Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Amethyst Squared... or rather Cubed! ;o)

Stepping outside my box - more into fabrication... what am I saying - TOTAL fabrication!! Some of my friends refer to this as "from scratch". :o)

I had two 8mm square Amethyst cabochons that I had put aside for a friends February birthday and they were yelling to me... MAKE SOMETHING!! I wanted to set them but lordy I have not set square cabs ... have never made square bezel... never mind a square bezel cup - sides and bottom!!

Out came the design book one evening, then transfer design to Photoshop (just something I do) and then I waited for Friday and for the work-work day to be over.

I have to tell you, something incredible happened Friday evening - the "Studio Gods" smiled on me. NEVER have I felt more in sync with materials, process, design. I felt like I was in an awesome groove. 
No melted wires, no messed up bezel cups, no waste, no bumped head!!
I started with "the hard part"... the bezel cups made from Sterling and Fine Silver that the gems are supposed to sit in. I figured... If I could do this, I could do the rest! Measure, wrap, measure again, cut, trial fit, file, clean, solder... sides! Place on sheet metal, solder, fit, trim, file, clean, retest fit... cup!! Now they were tall - prob 2x taller than needed. So I marked them, sawed off the excess, filed and cleaned up. DONE! ;o)
NOW For the base - thanks to my obsession with having to buy tools that look cool, different, "may need that some day" or "ohhh that's a good inexpensive version of what I "might need" let's try it til I think I REALLY need it"... I have a weird set of plastic stepped mandrels in different shapes. The largest size square was perfect for what I wanted for the base of the earrings. I formed the base using Sterling Silver square wire and the square plastic stepped mandrel - shaped, checked, pushed, checked, cut, checked, soldered... checked - sweeeet! ;) 

Then I cut two squares from the Sterling Silver sheet, filed the edges, rounded the corners a touch to keep from wounding anyone. Then I formed the twisted Sterling Silver wire to form the "ropes". I placed, checked and then soldered the "ropes" onto the base square, cleaned the piece and then placed and soldered the top decorative
square onto the base and "ropes". Cleaned again and then placed and soldered the bezel cups onto the bottom of the earring base. 

The two pieces went into the pickle pot to clean and I went to work forming the pierced earring post... I have a small (SMALL - like 1" x 2" MAYBE) steel draw plate that I use to make the posts. First I use a mini torch to ball the ends of a 1" piece of Sterling Silver wire (when you hold it into the flame it forms a ball and it slowly creeps up the wire forming a bigger ball). Once cooled I put the wire in the smallest hole it will fit in inside the draw plate (which is being held by my small (SMALL! ;o)) vice. And I wack the ball with a hammer. This flattens out the ball forming a flat top instead of a ball. THIS I have found makes soldering a post onto an earring back MUCH MUCH EASIER. The posts were then soldered onto the earring bases and the two completed but not set earrings were pickled one more time and I was done for the evening! 
::phew:: Nothing. Went. Wrong. STILL!! 

The next night all the cleaned and rinsed pieces were ready to have the Amethysts set. I still felt the cups may be a 'touch' to tall so I cut two pieces of PVC card to fit into the cups (1 each). The cabochon went on top and POOF perfect height. Slowly I pushed the edges (starting at the corners) in - moving the metal slowly and not scratching the stone. and finally... they were set. I cleaned up the pieces, burnished the cups and base pieces and then tossed them into the tumbler with stainless steel shot to harden and shine. The next day they came out, were rinsed off, the posts trimmed, scratch brush used on the top square to give it texture and a matte finish. A purchased Sterling Silver earring nut was added to both and they were complete. 

This was THE BEST project - I felt completely in sync with the materials and the project. Such fun pair of earrings and I'm very pleased with the outcome!

Size: 1.75" x 1.5"Stones: 8mm

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Back in the Studio...

Climbed back up on the horse after looking at late 2012/2013 year in review and seeing how few pieces I posted. No wonder I've been feeling "out of sorts"!! To much what I call "work-work" not enough creative play = "out of sorts" Cindy.

