Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blind Faith and the Prodigal Bat

Blind Faith
Star sapphire and laboradorite cabochons set in fine silver with gold accents. The bat's eyes are cubic zirconia.

Batty the bat may be legally blind, but there's a light in him that he can't hide. His "blind" faith keeps him going as explores the unknown with a mischievous grin of his face.

It started out as a competition entry, just to really try and "go for it." The stones themselves are breathtaking. The Challenge was to understand how different types of clay work, and I really wanted build a moving piece. Somewhere along the way, I started relating to Batty the Bat. Or more likely, he started to reflect me.

"There's something that burns within you that attracts people to you, that will take you far."

A friend told me this a couple months ago, along with a couple other observations, and I haven't really been able to let that go. Maybe because I'm more open to listening, putting some faith in myself, and more willing to acknowledge the faith others have in me now then before.

The Prodigal part of the story? Some how Batty & partially completed frame disappeared in the depths of my room for a month. Only my critters would rebel and come back, but I'm glad he did!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Experimenting is Key

Last week someone told me they saw me as a little mad scientist, puttering around and experimenting in my garage...with jewelry. That still makes me chuckle!

So part 2 of my copper clay experiment was adding silver to fired copper.

Art Clay Copper doesn't need carbon to scinter, though the surface of the copper will oxidize, it isn't too bad to remove. The tricky part is the pitting during additional firings for the silver. Guess I'll have to break down & get some carbon to see if that helps prevent pitting if not oxidation in the future. On the good side, the key really does look antique!

Other than that, making a lot of cork things this week.

This week: Working on a couple requests, writing instructions for class, and combating the monstrosity called my desk!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What is your POW?

BAM and POW earrings by Stereoette

Ever have one of those weeks where you have a million and one project ideas, suddenly 2 weeks have gone by without doing a single one? That is what my friends Candace and Leen have been discussing. We all have day jobs and sometimes finding the energy or focus for our art is a battle.
Be it actual projects, an intriguing technique that keeps getting pushed aside, or just tackling a dreaded pile of paper work, just trying get things done. And have fun of course!

Sunday was copper clay play day with Candace. These are pieces made with Art Clay copper. As there are many different copper clays out right now, the neat thing about this clay is that it is premixed, can be fired in about 30 minutes and doesn't require carbon for firing. It does develop a layer of black oxidation, which admittedly still hasn't been cleaned off yet. I like the patina on the key with the stone, most of these are waiting for the addition of silver clay though.

Biff, Bam, WIP-POW!

WIP = Work In Progress
(P)POW = (Pet) Project Of the Week.

Care to join our quest? Leave a comment, the more the merrier!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Comic Con Eye Candy

This past weekend was Comic Con at the San Diego convention center. Among the huge conglomeration of artists, and cosplayers who look like they've just stepped out of a comic book, I found jewelry!

Tammy of Stellanova Jewelry is an illustrator and comic artist. She uses her own illustrations as a focal for her pieces. Often depicting animals, the colors and tiny details of each illustrated cameo are exquisite!

My personal favorite is the jellyfish pendant.

Tara of Magboo jewelry 's Adorable Mayhem collection features small characters like the Bunny ring, which truly are adorable!

I love the concept of the One Carrot ring as it is also playful and fun.

Victorian steampunk costumes were popular with many people. All I can say about these leather pieces by Brute Force is Wow!

Friday, July 9, 2010


This week my POW (Project Of the Week!) was a magnetic clasp featuring 2 boxers from a Fisticuffs wine cork. The boxers have been circling my desk for a while, and it took a Clasp challenge issued at the last Art Clay Society of Orange County meeting to figure out what kind of function they will have.

It sounds silly writing this as I taught a simpler version of this type of bezel and cork setting earlier this year, but the most challenging part of this project was trusting myself. The finished clasp ended up being close to my original idea, though it was a bit nerve wracking getting there as there was only 1 set of boxer corks.

This week I also put some of my pieces on display at work and a friend comented: "You've really come a long way since I've known you."

That too has really a hard one for me to truly believe. Usually all the stuff I've been meaning or need to do (like blogging?) just gets in the way of seeing that yeah...guess my friend has a point.

Finishing the boxers literally made me see how a passing idea has evolved in complexity over a couple years, and yes, I'm proud of it!

Thanks and love to all my cheerleaders...especially Lenity, my Metals Mistress, G, Wendy & Scott.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Party Animal - Kitty the Squid

Kitty the Bobtail Squid
A real party animal, she is tattooed with swirls and a starfish.
Her moonstone eyes reflect the glow of party lights as she jams to Weezer's Beverly Hills.

This weekend was Babette the Bobtail squid & Treasure box classes with Gordon Uyehara & Louise Duhamel at Breabeadworks. Taking classes with Gordon and Louise is always fun, and the weekend just flew by! Now to finish my Treasure box...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Things are budding

Bird of Paradise - Dole plantation Gardens, Oahu.

The time change this weekend reminds me Spring is coming. With it, opportunities to grow as an artist and teacher. I recently completed the Senior Level Certification course through Art Clay World , and got to spend time with friends in Hawaii. The work didn't really start until I came home and had to start dealing with motivating myself to the next level. Setting up to teach, figuring out insurance and other paper work needed for a business, and getting in the mood to focus on making some of the things in my sketchbook.

This week I've been working on writing an Artist Biography. It wasn't the bio itself that has taken a lot of time, but psyching myself up to sit down and write it. The Yahoo Metal Clay Group has had an interesting discussion about Art and Fear. It seems that everyone runs into fear of failure issues, and the only way to work through the feeling is to confront it with confidence through action. To that end, I'm grateful to have friends who cheerlead me along the way by talking me through each rambling thought in my head! For the moment I'll just enjoy the fact that I have accomplished one thing this week, we'll see what happens next week.

P.S. Bobtail squid (look up this critter!) & Tiny Treasure box ring classes this weekend with Gordon Uyehara & Louise Duhamel, yay!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It was a 2 torch hatching!

Hatchling #1: Deuteronomy
Hatched: Jan. 2, 2010 9pm
Weight: 9.8 g *
Length: 1.5 inches

Ok, New year, New clay. With the holidays & what not, there's been a bit of a stalemate going on between me & an open packet of Art Clay copper. Basically, if it can be torch fired & I've done something like it in silver, I want a crack at it. Getting things to fire right has been a bit of another story as pieces end of being complex than originally intended.

Providence came about in the form of a youtube video by Hadar Jacobson:

Copper needs more heat than silver to scinter properly, so use 2 torches!

The thing about copper clay is that it oxidizes & turns black after firing. In general quenching in water & pickling in an acid helps get most oxidation off. Deuteronomy was built on a toilet paper core & there's still a chunk of charcoal stuck inside him. Poor guy will have baby fat forever as pickling didn't seem like a good idea. Got some nice red color on his tail, but most of the oxidation was removed with fiber wheels as the micron polishing wheels didn't seem to do much. Or maybe just needed more power hmmm...

Tutorial on TP burnout cores by Sabine Alienor: