Hello readers, I'm happy to be with you this weekend - the show at Leamington Spa Pump Rooms and Art Gallery is done and dusted, and I can now chill out and relax over the next few weekends.
The show was great fun, as the weather decided to play ball and people came out in droves. The Pump Rooms are at one end of Jephson Park, and to my astonishment when I pitched up at 9am to set up on the Thursday, there were people wanting to come in and had to be turned away.
Admittedly they were early visitors to the park who needed to use the toilets, but I've never seen the likes of it - a queue built up by 10am and when the doors were thrown open at 1030, a bunch of mothers pushing prams followed, followed by a steady stream of visitors. There is a little cafe to one side of the foyer, and loads of people visited it for a quick cup of tea. Most of them stopped by our stalls and some of them picked up a piece or two. A couple of bus loads of holiday makers from Yorkshire were dropped off outside the Pump Rooms, and some more people were wandering around the shops having come from Hull to attend a family wedding.
On the last day, there was a Classic Car rally in the park, which had loads of visitors, who took the opportunity to nip in for a walk around and a bit of retail therapy. As far as Caprilicious was concerned, it was the best show in the UK - I took a variety of stuff with me and people were amazed by the different techniques I had used to make jewellery. There was a lot of appreciation for my stuff from the visitors and they were very complimentary, even if they didn't actually buy a piece. If I wasn't a naturally modest person, my head would have loosened itself from my neck and floated off into the stratosphere!!
I was exhibiting alongside a painter and a photographer, as you can see here. I took some of my larger pieces, but didn't expect them to sell, they were strictly there to pique the interest of passers by and beckon them to the show area. I had lots of modestly priced items on sale and chatted away happily about my favourite subject - Caprilicious. The people in Leamington Spa have a regard for artisanal goods, and time and time again I heard them say how much they preferred buying from the maker rather than an impersonal store. Music to my ears, really. I chirruped away happily talking about polymer clay and metal clay, wirework and all sorts, my jaw hurt in the evenings from all the talking and smiling I was doing.
Quite a few people came to look at the 'trail' of artists in Warwickshire Open Studios brochure - one gentleman, in his seventies, had even taken a train up from Buckinghamshire to do the trail. He said my jewellery was 'delicious' and that it was a good thing that his girlfriend wasn't with him as he wouldn't be able to tear her away. I suggested that he bought her a gift, but unfortunately she'd recently run off with a ukulele player (he then added that the musician had more money than him, as well as the ability to play the ukulele - obviously an irresistible combination ). Then there was the gentleman dressed in a steam punk top hat and a vial around his neck which on closer inspection contained three tiny skulls (he said they were some of his relatives). I reminded him that Angelina Jolie and her then husband Billy-Bob Thornton wore a phial filled with each others blood around their necks while they were married - his wife looked a bit alarmed at the suggestion! They were dressed so eccentrically, I'm sure they had a classic car parked outside in the rally but I didn't like to ask. Besides, I was too busy taking their pictures!
I had a couple of days off from work to put things away and calm my nerves. On the Tuesday I picked up a pendant I found on the internet from Lahore in Pakistan - it is a vintage pendant, originally from Afghanistan and suddenly a necklace seemed to come together, who was I to stop it?
A mehfil the Persian word for a gathering of poets and singers sitting around drinking wine and eating delicately spiced, aromatic food. In my romanticised version (I've probably watched too many Bollywood movies in my misspent youth!) a candle in a hurricane lamp is passed around from poet to poet, and whoever the candle stops in front of recites a poem or sings - a kind of 'spin the bottle' for Persian intellectuals in their version of a Roman orgy. I can easily imagine a woman sitting in semi darkness, wearing fine silks and this necklace and when the candle arrives in front of her, she raises her head and delivers the most beautiful poem. I wish I could be that woman, but as I am not a poet, and would die a million deaths if the candle stopped in front of me, I thought I'd at least make the necklace.
That's me for this week, folks. I've decided that I would like to try and empty the website of earrings so that I can make some more. I've dropped them all in price - all except the Shibori ones, so wander on down to the website and see if you fancy a couple of pairs. I've also reduced the silver earrings and the mixed metal earrings on the website until the 1st of August.
