Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ornament Experiment Part Two

Seasons Greetings All - Here's the results of the glazing of my ornament experiments ~
Below you can see some of the ornaments before the glaze firing.  I'm putting on the clear glaze which is pink.

Below are the ornaments after they were glaze fired, but before I put the mother of pearl on the blue ornaments ~
I thought the blue ones would be enhanced by the mother of pearl luster, so I decided to do the additional firing.  Here I am putting the mother of pearl on the ornaments.  I use a glove to avoid getting the luster on my skin.
I'm glad I decided to use the luster, because I think it did really have a nice effect with the blues. It's not always the best choice, but here I think it works.

Since I'm a fanatic about the Holly Berry design and use it on everything, I was thrilled that this floral stamp pattern works so well with that design!
It was so fun to try something new, and this definitely won't be the last time I use stamps in my creations! Happiest of Holidays to you All and I look forward to sharing more ideas and creations with you in 2011!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ornament Experiment Part One

Every year I like to try a new idea or design for my ornaments so I can have something different to give for gifts and to sell for the holiday season. 
I've never tried using rubber stamps before in my clay process, but since seeing the beautiful effects that can be made with stamp impressions on  some great Beads-of-Clay blog tutorials, I've decided to give it a try!

I picked up this decorative floral design block stamp at the Hospital Street Fair in Wolfeboro this summer for 50 cents!  I had it waiting on my studio shelf for just such an occasion.
I rolled out some white clay, and pressed it into the stamp.  After removing the pressed piece of clay, I used some of my favorite ornament templates, and cut out some pieces from the textured clay.
This morning they were dry, so I sponged down the edges and rough areas.
They're cooling in the kiln right now and I can't wait to start glazing them!  I'll be back with the results next week after the glaze firing!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Necklaces made with my new toggles ~

Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had a great Cyber Monday.  Whether you were selling, buying or both, or not shopping at all!  I was up until midnight packaging up my sales to ship out. 

Here's a few necklaces that I created with the toggles I made recently.
These two I made to go specifically with these pendants and beads.  I sold the lilac one at my craft show last weekend.
This one I made for the November Art Bead Scene Challenge on Gustav Klimt's representation of the Tree of Life

Although I didn't win, I had So much fun creating, and that's what it's all about. I'm going to have lots of fun wearing it.

Congrats to Pam Traub who won the challenge with her beautiful piece.

Until next time ~~~  Happy Creating!

Friday, November 26, 2010

My Entry for the November ABS Blog Challenge

This month's Art Bead Scene Blog Challenge theme is Gustav Klimt's representation of the Tree of Life.  I thought this was such a great piece to work from and there's so many fun details it was easy to get creating!
To begin, I made some kiln fired stoneware beads using a raised swirl design, then handpainted them with underglazes, using a light tan color for the background and a darker brown for the swirls. 
I also made the toggle clasp from clay to match the beads. The most fun was painting the little tree dwelling creatures with eyes which I mostly have dangling from the necklace.

I used several of my other clay beads as well as various decorative silver and glass beads and connected the piece with wire as well as some cord. 

Detail from Gustav Klimt's piece...

Here's the beads ready for the kiln.

A close up of the focal bead with overglaze.

My Tree of Life Beads ~ Fresh out of the kiln.
Funny little mushroom eye creatures.... 
Putting it all together.... 
I'm back from a fabulous craft show in Effingham.  Best one ever~ :)
Have a great weekend~!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My First Attempt at Toggles - Part Two

Toggle Test Results Revealed ~~
I glazed up a few of my toggles, and here's the results!

I realized I didn't make the wire loops large enough on the backs of the toggle bars,
so I had to improvise and hang them from triangle wires so the glaze wouldn't touch
the bead rods and stick to them while firing.  Next time I'll make the loops larger.
But all in all, I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt,
and even used one on a necklace that I'll show you later!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Support NHPTV Holiday Auction Nov. 17th - Dec. 5th!

