Thursday, 30 October 2008

Brilliant New Calender

I really am liking the postman at the moment, as I've just received my copy of this beautiful calendar. Available from Holly Gage's web site this publication is a must for Metal Clay fans! Its jam packed of eye candy from some of todays most innovative metal clay artists. Evey page just has you drooling!! There are also details of many competition deadlines - hopefully some will be international Competitions so us in the UK can join in the fun!

Holly's web site is worth a visit in its own right, check it out here.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Skills Swap

One of the greatest things about being in a community of creative people is the way you can do skills swaps, a kind of teachery "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" thing! So yesterday Lynda Cheney - (The Chairperson of the Art Clay World UK Guild don't you know!!) - travelled all the way to Edinburgh from her home rather far away for a lesson in lampwork from little old me. She picked up a rod of glass and a mandrel and after only a short while was having a go at the Lentil Press and Organics! A True Natural if ever I saw one. Here she is at the torch having fun....In return, before our delicious dinner, she showed myself and Gil (aka to me as "mum") how to make a beautiful Byzantine Chain from her hand made Sterling Silver Jump Rings. A delicate operation but thrilling to see the chain build up in front of your eyes! Gil and I cant wait to finish our chains!! Here is Lynda making the chain and Gil watching closely. I'll be sure to post pictures of these chains once they are finished!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Artful Blogging

From looking at the blogs of those who follow mine I have discovered a magazine called "Artful Blogging". The Blog by Jennifer Borek "Glass by Jennifer" featured a post about this magazine at the weekend and I was so intrigued! A Printed Magazine about Blogging?? Whatever next! Well, whatever next was me reaching for my card as I had a peek at the serious eye candy inside.. . .

It will take a while to get here, but I'll be sure to feedback about it once it arrives!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

A Quiet Week

I've been quiet this week - a sprained ankle, friends funeral and sickness bug have seen to that, but I thought I'd share some things with you. When I first started lampworking I was drawn to these type of beads, they are similar in looks to Boro but are made from soft glass. I'm revisiting the basics and essentials of bead making - the other week it was dots (which I'm still obsessed with) and now its encasing! Now I just need to get rid of those pesky bubbles!!
I said I while back I was going to ban myself from using my lentil press. I failed, I love this shape! I just keep going back to it no matter how hard I try not to!

Taking advantage of my idle kiln I fired my Bornzclay. This is how it looks right out of the kiln, without so much as a going over with a brass brush! I like how it looks, kind of ceramic I think! I have plans for these bits, I only hope it works!

And Finally I thought I'd show you my new ring. This makes me chuckle as I was so envious of the lovely bits of jewellery that were made at the Capturing Nature Class last week that I had to make a ring for myself! Its in need of a bit of a Liver of Sulphr Bath but it will have to wait as I dont think I can take the smell of it just yet!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Great New Book!!

I have been aware of the work of Catherine Davies Paetz for a wee while now and was super excited to see that she had written a book "The Little Book of Water Etching and Enameling for Metal Clay". My super cute and signed copy has now arrived and its a great edition to my library! Its not a book for beginners - and its not lengthy at 28 pages but its well worth a read if like me you have been wanting to do more water etching and enameling on your metal clay! Looking at the pretty pictures is just the inspiration I needed - you can look at Catherines work and buy the book here.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Fractal Beads

With the Beads & Beyond Lampwork Competition in my mind I am having great fun playing with new ideas and designs. I had fun making these last week and have named them "Fractals" because funnily enough, they remind me of fractals :D !!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Nature Class a Hit !

Todays Capture Nature class was great fun! I'd been looking forward to it for a while and really enjoyed it when the day came around. I'd collected a fair selection of things to use including some rather special sea urchins which just looked nothing short of awesome when used with the metal clay. Everyone made such amazing pieces of jewellery - I wished I could have kept them for myself!! Here are the pieces of stunning jewellery that were worn home today...

Saturday, 18 October 2008

New Tools means new beads

Take one set of new Dapping Punches, a Hammer, and some sterling Silver Tube

Drill, measure, cut, anneal and hammer a lot -and here is what you get! My very first ever Silver Core Bead!!!

Its not perfect, it hasnt even been pickled, but I loved the process of making it and am really looking forward to making some more! Once I perfect it I'll be incorporating some metal clay bead caps with certain designs. Endless possibilities, and lots of new tools to and bead presses to lust after!!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Whats on my hot plate...