Fine Silver Locket...
I took a "hinge-less locket" class at the Memphis Botanic Garden in mid January and after making my piece I have ideas for how to change it up, improve on the piece I did (example - I did a deeper curve on mine so it was a bit smaller than the rest in class so my bezel should have been smaller... next time I will take all that into consideration. :o) ). I love taking classes - even if it's a repeat which I do quite often - I tend to learn something new each time OR get ideas on how to tweak projects and make them my own. (Next class is spinner rings! :o) )

earth prints in Sterling Silver...
On Jan 9 - 31 I took part in the Memphis Botanic Garden "Incognito Artist Silent Auction". The idea is that
 all pieces submitted are not "signed" (as most of them are paintings that is easy to do) and bidders are encouraged to "bid on what you love, not who you know". I created Sterling Silver versions of my "earth prints" in the form of a bracelet and an earring/necklace set. I loved every minute of creating these pieces! They speak to me and the "clean" edges on these - as opposed to the more organic look my latest bronze pieces have been was a fun different look for these. 

The pieces were pretty well received - they were on display from 9th thru the 31 with a big Gala event the evening of the 31st when the silent bid auction took place. My necklace and earring set brought in a winning bid of $125 and my bracelet brought in a winning bid of $50. Not a bad donation for the Garden Education Department.

Bronze earth print:
Cilantro w Amethyst ...

On even better news - I posted the Bronze Cilantro w Amethyst crystals earth print I wore to the Incognito Gala on Facebook to show how cool it looked with some organic ceramic beads and SOMEONE ASKED TO BUY IT! - Ok I know, I have sold pieces before, and even shipped to Australia but ... ::giggle:: it never gets old! ;o)

The piece had two Amethyst Crystals (little pieces that chipped off when I dropped an Amethyst Druzy piece on the floor by accident) fired in place in the Bronze. They clouded in the kiln - which I expected something to happen because Amethyst should not be fired - and let me tell you - they were soo cool looking. They clouded, did not fracture or break, just ended up looking almost like Moonstone. I paired it with two twist tube organic textured, ceramic beads with a slight turquoise coloring on them. Strung it all on a brown leather cord and created hand-coiled end caps and "S" hook. It was restrung and is now in the loving hands of it's new owner. 

Heart Felt
& Simply Understated...

My latest piece was a custom Valentine's Day gift. Now I know this gifter and they let me pretty much have my own way but I wanted them to be able to have a hand in the piece also so when they told me the receiver's favorite color is green so I went thru my stash of lampwork beads and pulled out three types of green beads....

  1. "cutesy" green - like cupcakes
  2. "love" green - hearts of diff shapes, sizes and shades
  3. "dressy" green - more modern take on green lampwork beads - long focals, swirls, etc.
Without even asking for more the large heart focal was picked. No second guessing - just perfect. It has an opaque almost Emerald green bottom and transparent green top with silver swirled where the different glasses meet. The heart focal is one I had gotten from Principessa Jewels & Glass.

I went for a "simply understated" look and highlighted the colors on the bead by using 4mm Swarovski Crystals (sand opal, olivine, emerald and peridot) and added one for the gifters birthstone and one for the receivers birthstone. I hung the pendant from a black leather cord (also requested by the gifter) with Sterling Silver hand-coiled end caps, "S" hook and then added a 2" chain to allow for it to be worn at varying lengths. I finished it off with a clear crystal Swarovski heart. 

I have been back in the Studio this weekend too - started and finished a project that went INCREDIBLY SMOOTH! :o) Right now the pieces are in the tumbler so more later!! :o) 

Thanks for "listening". :o)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A year past?! 2013 Year in Review...

"I'm lateI'm lateFor a very important date
No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!"
- White Rabbit, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Oh, my goodness!
- Shirley Temple, Poor Little Rich Girl'

I couldn't choose which to use as the title to this blog post! Because Oh, my goodness! I'm late! I'm late! it has been over a YEAR since my last post - Oh, my goodness! 

