Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Challenge Recap

The playful artwork of Paul Klee was our muse for August and inspired a lot of textured and whimsical creations. Let's see what you made!

Add your blog to the blog hop below:

Get the InLinkz code for your blog: get the InLinkz code

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fundraising with Art Beads

One thing I am certain of, is the internet has exposed me to wonderful things and terrible things.  I am an avid Facebook user, both for personal and business reasons and spend an hour or more every day reading about family and friends adventures, the latest in beads, jewelry and what's trending.  Every now and then, a story, video or news article will be on my wall and I know I should keep scrolling, but I don't.  I read it or watch it and the horror of abuse sticks in my head and heart for days, weeks and longer.

The abuse I am referring to is with animals - usually dogs and cats that are victims of heartless individuals and abuse as well as the over population shelters are dealing with.  Dogs and cats are discarded like garbage and it hurts me to the core.  Over and over again I was seeing this - until I decided I had to do something about it.  I can't foster because I could never give them up.  I can't volunteer because I would become a foster and we know how that ends.  Plus my free time is very limited due my bead production schedule.  What I can do is make a ceramic paw print pendant with bead, crystal and metal bead accent, wire wrap it all together, put it on a chain and sell 100 of them to benefit animal rescues over the US.  And that's just what I did!

I put my idea on my personal page and I had all 100 claimed within 3 days time.  It's awesome!  I asked my friends to recommend rescues that they know about that are doing good works in local communities.  I narrowed it down to ten and they will each receive $150 after all the funds are collected.  Has this been a lot of work?  Yes.  Will I do it again?  Yes.  If we can all help a little, a lot can be accomplished!

Thanks to everyone that participated!  Michelle McCarthy, Firefly Design Studio

Monday, August 29, 2016

Monday Muse and Beady Link Party

Hmm, last Monday of August. I'm gonna call it. Summer is breathing it's last humid breath and soon those crimp autumn days will be here and I will relishing in all the colors and sights of the season. If you aren't ready to let go of summer, you may want to look away. Autumn inspirations ahead! 

I'll ease you into the season with a few late summer garden finds like this sweet little lampwork butterfly bead by JewelryBeadsbyKate

Love this set from Russian lampwork artist Maria Kirillova from GlassMagic. Yeah, let's file these under completely amazing!

These remind me of autumn mums. They are already popping at the farmer's markets in our town. That's my first hint that fall is a pumpkin's throw away! Lampwork flowers from KatrinaTreasures.

Lisa Peters and Mother Nature must have sat down for tea one afternoon because she is channelling the best of autumn in these rustic floral raku pieces. I have a nice collection of leaves in this style. I must go pull them out today! Stop by LisaPetersArt to find them.

A metallic raku finish on mini acorn charms? Yes, please! These lovelies are from Valerie over at ClayForACure. A portion of the sales are donated to finding a cure for cancer. I had to stop writing this post to purchase a pair for myself!

My bead table is filled with autumn beads. These little birch branch beads are one of my latest creations. Find them in my Humblebeads Etsy shop. 

You can find all sorts of autumn goodness created in lampwork glass over at MasqueBeads. Just take a few minutes to visit this shop, I want so many!!! 

I had to sneak in a pumpkin, what's autumn with out a little pumpkin spice! These goregous raku ones are from KiyoiDesgin.

I'm loving this golden mustard color for fall, it's been popping up in my own beads and Carol from TerraRustica has perfectly captured the color with a lacy floral design. Hmm, I may need these too.

Beady Link Party
We invite our readers to share their blog post links with us each week. As long as they feature jewelry or beads, share your favorite post from last week with us. We hope this will inspire you to blog a little more often and bring our community closer together.

1. Please only post blog new links each week. *

2. Visit at least two other blog links and leave a comment. We want to grow our blogging community and encourage you connect with each other.

3. You have until Wednesday each week to share your blog post.

We want to connect more with our readers! Join the party and share you latest beady blog link.

Haven't blogged in a while? It's the perfect time to share what you have been up to, what you find inspiring, your creative process, interview a favorite beadmaker, review a beady book - get creative and get blogging!

The beady link party is open to jewelry designers, beadmakers and group bead blogs.

Share you link using the "Add a Link" Inlinkz button below.

