Monday, December 3, 2012

Female Pirate Necklace

I got so involved with the pirate theme creating the men's pirate pendant I posted about yesterday that I was inspired to create a female pirate pendant.  I've had a blast playing with swords, stones, and gold!  This pendant has a heart lined in gold that matches the pirate's eye.  The heart stone sits atop two swords that are flanked by three graduating sized round balls.  The entire piece is backed by a heart shaped base.  I also made a handmade bail that was torch fired in place on the pendant.  Love the look and the security of these bails.  A little time consuming to make, but worth the effort.

Thanks for stopping by, your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.  Have a great day!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Gold and Silver Pirate Pendant

Here's a photo of my latest custom order I that I just finished.  I usually get unique requests from men for some reason.  This one wanted a pirate necklace.  The pendant is complete, although I still have to hang it.  And this was my first time working with gold!  Quite an experience.  I hope to do more.

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Triple Dolphins

Yikes!  It dawned on me that I forgot to post the finished photo of the triple dolphin necklace.  Here it is...

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Dolphins are Fired!

I fired the large dolphin pendant.  There is so much more to do to it though.  It will have to wait though because I have a two day art show that starts tomorrow. I'll be at Cadeax Caches in Fairhope, Alabama Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 6:00.  Stop by and visit if you're in the area.
Here's a peek into the kiln...

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back to Playing with Dolphins

I'm back to playing with dolphins again.  This time, I'm working on a complex piece that I've had hanging around for a while.  It's one that I just work on every now and then between other projects. 

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Completed Horse Head

I completed the horse head pendant that I showed in my previous post.  Here are a couple of photos showing it before firing and after firing:

Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Fine Silver Metal Clay Pendants

Here are some new silver metal clay pendants I just finished.  A couple are for custom orders and some are for mew inventory to take to two different art shows coming up in October.

And, here is an unfired horse's head that I am still working on.  This is still in the raw pre-fired stage. He goes into the kiln today. Then he'll get tumbled in steel shot, patina'd, and finely polished. I sculpted the horse's head out of polymer clay first.  I cured the polymer piece, then made a mold of it and recreated it in fine silver.

Have a great day!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Completed Bird, Owl, and Starfish Pendants

I made a little progress.  Here are the bird, owl, and starfish pendants.  I still have to hang them.

What do you think?

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On my Work Bench Today

Here's what I'm working on today.  Several pendants in progress.  A dragonfly, a lighthouse, a bird, an owl, and more dolphins for a statement piece. 

And a special pelican that I'm still working out the design for.  Hopefully, he will be perched on pilings and have an opal.  More on that another day though...

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Dolphins Have Arrived!

The dolphins I posted about earlier are complete!  You can see my two previous posts with in progress photos here and here.  The first photo shows them fresh out of the tumbler with a high polish.  The second photo shows them after I gave them a patina and repolished.  What do you think?  Which way do you like them best, patina or no patina?

Have a great day!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Prefiring the Dolphins with a Torch

     I'm still working on the silver dolphin pendants.  They are about ready to go into the kiln.  However, first I am prefiring them with a torch.  Why?  Two reasons.  First, one of them (the lone dolphin with the dichroic glass) has a captured hanging bail for the chain.  I used a torch on that part by itself to prevent the two independent pieces from fusing to each other in the kiln.  Secondly, I wrapped the glass dichroic cabachon a little to tight, so I was anticipating some cracks.  I'm doing a little shrinking prior to full sintering, if you will.  And it did get a couple of tiny fractures.  Easy to fix.  Once that's done, it will go into the kiln.

More updates to follow after the final firing and patina...
Until then, have a great day!

Positive example

     Don’t merely wait or wish or hope for the world to become more positive. The world becomes more positive when you become more positive.
     The experience of life in this world is not something that is imposed upon you. Life is precisely and reliably what you choose to make it.
     What you cannot control, you can accept, interpret and make use of in a positive and purposeful way.       
     Shine a genuine positive light where you are, and that light will quickly spread beyond you.
     Don’t complain about how bad things are. Imagine how good life can be, and then persistently act on   what you imagine.
     Life is the way you live it. Live it well, with joy, with purpose, with care and commitment and love.
     Live according to your highest vision and your most treasured dreams. Be the best positive example for all of life to follow.
— Ralph Marston
So, have a great day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Playing with Dolphins

I'm still working on the dolphin pendants.  One singlular dolphin is finished and ready to go into the kiln.   That's the large dolphin on the right side with the bail coming out of it's back.  He has to wait for the others to be finished though.  They have more sanding and refining to do and then other stones to set.  I wasn't happy with the two small dolphins that I showed in the previous blog post, so I made the two new ones you see here on the left side of the top pendant.  They'll get mounted on the pendant at the top with the aquamarine stone.

Have a great day!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Dolphins are Coming!

I'm in the process of creating a few Dolphin pendants out of fine silver clay for custom orders.  Some will have backings and one will be a lone single Dolphin with just a bail.  In this photo, they have been refined but still need a little fine sanding.  I broke the tail off of one, but that's an easy fix.  I'll probably wait until I add it to a backing before giving it a new tail.  I'm also waiting on a couple of stones that I ordered before deciding which ones to use in two of the pendants. 

I hope to show more photos as I progress with this.
Have a great day!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Published in Metal Clay Artist Magazine!

My silver and polymer butterfly necklace is in the gallery section of Metal Clay Artist magazine!  Along with some of my Metal Clay Heads  team members from Etsy.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Making of an Island, the Island of Sylt

     I've been working on an unusual custom order.  It's for a man that I met at my last art show this May.  He wanted a pendant made of the Island of Sylt, an Island in north Germany.  I'm documenting my process here for two reasons.  One reason is to provide an easy layout with all the photos together in one format for my client.  The other reason is to show how easy it is to create unique custom jewelry pieces by making your own templates.  The process can work with just about any kind of subject. 

