Monday, September 29, 2008

Spit Shined...

well...not really. But I buffed up all the pieces that I posted last night. I really love using the 3-sided nail buffers to clean up these pieces. I only use 2 sides, but the flat surface polishes up the high points without taking the color out of the background. Plus they have some flex to them so they can go around curves.

I lost two of the rivets on this piece....the question I tack on a couple more clay rivets and refire....or leave it just as it is. The perfectionist in me wants to replace them, but if I want these to resemble artifacts then I'll leave it as is with missing rivets. What do you think?

Egyptian background. I am playing with the size of the straps....some pieces have thin straps and others have fatter ones. I am liking the thinner straps.

When we were in the Louvre last year they had numerous tablets with ancient writings. I want to check out their bookstore next week....they have a ton of see if there are any on ancient languages/writings or maybe replicas of the tablets in the museum.

This is a lentil bead.....really hefty with a lot of depth. We have a couple of cocktail glasses that I picked up at Crate and Barrel in Chicago. They have....of all things....round bottoms. When you fill them and put them on the table they actually roll around and rock back and forth. I hate them because I always think they are going to spill....but the bottoms make really great molds for lentil beads of all sizes. Again, two of the rivets are missing...what to do, what to do?

Xena, Warrior Princess battle shield or if you prefer (Cris)...nipple ring. I suppose it would be better suited for the later. It would make horrible shield because of the hole. I might have send a couple to Cris.....give Paul a thrill.

So I also confiscated something else from the liquor cabinet....besides the booze. We have a number of tall thin shot glasses that Lou was collecting at one point. They make really great molds to let these pieces dry over.

Another Eqyptian piece. The color on the back of this one is even better than the front. What looks to be shadows on either side of the beetle is actually a gun-metal gray.

Prehistoric horses like those in the Cave of Lascaux in France. Imagine being one of the few people that had an opportunity to actually see these cave drawings. They closed the cave to the public in 1963 because the presence of humans was altering the environment of the cave and destroying the drawings. I do have a book on the drawings.....I'm going to pull it out again.

A Mayan pattern. I am attracted to the patterns but I find some Mayan art very disturbing. It can be very primal and brutal. I'm a tad superstitious about using ancient figures on pieces. The rational side of me knows that something or someone only has as much power as you give it. But the irrational side of me doesn't want to accidentally use a symbol or pattern that in it's time respresented something evil. I found a really nice coffee table book on Mayan art at Borders. It was on sale for $5 so it's also part of my collection. Too bad it is about 300 pages or I would take it on vacation with me to read.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Earthy and Rusty

The carbon may be exhausting based on the colors that I am getting.....but I am really loving the earthy, rusty colors. Nothing has been cleaned up or polished. These are fresh from the kiln. I learned how to take hot metal out of the kiln from the master....Cris. The fork that Rio sells is perfect for pulling out the pan, but then I use the long tongs that I have to dig in the carbon and pull out the pieces. Crash cool in a container of water and you go from 1500 degrees to room temperature in seconds. It's really cool to see the water boil as you drop the pieces in. Of course this is all dangerous. If the pan would drop or the carbon spill out on anything flammable it would ignite and probably burn the house down. Good to keep a fire extinguisher around. As Anne knows....I'm dangerous around hot metal :))

I am so addicted to cutting holes in the pieces and then covering the holes with straps. I roll the piece out, texture it, cut it into a shape that I like and then look at it and think that something is missing....Oh needs a hole slashed into it. I'm sure at some point this will pass or evolve into something else. But for now it's my thing.

Unpolished they look alike...but underneath there are all different patterns and textures that are waiting to come out. So I've put away all the wet clay tools. Now it's time to polish, patina and assemble into finished pieces.

Off the Grid

Wow...I've been off the grid for a while. I had 150 grams of opened bronze to use up. I spent the weekend making pieces because I didn't want it sitting around for the next 3 weeks. So the kiln is running and I will have pieces out by 10PM. I made a number of large pendants. It will be fun to see how they turn out. I am wondering if the carbon is becoming exausted. I'll take some pics and post tonight.

