'The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe. The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightning and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not.' -The Upanishads.

Friday, March 2, 2018

new stuff

Lots of new stuff to share.  I am way behind in photography and listing on Etsy and all the things I think I should be doing.  Just indulging in the pleasures of creating.

For a while now, I've just assumed that blogging was pretty much passe'.  People I was following are now using Instagram and Twitter and I have enough trouble trying to keep up on FaceBook.  But last night I checked out my blogger account and found to my great surprise that I am still getting hits.  Lots of them actually.  So for anyone who is still along for the ride with me, here is a lengthy update.

I originally had a large labyrinth pendant on this necklace, but I wasn't completely happy with it.  I had tried out something different for a bail and only realized after it had come out of the kiln and I was polishing it, that it looks just like the Trilithons of Stonehenge.  I think the shape and size work much better.  I used the second pendant with red jasper, carnelian, horn, and red tiger eye.

This one had been incomplete for ages.  It features an old silver and turquoise pendant from Tibet along with silver and turquoise, a jade cicada, old silver earring orphan, Scorched Earth spike, Thai amulet and Whitby jet beads.  Jet is a cousin to both amber and coal - very popular in Victorian times for mourning jewelry.

The weather hasn't be cooperating with my intent to photograph pieces outside - all the damp and dank has put a layer of green on my slate and whalebone props so I've had to look for some new backgrounds.  The one above is the inside covers of a book I've had since I was a child - Sir Richard Burton's translation of "The Arabian Nights".  I love the aged look of the paper.  Some of the other photos are taken on the back cover, but it's not big enough to show an entire necklace.

This piece is kind of minimalist for me.  It showcases an unusual pendant of green Prehnite.  The photos don't begin to do it justice.  I love that it's not clear and perfect.  The inclusions and irregularities and color shifts within the stone are fascinating.  Prehnite is sometimes described on New Agey crystal websites as "the stone that heals the healer".  It's supposed to help release a person's natural psychic abilities and deepen meditative states.  I just know that I am drawn to work with it on an aesthetic level if nothing else.

 Rutilated quartz.  Another favorite stone of mine.  I love the threads of golden rutile running through the beads.  Encased in time and space.

Gorgeous porcelain spikes by Petra Carpreau of Scorched Earth on Etsy.  I-Ching coins, old African cowrie shells, bone Buddhist mala beads, Kuchi coins, and Czrch glass talhakimt amulets.  A little raw.  A little wild and tribal.  Steel wire was called for here.

 Faceted chalcedony beads with my hand made bronze clay discs.  A twisted copper jump ring and vintage gold washed brass "raised dot" Yoruba beads from Africa.  

Another shield amulet with impressions of the dancing ladies inspired by North African cave paintings on both sides.  A large smokey quartz crystal, recycled amber colored glass Krobo beads from Africa and tiny ones from Indonesia.  I like to squish the clay out with my fingertips rather than rolling it out.  I want to see the marks of my hands and leave no doubt that these pieces have been a labor of the heart and soul.

Another spike from Petra Carpreau.  The colors are glorious!  A rough faceted carnelian, a Thai amulet of a Kalachakra Wheel in sandstone, a bone spike incised with an Ohmmmm, a little wooden skull from a Nepalese or Tibetan prayer mala, and one of my bronze hands - open to repel negativity and receive blessings.  Suspended from a bronze ring on a leather choker.  I had sent this one along to Belle Armoire for consideration, so it will be listed as soon as I get it back.

And these two.  I need to take some better photos so I can list them.  The first one makes me think of woodlands - of Spring shoots poking through damp autumn leaves.  Renewal and promise.  Green garnets, wooden disc beads, and seed beads in many shades of green.

The last one is golden - sun shining through dew drops.  Sparkling with faceted citrines, amber, and Peruvian opals.  It's going to be very hard to part with these two. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

heat wave ...

Lots of completed pieces to share.  I love the porcelain spikes on two of the earring pairs - made by Petra Carpreau of the Etsy shop, Scorched Earth.  They are GORGEOUS!! And look like they were made to go with the bronze clay.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

more ...

OK.  I am obsessed.  It's amazing to be able to imagine something and hold it in your hand a day or so later.

And three layering necklaces that have nothing whatsoever to do with metal clay.  The silver hamsa was purchased at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul by a traveling friend and has been waiting to be used.  It was too new looking, so I gave it a patina and bashed it up a little with my trusty hammer.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

playing catch-up

I continued to have problems with the powdered clay made by a well known PMC artist and instructor who shall-not-be-named.  Some batches melted into unrecognizable blobs.  Some were sintered on the outside (like the photos in the previous post), but brown powder on the inside.  Advice on her user forum showed me that these were not uncommon problems and the solution offered of doing continual test batches was not one that I wanted to waste my time, labor, or hard earned cash on.  Art Clay Silver fired beautifully.  So did FastFire Bronze.  So I have stuck with those and I am excited and inspired by the results.

No metal clay here - just finally finishing a piece started a long time ago and abandoned during a creative dry spell.

Another orphaned piece that got united with a chain from something else that hadn't worked out.  Big cool Tibetan silver(y) bead in the center.  Like a shield.

One of those YUGE Thai terracotta amulets - hanging from a vintage Suffolk County bus token.  But the "S" could certainly stand for Susan or Sarah - or Super.

And the rest are all PMC.  Silver, copper, and mostly bronze.  Which I love the best.  Which strikes me as odd because I don't really care much for gold - except gold paint.  Bronze though - I think of the Bronze Age, of course, archaeologist used-to-wannabee that I am.  The clay that I am using has the ancient proportions of copper and tin.  Both mined even in prehistoric times in Cornwall, by the way.  Anyone else hooked on "Poldark"?