Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Studio in Hibernation

I have just decided to close the studio for the rest of the holiday season. The items from my Etsy Shop have been sent to Sidestreet Studio here in Oak Bay and my only focus for the time being is just to tidy up so things will be organised for 2014.

The year is ending on a melancholy note with yet another gallery closing. I think I had better make finding some new venues my most important resolutions for the new year but along with that I have to decide WHAT I actually want to do! Lately I've been considering a return to clay on panels as I demonstrated in Cynthia Tinapple's Polymer Clay Global Perpectives.... I want to explore more abstract compositions with textural effects. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Using Metallic Inks on Polymer Clay

I purchased some metallic inks a year ago and wasn't pleased with the way they turned out with the approach I was using so I set them aside. This week I rediscovered them in a box and decided to see how they worked with my current technique. I am really pleased with these and a bonus is that the metallics mix with colours for really interesting effects too. This earring and bangle set is done with black, grey silver and white which I wear a lot but infrequently produce on the worktable due to gallery requests for bright colours. These were made to please me! I have  a set reserved for my own use but this set is in my aMused Studio Etsy Shop  for another fan of this very versatile palette.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Etsy Offerings

I don't think I've ever had so many items in my Etsy shop! Yesterday I added one of my last resin and sari silk pendants and today I finished another Fusion Bangle and Earring Set.

  Visit my Etsy Shop at

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Winter Moods- A West Coast Colour Palette

I pulled out all of my favourite colours for this FuSion Bangle and Earring Set. Muted greys, greens and mauves all mixed together to reflect my westcoast landscape at the the of year when there is a cold crackle in the air.

It's available in my Etsy Shop!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Etsy Earrings

Here is today's Etsy offering- a fun pair of  earrings. Like yesterday's FuSion Bangle, these colours are all about summer to me. 

Tomorrow's offering will reflect more of a west coast winter palette.... stay tuned!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Etsy Shop for Holiday Shopping

Side One
Side Two

I've spiffed up my aMused Studio Etsy Shop for the holiday season! I plan to add something new each day through November and December... today I've added a FuSion Bangle that celebrates the summery colours of the tropics. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Assyrian Clay Cylinder Seals

I was transfixed in the Assyrian section of the Louvre during my visit to Paris. The cases were filled with Cylinder Seal Roller Beads. The impressed and fired tiles were used as administrative tokens. Each roller bead was made with a durable carved medium and rolled onto faience day & fired. It was fascinating to see the intricately carved beads & the perfectly beautiful impression they made. Some were very Simple and others were  were heavily worked & must have been worn or displayed with panache. I particularly liked the beads with raised edges which made a nice framing line on the token.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

aMused in Amsterdam

We are in the middle of a European adventure & we have made a  home in A houseboat on the Prinsengracht Canal for the last three nights. It has been rainy today & the rain is drumming on the roof - perfection.
Today we visited the sublime Van Gogh Museum.
Some of the sights:

Friday, September 13, 2013

aMused Earrings- continued

I have had a thoroughly wonderful week developing my earrings. Along with sculpting and inking the earrings themselves I designed a display card using Photoshop to give me variations of a "scritch-scratch " type of pattern that I sketched and scanned. 

I'll be shipping a batch to Artemesia in Westport Ontario and delivering some to Side Street Studio here in Oak Bay. I have set aside some special ones for my Etsy Shop - that will be Job #1 on Monday!

Monday, September 9, 2013

aMused with Earrings.

These ones match my dress!
I have an event coming up in a few weeks and I want to have some really eye catching earrings to accent the dress I'll be wearing. Making my own earrings seemed to be a logical step and I spent the weekend experimenting. I tried molds, cutting shapes from sheets and other approached but they seemed too sterile to me. As my waste basket began to fill with failed attempts (aka-"research and development") I changed course and decided to go organic as I did with my my BeachStones back in the day. I worked with 2 equally measured sections of clay to make sure each earring was the same size and began free-handing each piece. I added surface details, fired and then added inks. 

As the project developed I realised I was really enjoying myself so I decided to make these for sale. I like the way they accent my FuSion Bangles. I'll be working on making more and coming up with an interesting display format for them too. I really like using boxes but the added volume affects shipping costs dramatically. 


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pausing to Organise- An annual ritual

When I returned home from the encaustic and vessel workshop I was revved up to get to work right away but when I walked into the studio my energy drained as I surveyed the state of chaos, especially in my storage boxes and drawers. 

On an impulse I began dumping entire containers out on the rug for a dramatic sorting session. It took longer than I thought. I have spent over a week tossing the equivalent of two garden sized garbage bags out but more importantly most materials worth keeping and sorted into appropriate places. Materials that relate to processes that I don't intend to revisit are being sent to the basement in storage bins. Last time I did this I had a huge online sale but this time I found that I have spent a year accumulating things that are worth keeping. I am looking at an assortment of books relating to metal clay that may go to Etsy or eBay.

Several items of furniture were sent to basement storage- they will go to the beachfront cottage I intend to buy when I win the lottery. Someone please remind me to buy a ticket for that!

Tables from my craft show booth supplies were brought up to function as workspace. A good purpose as I (think)  have decided not to do any more craft shows. Time will tell.

My new wax station is the finishing touch!

 curtains conceal storage containers

My wax table

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Waxing Lyrical- My First Woven Encaustic Pieces

Here are the pieces I worked on at Shannon Weber's Workshop.

This will have glass candle holder inside and I'm giving a shout out to Rae Hunter for the inspiration!

Encaustic and Woven Vessels- A Workshop with Shannon Weber

 I am home from a visit to Randi Haper's  Ranch Arts Centre in Snohomish Washington where I took Shannon Weber's three day Adventures in the Woven Vessel- When Fibre Meets Wax Workshop. It was without a doubt the best class I've ever taken and I am so excited to get my studio installed with a hot wax table. The process was so "open" to almost every material imaginable and hauled out my big box of rusty stuff, beach finds, sticks and stones and polymer beach stones and got to work. The women around the table were inspiring company and everyone brought different influences to the table from pottery to quilting and fabric collage to calligraphy, basket weaving and polymer clay.

We feasted on some of the delicious creations from some of Snohomish's very good restaurants and Shannon shared several tubs of Ice Cream from Oregon's famed Salt and Straw Ice Creamery.

It was a fabulous mixture of playing and learning and I loved every second of it!

Thanks Shannon and Randi!

Day One- Shannon explains the fundamentals
A random weaving demo
drying the first layered forms in the sun

The hot wax station
It was as much as it looks!

Sharon Benton
Melanie Ferguson & Kathie Vezzani

Shannon and Gwen Maxwell Williams

Randi Harper

Melanie Ferguson's indicate carvings in the wax

 The Gallery!
Sharon Belton
Kathie Vezzani
Dena Ramm
Karen Samdahl
Gwen Maxwell-Williams
Melanie Ferguson
Gera Scott Chandler