We're getting ready for Paris. Holy Crap....we leave on Saturday for 2 weeks. I've never been on vacation for 2 weeks and this will be 2 whole weeks in another country. It should be interesting...if you spend 2 weeks at home there are tons of things that you spend you time doing...little things. In Paris there is no bronze clay, no jewelry to be assembled, no errands to run. The entire time will be very sensual...not in the sex sort of way....of course there is that :)) .......but without all the little distractions of everyday life in your normal habitat there is time to see, smell, hear and really experience the surroundings. There is nothing to rush off to, no pagers or phones going off, but there will be time to sit still and absorb everything around us. There will also be time to just be with each other. Lou and I really enjoy each others company but on a day to day basis we seem to fly past each other in pursuit of our jobs and past-times (he owns a martial arts studio and teaches in the evenings). In an average day we see each other about 2 hours. So this will really be a time to reconnect.

Haven in Paris has been in touch and they know when we will be arriving. The apartment is rented the night before but the occupants are being very nice and allowing us to drop off our luggage if we arrive before they leave. They will be leaving at 10AM so it should be close by the time we get a taxi from the airport. But we can't officially get into the apartment until it is cleaned. One of the HIP people will meet us and show us around the neighborhood for things like a grocery store, pharmacy, etc. So this next week we be spent tying up loose ends at work and figuring out what I will be packing for the trip. The apartment has a washer/dryer so I won't have to try to pack 2 weeks worth of clothes.

Be back later with pics

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I have been violated......

I got home today and found 3 messages on my voice mail.....fraud alerts for 2 different credit cards. One is my jewelry business card and the other is a personal card. They are from different companies but both are VISA cards. I haven't used either in quite a while. They have been sitting in my drawer upstairs. This makes me think that either VISA got breached or one of the companies I buy jewlery supplies did. I only use the business card for in-person purchases when I go to bead shows....last one was the PMC conference. The rest of the time I use it for on-line purchases. But I don't always use it to make supply purchases .... sometimes ... OK a lot of times I am too lazy to walk upstairs to get the business card so I pull my personal card out of my purse. Interesting....

So I called both cards.....I never call the number they give me on the phone because I always think it's a I called the number on the back of the cards. Both cards have been cancelled and they are sending me new ones. Damn...right before going to Paris. I asked the one company to rush the new card to me because I planned to take it with me. They aren't sure it will get here in time. Lucky I have a back's called LOU :)))))

I'm trying to use the remaining opened bronze that I have. I don't want it sitting around for 2 weeks. That shouldn't be too hard since I have been making bigger and bigger pieces. That's another thing that I like about this clay.....the price allows you to go bigger and chunkier.


This is so me at work......

People walk in my office and this is what goes through my mind.......

more animals

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pendant and Earrings

Here are a couple of the things I pulled out of yesterday's batch. I'm having so much fun with this stuff.

More lolcats

more animals

Being involved with research and hospital laboratories all my life....this one cracked me up.

Stay tuned later tonight. I was a firin' fool over the weekend. I got two batches in. I made a really awesome warrior shield pendant....if I do say so myself. Lots of compliments on it. I'll post pics when I get home from work.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

No Rhyme or Reason

There seems to be no rhyme or reason why I get colors out of the bronze clay. The batch on the right was fired last week and the batch on the left was fired this week. It does seem that the reds and purples come from the bottom layer... however the orange batch was on the bottom. The difference is that there wasn't a layer on top of it. It's always a surprise.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Naked and Dirty....

So my mother called me at work yesterday. She has been watching the news and they have been say that Bay Village...the town that I live in....has been without power and we probably won't get power until Friday or Saturday. For some parts of town that is true. Last Sunday's winds took out many branches, trees, and power lines. We were lucky in that our power didn't go out. But Mom called because she thought we were probably running around..."naked and dirty".....her words. She thought we wouldn't be able to use our washer and dryer...hence naked...and she thought we wouldn't have hot water....hence dirty. I told her we always run around the house naked and dirty so it wouldn't be a big change for us.

Classes opened today for BeadFeast in Santa Fe in March. I don't know that I will take any classes. The ones that interest me I have already taken. I will probably still go. Santa Fe is where Lou and I got married and we always enjoy a trip back there plus I will get to catch up with all my "beady" friends....that is what Lou calls shop.

I got some different kinds of chain from Vintaj to pair with the bronze pendants. So I'll be working on that in the next few days. On Sunday we have our PMC group and it is a play day with bronze with me as the resident guru.

I can't believe it is only 2 weeks until we leave for Paris....Oh Crap....I have so many things to get done before then.

Be back later....

