Friday, September 9, 2011

Feathering in Clay

I've always loved the look of the feathering technique in lampwork beads, and was pleased to learn there are methods to accomplish a similar look in polymer. I will be teaching a workshop on this technique at the Marlborough Arts Center in October. Here are some photos from a set I made. To me, it seems to have a decidedly Southwestern flavor. I'm going to have to try some totally different colors to see what other effects transpire.


I promised color, remember? Well, here's some color along with a great 3-D concept I really like. I didn't invent this form - saw something a while back, and decided to give it a try.
These beads take time. First, I had to make canes for the fans or blades of the lantern. These are cut and baked separately. Then a core is made, and the fans are carefully placed around the core, opposites at the same time to help keep things stabilized. After a second baking, end pieces can be added, then all is baked again. The hole through the center can be created when the core is made, or drilled later.

Here is a lantern bead with beadweaving embellishment. The fringe has crystals and seed beads, while the "cord" is made of a light twist of various colored ribbons and string. Other cording could be used, I just liked the way the colors corresponded to the cane colors in the bead.

And of course, I had to make a pair of earrings. Can you guess the color?.....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Different shapes...still black and white

As the past couple of posts have shown, I've been playing with a black and white theme lately. Had to share with you a couple more sets of earrings, dealing with some new shapes. As you can see, I really like the way the clay responds and bends. I promise color soon!

~This first pair is made with a kaleidoscope cane, shaped as cone flower with pearl centers.

~For the next set, I used little 2-sided saddle shapes, embellished with pearls and black firepolish beads.

~These last pairs show a mobius shape, one set with pearls, the other with crystal drops.