Monday, 25 August 2008
I've neglected the blog for a bit. After my ceramic disaster I was a bit disenchanted with ceramics. I have since moved along and have recreated some of the ceramic pieces that I made. Progress on them is moving slowly though. They have been bisque fired and glazed with the undercoat. I just need to put the clear gloss overglaze on them then cross my fingers to see how they turn out. I'll post a picture when they're done. So far I'm pleased with them. They are bat buttons and pendants.
Above is something new I've been working on lately. I've been into fused glass for a while but wanted to take it a bit further. I've discovered an etching process where I can put any sort of black and white image onto the dichroic glass. (Isn't the dichroic glass beautiful. It changes colour depending on how the light bounces off of it.) Anyway, back to the etching. It's not a decal but the dichroic coating is etched away and it leaves the image. This, as you can see, is a bird in some branches. I'm very much into birds these days for some reason. As if that wasn't enough (making the custom fused glass piece), I've also started dabbling in silversmithing. The bezel for this piece is completely hand made by me. I love this piece and since it's only the second piece I've ever made on my own, I'm pretty darn proud of it. I'm wearing a similar design I made today. This one I've put for sale in my Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5069403 Store along with some other fused glass pieces I've made. As far as I know these fused glass pieces are quite unusual. I'm sure other's are doing similar things but I haven't seen anything quite like this so for me they're unusual. As I said, I like to take the usual and add my own special twist. Often that means a lot of painstaking detail but hopefully in the end the results are worth it.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
This is just a quick post to show a custom order of some hedgehog buttons that I'm packaging up tonight to mail out to http://www.exclusivelyhedgehogs.com/ which is a website that caters to all things hedge hog. I hope these buttons are a big hit and if you like hedgehogs you might want to go and check out all the hedgehog items they have.
I'm always interested in taking on custom orders so if you have an idea in mind or even a picture for some inspiration, perhaps some fabric etc. that you want to use in an item as a starting off point you can drop me a line and I'll see what I can do. I must warn you, I only create in the evenings and primarily on the weekends so I can't get things out right away but if you're willing to be a bit patient I'll try my best to create something that is just right for your needs. If you aren't in the mood for custom buttons just yet but have some ideas themes you'd like to see me try you can also drop me a line. Christmas is coming sooner than we think so I'm sure snowmen are in my very near future!
A blog roll featuring Canadian artists in all mediums. Follow this link: http://caneh.blogspot.com/
If you are a Canadian artist/artisan you may want to check out this site http://canehcanartistry.ning.com/. You will find a wonderful gathering of artists who work in all mediums.
If you just want to see some some wonderful work by some very talented artists/artisans start here: http://caneh.blogspot.com/
Monday, 11 August 2008
Well the best laid plans so they say............... On Friday after I got home from my day job I thought I'd get a start on the weekend crafting by firing up the green ware I had been working on after work all week. I took the weeks worth of buttons and pendants-some new designs I'd created and went to add the holes in the buttons. Normally most people add the holes in the buttons when the clay is moist. I like to wait until it's dry and then use my drill press. I do get a bit of breakage which I account for when making my pieces but I like the nice clean look of the drilled holes. Anyway, I put all the pieces on a tray and carried them down to the garage where the drill press is located. I started on my way drilling holes. I was tired after the long work week and wanted to get the holes drilled so I could get the kiln started up and then I could relax as is my Friday night ritual watching recorded craft shows and chilling out. I guess I was rushing just a bit too much and the jiggling of the drill press caused the tray of green ware buttons to go crashing to the cement floor of the garage. Just in case you're not familiar with green ware it is the clay that has been shaped but not fired. It is very delicate much like dried up mud. You can imagine what happened when the green ware hit the floor..........disaster..............almost every single piece I had worked on ALL WEEK was gone in an instant. Crushed....powder....chipped....unsalvageable. I took a deep breath picked up the mess and then headed back in the house. For a brief minute I thought I'd take a picture for this blog but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I was so upset but tried my very best to take it in stride. There are much much worse things in life and when you put it in perspective this is really nothing. I swallowed my disappointment and tried not to think about it. I guess the lesson learned here is to take things slow and be extra careful where you place the green ware. Some things can't be rushed and I guess I'll take a lesson from this. I'm constantly learning from working with the clay. Patience is certainly one of those lessons as the clay cannot be rushed at any stage. The rest of the weekend was fairly productive and I'll have some new pictures to post later this week. By the way, later that evening I did reproduce some of the designs that had broken so perhaps by the end of this week I will be able to fire them and be back where I started.
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Here are two different versions of my candy corn crow buttons. The first set are ceramic buttons and the second set are hand painted wooden buttons. I think I like the black background on the wooden buttons. It really seems to set off the oranges. As well since I'm new to working with ceramic glazes it's a bit more challenging to get the colours the way you want since they don't look the same in the bottle and on the piece before it is fired. I do like the buttons that have specific shapes although the round buttons seem to be better sellers. Perhaps that is because people prefer the round buttons for more practical purposes. I don't sew but I expect the shaped buttons would work better for decorative purposes rather than a real life application.
I'd love to see pictures of items you've made with my buttons. If you send me something I'll post it here and if you have a blog I'll link to that.
These are some buttons I just made that I've posted on Etsy (the link is at the top right hand corner of this blog). These are a bit of a different type of buttons for me. These are more "artful" and would be great for art quilts, altered art collages or artist trading cards. Of course you can use them as you would for any type of buttons as well. I love the subtle colours. I have a few more "art buttons" I've made and I'll be posting them as well shortly.