Sunday, October 25, 2009


SaWEEEEET!!! I was trying to sleep in on this early Sunday morning but I couldn't get them out of my mind, I had to get up and see how my pieces turned out. And they are beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course I need to polish them up etc but they look pretty darned good as they are.

So even though my kiln went all wonky on me the pieces all survived beautifully. Let's hope the same is true next time and next time and ....................

Here's a pic of them straight from the kiln. I used a couple of the new molds I made from buttons a few days ago and they are gorgeous!!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

My first in home Bronze Firing

My somewhat long story of the first time I fire BronzClay at home in my own lovely little kiln.

For those of you who may not know, BronzClay has a much more complicated schedule than Silver clay or PMC. I took a Bronze class some months ago and I really like it, it suits my rustic and primitive style. But for some reason I haven't figured out I've been chicken to fire it at home. In the last year of jewelry making I do things I don't know how to do all the time, no problem, but this one stopped me in my tracks.

When I first learned to use Bronze, I couldn't fire it in the kiln I had. It was a manual kiln and would have been very difficult to babysit it all day using the Bronze firing schedule. I think there are many variations on this schedule but the one my instructor uses, the amazingly awesome and fun Patrik Kusek is 500 F per hour to 1550 F, hold for 2 hours. See why I didn't want to try this with a manual kiln OY!!!

So I purchased a programmable kiln quite some time ago, but I've never gotten the courage to use it. I took another Bronze and Copper class with Patrik and decided I had to face my fear and program my kiln and fire Bronze and now Copper at home.

The day after class I programmed it, and there it sat for about 3 weeks. Until today!!!!!! I made 3 fairly simple pairs of earrings, in case I ruin them all :). Loaded the container, put it in the kiln and turned it on. It shot up to 1,000 F right away, whaaaaat!!! So I turned if off and re-programmed it, and checked it several times, turned it back on and crossed my fingers.

Tic far so good, it's at 1,000 now for an hour.

Tic toc....10 minutes to go, then hopefully my kiln will go to 1550 for 2 hours and I'll have gotten through it.

Woohoo, in the home stretch. I won't be able to get in and see if this jewelry survived the firing until tomorrow.

So tune in tomorrow.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fun with Photography

I was taking some traditional shots in my light box of a new piece of jewelry. I decided on such a beautiful fall morning I should go outside and wander around my new yard (moved about a month ago) and see what fun I could find out there.

I took my brand new piece, a somewhat new piece and one I've had for a little while and set off to discover. There are some great large moss covered rocks, a very large and tangled dried out tree root and various other things that I think make fun backdrops.

Here's the newly listed piece, first one of my light box shots which I usually take on slate and a variety of other surfaces, then the outside shots.

The first is on a lovely moss covered rock, then the gnarly tree root.

Here's my recently listed Flower pendant taken outside on the gnarly root and nestled in a Hens and Chicks plant.

Finally my slinky leaf pendant, which I thought was perfect for outdoor photograghy. It was actually the most difficult piece because it has so much movement, which is one of the things makes it so much fun to wear!

I just have to show you a full shot of this monster tree root, generously left here for me by the family we bought our house from. I'll be moving it at some point in to the garden area as a fantastic focal point, and I think it will be one of my favorite spots to photogragh my jewelry.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day 5 Jewelry Intensive The END

My lovely week has come to an end :( I think I ended the week with a number of great pieces!!!What a great week!!!

Day 5 consisted of finishing up any loose ends, my big pendant finally got a chain. I made it from wire shaped in the same teardrop shape as the stone. I think it certainly makes a bold statement!

I also set a cute little Turquoise stone, orinally I was planning on a ring with some brass or bronze wire but in the end I made another much more delicate pendant. I think I might save this little beauty for myself, I suspect it might be an everyday piece for me.

Time to go back to the real world of unpacking from last weekends move and going back to work. The most fun part will be building my new studio, we've already got a couple of very large work and storage pieces in that just need tops.

I have expanded my jewelry making knowledge quite alot and I plan to use it all! I'm very happy to have gotten lots of soldering practice and in my new studio I will have a soldering station for sure. I'll finally get to take my torch out of the box and use it!!

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my wonderful week of learning. Look for new non PMC items in my shop. Actually I might create a separate shop for my sterling work, the PMC deserves a shop of it's own.

