Sunday, 28 July 2013

Birdie and Etsy Shop Update...

My man took the bird to the vets as we were tired of waiting for the RSPCA and the bird didn't seem to be eating as much as it had been. They took him/her and found a punctured lung so they had to put the bird down. Now I feel terrible that we kept it him/her alive for so long. I didn't realise the vets would take a wild bird - I suppose we have learnt a valuable lesson and it will be straight to the vets next time.
I have been shopping all weekend, bought lots of beautiful furniture and some white paint to get rid of that terrible yellow in the studio.
Making pendant beads from porcelain and with metal hoops, is that something people prefer?
I like opening the kiln and seeing how the previously silver wire has gone black and the striking contrast of it next to the white porcelain.
You may have noticed that I have listed those 'singles' earrings as a pair. They are just too fantabulosis together and I was kinda regretting putting them as singles after a few days. Feels good to see them together now :)

Also I have listed a couple of sets of GLAZED beads...yes that's right...I have put my experience and knowledge into action and I intend to make a new line of beads that are with matte and/or gloss glaze. Some of these glazes I will weigh out and mix myself following recipe's made by me. There is a high gloss white glaze that is on the inside of these...

It was extremely difficult to capture the incredible white glaze in the photos. It is so smooth and soft it feels like milky soap. 

The black is matte and creates a satin effect with some gloss glaze seeping through from the inside for a slight sheen in places.
I'm having so much fun making these shapes and putting them together. I am playing around with some variations and developing this form which was initially inspired by my bell beads, then later by the woodlands that surround me and this beautiful time of year.

Here is the other ones I listed which have and glossy green glaze on the inside. The glaze isn't actually made to go to stoneware temperatures but look what it does at 1260 degrees Celsius on porcelain...

The glaze pooled and made these rivers of glassy green (it looks blueish in the photo but it is really green). The white dots are where the porcelain wall has been pushed in by the textures I used on the outside of the cup; the oxide in the glaze has rolled off and around these.
I will be painting and making beads this week so there will  be things popping up in the shop.
I adore working with the gilders wax so will continue to use that on beads as well.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Beaks, Claws and Paws

Thank you all for your comments on my last blurb. It's been ages since that post. Things have been happening...hmmm where to start?
I can hear it tweeting now so I will start there.
On Monday evening we were in the living room and there was a load of squawking and ruckus out the back. A wide eyed Rocklyn squealed 'THE BIRDS' and we ran through the kitchen and flung open the back door. Butter (my tabby cat) caught her first bird. It is a blackbird chick. We grappled it off of her and shut her indoors, the two blackbird parents were squawking and telling us off. The distraught sound of the parent birds made me very sad. The fledgling just has it's wing feathers and is just a wee bit smaller than a tennis ball. 

...hold on I must pop out for meal worms...

So we made it a bed with some wool and an old towel and put it out the way from the cats. It had a small flesh wound that seems to of  healed now. After some internet searching I discovered that even if it was to learn to fly it will still need fed until it learns to find it's own food. There are sooooooo many cats around here and foxes and badgers too! I could never let it go it would just get eaten.We called the RSPB and they said they couldn't tell us anything or offer any help! They said to contact the RSPCA who's office never seems to be open and so we still have the birdie here in the house. 
Iv made it up some food with hard boiled egg, meal worms and moistened cat biscuits (I found this recipe online) and we are feeding it every hour with tweezers. If anyone thinks we are doing anything wrong please leave me a message because we don't know what we are doing and its a little scary. Of course we have had her here for nearly 4 days and we are getting quite attached. 
Rocklyn seems to have more of a parental instinct that I do because he gets up at sunrise when the bird wakes tweeting and goes to feed it. I don't wake up to anything. Once we had his 1 year old nephew over in the bedroom with us and I didn't even wake to him screaming! If the cats make a noise I'm up in a flash! Ha! 

Oh the reason it's poop is purple is because I gave it some brambles I had in the kitchen.

In other news I had the electricity connected in my studio! Hooray! I had to go down to the estate agents and give them my best evil eyes and angry Scottish attitude and made them all super uncomfortable and call the electrician then and there to arrange a day and time hhmmf!  
I moved everything in straight away - its all very messy and there is still 'shed stuff' lying around but I have my lamps, desks, drawers, kiln and wheel all set in place :)


Yesterday was my first day working in there and it feels good. Note the horrid yellow walls...those will need painted asap! It is still hectic and I am using random tables that are around the place but I'm sure over time it will become custom designed for it's purpose. To be honest I'm so used to working from a 'studio' that is mismatched and displaced that this seems fabulous to me. I like to be organised and I have my trusty filing system, bead making and listing processes that keep things from getting lost or pawed under furniture.
I am working on some new bead decorating ideas and its great to have everything where I need it.
Peanut keeps me company and occasionally reaches out to hold my hand with her paw.

There is lots of new work in my shop and there is more on it's way. The kiln is on just now and fingers, toes and eyes crossed; my experiments go well and you will get to see some of it in my shop this week.
Stay tuned.


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Stumbles, Tumbles and get's back up...

Summer has arrived here in Wales (about time)...It's great...I'm sweating through my eyeballs! 
I'v had a creative block the last couple of weeks - then a few days of making and what do ya know it all fell into place.

Here's the kiln in my kitchen, what could be inside?

...what else? Beads galore...

Fired the kiln and been painting beads while basking in the glorious sunshine. Alas the gilders wax keeps going too smooshy and slippery for my liking so have retreated indoors. 

A plate full..

This pate full is a mix of custom orders and things yet to be listed in my etsy shop so pay attention - there is this and more to come.

There's loads of woodland here and behind the fairy tale castle (Castell Coch) there is a hill that I cant work out -my sense of direction is terrible.
So we are lost among millions of muddy paths heading in every which direction, we pick one at random and end up staring at this...

No signs or anything about what or why, we creeped tentatively down the hill towards the dwellings below...

These caves just go on forever, my guess is water corrosion. With tree roots and the pretty stone arch I wonder if any outcast's from the nearby villages sheltered here in bygone years? I can imagine talisman's and trinkets hanging from the stone walls.
Made me think of the book 'Witch Light' by Susan Fletcher - one of my faves!! Based in Glencoe (Scotland) a must read.

A Cornish friend later informed me "Oh yeh, South Wales is full of holes, it's like a honeycomb".

Inspired by woodland walks in the Welsh countryside, peppered with natural caves full of fern plants, tree roots and trickling water - Jurassic? 
The posty brought me wire so I made some beads with wire loops as well as my usual style with the holes...these are in my Etsy shop...

All the above in my Etsy shop

I'm featured in this fab new glossi - have a read of my Q&A's 

The legend that is Odetta...

....everytime I watch this I get goosebumps.

Oh and have you all seen beatnheart's polymer beads!?! Wow get over there and have a look at those precious gems!