Watercolor Porcelain Seed Pod Beads

I have always wanted to paint. I had never felt the confidence within myself to pick up traditional painting materials…

Then a random email back in the spring for an online class from Carla Sonheim called "Flower Crazy" (or maybe it was crazy flowers – either way – it was a perfect fit for me!) and I took it…

I have always been taken in by the teeny things in the natural world. Colors and textures and perfect little details – even with imperfections, still perfect will keep me inspired. And when these new pod and organic flower forms started to take shape, they needed COLOR! I wanted to take them beyond where I am with my glazes.

So I figured I would take what encouragement, skill, and inspiration I built up while taking Carla’s class and I would use it to jump into making these in the way I see them in my head… (Thank You Carla!!!)

So I work in batches. Making, firing to 2233 F in my kiln, then adding a base coat of gauche, then layers and layers of color, then sealing with acrylic. Then starting over again. I want these to be wearable little sculptural pieces…

And even though I keep an open mind and watchful eye for signs. This one I know speaks of a simple wire connection and not of my efforts in clay and the use of Watercolor paints instead of traditional pottery glazes.

Now to finish fiddling around with life curveballs and get focused!

BeadFest Philadelphia is just a few days away & these can be found in the D7 Studio booth #366.

Then I’ll sit and take the time to figure out how to get these effects with underglazes…

Busy, busy… How is anyone ever bored & without something to do?!

Handmade Wire Closure for Friendship Bracelets

Simple. Fast. High Quality.
All words that I – as a bead maker, sometimes jewelry maker – would use to describe what I need in a handmade jewelry closure component…

Love My Art Jewelry Blog and the Boot Camps for 2013 are helping me focus and come up with a few "go to" components – this round, being closures (clasps).

This simple infinity loop and accompanying simple wire wrapped hook fit all of my requirements, and can be added to for a fancier look.

For the friendship bracelets, I make a bunch if these infinity loops ahead if time. Keeping in mind the diameter of the finished bracelet to keep things in proportion. Then I can tie the strings to the one loop, and secure the other loop so I can braid or tie knots.

The hook is made and attached by knot once the bracelet has reached the length I want it. I hammer the loop and hook at the curves to add a bit of stability.

This triple wrap bracelet is a bit more substantial and I wired more beads to a thin gauge wire and secured it to the infinity loop closure.

Mid-Summer Piedmont Garden

We had a couple of days that were in the 70’s for the high, low humidity, and beautiful evenings – so I finally got some time in the garden to weed and look at it good.

Every year I struggle to keep this path free of weeds. This fall – it wins! I am removing the stepping stones and putting in a nice grass area. I totally want to walk there barefoot – maybe even lay on my belly and look close at the flowers & insects with my kids…

There are fun things in the grass too!

These caterpillars ate all if the garden dill, all of the parsley potted plant I grabbed for them, and now, they are in my kids school, with all the cut parsley they can eat, and should be transforming into chrysalis this week. Then the kids get to watch them hatch and release them. I would say let them be in nature, but we were out if their host plant, and I love letting kids get an up close look at nature & allow for stronger bonds to be formed!

These candy lilies (Iris family) just keep cross pollinating and come back slightly different every year…

More seed pods! I will plant a plant just for the seed pods!

And I have my little seed sollecting daughter to also help spread them throughout the garden.

And this little speck on the NY Ironweed reminds me of the speck from "Horton Hears A Who".

Love the eyes…

And my favorite plant this season is the Mountain Mint (US Native). It smells like sweet spearmint bubblegum and attracts so many pollinators – many Hymenoptera – bees, wasps & ants – I have never seen before!

And with that perfect weather – a lot more time to hang out in the garden looking at the locals…

Oops! So I forgot to plant these bulbs in the fall. So here they are, planted in early spring – for summer (bad, bad girl!)

And with just short windows of creativity – I decided to make up some new silk knot bundles and these fun braided friendship bracelets.

I’ve got the photos & steps – now just to write them out & have a quick PDF available. My goal is to have it done and available for First Friday this week!

How are the lazy days of summer treating you?

Flower Seed Pod Beads

I have found my muse!

She was a bit torn and exhausted, but is recovering…

Regular exercise – the first time in 20+ years, taking mental time off, focusing on something that has been pulling at me since I was young (seed pods and nature) – without any lingering deadlines implied…

And of course awesome music to listen to over and over ~ Loving Pearl And The Beard right now!

Nature throws bits my way too…

I went with gardening friends to see a private garden and found a few seed pods & asked if I could take them with me ("take anything like that you would like" – amazing generosity!)

And the first steps to glazing have begun.
I am fearful of the look of the finished glazed bead as I am SO thrilled with the form. This step sometimes takes me a bit to fall into what I want the series to look like. It’s a blank slate right now!

And the firing of pieces is never simple as I like to cover as much of the bead in glaze. At 2232 degrees Fahrenheit – the rods sag and metal fatigues. So I need to play with using and making kiln furniture to fit what I need.

I’ll do this first glaze firing, then will make kiln furniture that fits my bead requirements and then ~ more beads! Then after about 2 or 3 more glaze firings – I hope the pieces will be where I need them to be.

I am delighted my muse has returned. Thank you Mother Nature for sending all these glorious seed pods and flowers right when I needed them…

And Thank You PATB for creating music that helped wake up my muse the rest of the way. And for being SO cool in person!

PS ~ My GIVEAWAY on Love My Art Jewelry ends TODAY!

Trying For A Clean Start

It seems that this entire year has been such a state if transition and crazy busy-ness all around me. In June my mind just quit. And I am finally starting down the path of picking up and getting organized so I can figure out where I am going.

Packaging area that was supposed to double as an inside photography area…

One more try with proper lighting and white foam core to try to get the white balance & camera to cooperate (all this rain and dark days – meh… I’m so done with waiting on you to clear!)

And sometimes those piles need to move to a place for sorting – which will come after the clean up and purging…

Because I want to make beads, sculptures and Jewelry for this next holiday season, and I don’t want to do it last minute!

I’m also spending more time with these great little people… I just hate the feeling that there will never be enough time with them (like they are going to grown up in a blink!).

Day by day…
Step by step…

marshanealstudio

marshanealstudio

Ceramic Artist. Garden and Nature Enthusiast.

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