Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pillow Bead Tutorial

The current Australian Beading magazine has my pillow bead tutorial for anyone who might like to try them...check it out here:

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rainbow Patina

These earrings are the ones I made in the patina demo the other day. I love this look! There are so many colours glistening through. If you click on them for a larger size you'll appreciate what I mean...
Having looked at them again, I see I need to polish up the little balls back to silver to make them stand out.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Teaching heaven

These one-on-one silver metal clay workshops are proving to be really fulfilling...for both the student and me! It's a much more freeflowing way of teaching and the feedback I'm getting is awesome.
What I generally ask when people book in for a one-on-one metal clay workshop is to bring pictures, both drawn and from books and magazines, of the type of jewellery they like or want to make...keeping in mind to keep it simple. I don't promise we'll make something like it but we use these sketches and inspirational pics to form our own prototype. In Jen's case, we took her drawing of an elegant long earring, altered it slightly in it's design to ensure success for a first piece (ie simplified it a bit with clean straight lines) and included certain elements like texturing, adding layers, adding elements, making bails so that many of the basic techniques are covered. I want people to go home after a day here with a good basic foundation so that once home, they can immediately start to create with confidence. We then made a polymer clay protoype. Having a much better sense of what 'works' asthetically when I see it in 3d rather than a flat drawing, making a test piece really highlights what needs to be altered before the pmc pack is even opened.
So Jen.. and enjoy these pics of her pieces. You can imagine how happy she was, having made these exquisite pieces on her first ever play with silver clay.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Mullumbimby series in metal clay

I've been experimenting with different layering techniques. Same hill, different medium. PMC is always more challenging.
I wanted a real dimensional look so opted for layering sheets one on top of the other rather than different textures all on one layer giving the impression of layering (see last post)
The tops of these landscape pendants ended up with a rather attractive curl on them probably due to the last thin sheet which acts as 'sky'. Having such a thin sheet attached to a thicker body of work was asking for it really. I was going to bend them back but they sit nicely on the hollow of my neck so for now I'll leave them be.
I'll patina one tomorrow to see whether I like it but won't do them all...I've noticed that most of my sales are the unpatinad (sp?) bling bling variety... and while I prefer the antiqued look myself, it makes sense to go with the flow of the sales...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Deciding on teaching projects...

Teaching workshops involves choosing projects that are both appealing to wear and constructive as a learning curve for the student. These fit the bill pretty well I thought.
I had a little window of time on Sunday to make these as an example of what a beginner might choose to make on their silver claying debut with me. They involve rolling the lump clay into sheets, cutting base squares and letting those dry, then texturing three small sheets, cutting them and using some of each on top of the dry base sheet. Adding paste, drying, refining and firing with a butane torch complete the lesson.