Have a good browse, and enjoy your week. I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place
Hello folks, how are you today? I have scheduled this post for Friday morning having pre written it, as I will be at the Art Gallery and Museum, Leamington Spa. I have been there since Thursday, and will be until 4pm on Sunday the 30th, so if any of you fancy a little trek up into Leamington, do come and take a look at Caprilicious and spend some time with me.
Leamington is an old Victorian spa town, where gentlefolk came to partake of the sulfurous waters as a cure for various ailments in the 18th century. The spa waters had been known since Roman times, and were rediscovered in the late 1700s.
In 1814, the Royal Pump Rooms and Baths, where Caprilicious will be exhibiting, were opened close to the River Leam. It is a grand structure and included the world's first gravity fed piped hot water system in modern times.
Leamington became a popular spa resort attracting the wealthy and famous, and construction began of numerous Georgian townhouses to accommodate visitors, and they still exist, all painted in Regency cream with black ironwork and white paned windows.
The function of the Royal Pump Rooms changed several times over the following years. While retaining its assembly rooms and medical facilities, around 1863 it was extended to include a Turkish bath and swimming pool. Spa water can still be sampled outside the building. The gardens are beautiful, there are plenty of shops and restaurants and the little town has a thriving cafe culture. We are looking forward to great weather over the next few days, so do try to make the trip, it will be worth it.
I spent a couple of days over the weekend in London, learning how to make extremely realistic flowers from air dry clay. I found Marianna on Facebook, her page is called Peony by Marianna. She is a Deco CLay instructor and we arranged that I should have a couple of days at her place learning to make flowers which hopefully I might be able to translate into polymer clay, and perhaps even metal clay. I learned how to make a variety of flowers in her penthouse flat overlooking the Thames in the Isle of Dogs. I've never been to that part of London before and couldn't believe how few people there were on the roads, and the fabulous views, stretching all the way to the Greenwich observatory from one window, and the Thames flood barriers from the next.
I was quite pleased with the little white flowers, they seemed to have the fragility of jasmine when the flowers fall off the creeper, slightly bruised, but still gorgeous to look at. However, Marianna smiled quietly and said I should preserve them as a reminder of how not to do it - I still love them, though. They have a vulnerability about them that pleases me, so I shall indeed keep them, albeit for a different reason.
That's me for this week, folks. I was laid low with sinusitis which I took ages to diagnose - my excuse is that it was at the wrong end of the body as far as my expertise as a doctor was concerned. I thought it was variously a headache, toothache, a problem with my glasses, eye strain, and finally, the neighbours cooking fish! It was only when I started to smell fish everywhere and had pain when I pressed my sinuses that I realised where the problem lay and got some antibiotics, which finally cured me. I try not to go to the GP if I can help it - and anyway, who goes to a doctor for all those trivial problems I enumerated earlier?
Have a fabulous week and enjoy the sunshine, I shall catch you on Friday, same time, same place
Hello, lovely people, how are you doing. It is the summer solstice and we haven't had a summer yet, I think they forgot to tell the sunshine. I for one have given up on the weather to amuse me and have got on with other things, in the main preparing for Warwickshire Open Studios at the end of June and binge watching Killing Eve on the BBC iplayer.
Luke Jennings's 'Codename Villanelle', began as a four-part novella published between 2014 and 2016, and has been adapted for the small screen by the BBC - it is called Killing Eve. The first series was written and produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridges of Fleabag fame. I loved Fleabag, but don't generally watch 'spy vs spy' type drama, but gave it a chance because of Waller-Bridges association with the project. I totally fell in love with Villanelle, the charismatic cold blooded psychopathic assassin played by Jodie Comer. It is very stylishly written and acted, and Villanelle is in turn spiky, sassy, funny, vulnerable and hard as nails. The obsession between the assassin Villanelle and her detective hunter Eve, was fascinating, and Mike and I binge watched both seasons of the show, all sixteen shows of it and we couldn't get enough. I hear that a third season has been commissioned, and can't wait for it to be with us.
I'm obviously not alone in falling in love with this psychopath - I found this short clip on YouTube of her being a crazy, kooky, childlike but chilling killer.
