You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2010.

 

head full of ideas.....

 

The second month of my blog-a-thon is coming to an end.  By “blog-a-thon” I mean that I’ve tried to increase my daily blogging.  Last month I made 18 entries, this month will be 19!  Along the way, I’ve gotten better at editing photos for the web in Photoshop.  Some research helped and getting the file size to be really small helps loading the photos faster. I started using the “save for web” function when saving the files.

I’ve taken more quick photos for the blog using my formal photo set-up.  Shooting jewelry is still a challenge, but the more I photograph, the more I remember about the last time I took photos.  A clean surface is essential.  Using the aperture setting on my camera is essential.  My macro lens is essential.  One light seems to work the best.

As blogs go, the most hits I received on one day was the “moose in the woods and perfecting the pizza” entry.  I’m not sure if it was the moose or the pizza!  The other entry with high hits was the “wassabe” entry.  Go figure, maybe it’s making a catchy title??

I have been applying to summer art festivals, and hope to get three more applications in in the month of April.  I’ve gotten one “you’re in” so far.  Many use the online application format, but a few still want slides, which is great, as I am a bit “old school” as my son calls it.  The other comment he’ll make, unrelated, but funny–“you’re such a hippy, mom”  Compliment or not?  Go figure, I guess I was a child of the 60’s….and 70’s…..

So as ski season comes to a close in 3 weeks, spring break is over, Easter break will soon be behind us, work mode must kick into high gear!  And hopefully I’ll keep sending off my thoughts into cyber world….

copper clay with crochet cord

These are new pieces that I crocheted cord and added beads.  My friend figured out that you don’t need a crochet hook to do this, just your hands, and fingernails help tighten each knot.  The left one has a bead added every fourth knot, whereas the right one has a bead added every 10th knot, and the cord is thinner.  I am working my way to thicker cord and we’ll see how it falls.

front side, copper clay pendant

back side, copper clay pendant

It’s two, two pendants in one!  This doubled sided pendant was worn today.  The swirl side has tie dye colors, and other side came out more muted.  Okay, I guess this material is dirty, as some folks say, but I find it fun to work with and I love the rosy color that the copper imparts.  I do wish I had installed a solar panel to fire these though.  After the front was dry, I hand carved the back swirl, after it was fired, I then burnished it with a dremel tool, to highlight the top area.  And these photos are quick & dirty, dirty as in my glass wasn’t spotlessly clean.  My next endeavor will be to try the copper clay that Metal Mania has developed, that comes in powder form, is then mixed with water.  You must use all the contents of the 50 gram or 100 gram jar otherwise it will oxidize.  The jar clearly states:  “Do not open until ready to use.”  So don’t get an ADD attack and run to the new Nordstrom Rack that recently opened or make dinner.  Make your copper clay, or bronze clay pieces, dry them, use it all at once!

COPPRClay batch, closed firing

This is my third firing of COPPRClay.  I used the closed method, in the stainless pan for 3 hours at 1700 degrees.  There are pieces here from a copper clay play date with a few friends.  The pieces that cracked may be too thin, the others that are thicker did not crack.  The very first firing I did, I used the open shelf method, then placed the pieces in the stainless box for the second phase of the firing.  I’ve had more success with the closed method.  The pieces come out looking a bit grungy, but after some burnishing, they will brighten up.  The tie-die colors are very cool.  The pieces with the most color came from the upper half of the pan.

What the heck?

More Snow?  Old man winter, I mean spring, has stopped by again.  I went with friends to see John Mayer tonight and we had to brave the storm.  Luckily, leaving the venue was a bit easier than going in.  It was a good concert, my ears are still silently ringing.  Silently ringing??  Maybe because all that is stirring is a quiet house & two restless cats that are ready for bed.

Have a seat....

I spent the day looking over a tools list for a workshop that I am taking in a few weeks with Hadar Jacobson.  Thankfully I can drive, and not get on an airplane with all the supplies!  Hand drill, triangular file, to name a few.  Butane torch, that would not go over well.  I’ve never worked with the Quick Fire Copper & Bronze clays that Hadar developed.    I have a batch of COPPRclay in the kiln right now and will open it in the morning.  By the way schools are closed tomorrow!

raku birdhouse

I’m back from a short break, spring break, as it’s called.  Hope to start working on raku clay, to do some raku firings.  This old birdhouse was made & fired during a Bob Smith workshop.  The colors & textures are amazing.  A bit burned on the top rim of the pot, markings from the straw we used, the unglazed lower half.  I tried once, to fire a piece of metal clay with raku glaze on it.  My kiln at the time was firing strangely, and the entire piece melted into a blob in the bottom of the kiln.  Still have the jar of glaze.  Will use it on some raku clay instead. The metal clay experiment was an expensive blob!

