Friday, September 12, 2014

Enjoying Metal Clay by the Bay in San Diego CA


Front of unfinished 'Sea Story' Herbarium Pendant
My second year at the Metal Clay by the Bay Conference was just as exciting and fun filled as the first. Conferences are great places to make friends, meet facebook friends and learn new techniques.  Vendors brought all kinds of tools to see and for us to handle – much better than looking at a picture.

Last year I met Helen and as sometimes happens we became good friends.  We made plans to meet this year and take the same classes.  Helen makes beautiful glass pieces and also works with metal clay.  Check out her etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/hbjewelrydesign

The conference was held at the Hilton at Mission Bay and the setting could not have been lovelier.  The hotel sits on the bay and has beautiful beaches, swimming pool and grassy areas.   Sometimes it was hard to go to class!  The food was so well prepared and presented with an exotic flair. Yes, I felt like I was on vacation!  http://www.sandiegohilton.com/  There was even a luau one evening.


Friday was Steve Rossman’s photography class and I learned so many ways to improve my photography skills including tricks to using my iphone camera.  That day was well worth my time and attention.  http://steverossman.com/  The pictures below show improvement with my Nikon camera as well!
-Bee at Rest - after Jool Tool polishing
photo after Steve Rossman's class
original photo of Bee on Hive - before polishing on Jool Tool
Sunday and Monday I took Ana Mazon’s class ‘Herbarium Pendant’ and continued to be amazed at the way she makes tiny flowers, leaves and even blueberries! Ana is from Poland and speaks beautiful English.  She is an excellent teacher! Lots of new techniques and tips in that class.  http://drakonaria.com/_old/ My pendant is almost finished so I’ll share it at this stage and again when it is really done. 
 
Front of unfinished 'Sea Story' Herbarium Pendant
 
Back of unfinished 'Sea Story' pendant
The keynote speaker, Lisa Pavelka (http://store.lisapavelka.com/) was my first polymer clay teacher several years ago.  She shared her success story with us and was quite an inspiration.  It is heartwarming when so many artists share their experiences and knowledge.


One of the highlights of the event was getting to use some of the new tools.  Jool Tools (http://jooltool.com/) had a popular exhibit and I was able to polish two pendants.  I hope you can see the difference in these photos.  This tool buffed, smoothed and polished quickly producing a very fine finish.  Yes, I was hooked and had to have one!
original photo of 'Flame' after I finished it and before Jool Tool polishing
'Flame' pendant after Jool Tool polishing
This was such a rich experience and conference for me that I am sad to hear it will not be offered again.  Hats off to the San Diego group spear-headed by Louise Shadonix (http://www.sha-sha.us/)   for the planning and executing of a great conference.  You guys did a terrific job!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Boxes of Pieces




In my rush to learn new things, I often make pieces instead of a finished project.  I have boxes of polymer canes waiting to become something.  I have tiny silver leaves and flowers waiting to be cured and added to something.  There are pieces of old jewelry in one box that I know I will use someway.  It's much the same as George Carlin's "Stuff".  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

Once in a while I actually take a piece and turn it into something finished!  Truthfully I generally finish my jewelry  as I make it.  But not always.....as the boxes filled with pieces attest!

silver pieces

jewelry pieces
polymer pieces
 This week I looked at the faux polymer rocks I made last summer and decided I just had to do something with a couple of them.  And look what happened!  Light weight real-looking rocks in wire.  Had to share!

front
back



Friday, August 29, 2014

The Week to Relax and Enjoy Life


All of a sudden it is Friday!  I look around at a few projects I've started and decide they will be good for another week’s post – once I finish them. It’s time to take inventory for the week.  You know, just go over what I really did!  It seems I enjoyed nature by taking walks between storms.  And I want to share some of that lush area!  

Watson Lake has a lovely walking trail that is pretty flat.  I live in hilly terrain and need to find flatter places to walk because of my knee.  The lake is the place!  No ‘bathtub ring exists on the rocks anymore since we had so much rain.  First time I can remember the water level is this high in 4 years. 



Weeds and wildflowers are in bloom.  Butterflies, grasshoppers and whip-tail lizards play on the trails and in the rocky areas.  A red-tailed hawk circled over head and barn swallows played around the water’s edge. 





What else did I do?  Signed up for a Monarch Butterfly Workshop to learn to catch and tag the butterflies.  Yes!  I ordered a butterfly net!


Bought a beautiful new copy of the opera ‘Marriage of Figaro’.  I heard about it on NPR.  The conductor is Teodor Currentzis and he uses period instruments. It is so lovely listening.  http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Figaro-Deluxe-Edition-Blu-Ray/dp/B00GK8P1EG


And I've read some, played with my lizards and began practicing on the harpsichord!  I have not played a keyboard instrument in 40 years and I have a lot of practicing to do!  It’s been a wonderful week!   I hope you enjoyed yours too!



