Here's a few bracelets I made recently.

They all started as a veneer of pan pastel on textured clay and they're inlaid into vintage brass hinged bracelet blanks.

The bracelet blanks are great and I'll be sorry when I run out, but they are a little tricky around the hinge. I have to carefully undercut the veneer for the tab to fit in.

I really love the matte look of the pastels. Fits really well with the clay.

 

I got a chance to make a few earrings at RiverFire last week.

I used some textured polymer pebble beads I'd made awhile ago and added tassels made from reclaimed sari silk.

I think they're fun. I might still change out the earwire though. Something darker or handmade would probably look better.

 

Having the studio organized again has been great. It needs to be tidied up again already – a never ending process – but I can actually find things! It’s so amazingly nice 🙂

So, in honor of that, I’m going to do another challenge in July, but without any particular rules.

I just have to make things. And that can be clay, or jewelry, finishing old work or whatever. I just want to have some fun and get back into a good studio practice.

I’ve already made 30 dragon’s eyes, some bracelets, a tiny fish, a little octopus in a shell, and assembled some earrings. Some of those need to be baked, sealed or finished though so I’ll post them when they’re done.

 

I sold a dragon eye at River Fire recently, and realized I only had a couple left. So over the last week or so, I made another batch of them.

I think these are the best ones yet. 🙂 And they look even better in person.

I’m using a UV resin from Lisa Pavelka* (Thanks Michelle for introducing me to it!) that you don’t have to mix, and it’s really clear. It’s a little more expensive, but much easier and nicer to use.

I also used to put a beading hole through the eye like a bead. This time, I embedded a wire loop at the top. The eyes are now flatter, lighter and easier to display, and I can let everyone pick their own chain or cord instead of making them all the same.

Here’s my table with all my mica powders laid out. This is the most time consuming part of the process, but also the most fun.

I use my fingers, needles, and tiny little micro brushes to apply the powders and scratches and each dragon’s eye ends up very different.

Oh and if anyone wants to check out the resin, or the UV light that I got to set it, the following images are Amazon affiliate links directly to the ones I got. You can wait for a sunny day, but the lamps are simpler and more consistent. (There are various options so look around for the one that best fits your needs)

 


More from our friends the toads.

They’re definitely inhabiting this stump full time. I’m not sure if this is the bigger of the two toads, or a third one trying to move in.

It was much braver than the usual toads who duck back down anytime they sense movement.

This guy stood up tall when we came by to make himself look bigger and scarier instead.

And for anyone in Southern RI, have you ever seen a raven?

I’m pretty darn sure I saw one yesterday. Enormous black glossy bird perched in a tree by the road.

I was expecting a vulture, but then I looked at its head and it was the crow style shape – just much bigger.

I didn’t think we had them in New England but it seems like a few are spotted here now and again.

 

The kick-off event is June 22nd from 5 to 9pm, continuing every Thursday evening through August 31st.

A 10 week series of events held every Thursday in downtown historic Wakefield Village along the Saugatucket River from June 22 – August 24, from dusk (vendors will be open at 5pm) till 9PM.

I’ll be there as an artist vendor near 343B Main St in Wakefield in front of Mama Bird (#4 on the map below).

RiverFire’s floating fire baskets will be lit on the historic Saugatucket River in the Village of Wakefield, RI. The intoxicating aroma of fires and sound of live music will fill the air as visitors stroll the riverbanks and historic Main Street of Wakefield. The events will conclude with our Endless Summer Celebration, being held on August 17th.

Free parking is available in the municipal lot near 323 Main Street in Wakefield. This is a free, family friendly event, non-perishable food donations to benefit the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale are accepted. Street vendors and artists are set up by 5pm, RiverFire and live music starts at 7pm and goes until 9pm.

