Monday, October 26, 2009

Good Monday Morning to you all.

Good Monday morning.  Just a bit of recovering and catching up after the weekend show.  I would like to thank everyone that visited my blog during the Open Studio Event.  I hope you enjoyed the event with all the various blogs.  I finally had the opportunity to visit everyone's blogs and see all the fun stuff that everyone in the Open Blog event had contributed.  It was a wonderful array of interesting photos, recipes, and studio shots.  If you you missed the actual event you should go back and have a look at all the wonderful photos everyone posted.  Even though the actual event with the discounts and give-aways is over you can still see all the lovely gifts, recipes, and wonderful photos everyone shared.

As promised here are the two winners of my giveaways.  As it wasn't possible for me to get online during the actual event the announcements are a little bit delayed but better late than not at all right?  Summer Alyssa won the first give-away and Kristie Roeder won the second one.  Congratulations to you both.

The weekend show that I was at was also a lot of fun.  We had lots of good snacks and wine tasting to go along with a lovely selection of art.  Several of my online friends stopped by and said hi.  It was so great to get to see and meet people that you have talked to online.  I always love to meet my online friends at actual live events.  It is so much fun to show them special pieces that are my favorites and to see what things they like the best from my selection of goodies.  Thanks to everyone that attended the show and stopped by for a chat.

I hope to be doing more active blogging and some more giveaways in the future.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Giveaway #2

The Winner of the Second Giveaway is:

Kristie Roeder
Artisan Clay Jewelry

Thank you Kristie for participating.

The Studio Evolution

Hello for those of you that like to see the work areas we present a raw look at the studio.  My current studio is still evolving it has been under construction for the last 5 years or so.  When we moved out to our current location we decided to build my studio over the garage.  This is the first piece of floor that we built.  The stairway is to the left of the photo.  This shot is taken looking from the door of my kiln room across the back of my studio.  This area has only recently been 'finished' (well nearly finished)  ironic since it was the first area to be built.  As you can see on the far wall we have foam insulation in the building.  The first year that I worked in the studio I didn't have this foam insulation and nearly cooked while working in this very area on tables made up of plywood over saw horses.  The steel building would get very hot in our phoenix summers.  So much so in fact that if you happened to touch it by accident you would actually burn yourself.  Sitting here working felt much like being under the grill of your oven.  One day in particular I remember that I came out to the studio to work and by 10:30 am it was 114 degrees in here.  Needless to say I didn't work long that day.  Now with the nice insulation and an evaporative cooler it is quite comfortable.

This is a shot of the same area now, looking from the other side over toward my kiln room.  In the foreground you can see my china painting table with several pieces in process and a book that I was using for reference.  The next table over I use for building hand built pieces with both porcelain and PMC it currently is covered with PMC projects.  The far table against the wall of the kiln room I use for cleaning cast greenware, sanding, drilling and polishing things.

This is a shot of my kiln room.  You can see the exhaust fan on the wall and my two larger kilns.  I now have a steel table above the kiln on the left with my smallest kiln on it.  The door is a pocket door that slides into the wall keeping it out of the way.  I can close the door and turn on the fan to keep all the bad fumes out of my studio area.

This is a shot of my pouring area.  This is a rather old photo and there are shelves against the left and far walls now as well.  To the left you can see my cooler.  On the right you see the table where I pour all of the slip cast pieces that I make.  Above the table is a cabinet that holds all of my tiny mold for my dollhouse miniatures and some of the jewelry pieces.  Most of the over 500 molds that I have I have made myself.  I make molds from a variety of things including found objects, antique pieces, buttons, and original sculptures that I have made specifically for a given purpose.

This shot is of a table area that is located on the other side of the stairway.  The table you see is against the wall of the stairway and you are looking back toward the first area I showed you.  It is very bright because of the lovely windows that are across the back of the building.  To the right of this area behind a wall is the pour area.  This is where I was doing my china painting while we were working on the area next to the windows that I showed you first and you can see the painting materials on this table.  They have since been moved to the new tables which I showed you first.  This area is now cleared out and is ready to be finished.  We have to finish the ceiling (cover up the insulation), paint and texture the walls, and tile the floor.  Then this area will be used for the assembly of jewelry and other pieces.  This completes the tour of my studio.  I hope you have enjoyed it.