This necklace reminds me of her - it is spiky, fun and interesting, of branch coral in black and red, offset by a large electroplated quartz bead.
Of course, once it was made, I had to wear it and my little phone camera was pressed into use.
That's all I made this week, folks. Killing Eve and Villanelle swallowed up all my time, as well as curating my stock for the event at Leamington Spa at the end of the month. I'm off to London this weekend to learn a new, fun technique and I'll tell you all about it next time. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for joining me again this week. Well, they're calling it a summer monsoon (I've never heard of a winter monsoon) here in the UK, there has been flooding in low lying areas, continuous rain, very reminiscent of my childhood in India when the newspapers reported a 'depression in the Bay of Bengal'. As a child I had a very literal imagination, and I thought millions of people were sad and crying in the Bay of Bengal for some reason, and the rain was their tears falling upon us. Just now, I can certainly tell you that I am very depressed and fed up in Warwickshire, although the garden doesn't seem to mind it at all and is smiling away.
I love the photograph in the 'ad' above - I took the picture and turned it into an ad for my show at Warwickshire Open Studios using an app called Canva. I told Danielle that she looked like 'The Lady of Shalott' from the poem by Tennyson. We read it at school, and it is such a romantic poem about this lady who is cursed to never look out of her window. She spends her life in a turreted castle weaving tapestry, using scenes of the world outside from reflections in her mirror. One morning she sees this beautiful man ride by in said mirror and cannot resist it. She takes a direct look at the fair Lancelot who is generally thought to be one of the most handsome men in literature, and 'the mirror crack'd from side to side' - she meekly went and lay down in a little boat and died while floating down the river. I think I might have fought death a bit in her place, and a bit of screaming, kicking and biting might have happened, but hey! that wouldn't have been quite so romantic. If you haven't read it, I commend it to you, and here's a link.
I must have been in a very romantic mood (see above) in the last few weeks, although Mike hasn't seen too much benefit from it. A Ghazal is a poem set to music in Urdu or Arabic originating in Persia. Once religious, they are now mainly romantic, and speak of unrequited or unfulfilled love. There are some really beautiful Ghazals I learned while growing up and I so wish I had a better singing voice.
I found this pendant online in a shop based in Lahore, Pakistan - it originated in Afghanistan. I've made necklaces with such pendants before, but usually use lapis or coral to give it an earthy, folksy look. This time I used titanium coated quartz nuggets and lost wax cast beads from Africa to add a bit of dull gold to the mix.
I love the way it came out. I can see a woman in this necklace, wearing loose skirts, drying her long hair, humming a ghazal as she adorns herself with jasmine and perfume while she waits for her lover - unfortunately, the lover is probably married and she is wasting her time waiting for him as he's gonna go straight back to wifie. But who are we to burst her bubble? Let her dream awhile yet!
Spirit of the Sea
I made this clasp from copper clay in my kiln a while ago, but I don't think it made it to the blog as I hadn't polished it to my satisfaction. I spent an entire evening shining it up recently and put it with a string of raw blue quartz nuggets and freshwater pearls. The clasp is meant to be worn to one side, but can be worn so that it acts as a pendant.
Have I used shades of blue all week because the weather is so lousy?? Who knows? Either way, I'm very happy with both pieces. Do you like them?
That's my lot for this week, folks, have a wonderful time and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you this cloudy, rainy morning? Of course, it may not be raining where you are, but here cats and dogs are falling from the skies with sickening regularity. At least the gardens are looking green and lush as there is no shortage of water.
I've been away from home for a lot of the week, so had to make what time I had productive. At the weekend, I had a client from London come up to spend a couple of days with us. Caprilicious has brought many interesting and fun people into my orbit, and this girl is certainly in that category. We've met up a few times in London, and she came up to me, bringing beads to be strung and many changes of clothes so that we could do a little photoshoot. She looks so fabulous in so many of these pictures, I am sure to be using them for a while yet. It surprises me that she has never done any modelling before as she took to it like a duck to water, posing away for the camera willingly, changing clothes and lipstick colour ever so often, uncomplainingly and to great effect.
