Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What a Difference Glaze Makes!

My favorite part of ceramics is decorating my pieces.  But my SECOND favorite part is unloading the kiln after the final firing!  What goes in dull and opaque, comes out colorful and translucent!

Take these pieces, for example:



On the left, you see what each dish looks like before being glazed and glaze fired, and on the right you see the final outcome.  The clear glaze and correct temperature change the colors to the cheerful, vibrant colors intended.  The glaze also gives pieces a glossy finish.  These 2 dishes were delivered to Fuller Lodge Art Center Gallery Shop

But I also have pieces available in my Etsy shop.

Here are 3 of them, from pre-decorated wet clay, ...

 

to decorated ...



to glazed and fired....







And a few more listings from my shop:








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Friday, July 28, 2017

Have you Checked out Polyvore Yet?!?

"Gems" for Her



Have you ever checked out Polyvore?
Polyvore describes itself as "a new way to discover and shop for things you love."  This is true!  I have discovered SO many fabulous items (especially shoes and bags) there.

But, I would describe Polyvore as a site were you can put together outfits that you love.  Each item links directly to the site were you can purchase it if you want to!  How FABULOUS is this?!?

Recently, Etsy shop owners have been posting all sorts of fabulous handmade and vintage items there, too.  And not everything is clothing or accessories.  

I just made this FABULOUS pink and red set.  It features some of my favorite Etsy shops and sellers all in one place!  How fab is that?!?  If you click on the link, a new tab will open and take you to this set.  Then you can click on any one (or more) item(s) that you are interested in and it will take you directly to it!  I check all my links, so if you keep clicking on the links, you will end up at the original item! 

Some information about these fabulous Etsy shops!

Ali Dianne Creations makes machine embroidery lace items that you can use for all of your crafting needs!  Some examples that come to mind are wedding decorations, Christmas ornaments, cards, and more!  These two angels are in my set above:




Flower of Paradise, based in Mexico, makes copper patina earrings, diffuser bracelets & necklaces, authentic amber jewelry and more! This fabulous bracelet and earrings are featured in my Polyvore set above.  Don't they just make  you wanna go tropical?!?



Frances, from Supply Side Eco-Comics,  sells vintage "leftover "and "cast off" supplies such as buttons, beads, fabric, trim, lace, and hardware.   Some of her vintage buttons are featured in my set above: 



Based in Turkey, Handmade by Nadya offers handmade and vintage women's clothing and accessories.  I have featured 1 handmade item and 1 vintage item in my set above.

       

Of course, I've featured one of my own, handmade necklaces too! Fun 'N Fiber  

 

Plus too many other truly fabulous Etsy shops to mention!  So check them all out here!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fun 'N Fiber

I've been working away making adorable ring trees and ring dishes!  These make excellent gifts for girls and women.  They are great by the kitchen sink, too, for storing your rings while you wash dishes, cook, clean, etc.

Come check them out!  The can all be found here:  Ring Dishes and Cones


above:  sea turtle

above: metallic dragon

above: fox

above: blue birds

above:  black cat

above: mer-cat or cat-fish


above:  octopus

This one's great because you can change your earrings on it!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Workshop with Shalene Valenzuela!

Fun 'N Fiber Ceramics & Handmade Jewelry

Last week I was in Santa Fe, NM for a FANTASTIC week long workshop* on surface decoration taught by Shalene Valenzuela!


1.  Painting underglaze on bisque ware.  Bisque ware is ceramic objects that has been fired once.  I already paint on bisque ware, but I did learn some new techniques from Shalene such as making shadows with a wash &/or an underglaze pencil. Here are some photos of Shalene's demo and a close up of her shading  around the eye.

  



2.  Screenprinting onto both wet (leather hard) clay and bisque ware.  Did you know you could screen print onto bisque ware?  I did not!

*Screenprinting on to wet clay is mostly self explanatory:



*Screenprinting onto bisque ware requires you to screen print onto newsprint first and then transfer that image to the bisque ware.  Shalene paint several layers a white underglaze onto her bisque ware.  The wetness of that underglaze mimics wet clay and the image transfers.  Here is a bee print she transferred as an example:




3.  Mason stain transfers.  This is a technique I'll probably never use because it only works on wet clay and can still be smudged even after the bisque firing.  This would require me to be extremely careful at too many stages!  But here are some photos, anyway:







4. Monoprinting onto clay.  This has been my personal favorite so far!  Basically you paint onto and carve into a plaster form and then "print" the image onto wet clay (it's a bit more involved than this, but that is the gist!)  Here are some photos of her process:





 

You can also screen print directly onto a flat plaster mold/block and incorporate that into your mono print:




And....drum roll please...some of my results using the mono print process...

From concept (sketch), to plaster transfer, to unfired tile, to finished tile!



After I got home, I made another "matching" tile.  Here is the completed pair:



I'm thinking of entering these into Fuller Lodge Art Center's upcoming exhibit, Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch...

I LOVE that you can do this with rounded shapes, as well as flat!  Here are a couple unfinished shallow bowls I made using the mold I poured at Shalene's workshop:



Don't forget to check out my shop:  Fun 'N Fiber.  You can contact me through the sight (click "contact" under my photo), too!


*This workshop was offered by Santa Fe Clay.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

I made this cool image I found of an octopus into graduation thank you cards for my son to send out, as he just graduated from high school and got a lot of gifts:



When he saw the cards I had made, he told me that he thought the hat (mortar board) was in the wrong place, and that it should look like this:


Hmmmm....I just looked up this image of octopus anatomy, and I think I put the graduation cap in the correct spot - over the octopus' skull and brain.


What do you think?

PS:  During the course of this discussion, I looked up the plural of "octopus," which is, to my surprise "octopuses."  I'd always thought it was "octopi."  So clearly, I am NOT and octopus expert!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Welcome to my new blog!  I am a soon-to-be empty nester, artist, wife, and all around happy person! I make and sell jewelry and ceramics in my etsy shop & this is my very first blog post ever.


My shop:  FunNFiber Etsy Shop

Todays post is about ROCKS!!!!

I love rocks! They're like butterflies waiting to unfurl their wings and show their beauty to the world! I love agates for their translucency, geodes for the beautiful crystals that form inside, turquoise and jasper for their vibrant colors, and lava stone for its lightweight porousness! I love their connection to the earth. I love jewelry that shows off these qualities!

I especially love geodes!  Geodes are hallow rocks that slowly fill with minerals over 1,000's of years.  Quartz crystals, called druse* (dro͞oz) usually line the inside.  As more and more minerals are deposited, these crystals get "filled in," and form solid layers of stone (usually agate).  More crystals form in the middle. When you cut a geode open, it's like Christmas or a box of chocolates:  you never know what you might get.  Sometimes it's a "dud."  Sometimes it's completely filled in.  Sometimes there's a fairly large "hole" and sometimes it's smaller.  Sometimes there are a lot of crystals and sometimes there are only a few.  

*I have seen druse spelled many other ways, most commonly: druzy, drusey or druzzy.  

Check out some of my FABULOUS geode slice necklaces!






Don't see what you like?  Check out all my geode necklaces! Or ask me to make something special just for you contact me (click "contact" under my photo).










What a Difference Glaze Makes!

My favorite part of ceramics is decorating my pieces.  But my SECOND favorite part is unloading the kiln after the final firing!  What goes...