Friday, December 16, 2011

Update on the Silver Nautical Pendant and a New Photography Resource

The completed silver nautical pendant came out great!  It is now in a gift shop for sale in Fairhope, Alabama.  Read the oriinal pot with in-procss photos here.   The gift shop is "Cadeaux and Caches", which is located at 337 Fairhope Avenue.  If you are in the area, please go visit them. They have lots of great gifts and some very original artisan gifts of all types.  More on that and them later in another post though... Back to the silver nautical pendant.  Here it is:

And here is another photo of it:

Pretty nice photos?  That brings me to the main point of this post.  After I finished the nautical pendant and photographed it, the final photographs just didn't do it any justice.  Matter of fact, my photo made it look just terrible.  I had already taken the pendant to Cadeaux and Caches to sell, so it wasn't available to me to re-photograph.  Luckily, I had a new resource.  An online clay pal and teammate from Etsy, Robin of  "Adorned by Robin" came to the rescue!   She is an award winning and published jewelry artist herself.  Therefore, she quite understands the tribulations of non-professional photographers who try to capture professional looking images. Robin has started a new photo retouching service specifically for artists called, "An Even Better Image".   She does great work with photographs and also understands the type of photos required for juried events and publications, having experience in this herself.  She offers basic editing services as well as in-depth corrections.  Please visit her site to see some examples of her work and how the whole process works if you would like to enlist her help. 

Now, would you like to see wht my original photo looked like? 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Open Heart Fine Silver Clay Chain Link Necklace

I just finished this necklace today.  It was my first attempt at making links from fine silver metal clay.  It wasn't easy, but I'm happy with the results.  The links were tedious to finish, sand, and polish while they were all hooked together prior to firing.  It was a challenge to be careful and not break one while sanding them.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Complex Nautical Pendant In Progress Photos

Here is what I have on my work table today.  I'm working on a couple of new fine silver metal clay pendant designs for a gift shop.   One is a sea turtle and the other is a complex nautical pendant.  They are going to be really large and the nautical one is going to be very complex.  The nautical pendant is complex because it contains sea horses, star fish, and sea shells.  I've got it built and I am starting to work on the fine sanding.  Here it is without the bail.  The bail is drying and I will attach it once all the sanding is done.  I don't want to worry about it breaking while I'm doing the sanding, so I'll attach it last.

This pendant has been a lot of work to create.  I had to make each piece separately and attach them to the base one at a time.  Before I even began the construction, I made all the individual pieces in polymer clay so that I could practice out my idea first.  I knew the pendant would take a lot of silver to make.  I wanted to be sure about my design before I opened my first pack of silver clay.  I'm glad that I did that.  I must have changed the design and placement a million times! 

If you look close at the photo below, you will see some tissue paper stuffed under the belly of the second starfish.  I had a gap there and I was afraid of his body would sink during the drying.  So I used the paper to prop him up until he dried.  I am going to leave it in when I fire the pendant.  I hope it works!

Here is the other large pendant that I am constructing.  It's a sea turtle.  It's hard to tell much about it just yet.  I'm still working on him, and I still have to make the base.  There is also a sand dollar in the works next to the sea turtle that I'm making for a custom order.  Above the turtle's head is the bail for the nautical pendant.  It's drying on a piece of cured polymer clay.

Well, that's what's on my work table today.  I can't wait to see how it all turns out.  I'm really excited about the complex nautical pendant.

Have a great day!

P.S.  Here's the final post on the nautical pendant update and where it ended up:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Free to be Happy

     One of the greatest causes of unhappiness is letting other people tell you what will make you happy. For true happiness is not something you must chase in a particular way.

     Happiness is yours when you choose it. Yes, it really is as simple as that.
When you let go of the notion that this thing or that thing will make you happy, something truly amazing happens. You are suddenly free to be happy without condition.

The good things you associate with happiness are not things that will cause you to be happy. Quite to the contrary, they are things that will come about once you allow yourself to be happy.

Putting conditions on your happiness keeps happiness at a distance away from you. Drop the conditions, and happiness is free to flow into your life.

