Author Archives: Elaine

Week 35: Trying Something New

I try to add things to my craft show lineup regularly. Not only new variations but whole new item lines as well. I aim to do this at least as often as I take things out and mostly I succeed at that. This year one of the new items hitting my shows (and my shop, I guess!) will be wine bottle stoppers. Years ago, I bought a little stack of blanks that I never did use.


I figured these would be more like my little creature ornaments than my flower beads. I’ve been having fun doing the simple sculpting for the ornaments and just kept on going for these guys. Round one is cats, birds and pumpkins. After my next round of blanks gets in I’m betting on sheep, hedgehogs and dogs but we’ll see.


The little metal knob tops got covered in layers of scrap clay then a layer of good clay. Coarse details like ears or tail shapes are added at this point.


Finer details get added next. Things like beaks, eyes, tails. Some details are clay that is used to “paint” lines or spots by smoothing it in and then texturing it a bit.


Final round up of the stoppers after baking. They’ve all been antiqued a little and a bit of matte varnish applied. The stopper ends screw right back in.

Week 34: The Autumn Harvest


Not that it’s autumn yet but it’s heading that way. The main season where I live is winter. There’s a brief nod towards spring, a happy dash with summer then somewhere between melting hot and deep freeze is the time of year when you pick your garden veggies and kick leaf piles. Which is what the canes are about this last few weeks of summer. Autumn leaves, harvest vegetables.


Plus, they make cute beads.


Not that I didn’t take advantage of the last days of full time help to get more dragon ornaments worked on. My studio help heads back to school in a few days so I’ll be back to doing most of my own production work again. She promises me she’ll keep on helping but I admit I’ll be sad to lose the all day company.

Week 32: Back to the Bead Mine


All the back to school stuff hit the shops here a few weeks ago but it just hit us, personally. This is my daughter’s final year of high school and I admit it’s a little sad to be poking through the bargain supplies for her (and me! time to resupply the office, too!). After our back to school shopping dash it was back to work. With the crazy heat wave here we’ve been tucked away in the bead mines making beads. That’s where the AC and the fans are you see.