Friday, September 12, 2014

Enjoying Metal Clay by the Bay in San Diego CA


Front of unfinished 'Sea Story' Herbarium Pendant
My second year at the Metal Clay by the Bay Conference was just as exciting and fun filled as the first. Conferences are great places to make friends, meet facebook friends and learn new techniques.  Vendors brought all kinds of tools to see and for us to handle – much better than looking at a picture.

Last year I met Helen and as sometimes happens we became good friends.  We made plans to meet this year and take the same classes.  Helen makes beautiful glass pieces and also works with metal clay.  Check out her etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/hbjewelrydesign

The conference was held at the Hilton at Mission Bay and the setting could not have been lovelier.  The hotel sits on the bay and has beautiful beaches, swimming pool and grassy areas.   Sometimes it was hard to go to class!  The food was so well prepared and presented with an exotic flair. Yes, I felt like I was on vacation!  http://www.sandiegohilton.com/  There was even a luau one evening.


Friday was Steve Rossman’s photography class and I learned so many ways to improve my photography skills including tricks to using my iphone camera.  That day was well worth my time and attention.  http://steverossman.com/  The pictures below show improvement with my Nikon camera as well!
-Bee at Rest - after Jool Tool polishing
photo after Steve Rossman's class
original photo of Bee on Hive - before polishing on Jool Tool
Sunday and Monday I took Ana Mazon’s class ‘Herbarium Pendant’ and continued to be amazed at the way she makes tiny flowers, leaves and even blueberries! Ana is from Poland and speaks beautiful English.  She is an excellent teacher! Lots of new techniques and tips in that class.  http://drakonaria.com/_old/ My pendant is almost finished so I’ll share it at this stage and again when it is really done. 
 
Front of unfinished 'Sea Story' Herbarium Pendant
 
Back of unfinished 'Sea Story' pendant
The keynote speaker, Lisa Pavelka (http://store.lisapavelka.com/) was my first polymer clay teacher several years ago.  She shared her success story with us and was quite an inspiration.  It is heartwarming when so many artists share their experiences and knowledge.


One of the highlights of the event was getting to use some of the new tools.  Jool Tools (http://jooltool.com/) had a popular exhibit and I was able to polish two pendants.  I hope you can see the difference in these photos.  This tool buffed, smoothed and polished quickly producing a very fine finish.  Yes, I was hooked and had to have one!
original photo of 'Flame' after I finished it and before Jool Tool polishing
'Flame' pendant after Jool Tool polishing
This was such a rich experience and conference for me that I am sad to hear it will not be offered again.  Hats off to the San Diego group spear-headed by Louise Shadonix (http://www.sha-sha.us/)   for the planning and executing of a great conference.  You guys did a terrific job!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Boxes of Pieces




In my rush to learn new things, I often make pieces instead of a finished project.  I have boxes of polymer canes waiting to become something.  I have tiny silver leaves and flowers waiting to be cured and added to something.  There are pieces of old jewelry in one box that I know I will use someway.  It's much the same as George Carlin's "Stuff".  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

Once in a while I actually take a piece and turn it into something finished!  Truthfully I generally finish my jewelry  as I make it.  But not always.....as the boxes filled with pieces attest!

silver pieces

jewelry pieces
polymer pieces
 This week I looked at the faux polymer rocks I made last summer and decided I just had to do something with a couple of them.  And look what happened!  Light weight real-looking rocks in wire.  Had to share!

front
back



Friday, August 29, 2014

The Week to Relax and Enjoy Life


All of a sudden it is Friday!  I look around at a few projects I've started and decide they will be good for another week’s post – once I finish them. It’s time to take inventory for the week.  You know, just go over what I really did!  It seems I enjoyed nature by taking walks between storms.  And I want to share some of that lush area!  

Watson Lake has a lovely walking trail that is pretty flat.  I live in hilly terrain and need to find flatter places to walk because of my knee.  The lake is the place!  No ‘bathtub ring exists on the rocks anymore since we had so much rain.  First time I can remember the water level is this high in 4 years. 



Weeds and wildflowers are in bloom.  Butterflies, grasshoppers and whip-tail lizards play on the trails and in the rocky areas.  A red-tailed hawk circled over head and barn swallows played around the water’s edge. 





What else did I do?  Signed up for a Monarch Butterfly Workshop to learn to catch and tag the butterflies.  Yes!  I ordered a butterfly net!


Bought a beautiful new copy of the opera ‘Marriage of Figaro’.  I heard about it on NPR.  The conductor is Teodor Currentzis and he uses period instruments. It is so lovely listening.  http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Figaro-Deluxe-Edition-Blu-Ray/dp/B00GK8P1EG


And I've read some, played with my lizards and began practicing on the harpsichord!  I have not played a keyboard instrument in 40 years and I have a lot of practicing to do!  It’s been a wonderful week!   I hope you enjoyed yours too!