Stop trying to figure out what it means to be happy or what will cause you to be happy. Simply choose to be happy, and you’ll know exactly what it means.

— Ralph Marston

Read more:

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Silver and Polymer Clay Work

I have some new work in progress in silver metal clay and polymer clay.  Both separately and together.  Here is a little view of what's on my work table.  I'll leave you guessing for now and post the completed work in a couple of days...

Have a great day!

Monday, November 21, 2011

More new Jewelry

I have some more new jewelry to show.  Please visit my shop at Etsy if you are interested further.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Jewelry Designs

I'm still working on getting my Etsy shop restocked.  It takes time and a lot of work.  Each product for sale requires five photos and an indepth description for each listing.  This may not sound hard, but for me it is very time consuming.  I need to take at least eight to ten photos to get five that will look okay.  And, no matter how good the photos come out, they still need editing and resizing before uploading to Etsy.  Part of me dreads this task, but another part of me enjoys the challenge.  Photography is an art all itself.  As time goes on and I continue to learn more, I think my photos are improving.  But, I still have so much more to learn.  Here are some of my lastest photos.  The Sea Glass earrings are listed in my shop.  I'm still working on getting the others listed along with many new fine silver pendants and necklaces.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dolphins, Dolphins, Dolphins, Oh My!

     Well, it is no secret to those that know me know that I love Dolphins.  So it is no wonder that they appear in my work from time to time.  I seem to have a series of them evolving.  But, they are all different.  Here they all are together.  You can also see them in my Etsy shop.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

New Silver Jewelry Designs

I am working on getting some of my new silver jewelry designs listed in my Etsy shop.  Here's a preview...

Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day

Got this cartoon in my email this morning.  I though it was worth sharing. 
Happy Veteran's Day to all my fellow veteran's out there!

May we all have a great day enjoying our freedom today!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dauphin Island Art Trail Photos

I have some photos to share from the Dauphin Island Art Trail we had October 15th at Dauphin island, Alabama.  It was an interesting and fun event.  Read all about it in this post.  My booth was at the Sea Lab Estuarium.  I thought it was a great fit because a lot of my jewelry is nautical or Island related.  Thanks to all the folks who stopped by!

Here are some of my displays:

And we had some great booth mates!

Deb and Steve Garst of The Dog House Studio were our booth mates.  Each business on the Island hosted just two venders each.  So, it was just us two at the Estuarium.  They are wonderful people and they both are fabulous artists.  Hope to see you guys back for our next art show!

We couldn't have had better weather for this art show.  The butterflies came and flew around us all day.  Here a few shots of them, the entrance to the Estuarium, and the area where we were set up.  I didn't get to take many pictures because we were actually very busy most of the day. 

And here's a photo I took from the back of the Estuarium.  An ultralite flew by with a flocks of birds that were flying with him! 

More photos of the things around us that day.  They say that if you're lucky enough to live on an Island, you're lucky enough. I think I'm even luckier...look at where I got to set up my booth!  And they told us we could set it up anywhere in the area we wanted.  Not to many artists get to do that at an art show.

Click on the photo below to see a larger view.  It shares a little bit about the life that lives in the salt marsh.

One of the crew boats coming in from the oil rigs.

All in all, it was a great event.  I hope we get to do it again next year. 

Have a great day!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Art Trail, Dauphin Island, Alabama

We are having an Art Trail October 15th, 2011 at Dauphin island, Alabama.  Each of our local business' will host artists.  We will set up booths at the business that hosts us and give them 10% of our sales.  I will be at the Sea Lab Estuarium.  That should be a good fit for much of my jewelry which is nautical in style.

At the beginning of the trail, each participant will be given a ticket or card.  A drawing will be held at the end of the trail.  Grand prizes will be awarded to those who get their cards stamped at all nine places.  The flyer below shows which places you need to visit.  So, mark your calendar and come see us!

I hope to get some photos taken of all the new work I've been making to get ready for this.  So, check back here soon for that. 