So what do I do? Do I try and update in order or do I show you what I've created in the past year? I'm thinking a "quick" (seriously have you ever found me to be QUICK on this blog?) "Year in Review" is in order - so here we go!

December 2012
Custom Mother's Pendant - Intertwined Lives
Three children, three circles, intertwined
as their lives are intertwined.
Sterling Silver hand-forged open
filigree design. Lab created stones:
Topaz and Emerald with Pearl (all 6mm).
Manufactured Sterling Silver chain w/
coordinating 3 circle links connecting long link.
December 2012
Mother's Love
Special Mother's Pendant - Sterling Silver with Amethyst, Emerald and Aquamarine stones (CZs or lab made) representing three children. It hangs on a hand-dyed, black silk ribbon.

This is my first Mother's Pendant in Filigree and I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I'm working on a design that will allow me to add additional children.

December 2012
Custom Mother-In-Law Set - Heart Vines
Two Sons and Daughter-in-law vining within her heart ... her heart of hearts.
Sterling Silver hand-forged open filigree design. Lab created stones: Sapphire and Tanzanite
with Pearl (all 6mm). Earrings are 6mm Sapphire and 4mm Pearls. 

Pendant hands from manufactured 20" Sterling Silver French Rope chain.
A beautiful compliment to the vining heart. 

December 2012
Custom Filigree "Initial" Earrings...
Sterling Silver earrings hand formed,
forged and soldered. 

December 2012
"Family Pendant"...
Sterling Silver wire, settings and chain. 

This is a small piece I did for my Great Aunt...
Hand-shaped, and forged sterling silver wires
forming two hearts. The top stone is my
Great Uncle's stone (Turquoise),
bottom stone is for her daughter (my God-Mother). 

My Great Aunt lost her husband last year,
and just recently lost her sister - who was buried
on what would have been my Great Uncle's birthday.
I thought I wanted to make her
something special this year for Christmas.

January 2013
Sterling Silver St. Brigid's Cross
Designed to look like grasses
in the form of a cross.
January 2013
Bronze* St. Brigid's Cross
Designed to look like the grass ends
are tied.

January 2013
FINISHED! Remember Moe from class in 2012?
In Jan 2013 I had a great set of
custom beads made specifically for this piece and
combined them with beautiful black
 and brown leather bolo cord, sterling silver
hand-fabricated end caps.

June 2013
Something Blue Ankle BraceletHemp, Lampwork Glass and Sterling Silver. 
Made for a bride's beach wedding. The hand
formed closure is sterling sliver heart w hook.

June 2013
"earth prints... Cilantro"

Bronze (Goldie 50/50), Kumihimo Cord, Sterling Silver
This was created from a mold I made of a sprig of cilantro that had just barely started to go to seed. I purposely left the edges "unfinished and uneven" to help with the "fossil" look. It has a fold-over bail on the back. The pendant hangs from a hand-crafted 20" kumihimo cord I braided using embroidery floss to get the small diameter - bronze, brown, cream and green were used. Finished it with sterling silver coiled ends and hook.

July 2013
Fold-Formed Copper with Mini Hessonite Garnet cluster
Created this copper piece in Fold Forming Class at the
Memphis Botanic Garden last weekend with Brandy Boyd.
Brought it home and added the Mini Hessonite Garnet
It was going to be a bracelet but it really
didn't want to be - sometimes you just have
to listen to the piece!

July 2013
Remembrance Crow...

Sterling Silver, Yellow Sapphire
This crow was created as a
remembrance charm representing
a much loved grandparent
who LOVED crows!
The yellow eye represents his
November birthstone.

August 2013
Race for the Cure Golf Tournament
Sterling Silver Pink Ribbon Heart Charm w/ Golf Ball
on Sterling hand wrapped bangle with glass lampwork beads.

My new obsession... earth prints
earth prints are designed to look almost like a fossil found on a dig! Some of them have crystals poking thru others are set with birthstone czs. 

