around the eyes is from a patina I added after enamelling, which I then polished back when I added a stain finish to the mask.

As well as having eyes the other difference for this mask is that I decided to make it into a brooch. Another first for me!! :D

I added a tube and a hook, both made of of silver clay, before I fired the mask. The very last job I did was to add a length of hardened sterling silver wire for the pin.

I've tried wearing it and it sits quite nicely! 

It was a fun brooch to make and something different for me...which has gotten me thinking a lot more about some new styles of masks!!!

That's something to watch out for in 2016!

Have fun!

Joy x

Monday 28 December 2015

45/52 Joyful Parrot Fob

I couldn't post this one before Christmas as it was a present! :D

It is made in fine silver and about 4cm high. The colour is all enamel. It is a fob...designed to be attached to a pocket watch chain, hence the style of clasp on it. 

It's double sided and both sides are enamelled so it doesn't matter if it turns while it is being worn. 

It's quite thick to make it nice and strong.

I've been promising to make this piece for several years! Somehow each time I tried to start it I just couldn't come up with a design or style that I liked.

Parrots are very special in our family (my maiden name is Parrott ;) ), so any old parrot just wouldn't do - it had to be right!! It also had to be very bright and colourful (of course!)!! This is based on a macaw.

This year I've been making a lot more enamelled pieces in this sort of style and when I thought about it I realised, at last, it was perfect way to make the parrot. 

 I now have one very happy brother ;)

Have fun!

Joy x 

Thursday 10 December 2015

44/59 A Bag of Bling!

I buy quite a few stone from a UK company called Diamond CZ. Recently they had a charity auction on eBay that I was delighted to win. It is a variety of mixed stones, some have minor flaws which I was expecting, a lot are very usable!  There are a lot of larger stones and shapes I haven't used before - exciting!!! I was quite surprised when the package arrived as from the photo I had not appreciated the size of the stones - lovely big bling!!!

First thing to do was to test the coloured ones to see if they would fire. I knew the tanzanite blues and greens would mostly likely discolour in an open shelf firing - but I tried a few anyway! Of course they did!! They went brown, but actually at least one of them went a very beautiful pale cognac colour that I shall use :D

My second test was to fire a few in carbon in an oxygen free atmosphere. They held their colour beautifully - yay!! :) I refired the discoloured ones in the carbon too. The tanzanite ones stayed brown but the green did revert back - good to know!!

So I set about trying out a couple of the rectangular stones.

First I made this ring - I've called it Gothic Green.

To contrast with the lovely deep green stone I set a couple of lab grown rubies, one on each side...

...and I added some lovely little sunburst designs all around the band.

 I was pleased with the result - and as this one fitted me I've given it a test run for a couple of days! It's nice and comfortable to wear!! ;)

For my second try with the stones I made a little pendant with an attached bail. This one has a nice antique look to it. I've called it Clear Sparkle because...well I'm sure you can work that one out!

It's really quite small - and a little different to my usual style I think!


I have lots and lots of stones left to use - so I'll be having fun with these in the future!!!

Joy x

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