The live music line up is as follows: 6/22 Phenix Ave, 6/29 Gary Hopp & Friends, 7/6 “Ladies Night” with Chakulla with special guest Leo Tremblay, 7/13 Jason Colonies with special guest Aivan Durfee, 7/20 Barbi Beyer Band and a cappella group Blues Crew, 7/27 Oscar Love, 8/3 Greyhound Dream, 8/10 Ted Sorlien Family & Friends, 8/24 TBA, 8/31 TBA. Main Street stores and restaurants will also be open late with special offers.
Also join us on 8/17 for a special WVA event called “Endless Summer” including Hawaiian performances from Z Boys, The Indestructibles, The Mintones. Follow Wakefield Village Association on Facebook for more details and updates.

 

I’ll post more pictures of my studio soon, but I finally got my bead/metal table organized and this was my first project last night.

Thanks to Judy for all the cool metal stampings, I had a new stash of loot to explore! And I went for something western themed.

Here they are on my ear so you can see the scale. They’re longer than usual for me but I like them, and I’m wearing them to work today 🙂

I made the “turquoise” and “coral” from polymer, so even though they’re 4 inches long, they’re really light weight.

I made the ear wires from 20 gauge spiraled (it comes that way) SS wire. Not something I would have considered before, but the texture in the ear wires keeps them from slipping out which has always been a problem for me. I would probably go for 21g next time though – they’re just a tiny bit thick.

And here’s what my bead table looked like after an hour or two 😉

 

This class is coming up fast, so if you’re interested sign up now.

Polymer Clay Jewelry – Wickford Art Association.

Saturday, June 24. 9AM – 12 Noon
Wickford Art Association
36 Beach Street
Wickford, Rhode Island 02852-5745
Phone: (401) 294-6840

Sign up now – the class listing is towards the bottom of the page.


We’re going to make “donut” beads and learn various ways of texturing clay while we’re at it.

I’ll show you how to add paint to highlight texture and create a more interesting surface.

We’ll make wire wrapped dangles using mother of pearl dagger beads, or tassels out of fibers or ribbon.

And I’ll show you how to make a simple but elegant bail using flat wire.

You can hang your pendant from a simple cord or leather necklace, or use sari silk for a longer, more ornate design. If time permits, you can complete both necklace styles.

This is your chance to learn some jewelry techniques and make a necklace that is completely you – from start to finish.

 

I went to a Clay Day in Connecticut last Saturday and this is what I worked on.

This is how far I got by 3pm that day… Still a ways to go.

It’s mainly going to be the Johnny Depp version of the Hatter, but I’m taking some liberties, and it will probably won’t look too much like him when I’m done.

 

I broke most of my “rules” at one point or another but I’m ok with that. They’re just guidelines anyway 😉

Rules/Guidelines

  • I will do half an hour of something clay or art related at least 5 days a week.
  • At least 3 of those days need to be creative and making art. The other 2 can go to cleaning the studio, art business, training, etc. As long as it’s constructive.
  • No books or tv on those nights until after I get my art done.
  • I will post my progress regularly – at least 3 times a week.
  • I will have fun.

I spent more time on pulling apart the studio and organizing than I did on clay, but I’m ok with that too. It will help most in the long run, I think. I just have to finish this round.

Here’s the current state of the back half of the studio with the file cabinets moved out, the large bookcase moved across the room, and three new wooden drawer units in place.

HUGE thank you to my husband for all his help, since he did all the furniture moves and assembly.

Studio organization is never done, but I think it will be much better in a few days. And having a clean workspace always gets me inspired.

It never STAYS clean (I end up with only 6″ square workspace at a clay day – even when I have a table to myself) but that’s what it’s for. Creating and making and having fun.

And I did have fun this month, even though I did so much work. So it was worth it.

Will I do it again? Probably.

But I have a lot of things going on at the end of June (a class, RiverFire in Wakefield, a show I want to enter), so this month will be a bit less formal – getting the studio back in order, finishing the existing pieces in my Wonderland series, making a piece I’ve been wanting to work on, etc.

And I have a Clay Day tomorrow to look forward to. 🙂

 
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