Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pod beads in cage

Two weeks ago I attended a workshop given at Chastain Arts Center on investment casting by Liaung Chung Yen, who was a participant in the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show.  In this technique, you use investment (a kind of plaster used in casting) to hold metal pieces together so that you can solder them all at once.  If you tried to solder the pieces individually, the heat from soldering the third piece would melt the solder connection from the first and second pieces and the whole thing would fall apart.  The piece I made was a metal cage, with seven pieces of square silver wire, soldered at top and bottom, then treated with liver of sulfur:

This looks like a pod to me, so I spent the last week making seeds for it out of various shades of olive green and yellow-orange glass, which I then added to the pod:

The beads are sage green (Effetre 211) with Vetrofond tapenade (963) dots, commando (CIM 475) with Effetre coral sunset (420) dots and and unknown orangy color with Vetrofond lichen (986) dots, all of them beautiful fall colors!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Winter landscape beads

In Margo's class last summer, we made summer landscape beads with green fields and trees in leaf.  For winter, I decided to try my hand at a snowy landscape, not that I'm going to be experiencing snow in Atlanta!  I made a snowy scene by taping two rods of white and one of light grey together with masking tape.  I used this as a single rod to lay down a large gather.  Next to it, I laid a gather from a "rod" of lapis medium pastel, blue cobalt transparent and CIM leaky pen.  This was my night sky.  After shaping, I made a tab with parallel mashers.  I added a moon with a dot of white, then shaped a winter tree using a stringer of pulled from brown, burnt sienna and intense black, loosely twisted together.  To make the trunk gnarly, I heated a small area of the trunk and twisted with a clear stringer.  As a final touch, I added a cubic zirconium to the reverse side of the bead to represent the evening star.

Here are a few of them:

 As usual, these will soon be for sale in my Etsy shop (