A Little Help from Here…There…Everywhere!!!

swirl-pendants2The last few posts have featured work in process using Anna Oriona’s Mokume Gane technique.

As a finished item, the pendant has created the most interest. While, I thought the colors were a bit summery, fiber artist, LuAnn Rosenzweig’s, eyes lit up when I brought it to the Charleston Crafts gallery last week.

She also commented on the fact that I finished the sides and the back. Thank you to Debbie Jackson for her admonition to finish all sides of a piece. In addition, thank you to Melanie Muir for her Craftcast video showing the finishing technique and to Jan Montarsi...through Syndee Holt, for the wonderful hidden bail.

WHEW…I think that is enough name dropping for one post!!!

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dot-dot-dotIt is surprising how a series of small dots can change the energy in a piece.

Recently, I acquired two much desired additions to my ‘tool box’ from Dr. Matt Liebentritt…amalgam carriers.


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The most interesting part of my quest was the look on his mother’s face when I told her that I would love these instruments for my artwork.


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Softer Color Palette

softer paletteThe featured photo is an early experiment with Anna Oriona’s technique, using a variety of metallic mixtures from another project. While the end result is not as bold, the overall pattern is still quite interesting.

These designs are destined to be pendants and earrings for the Charleston Crafts Coop. The temperatures should be cooling soon and the visitors will be returning to the historic district. Traffic is waaaaaaaaaaaay down in the summer due to the heat. Most visitors will select the beach over shopping.

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Caution: Addictive Technique


I bumped into this Youtube video from Anna Oriona several weeks ago…and now I am ‘hooked’.  You can adjust the ‘attitude’ of the swirls by tweaking the color combinations…analogous=peaceful…high contrast=playful.

The next week will be spent experimenting with both color personalities. Here’s hoping my tablet will play nice and I will have additional photos to post. swirl-slices

BTW…here’s an additional photo with the ‘off cuts’ from the swirls carefully flipped and overlapped on a base sheet of clay.

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diluent-inks2I’ve spent the last two days on the ‘what if’ road. What if you mix diluent…oops!!! clay softener… and alcohol ink on baked clay and rebake. Some of the colors are ghastly, but others are very interesting, breaking down into two or three underlying shades. The three large samples on the bottom row have been coated with Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS (Matte).

This is one trip that hasn’t ended in a dead end, but there are still a few questions to answer before I’m ready for prime time with this surface. Some of the samples have a ‘gummy’ feel. Is that too much alcohol or too much diluent? Will a second baking resolve that issue? HMMMM!!!


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Steep Learning Curve!

new toy2

Upon my return from Virginia, I found a nice check from Charleston Crafts waiting for me. (I think this gig is going to work!!!) It made me feel a bit better about all of the new toys that I purchased while I was away…Inka Gold in three colors, Melanie Muir and Art Clay World templates, fabulous silk screens from Allison Gallant and Karen Woods…and an order for a Silhouette Curio.

new toy1Since I am new to the Silhouette world, it is all Greek to me. But, with the help of Mags Bonham and Cindy Pope, I am on my way…baby steps though. The ability to etch multiples of my ivory designs has great appeal. These images tend to be on the primitive side, so I may never graduate from baby steps. The flaws and irregularities work for me.

After multiple ‘disasters’, I finally etched three samples. The progression is from top to bottom, experimenting with settings and the ‘Greek to me’ terminology of the Curio. Needless to say, I am excited about my new toy. Guess cleaning the bathroom can go on the back burner for a bit longer.

Shameless self promotion. The summer issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry includes 6 articles with polymer…including my bangle article using Lynda Moseley’s Turquoise technique. Now that Art Jewelry is gone and Ornament is a shadow of it’s former self, Belle Armoire Jewelry is my go to for new ideas and materials.

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Price Points & Neck Sizes

Tdots-dasheshe idea of the Dots and Dashes collection grew out of the realization that I needed lower price points and adjustable neck sizes at the Charleston Crafts gallery. Our customers are eager to purchase from local artists and they come in all sizes, ages and budgets.

This necklace is the first in a series of geometric elements in primary colors that can be made quickly, using readily available materials. They are strung on a very small bunadots-dashes2 cord and the spacers are black polymer disks. After stringing the red and black elements I realized they needed an additional spacer. In order to save time, and the need to purchase additional materials, I slipped a larger diameter buna between the elements and voila!…the perfect solution.

ring2The ring design is the prototype for another ‘hole’ in my inventory. The ring blank is adjustable and the center element is a faux stone surface that I am tweaking. ( A final coat is needed for the surface) Many of the ring blanks that I have purchased in the past had a cheap, tinny appearance. This blank has elegance and heft at an affordable cost.

My customer at Charleston Crafts is very different from the customer at the Fall Art Show or the customer at the Wells Gallery in January. Each of these audiences has a different voice and my work has to be ready with an answer for each.

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