August 2013
earth prints... "Sapphire Ocean" Pendant

Bronze, Blue Leather, Sapphire Crystal
This "Sapphire Ocean" pendant is approx 1 1/2"  across by 1 1/4" high and is crafted using two of my own custom created mold. This is shown shown straight from the kiln with heat patina acquired during firing with only a slight brushing to bring up some sparkle on the high points of the piece. The Sapphire Crystal fired perfectly and looks wonderful in the pendant. The look fits my idea of earth prints perfectly. It is currently hanging from a length of blue leather cording.

August 2013
earth prints... "Ocean" Key Fobs
Bronze, Leather, Bronze WireThese 
"Ocean" Key Fobs are approx 1" diameter using two of my own custom created molds and textures. They are shown straight from the kiln with heat patina acquired during firing. Some even have specs of carbon on them. The look fits my idea of earth prints perfectly. They hang from my hand-cut/bound leather cord fobs and have a purchased bronze colored key ring .

September 2013
Took a wonderful Mask Class with UK Metal Clay &
Enamel Artist - Joy Funnel
Fine Silver with Enamels, CZs Shows front and back of my Sea Queen

October 2013
Larimar & Sterling Silver
A wonderful artist friend of mine cuts cabochons
and creates beautiful jewelry. He sent me the pretty
Larimar set pendant with a cabochon order.
I loved it so much I asked him to cut me a couple
of small triangle Larimar cabs so that I could
try setting my own post earrings. I LOVE THEM!!!

December 2013
Dreamcatcher Sterling Silver Filigree EarringsSterling, Pearl 

Special custom order Christmas present for a bestie from her bestie. Both girls share the same birth month (June) and an inside joke... hence the 1 and 2 on the back of the hearts. Designed to fall slightly "off center" the dream catcher part of the earring is approx 1" diameter. It hangs approx 2 1/2" long from removable posts. This allows any "stud" like earring to be used.

The feather and hearts were hand-crafted from sterling silver PMC.

This was an incredibly fun project to design and create. Thank you to the "bestie" for allowing me to make her friend's Christmas present!!

December 2013
Sterling Silver Filigree Leaf Mother's Pendant

Hand-formed, customized Mother's Pendant featuring Mother of Pearl cab for June and Yellow Topaz for November birthdays. Hangs from doubled 1/8" hand-dyed black silk cord with hand-formed coil end caps, hook and a sterling silver (pmc) artisan tag. 

This is my first international order and is wing it's way to New So Wales, Australia!! :o)

December 2013
Bronze Mitten Christmas Ornament
This ornament went to my family members in lieu of a gift this year...
The card below explains the meaning behind it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Flights of Filigree

Beautiful necklace by Lisa Gallagher
I have stepped out and ventured into the gloriously beautiful world of Filigree! I saw my first piece of incredible filigree jewelry in person when I went to a large artisan show in Lancaster PA and discovered by chance the work of Lisa Gallagher. Such tiny beautiful pieces w/ such tiny little pieces of twisted, shaped metal inside. I was, no I am... in awe.

That was 2 years ago... After buying books 
and looking at pieces and dreaming about trying it I finally said -  "Loug, just do it!" so this past weekend I made my first attempt.

The thought was that it would be an initial pin for my sister-in-law of a scarf. Although pleased that I was able to solder the pieces and get them to hold, it didn't come out as I imagined. Then I read some more of the Silver Threads book by Jeanne Rhodes-Moen... and realized that I should have used square wire (I used 18g round sterling) and I should have used Filigree wire (I used twisted 24g round sterling). I could have pounded out the twisted wire to more closely work like filigree wire but I kinda-sorta didn't read that indepth. So I decided... Let's try it again.

Here is attempt #2 a set of sterling silver leaf-shaped earrings with 6mm light blue (fabricated) cat's eye and 4mm moonstone cabochons. I chose the light blue Cat's Eye because I know she had asked for a pair of blue Chalcedony earrings last year for Christmas - and I chose the Moonstones because they are a pretty grey color and dark grey is her favorite color. I initially intended to make them "post" earrings so I pulled out some pre-made bezels for the stones and a pair of pre-made posts - all sterling silver.

