Monday, August 22, 2011

The gods have been appeased.....

....or maybe it's the fact that I left my carbon sitting next to the litter box for a few days.  Honestly all the talk about storing carbon air-tight, priming, sifting....I just let mine lay around and it just keeps on giving.  Candice left a comment on yesterday's post....she read my blog and left her carbon in the laundry room.... and got great colors. 

All these pieces below were in the same run...single layer.  Below is a piece that I molded from a Gary Wilson fossil.  I haven't polished this piece yet.  I think I might just try to seal it as is.

I have been trying to master bracelets with mixed results.  This time I rolled out and textured a strip of clay and placed it around a wooden bracelet mandrel.  Take a look at the mandrel below.  Close to the bottom you can see two faint parallel lines.  This is where I placed the clay to dry.  When it started to dry and pull away from the mandrel, I pushed it up and off so it could finish drying with the constraint of the mandrel.  Look how it tightened up...a lot. 

Check out the texture in the unfired clay. This is from one of the etched copper plates that I made. The text is from a picture that I took at the Louvre. It has a much sharper texture than the polymer tear away sheets.

The fired the same batch as that bright red piece above. The texture really held up well in the firing.

Another dilemma piece....I carved a hole in this piece after it was dry.  This is always risky because the pressure of cutting into the middle of a piece could crack it...but I liked the ragged edges on the inside of the hole. wasn't the carving but the fact that I dropped it that made it crack.  So I tried to patch it together with a pseudo staple on the front and the back. 

But it split anyway and you can tell that my cutting wasn't all that precise because it started to split in a few other areas.  I am gong to try to rivet this together with metal straps and then lace it together with leather.  


Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Kiln Gods Must Have Been Feeling Blah.

I put a few things into the kiln last week and the result was all tans and pale greens.  I figured the kiln gods were feeling blah that day.  Or there is a possibility that the carbon was exhausted.  I remember being told that the carbon will eventually lose it's abiity to produce color.  So far I've not seen it.  I've had tans before and then have it produce amazing colors in the next batch. 

I picked up a fosillized sea urchin from Gary Wilson at Bead and Button and made two molds...the front and back. 

A couple of amulets that I molded. 

A couple of new shields.  The second one broke so I will see what I can do with it by lacing the top and bottom together.

A clean studio

I've been cleaning up the studio....a reoccuring theme.  It never stays clean but it gets to a point where it is so disorganized that I have to clean it.  I found a new tool bag at Home Depot.  This one had all kinds of pockets so I could stand up my hammers and saws.  It makes it more convenient when I'm looking for something.

I also bought more hooks so I could hang up the strands of beads.  Lou took one look at this and told me I could start a bead store....if only he knew.

The workbench is so clean now that Sophie has a place to sit while I work at the other bench.


Friday, August 19, 2011

International Metal Clay Associate Discussion Minutes

Below are the minutes from the discussion that took place at the Metal Clay World Conference about a single metal clay group
Two volunteer facilitators, Sherry Chaples and Mary Ellen Giffels, drew up an outline for discussion and created ground rules. The notes reflect the discussion that took place.

Proposed Agenda:

- Introductions
- Background/Purpose of Meeting
- Ground Rules
- Discussion Areas
o Purpose/Mission of the Organization
o Services Provided
o Customers/Members
o Geographic Scope
- Next Steps
o Who
o What

Ground Rules
- Cell Phone off
- One person talks at a time using the microphone
- There are no bad ideas
- Each speaker is limited to 2 minutes
- Introduce yourself when speaking

Purpose/Mission should be:
- Brand free
- Single source for certification and educational programs
- Professional organization to educate and be the professional face to the public
- Marketplace for teachers/students to find each other and classes
- Independently gather information and provide education needed to grow
- Neutral education and teacher support
- Conferences – share knowledge, network, bring community together
- Will need resources – video, web, etc.
- Will require time to develop
- Promote Metal Clay
- On-line publications
- Advancement of knowledge and excellence
- International/global in scope

Purpose/Mission shouldn’t be:
- Certification focused. Current certifications are company/brand owned and operated and should have nothing to do with the organization
- Not-For Profit vs. Non-Profit vs. Profit….discussion tabled until a later date.

It was acknowledged that this is the beginning of a very long process and we must go slowly to achieve what we want the organization to be. In addition, we will need a lot of planning, work, volunteers and money. Everyone needs to actively work for this organization to happen. Questions that should be asked:
- What can a brand neutral organization do for the members?
- What can a brand neutral organization do for metal clay?
- Will the organization promote instructors or the clay?
- Will it be education based?
- Is a brand neutral organization a logical venture?

