I’ve completed a fair amount of work recently, but I have not put it up on Etsy yet due to continued attempts at improving my photography. “Good enough” is not quite good enough. I always hope do better. I think I have a handle on the earring photos, but the necklaces are another thing. Trying out different backgrounds is part of the learning process. And there is always lighting to figure out. Not sure if I like the floor tile background and the green paper is too green for me. Good thing I happen to be in N.Y. visiting my friend Susie this weekend. I plan to go to A.I. Friedman (art supply store) tomorrow to check out their paper department. Time to add to my backgrounds options.
What I like about the necklace below is the that I’m finally using a hand made clasp, and I really like the mix of silver and copper beads with their green patina. Wish I had bought more of these from Shannon LeVart at Miss Ficklemedia! I am keeping a sharp eye on her Etsy shop for their return.
What my husband brings home in his lunch cooler when we can’t figure out what else to have for supper.
This red spindle marks Long Ledge, off Great Cranberry Island, warning mariners against running aground when the ledge is covered by the tide. The mail boat passes it several times daily, on its way to and from Northeast Harbor and the Cranberry Isles. Every spring, islanders anticipate the return of a pair of Osprey who find the spindle to be an ideal nesting spot. Two weeks ago, the Coast Guard removed their large nest, claiming it was a navigation hazard. Many of us were dismayed and disgusted by what was an unnecessary disruption of nature. (The spindle has always been clearly visible, despite the large nest inside.)
One week later, mail boat passengers observed the return of the osprey, delighted by their clear lack of respect for authority. Score one for the sea hawks!
I’m headed off the island today for errands and a visit with my Mom, but I actually made myself get up early to get a walk in before my day is caught up with trying to get everything done before catching the boat back home at 3:30.
There was something very satisfying about the way this piece of kelp had arranged itself as the tide went out while I was still asleep.
…I received a delightful order from the Etsy shop of Miss Ficklemedia. I’ve been looking forward to getting these enameled head pins to see how they look with some of my own beads.
I plan to use these with some new metal clay beads, but I haven’t made them yet. This afternoon I tried them out with a few of my flat PMC beads. I like seeing some copper wire with the silver for a change, and the head pins give the earrings a very cool pedicure!
Copper beads, with beautiful green patina, were also in the order. I love how these are finished. Once the patina is applied and the beads oxidize, they are sealed with a satin lacquer and finally rubbed with a preservation wax. The minute I rolled these beads in my hand, I knew I wanted to go right back to this Etsy shop and order more. I can’t wait to use them with some of my own beads in a necklace. Thank you Shannon for your lovely work!
I picked up a bunch of these Lucite flower beads at the Beadin’ Path in Freeport, Maine in January. I just got around to finishing the silver wire pieces today so I could turn them into earrings. I love the Beadin’ Path. It’s one of the few bead shops I actually get to visit. It is “on my way,” whether I’m leaving or returning to Maine. If I can’t go there in person, they have a great shop online. I usually buy vintage glass, stone beads and freshwater pearls, but I cruise through the Lucite section because I like the colors, and a lot of the pieces are vintage.
The shape of these beads were originally vintage, but these flowers and their colors are contemporary. Making the earrings was a bright spot on a gray rainy day. It was a very good day to work in the studio.
As I string necklaces and make earrings, sometimes I just want a small silver disc for an accent or to rest against a rock bead to take the focus off a less-than-perfect drill hole. When I am making larger beads with PMC (precious metal clay) I try to remember to take the scraps of fresh clay to make these little components. I know I will use them eventually, even if I don’t have a specific design in mind at the time. I usually have a few of these fired discs kicking around my bead stringing area, but I could always use more. This week I decided it would be better to have a lot more!
The thing is, I did not want to open a fresh package of silver clay to make them. My clay supply is low, and for small pieces that will not be part of a hollow form or a clasp, I decided to reconstitute my scraps and broken pieces of unfired clay. The reconstituted clay is way less than perfect for many pieces of jewelry, but for these small textured pieces that will not be withstanding any direct tugging or pulling, this clay works just fine. I fired the discs at 1650º for 2 hours to maximize the density of the clay and then finished them in a tumbler with steel shot for an hour.
I have started to minimize the silver clay dust in my studio by cutting back on sanding unfired pieces of silver clay. Reconstituting dried out clay means working briefly with the dust I am trying to avoid. But I still end up with pieces that break before I have a chance to fire them, or designs I decide I really don’t like, and this is still a great way for me to recycle that scrap.
…directly over Bruce’s boat, “Barbara Ann” on an unusually warm and quiet morning in March. Islesford Harbor. View from the mail boat on a Saturday morning commute to the mainland. Not only do I like my job, but I love where I live.