About Me

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I am an artist, wife and mother, paraeducator, yo-yo dieter, and small town country girl. I love singing in my church choir, computer time, beading and making jewelry. And I love enameling! There is something very magical about turning powder into smooth, shiny, and colorful glass.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I'm In A Magazine!!

Actually, I'm not in the magazine but my work is!! I am absolutely thrilled and excited to have one of my enameled leaf clasps picked to be part of Stringing Magazine's Shopping Guide for 2012. Be still my heart. 

This is how the pages look and my clasp is the green enameled leaf in the right top corner. The quality of the other beads, clasps, and findings is top notch, well worth buying the magazine. If you've never bought Stringing, it comes out 4 times a year and is full of gorgeous jewelry design and instructions for making them.

And here is he clasp! I have other styles and colors in my enameled clasp section of my Etsy shop.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Making Messes

I wanted to finish enameling the filigree I blogged about earlier. I had these great roundelle shapes that I had already put on one coat of clear. I set my kiln temp at 1470 degrees and set about putting a layer of whiteThen I started on the transparent layers. What a disaster!

The enamel started pinging off while the beads were in the kiln. What didn't pop off melted onto the mandrel and cracked off when I tried to remove the beads. I threw them all in the trash. I'm not sure what went wrong. I previously had good luck with opaque enamel and I had the kiln set lower so maybe that had something to do with it.
 Next I tried the bead caps. Better, but not great. Not what I envisioned at all.
 I am going to try again with the temp set at 1460 degrees and see what happens. I hate to give up, so stay tuned! On a more successful note, these plain round beads came out great and I love the Autumn colors!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

find the finch
I love to spend time in the afternoons reading on my patio but I spend a lot of time watching and admiring the birds that hang out in my husband's beautiful flower gardens. I couldn't resist taking a few pics of these visitors to the bath.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend Warrior

Kiln Enameling Filigree Beads

I absolutely love the look of Barbara Lewis's torch fired filigree beads. I bought her book with the hope of adding a new enameling skill. But, according to the book,  I don't have the right kind of torch. I have an acetylene/air set up which burns "dirtier" and causes the colors to be less vibrant. I didn't feel I should invest in another torch when I really haven't learned how to use the one I've got so I decided to try kiln enameling them. I think it was a very successful experiment!
I set the kiln at 1460 degress but I think the next time I will try it at 1470 degrees. I'm not used to the bumpy appearance. It's a little too rustic for me!
I used a first coat of clear which didn't seem to melt completely.
Then I used an opaque and a transparent. It was fun to just experiment with the colors!

 The enamel didn't stick to this one very well and has a pitted look which I find unattractive.
I snipped apart some of the beads and I plan on making bead caps or interesting components. Stay tuned!
Many thanks to Barbara Lewis for her wonderful book and the inspiration!!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend Warrior

This has been an especially great summer for me! Not only am I on vacation for the summer, my adult children are living with us or near us and it's been wonderful to spend so much time with them. I get to stick my nose in their business and give them advice on every little thing. They're very grateful I'm sure. Now I am scrambling to make up for lost time at my kiln and fill my etsy shop to the brim. One of my clasps is going to be in the next issue of Stringing magazine in their Beads 2012 section and I'm hoping the exposure will bring me sales!

 These pics are of just some of the clasps (without the toggle bars) that I'm working on. This week will also see some kiln enameled filigree beads like the ones below.