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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Astounding Ebay Discovery, Dreams, Weather, Friends, Bead Mandala, Bronze Clay Rocks Necklace, Metal Clay


Sold my second work in Bronze Metal Clay. Yay!!! It was the necklace earring set with orange enameled beads and textured bronze charms.

And, I got the most heart-warming letter from the person who bought (and just received) my first sold piece in metal clay. I swear, I have the best customers. They are just beyond awesome.

Went to Hadar’s class last night. And before I forget, let me tell you that the Friday night group of ladies are some of the most artistic, creative, bright, friendly, and innovative women I’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out with.

Anyway, as usual, I’d done no thinking previous to getting there. Lucky for me, I forgot my already made clay (I mean, who thinks to look in the fridge for something they may have forgotten?), so I got to stall by mixing up a new batch. I think part of the problem is I’m just not an “evening” person. My brain is like off-duty after about 3pm.

So I mixed and rolled and I guess Hadar figured it out pretty easily. She mentioned that when people were learning silver clay from her, she’d usually start them on her… hm, does it have a name? The quilt pendant perhaps? I’m too lazy to go look it up, but it’s a pretty familiar piece if you know Hadar’s work.

As much as I thought I really did roll my newly mixed copper clay quite enough, I see now I didn’t. Here’s the back of my quilt pendant (as it was drying)…

See those white dots? Binder. Grrr… They’re not supposed to show like that. It means I didn’t mix the stuff up enough. I will say one thing, though… This bit of copper was at the end of my container of copper and when I mixed my first few batches from this container, I didn’t realize I was supposed to shake the container before pouring the powder into the bowl. So it could be I needed to roll WAY more because there was more binder at the bottom of the container (this I did notice).

These three pieces are newly made, dried, and currently in the kiln. The big bamboo pendant at the top is nothing special but I thought if it turned out I wanted to give it to a friend of mine and she could hang it somewhere weird where she’d see it every so often and maybe think, “Well, that’s not spectacular by any stretch of the imagination, but someone thought of me when they made it and I love sentiment.”

Then there’s also my quilt pendant and in the upper right is something I made just ‘cause I had nothing else to do while I was waiting for my quilt parts to dry and I didn’t have the time to start an involved project.

Here’s a photo of my new kiln pot. I can’t remember if I already showed you. It’s shallower than the old pot (which means I can raise it up on stilts and it doesn’t touch the lid of the kiln (as the old pot did). It’s also round, which makes it a better fit for even heating since my kiln’s inside is roundish. It’s larger in diameter than the old pot, so every part of the outside diameter of the new pot gets some kiln heat (the old one only heated one side well). And finally (and the best part), it came with a flat lid. Yay!

Here’s how I arranged my stuff.

At first, I was going to try the large pendant in a vertical position, but it really would have been close to the top and bottom of the kiln. And now that I look at it, I’m thinking, “Shouldn’t I have put it face down?” D’oh!

Here’s the position of the new pot in the kiln.

As I continue to learn and experiment with metal clay, I want to try to record most of my methods so that I can repeat things that work and alter things that don’t.

The kiln finished phase 1. I let it cool with the lid closed from 1000 to 556, at which point I opened the lid a couple of inches. I plan to let it get down a couple more hundred degrees like this then I’ll open the lid fully. After it cools all the way down, I’ll vacuum the ash out, put the lid on and start phase two so that I will have some finished project by morning. Yay!


Finally listed this necklace, btw, with the bronze rocks (another Hadar technique).

Next week I’ll put that and the two latest bracelets in the other stores (Etsy, eBay, ArtFire).


I took a couple days off. I’ll get back to it… I already have many orders. Hope to have version 2 done by Monday.


I had several people test it for me. I’ve gotten some good feedback. I’d like to thank my testers.

Here’s a sample of one of the mandalas that a tester made. I think it’s fabulous and have been given permission to use it when I list the tutorial.


One of the most important things I learned through my divorce from the children’s father was that friends are a crucial part of life. It’s taken me a few years now, but I’ve built up a little mound of friends over the past ten years… and it’s really comforting. I think complete isolation can be a bad thing.

I’m still not a terribly social person, but I want to be there for my friends and I know they are (usually) there for me.

I recently called upon one of them. She dropped what she was doing and instantly drove an hour to see me. How special that makes me feel. I hope I can do the same when someone needs me.


The heat has finally set in. I’m not poking fun, but I will say that this will now bring on a slew of threads by lampworkers complaining (for months) about the heat and how it’s too hot to torch. Then a month or two will pass and they’ll switch to complaining about how it’s too cold to torch. It’s almost comforting to see these threads… sometimes consistency is soothing.

Anyway, yeah, it’s hot here, so I pulled the a/c out of the patio closet and got it into the window. Can’t start it up yet ‘cause the kiln’s running, but I will try it later. Wish me luck.


I dreamed last night that I was in a crowd of people and a large tree (well, I only saw the trunk) fell right smack in front of me. I remember screaming or gasping. I didn’t know, at the time, that it was a dream. It missed me, for which I felt fortunate, but it did fall on others. “To see a falling tree in your dream, indicates that you are off balance and out of sync. You are off track and headed in the wrong direction.”

I also dreamed I was staying at a sort of fancy commune or hostel-type place. But part of the agreement of being able to stay there for free was that we had to work, which was fine. We were supposed to wear a uniform but no matter how many I tried on I couldn’t find one that fit.


You can make the pictures in eBay bigger!!! Like, when you’re doing a search. I had no idea.

This first one, TOTALLY reminds me of Sharky…

funny pictures of cats with captions
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funny pictures of cats with captions
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  1. It was great to see your finished pieces in the bronze and the pot and the kiln.I love the raku look of the finished product. I don't think I will venture there, though ... so much schtuffz going on with charcoal and containers, etc!

    I think the bead mandala is fantastic!

  2. Thanks for sharing your bronze and copper clay journey in such rich detail, Laura. The mandala is beautiful! I don't doubt you'll sell many of those!

    I love LOL cats! Sometimes I feel like I'm the staring contest :-)

    Keep doin' whatcha do! It's all lovely!