This time I smartly hammered out about 14" of 24g twisted sterling silver to a nice flat piece of wire that has 'ribs' on the top and bottom. After doing that I needed to anneal it and that meant putting fire to it to soften it up again. After that - Pickle... that would become my mantra... shape, position, flux, solder, pickle... shape, position, flux, solder, pickle... ;o)

I designed the earrings - because
I use a leaf with my logo on it as my jewelry tag I used that same shape for the earrings. It's a familiar feel I thought it would help me ease into the project. I worked in the stones - behind the blue stone was where I imagined the post would be for the earrings. Not heavily filigree'd but enough to get my feet wet and be pretty. I tend to start my designs in my design book and then move to my computer to work out some details. (Yes I have visions of owning one of the HP design pads that they use on Project Runway!).

Next step was to cut the 18g square sterling silver wire and shape it to form the outside of the leaf and the center "vein". The outside is one piece bent, formed and curved to fit the design... the "vein" is a single piece also formed and curved to fit. I trimmed the pieces so that the Cat's Eye bezels would fit right into the top of the leaf.

Now for the tricky part - well, to me. Snipping and shaping the inside "filigree" pieces that form the curls and twirls of
the earrings center design. These little pieces are interesting to work with. The flattened twisted wire sometimes gave me "fits" but I have to say it was very fun to do. The top twirled piece on both earrings is actually in the form of a stylized up-side down heart. The Moonstone bezel will fit right into one of the twirls of the heart.

Now... step 6 which I don't have a picture for - soldering. I
used my soldering block, small butane torch, easy and medium wire solder and flux. I am a klutz so to take a photo of the set-up w/ a torch ... nope wasn't happening. I thought about putting my tripod up but the 4-legged helpers were awake and that would cause interest in what I was doing more than they already had. (Here is a picture of my Sissy far enough away to be out of the way but close-enough to satisfy her need to be next to me.)

However I do have a picture of my NEW FAVORITE TOOL! My
pickle pot is a small (dip size) crock pot that holds my pickling solution (I use Silver Prep as it's kinder to the environment) ... it is used to remove  
oxidation on the wire that comes from being heated by the torch. Apparently you need to remove the oxidation each time you solder. Well - walking the 10' to the kitchen each time I solder a piece was getting old so I thought hmmm I can get a small dish to put some in and put it on my mug warmer on my work station... My friend Beth reminded me to cover it so the "helpers" don't get into it by mistake. I thought ... cool - I have a tea cup from Hong Kong with a cover... and then I stopped in my tracks .. I HAVE A TEA CUP WITH A COVER *AND* A STRAINER! Now... if you don't do this you have no idea how cool this is... when you put small pieces into a pickle pot the hardest thing to do is get them back out of the pot... with the porcelain strainer your pieces sit in the pickle and are easier to get access too!! Too cool! My new favorite tool!!

I worked the placement and the soldering of the filigree wires and the Moonstone bezel and then after polling my FB fans (calDesign Naturals) I decided to forgo the posts and make ear wires instead. I soldered a 3" piece of 20g sterling silver onto the back of the Cat's Eye bezel to form into an earring wire later.

ere I laid the soldered pieces on the original design to see how close I got... not bad I think, not bad! I'm also looking to see if they are close to being similar left and right earrings.
The closer they are to the design the better off they will be when being worn.

A quick look at the back - I wanted to check the solder points. You want to be sure that they were smooth and would not catch on anything. I used a file to smooth these areas, double checked the ear wire placement and prepared to form the ear wires.

Forming Ear Wires... A couple bends with flat nose pliers, a twirl onto a pair of bail pliers and POOF I have some ear wires. They were about 1/2" to long so I trimmed then down, bent up the ends a little and - ear wires! :o)

Next is to put these in the tumbler. A tumbler will shine up the pieces as well as work-harden the pieces. Each time it is soldered, the heat will soften the wire. Work-hardening it will toughen the wire up so that it's not flimsy bend-able soft. And the "spahkle" it giv
es is wonderful!!

