Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

This year I bought the equivalent of an adult size Playdo Fun Factory. Boy is it ever fun! The official name for this new piece of equipment is a clay extruder. It hangs on the wall, vertically. A large hunk of clay is put inside the chamber and a lever is pressed down, bringing weight down and forcing the clay to come out in large or small coils. Like I said. It is very VERY fun.

After what seems like weeks of waiting (oh, wait ... it was!) my kiln sitter part finally came in the DAY before Christmas eve. Christmas eve it was installed and late that evening I was able to finally fire! Tomorrow I will open the kiln. If I like how this new batch came out, I will post the pictures.

In January, I will be bringing beads to auction over at www.justbeads.com. Look for me: NKP DESIGNS Many ceramic bead artists from the yahoo group BEADS OF Clay (BOC) will also be putting up their beads for auction. These bead artists are phenomenal and their beads even more so! Drop by and click on the CERAMIC BEADS link and see all the different and wonderful things artists are doing with ceramic beads these days.

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and may the Lord bless all off you with His peace and joy all this year.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Busy with the Beads

Last week my kiln sitter on my big kiln sat down on me and refused to work anymore. Therefore the entire load of bowls and mugs and platters had to be unloaded and a new plan made while replacement parts were ordered. I decided to just get busy with glazing and firing beads in the jewelry kiln until the kiln sitter parts arrive. These are just some of the beads I have been glazing.

The pinkish white beads with leaf imprints are some of my favorites. Ironstone clay fires a pinkish color and glazing over this natural tint with a bit of white gives off a luscious appearance.

This ceramic green bead with the orange bumps is my take on glass beads. My husband asked me afterwards how I glued on those bumps. I told him they were fused onto the round and weren't coming off anytime soon. The green is a matt finish and the bumps are glossy. I found this to be a fun contrast. This is a look a glass bead can't easily duplicate.

Next is a lovely china sea green ladybug...

...followed by a nugget in a color I like to call 'blue jean'.

This round took a long time to glaze. All those long lines. Worse than standing in the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving.

This purple round was designed to imiate the texture of Turkish Silver . I like the precise definition of the small dots.

While those were in the kiln I started playing with some polymer clay and came up with this. The next day I went to the auto supply store and bought high grit sandpaper in various grades and hours later finally finished this batch. I won't be doing more of these unless I invest in a tumbler. They sure were fun though.

This necklace I designed with disk shaped 9mm freshwater pearls and oval rhodonites. It will retail for $45. See my main page to order.