Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Earrings

In the final week of preparing for my show.  I made another 20 paris of earrings. 

I think I have to reconsider this last pair.  The look really out of balance in the picture.  The quartz at the bottom looks huge.  But it might be the angle. 

I'm glad it's a three-day weekend.  I get an extra day to work in the studio.  Lou loves it when I work in the studio....he doesn't have to feel guilty about golfing. 

Later Gators!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Edith Ann Chair

Milwaukee has this fabulous German restaurant....Mader's.  The food is wonderful and you eat until you think you'll burst.  It's also very historic.  They have antiques all over the place.  One of them is this chair....this very large chair.   It just screams for you to sit in it.....and we did.

We were laughing so hard I thought I was going to pee on the chair.   The owners were very good natured about it....we were making so much noise laughing.  But I'm sure they are used to people hopping up there. 

Just had to share.  :))

Monday, June 28, 2010

I love Bronze, Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.....

In Forest Gump never know what you're going to get with bronze!!!!!  And each batch out of the kiln is better than the next.  Here's a few pieces parts for earrings.

Another great CD I've been listening to in the studio..... In Heart of the Moon by Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.  Toure plays guitar and Diabate plays the kora which is a 21 string gourd harp. What is even more amazing is that they had never played together and the songs were recorded during two unrehearsed jam sessions.  It's beautiful, hypnotic music from Mali. I'm addicted to it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Working in the Studio....and it's a MESS

Great weekend.  I've been able to spend the entire time in the studio.  My show is two weeks away so it's the big push to get finished pieces made.  I've got about 50 necklaces but only 20 pairs of earrings so I made pieces parts last night and today did the unthinkable.....I sanded.  The world didn't stop turning, my lungs didn't dry up and collpase....not even the cats noticed this terrible thing I was doing.  Actually most of what I did was run a wet finger around the pieces...which I like to do because it give a softer edge to the pieces.  Since I like to texture with ancient languanges and symbols, the soft edge makes the piece look worn.  But I did sand a little.

But I was safe and wore a mask.  You see, sanding isn't a bad thing. It doesn't mean that your craftsmanship is crap if you want or need to sand an edge.  It's just a different way of working.  Off the top of my head I can't think of one art form that doesn't have hazards for the artist. But as an artist you need to take personal responsibility and precautions.  Hence....the mask. 

I've taken over the dinning room table for photography, inventory and packaging.....

My studio is a mess.... a huge mess. And it's not going to get cleaned anytime soon!!  My corner desk is devoted to assembly.

The metal clay desk...with Safety Cat and Safety Mouse watching everything I do. Safety Mouse also used a dust mask.

And Sophie.....during the day she takes over Lou's Cave and sleeps in his chair.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I haven't' blogged in 10 days...

What's up with that???  Where did the last 10 days go???  I have a show July 9-11 so I've been coming home and going straight up to the studio to work....and I totally blew through 10 days. 

Here are a few pics of things I've been working on...

The beads I picked up from Angi Graham are working out really well with the bronze.  The reds and oranges pop up against the bronze. I wish I had bought more...but I'm also getting ideas about enameling some metal pieces to go with the bronze discs.

Since I'll be in the studio non-stop for the next few weeks I bought a Bose docking station for the iPod.  That's probably one of the best things I've done for myself.  I have a TV in the studio but I get sucked into watching it and don't work.  Playing music seems to complement my creative efforts.  It provides mood and energy without distracting me from creating.

A great CD that I just downloaded is Talking Timbuktu.  Ali Farka Toure, an African blues singer/guitarist from Mali and Ry Cooder play together on this CD.  It is at the top of my favorite list right now.  This one really does set a mood to work in the studio. 

Well...that's all for now.  Stay Cool!!!

LOLCats....I still love them....

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bead and Button...more than beads

and more than classes.  A major portion of B&B is about catching up with friends, meeting new people....and eating :)  Below...Karen and Cris at the Thai restaurant.  The "mild" Pad Thai was so hot we could hardly eat it.  

Gigi, Paul, and Karen at the Miller Time Pub.  I'm not a big hamburger fan but they had the best hamburgers!!! the eery glow of his computer at the Hyatt Bar.  He was trying to concentrate while we took pictures of him...and laughed.