Thank you Dana, you did a wonderful job and I'm sure everybody in the class would agree!! Can't wait for our little reunion! :)


Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 4 Jewelry Intensive

I can't believe it's almost over, I'm exhausted but don't want it to end. It's been such a fun week learning all kinds of new stuff and meeting 10 really wonderful people!!!

Day 4 mostly consisted of making a bold Sterling Silver band ring. For me it's either a thumb or middle finger ring and it's quite comfortable.

Starting with a strip of Sterling sheet I put it through the rolling mill with a piece of paper with little craft punch cut outs. It's amazing what texture you can get from rolling any number of things through with the silver. Here is the result...

Then measuring it to the proper size and sawing off the excess. Then work and work and shape and shape and pound and pound it in to somewhat of a round shape, the ends have to meet as flush as possible before they can be soldered together. This was the first solder I did without any help and I'm very pleased with it.

Next step, polish and sand and pound some more to make sure it is in completely round and take any rough spots down to a smooth buttery finish. Then I shaped the little flares on both sides which makes a wide band that much more comfortable. Here is the finished product...

This morning before class I am working on shaping links for a chain for my Ruby Pendant (day 2-3 project) so I'll be ready to piece it all together and solder it and then I can set the stone and it will be finished today.

I have started another bezel for a small Turquoise Cabachon that I may make in to a ring or a pendant, haven't actually decided. I'm thinking I'll add some sort of bronze or copper ornamentation to it to show off the lovely inclusions in the stone.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Days 2 & 3 Jewelry Intensive

Days 2 & 3 are surely intense!! We worked on making a pendant and setting a stone. I chose to set a stone I've had for some time, it's a beautiful rather large teardrop of Ruby Fuchite. Beautiful pinkish red with a splash of green.

Because I've been in the process of moving the last month or so I've had virtually no opportunity to make jewelry. Besides not really having the time much of my jewelry making supplies have been packed away. It feels fabulous to once again be creative!

This project included designing around the stone, sawing and soldering the bezel and other componants and setting the stone. Over the last 2 days I've really enjoyed seeing mine and the other students projects come to life, there are some amazing pieces. I tried to take pictures of many of the other projects in process and I'll try to take finished pictures too.

Here are a few of mine along the way from start to finish.

In the beginning, the bezel has been soldered and the cut out been done. The little piece of paper shows the approximate design I'm going for.

The back showing the piece that was cut out, I'm thinking that piece might end up as another piece of jewelry.

Nearly there, just have to make a chain for it.

Here's the finished back, 2 little bails and the back of the stone has lots of personality too, it would have been a shame to cover it up.

I'm very excited to set more stone, lots of ideas floating in my head, I really need to find my sketchbook in all these boxes and get my studio set up!!

Stay tuned for day 4!!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Day 1 Jewelry Intensive

I'm taking a week long Jewelry Intensive class from Having lots of fun and everybody in the class is great, including Dana our instructor.

Day one consisted of choosing a design for a Copper Pin, sawing it and forging it. I have done some sawing before but nothing along these lines, very intricate and somewhat time consuming work, but the results are worth it.

I always like to take a few minutes to wander around the room and see what everybody else is creating and as always there was some very cool stuff. Wish I'd taken some pictures. Maybe today (day 3....ya I'm a little behind due to many factors lol) I'll take some if the students are willing to share.

But alas today all I have is my first creation, I'm pretty pleased with it. I would have like to have been able to spend more time on detailed texturing but I'll just have to create something else!

So, here is my Copper Butterfly Pin

Tomorrow (which is actually yesterday :), we'll be setting a stone. Creating and soldering a bezel and designing an entire piece around it.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yin Yang Earrings

My Yin Yang Earrings have been featured in a great Blog.

I could not get a very good picture from the website so here is a direct link

I'm in very good company, I love the other featured artists and it looks like they feature new artists on a regular basis.

These earrings turned out to be some of my all time favorites, my first try at adding Gold to my jewelry. I love it but I'm trying to use it sparingly and make sure it fits the piece.

On June 25th I will be featured in another blog.

It's very exciting to have people taking notice of my work, a very new feeling for me.

I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm still here!!

It's been so long, I've been meaning to post but I just don't seem to get to it.

I spent nearly a week in Vegas, my first time. We had a great time, no I didn't win any money, lost what little I took to gamble.
I was in my first treasury on Etsy, very exciting!! My Door Knocker pendant, along with many other lovely items from my EtsyRain friends.

