Friday, September 14, 2012

Studio Updates

Do you like my jack bead?  I tried to make more of these but for some reason or another only ended up with this one.  It is a brown stoneware clay to which I applied a purple underglaze.  I sponged off the excess glaze so it only peeked out from the recesses before coating it with (my favorite) Victoria Red mayco glaze.  I rather like the effect. I've been using blacks or greens for underglazes and now I'm utilizing some dark purples.

I sat down yesterday with a lump of clay in my hands and made some new bead styles, variations of things I've already done actually.  As I look at them I wonder when I will glaze and fire them. I have so many beads I have not glazed and many more that are sitting around glazed but not fired.  They sit on paper plates on my studio shelves with cone numbers written on them:  cone 1, cone 04, cone 6, otherwise I will forget and fire them at the wrong temperature.

Yesterday I cleaned out my studio closet and threw out boxes that I have saved (hoarded) and suddenly my closet was navigable.

The day before I hand built some saucers for myself using my small tabletop portable slab roller.  I bought this several years ago and have hardly used it.  It is so easy to use I'm ashamed I haven't played with it before now. It's is absolutely darling to work with.  My husband has requested all new dishes and so I have begun doing that.  I tried to fire the big kiln the day before that and the relay blew. I am awaiting a new relay.  I don't know why my relays blow so often. At least this time I didn't automatically replace all the coils before figuring out the real problem.  I've done that the last two times the relay has blown.  I'm actually afraid to load beads into my smaller kiln for fear I will find that something is wrong with that kiln too! They tend to all break down about the same time.

I have been also photographing beads and trying to put as many online in a single listing as possible (you know, batches) but I'm finding I really do only have a few of each kind, except for a particular green bead which I am finding in all sorts of places in my bead stashes. 

I was thinking about that yesterday when I was creating some beads and so I tried to make at least 24 beads per style but I must have forgotten all about that because by the time I put the tray away I had 10 beads with only 1 style per 2 beads.  It is almost painful to make the same bead more than twice.  Some days I am more disciplined than others.

I went hopping through my already sold beads which is now totaling about 60 etsy pages and I found several styles of beads I want to remake but I can't remember which glazes I used.  On one particular bead I will never get that color of brown ever again because I've tried ... several times.

In one of my past bead sales I used this photo above with the piggies standing all around it. I confess I was in an odd mood that day.  I had gone to the dollar store and found this package of piggies and thought they would be good models to look at pigs while I tried to sculpt a pig. Come to think of it, I haven't tried to hand sculpt a piggie in quite a long time.  I love their little ears and snouts.  Too cute.   Maybe I'll try to create a couple today. What are you going to be doing?

Thanks for stopping by!  -- Natalie


  1. Yes, I do like your jack bead. Very much. I know what you mean about making more than one of anything. Sometimes its had for me to make a second earring and what's even harder is to make them the same. And, may I wish you my support in your getting your old stuff -- I bet if you were to list sets of beads say 10-12 of say "orphans" like the lampwork artists do, I bet they would sell really well. I'm just sayin'.....

    Today, I am finalizing my blog post for tomorrow's reveal on the Barbara Hanselman Sculptural Challenge that I am hosting, I'm taking pictures of the 1920's flapper style necklace I made to submit for Stringing's spring issue (soooo NOT my style) and I am going to try to make something that is my style to sort of 'cleanse my pallet'.

    Have a great day Natalie!

    1. I'm late in reading it, but enjoyed your update!