Monday, September 16, 2013

What I did on My Summer Vacation

Yep, I was gone all summer.  I didn't set out to take of all summer, but here it is, September, and I realized that I have been having a fine time with the grandchild and the new hens.  Pictured are two of their eggs.  As you can see, one is teal green and one is a light brown. Both were delicious. Lol!

This weekend I'll be crafting some new bead designs and we'll see what I come up with.

In any event, great to be back. Hope you had a great summer, too!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Recyling Silver

 Ha!  Opps... I got a bit happy with the torch this morning and melted the floor part of my ring bezel. I added this in with the rest of my scrap silver.

I realized I had some chunks of 
silver my father gave to me a while back. He said I should sell it for scrap money to buy more silver. This is one of his scraps from years ago when he was working in silver. I got to thinking about that rolling mill I bought and haven't much used. I picked and annealed the silver scrap nugget, banged on it with a hammer to flatten it a bit, annealed it some more and put it through the rolling mill. 

Here is my rolling mill.

I repeated this process several times.Until it looked like this:  I again annealed and pickled and rolled, repeat repeat repeat ...

Here it sits on the charcoal.

So this is what I ended up with. It is about 26 gauge, full of cracks and such ... a lot of work for basically nothing.  

It was worth a try though to see if I could recycle it myself.  I guess I'll put it back in the scrap bucket.

Monday, June 10, 2013


 I am prefacing this with the fact that I am not quitting pottery or quitting making beads -- but I have been experimenting with metalwork.  

For the past year I've been reading and learning about making rings with bezels and I have finally come to the point where I have some equipment and supplies to work with. 
This weekend I made two rings, one copper and one silver, both with agate settings.  Each has its own set of flaws, most notably that the bezel on each of them have a very tiny stress fracture.  And I haven't worked on highly polishing them yet.

The copper ring ended up being almost a size 8, and the silver one about a 6 and a half. I'm a size 7 and I am baffled as to why they both fit my finger so well.  So much to still learn ....

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Big Hole Beads

Hi again.  I've been deep in the studio, glazing beads, making beads, making mugs, glazing mugs ... I wanted to share something new.

It seems like many jewelry designers are enjoying working with beads with bigger holes because leather can fit through a bigger hole, as can ribbon and such.

I have been in the process of coming up with these like you see in the picture.  The bead hole is 3 mm wide. Usually my bead holes are 1 mm wide. 

I am hoping this size is big enough because if not I will have to find something bigger than a wooden skewer, which I suppose I could find in a knitting needle. 

In any event, I have drying right now about 30 of the 15 mm beads with the delicate scroll pattern. Some sport endcaps and some don't.  I still have a ton of small hole beads which I am still glazing and listing, but along with those some of these big hole beads will also be making an appearance.

If you design jewelry and you love big hole beads, tell me, how big do you prefer the hole to be? Thanks for stopping by! -- Natalie

Monday, March 04, 2013

Design Progression

It is relaxing and fun for me to sit with a bit of clay and come up with new designs. Some people plan out new designs with pen and paper and I wish I could do more of that. It is a great way to plan out the thought process.  

Me?  I gather a few things around me and plunge right in and see where it goes. My problem is that I have a tiny attention span and it almost physically hurts to make the same thing over and over.  

I have a button with this waffle texture and so I made these beads. And yes, I only made five of them. I had thought I would make 50 or so, but after 5 I was done. Finished. 

I grabbed a piece of clay and made a nugget shape and put a couple of round sprigs of clay and pressed it with that waffle texture and came up with a couple of nuggets. That was fun, but I only made a couple of these before getting bored again.  Part of me figures that if I'm bored then YOU'RE going to be bored, too.

 Instead of making a nugget shape, I made an oval shape and instead of making round bits of clay I made little ropes of clay and wrapped them around the oval and impressed the sprigs with my waffle texture.

These to me were not boring. I ended up making quite a few of them.  Notice the underside where the sprig does not go all the way around?  I like this bare area.   Maybe the glaze will do wonderful things.

 I glazed these with a light coating of avacodo underglaze and covered with a clear gloss to make them shiny and pretty.  

Most interesting to me of all is that after it is glazed, the waffle texture ends up looking like teeny daisy flowers.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I have been making beads and pots -- I have been so busy making them that I haven't blogged much or even listed the new beads coming out of the kiln.

These are some that are waiting for a first firing. 
I love having teapots that are small enough to fit inside the microwave to heat the water. This is my latest one.  Yeah, the lid is a bit wonky but that's just how my lids seem to come out. I'm working on it.

Here is a mug I made.  It is simple and the throwing rings are visible. Hopefully the glaze will bring those out more.

And here is another mug I made. I made a few similar to this one on the right last year and I really enjoyed the texturing process.