I've been spending the rest of my time getting ready for my first show, it's Saturday May 9th at SodoPop here in Seattle. I'm about as ready as I'm going to be, we'll see how it goes.

My street team EtsyRain has organized the whole thing, a huge undertaking! Thanks to all involved in getting this off the ground. I am really looking forward to it and especially to meeting in person all those I've been communicating with on line.

I will absolutely positively definitely post after my show. It's going to be awesome.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

BronzClay Workshop

What a busy busy week, I'm finally (1 week later) posting about last weekends BronzClay Workshop at The Ranch with Patrik Kusek.

I had a blast and I think everybody else did. A great instructor and a great group of students. Everybody was so creative, I really enjoyed wandering around the table to see what everybody was working on.

Here is a picture of the Patrik in the classroom doing some instruction, sorry it's very dark.

Here are a couple of pictures of my finished work, if anybody else from the class wants me to post some of their work I would LOVE to do that.

Bronze Fan Pendant

The first day was spent with quite a bit of instruction combined with lots of creative time. Sunday was for the most part creative time and I think we all got lots of pieces finished. Patrik circled the table and helped us all any time we needed it and also did lots of demonstrations during that time.
At the end of the second day we had a wonderful Polymer Clay demonstration from Ronna Sarvas Weltman. She will be teaching a class at The Ranch later in March. I would love to attend but I'm not sure my schedule will allow.

I would highly recommend anybody to attend one of Patrik's classes, he's awesome. He will be teaching an Intensives&]Rio Rewards® PMC® Certification Class Sponsored by Rio Grande®
Last but not least, big thank you to Randi at The Ranch Center for Arts and Craft. It's a great location with a fabulous classroom area, if you get a chance to take a class there you will enjoy it. She has a huge variety of classes for children and adults.


DreamSome at Etsy

Monday, February 23, 2009


It's been awhile since I've added to this blog, suddenly I thought of something to say. Funny how something can just come to you out of the blue.

I've been thinking about how the last several pieces I've made have not been what they started to be. Maybe that happens to others often but for me, not usually. I almost always have a very good idea of what I'm going to do and it usually turns out that way.

The pendant I fired last weekend started out as a set of earrings. I have no idea how or why I decided to change but as I was working on them I just suddenly decided to put the 2 pieces together and make a Lentil bead. I actually hesitated when I realized what I wanted to do because I've never made Lentil beads but I thought heck, I'll figure it out. I'm pretty good at that so off I went and I'm quite pleased with the result.

My most recent set of earrings that have yet to be fired didn't change quite that much but they changed shape and I added to them. They started as simple 1 piece earrings to 2 piece dangle earrings with the bottom half shaped in to a curve.

Anyway I just thought that was somewhat interesting so I figured I'd share it since I've been so quiet lately.

On another note I am very excited about a few classes coming up. This weekend I will be taking a 2 day BronzClay Master Class with Patrik Kusek, I'm really looking forward to it. I've had most of the essentials for making pieces with BronzClay for awhile just never took the plunge now I'll actually learn how to do it from one of the best!

I skip a weekend then I have a 2 day Business of Crafts weekend workshop. I'll learn how to be more successful selling my Jewelry, that sounds great to me!!

Thanks to all for reading. I'm sure I'll have something to say after this weekends BronzClay class!!!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

A good time was had by all

Yes I think I can speak for us all, we had a great time!!! And I for one learned lots of stuff, just watching somebody who has worked with PMC for some time is a learning experience for me.

There were 4 of us from the PreciousMetalClay, group. Myself, Sandee (the hostess, thank you so much!) Evie and Deb. Deb graciously shared her wisdom with us and we happily soaked it up. She showed us how to put a fine silver post on pmc earrings without soldering, actually quite simple. I'll be trying that one soon.

She also showed us something I knew would be easy but was afraid to try it, how to make a mold. She used Sculpey Mold Maker and Sandee showed us using Amazing Mold Putty. I stopped at Michaels on the way home and found Amazing Mold Putty which I made several molds with last night and I have 2 pieces drying right now from those molds. I plan on firing them later today.

We learned many more bits and pieces you just pick up by observation.

Sandee's place is amazing, it's a huge bright room with tons of space in a beautiful setting. She has offered to have more meetings and even classes. I'm very excited about it. We're hoping to have a meeting about 2 months from now.