I've been making beads using an ultralight form of polymer clay and salting away simple necklaces made with these beads - the necklaces are bright, pretty and light, and have the usual asymmetrical Caprilicious vibe.
There will be a couple more of them made by the end of the week so that there is a fair sized stash of simple, inexpensive pieces on show, as well as the more complex ones.
The Oil Slick Necklace
This necklace has caught the imagination of a number of my customers and a lady who lives in Texas commissioned one for herself. She wanted the beads to be larger, the necklace to be longer and for the spacers to be of a particular type and I was happy to oblige. As the necklace was already designed, it was an easy matter to string the beads to her specification.
I also made a couple more necklaces for her at her request. She likes her necklaces long, with a medallion like pendant and she had three necklaces made and shipped out to Texas, along with a few others that I have been reserving for her over the last couple of months.
Named for the Hamsa or Hand of Fatima/Maryam pendant hung on a necklace of citrine nuggets.
Queen of the Night
The large amulet came from Afghanistan via Lahore and is strung with coral chunks and golden obsidian beads. The obsidian is really beautiful - at first sight it looks like just another black bead, but when one gets closer, it appears as if a golden liquid is suspended within.
That's as much as I had time for this week, folks. I am working all weekend and hopefully it is a quiet time at the coalface. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,
Hello good people, how are you? Mike and I have just got back from a short trip to Amsterdam. We've been before, but we had tickets to go to a concert in Leidschendam den Haag by one of our favourite jazz singers, Laura Fygi, and we thought it would be rude to come straight back home. We spent a couple of days wandering around Amsterdam, strolling around aimlessly taking in the sights, eating and drinking much more than we should have and generally having a great old time.
We started as we meant to go on, by taking a Tesla limo from Schipol to Leidschendam which is about 45 minutes from the airport. The concert was as fabulous as we had expected and Laura sang from 830 pm to around 11pm with only a short break. Her voice was as fluid and melodious as on her CDs and the music washed over us in waves. She did a 'meet and greet' after the show and I gave her a necklace from my collection - I do so love her music and wanted to show my appreciation in a small, but tangible way. We spent the night at the hotel, and took a taxi back in to Amsterdam the next morning.
We stayed in Dam Square in The Grand Cafe Krasnapolsky and everyone around us seemed to be a Russian oligarch. The ladies, in particular walked about in designer clothes with large shopping bags from De Bijenkorf carrying yet more designer goods, talking fast and gesticulating wildly with their manicured talons and jangling bracelets. It was so much fun just sitting and watching them, I almost didn't want to leave, I enjoyed the people watching so much. Mike wanted to go and see a bit of the countryside, so he prised me out of the hotel onto a trip out to Volendam and a cheese factory, stopping off at Zaanse Schans where they have a working windmill and ending via ferry at a clog factory in Maarkan. I'd been on this tour about 30 years ago but it seemed like a nice thing to do again - not much has changed since!
We aren't really museum buffs, but went to the Rijksmuseum to see the Rembrandts they had there - the Nightwatch being the most famous one. I would have preferred the Van Gogh museum, but they only allow in limited numbers of people and one had to book online - unfortunately by the time we decided to go, it was fully booked up.
The Rijksmuseum has three dolls' houses that provide a detailed view of how affluent houses were once furnished. The most famous was collected by the wealthy Petronella Oortman of Amsterdam. In the 17th century, dolls' houses were not toys; they were a hobby, the equivalent for women of the collection cabinets kept by men.
All the pieces were made precisely to scale, in the same way and using the same materials as their regular counterparts. Petronella ordered her miniature porcelain from China and commissioned cabinetmakers, glassblowers, silversmiths, basket-weavers and artists to furnish her dolls' house: an extremely expensive hobby. Her dolls' house apparently cost as much as an actual house on a canal!
I prefer casual art installations like the one on this canal.