Found art, Winter Park ski area, Colorado

Came across this sculptural piece of art in the woods today.  I’m calling it “found art”.  As you can see, a ski patrolmen is skiing by.  I’m not sure who shimmied up this tree trunk to place the antlers & skulls there, will have to do some research, I guess.  Glad I had packed my camera in my backpack.

It was a good break, no TV, no internet, had to travel to see a few of the NCAA tournament games.  Must get back to the work mode now.

Computer upon computer & cat

Someone told me today that Facebook is now bigger than Google.  What would we do without computers?  As a graphic design student out of school, in order to send a piece to the printer, we had to send type out to a type setter (after proofreading a zillion times and hopefully without mistakes),then used a drafting table with a straight edge ruler and lots of wax to adhere the type to the page.  Now, in the age of computers, all that has changed.  We can create the postcard in Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop, upload the files to an online  printer — doing all the work on this outstanding machine.  At the end of last year, I finally purchased a new desktop computer, and had to transfer data from my trusty laptop to the new desktop.  My cat, Meka, helped steer me along.   I also create tags to attach to my jewelry pieces in another great software program, Quark Xpress.  I am looking online for a good source for “etiquette tags”  that are printed with your custom logo, and have a looped string attached.  Please send me a comment if you know an inexpensive company to order these, as I don’t want to adhere two tags together to get this effect!

trying to photograph resin...

As you may have noticed, I’ve been trying to post a daily blog.  (Sometimes I take the weekend off.)  I am trying to set a record for myself, as in the past I blogged 7 times in my most prolific month.  In February I hit an all time high of 18 posts, and for March, I’m trying to top that.  It makes me think about what I’ve accomplished that day.  Some days involve getting all your consignment items inventoried and making new inventory sheets.  Sometimes it means cleaning your work area.  I think of it as “I have to Feng Shui” my space so that I am inspired to work again.  Some days are spent trying to figure out how to photograph resin!  Some days are spent pondering what to do, making lists, looking at schedules.  I’ve been trying to get a walk in daily, and without my dog, who went to dog heaven last November, there are days that I need motivation.  Clean out the cob webs, breathe in some fresh air!  Sometimes that involves creating a new playlist on my iPod to truck down the street to.  I saw some crocuses peeking through the dirt today.  Spring is coming…And one thing I know for sure, the last few days have flown by–does the clock have anything to do with that?

Colorado Potters Spring Show & Sale, May 6, 7, & 8

Aside from making jewelry, teaching, and attending to my family, I am also a part of the cooperative, Colorado Potters Guild.  As a retired graphic designer, I have been recruited to design the postcard for the twice yearly sale.  I just finished it and uploaded it into the world wide web for printing.  Our spring sale will be here soon, May 6, 7, & 8.  It’s a week later this year.  We are very fortunate to have a member who brings a photography set up to our show, and we photograph our pieces so they are available for advertising our future shows.

Information & hours

enamels over copper

I worked on some enamel pieces today after perusing the book I posted yesterday.  I am still playing, so it helped to understand a few things.  You can use the firescale that reacts in the copper in your design.  The undersides of the oval pieces are very interesting.  In order to prevent cracking, you counter enamel the back side of your piece, the leaf & the earring components have a black back,  the ovals have some color.  I found my green in the studio today, green makes me happy, what can I say?

enamel over copper reverse sides

The back side is much more interesting when you add some color–agree?

Did you know tomorrow is Pie Day in the math world, 3/14, Pi Day?  Our house smells of cherry pie, adapted from this recipe, Crustless Cranberry Pie, –the cranberry version is easy & really great–if fresh cranberries are in season! We had some organic frozen dark cherries in the freezer. I decided to make two pies, one for us, one for the Geometry class.  Good eating pi!

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My 2013 Schedule so far…

Denver Potters Assoc. Holiday Show
6th Avenue United Church
3250 E 6th Ave
Dec 5, 6, 7, & 8
www.castleclayartists.net

Arvada Center Fine Art Market
Dec 12 - 22

My Home Holiday Show
December 13 & 14

Gallery of my Work