Jarita's Creations

A little about me and my creative adventures. Here I will share both my successes and not-so-successes. I will share the lessons learned and accomplishments made. I look forward to feedback, helpful advice, and making new friends!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Working in the Right Direction

On last Thursday, I had one of the most successful^6 firings ever! I had loaded the kiln with a lot of little stuff and just a few medium pieces. There were a lot of new designs and new finishes. I was so excited that I listed many of the new pieces on etsy just as fast as I could. Here, though, I want to share a little about some of the other pieces and also some of the techniques that I used. (This will either be one very long blog, a couple of not-quite-so-long ones, or I won't get everything shared... or some combination thereof.)

I have been working for some time on some jewelry ideas. My first batch of pendants didn't result in very many coordinating with the necklaces that I had made. I needed bolder colors. I was a little more successful this time.

This is one of my favorites and will be a (typically, late) birthday present to my dear friend Jeannette. I am thrilled with the results! I began this one with an impression from part of a stamp. I have a small handheld extruder that I used to create the very smooth vine-coil. I work with these tiny extrusions with damp hands because they dry out very easily. I also wedge a little extra moisture into the clay so it is very soft which allows me to create very supple curls and vines. I designed the vine to act as a bail for attaching to a necklace and added some of those babydoll ficus leaves that I've been enjoying lately. After bisquing, I applied a strong mix of cobalt carb with frit 3134 and washed it back a little . A little dark green underglaze added color to the leaves. I actually didn't apply any glaze, but apparently I exceeded the melting point for the frit because it added a lovely light glaze. This little beauty was fired to 2190`F in an electric kiln, with a slow rise the last 200` and a 20 minute hold at the top plus a controlled downfiring to 1400` resulting in a soft ^7 (the ^7 cone's tip was just barely touching the shelf).

I've chosen this necklace to place my pendant on. This is one of the ones that I created in Rhode Island. I love the alternating herringbone stitch sections with the netting stitch sections. The cobalt blue (lapis azuli gemstone) intermediary beads work well with the ceramic pendant and the chocolate cherry seed beads create a nice, warm contrast. I am also very pleased with the toggle and loop closure. I love the way I stitched the netting over the gemstone bead. I originally had in mind a totally different art-bead idea when I created the necklace, but when I placed this pendant next to this necklace, they looked right. I really hope Jeannette likes it and finds an occasion to wear it.

Although I was looking for bolder colors, I am also pleased with this fall tone pendant, although I am unsure exactly why it turned the colors that it did. I created this piece using coils from the handheld extruder again, extra soft clay, moist hands, etc. and added the tiny oak leaves. After bisquing, I applied a mason stain (buttercup yellow) mixed with frit 3134 to the whole piece and washed it back. Then I applied a dark green underglaze to the leaves only. This is the part that I'm confused about. I think there's a chemical reaction between the mason stain and the underglaze. I think the mason stain is iron-based (to get the yellow and also because when I combine this underglaze with other iron-based underglazes the same thing happens), the green color burned out leaving a nice iron-brown.

When I combine this same underglaze with a blue (cobalt?) based mason stain, the green (copper?) of the underglaze doesn't burn out. Due to the fact that I don't understand the why, I must simply accept and remember the results and apply my finishes accordingly. I would like to find a green that I can combine with the yellow mason stain at some point, so I'll keep working on it...

Anyway, back to the pendant and the necklace that I will be incorporating it into. The gold and reddish brown tones look wonderful with this necklace: The pendant is designed to have the necklace woven through the braided portion. I could even add a small briolette if I wanted to (and may in future pieces), but this one I will simply work with the seed beads.

I have so many more great results that I want to share, but, hopefully, I will share them in another post. I have some ornaments that I want to add beads to, another necklace that is more complicated, some lovely sleepy-sepia tone ornaments that I will add some reed handles to, and a few other things.

Plus, I am still working in the direction of pendants and ornaments. I always have ongoing ideas that combine working theories and add new adaptations. I think I need to get back to work, but I look forward to sharing more later.

You can also visit my etsy shop (http://www.jaritascreations.etsy.com/ ) to view the ornaments and pendants that I have already listed.

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