There was lots more people watching, eating chips and mayonnaise from the 'Chipsy King', stroopwaffels which are like biscuits sandwiched around a layer of caramel sauce and general loafing about, which was quite enjoyable. We spent our evenings in the Red Light District which is not at all as sleazy as it sounds, notwithstanding the peep shows, prostitution and coffee shops that abound. I felt that if I needed to, I could have sat alone at a cafe and not been accosted by anyone. My theory is that when sex and drugs are freely available, people who want these pleasures are so busy seeking them out that nobody cares about the other people, men, women and tourists in the area. It has a very cool vibe and people are very friendly - it is also open till very late at night, with live music and bars full of tourists, so is a very vibrant place to be in.
And now we're back home, the cat is happy to have us back, and I go to work next week. I have a couple of days off to relax and clear out suitcases, and do all the tedious things one has to do when one gets back from a holiday.
Have a fabulous week, folks and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you today? I've loved the sunshine we've had and have spent a lot of time outdoors, digging the garden and pulling up weeds. It is now beginning to look fit for purpose and I can relax. The red hot poker is the first flower to come out every year in late spring/ early summer, and the first one is out, with loads of buds yet to bloom. When it is lovely and sunny, I seem to always make a floral necklace and the colours I use are bright and cheerful - I don't choose this path, it chooses me!
I would love to make beautiful abstract geometric shapes, I really admire jewellery makers who can do this and glorify negative space, but what comes out of my hands? Flowers!!
Never mind, at least flowers are pretty and everyone loves them, not just me.
The early part of the week was a bit cold and damp, and this is the piece of jewellery I was inspired to produce. I made my first ever wire Tree of Life anchored around a slab of agate druzy that has been electroplated with titanium. I had recently taken delivery of quartz nuggets, also plated with titanium and they seemed to fit together beautifully. When I finished the 'tree' it reminded me of mangrove trees growing in the Sunderbans in West Bengal.
Mangrove swamps are found in tropical tidal areas including estuaries and marine shorelines. High tide brings in salt water, and when the tide recedes, evaporation of the seawater in the soil leads to increases in salinity.
At low tide, the roots are alternately exposed to increases in temperature and drying out from the sun, and cooling and flooding by the tide. For a plant to survive in this environment, it must tolerate broad ranges of salinity, temperature, and moisture, and only a few species have evolved ecologically to make up the mangrove tree community. Mangrove swamps protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surges, and tsunamis. The massive root systems are efficient at dissipating wave energy, and they slow down tidal water enough so its sediment is deposited as the tide comes in, leaving all except fine particles when the tide recedes.
And then the weather picked up, the sun came out to play and all was well with the world - followed closely by the flowers that came out of my imagination!
I wrapped flowers made of bright colour enhanced jade beads on a branch of tiny leaves that I had coated with cold enamel ages ago. Jade flowers and leaves of Czech glass were wrapped on this frame and hung on a necklace of lapis lazuli rough nuggets with yet more dyed jade. The flowers and berries are luscious and I added a tassel to give the piece a playful look. The necklace is pretty close to the neck, so that the pendant dangles over the decolletage - this necklace is probably best suited to a simple dress with a close neckline.
I bought a new iPhone and the camera is quite fabulous. I've been using the camera to take pictures in portrait mode and it works on selfies too.
I've mentioned that I will be at the Pump Rooms in Leamington Spa from the 27th to the 30th of June and I made some beads to display there at an event called Warwickshire Open Studios. I made the beads up into necklaces and wore them to work - here are some pictures taken using my new iPhone XR
I made some more beads in scarlet and gold, they're yet to be finished and strung. Next week, perhaps.
Don't they look almost edible? Like apples, or even ripe tomatoes, perhaps?
That's all I had time for, people. Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
G'day, people, how are you this fine morning. OMG what a fabulous week it has been - it was criminal that I had to work through it and missed most of the rays, but I did catch the tail end of each day and that just had to do. Ah well, I made my own sunshine - some that is pretty portable and is guaranteed through the year.
Bring Me Sunshine
Named after Willie Nelson's iconic song, these are one more pair in my little growing collection of Shibori earrings. I love the colour of the silk with a pale yellow hidden in the depths of the accordion pleats and a vibrant orange visible at first glance, the 'gemstones', the copper flowers, and the little diamante hoops are to die for. I saw them somewhere, and simply had to have them on your behalf.
