Friday, February 24, 2006

Bisqued Beads

This past week was spent doing not much else besides measuring out and rolling clay. I ended up with hundreds and hundreds of bisqued beads and now am offering bisqued beads to my customers.

There are four sizes: Small(12mm x 15 mm), Medium(15mm x 17 mm) , Large (17mm x 20 mm), and Extra Large (20mm x 22 mm).

Bisqued beads are great to buy even if you don't have a kiln. Acrylic paints and stains look great on a bisqued bead -- and to make them even shiner add a coat of gloss sealer. There are also paints specifically made for bisqued ceramics. Your local ceramics shop can show you around or you can search for the term "ceramics" and order online. I've even glazed bisqued beads with nail polish and even after several years have seen no signs of aging, chipping, or turning "yellow". Art Clay Silver artists cover bisqued beads with Fine Silver with beautiful results.


Friday, February 10, 2006

New Items

This is one of the ammonites I brought home from Tuscan. We put it under a black light and they all glowed, some blue, others green, this particular ammonite fluoresed a wonderful pink glow. Who knew?

These came from Canada and I plan to wire wrap them and offer them at shows, and possibly on Just Beads (www.justbeads.com) as well.

Sorting through the various buys at Tuscan has taken me a few days. Plus, I decided to rearange my entire studio (my version of Spring Cleaning). All those little piles of clutter are now gone.

Before I left for Tuscan I went to American Ceramics (see link on side of blog under "Where I get my Raw Materials") and took a class on Fused Glass Jewelry. It was a two day workshop and I learned a ton of stuff about fusing glass, and how to program my jewelry kiln properly in order to come out with a consistant (and beautiful) piece of art. This is a piece I wirewrapped and added three faceted 8 mm florite beads into the wrap.

But before Tuscan, before the Fused Glass Jewelry Class, the Pottery Guild had Merlene Walker do a mini-demonstration on Art Clay Jewelry. It was phenominial. She gives affordable and quality classes. Her website can be found here:

Also new is a new webpage where I am posted some Limited Edition Beads. It can be found by clicking here:

I will be adding to this page, as well as making a few more in the days to come. I'm also toying with putting together some bead kits, with some of my limited edition beads with complimentary gemstones and findings, enough to put together a necklace, bracelet, and two pairs of earrings (post and hook).

Also new are my auctions over at Just Beads (www.justbeads.com). I'm adding one a day. Look in the ceramics area:
http://www.justbeads.com/listings/index.cfm?category=737225558 )

Look for NKP DESIGNS in the subject line. I'm offering some beads at prices lower than on my website. Plus, instead of an order having to total $10, this is a good way to try out some beads at some bargain prices.

Happy Jewelry Making!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Tuscan 2006

Although I am not yet back in Fort Worth, I am finished touring Tuscan's Gem & Mineral shows. This was my second time to visit Tuscan. The first year I was not able to make it to any of the bead shows. That's what happens when you are not the driver. This time I smartened up and made use of the mighty shuttle system that is offered and map in hand, made it to two bead shows: To Bead True Blue and The Best Bead Show.

I met a couple of ladies from the Beads of Clay Yahoo Group (www.beads-of-clay.org) and it was wonderful to hold their beautiful beads in person. I regret by the time I got to the bead show I had spent most of my $$$ already at the Inn Suites on raw materials -- specifically Ammonites.

I don't have my camera with me and for some reason the computer I am borrowing will not allow me to upload pictures I found on Google, so when I get back home I will upload some of my own photos of these breathtaking fossils.

I also had visited the Arrow Springs tent beforehand and had stocked up on a more than a few bargains of glass rods. Alas, I had no money left to buy what I really wanted and had to settle for a wonderful keepsake from Marsha's table (Marsha Neal Studio -- www.marshanealstudio.com ) and while I fell in absolute love with Joan Miller's vegatable beads (Joan Miller Porcelain -- www.joanmiller.com ), I will have to settle for the privilege of handling them in person (at least for now!).

I also met Deb (Clay River Designs -- www.clayriverdesigns). Wonderful detail work! Also, I met another woman who made beautiful leaf pendants and I regret I have misplaced her card and forgotten her name. I am certain I will find it when I unpack. Her work was gorgess, too.

Too soon the parties I was with decided to head back to New Mexico. Next year I hope to visit the Holodrome as well. I hear there are lots of fun things there.