Monday, March 21, 2011

RAW #11 & 12

 I love a rainy day! But not when I want to take pictures. :\ Don't know why the porcelain looks so green.
The shank and bezel base were fabricated from a scrap piece of metal clay that was textured and fired flat. FS bezel wire, hand made porcelain cabochon.
Lesson's Learned:
• Cutting tabs with a cut off wheel is not as easy as Andy Cooperman made it look. I probably bought the wrong tool.
• I like the look of tabs!
• Practicing soldering skills using discarded scrap is a good idea, until you
make something you wish were sturdier.
• It's all fun and games until you do something you knew you shouldn't have done in the first place.
• Metal clay that is 3 cards/22g thick does NOT a ring good shank make.
• I think it's time I bought some stock.
• Playing with porcelain is fun!
• Bisque fired porcelain gets very dirty if you don't wash your hands after patinating the silver.
.999 bezel and base, .925 shank, handmade porcelain cabochon.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Metal Clay Cares

I don't usually comment on world topics here on my blog. I like to stay neutral and mind my own business. But the world sometimes takes another view and when the earth has something to say - everyone needs to take notice.

We may not be feeling the effects of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan yet here in America (even though there have been strong waves along the west coast and in Hawaii) or in other parts of the world, but we soon shall. Nothing of this magnitude will remain a local event for long. But we are certainly feeling personally affected as we see and hear about the devastation in Japan.

Silver metal clay was developed in Japan by Mitsubishi Materials and Aida Chemical Industries so our community is understandably shaken and concerned. A fund has been set up that will pay for a Shelter Box to help provide relief to the people who have been displaced by this horrible event.

I've donated the proceeds from my first 2 Mentorials to this effort and hope that whether you work with metal clay or not, you'll help us send an entire box (worth $1000.00) to comfort and aid the survivors of the earthquake. You can read more about the donation and see the link here.  Thank you for reading and responding.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Weekend Eye Candy - RAD exhibition rings

Once upon a time, a member of the EtsyMetal team named Nina Dinoff got the bright idea to institute a daily challenge to her team members. The point would be to make a ring every day in 2010. Well, once she created a Flickr group and the word got out - hundreds of other ring makers joined in (including me) and the challenge became a phenomenon.

Lark Books took notice and decided to publish a book featuring only RAD rings, and the EtsyMetal members thought they'd try to get a grant and write a proposal for an exhibition during the 2011 SNAG conference in Seattle. They looked through 16,000 images to choose 365 physical rings and 14 framed photos of ephemeral or temporary rings. Out of those 365 - they chose 4 of my rings! I'm just so chuffed I could leap around the room wearing a big dopey grin. Oh wait - I did that. ;D

The exhibition will be held for one month at Punch Gallery in Seattle. Thanks to jurors Shannon Conrad, Colleen Baran, Kathryn Cole, Sara Westermark and  Nina Gibson.

Huzzah!! Here's to taking risks, freedom to play, and being in the right place at the right time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's Always Somethin'...

I'm so lucky to be able to do what I do! I work from home (in pajamas if I choose), make my own schedule, and design exactly what I want to do in life and how I want to do it.

I've joined an online life coaching workshop with Christine Kane (just started on Monday) and realize, after reading introductions and comments from the other participants, just how unusual it is that I found my way to where I am now on my own!

I'm excited to see where this workshop will take me. I'm looking for focus and clarity in how I want to proceed with my career in the next year or two. I have unfulfilled dreams just like everyone else. I feel jealousy when I see colleagues moving in directions that I want to - and at the same time don't want to. I battle with "shoulds" and "supposed to's". I listen to the half empty voice much more than any sane person ever should. Happily - I also ignore that voice a good majority of the time. But I'd like to get to the point where the half full voice fills the room.
"Khmer" Raku Ceramic, metal clay, cz's - ©2009

I feel very half full these days. More than half in fact. I've started my Mentorial program on Etsy and have my first two clients. Yay! I've really enjoyed getting CornerStone off the ground in my new position as Artistic Advisor for PMC Connection. I'm pulling my thoughts, supplies and handouts together for the 5, (yes, five!) classes I'll be teaching at Arrowmont in May. And this week I'm preparing to teach my first Level 3 Certification class. Woo Hoo!

Wedgewood shard, mother of pearl knife handle, Coke bottle, ceramic eye, found object

Today I'm working on a sample for that class. I sold my own L3 project soon after I made it and want to have something to show my students. The kiln is already at the studio where I'll be teaching, so I haven't been able to fire it yet, but I thought I'd share my progress with you.

Eid copper project. The Hydraulic press cut through two sides of the shape and I cut the "ruffle" with shears.

The project involves setting an unusually shaped object after firing. I had lots of choices, but opted to go with a piece of hydraulically formed copper that I made in a class with Cynthia Eid many years ago. It's a really fun project with lots of technically challenging steps.

The setting. 118% bigger. Looks huge to me. Hope it fits. ;D

Then later tonight, I'll go to Otis for week 5 of my 8 week, 3 hour night class. Life is good. It can only go up from here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

RAW's # 9 & 10

Sterling silver, fine silver, copper, garnet, white cubic zirconia, leather. Fabricated, soldered. Surprisingly, not patinated.

There's a little piece of gilded green leather from my Mother's jewelry box under the CZ. You can't see it in the picture, and you can't see it in person.

Lessons Learned:
• Jump rings make great risers for low stones/high bezel walls.
• Fabrication is fussy. But so is metal clay.
• Waiting until I have time to fulfill my original intention (of practicing my soldering skills) is much more satisfying than just throwing together something so I can post on time.
• Taking a photo with no reflection of the photographer is a bitch.
• Someone I know is in desperate need of a manicure.