Monday, September 15, 2008


It rained all Friday / Saturday and then Sunday the winds picked up. We didn't realize that this tree had come down until we tried to go to work today. It is about a block away. It snapped off mid-way up the tree. It took out the pole and power lines. Surprisingly we still have power...must be on a different transformer. Up and down the street there are piles of branches on the tree lawns. Everybody was out cleaning up tonight when I came home.

I got so much done at work today. For once I drove home thinking that I might be able to catch up soon. And it was even sweeter driving home because I had a load in the kiln and leftovers in the refrigerator......Woo Hoo... it's the little things in life.

Pieces parts for earrings and a few pendants and an ancient warrior's shield :) The colors go from a pretty orange to a purplish red and then to yuck. This was standing upright in the carbon. The prettier colors are closer to the bottom.

Thespian Kitteh

more animals

Lou asked me yesterday if we were going to get a cat when we get back from Paris. We turn around a month later and spend a week in probably not until December....but I am wantin' a couple of kittehs.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I picked up some black rubber cords from Rio for necklaces. Here's a pic. I have some chain from Vintaj that I want to play with today. it is

This is a side shot...taken by me...that's why it is so close. I gave Joanne a bunch of picutres....sorry're suggestions didn't make it in the stack. She took a look and then went to work. She made it funky for Paris. There are lots of layers and all I do is dry it and put some pomade in it to spike it. She is such a great stylist and very cool!!

OK......You are going to see more of my face, wrinkles, ect than I'm sure you want to see. Certainly more than I want people to see. I avoid having pictures taken. I am not very photogenic and looking at these pics gave me a wake-up call. I have a picture of myself in my head that doesn't match reality. My image of myself is from about 15 years ago. There is a big difference between then and now. But here it is...................... don't look at the messy house behind me....that's my dinning room table where I have been working on the bronze.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More Hair Suggestions....

Yet another suggestion from Cris....

And Colleen had a few suggestions....

Only 2 hours left until I get my haircut.....which one do I choose????

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New Haircut

So my very dear, sweet, loving, sensitive friend Cris has suggested a haircut for me. Kind of a punked out Pipi Longstocking. Definetely an option.

A Few Tough Questions

I was trying not to post anything political here as what I might say would put some people off. But one of the true things about me is that I speak up when I feel strongly about something. Tonight I am going to let someone else speak.

From Katha Pollitt, A few tough questions for Sarah Palin.

Suppose your 14-year-old daughter is brutally raped in her bedroom by an intruder. She becomes pregnant and wants an abortion. Could you tell the parents of America why you think your child and their children should be forced by law to have their rapists' babies?

You say you don't believe global warming is man-made. Could you tell us what scientists you've spoken with or read who have led you to that conclusion? What do you think the 2,500 scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are getting wrong?

If you didn't try to fire Wasilla librarian Mary Ellen Baker over her refusal to consider censoring books, why did you try to fire her?

What is the European Union, and how does it function?

Forty-seven million Americans lack health insurance. John Goodman, who has advised McCain on healthcare, has proposed redefining them as covered because, he says, anyone can get care at an ER. Do you agree with him?

What is the function of the Federal Reserve?

Cindy and John McCain say you have experience in foreign affairs because Alaska is next to Russia. When did you last speak with Prime Minister Putin, and what did you talk about?

Approximately how old is the earth? Five thousand years? 10,000? 5 billion?

You are a big fan of President Bush, so why didn't you mention him even once in your convention speech?

McCain says cutting earmarks and waste will make up for revenues lost by making the tax cuts permanent. Experts say that won't wash. Balancing the Bush tax cuts plus new ones proposed by McCain would most likely mean cutting Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Which would you cut?

You're suing the federal government to have polar bears removed from the endangered species list, even as Alaska's northern coastal ice is melting and falling into the sea. Can you explain the science behind your decision?

You've suggested that God approves of the Iraq War and the Alaska pipeline. How do you know?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Busy with Bronze

I have been polishing and wire-wrapping. Still working at assembling pieces to sell. I will get back to making some new pieces over the weekend and post some pics. I have a number of 2-D pieces. I want to make some more 3-D pieces....lentils and who knows what. At some point I need to get back to silver.

Last night we went to dinner with Rachael and Matty. I think I caught them both by surprise with this shot.