Last step is to put the stones in, shoot, package and send! A beautiful pair of earrings for my sister-in-law.

I hope she enjoys wearing them as much as I enjoyed
creating them. And I can tell you I will DEFINITELY do this again. I love what I was able to create and want to do it again and try and work filigree into my metal clay designs!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Awareness, Studio Update & New Studio Kitties!

Hope, Love & Golf
Hope, Love & Golf...

On August 16, my sister and some of her friends participated in a Rally for the Cure golf tournament in Concord, NH. They were selling "spots" to play and looking for donations for the raffle table - so you know where I fell in those choices! ;o)

I created an artisan-crafted bracelet which features my own custom designed Heart & Awareness Ribbon. Crafted from Fine Silver (.999) it was customized for the Rally with a tiny golf ball. I added color to the charm by hand-enameling the ribbon with a light pink Japanese enamel and the heart was patina’d to bring out the details.

The 2-1 hand-crafted chain is sterling silver (.925) interspersed with beautiful made in the USA artisan-crafted lampwork beads by Canyon Echoes Artisan Beads flanked by vintage Swarovski Clear AB crystals. The lampwork beads look like pink ice cubes. So beautiful combined with the charm. The bracelet measured approx 7”-7.25” long.

I heard from my sister later that day that one lady really wanted the bracelet and bought a number of tickets. Apparently you bought tickets and the numbered order in which your name was drawn indicated the number of the prize you won... The lady that wanted it had her name drawn FOR that piece. It was a little miracle all of it's own - I'm SO PLEASED that she loved it enough to buy tickets and then was the lucky winner!

Thank you to my sister for the opportunity to be part of such a worthy cause!!

Studio Update!!

Studio Layout
DONE!!! Cleaned up, cleaned out, and re-organized!! I love my studio - it's walls are Hydrangea Blue (an Eddie Bauer paint color from Lowes), the woodwork is an off white and the floors are honey brown. Add in my display credenzas for books, display and now packaging area; a small drafting table with storage on top, child's desk with incredible work space, a computer armoir again with incredible work space that can be closed up, toss in a 6' Aruba Cat Condo and a "Pent House" kitty bed on top of the armoire and you have my absolute favorite room in the house!!

An earlier blog showed my shame at the condition the Studio was in during the summer. It's no wonder I struggled to create. NOW let's see it as I SEE IT every day.

Storage, Display and Packaging Credenza's
Welcome to my Studio... we are going to stand in the center of the room (more or less) and rotate clock wise around to each of the areas. 

Credenza & Display Hutches with books, magazines, shipping supplies, display pieces, storage drawers for my finished jewelry, packing station and display area for some of my favorite things.

(That little stool... it's an idea I have to make my work area at the Botanic Garden classes higher... we'll see how it works next weekend for the Copper Enameling class!)

Studio Kitty Condo & Toy Area
The all important Studio Kitty Condo area. I have had this Aruba Cat condo for years... probably going on 14 or 15. It has served me well. 6 kitties have played on, laid on, slept on, and scratched on this condo (as you can see from the lower legs) and they have all loved it.

I originally took this and realized there were no Studio Helpers in it! Needless to say when they wandered back in I re-shot. (Shadow is lump on top, Sissy is under the beading station (lower right) and Hanna is laying on top of my pink and brown rolling bag (lower left).) Nubbles was being smart and sleeping in the bedroom!

