Thursday, August 28, 2008

"I am orange today. Loud and messy like finger paints..."

I am guessing if you live in the U.S. you have probably heard the 'colors' song referenced above in the recent Dell laptop commercial that came out. You might have even found yourself singing along. I did. Finally I had to go find the song and download it from iTunes. Its' called "Colors" by Kira Wiley and I just love the song because I feel in colors too and that is the premise of the song.

I especially love the line "I am orange today. Loud and messy like finger paints..." I am SO in the mood to paint. And paint MESSY! But, I have not had the time to do it like I like to do it. I like to give in and let it take me away. Let the brush and paint and water flow in unplanned directions. A little drip here. A little splatter there. All distressed and lumpy with finger marks and sandpaper scratches. I like to use colors that don't seem like they should be used together and accidental 'mud' is always welcome too.

Until I have time to get down and dirty with some colorful tubes of goodness, I will have to live vicariously through YouTube art videos like those of artist Lisa Cole (She has a great first name I think... tee hee). She paints messy and whimsical too. It must be a "Lisa" thing. Check it out:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Tree By Sea 3 Fine Silver Beads and Findings Store is now OPEN!

To go along with the Fine Silver (.999 % pure) metal clay pendants and earrings I have been making for a while now, I decided to start making some of my own pure silver findings and beads to complement them. I seemed silly to make something out of pure silver and then use sterling silver findings & beads with it.

My guess was that other PMC/Metal Clay artist were thinking the same thing. Turns out there is actually a bit of a market by fellow metal clay artists for the pure silver findings for use with their own creations.
There are also many people who are alergic to the copper and alloys used in Sterling silver that find fine silver is more hypoallergenic who are interested in things like the pure silver earwires. As an added bonus, it's said that pure silver tarnishes slower than sterling. That's cool!

So, I decided to go ahead and market the findings. I'm just getting started but have sold several findings to a local bead store and a few findings and beads on line too.
I will be adding a lot more soon and updating my website to feature the beads and findings, so if this is something you are interested in, please check out the store today and come back again later to see even more of a selection. Thanks!

Friday, August 15, 2008

OK - Diamonds [glaze] are NOT this girls best friend

So I finally got the diamond glaze via mail order and tried it out. Um.... I'm not liking the diamond glaze I was so excited about in my previous post. Everyone recommends this stuff? Really? Maybe its me?

I made 3 pendants with papers from diff manufactures. I popped all the gazillions of bubbles caused by a bad applicator design. However the next day after it was dry there were a million bubbles that appeared overnight. Grrrrr.

The next day after that the glaze interacted with the metal of the bezel and the embedded charm and much of the glaze turned teal green. The metal did not... just the glaze. A couple of days later the entire surface of all 3 charms had tiny ripples & checks in it. Today I took another look and the glaze is yellow and cloudy. Not happy!!

I think I will stick with what I have always used. Crystal 3-D glaze or Rangers Glossy Accents. The later is much thicker than the diamond glaze and I never have ANY bubbles with the better tip design. Also, the tip does not clog. AND I have yet to see it discolor or react with anything.

The other thing I use is Easy Cast Resin if the well of the bezel is very deep. Good stuff.

Disappointed... I am SO glad I did not sell these pendants to someone. I almost did and I would have felt terrible.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New "Uniforms"

Tee hee.... I mean, T-shirt. I just designed a tee with my company logo on it. It was fun. Not sure why it took me so long to do. It's great free advertising on the go as I walk around with it and if I do a craft show, it would be fun to wear my company "uniform" so people can tell me appart from a meandering shopper.

I plan to have a whole line of t-shirts targeting crafters coming out one of these days. And maybe even shoes! Yes, shoes! Like canvas Ked types with custom printing. Check back for those!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An "Oops" Turned Around - Rescuing Precious Metal Clay from Boo Boos at Any Stage

Funny story... the brown stone you see here is actually blue tanzanite. I made this pure silver pendant with a blue stone and the words "blue moon" stamped at the bottom. However, the stone is more heat sensitive than I realized...when I fired it in the kiln, it turned brown. Luckily it is a gorgeous brown stone with red & gold fire (the picture does not do it justice), but it was obviously out of place with the words "blue moon", so I thought hard about how I could salvage this pendant that I really liked and came up with the idea to cover "blue moon" with "eclipse' because the moon looks brown during an eclipse, right? So the pendant ended up being something completely different than I planned, and the "oops" turned into something that is kinda cool and different I think.

So far there is nothing that I have done with metal clay that has not been salvagable no matter how hard I try to screw it up!

Before the clay is fired...
  • In the wet stage, you can always ball it up and start over or augment with more clay.
  • If the clay starts to get dry before you are done forming, spritz with water.
  • In the dry greenware state it can be turned right back into clay by spritzing generously with water and sealing in plastic or an airtight container for a day or so.
  • If at any time you make it too wet, expose to the air until it is the right consistancy.
  • If you break a piece in the leatherhard or greenware state, you can use the metal clay paste to glue things back together.
  • You can refine edges and smooth flaws with a wet paintbrush or with sand paper. (If you sand the greenware, be sure to salvage the 'dust' from you sanding and add it to your paste jar. The moisture will turn the dust into more paste or slip so there is no waste.)
  • If cracks form while drying, you can 'spackle' them with silver paste.

After the clay is fired...

  • You can repair breaks using silver OIL paste and re-fire (Kiln only), then sand and polish until the seam is not visible.
  • You can add another element made from metal clay and use paste to adhere it to the original piece then refire.
  • You can enamel, paint, or collage over mistakes (as I did in the eclipse pendant) to turn the item into a mixed media piece.
  • You can file off small mistakes using metal files and different grits of sand paper or if you have metalsmithing tools, you can saw off boo boos or drill, etc.
  • If all else fails, the item is .999 silver and can be melted and poured into a mold or can be sold to a precious metal buyer for the going rate for pure silver.

I just love a hobby with built in safety net!!