Welcome to Inside the Studio!
Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
Congratulations to Mokki!
You have won a pair of Tari's super cute house charms.
Oh boy, have I been busy! As you may know if you regularly read this blog, I got a kiln fairly recently and have been making ceramic beads. Prior to that, for a short while, I was getting my stuff fired at a local potter's place. I'm now falling into a production cycle of firings that results in large batches of beads. I may be wrong, but as I understand it, many ceramic bead makers use a kiln that is a bit smaller than the one I chose (now christened Bertha). So, my production cycle involves spending an age making up heaps and heaps of greenware to fill up all that space, ready to be bisque fired.
As you can see, I could actually get much more in here but I can only wait so long! I opted for a larger size because it was not that
much more to get a kiln three times the size of the very smallest. Also, I was bothered that I wouldn't be able to get many beads racks in glaze firings if I went for the small kiln. But, the drawback is that it takes a long time to get a batch of beads completed. It also means that I end up with a massive mountain of bisque that needs glazing, which can be a bit overwhelming. All this aside, I'm still loving the whole process. It was very good to get this greenware cooking. Did I whisper, Go, Bertha, Go!
, as she whirred into action? I may have... . Then, after four glaze firings - two different stonewares and two different earthenwares - I finally had my batch finished. And then it was time for the dreaded photographing, editing and listing, which has taken much of this week. I finally got all these new beads into my bead shop
last night. Anyway, time for a photo feast. Like I said, there were rather a lot of them...
Lots of earring beads, including lots of my point pairs...
and a range of polka dot porcelain spears.
I've been experimenting with making breastplate pendant connectors,
along with lots of other pendants:
And I'm still obsessed with all things seed pod and lily-like:
I have tiger stripe beads in a rainbow of shades, including these:
And plenty of these pennant sets -
I decided to go in for the whole Marsala thing - and bought too many Marsala-y glazes. Some worked better then others....
These roses have been very popular so I made up plenty of sets; here are just a few:
And, of course, there's always a call for birds:
I had lots of fun selecting palettes for these sets:
And here's a last few bits:
These are just a few from that mountain in the kiln, so if you're interested in seeing the others, click here
But, time for the giveaway. This week I'm giving away a mystery bundle of beads.
Which means, I haven't quite decided what it is yet but I'll put together a little bag of beady goodness and I'll send it out to the winner. My question is: what is your favourite art bead medium? Are you unable to resist lampwork, or are you more of a polymer fan? Are you, like me, in love with all things ceramic, or perhaps you're crazy for enamelled elements? Mind you, I love all these things - I'll wager most of you do too. Anyway, comment below with your answer to stand a chance of winning that mystery bundle!