wandering spirit

Shop Update for Mar. 28/29th

Are you still there? Have I scared you away due to my poor, neglected shop never being open? If not, great! I’ll be adding new work over these next few days by editing in batches the hundreds of pictures of beads that have been languishing in wait for me to get the shop re-opened. Here is a quick review of this set that will be listing tonight and into tomorrow, time permitting:

Press Play

Between playing with the Straight Sided Lentil Slim Lg. + press and trying to figure out if hubby’s camera is better than the one I’ve been using reminds me of the saying: PPP (practicepracticepractice). I rediscovered Picnik– the pic above is a before and after using that feature, it did improve it a little, there is a lot to explore and I just haven’t had the time recently. Definitely something to put on my to-do list.

This shows my progression using the new press, the second and third beads are the only ones not on a white base. Seashell Swirl and then Yellow Ice over a core of clear are the 2nd and 3rd bead’s base colors. The Yellow Ice reacted badly w/ the Dk. Raku powder which is that black color you see on the bead..live and learn.

Tumble Etching Beads

My Mr. is home for some R&R, so this will be a quick post 🙂
My first try w/ tumble etching was a big FAIL- never use the Harbor Freight grit sampler to etch beads. I ruined a whole bunch of hollow focals, maybe they can be saved when I get my sandblasting set-up ready to use. The two beads below are a few that etched well in around 8-10 hrs. The hollow fumed focals still have very tiny shiny spots from the crackling of fuming, I assume. The ribbed beads didn’t tumble etch well since the valleys stayed shiny while the ribs etched well. They are on deck for sandblasting. I’ll try and get some pics up for the visual peeps among us.

BABE! 2010 and Beads

BABE! was a hit and I’m looking forward to next year’s show. Even w/ travel expenses and shipping my work, it was still worthwhile. How lovely it was to see repeat customers and getting to meet new smiling faces.

I ran out of business cards before lunch on Sunday and now know to hold a few back so if there is some who like to grab multiples, they won’t take all my stack.
The booth shots were, unfortunately, quickly taken on Sunday since I forgot my camera on Saturday when my table was freshly arranged and all my beads were there. These show a table considerably picked over.

I also got to spend some time with my dear friend, Ann– we spent a day in SF and shopped at the Ferry Building w/ lunch at the Slanted Door. Yum!

This was just a quick shot of us at the BART station before I had to dash back to Mary’s house to drive up to Oakland and get set-up before the show.
Now to relax and decompress for a day or two and get ready for the holiday travels.

The work that didn’t sell will be going up shortly on Etsy– as soon as it gets to me by mail. Just keep a look out on the blog and I’ll update before adding to the shop.

Etching and Enameling

Etching on copper is a new concentration and I seem to be drawn to a fern/kelp motif. These etched discs are in the process of getting enameled and if I have time before the show (eeek!) etching the enamel so it’s not so shiny may be in order. Apologies for the supadupa shiny copper, this is just a quick shot to show my progress. Those little round discs on the left are part of trying to figure out what color to use- so many choices. The counter enamel is now on the back side of the discs and after I clean the firescale off the front, they’ll be ready for a couple more layers of enamel.

Perhaps I’ll see you at BABE? It’s the 13th and 14th- next weekend! Come by my booth and say hey if you’re able to make it. 🙂

Beads and 100 Followers :)

This past week has been a whirlwind of travel, meeting new people, and trying to get ready for the show next month. Just noticed that I have 100 Followers for this blog!- thanks for your interest and here’s to showing you work that continues to grab your attention. Met up w/ some wonderful beady people over the weekend and look forward to our next Carolina Firefiend meeting. One member generously let me borrow her Jim Moore press since my Impress Bead Liner was too slim to fit my big beads inside to core and cap. (these three beads above are a few I’ve done so far, before running out of bead caps) Another is going to tumble etch some of my hollows to see how it compares to my usual acid etch method.
Thank goodness my wonderful cousin is nearby and willing to babysit my little man, making it possible for me to go to these meetings.

Bead Porn for BABE! 2010

Since BABE! 2010 is only a month away, it seemed like a good time to take stock of what I have and what still needs to be made. There is a LOT of etching that needs to be done- oy vey, that’s going to take a while. The first shot appeals more to me visually but the last two are just keeping it real since that’s what it normally looks like in the studio 😉

Looking forward to the show and getting to enjoy Cali again, even if it’s only briefly.. if you make it to the show, be sure to stop by and say hey.

Post Firing- BC Hollow Forms

Just a quick shot of the fired bronzclay hollow forms- my free form number hollow bead on the right developed a few fine cracks and must have had a weak spot of the back since it has the most damage. It was fired on its side, so maybe I sanded it too much- can’t say as I really remember since the forms were made more than a year ago.
I’d like to get a nice patina on them that is a little more permanent than what the firing medium gives. Any suggestions?

Gearing up for BABE! 2010

The blog has been woefully neglected (again) while I’m trying to get as much done as possible during my short spurts of free time, i.e. nap time. As my dad loved to say, “I’m busier than a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest.”
Not sure if the slip-painted pattern on the left is too weird- the inspiration came from two different sources: the grease trail in my frying pan and one design from a book of quilts.
Oh, and these are some of the bronzclay hollow forms from more than a year ago that I’m finally getting around to using. Good thing they don’t go bad- although they’re hard as rocks to try and carve..hence, the slip painting.

Enamel Sampler and Do-Overs

The Thompson Enamel Sample Pack for Med. Temperature Medium Expansion arrived in the mail on Friday and I immediately wanted to play around since my first attempt more than a year ago was..weak, to say the least. I usually have a hard time visualizing units of measurements. These packets are each around .5 oz. , usually .6 or .7 to account for the baggie I presume. Now, if I would’ve known on the website that they were each 1/2 oz. – it wouldn’t have meant much to me other than telling me it’s less than one whole ounce. So this is for other people like me who like to SEE what a measurement looks like, not just reading it 🙂 Hope that helps.

My Turquoise pendant used .1 oz. Theoretically, I could make another 5 in this size before running thru my sample baggie- not bad, eh? The box w/ opaque and transparent enamel cost less than $90 w/ shipping. There are A LOT of colors- no, I haven’t counted yet..but I will.

Oh, this red is so very luscious- Orient Red is one I’ll be reaching for quite often, no doubt.

This is just the opaque colors, haven’t done the transparents yet..

Enameling on Copprclay is next, got some pieces and just need to clean them up. I’m currently cleaning and reorganizing my studio and will post pics of the space and some beads once it’s done.