Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Clay Day...Baby it's Cold Outside

I've gotten ahold of a big chunk-o-clay thanks to a potter friend of mine.
I swear it was at least ten pounds of it when all I really thought I needed was a small amount to play and experiment with.
As it is I may not get to see the final results until next spring when another friend will be firing her outdoor kiln.
 Hey, anyone know if you can fire enamel to clay? Would it be after it was fired or before?  Like right at the torch like I do with my copper pieces.....Anybody?

I scoured the house for possible textures

Who knew that this topographical model of Matterhorn would come in handy?
I knew that I would use it for art but had been thinking assemblage at the time.

Kind of blurry  photo  but this is an African wooden vessel that's been giving up its face for some texture.

Speaking of giving up face...
I've been really bad about taking my walkies to the paper box all year and Mr. Coryosity has taken to driving there to pick it up.
We vowed that we would walk there together daily now that it's sub-zero weather.
Like my hat? My friend Mountain Heather Creations makes these...and the neck gaiter too.

the field

Ho frost

See, we live near the famous highway

oooh... sparkly!

thru the woods
All hooked up with two necessities- wood stove and satellite internet

This is why I 'm having trouble going out to my Garaj Mahal studio some days lately

So I sit near the stove and make these.
So this bracelet looks good in theory with some Kristi Bowman Design and Scorched Earth  and a coupla my own beads but I'm going to have to get down and get some soldering techniques under my belt.
The links know just how to slip out dammit!
You may or may not realize that I don't make bracelets much.
There's one reason.

I had a bunch of one of a kind (is that an oxymoron?)
squished stripy shiny ribbed (for extra comfort) shaped beads and a few rusted Arizona bottle caps that I wanted to gold leaf. gild? gilt? leave?
I made a few of these pendant pieces that will go on chains.

and some earrings along similar lines

I've been making a bunch of this type too

Some of Petra's fingers. These were going to have skulls but I couldn't fasten them pleasingly enough for my taste and I wanted to highlight the fingers anyhow.

This is the stepping stone between my old classic bead only style and full on assemblage earrings.
Don't want to freak out my old customers totally. They need choices and gentle nudgings toward what is evolving in the ways of numinosity.

"Blimpets" in action

cocoa puff brown with milk and silver granulation

some Scorchedosity with Petra's bead caps
(Petra being ScorchedEarthOn Etsy)

I'm not all crusty (well, maybe I am  but my earrings aren't)
Dig those peacock metallics.

So it's a month countdown til Arizona and I get to enjoy a birthday in a few days.
It's a 56/56 birthday... that being the age and the year of birth.
I guess not all generations get to enjoy that kind of birthday, just us mid to late century types I guess.
Like someone that was born in '02 couldn't celebrate it until 2102, right?
Now it's hurting my brain with this trying to figure out the math to see if I'm correct in this.
Enough puzzler for today. Stay warm you all everybody.
( I told you I was watching a lot of Lost lately)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Goblin's Boogers?

Or should I call them Satan's Sputum... or how about
Frog's Phlegm or Troll Loogies or Crone's Catarrh?
I was experimenting the other day with shiny upon crusty and got this lovely verdigris on grey effect so in honor of Halloween I decided to get a bit more creative in my description.

Anyway, it's always fun to come up with some new stuff.
I've got some variations on colors coming up the pike too.
These sold instantaneously so I went and made some more already.
They are listed currently.

Now I've been creating a hybrid of beads and limpets.

Meet the "blimpets"
They also flew out of the shop rather quickly so you can bet I'll have more coming.
I feel as though I' must be violating some blog protocol by listing before I blog about them  but you see I get on these creating and listing blitzes and sometimes don't slow down enough to notify you all.
So I'm kind of going backwards and showing you so that you can see the next run.

'Nother big Whorl bead... full on crusty

And what you've been clamoring for...
Introducing NEW *Crifflets*!
Mini criffles

Well you've been clamoring for them in my head anyway.
( "why does she make those criffles so big?" you say... "and why just 5 of them?")
The answer to that question is that I get bored with making the same color after 5 and want to move on and I only had 15 mandrels which was convenient for 3 sets per torch session.
You can't probably tell by the photo but these are way smaller than criffles so you get 8 of them.
They're about 16 mm... a little more than a half inch in diameter
and the holes are a bit smaller than the full size criffles -3mm

Barbecue Grill Lava Crifflets
would go great with boogers I think.