Bead & Wire Work Area
Bead & Wire Center...
This is the drafting table that I started with in the closet of the guest room. It fit perfectly in there and now fits perfectly between the white "post" and the window. Like it was made for those spots. 
The white storage piece sitting ON the table is actually upside down! I flipped it so that I could use the "poles" going across for wire storage instead of ribbons as originally intended by the creator. Little "canning jar-esq" glass bottles hold semi-precious beads on the rest of the shelves. I got creative and added a bar across the front of one of the bead shelves to hold my tools. (they use to be in stands on top of this storage unit but it meant up and down while working on projects. Project boxes, a dapping set, my Ultralite kiln "just incase", soldering tools are also on this table and YES there is still plenty of room to work. One of my favorite areas in this corner is where I keep my bead hoarding umm I mean bead STORAGE area ::cough:: All those drawers have little
Computer, Extra Work, Sculpting, Molding
plastic bottles of beading goodness (lampwork, Swaros, small semi-precious stones, more wire, more tools, chains, and so much more. The black drawers are my cabs... oooooh yes my cabs and my crystals. ::sigh:: love this area. ;o)

Now a quick turn to the right and you see the 1/3 wall between the Studio and the Living Room (yes, this was supposed to be a dining room - WHO NEEDS A DINING ROOM? ;o) and you see my wonderful score - a CHILD'S desk (really - it's huge, I KNOW) that is tall! it has a large work space, a HUGE pull out area that, when used with a wireless mouse and keyboard gives me even MORE work space.

I use this for my computer work, design work, extra beading and wire work and I've been using it as an area to make my

Studio Kitty Pent House Access
molds and do polymer clay sculpting. This desk is perfect - enough space to put my computer, some display pieces, a laser printer (another bargain!!) my fan... such a wonderful piece.

The 1/3 wall is how the boys get up to the Pent House on top of the Armoire. At some point they discovered they could jump diagonally from the short wall to the top of the armoire. They have even gotten so that they can do it if the door is not fully pushed up against the side. Very coordinated they are!! :o) (this shot shows the jumping angle.

Metal Clay Armoire and Studio Kitty Pent House...
Here is where I make the metal clay magic happen. I love this piece! (who am I

Metal Clay Armoire - partially open
kidding I  love ALL the pieces in this room). It allows me large amount of work space, two pull out areas that have enough space between them and the
work area above to allow pieces to be pushed safely away without being moved! When fully opened you can see all the storage, drawers, shelves, I added peg board on the inside and that allows for added wire storage baskets and hooks. Plastic drawers, metal shelf risers, plastic photo holders and more allow me to store everything I need close at hand. You will notice that there is no trim on top of this piece - it should have a piece across the front and side to match the credenza. I was so excited to get it up and filled that I never added the trim... THANK GOODNESS! I later discovered that Nubbles got so comfy up on top in the Pent House that he ROLLED OFF three times in prob 9 months.
Metal Clay Armoire - fully open
The walls are angled so it doesn't fit snugly against the wall - he rolled off the BACK! I pulled the large trim piece that should be on the front and leaned it against the angled walls behind and POOF instant kitty bunk bed bar! No more rolling off!

I hope you enjoyed my tour of the Studio!! Wait... what?? what is missing? The Kiln? OHH YES! The kiln! I have a separate area - you access it just to the right of the Metal Clay Armoire and around the corner to the door to the garage. In the garage I have two work stations for my kiln, torch work, polymer clay oven, and photo booth with lights.  Thank you for visiting my Studio!!

Studio Kitties...

New Studio Kitties!
I would like to introduce you to our two new Studio Kitties.. Miss Hannah Mae and Miss Magic Sissy. They came home in late July after a visit to the Memphis Animal Shelter. I went to see Miss Hannah after seeing her picture and while waiting to see her I was "selected" by Magic Sissy (we call her Sissy). She was an adorable black kitten in #13 cube. I thought that was kind of funny... black cat, #13.. Well... after Mikito passed away last December our house was missing that little black kitty. And #13 is my lucky number. She didn't have a name just "Unknown". We finally were able to see Miss Hannah and hmmmm now I was sucked in... BOTH girls were adopted that day. They were chipped, had their surgery and came home 3 days later. I can tell you that it was the smoothest introduction I've had. The boys finally took to them, the girls took to the boys and soon I caught Mr Grumpy (ok his name is really Nubbles but he played grumpy when they came home) giving kisses to the kitties and trying to play with them. I knew then that it was going to be OK!

Shadow & Hannah Mae
Hannah Mae
Nubbles & Sissy