You know- with so much bronze clay about at the moment in preparation for Sherri Haabs class in November I felt it would only be good form to play with some more Bronzclay! This clay allows real freedom. You can open a 100g packet and just play with it! Here is whats on my hot plate today .. . . .

The BronzClay has a unique smell as it dries - I think its a bit like Fake Tan so for today the studio smelled like a beauty salon! Sadly though no bronzed beauties to be found in my studio- only me at my torch. I'm be hoping that the kiln fairies have been kind to me - I'll find out when I go to my studio in the morning. The minds of many a lampworker in the UK are on the competition in the Beads & Beyond Magazine. I wonder if my entry is in the kiln right now...

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

My Beads - Your Jewellery

I always love to see what the talented jewelery designers out there can do with my beads. Patricia de Winter has been kind enough, once again, to show me these beautiful bracelets which she made with some of my Organic Lentil Beads.
Patricia is based in London and works with a range of quality materials including Sterling Silver, Gemstones, and of course, Lampwork. She sells her work online and these pretty bracelets can be found here on Pinkdoodle.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Sourcing for Nature

Next weekends Working With Nature Metal Clay class gave me the perfect excuse this weekend to get out and about! Luckily enough we had beautiful weather here in Edinburgh and it made my job great fun!

Saturday was spent wondering around the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens. When we wandered into the stunning Glasshouses I felt like I was in one of the Harry Potter Movies about to take a class in Herbology! Its not possible to pick leaves here but I did find some nice bits of bark!

I also popped out to South Queensferry to have a look for any interesting shells. This is the view from the little beach of the Road and Rail Bridges. Finally I made a little visit to Mr Woods Fossils in Edinburgh. I felt like a kid in a candy store surrounded by fossils millions and millions of years old! I bought a few have a bit of a soft spot for the ancient Trilobite. Here is a photo below of a few of the things I have collected this weekend - I'm looking forward to playing with these!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Metal Clay World Conference 2009

Today I just love the postman! I got confirmation of my place on this awesome class at the Metal Clay World Conference in Chicago!!! Its a Pre-Conference Class with Cindy Pankopf called Caged Glass Beads. This class will be bliss for me- two full days of working with my two obsessions - metal clay and glass!

After the Pre-Conference hands on classes the conference itself starts which offers lots of seminars with the experts on Metal Clay, Polymer Clay, Ceramics & Metalworking to name just a few! I'm so excited!! How many sleeps until July??

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Art Bead Scene Blog

The more time I spend reading others Blogs the more inspirational Blogs I find. This one is well worth a mention! In fact its worth making a cuppa and taking time out to read. Its packed full of interviews with Artists, Featured Designers, Monthly Themed Challenges, Free Project and loads and loads of eye candy! Click on the Art Bead Scene Logo above to take a look!!

Monday, 6 October 2008

New Beads

I've been working on some new beads after buying a Tutorial from Anne Ricketts. They don't much look like they do in the Tutorial but I still think they are quite sweet! The Weather here is pretty gloomy- and these cheer me up! I imagine I'll be making more of these in the weeks to come, but I think I may make these into jewellery!

Talking of making beads you can catch me in my studio at my torch tomorrow if you are in Edinburgh - thats Tuesday the 7th October. Any time between 2 - 4. EB x

Saturday, 4 October 2008

New Classes

We have some exciting new classes coming up and here is a first glimpse of whats on offer!

Tricky to photograph but so easy to make you'll want one of these chains in every colour! Using nothing but your fingers you will weave this chain which can either be worn around your wrist or your neck. These are great for anyone with sensitive skin as there are no metal findings, and of course the choice of beads is up to you!

For those of you who enjoy our wire working classes we are excited to offer a class teaching you how to make this pretty little bracelet. The only dilemma will be what colour of beads to choose.

And finally- have you been wondering about a simple way to add colour to your Metal Clay pieces? This class will introduce you to the easiest way to colour your pieces - Resin. This class is best suited to those with some experience with Metal Clay.

Full details for all of these classes will be going up on our main web site very soon!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Experimental Mood

I have been experimenting this week with Metal Clay Caps on my beads. These have also got pure silver cores - the silver clay was added to the beads before it was fired and then I put them all in the kiln and fired the silver. The brown beads started life as Ivory glass but the silver has changed their colour. I'll be trying more of these in the coming weeks but I'd love to know what you think! EB x