This is my own stash  or torch fired enamels for earrings.
Oh yes... I high grade my own supplies... see how I am?
I am seeing that my brightest enamel matchsticks go out of the shop first but you gotta give those subtle enamel guys a chance.
What's not to love about these?
I mean just look at these on your screen!
Hmmm? You know you want them...all denim blue goes with anything-like

And I want to mention a giveaway that Julie is having at Waaay Outwest
Her beads are so satiny, clean and near perfect that my crusties just want to sidle up next to them like a rogue cousin at a cocktail party.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Walrus Fossil Ivory ~ A Rich Collection

Walrus fossil ivory from Little Diomede Island which is the nearest Alaskan island to Russia 

Artifacts that have been hand worked and polished sometime in recent or not so recent  history.

These are carved from fossil walrus ivory that washes up on the beach over the years. They were then carved and used for spears, fishing and sewing implements

These almost look like fish head carvings but are parts from spools and tools

 In my search for fossil ivory for a fellow artist I was fortunate to have access to a stash of a long standing collector of fossil ivory. He passed away a few years ago and his wife was ready to part with some of his impressive collection.
Sam had visited the Inuit of Little Diomede Island over the years during his professional life and was privy to local midden heaps during his many visits.
He was always respectful of the locals and their culture.

The fine polished finish and markings and variety of color variations are amazing.

When you live in a place with no trees and some nice hard fossil ivory washes up on the beach it makes a fine material for tools

Looks like a natural example of mokume gane doesn't it?

Here's a little bit about Sam's amazing life.
I was a pleasure to have gotten to know him a bit before he passed away. My husband and Sam could talk for hours about his extensive research and collecting. 
I feel honored to be able to use some of his pieces in my artwork.
He made some amazingly complex and beautiful mobiles of his own with his collection.
Many thanks to his wife Patty that graciously let me pile through tubs of his collections and let them live on through other's art as he would have wished.

Longtime Fairbanks resident Sam Stoker died at home Friday, June 11, 2010.
He was born July 9, 1938, in Alva, Okla., where as a boy, he brought home bones and fossils he'd collected from the surrounding plains and became a crack shot, an A-student and an Eagle Scout.
Sam studied history, government and mathematics at the University of Oklahoma, lettering in marksmanship and earning a degree in combined studies. His graduate work was in creative writing at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. 
After traveling for nearly two years, first in Alaska then in South America, Sam returned to Oklahoma where he convinced the OU Research Institute to send him to Fairbanks as a researcher on a vole study. It was one of the most fruitful turnings of his life, focusing his interests and triggering his passions.
He enrolled at University of Alaska Fairbanks, completing a Master of Science in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1978, both in biological oceanography. His research took him to the northern Bering and Chukchi seas, and to Little Diomede Island for several seasons, where he studied subsistence harvest and marine mammal populations.
These seasons were among the highlights of Sam's life. He loved Little Diomede, the work, the people and his adventures with them, and he still is remembered there.
Sam was an active scholar for more than 30 years, producing studies for state and federal agencies and commissions including the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, and the International Whaling Commission.
He studied bird, fish and marine mammal populations in northwest Alaska, monitored the subsistence harvest of seals, walruses and whales, and studied both prehistoric and present ecological conditions of the seas that support them.
From 1986 to 1991, Sam was Gov. Steve Cowper's special adviser on biological resource issues. When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989, spilling 11 million gallons of Alaskan crude into Prince William Sound, he began work that lasted the coming decade, for the state then for Exxon, on oil spill assessment, response planning and mitigation efforts in the Sound.
Wherever he was, Sam Stoker was comfortable in a flannel shirt and jeans, at 20 below or 70 above. He figured he was fully provisioned for camping if he packed a tin of instant coffee and a fishing rod, adding a box of Pilot bread and a jar of peanut butter if it was going to be a long trip. He was happiest canoeing a river on the North Slope, watching whales in Prince William Sound or anywhere in Africa watching elephants. 
In his lifetime, Sam was a man of finely honed skills. He was a marine biologist and researcher, a writer, an artist, a gardener who produced tender and tasty sweet corn, and a photographer. He leaves behind two unpublished novels and a collection of beautifully balanced mobiles.