Here are a couple of pictures. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so these were taken with my cell phone. Not too bad really.


DreamSome Designs

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Let's get together

I'm excitedly getting ready to get together this weekend with other Metal Clay Artisans from the Puget Sound Area, more specifically a yahoo group "PugetSoundMetalClay". We've all talked online often and many of the members have met as they normally meet monthly if possible. I, of course, joined just before the holidays and I've found most groups took the month off, which they also did. So this will be my first meeting.

One of the members graciously volunteered for us to meet at her house, more specifically in her studio. We'll all bring our clay and tools and whatever else and work on it all together. The more experienced members will help those of us who are still new to the world of Precious Metal Clay. I'm really excited both to meet others with my interests and to learn new stuff.

We're going to learn how to make molds, which I could probably do on my own but I've kept putting it off. We'll be learning how to use fine silver posts that can be fired right on the PMC which is fabulous. I haven't done anything so far that I couldn't use a wire on. I actually prefer to wear wires myself but I need to broaden my skills because there are those out there who feel exactly the opposite, who prefer studs.

I got a fishing tackle box recently specifically for this purpose, so far it's working nicely. I might have to get another one specifically to put my BronzClay tools in since I've heard the tools should not be intermixed between Bronze and Silver clay.

I'll tell you all about the fun we had and post some pictures asap. We're going to have a blast!


DreamSome Designs

Monday, January 12, 2009


As I wear my most recent big bold piece of jewelry today I paused for a moment and thought...I have never been one to wear big bold jewelry before, but I sure am now! I was never much of a jewelry wearer in general (though I've always loved silver), other than earrings much of the time, but they were always small and simple.

I suppose a big part of that was the fact that I grew up around horses and spent most of my time at the barn in my boots, jeans and flannel shirts, up well in to my 30's. The jobs I've had up until the last 10 years or so also were not the type of jobs you would wear lots of jewelry.

My lifestyle has changed so much over the last decade but it wasn't until I started to make jewelry that I also started wearing it. I guess I haven't got much choice, I do have to wear it to show it off publicize myself....right? :) There is that but I am also really enjoying it, wearing it AND making it.

That's the end of my musings, please take a look at my jewelry at my Etsy site DreamSome.Etsy and more specifically my newest piece Hearts and Rubies!



Friday, January 2, 2009

A learning experience

Yesterday, New Years Day, I had my first trial (ya trial is a good word) with my kiln. My kiln is not a top of the line kiln, it's a tiny little starter kiln and I have to watch it very carefully to get it up to temperature and then slowly turn it down to keep the temperature until finally the last hour or so I can let it cook somewhat on it's own. Well...yesterday I wasn't diligent with my timer and I got distracted playing our new Wii game (really fun btw!), suddenly I realized it had been way too long since I checked the kiln and I ran down to the garage and it was nearly 2000 degrees (should be about 1600). I knew I'd probably fried all the pieces that were in it, I grabbed my monsterous welding gloves and opened the top and sure enough all my beautiful pieces were now big lumps. I guess I'm lucky it's the first time it's happened, I've had this kiln for a couple of months and managed to be successful with every firing. I look forward to upgrading my kiln some time in the next few years. Chalk it up to a learning experience.

I decided to throw the lumps in the tumbler and try to re-create what I'd lost. I thought who knows what these lumps of silver might look like when they are polished so why not. It would be fun to find a use for them and create lemonade out of lemons. They've tumbled all night now, what do you think?

There are 2 sets or earrings and a pendant. The pendant was my second try at using Water Etching, I wonder if it would have been a successful try. Maybe it can still be a pendant, a silver nugget pendant...a very interesting and definitely one of a kind pendant :)

I had yet another go at it after I ruined this one, it's in the kiln right now and it looks like it will be a nicer piece than this one might have been, I used nail polish this time rather than masking tape which I used the first time. I have it in the kiln now, very early this morning, before I have to go to work. I just have enough time for it to cook then I'll throw it in the tumbler and head off to work.

Here are the earring charms I re-created and listed on Etsy this morning.

Here is a picture of my newest (re-created) Water Etching experiment. Having trouble getting a pic I'm happy with but it's a much better effort than the one I fried, I'm quite happy with it.

The joys of Jewelry making. Off to exercise on my Wii, don't worry, I have the timer set and I'm getting lots of added exercise running up and down the stairs every 10-15 minutes.

Happy New Year EVERYBODY!!