Have a great day!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Finished Silver Sea Turtle Pendant - Final Update

     This is a final post in a series of three.  The first post begins with the creation of this Sea Turtle pendant.  The second post ends with it being tumbled.  And, todays post shows the final result.

The Final Result

     My fine silver Sea Turtle pendant is all finished.  It's been tumbled, patina'd, and polished.  I decided to go simple and hang it on a black cord.  I didn't even use a bail to hang it on.  I just looped the black cord through the pendant itself.  It just seemed to call for that.  I'm pretty happy with the end result.  I think it will be a good pendant for a man or a woman (or me!).  Take a look and let me know what you think....

     Thanks for allowing me to share some of my silver jewelry making process with you. If you would like to see this pendant in person, come to the Sea Lab Estuarium on Dauphin Island, AL, the 15th of October.   I will have a booth set up there for the Art Trail we are having on the Island.  More on that later...  Until then, if you would like to see other jewelry I've made, you can check out my Etsy shop or Art Fire shop.  I probably won't be listing anything new online until after our Art Trail.  However, if you see something you like here, there, or on my Flickr album, just contact me.  I'm sure we can work something out.

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Silver Clay Sea Turtle Pendant in Progress Update Post Firing

      This is the second post of an in-progress report on a new silver clay Sea Turtle pendant that I am making.  Please see yesterday's blog post to see how it all began.

     The Sea Turtle pendant fired beautifully.  I wire brushed it after firing, and it is now in the tumbler being tumbled to work harden the metal.  I took photos after each step.  The way it looks might surprise those of you who have never seen silver jewelry in this stage of construction.  It comes out of the kiln almost white.  It takes a lot of work to get it to the silvery shiney state that you see it in when it's ready for purchase.  And, this small in-progress writeup that I'm doing here doesn't show a lot of the work and steps that most of my pieces require.  Most of the time there is a lot of sanding and polishing before, during, and after.  And, it takes many grits of sand paper, polishing papers, and/or power tools. 

The first photo below shows the pendant fresh out of the kiln after firing.

And the next photo below shows the pendant after it has been wire brushed.  This is done before it is put into the tumbler.  The tumbler will work harden the metal and give it an initial polishing.

And here it is in the tumbler.  I will tumble it for an hour or two and then begin polishing.  After it is polished, I will use some liver of sulpher (LOS) to give it a patina.  And then finally, I'll give it a final hand polishing. 

I hope you'll feel free to leave any comments or questions here for me.  I'm happy to answer any questions about my processes.  I will post back here with a final photo once the pendant is out of the tumbler and I have completely finished it's patina and polish.  Hopefully I'll be able to have it finished by this afternoon.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Silver Pendant in Progress Photos

I'm having fun with my silver clay this morning.  I'm working on a pendant that will be part of my inventory for an upcoming art show on the 15th of October at Dauphin Island, AL (more about that later).  I took a couple of in progress photos.  The first photo is a little mystery.  I want you to try and guess what it is going to be:

Can you tell?  I know by looking at the photo, you probably can see that it will be a pendant...It is a flat base and has a hole at the top.  Notice the texture in the middle?  That's the major clue to it all.  But wait, there's more..........  The next photo should give you a really good idea.

Baby Sea Turtles!  The texture on the flat piece represents their foot prints in the sand.  Baby Sea Turtles hatch as eggs in the sand.  At some point after they hatch, they will make their way back to the water.  We've recently had some hatch where I live, at Dauphin Island.  We're very happy about this, since the events of  last years oil spill by BP in the Gulf of Mexico.  The new baby Sea Turtles are what inspired me to make this pendant.  It's been in my head for a while.

Are you wondering how this pendant will turn out?  You'll have to wait a little longer, because it's at the stage you see right here now.  I still have to finish it and fire it in my kiln.  Stay tuned, and I will post a photo here after I have fired it in my kiln.

Have a great Day!

The Seaturtle pendant is in the kiln firing right now.  Hopefully tomorrow, I will finish it and show photos. 
If not tomorrow, then Friday.