Services Provided
- Conferences – info oriented presentations
- Retreats – demos, hands-on workshops
- Education
- Expand into other demographics like high schools to capture the younger generation
- Advocacy
- Outreach / Charity to give back (as with Shelter Box)
- Advancement of knowledge and excellence
- An Annual where excellence in metal clay is showcased
- Website

Who our Customers are:
- Metal Clay Artists
- Galleries
- Educators
- Museums
- Everyone who is interested in working with or advancing the medium of metal clay
- Levels of membership
o Artists (active, students) – different payment structure, potential scholarships to students
o Corporate members
o Local guilds

Who our customers are not:
- No one
- Corporate members should not influence the organization. There needs to be transparency in membership and sponsorship. No hidden agendas.
- There should be no “masters”

Geographic Scope
- Multi-cultural
- Global in scope

How will the new organization affect the existing organizations and corporations?
- Many people are already members of both Art Clay Society and PMC guild. As artists, many are already brand neutral in that they use all brands of clay.
- PMC Guild and Art Clay Society are very supportive of all metal clay artists regardless of brands of clay used.
- Art Clay Society has never been brand specific. It is, however, based at Art Clay World. Once a brand neutral organization is created, Art Clay Society would be willing to merge with it.
- The companies, Mitsubishi and Aida, will always be separate corporations.

Currently there are many sources of support
- Art Clay Society, PMC guild
- Yahoo Metal Clay list,
- Metal Clay Artist Magazine,
- Metal Clay Academy
- Metal Clay Today.

Next Steps
- Get ideas from other similar guilds on by-laws, etc.
- Enfold PMC Guild members
- Figure out what happens to Art Clay Society and how does this impact relationship to Aida
- Members to help guide the organization forward
- Survey regarding what we discussed today (PMC guild, ACS, Yahoo, other venues)
- Consider having someone from the business community on Council/Board
- Legalities, where to incorporate, etc – Sandra Graves
- Put video on You Tube for 3 months – Jackie/Tom Truty
- Written recap of meeting – Katie Hanrahan, Judi Weers, and Gail Lannum. Gail will consolidate the notes and send to Mary Ellin D’Agostino. Those who have blogs are encouraged to post the notes on their blogs to get the word out to as many people as possible. Also place on Yahoo board.
- Google Doc outline – Mary Ellin D’Agostino
- Website Plan – Signe Lalish-Menagh
- Translation into other languages
o German, French – Verna Sowersby
o Spanish – Elizabeth Del Monte
o Dutch – Inge Verbruggen
o Are there others who can translate?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review Saturday

I have so many jewelry books stacked up in the studio that I want to read or study....but this book showed up on my doorstep yesterday and I had to sit down to look at it.

It's a cute book about the size of the moleskine I keep in my purse...I love moleskine's.  And it's printed on glossy graph paper.....I love graph paper.  I know....I'm a nerd.  When I was in college I loved to take notes on graph paper.  So without even looking at the contents of this book I was in love.

I had heard about the Ring a Day project.  This is a 250+ page collection of some of those rings...obviously 700 of them.  There are pictures...lots of pictures... on every page with a few quotes from the artists on their designs.  There is lots of inspiration in this book.  Some of the rings are fabulous, some are unusual and some are just weird...LOL.  But when you've challenged yourself to make a ring a day... no matter what.... sometimes you grab the twist tie off the bag of bread and get to work. 

One of my favorite jewelry artists...Sara Westermark...has work in this book and some of my metal clay Facebook friends...Lorena Angulo, Angela Crispin and Lora Hart

This is going to be a book I'm going to pick up again and again.... write and draw in the margins....put sticky notes in.... and get tons of inspiration.  Making rings has been one of my goals so maybe this book will help me take those first few steps.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A nice day for weeding

After weeks of 90+ degree weather it is finally in the 80's and tonight it will be in the 60's....great sleeping weather.  I left work early, threw open the windows and doors when I got home, then went into the backyard to weed for two hours.  It was so nice to go outside and not wilt. 

The summer has flown. I still have half the flower beds in the back yard to weed. I haven't touched them in a couple years since I'm usually doing art shows. At this point I might be better off just plowing them under and starting over.  Anyone want to help me weed???  I can pay in jewelry :))


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Metal Clay Classes in Cleveland.....Seats Available

The NEO PMC guild is hosting Lora Hart and Gorden Uyehara on August 25-29, 2011.  Our own Cathy Davies-Paetz will also be teaching.  Besides metal clay classes we will have classes in photography and use of the flex shaft.  I have created a page with the class brochure.   Just click on the Metal Clay Classes In Cleveland link over on the right side of my blog under PAGES. 

If you want to sign up for a class, contact Katie Hanrahan at