Karen, standing in front of the Bead Dream showcases.  She won first place in the lampwork bead category...WOO HOO Karen!!!!

The last night we went to the Capital Grille.  Very nice, dark paneled, subdued restaurant.  We were anything but subdued.  Karen had bought us all finger puppets and we instantly became 12 years old.  Luckily our waiter was a full time teacher for K-8 phys ed.  He was able to relate to our humor and played right along.  We had such a great time. This is Anne singing "O Canada" for Karen with the finger puppet choir.

Back at the Hyatt Bar, the finger puppets disco dance with the dreaded styrofoam ball of death (it's an inside joke....well maybe not so inside.)

Too bad this much fun only rolls around once a year.  Great show....Great time.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

More about Bead and Button

I have more pictures. There are a number of booths that are high on my priority list.  One is Afghan Tribal Arts.  Abe has beautful lapis, jade and other gemstones. 

This is a strand of very ancient beads.  I loved them...but they had a $1,200 price tag.

The Bead Paradise booth is always another stop to make.  Ruth wasn't there this year, but her daughters were there in her place as well as her husband Ebrima.  I think we spent a couple hours in the booth.  There is always so much to look at.

The orange stone above is ancient quartz from Mali.  I don't remember the name of the blue stone.  Below are some other artifacts that I picked up.

Organic beads from Joanne Zerkowski.  She has a wonderful style and the beads are so tactile.

More great organic beads below from Angie Graham

And some pretty wonderful beads by my friend, Donna Mehnart

Back from Bead and Button

I had every expectation to blog everyday...but we were having so much fun late into the night I was too tired to blog.  I left B&B a day early.  I wanted to spend a day at home relaxing before I have to go back to the work. 

The glass casting class with Sherri Lenart and Susan Lenart Kazmer (the Safety Sisters) was amazing.  I have never worked with glass before. I loved the piece that I did.  Here is another picture of it.....

The glass is a very pretty blue and I put it in a bronze bezel with silver prongs and bail.  It changes color from blue to purple depending on the light.  It's actually very large.  I got a lot of comments on it at the show when I wore it.

My next class was torch fired and kiln fired enameling...another first for me.  I only made one piece.  I had trouble with it and had to clean it up a number of times and refire.  I really enjoy this technique and want to get further into it.  It's a great way to add color to the metal I work with. 

On Wednesday, Cris and I went down to Chicago to Urban Remains.  It's an industrial salvage place.  They have a fantastic showroom and a separate warehouse.  These are some of the things from the showroom.   

Cris pointing out a safety sign...reminding everyone to wear their safety glasses

No idea what these were but they look like a giant pair of ear wires.

I loved this white metal chest.  At $1,075....I didn't love it enough to bring home.

We spent a couple of hours in the warehouse, in the hardware room. There were drawers and boxes full of all kinds of door hardware. Here's some of the things that I picked up.

Thursday was another class with Susan.  It was riveting, prongs, and different types of cold connections.  I started to make a piece using some of the hardware above, but it was going to take a while to drill through the door hardware in the spots that I I decided to leave that until I had time to do it at home.  Instead I made a piece with one of antique french dominos that I have. 

Here is a picture of Cris and Nicki at our table.  Don't you just love our work bench??!!!

The rest of the time was spent walking through the vendors.  Thanks to the beautiful Meesh,

I was able to get into the show with a vendors I got in about 30 minutes prior to everyone else.  Here are some Meesh beads.

At Gary Wilson's booth I picked up some cabachon's and strands of fossilzed coral and lily stems.  These strand are wonderful.

More later.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bead and Button...2 days down

The last two days have been spent in a glass casting class taught by Cheri Lenart and Susan Lenart Kazmer.  What a great class!!!.  When we got in today our first glass pieces were out of the kiln.  I grabbed my piece and like Tom Hanks in Castaway announced.... "I have made glass".  The pieces were really cool. 

Today while our second glass piece was firing in the kiln, we made necklaces out of our first pieces.  I got to sweat solder for the first time.  Here is the finished piece.

Susan, doing a demo



Tuesday I am in a Torch Fired Enamels class.