The Bodhi tree is well known in Buddhist circles as the tree under which the Buddha meditated and gained Nirvana. These seeds are called Bodhi seeds in South East Asia and used to make malas and bracelets. However, they are not actually seeds of the Bodhi tree, which is a fig tree whose seeds are tiny inside the little fruit. Perhaps the Buddhists decided they didn't like real Bodhi seeds as they were too small to represent anything, so they picked the largest seed they could make into a mala and transferred the name to give it significance. That's just my theory - who knows the real reason.
A Moroccan amulet, gaily enamelled in blues, green and red and coral beads make this a very pretty mixed media piece, light and easy to wear.
I made Cara (1) out of slices of solar quartz, and the second one is also made from the same material, although it is dyed a fabulous blue. Teamed with freshwater pearls, it is very summery necklace.
I've been collecting these little potato nuggets for a while - aquamarine, peridot, green aventurine, amethyst, citrine and yellow jade which is a more opaque yellow than the citrine, little peacock pearls and tiny, shiny crystals. I have probably ended up with enough beads to make half a dozen of these necklaces, but it is quite exhausting, stringing seven strands of beads - tiring but fun, but not something I'd want to repeat in a hurry! The clasp is a mother of pearl flower and I've connected the strings of beads to it randomly so that they are all entwined, and can be worn all twisted into a rope, or loosely slung around the neck as in the first picture.
That's me for this week, folks. I'm working at the weekend and by the time I emerge from the dungeon the summer will be over (oh, no!!). It's a wonder that I haven't got a Vit D deficiency. Have a fabulous week, and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.
Hello folks how's tricks? I hope life is treating you well, wherever you are. I've begun the countdown to my little pre summer break and although it is still a little way away, I am now raring to go. In the meantime, I played with my beads as usual.
Moonshine is any kind of alcohol, usually whisky or rum, that is made in secret to avoid high taxes or outright bans on alcoholic drinks. The term "moonshine" comes from Britain, where it originally was a verb, "moonshining," that referred to any job or activity late at night.
Whisky is aged in casks until it becomes a clear amber liquid, but moonshine is cloudy because it is not clarified and is drunk as soon as it is distilled. Moonshiners distilled the stuff where there was a ban on alcohol and bootleggers sold it, while rum runners were smugglers who moved the alcohol around on boats. Did you know that moonshining was responsible for the start of car racing? Bootleggers in the 1930s, '40s and '50s took to driving cars packed with moonshine through the night to avoid local police. Their mechanical skills developed as they learned to drastically increase the horsepower of their vehicles to outrun the authorities and eventually these vehicles were used in motor car racing! There, another interesting but useless fact for you! And all because I named a necklace after a cloudy intoxicating liquid!
One of my long term clients was talking about a peach coloured dress she was going to wear at a wedding and wondered if i had any piece of jewellery that might go with it. I didn't, but it got me searching for beads (any excuse!) and I fell in love with a strand of moonstones, cut into what are called tyre or wheel shaped beads. The strand comes in three colours, in the usual white, a pale grey that resembles labradorite and peach. I bought a half strand as the stuff is eye wateringly expensive, and when it arrived, made this piece, adding a little cabochon of peach coloured druzy and loads of tiny vintage gold tone seed beads.
The baroque pearl came from Bangkok, where I bought a strand of these pearls, each one is about 1 cm long. I didn't have any peachy beads to hang the pendant so used more baroque pearls with tiny peach seed pearls in between. The clasp is pretty special, too.
Lucy's Bead Soup Necklace
Lucy sent me two bracelets of colourful gemstone chip beads and asked me to create 'something'. It took me ages and ages to actually put a necklace together - every time I made something else, I found little beads that could possibly go into a piece and popped them into a box. When the box was full, I rummaged in my stash of polymer clay beads and found a pendant, created long ago by following a tutorial from Iris Mishly that comes all the way from Israel.
I never told her I was sending it to her early on this week. I haven't heard from her and I'm hoping that it is because she's on holiday and not because she hates it and will never speak to me again for ruining her bracelets!