*We ask for fresh links, if you have a post that you haven't shared with us yet but it's a few weeks old, that's cool.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Inside the Studio with Gardanne Beads

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 will leave  comments!  As an incentive, we offer a PRIZE each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think.

At the next Inside the Studio post a WINNER is chosen at random from all eligible entries.
Here are the results from the last Inside the Studio post.

Anvil Artifacts is the winner of a $20 gift certificate at Swoondimples!!!
Congratulations! Please contact Heather to claim your prize.

Hi from Gardanne Beads, since I just returned from Bead Fest this past weekend I thought I would take you on the road with me instead of in my studio.

I can't believe I have been exhibiting at the August Bead Fest for the past five years, along the way I have picked up some show and display tips that work for me. 

First tip is to get one of those gel mats to stand on behind your booth, most of the floors at large venues are concrete. So good shoes are a must, but these gel mats definitely make for more comfortable legs and feet. Those are my feet on the right, can you guess whose pretty feet are on the left?

I would also recommend a 24" folding stool, if you need to sit you will still be at a comfortable eye level with your customers. I forgot mine on this trip and my legs were extra tired from all the standing.

When you run out of space on your table, instead of investing in a larger table go vertical.

I invested in some handmade display racks a couple years ago from a fellow ETSY seller called Moxie Metal, they make a variety wonderful jewelry displays in all shapes and sizes.

My tip is not the metal display rack but the gauze fabric I have draped over the top rail of the display. I drape this fabric on the back of the display to act as a solid back drop for my beads and/or jewelry. By doing this I have eliminated the distraction of what is going on behind my display and the customer can focus on the beads.

If you are not familiar with bead shows, at the end of the show day everyone covers their items in the booths with fabric or plastic. I never did understand this practice, but everyone does it.
I did not plan on this added feature, but the first time I used the gauze fabric on my display racks I discovered that I could just flip the fabric over my items on the vertical display and they were covered for the night.

If you are selling jewelry components it is super important to have jewelry samples containing your beads so your customers have some inspiration on how to use your components. 

I purchased these linen displays from Nile Corp, they are very inexpensive so as they look tired just get new ones. My earrings made with earwires hook into the linen, for an easy display solution.

The linen necklace displays came with some paper stands so they could be used on the table top. I wanted to hang them on my vertical display, so I took off the stands and added the 3M clips, intended for power cords, to clip them to the top of my display.

The last tip of the day is an apron with multiple pockets that was intended for my hips but is more functional tied to the back of my table. I keep all my bills in the separate pockets and it is easy to access when giving change. I never liked the cash boxes they would tip over when opened and I never felt to comfortable walking back to my car carrying a cash box.

Hope you have found these tips helpful. You will find that your display will evolve to meet your needs and also change depending on what type of show you are doing.

In the comment section tell me what your favorite tip was or maybe you have a favorite tip of your own you would like to share.

A winner will be selected at random from the comment section and will receive a $20 gift certificate to spend in my ETSY shop,

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Interview with Bead Artist Melissa Gabelle

Ceramic Beads by Melissa Gabelle
Today I am pleased to bring to you an interview with Melissa Gabelle, a ceramic bead artist from Australia.
 I originally connected with Melissa on the Ceramic Art Bead Market where we both sell out work.  I was so impressed with her creations that I wanted to share them with  you.  Melissa graciously agreed.  Our interview has been done by email as she lives in Verona on the South Coast of Australia.  Melissa graciously sent beautiful photos and answered the questions that follow about her work.
So let's begin!!
Mary:  How long have you been working with clay and how did you first get into it?

Melissa:  My first experience in clay was when I did a course in 1991 – 92 in ceramics. It was an excellent course that taught me all the fundamentals of ceramics, from throwing to glaze technology. From then on I was hooked. I just love making things with clay. I have been working in clay on and off for about 25 years, although I did have a break for a few years and worked as a web publisher in government.
Early Work  Melissa Gabelle

Vessel by Melissa Gabelle

Mary:  What lead you to start making beads?
Melissa:  I first had experience making beads in a course where we made our own Egyptian paste and then made beads out of it. I would love to make Egyptian paste again. I was talking to a woman in my local town who owns a bead shop and she makes exquisite beaded jewellery. I was saying I would love to get back into ceramics, but I didn’t have a big enough space to set up all my equipment. She suggested I make her some ceramic beads. I though wow, what a great idea, little works of art, perfect. That is when I set myself up with a tiny studio and pulled my old kiln out of storage, presto beads!
Mary:  How did you come up with your wonderful  name for your business.
Melissa:  Hmmm, that took a little while. I actually read the ETSY guidelines for naming a shop and they suggested something that was easy to remember. I love clay and my other love is chickens and birds. So The Clay Hen seemed like a great name for me. I am also into anything whimsical so it fitted my personality.
Clay Hens by Melissa Gabelle  Icon for her shop The Clay Hen

