Sunday, May 31, 2009

Crafty Surprise - Ponte Amour

Crafty Surprise - Ponte wine cork set in Art Clay silver bezel with the couple's names, wedding date & a heart on the back.

Crafty Surprise was a chain-note, going through Facebook (see end of post for the text). Based on the concept of Paying it forward, you make something for a couple people & they do the same for others.

I looove stories, if they involve friends being happy, even better! Last year, a couple friends from work invited me & another friend to the annual grape stomping event held at Ponte winery in Temecula. As fun as the event was watching people run around covered in grape pulp, Ponte winery is a special for them because they were married there May 12, 2006. As they have just celebrated another wedding anniversary, I wish them many more! :)

If you want to take part in your own crafty surprise, here's a start:

Crafty Surprise

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get.
2. What I create will be just for you, with love.
3. It'll be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you when you least expect it. I may even create something totally unbelievable and surprise you at work!! Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange. Or extremely boring.
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text into a note of your own and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your note.
7. Send your mailing address if you don't live close to me!

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own note to pay this forward. ( well, not really..)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Neuron neurosis: Sketch to Completion

Funny the Metal Clay gallery on Yahoo Groups has a sketch to completion themed challenge this month as that is the whole point of my blog-venture, well here goes: Neuron-ic as the Next Guy.

This doodle has been bidding it's time in the sketchbook since my birthday in February, & the amethyst cab was one of my gifts. The design for the ring is based on a neuron twining itself around 2 fingers. The ring turned out close to my original sketch, though it evolved a bit to accommodate for functionality & structural support.

I first started building the ring shank with 1 thick coil laid out over a S shaped pattern. After it dried, the tentacle & bezel setting "cup" perched on one side & decorative coils tacked onto the others with syringe. (I do <3 class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_1">Humpty Dumpty proportions, & never got put back together the same again. (The nice way of summarizing a couple hr long ordeal!) A messy blessing in disguise, as the final ring band with 3 layers of thinner coils is lighter & more proportional looking than the original band.
As I don't have a kiln, the secret to building larger & more abstract things seems to be Overlay paste & repeated torch firings. Fire small pieces, cement them together with overlay paste, dry/sand/fire, & repeat. So the 3 swirls on the dendrite tail (swirly end) were formed & fired together, before being pasted to the previously fired setting (yay for salvage!). One thing I found about overlay paste is that it doesn't particularly appreciate sand paper or files. Smoothing blemishes with a rotary tool after firing still remains to be seen, but I'm psyched everything is holding together nicely!

The final challenge for this ring was to set the amethyst in the bezel setting, which I haven't tried before but it didn't seem that difficult. The stone was easy enough to get into the setting, & though it isn't technically the right tool, I used the scoop/burnisher to push the bezel walls in. It is the tiniest bit loose still, but the stone doesn't seem like it will fall out. I tried putting the ring in the tumbler with stainless steel shot to hopefully work harden the ring & bezel, though the bezel seems unaffected. Probably the shot was too big to get into the little nooks & crannies.

So here's one that's hopped off my sketchbook. Going from theory & asking for advice to actually doing has resulted in some "oh duh" moments, & even better - more ideas, including 1 with the original attempted ring shank, hmmm.....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Glass fused Pokemon!!!

My brother expressed interest in glass fusing, so we both gave it a shot. I think he's pretty good at it!

Steven's pieces assembled, tacked, & ready to fuse.

Can you tell who they are? Eevee is on the left (I love how it's cheek fuzz sticks out & the dichro is perfect for the face!) & Giratina is on the right (SO much work went into that one!)

First jewelry show *check*

What a weekend! I admit I've read about doing jewelry shows, but never attempted one before. It has always seemed SO daunting. Well, a week to prepare is pretty good motivation to get things done! The seller's permit wasn't as difficult as expected to obtain as expected, make some more pieces, update business cards & hang tags. In the end, not so scary & definitely do-able.

The Pretty Little Pageant turn out was fairly small, but I got lots of feedback, made new friends & got to hang out with old ones. It was a fun learning experience :)

Table set up - Left: Merveilles by Estelle. Center: My ACS cork collection, A different Vintage Right: Swarovski & fun wire wrapped jewelry.

I was around the corner from most of the other vendors, who were grouped around the entrance, but people heading to the registers would stop to check things out in my corner.

Some new friends include:
Mary of Bear Chick Her jewelry is quite fun & tasty looking!
Yolanda of Yolanda's clay & jewelry creations She had a bunch of fun pendants on watercolor ribobons!
Kaori of DK Delights She has really cute button jewelry, & wonderfully colorful displays!