The NHPTV Holiday Auction is happening now, and this set of three Clayworks Holly Ornaments is now open for bidding!  Each set of three valued at $52.00  
Get ready for Christmas with 3 handcrafted, handpainted, kiln fired white clay ornaments. Included are red and green holly stocking ornaments and a green holly mitten ornament.

Proceeds from the Auction support funding for NHPTV's programs and educational services.

Thank you for supporting NHPTV!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm Getting Ready for my Upcoming Craft Show!

For about five years now I've enjoyed participating in the annual Crafting for the Holidays juried craft fair in Effingham, NH.  It's a Thanksgiving weekend craft show featuring craftspeople from New Hampshire and Maine. 


Susann Foster Brown – Etched wall & textile pieces
Magi Leland – Artwork
Ann Skehan – Quilts
Lee Spiller - Stone Sculpture
Charlotte Waitner – Soy Candles
Peggy Brewster – Photographer
Ruth Mathews – Handmade Rugs
Donald Murdock – toys
Rich Ray Bliss - Paper Sculpture & Jewelry
P’nina Kaplan of P’Ninas Designs
Garden Dreams, Goat Soaps & Herbal Creams
Karyl Bisson of Simple Gifts – woodland terrariums
Shirley Mensch, Art & Illustration
Jodi Johanssen – Wreaths and More
Susan Gaboriault – Pins
Candace Maher – Cards, Calendars & More
Ann Morgan - Lampshades
Lisa Boucher, Clay Jewelry
Denise Walker – Sculptured Textiles
Frank & Linda Wise – Woodturned Pens & Scarves
Jan Graham of Tactile Comforts - Felted items and more;

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My First Attempt at Toggles - Part One

Sometimes it's just hard to find the right toggle. Don't you think?

I'm working on a special project, and thought it would look nice to have a toggle to match the necklace design I'm working on. I've always admired the beautiful toggle clasps by Mary Harding and other clay artists, but haven't actually tried my hand at them until now.

So I just went for it, and took out my clay and started browsing my tools and molds and got started.  I chose some of my favorite templates that I've used for years for my earrings and pins etc.  I made them by drawing their shapes on stencil paper, then using an X-acto knife to cut out the shapes.  I've found that file folders work as well as stencil paper.  I rolled out the clay, then cut the shapes with a clay cutting tool.

Then I picked out a few molds that I've used for my jewelry with themes that I use on a regular basis like swirls, starfish and leaves. I pressed the cut clay shapes into the molds.
After pressing the shapes into the molds, it makes the edges of the piece unruly, so I put the template over the piece again, and re-cut it to make the edges even. 
Once I had my toggle pieces, I inserted some high fire wire loops into the edges of the toggles, and the reverse of the toggle bars.
After the toggles were dry, I sponged them smooth with an elephant ear sponge, and smoothed the toggle openings with a large bristle brush.  These photos were taken during the pre-smooth stage.
I chose the same patterns to make the toggle bars. It's quite a process, but I found it very enjoyable. I think the most difficult part is figuring out where to put the design on the toggle so you can see it afterwards, since you cut out a pretty good chunk in the middle.It made me appreciate the amount of work that goes into making a finished toggle, and I'm only half way there.

So first thing this morning I headed out to the kiln and I'm firing them up! I'll be back for part two once I glaze them.  See you then!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Mug I received from the Etsy Mud Team Mug Swap!

A few weeks ago I entered the Etsy Mud Team Mug Swap, and the other day this awesome mug arrived from the Barefoot Potteress!
Look at the beautiful glazing, and the mug has such a great feel to it.  I love large mugs, for my coffee in the morning so it's the perfect size for me.
As an added treat, there was a really cool earth clay button and sweet little soap and soapdish with a swirl design! I love them all! 
If you want to see more Barefoot Potteress creations, visit her Etsy shop:

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Dragonfly Mug

This was my entry today in the Etsy Mud Team Mug Swap
I challenge you to say that 10 times fast.
I made this from speckled clay in one of my classes with my pottery instructor Sally Cornwell.  I painted the dragonfly design with wax resist, then dipped the handle side in white glaze, and the dragonfly side in blue glaze.