Mary:  Do you ever make jewelry with your beads? 
Melissa:  I do make some earrings from my beads for a local handmade shop and occasionally for exhibitions. I find I don’t have a lot of time to make jewellery as I am busy making beads! I also don’t enjoy working with metal much…too hard for me, I like the soft squishy nature of clay.
Earrings by Melissa Gabelle

Ceramic Earrings Melissa Gabelle

Mary:  What other creative adventures are a part of your life—past and present?
Melissa:  Wow, now that is a list. I still love print making (not that I have time lately).When I was at art school in my youth I studied etching for about 2 years, this is where I got a love of printmaking, I also really love lino printing. The whole process of designing and cutting the lino and the excitement of seeing the whole thing printed up is such a wonderful process. Knitting, crocheting, drawing, sculpture and ink drawings. I have also worked in web publishing/design. My biggest love and the thing I have been doing the longest is ceramics. I use to create quirky wheel thrown functional ware that I sold in galleries around NSW, Australia. 
Ceramic Vessel by Melissa Gabelle of The Clay Hen

Mary:  What is your workspace like? 
Melissa:  I have one word to describe my workspace….tiny! It is a meagre 1.5 metres x 1.5 metres, just big enough to make beads and small sculptures. I am planning for a bigger workshop in the future. This will allow me to mix glazes, do some throwing (on the wheel), plaster work, teaching etc.
Studio Melissa Gabelle

Mary:  Are there any ceramicists or bead makers that have inspired you.
Melissa:  Yes, many! With beads I just can’t go past Claire Lockwood’s stuff, original, different and quirky, just love it. I also love Joan Miller’s work, especially her whimsical robots and figurative porcelain and silver work, an amazing talent. There are quite a few potters I love so I will just list them!
Sony Manning amazing inlaid work, Andrew Cope, Barbi Lock Lee’s Australian animal pots, Greg Daley, Sandy Lockwood and Jenny Orchard’s wonderful sculptures. I could keep going but I think I will stop there. (all Australian potters)

Mary: I read in one of your write ups for the Ceramic Art Bead Market that you fire your beads in a solar powered kiln. Could you describe your set up and explain how this works.
Melissa:  I have a small 2.4kw kiln, it was the smallest kiln from the manufacture. We have a 5.0kw solar system that feeds back into the grid. I fire on sunny days (which get lots of in Aus) and that means I don’t actually take any power from the grid. It comes straight from the solar panels. The left over power either goes into the grid and we get a small amount back from the power company or we can use it with our household appliances. I also use 100% recycled packaging for my cards, wrapping and postage material. I have even found 100% biodegradable sticky tape!

Solare Powered Kiln 

Solar Powered Ceramic Kiln Loaded with bisque ware

Mary:  I used to live in  Southern California and noticed that most kilns were kept outside and that drying clay was much faster than here in the Northeast. I understand that you live in Australia. How does the climate there help and or hinder working with ceramics?

Melissa:  My studio has the solar power inverter on the wall and that produces quite a bit of heat and with the hot summers it means my beads dry out quickly. I have a lot of experience in how you can dry clay quickly so I don’t tend to have too many problems; there is one exception….porcelain! So I just take the losses as a part of the process with porcelain. I never wrap or slow the process down.
Bisque beads still to be glazed by Melissa Gabelle

Mary: I like the colors and forms you use in your work. Could you tell us something about your color choices and forms. Inspirations? And without giving away any secrets, something about the glazes you use.

Melissa:  I am not sure how I come to my choices in terms of colour and form, it sort of happens organically. I love nature and I get a lot of inspiration from there. I did a couple of series that were inspired from pollen grains and diatoms as seen through a powerful microscope
Diatoms by Melissa Gabelle
Pollen Grains Drops by Melissa Gabelle
 I live on a block of land with lots of bush and there are many creatures that visit us, I have been getting interested in bugs lately….you may have seen a few of my beetle and bee designs
Bee Earrings by Melissa Gabelle
I also love deco and nouveau design.