     My client gave me his key chain of the Island for an example, but he wanted the pendant larger.  The first thing I did was google the Island to learn about it, and to print out a map with the exact geographical shape of the Island Sylt.  I traced the outline of the Island with a black sharpie.

     After I had a black outline, I scanned the map and saved it into a word file.  Once it was in the word file, I resized the map to the dimensions of the pendant that I would make.  Next, I printed out the smaller outlined map.  I cut around the shape of the Island in order to use it to make a template.  After it was cut out, I covered it with clear shipping tape and cut around that to get the shape back.  Now, I have a water proof and sturdy template. 

     Notice that I left more tape and paper around the edges where I drew the outline.  This was to allow extra space for refining and sanding the edges.   

     After I had the template made, I rolled out a layer of PMC3 silver clay to a thickness of five cards.  I put my template on top of the clay and used an exacto knife to cut out the shape.  Sorry, but the photo I took of it at that point just didn't come out.  But, here is the next phase where I am sanding it and refining the shape.  My client wanted it to be a little three dimensional with sand dunes and the road.  Sylt is known for their dunes.

     Here, I have the dunes in and I am sanding it to get rid of all the edges.  Once I had that done, I took a lead pencil and drew where I wanted the road to go based on the map I had printed out earlier.

      I put the road in by using a syringe filled with PMC3 silver clay.  Another request I had about this pendant was for it to have a hidden bail on the back.  I did this by putting a half loop in a piece of 12 gage fine silver wire.  I hammered the two ends flat so they would insert and lay on the clay better.  After I made the bail, I marked where it would sit on the pendant.  I then cut out indentations into the clay for the two ends of the bail.  I inserted the bail and back filled the holes with syringe silver clay.  I let it dry and shrink a little and applied some more.  Remember, the clay will shrink during firing, but the fine silver wire bail will not.  And the last step before drying and firing in the kiln was to add my "J" logo and the .999 silver mark. 


     And finally, here is the completed pendant, the Island of Sylt.  It has been tumbled to work harden, given a patina with Liver of Sulphur, and finely hand polished to bring out the details and give it a nice shine. 

     So, that's it!  What do you think about the pendant, and what do you think about my mini tutorial?

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Before, during, and after the firing of silver jewelry

There are a ton of things in work on my work bench right now.  I'm getting ready for my second art show out of three this year.  The next one is April 21st. on Dauphin Island, Alabama at the St. Francis Episcopal Church, on Key Street.  If you'll be in the area, come see us!

I'm working on some new silver pendants amongst other things such as polymer.  Here are some photos of some silver pendants I made fresh out of the kiln prior to polishing, after polishing, and finally after a patina has been applied.

This first photo is a Hummingbird pendant that I hand carved.  The photo shows what it looks like prior to firing.

Here it is again after firing, fresh out of the kiln with two other pendants.

And here are all three after they have been scratch brushed prior to tumbling and polishing.

Here they are after tumbling.  Tumbling work hardens the silver and gives it the initial polish.

Finally, here they are after I gave them a patina and their final polish.

I like to add a patina because it give each piece more definition and brings out the details.  A patina can always be taken away though.  All you have to do is refire the piece and give it a new polish.

So, what do you think?

Have a great day!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fairhope, Alabama Art Festival Photos

The Fairhope art festival was great!  I had a small table display inside the shop at Cadeaux Caches on Fairhope Ave.  I enjoyed meeting the other artists who were there with Cadeaux Caches.  There were two of us set up inside the shop, and four other artists outside on the sidewalk.  Sandy Castor, who is a mosaic artist, was my table mate inside.  Oh should see her work!  No website for her, you will have to visit her work at Cadeaux Caches.  She doesn't use the traditional broken pottery or porcelain in her mosaics, but instead uses imported glass, stones, and various other interesting media. 

I can't say enough wonderful things about Donna and Rob, the owners of Cadeaux and Caches, especially Donna.  She has a real talent for what she does.  She is in the right place!  It was a pleasure working with them and it's a pleasure and an honor to have some of my jewelry for sale there on consignment.  No photos of them.  Donna is camera shy...Please visit their shop.  Donna is a very out going cheerful person and can tell you anything and everything about each piece that is for sale in her shop.  She is a real pleasure to be around and you will love meeting her..  

Inside the shop
There was also a guy there who makes stringed instruments out of gourds.  He played music for us all day for the entire three day festival!
Jason of "Jaybirdbanjo"

Sandy Castor, a mosaic artist.  Her work is available at Cadeaux Caches

Kip Hayes amd his wife from "Hayes Gallery of Southern Art" were with us also.  He paints some awesome old time southern scenes on reclaimed wood from hurricaneKatrina.  

And there was also Debra from "Sugarboogers".  She made earrings and the cutest little onesies and t-shirts for toddlers.  I don't have a website for her.

And here are a couple of photos of my display.  One is from inside and one is outside.  One of the outside venders left early, so we moved my table outside!  The person behind my table is my best bud PJ.  She helped me all three days! My work can be seen online at Life Art Designs

And here is a photo of Brina and Justine who worked for the owners inside the shop.  It was St. Patrick's Day.  That's why the green hair.  They are behind my booth wearing a couple of my pendants.

Now that this show is over, I am busy getting ready for the next one.  It is the St. Francis Episcopal Church’s 10th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival on April 21, 2012 located at 401 Key St. on Dauphin Island, Al.  Not one of the largest...but one of my favorites! 

Have a great day!