Friday we have a departmental outing at the Indians game. We have tickets for the Party Deck at the stadium. That should be fun. Luckily I have another open weekend so I can just play in clay. I am getting a haircut on Saturday. I don't know what I want to do with it. Lou wants me to cut it really short...but I don't know. Any suggestions??

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm such a dork

My neighbor across the street gets jealous. He sees the UPS truck coming down the street and like a little kid he hopes it stops at his house. It stops...but the deliverys are usually for me. So I got a package from Rio today. They now have the Bronze Clay Pan Removal Fork (703203 if you want to order it). It kinda looks like Poseidon's trident, only with 2 tines. It so great because if fits exactly under the lip of the stainless steel pan that you use to fire the bronze. It seems so much safer to take the pan out of the kiln using this than trying to do a balancing act using something else. I also finally got an Optivisor. Now I don't have to wear 2 pairs of glasses when doing close-up work. Anyway.....Lou was upstairs and I came sneaking up with my Optivisor on and holding my trident doing the "Jaws" theme song. Yeah...he thinks I'm weird, even I think I'm weird sometimes. But it was least to me.

Back to putting more earrings together. I got some Niobium ear wires from Rio. They refer to the finish color as copper...they are dark brown and will go with the bronze pieces nicely.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tons of Earrings

Assembly, pricing and cataloging...that's what I did this weekend. I didn't get as much done as I should have...I pretty much blew off Saturday. I couldn't even tell you what I did...just puttered around. Today I slept in and spent the rest of the day putting together pieces parts. That's about it. Don't have much else to say tonight. Back to work tomorrow. Three weeks away from Paris!!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Approaching Normal

Wow...another weekend with nothing to do...I love these weekends. Of course I'll spend the entire weekend working on jewelry.

I read an article by Luann Udell "Approaching Normal...but never quite getting there" in Crafts Report. She asks questions like..."Do other artists buy more beads than they could possibly use in a lifetime"...I think she's seen my bead stash..."Do other artists buy weird stuff like odd rusty metal"....have you seen the drawer pulls I bought in Tucson...."Do other artists go years without cleaning their studio, working around towering piles of materials, only cleaning when forced to by an impending studio tour".... it was a cute article. If you get a it. Check out her website. She makes some very cool prehistoric sculptures and mixed media pieces.

Also check out Donna Mehnert's new studio.....I am soooo jealous....really happy for her but sooo jealous :) Someday I'll post some pics of my room.... it's more like the towering piles of materials all over the place that Luann mentioned.

And here's a tribute to Steve Irwin.....

more animals

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Catching up on paperwork

I did bills and filed paperwork tonight. I have a bad habit of throwing all the bills, paperwork and such into a pile. I get around to it at some point during the month....which is bad because I have been missing due dates. I am not usually this lax but recently I have been sticking my head into the sand like an ostrich. I don't know why but I have to focus and get things done.

I now have a pile of pieces parts in bronze so I need to move into assembly mode. Time to pull out the chain and wire and start putting things together for the shows in November. The days just seem to evaporate before my eyes so I am stressing a little. I'll post some pics as I start finsihing off some pieces.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fresh from the Kiln

Just gab. I don't have the heart for it tonight.

Useful Phrases for Paris

My friend Karen sent me a list of phrases to use on my trip to Paris. Check it out...... The last one is for Anne...I kinda burned a patch in the classroom carpet at B&B with a hot piece of sheet metal.

1-Où sont les outils ? = Where are the tools?

2-Où sont les marteaux de Fretz ?= Where are the Fretz hammers?

3-Avez-vous des perles ?= Do you have any beads?

4-Je t'aime plus que mon bagage= I love you more than my luggage

5-Mes pieds sont fatigués de tous ces musées= My feet are tired from all these museums

6-J'ai besoin d'une bière et d'un cheeseburger= I need a beer and a cheeseburger

7-Mon par la carte de crédit fume= My credit card is smoking

8-Gâteau ? ou la mort ?= Cake? or Death?

9-Où sont les salles de dames ?= Where are the ladies rooms?

10-Je pense que j'ai brûlé un trou dans votre tapis. Désolé.= I think I burned a hole in your carpet. Sorry. need to tell me how to say...."Keep you hands off my Fretz hammers".

And my friend Cris started her own blog......although she didn't tell me about it. I stumbled upon it through a link on Karen's site......Harumph!!!

I have a load in the tomorrow.