This week's winner is Janet Loomis of Anvil Artifacts. Congratulations! You have won a MYSTERY BUNDLE OF BEADS from Claire Lockwood of Something To Do Beads. Please contact Claire to claim your prize!!
I want to start off today by thanking you all for your wonderful, informative and supportive comments about Studio Tours on my last Inside the Studio post.( November 27. 2015) It was so great to get your take on them. I really appreciate the time and enthusiasm you put into those comments.
It has been quite a while since my last Inside the Studio post and I have been struggling with which of the many things I have been doing to tell you about today. I have finally decided to go with the most recent which is preparing for an update to my Etsy Shop. That is a topic that often plagues me. I always think I will put lots of pieces on and have an update, but usually, I get excited when I make something new and put it on right away, so I never get to the point that I have a quantity of new work to show all at once. But knowing for quite awhile that I would be writing this post for today, I decided to give it a try.
And I am going to be somewhat successful. I will be adding about 30-35 new pieces at 2:00PM today--I am still working on listing some and finishing others. I say somewhat since that is not a very large number of pieces, but I am beginning to get the idea of how to do this. I have put all the pieces I have ready so far on Draft so that I can quickly download them to my shop at the given time.
In the process of telling you a bit about what I will be adding to the shop, I will also be letting you know what I have been doing.
First off, I have spent the last 2 days making new Poetic Grunge style toggle clasps. I have truly enjoyed making these and bringing them from a dirty grungy mess to their finished state: Here are a few:
Poetic Grunge series Toggle Clasps by MaryHardingJewelry
I have spent quite a bit of time in the last month experimenting with iron oxide and just love what it can do. You will be seeing quite a bit of it already in my shop and some new tries as well. I also have written several blog posts lately about using it. You can find them in a series beginning HEREI began by doing some experiments.
I have working with different clays: earthenware, porcelain, and stoneware. My new love is a slightly buffer than buff stoneware clay. It is wonderful to hand form with as it is very elastic and retains its moisture a long time by clay standards which makes if lots of fun for making beads and birds with. And best of all it takes glazes and that oxide stain in just a heavenly fashion.
These pieces are too new for me to sell just yet but they will be coming out soon. Truthfully, I love them so much I just can't part with them--and I rationalize, I am using them as a test pieces to reference the effects of the stain and glaze on the clay. So here are few of the pieces I am using to record and test the clay with glazes and the iron stain.
Test beads for glazes and clay color
More test beads for glaze and clay color at cone 5
Some of my pieces in the update are in porcelain and they too handle that iron oxide and glaze wonderfully. I have been firing them to cone 5 in my new kiln that is so fun to use since it is so reliable and does a great firing job. It has been a long time since I have had such a kiln. My deepest gratitude to Don Seymour of ClayScapes in Syracuse New York for guiding me on this matter.
Porcelain pendants and Toggle Clasp by MaryHardingJewelry
I love this time of year and this year especially because we are having such a mild winter. This is the season that I like to explore and experiment. Getting to my studio is easy since there are no outdoor garden and upkeep tasks and a sunny deck and river calling me away. So I am feeling very productive. Here are some more of my new pieces in my shop/update.
Lilacs in Bud by MaryHardingJewelry
Three Ceramic Bracelet Bars by Mary Harding Jewelry
Barn Wood Toggle Clasp Porcelain by MaryHardingJewelry
Heart Pendant by MaryHardingJewelry
Toggle Clasp by MaryHardingJewelry
Now for the Question:
Today I am offering a surprise package of pieces from my new favorite buff stoneware clay. Not the ones you just saw but ones that I will be making especially for this occasion. Here is my question: What do you think of shop updates? Like? Dislike? Find them helpful or frustrating? or a better idea like auctions, Facebook group sales? Leave a comment below and you will be automatically entered . A winner will be picked by the random number generator next week and announced in that Inside the Studio post.
I so look forward to reading what you have to say.
Thanks so much for stopping by today.