I’ve been busy the last weeks, making new sets of three, but as I worked I discovered something interesting…making pairs is fun too! So, as you will see, I have pairs available now though my Etsy shop and also at the Kingston Farmers most Saturdays. The sad thing is that I’m almost out of head pins.
Last fall I purchased beautiful silver from Rio Grande, a supplier in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The quality of their silver is the very best I’ve seen. I switched to “argentium” silver which will not tarnish! Many summer weekends outside at the market quickly tarnished my shiny bright silver earring parts, forcing me to face polishing with less than perfect results. According to Wikipedia, here is a description of Argentium silver: “Argentium sterling silver is a modern sterling silveralloy which modifies the traditional alloy (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper) by replacing some of the copper with the metalloid germanium. As it retains the 92.5% silver content of the traditional alloy, it is still referred to as sterling silver.”
The slide gallery on my welcome page shows my new earrings using Argentium silver components. Check my Etsy page too!
It’s cold, sort of, and wet, definitely. And when the wind blows it feels colder and makes the wet go sideways. I am always amazed how the Flowering Current, Indian Plum, the tender blooms on the fruit trees, and the narcissus, crocus and daffodils can possibly survive the chill and pounding rains. But they do, although not always well.
The deer are on the prowl for fresh and tasty spring greens and have nibbled away on the not-open buds of my daffodils, the tender day lilies, and of course, the quickly growing grass of which they can eat all they want. I find myself in high spirits when the sun shines, more quiet and pensive when it is gray. But gray it is much of the time so I need to bring those high spirits into play when there is no sunshine to bring it on. Friends, spin class, and beads of lovely colors do that for me.
I’ve been looking at my beads lately, trying to create, but at the moment no creations are emerging. That’s ok, though, because my hands will wake up, my creative curiosity will become insatiable, and I will make in abundance again.
Meanwhile, I need to ask a question: Asymmetrical, not quite matching earrings in threes…is it an interesting concept that is worthy of continuing, or are matching twos more practical/desirable?
Send me your honest comment and get entered in a drawing for a set of three!
Several weeks ago I was visited by two throwbacks from another age in pirate-like costumes that reminded me of a Johnny Depp film. Today it was all about gaga for Lady Gaga, who is performing tonight at the Tacoma Dome. These young women had a long wait in make up and stillettos for their hero. The pirates were on their way to pay a visit with their pals at the Society for Creative Anachronism. I love costumes. Although I don’t donn them often, I would love to appear at the Market in a ball gown some day. Maybe next week?
Next, there’s Amber and her Mom, Vicki. They come by every single week and are my most frequent visitors (and avid eca fans!!). Amber loves LONG earrings though She decided to make off with this entire array of deep purple/blue cubes. The middle set I made first. Within minutes of finishing them and hanging them on my display, Amber came along for the first time and asked if she could get them one bead longer. I said, “come back in 1/2 hour.” She came back and claimed the long set, then several weeks later bought the original set. The single bead set I made because these were my very LAST three beads of this kind. I don’t know if I will ever find them again! But that’s what makes these special…they are definitely one of a kind. Thank you Amber and Vicki!!
Pottery offers so many challenges, both creative and technical. I’m not a technical sort, so I work with what know-how I have though I continue to seek more. My latest kiln opening offered these porcelain lidded jars. Photographing pottery is not easy and these images don’t do justice to the surface colors and details in some cases. I’ll be bringing them to the Kingston Farmers Market in the next weeks so come by so you can see them!
Last Saturday’s market day was sunny, hot, beautiful, and packed with visitors from all over the area and from far away. Since I had just opened the kiln early last week, I thought I’d bring some of my pieces to the market but discovered I didn’t have any packing supplies until it was too late. Meanwhile, I brought some tiny pinch pots anyway since they’re small enough to wrap in some tissue. As I was finishing my set-up routine, a market mate pointed out a tiny and unexpected visitor. This lovely bumblebee decided to have a rest in one of the little bowls and remained there preening and resting long enough to allow me to capture a few photos.
Oh, and these little pinch pots can be used for anything from spices and salt to a place to leave your rings or earrings when you take them off at night.
They are just beginning to bloom. Here’s what Ronda said, “I love it when the poppies unzip!” It sure looks like that. I’ve been waiting all day for the modest one to shed it’s casing, but it’s holding on while the air is wet and chill. Maybe by tomorrow she will be unfurled?
The Kingston Farmers Market is a festive affair. I love looking across the park and seeing the tents go up on Saturday mornings. I love my tent, and although it is a little too heavy for me to put up alone, it is an inviting place especially on chilly gray days we see so many of here. Maybe it’s the orange fabric I have hanging from the “rafters”, but several people came in to say, “it’s really warm in here!”
Today I unloaded the kiln for the first time in a few months. I am usually always apprehensive to take that first peek, mostly because I don’t fill the kiln often enough to have consistent results. Usually, I’m trying something new whether it be a type of shape, a different glaze combination, or hand building or throwing technique. Sometimes the kiln produces a mostly beautiful load. Other times I experience disappointing disasters which I chalk up to experience. My motto in the studio is this: It’s just dirt. With that attitude I can continue to make mistakes and experience successes. Today’s load was mostly a success.
I did learn a few things about my firing. 11 of them are here:
1. My shadow green glaze is too thick and fell to the shelf on a few small pinch pots. When I mix a new batch and add it to an old batch, I have to be sure to get the right consistency or this happens.
2. The glaze I just started to use called Ketchup finally gave me some good results though the one called Crocus is still coming out very dark brown.
3. Ivory needs a little more water and remains one of my all time favorite glazes, especially on a gray clay body.
4. Celedon is FINALLY the right consistency after removing water from it for the last year or so.
5. I really do love making little pinch pots.
6. I must make more lidded jars.
7. Plain white bowls on a gray clay body are a thing of beautiful simplicity.
8. Refiring a piece is sometimes the right thing to do.
9. Clay Art Center’s kiln wash is FAR superior to Seattle Pottery Supply’s.
10. I reaffirm my love for my clay studio on a regular basis.
11. My husband is a very supportive fan of my work.
Next, throwing porcelain. Lovely, buttery smooth and pure pure white. The perfect canvas on which to play with glaze.