We had a quiet Christmas with a few old friends, punctuated by us moving our jaws at regular intervals - a lot of food was consumed over the day - we broke our diets with gay abandon and ate everything in sight like hungry caterpillars.
Santa brought me a Dremel press - the crafter's equivalent of buying your wife a toaster for Christmas, but so much more appreciated. Now that I've got used to the drill, I have found so many uses for it and am truly grateful that Santa took the time to listen to my request ( I can't see how he wouldn't as I mentioned it almost two or three times a week until I was satisfied that it was in the mental bag).
I was looking at all the canes I had made over the last year and decided to use at least part of the hoard in a large kaleidoscope cane - it's only when they get used up that I will have the urge to make more. I ended up with this huge block of clay and wondered - now what??
The bronze beads in the necklace are made by the lost wax casting method - beeswax is extruded in a string which is wrapped around a core of charcoal and cow dung. This is buried in a mould made of a slurry of charcoal and clay held together with palm fibre, and then put in a kiln - the wax melts and is poured out - and replaced with molten brass.
A mould has to be made for each item, as it has to be broken to release the bead when cool. The rough parts are filed off, and it is hand-polished using lemon juice and fine sand. This is a very labour intensive process, and is reflected in the price of the beads - but they are beautiful - and I had to have them. I managed to find a European vendor who was importing them in from Africa, and jumped at the chance to acquire them without all the palaver of exorbitant postage charges, Customs duty, etc.
Wings of Love
Rings of Saturn
The beads are large, but hollow, so the necklace is not heavy at all and the pale green chip beads and the rectangular Natasha bead provide asymmetrical interest.
I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful, joyful, love-filled holiday season, however you celebrate it. And I especially hope that 2015 brings you all wonderful things. Catch you next week, next year, same time, same place,