Sunday, March 24, 2013

Clay, Glaze or Beads?

We arrived in Florida the weekend of the Daytona 500, so we watched the Good Year blimp overhead from the backyard on it's way to the Speedway for the start of the big race, and watched it again as it headed out of town. 

Usually when we go to Florida for vacation, I mail myself some clay ahead of time, so I don't go through withdrawals.  Call me crazy, but my idea of an ideal vacation is some time at the beach, catching up with friends, not cooking, and playing with clay! Before we left this year, I couldn't decide if I wanted to work with clay, glaze or beading, so I mailed myself all three.  

First I photographed the beautiful batch of beads my bead soup swap partner Betty sent me, since I didn't have a chance before I left.  It's rare that the sun comes out in the winter in NH when I actually have time to spend taking photos, so thankfully the Florida sun didn't disappoint.  Now I just need to take the time to figure out what I'm going to make with Betty's soup.  We're in the 3rd reveal which is April 13th.
Then, the question was, clay or glaze?  Usually that's not an issue, because clay is all I have on hand down there, but this year I poured a little of each of my favorite cone 6 glazes in plastic to-go containers. Just the right size for transport, and shipped them off.
As the blimp flew overhead, I unpacked the glazes, and was happy to see that with the help of some tape and bubble wrap, the lids stayed on nicely.  Playing with clay is usually my first choice, since it's more fluid and not as meticulous as glazing, but since I never make enough time to glaze, this would be a good time for it.
I focused primarily on stoneware and porcelain seashore pendants, and some matching coins, and beads.  I also glazed a few shank buttons I made recently to see how those would turn out.

Unfortunately I overloaded the kiln, and a dozen or so pieces collided during the firing. I was unable to save a few of them that fused together. This pendant and bead combo reminds me a little of Mickey Mouse.
 Fortunately most of the pieces turned out fine,
and I've been listing them in my Etsy shop.  I'm glad I took the time to glaze, and next year I'll have my little containers awaiting me in Florida for the next batch.  Now, I need to get stirring my bead soup!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Bead Soup Arrived!

Well, it actually arrived a while ago, but I'm on vacation so I haven't been able to blog about it until now.  Our computer in Florida died, so I'm getting used to this new laptop which seems to have a mind of it's own.  But Anyway....  This fabulous package arrived from my swap partner Betty for the Bead Soup Blog hop! It was wrapped up and tied with this beautiful red bow and nestled carefully in this very cool dish made from an inverted bottle which I'm assuming Betty made since I know she works with glass. Betty created this adorable tropical lampwork fish pendant just for me.  It's so cute, I Love it! Enclosed was also a write up on Kazuri beads which I've never seen up close and personal, so I couldn't wait to see what other surprises may be awaiting in her package.
Well, a Very delightful surprise indeed! I opened it up and found a treasure trove of beautiful delights that I know I'm going to enjoy creating with.
Such a great mix of glass, ceramic and wooden beads with a very ethnic feel which is one of my favorite themes to work with.  Betty also included some copper beads, some crystal bicones, some beading cord and I Love the copper star toggle!  Thanks so much Betty for this very inspiring mix!