Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

Monday, March 10, 2014

Rags 2014

For the past several years, I have made it a must to attend the Rags Wearable Art Show in Tacoma.  The goal of the show is to raise funds for the YWCA Woman's abuse shelter. Last year they made their $1,00,000 mark for this very worthy charity.
    I have my favorite artists, so I visit their tables first.  Every year it gets harder to decide which OOAK piece to take home with me.  This year was no exception, as my faves have expanded their lines and have been experimenting with new techniques to tempt me.
   I have made it a point to purchase a pair of enameled earrings from Debbie Jackson every year.  This year she had new color choices that made it hard to decide.  I finally went with these light green beauties.

 I was excited to see some new jewelery designs at her table.  "You've gotten into etching" said I.  "No, I didn't etch, due to the chemicals involved.  I discovered the rolling mill." was her reply.
Believe it or not, she embossed metals for these earrings on a rolling mill using cardboard templates. I would never have thought that cardboard would be sturdy enough to indent metal, but here you go ... proof in these two earring sets:

Another favorite artist is Pamela Bellesen aka The Wide Mouth Frog.  She only does one show a year, and doesn't sell on line. She is featured in numerous galleries around the country, but locally the only way to buy her work is at Rags or her store in Poulsbo, Wa.
   She has expanded her work to include origami papers and embossed metals.

I was very excited to hear that she is offering classes at her studio in Poulsbo, not just in metal work, but other artistic pursuits. Hopefully, I will be able work some classes into my schedule. Poulsbo is a bit of a jaunt from the Emerald City, but it can include a ferry ride and that is always fun in good weather.

I bought from a new (for me) artist this year.  Darcy Thompson upcycles china and ceramics into unique jewelery pieces with the use of colorful grout.  I fell in love with the necklace, and even tho the piece of china it originated from did not include any pieces small enough to make earrings, Darcy was able to find a pair in her stash that matched pretty closely.

And last, but certainly not least, I came across Michele Rancy and her Enaminals. She had the most beautiful enameled penguin, but as I had already spent my allotment for the day, I had to pass on it. Fortunately, she also had this copper penguin that was the same design only without the color.  
My totem ... of course he had to go home with me.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sutton Slice

I was looking over some of the pieces I brought home from the PC cruise, wondering why I have not blogged about them before now.  I got very lucky during the door prize drawings to win not one, but two, of Lisa Pavelka's demo pieces.

 The first is a hollow bead she made as a demo of a foil and stamp technique.  The picture does not do it justice. It is soooo Shiny

 This focal is from her demo of the Sutton Slice.  She used a Skinner blend as the background and inserted a lovely crystal in the center.

 I tried my hand at a hollow focal, and made this shiny bead.  It has been a while since the cruise, so I don't remember if I used foil or mica powder to achieve the coloring.  From some of the smudgy coloring in the middle of the piece, it think it was mica powders.

I thought I would try my hand at the Sutton Slice Technique and just used a bit of left over clay I had sitting around on the table.  I wish I'd had more scrape, as I really like the look of these beads. Note the "bleeding" of the ecru into the purplish color on the second from the top bead. I LOVE that effect, have absolutely no idea why it happened and will probably never get it to happen again.
These beads were finished with wax rather than my usual Kato LC finish (unfortunately for me, I could smell the wax now that my cold is over)

Reminds me of Batik fabric
After this initial success, I tried another Sutton slice with different colors and texture sheet.  Again I used left over clay so these are all of this set. These I finished using Kato LC.

I liked the purple beads so well, that I thought I would try the technique again with green. Since the original beads made me think of batik, I decided to put faux stitches around the tops of the bead. Again, it used wax to finish, since I like the softer shine it gives. Just wish it didn't smell so bad.

Hey, not bad.  Two blog entries in a week's time.  Maybe I am over my slump.

This Friday I am going to visit my favorite show of the year - RAGS.  I have found some of my favorite OOAK pieces there.  Last year I meet another PC artist and had a great time talking polymer. I hope she is back this year.  And RAGS supports a great cause ... the YWCA's shelter for abused women and their children.