Terrarium Vessel Creation

I gave myself an afternoon in the clay studio to make some new work for the upcoming Wilmington (DE) art loop where I will have my small terrarium sculptures on display at Bellefonte Arts for May. The opening is May 3, 2013 from 6-9pm.

I have carved all my texture plates and work the clay into them to create the parts for these terrarium containers.

I use a similar texture to create the walls.

The feet are made from textured coils cut in half.

These are fine just as they are sitting flat. But my eyes wanted to see under the piece.

So just as beveling the underside of a pot on the wheel makes a thrown pot look lighter, so does adding feet to these pieces.

See how the piece with feet looks like it is up and ready to go?

And by dinner time I was done this batch. I think I am going to leave some of these without the addition of flowers.

When I made my first batch, I had intended to add a little something to the flowers and holes – but have not decided entirely on that yet.

So with picking up the kids and meal time upon me, they were covered and put to rest to dry slowly…

And this kiln load of beads and small bud vases (which are tests) fired yesterday & should be ready to open today around noon.

Morning Garden Coffee Chores

Morning walks with coffee and iPhone…
I missed spring for this.

New growth is popping up everywhere.

The weeds are already taking over due to my lack of pulling last season (darn!)

I’ve pruned and cut back almost the entire garden area(s). I’m getting a bit sick of the Russian sage, so I’m ok if I cut too far. Meh…

I have SO much clean-up to do. So little time or money to do it with…

But there are those things that put my mind at rest – like the beauty of these fading Hellebores…

Then, wait – grumbling again… Garlic mustard (highly invasive & it changes the ph of the soil). Luckily I have a friend that makes a pesto from this. I hope to get that recipe this year & give it a try…

Back to making more beads…
This garden will not pay for itself (neither will the bills)…

Bead Fest Philadelphia Spring

Darlene of D7 Studio represents Marsha Neal Studio through various bead shows in the Northeast US, and this weekend is at Bead Fest Philadelphia!

I worked all week to get my stock from her all cleaned up and ready for this huge show. I took all the beads that I had paired up and put them onto pipe cleaners instead.

Here is a shot of the D7 Studio booth #424 where you can find my items.

And you will also find Darlene and Nolly! What great gals!

I took all of my pendants from previous years and marked them ALL down to $5 destash prices.

I also bagged up tiny pendant pairs, medium pendants, and the large pendant with matching small ones into baggies for $10 each.
AND when you purchase $50 in my destash pieces, you get to pick out an additional $5 destash for free!

These are priced to move!
Cabs and buttons are also on the destash markdown…
I am just ready to move onto this next creative phase of my life…

Nolly of Nolly’s Folly, is an amazing glass bead artist.

Darlene carries Nolly’s work with her at bead shows too.
I picked up some of her pieces today to see if I can come up with some cross over designs as samples and maybe kits for D7Studio.

We came across some awesome favorites like HMB Studios (booth 531)

Brenda Sweder (booth 50) and her “Now That’s a Jig!”, where I ordered some extra peg form sets for my jig I got from her at Bead Fest last August.

And it’s always great fun to run into Erica (at Dakota Stones booth 222 & 224).

And more bead friends that are like family: Amy & Barbara from Artful Bead Studio (booth 124).

I just love their jewelry designs and mad bead weaving design skills. I have bought a few finished pieces and kits over the years from these ladies…

And a quick shot of the bead tray that was fully stocked this morning, that I will need to refill for Darlene for her upcoming shows! thanks to the lady that bought a bunch of my pieces – You Rock!!! Thank You!

As this was a quick drop off stock and shop day, my friend Jenny and I got through the show in record time. I really miss going to bead shows to sell my work. I enjoy the beads, but really love the people there (feels like family!)…

I hope you get a chance to get out to Bead Fest Philadelphia.
Check out D7Studio’s 2013 show schedule on her blog to see if Darlene will be at a town near you!



Beer Clay

I love just going into the studio and throwing myself into some ideas.

These small bud vases keep popping up recently. But the clay is just a bit short for bending without cracking.

And with two little ones, helping with a few Etsy teams & my Master Gardener responsibilities – I am finding it extremely difficult to spend time working on my work.

Then to have clay act like this – No Thanks!

I needed to clean up my work space and get the clay ready for my next creative window.

So out comes a new, old bag (pugged 5 years ago) of porcelain. Has some good mold/bacteria growth – but just not quite enough for how plastic I need it to act.

So I grabbed a very old Lager and added some water. I seriously freaking love the smell of beer and dirt. Give me some warm sunshine and some music and I’m good to go! Perfect…

Spent some time cutting and breaking the clay up, then adding some beer water to moisten it and hopefully promote more bacteria to grow.

Wiped the whole area down after cleaning up. So ready for some clay play time! Hopefully with plastic porcelain this next time…

Because these – are absolutely being revisited. These dry ones are broken down, soaked in water, dried out to a workable stage – and into something “more”.

Something with a bit of muchness to it as I think I am starting to find that creative place inside me once again.

Big Exhale…

Terrarium Sculptures

I really love these new pieces. So much so that I keep finding that I am holding my breath (weird – I know. That’s just me, loving texture and color & being easily energized by it)…

I knew that I needed to make some vessels to hold these small terrarium sculptures.

And I am quite satisfied with the way these have come out.

I want to make some additional small pieces that can be placed in amongst the mushrooms to give them something “to discover”. Like we are looking in on something they are looking upon…

I will probably make some taller, slender forms for a pillar look. Maybe sets that can be clustered together (in 3’s of course)…

These vessels started to get a little flip in a couple of places along the edge to imply movement…

And they are made with porcelain clay that is textured and pressed into my hand carved spiral clay plate (I carve my own textures, use found objects, or things found in nature).

Even the bottoms are textured and glazed. They have textured feet as well – gives them a little something extra to stand in!

I’ve chosen to start with my favorite blue/green palette of colors. Reminds me of the color of lichens in the woods.

And then there are these new little forest decaying series of work. I have a few ideas brewing for some brooches or necklace pendants (I like the idea of having a brooch that can also be a sculptural piece when not being worn).

So much inspiration right now.
So many deadlines & obligations.

These will be on display on May 3, 2013 on the Wilmington (DE) Art Loop at Bellefonte Arts. I’m pretty excited to be on the loop again. It’s been 12 years since I last showed (making & selling beads, and having kids has filled my time since then).

More to come soon!!!



Ceramic Artist. Garden and Nature Enthusiast.

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