Return to the BOC BLOG

The First Gift of the Day

And the Winner of the First GiveAway is:

Summer Alyssa.

Thank you Summer for participating.

Welcome to the Open Studio Blog Event

Hello Everyone and welcome to the Open Studio Blog Event.  During this event and until midnight tonight I am offering a 25% discount on any purchase (product only not including shipping) from either my Etsy Shop or the Bead Shop on my website or the Jewelry Shop on my website As both Etsy and my website utilize paypal I will refund the 25% when I process and ship your order.  Just leave 'instructions to the seller' on paypal when you check out and say 'BOC Blog Event'

I am primarily a porcelain artist, however, I do some PMC (precious metal clay) work, some wire wrapping, and I've also done silver smithing, silver casting, and copper enameling in the past.  I like a variety of styles, materials, and processes and my work reflects that.  I've been a porcelain artist for the past 20+ years.  I am continually trying new things, combining processes, techniques, and ideas in an attempt to keep it all fresh and interesting not only for my potential customer but for myself.  I enjoy the variety that porcelain offers me.  I enjoy fine detail and creating things that wow people.  My biggest inspirations come from antique porcelain, ceramics, jewelry, and designs.  I really love the Art Nouveau period's flow of design and smooth sensuous lines.  I love the Victorian era's glitz, romance, and floral designs.  I love to combine those aspects and create new products with a taste of the old.  Most recently I've been doing some whimsical beads with elves, fairies and other fantasy type themes.  Here are a couple of examples of the latest porcelain beads.  The one at the top is an example of one of the whimsical designs it is titled 'Sometimes the Dragon Wins'  The idea came from an old cartoon that I have loved for years.  If you look closely you will see the bones and armor of the poor knight that met this dragon on the day the dragon won.  The dragon is picking his teeth with the knights lance.  And the fate of the poor knight hardly needs more explanation.  The second bead has a design that was inspired by Roseville pottery.  These beads are available in my Bead Shop on my website.

To Return to The BOC Blog so you can visit all the other participants in the Open Studio Blog Event Click the BOC BLOG links in each post.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Halloween Approaches

I don't know if any of you readers remember the project from last year with the faces that was supposed to be combined with pmc.  You can see the complete collection of faces in the archives for October of 2008  Originally these were to be a collaboration between myself and another artist.  However, as the other artist never got around to working on them I finally requested that they be returned so that I could complete them.  Since Halloween is approaching rapidly I chose to start with this piece.  The coffin and the ghoul are made with colored porcelains.  The top coffin lid, hinges and catch are made with PMC.  I would love to hear what you think of this project.

Steam Punk Skull

With the popularity of steam punk designs and the fact that Halloween was approaching I thought I would try to create something steam punk.  This is what I ended up with.  It is a sort of steam punk ghoul.  This poor soul is somewhere between a cyborg a ghoul and a skull.  Sort of darth vader meets steam punk.  The flesh on his skull is peeled away on one side exposing the bare skull.  You can see where it is folded over at the top of his head.  He has really had a rough life but he is pressing on.  He  has a respirator and hearing device which both look to be adjustable with a sort of geared knob.  He also has a monocular goggle protecting the eye on the side of his skull that is missing the flesh. All of these devices are finished in simulated brass and held on with simulated leather straps with brass buckles.  Here's looking forward to Halloween everyone.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Decisions Decisions

Gearing up for Sunday's open studio blog event.  Hope you will join us all here for the big day.  Just drop by Sunday afternoon the big event starts at 1pm and there will be lots of fun.  Give Aways...Big decisions here.  What to put in the giveaways.  Should it be this set of beads or that focal or perhaps some finished jewelry.  So many styles and techniques to choose from.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I always hate this sort of decisions.  I want to include something that you will all want but what could it be.  We have extremes.  We could pick one of them. Or there are all the lovely flowers and organics.
Perhaps a nice leaf shape organic celebrating the fall season would be good.  But what about the lovely hand painted things there are lots of pretty beads to choose from.  Oh the decisions to be made.  I'll get my thinking hat on.  Any suggestions are welcome.