Deco Drops by Melissa Gabelle
Nouveau Drops by Melissa Gabelle

My daughter gives me ideas too! I would love to mix my own glazes again but as my studio space is limited I use a combination of commercial glazes, oxides, stains, slips and sand. I try to experiment all the time. I love doing different styles i.e. I don’t really stick to one style. I use terracotta, stoneware, earthenware and porcelain. I am also interested in raku….that will have to come later!
Mary:  Besides making wonderful creative beads, what do you enjoy spending your time on?

Melissa:  Well to tell you the truth, there isn’t a lot of time left! I have started doing small sculptures, which I just love.
Bird Sculptures by Melissa Gabelle
Bird Sculpture by Melissa Gabelle
Bird Sculpture by Melissa Gabelle

 I try to have weekends off, which I like to spend with my family. I also love gardening, swimming riding my bike, going to the beach and watching the seals and waves. Nature is just amazing and I just love watching creatures do their stuff.
Mary:  To end our interview I am going to share a collage  of earring drops by Melissa's beads.

Ceramic Drops by Melissa Gabelle
I hope you have enjoyed this journey to Australia to meet Melissa Gabelle. I have included some links where you can find her and keep up to date on what she  s making.
Thank you again Melissa!! 

Where you can find more of Melissa's work. 

Thank you readers for stopping by today.
posted by Mary Harding

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Review: Making Etched Metal Jewelry

Cover Making Etched Metal Jewelry by Kristen Robinson and Ruth Rae

Maybe you missed this book when it came out like I did, or you have recently become interested in learning how to etch metal ? Or you like mixed media jewelry with a bohemian twist.  In any of these cases, you will find Making Etched Metal Jewelry, Techniques and Projects, Step by Step, by Kristen Robinson and Ruth Rae, a good introduction to the techniques of etching and the construction of many inspiring jewelry projects ( there are 17 to choose from.)   Etching metal is almost magical and is a great way to give your handmade pieces a unique one of a kind look as you can see in the samples here from the cover of the book.
 4 examples of projects in the book 

The book begins with the specific techniques involved in etching metal.  The authors have chosen to focus on the two most frequently used methods:  etching with Ferric Chloride and etching with Muric Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide.  Since both methods involve the use of chemicals that require special precautions in order to be used safely, I want to be sure to draw your attention to the safety guidelines that have been clearly stated on page 8.    In addition, it is important to note that the methods discussed are only suitable for Brass, Copper and Nickel Silver. 
Besides teaching how to etch metal, the book also addresses a number of metal working and beading techniques to help you make its many mixed media and bohemian style projects.  You will find  information on tools to use to, supplies needed, basic wire wrapping techniques for attaching beads to your work and specific instructions on how to use a circle cutter, dap a metal disk into a dome, how to use a jeweler's saw, and how to use 3 different kinds of patinas and more.

For me the strength of this book is the special ways that etching can personalize your jewelry. Using just a black Sharpie permanent marker you can write on metal and etch whatever words you want to have on your creation.  No need to reverse the text and use a complicated procedure to get what you want to say on your piece.  
Pre-Order / Etched Copper Curved Bars - Original Drawings on Copper - Made to Order  by Gaea
You can use Stazone permanent black to ink up one of your own handmade rubber stamps or a commercial one to get an image on your metal and it will come out etched. And that Sharpie marker is also great for drawing on metal and designing your very own bead caps, tube beads, disks and pendants.
 Circle disks stamped with Stazone ink and etched; Tube beads drawn on with permanent black Sharpie marker and etched. by MaryHardingJewelry

Another aspect of etching that I learned about in this book is making etched metal chain links. You will find several different handmade chain styles using etched links featured in  the projects.  What a great idea for enhancing your jewelry.  I can't wait to try my hand at making some.

I hope you have found this look at Making Etched Metal Jewelry helpful and intriguing.  You can get it at your local bookstore or on Amazon .  The Amazon site allows you to have a "look inside" so you can see even more pictures and features of this publication.  For more examples of jewelry using etched metal components, you can visit my Pinterest Board.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

posted by Mary Harding

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Perfect Pairings :: WinterBirdStudio + DonnaPerlinplim + Garden of Beads + Glass by Leese + ArtIncendi

The playful artwork for August evokes the feeling of walking in a park in the fall. The trees seem to be alive with color and almost dancing. Same is true for this beautiful bib style necklace from WinterBirdStudio. The ceramic focal components seem like shards of a long forgotten piece of pottery with a very 70s color palette that plays perfectly with this month's challenge art. And this would be the perfect necklace to wear on a stroll through the park.