The Penannular Necklace
The word 'penannular' literally means a circle with a break in it, and the pendant I used is a penannular brooch or fibula from Morocco, enamelled in vibrant colours, I hung it on a necklace of oval lapis lazuli, each bead appears to be twisted on itself, they are really cut beautifully by the lapidary, whoever he/she was. I added tiny drum shaped coral beads to increase the colour quotient and three huge Nepalese beads that are beautifully textured.
The fibula had to be wired so that the pointy bit (that isn't terribly pointy anyway as it is probably meant for a shawl or as a hair ornament) sits at the top, tucked away into a bead cap.
Shiny Shibori Earrings
My inner magpie was very pleased with these. They are little inverted triangles filled with shiny clear crystals and little bows of pale green and pink Shibori ribbon. I edged it in a vibrant pink/purple as it was little too pale for my liking - I'm afraid I don't agree with the phrase 'pale and interesting'.
That's me for this week folks, I haven't anything else to show you. I hope you've enjoyed your read and will come back for more.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Howdy folks, how are you today? I've been crazy busy this week due to a short sojourn in London at the beginning of the week - well, it was more work than fun, although I managed to get some of the latter in as well. I only got back home late on Tuesday evening and was back at work the next day.
I decided I was going to make something that would make use of my kiln, which has been lying idle for a while now through the winter. I broke out a packet of copper clay and gave myself a repetitive strain wrist injury from kneading it into a soft dough like consistency. Of course, when there have been long periods of time gone by between using metal clay - or any other technique for that matter, mistakes are made and boy, did I make them!
The first pendant I made had to be broken up and reconstituted into clay as it looked terrible when I dried it overnight. That didn't do the pain in my wrist any good but I pressed on and created a smaller pendant, which I thought looked pretty good, so I went ahead and embellished it with little flowers and leaves, and then popped it in the kiln.
Doesn't it look pretty? I thought so too. Unfortunately, when I took it out of the kiln after the first firing, the back had deep cracks in it. I should have gone ahead and put it back in the kiln in a carbon filled container, and filled in the cracks at the end of the second firing, but I decided to repair it straight away with wet clay - stupid, forgetful me. The leaf was still so fragile, it fell apart in my hands. I rescued the little CZ's and threw the rest away. I hadn't the heart to photograph it at the time, I was so depressed, as this has happened to me before and I should have known better than to make such a monumenta boo-boo. However, I was determined to make the blooming leaf, and so I cracked out some more clay and made another one. Third time lucky, as the saying goes, and so it was that I finally ended up with a finished piece on Wednesday. Phew!
It was polished and work hardened in a tumbler with steel shot and then patinated to bring out the veins, and other hand carved embellishments on the leaf. I am so thrilled that it is entirely hand made, from drawing and cutting out a paper template, to carving out the veins with a wood micro gouge and hand making the little flowers and leaves. A couple of copper clasps also came out of the kiln, but these were cut using cookie cutters and textured with a rubber stamp.
The patina was achieved by dipping the pieces alternately in hot liver of sulfur and ice cold water and although it cannot be seen quite as well as I would like in the picture, there is a deep coppery rainbow patina on the piece, very much like an oil slick on water.
I made a necklace with frosted amethyst beads, it was commissioned by a lovely lady for her friend. I shall be posting it out shortly and hope the friend likes it as much as I do.
The beads are in three different sizes and are striated amethyst, polished to a matte effect. I particularly love the little clasp that I found in one of the shops I buy a lot of beads from and I grabbed it before it was sold out as there was only one left. The clasp can be worn at the back, or to one side depending on how the mood takes her.
I spent time at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists while in London, and we were locked away from 8am to 5pm, which was really sad as Regent's Park beckoned from across the road on a couple of lovely, sunny days. I took a couple of pictures from the first floor windows - I think the wistfulness of my mood as I took the pictures is quite obvious!
However, I was there to work and that precluded sitting out in the beautiful sunshine. In the evenings however, it was another matter. I went out to dinner on two consecutive evenings, with two Caprilicious women, on both days in Covent Garden by coincidence. The first night was an interesting vegan meal at the Redemption bar, and the second provided a steak. I enjoyed meeting the ladies and chatted away till late at night - thanks to both of you, it was so much fun meeting you.
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.