Thursday, April 30, 2015

Yet Another Batch

The last couple of weeks I've taken time out for family and friends and of course the spring weather has been lovely, except for a few storms here and there.

I'm back in the studio, playing with some new bead designs. The nugget beads to the left are a variation of a bead which will appear in the Fall issue BEADS 2015: The Ultimate Beader’s Resource.  I'm excited about that upcoming event.  I'd like to have a bunch finished and ready in my shop. Also appearing in this year's Fall Stringing is one of my copper beads that I've talked about earlier in this blog, so I'll also be getting out the soldering equipment in the near future to have some more available for purchase.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Playing With Gimp

Aren't these beads fabulous?  I was trying to get the exact real color these are in real life.  After deciding I was going to have to retake the pictures, I gave up and started playing with some of the levels and curves, and then I messed with the directional lights .... so an hour later my beads are still not re-photographed but I sure do have a beautiful (at least to me) picture of some fantasy beads.

So what do these really look like? Well, they are a dark terracotta brown with chartreuse green in the recessed daisy texture.

Okay ... thanks for stopping by.  Gotta go finish photographing these for real. -- Natalie

Monday, April 06, 2015

It's Springtime, TIME for Happy Beads!

Porcelain Pastel Yellows, Blues, and Grays Nugget Mix
 I've been doing some fun cone six firings the last week and wanted to showcase some of what I've done. 

I have these 6 porcelain beads showcased over at the Ceramic Art Bead Market right now. If you are not yet a member of that group, you are missing out on some fantastic bead deals.

The bids typically start out at half price and not all of them are bid up to retail. It's worth your pocketbook to check them out. 

Hearts and Crosses Porcelain Bead
 Oh ...and I did mention that we have give-aways, as well?

On the right here is a bead I have put in my NKPdesigns webstore. 

It's made from porcelain clay, has the sprig technique that I adore, and I have decorated the sprigs with hearts and crosses.

I  dipped it into a black wash of undercolor so that the texture would be certain to stand out and be noticed and I used a rutile glaze.

Ocean Octopus Porcelain Bead

 On this next porcelain bead, I have textured with circles with the same glazing technique. 

I decided afterward that the circles look like the suction cups on octopus tentacles.  It's a fun texture and I am going to do more like this I think.
Turquoise Green Stoneware Ceramic Beads

Now the turquoise green beads in the next two pictures are some of my favorite firings from this kiln load.

I had taken a variety of objects to make textures with and these ended up being smash and squished until they were no longer round, but this funky potato shape and aren't I lucky that Etsy has a category just for potato shape beads?  Yay!

Turquoise Green Stoneware Ceramic Beads

 I put these four in my etsy store, but also, currently I have an auction going on for some more of these in the Facebook group:  CERAMIC ART BEAD MARKET

I also added some to my webstore and if you click on the caption (last picture), the link will take you there.  I love how the stoneware clay combined with the turquoise glaze gives a greenish hue. 

Today I have another load of bead firing to cone six. 

In the past I have written down glaze combinations and after the beads are finished firing I tend to sit on my couch and roll them around in the couch and wonder which glaze combination went with which style of bead?

But this time I took a bisque bead and a slip of paper, wrote down the glaze combination and placed both in small little bags. Now I will have all the information I will need in the event I ever want to attempt to duplicate a result.

I admit that I should do this with every firing, but sometimes I enjoy glazing in the moment, impulsively opening jars of glaze and slapping a bit of this, and a bit of that, until I have some bead that will never be duplicated (and sometimes I kinda like it that way).

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Glazing and Mailing and Good News

I am glazing beads today. I am focusing on a base of black under-glaze, used as a wash, a top coat of Chartreuse Green, and on top of that, I am going to brush various glazes for different effects.  I am planning a cone 6 firing for these.  I will post pics when finished.

In other news, woke up this morning to an international sale.  The post office (and Etsy) and has made mailing packages to other countries entirely manageable. Gone are the days of having to fill out a custom's label by hand, printing out 8 labels for addresses (four for me, four for the mailing and the post office demanded I do an entire copy for myself) ....and also gone are the days of standing in the post office line while they stood there counting their change into a drawer, or talking with each other (ignoring the customers).  I can print out the label at home, drop it off at the post office without standing in line, or (here's the best part) hand it to the postal worker at my front door. 

SO my point in that last paragraph was just to say, "I no longer dread the international order".  :)

 The other great news I'm celebrating is that 3 out of the 5 beads I submitted to BEADS 2015: The Ultimate Beader’s Resource were accepted, and one of them was one of my copper beads. They will appear in the Fall 2015 issue of Jewelry Stringing magazine. Oh yeah, I'm doing the Happy Dance.