Featured Designer ::  WinterBirdStudio


Featured Bead Artists ::

(Pssst...Kathrin is getting married! Great sale happening! Check it out!)

We are now using Pinterest! 
You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes,
including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge!
(Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)

Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description
so that I have someplace to attribute the picture! 
And don't forget to tell us about those art beads - providing links to bead makers is appreciated!

Deadline August 29th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for August 31st.

TIP: If you upload your photo rather than pin it from your blog or shop, edit the pin (the little pencil button) and add your link as the source. Save your edits. This will allow us to click directly on your photo and go to your blog or shop to read more about your entry. If you don't, I might not be able to access the photo to share it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monthly Challenge Color Palette & Bead Picks

Isn't this month's challenge artwork fun? I love the playful abstraction of the park and trees. But what I couldn't help notice about this month's inspiration was how on trend it is with the Pantone color palette for fall.
Even through the colors may be Pantone's color picks for the season, they really stand the test of time!

If you haven't seen this month's jewelry challenge head over to the blog post to read all about it. You have until the end of the month to enter. 

Here are some offerings from our Art Bead Scene contributor's shops that would fit perfectly in with this month's challenge. 

1. First up is the copper pendant from Mary Harding. I like how the curves are mimic the painting.

2. Tesori Trovati's leaf pendant pulls the sharkskin and potter's clay shades from the painting and gives a not to the subject matter - just in more literal terms.

3. Birds and parks are constant companions so one in that pop of orange would be a great focal. Enamel bird from Gardanne

4. The teal disks from Humblebeads picks up the green/blue hues in the painting and the branch them mirrors the curving branches in the inspiration piece.

5. More birds in a modern style from Swoondimples. I love the purple and think it's a perfect match.

6. As September starts to wave at us, mustard yellow is more and more appealing. This button from Creative Impressions in Clay can also be ordered a pendant. 

7. Ceramic rounds Firefly Designs Studio in that lovely muted shape of pink would look great with any of the other pieces listed here.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday Muse and Beady Link Party

My muse is torn between wanting to hold one to those last few weeks of summer and looking ahead to the fall season.

So somewhere in those long, hot days of August I'm reminded of teenage summers at the local pond watching dragonflies skim across the surface of the water and those murky blues, purples, woodland greens and browns rushing together. Here are some dragonfly picks to inspire you too.

First up is the silver dragonfly cuff by Cathy Dailey, pictured above.

Perfect dragonfly pairs in ceramic by Scorched Earth.

A ceramic dragonfly bead by Cynthia Cranes Pottery

Love seeing Earthenwood Studio's shop filled with work like her classic Dragonfly Pendant.

 Polymer clay charms that would make perfect earrings from Ornamental Objects.

 I love these organic silver dragonfly charms from Pam Springall via VDIJewelryFindings

And from me, over at my Humblebeads Etsy shop is this fun and colorful set of coin beads featuring a dragonfly focal.

I'm always asked at shows when I'm selling jewelry if I have dragonfly items, so they seem to inspire many others too! Dragonflies symbolize wisdom, transformation, change and adaptability in life - so no wonder they appeal to so many. 

Beady Link Party
We invite our readers to share their blog post links with us each week. As long as they feature jewelry or beads, share your favorite post from last week with us. We hope this will inspire you to blog a little more often and bring our community closer together.

1. Please only post blog new links each week. *

2. Visit at least two other blog links and leave a comment. We want to grow our blogging community and encourage you connect with each other.

3. You have until Wednesday each week to share your blog post.

We want to connect more with our readers! Join the party and share you latest beady blog link.

Haven't blogged in a while? It's the perfect time to share what you have been up to, what you find inspiring, your creative process, interview a favorite beadmaker, review a beady book - get creative and get blogging!

The beady link party is open to jewelry designers, beadmakers and group bead blogs.

Share you link using the "Add a Link" Inlinkz button below.

*We ask for fresh links, if you have a post that you haven't shared with us yet but it's a few weeks old, that's cool.