Saturday, 20 April 2013

A Play Day

As you know Jan and I have been going to evening classes with Hilary Bowen to play with metal clay. Well yesterday we spent a whole day with Hilary, a couple of the other ladies from class and Carol Douglas, another superb clay worker.  

Hilary has the most amazing studio space to work in.

Some of Carols work.

We were using bronze and copper.  I haven't used the copper yet and it's surprising how different they all are.  Silver is very soft and malleable almost to the point of being annoyingly sticky if you're not careful.  Bronze is in the middle but quite sandy in comparison and copper is like blu tac, very springy and hard to imprint fine detail.  You also end up with black hands from the oxidising.

My two efforts of the day are below.  The bronze on the left was trying a very, very thin roll out and draping technique which I quite liked.  The copper was just imprinted into a texture mat and domed.  The bronze was fired in the kiln and the copper by torch.

I was really pleased with the amount of information I picked up especially about kiln use and firing.  We did fire this a different way to how I have used mine before.  I will have to experiment!   Plenty to try and absorb now.

Have a wonderful weekend whatever you're doing.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Latest Metal Clay Piece

Fine silver, Bronze and Picture Jasper bracelet.

I really enjoyed making this piece and have already worn it several times.  I even made the clasp. The bronze was fired in my kiln and the silver by torch.  

I haven't made anything else this week as I'm still tidying.  Almost there though!! There was even enough room on my desk for Chris to join me this weekend and work some more on his wooden boat.  

At last the weather seems to be turning and everything is deciding to bloom forth.  I've had one day of itchy eyes and that's all, lots of nice smells out there!  I think the high winds have been doing away with most of the hazel pollen. Almost, but not quite, ready to urge John into giving the barbie it's spring clean.  May be tempting fate though.  

Friday, 12 April 2013

Fabulous Friday

First of all this morning I was still faffing around trying to find a reader I liked using.  Google Reader was nice and clear and had whole posts for most of the blogs and also was there in the corner of my blog dashboard.  Now I wasn't expecting miracles from any of them out there, it's always hard to replace something you're used to, but two out of three would be nice.

I've been trying a few. They either are 99% American based and have stocks, shares and news, only show you a small snippet of the posts or are sprinkled with adverts. This morning The Old Reader came up in my searches again.  Up until now I have not tried it because I knew it wasn't up and running fully, was very heavily subscribed and the waiting list was rather long.  Today, however, it worked like a dream.  I can now read you all again in full glory and there are no flashing adverts or unwanted feeds.  It's not directly linked into my blog but that is no problem, I just have it on the bookmark bar next to my blog link.  Very happy bunny.

And then the postman arrived with quite a few parcels, mostly more stuff to add to the studio.  At the bottom of the pile was my Workbox magazine subscription.

With my little quilt on the front cover!!

Mary had asked me to write a piece on the quilt but I didn't expect it to be the cover girl in my wildest dreams!  Absolutely bursting!

We are out to dinner with friends tonight and have a lovely blank diary for the weekend so hopefully a little creating tidying will be going on!

Have a good one whatever you're doing.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Chatelaine Finish

I have managed to bead all the pieces together now (lets see how Picasa deals with long thin photos because as a rule it hates portrait!).

As usual my photographic skills have truly let me down.  Believe me I have the kit, I have the books and I have the friends with the great advice... but I'm just not a photographer.

I've also not really staged it very well but I'm sure you can imagine it's not the easiest thing to take a photo of.

It will do!! Next I have to think of a way of presenting it and I have a thought or two but it will have to wait a while.  

I recently left a comment on Maggie Grey's blog and won Dale Rollerson's book on using Romeo. 

And I have just recieved this lovely pile of yum from Maggi too. A great place to go should you need some hand dyes. 

I have been pottering around in my lovely little studio space (hard to think I once couldn't bear to call it a studio!) and becoming rather grumpy at a) not finding what I want without pulling the place to pieces or b) panicing that I don't have enough storage or space. 

I think a part of the problem is that I do quite a few disciplines and several of them have tools and equipment that are interchangeable.  This means of course that I can't have some things totally kept together as I'm often borrowing from one to do another. 

I have also noticed that when I really, really look I have a half empty box here and a draw with wrong things in there.  I feel I have just about come to the end of my 'needtobuyeverythingouttherecozi'vejustgottohaveit' stage, which has taken 5 years! I suppose there is only so many things that make up the basic tool kits of these hobbies and starting from scratch is quite hard.  Jan and I went to The Big Bead Show at Sandown last Saturday and I was really very good only buying a few rolls of ribbon and some sanding papers for the metal clay. I am now about to move on and try and use what I have.

I am going to Go For The Tidy Up!  Yes I am going to (try to) sort my room into a more organised space and repurpose all those badly used drawers, boxes and shelves that just collect.  I'm starting with the book shelves in the hall so I have somewhere to aim the books that are taking up a huge area of my desk.  I will also then be able to go to the collection of books for the type of info I need rather than wasting half the morning trying to find one! At least I have been a good girl and used the My Library app and I do actually know which books I have, it's just the where.  Shame the app doesn't home in on them too. 

So, wish me luck and I hope to surface again having found all those things I forgot I had!!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Little Panel Finish

I've wanted to explore a little more into the mixed media area and with the likes of Jan Messent, Maggie Grey, Dale Rollerson, Beryl Taylor, Angie Huges Ro Bruhn et al out there who can resist!!

I started collecting bits together and did some painting of papers and fabrics, stamping, stencilling and printing and then made some little panels up with them.  To bring them all together I thought of a loose theme and stitched away.  Lots of beads and bits later and I have a pile of interesting fabrics and papers and this little panel.  It is 13.5 x 16 inches in size and it is still technically a quilt as it's at least three layers.

I think this one could possibly qualify to be OK to show for the Dorset Art Weeks.  Maybe.

Must do some more with embossing next!

Oh PS, my Google Reader seems to have gone early.  I thought they weren't doing away with it until July but I cannot see where they have shoved it on my dashboard.  I'm trying to find out where to read you all next so if I go missing, it's those blooming clever clog at Google messing around yet again!!