Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bead Whistle

This not only looks pretty, it sounds pretty, too! I hope I can make more in this shape. This was the first small bead whistle I have made. The others are okay, but I don't like them as much as this one.

Finished Whistle

... and here is the final glazed whistle. I am extremely critical of how it sounds. I prefer to barely blow into a whistle and hear sound, with this I have to make a really good puff. The four finger holes are useless. I can't hear a pitch difference when holding any of them down (or up) ... I really do like the design, however.

How big is it? It fits easily into the palm of one's hand. Click on the photo for a closer look and hey, thanks for looking!

Beads for Giveaway -- Fresh from the Kiln

Click on the photo to take a closer look. These are just some of the beads the winner of my current bead contest will have from which to choose his/her favorite seven. So actually, in reality, I'm not giving away $50 worth of beads, but $56 worth of beads (each bead is worth $8).

I'm having a lot of fun with this contest and after is is over, have different ones to implement.

Sharpie Update

For what it's worth .... I decorated two beads with Sharpies, covered them with a clear gloss glaze, and fired them to cone 06. The result? Two beautiful snow white beads. The Sharpie colors did completely burn out -- even the black.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


There was some talk on one of the email groups about how not to use Sparpies to draw images on clay before glazing because unlike pencil, the Sharpies don't burn out. That caught my eye. I would love to be able to do something with a Sharpie. I recently bought this set of Sharpies so I got to some serious playing.

I really liked how this came out and all of them took quite a while to complete, so I went ahead and put a clear varnish over this particular bead. I put a clear glaze on another one and it will go into the kiln to be fired. We'll find out soon enough if Sharpies burn out. It may be that some colors will make it through, or fade a bit, and others will disappear altogether.

After playing with the Sharpies, I realized that my Bead Contest only has a month left. I want to give away very nice beads, not just some that I have laying around, and not bisque beads with Sharpie type ink covered with a clear varnish. This is a promotional contest to hopefully grab a few new eyes to look at my art beads, as well as to generate an email list for when I hold a sale (which is usually about once a year), AND to figure out what I'm doing that people seem particularly drawn toward.

After only two weeks the clear winners in my store are the Hand Painted beads. So I sat down with some 20 mm beads and some under-glazes and some teeny tiny brushes and these are what I have so far. These have not yet had a clear gloss glaze applied and fired. Hopefully this weekend I will have enough to put into the kiln. I figured that about another 25 will load up the kiln.

I think I will take photos and let the winner choose the beads. Each one sells for $8 and so I will let him or her choose their favorite 7. So I best get busy and finish painting so I can take photos.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Etsy Mud Team Serving Dish Challenge

▪ ● ▪ Join the Etsy Mud Team for our SERVING DISH CHALLENGE ▪ ● ▪ July 27 - August 3 ▪ ● ▪

Participating Etsy Mud Team members have been busy creating serving dishes! Please visit our website http://etsymudteam.craft-sense.com to view all entries and vote for your favorite. In return for your vote, you will receive a discount coupon code via e-mail. This coupon will entitle you to a 10% discount on all merchandise listed in the Mud Shop www.etsymudteam.etsy.com

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Isn't it Lovely?

It's one of my so-called "Fantasy Beads" ... I digitally altered by applying a sunburst gradient on the background. By mistake it bled into the actual bead. It ended up with somewhat of a translucent appearance. The real bead is in my Etsy store Click Here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Front Pager

It's so nice when an item makes it to the front page of Etsy. The views go through the roof and I usually make a few sales, if not on that bead, on something else in the store. Jessica put this collection of Etsy buys together in a treasury and it got picked to be on the front page.

These Sky Blue Melts beads are here

Dancing Daisies

I handpainted these Dancing Daisies as well as the hearts with a food safe underglaze. I have been drawing personable daisies since about the 3rd or 4th grade. Certain flowers lend themselves to this sort of abstract expressionism, and the daisy is my favorite.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I got so excited when the doorbell rang this afternoon. The UPS man dropped off my huge box that I ordered early last week: a Mannequin Torso.

I have some beautiful necklaces that I've made from high quality gemstones as well as my own beads, but to sell them they must be well displayed and so far everything I've tried I have not been happy with.

When I was in Manhattan earlier this year I was exploring the fashion district and one of the storefronts had a bunch of different type displays for sale and suddenly I realized, "Yes, a mannequin is exactly what I need". I don't have to explain how long a necklace is or where it will fall on the average busted women because a mannequin says it all.

It is also easy to get the closeups needed to show off the smaller details. Before, that's all I could do, but now the customer can view the bigger picture as well.

This particular necklace is made from lemon quartz nuggets, faceted carnelian, sterling silver bead spacers, and my NKP Teal Blue Textured Rounds.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Red Taos Vessels

I love this Red Taos clay that I buy from Texas Pottery. It is actually an earthenware clay, but unlike earthenware, this clay can be vitrified (matured like glass) without melting or bloating. It is incredible as a finished product and it is like butter to throw. Yummy Yummy Clay.

This design was really fun to do. I took a small string and dipped it into the glaze and laid it onto the pot in what hopefully is an interesting design. The pot itself is unglazed, but it is so smooth and silky. Here is the one side ....

... and here is the other. After the Texas Pottery and Sculpture show on July 10th and 11th (read more about it at HERE),
I plan to take out the 100 + pounds I have of this and really get muddy and do more of this pattern. It's not my official 2008 pattern but it is my 2nd.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Win $50 Worth of NKP Beads

Summertime is here and I thought I'd hold a fun contest. Guess how many beads are in this jar and win $50 worth of my handmade ceramic beads. Click HERE to enter!

The contest will run from now until September 1st, 2008. All US Contest Rules will apply. Good luck to everyone!

Red Bowl Blue Bowl

This is a big bowl that also came out of the kiln with the rest of the batch. This is the bowl that I took most of the day to glaze. It is all about the texture.

I left the outside mostly unglazed and glazed only a few of the 'petals' for emphasis. This stoneware clay is so toasty and warm that it is luscious left unglazed.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Soap Dish

I handbuilt this soap dish a few months ago. It has been been sitting on my shelf as a bisque just waiting to be glazed. Time and time again I have passed over it because when I looked at it, all I saw was one big blank.

Then when I was glazing the other day, I just knew what would look great on it.... turquoise centers with white petals on a cobalt background.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Introducing my 2008 Dinnerware Pattern: Cobalt Daisies

This is the first batch fresh out of the kiln. I do like how these ended up. I have been trying different color combinations on beads for many months now but finally I have chosen this pattern. If you haven't visited my Bead Blog to see what I'm doing, go check out what I'm working on in the world of beads. They are fun to practice test patterns on and I experiment with different glazes combinations on beads before using them on anything bigger.

I hope to make more cups and bowls like these with these type of feet.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Pottery Peek

The kiln was cool enough by 11:15 am to get a quick Peek & Pic. Since November of 2007, I have been experimenting with different colors and pattern variations for my 2008 series. I think I have settled on simple cobalt blue and white daisies. We'll see how the rest of this batch fares before making a final decision.