Tag Archives: Work in Progress

Playing with Fire

14 May

Here’s a peek into my process creating the last in a series of mixed media necklaces based on the four elements of earth, air, water and fire.

First, here’s Earth:

Here is Air:

And Water (already SOLD):

As well as all the elements combined:

And here is the beginning of Fire:

Journey Through Fire

Journey Through Fire

No magical fire talisman collection would be complete without one of these eyes, so further progress is halted until these arrive and I select one that works with other materials I already have on hand:

Dragon Eyes

Dragon Eyes

The eye will be placed in a bezel and attached to the lava teardrop stone. My vote is for the first eye.

In this shot you can see just how jumbled and messy my workspace can get while I’m in the mode of creating; you can also see some materials I am considering for this last necklace.

Workspace with Work in Progress

Workspace with Work in Progress

Until later becomes now…FireSign


Upcoming Magical Totem Pentacles

7 Feb

My latest necklace, Star of the Hummingbird, has excited me to make more animal totem pentacles.  Here’s what I have planned so far and the beads I’ll be using.

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I’m really looking forward to creating some very cute and dazzling new magical stars!beadsign

In the Studio with Kat

19 Jan

I’m in the process of making a heart-shaped box with hearts cut out of the sides and a peek hole on the top, where you will see a stone in a setting and dozens of tiny little hearts.  I’m working with PMC3, so the entire piece (except for the stone!) will be fine silver.

I also made some baby snails from the two-part mold I made a couple of months ago.  Didn’t get to play with it until now because I was working so much on a commission piece.

At this point the snails have reached the leather hard stage, and the box bottom and top are well on their way.  Once everything is bone dry, I’ll start the fine hand-finishing before everything gets popped into the kiln and then into the tumbler.  From there it’s just a stone’s throw to get them into the boutique in time for Valentine’s Day.

On My Plate

I made a tool roll to bring some order to tools I use regularly or else would have a tendency to disappear:


  1. Distilled water in a very fine spray bottle to keep clay from getting too dry and forming cracks.
  2. Cool Slip from Cool Tools to keep the clay from sticking to anything.  I also have olive oil on hand in a pump dispenser, but the Cool Slip seems to work better for me.
  3. My ancient polymer clay acrylic roller.  Because I use freezer paper under my work surface and folded over the clay (waxy side facing), I don’t have to worry about cross contamination.
  4. Ring making molds from Metal Clays; haven’t used them yet.
  5. Clay keeper from Art Clay World holds a sponge in a perforated well to keep clay from dry out.
  6. Bezel making molds from Metal Clays; they work great.
  7. Buffing board.
  8. Very fine-point clay pick from Cool Tools.
  9. Paint brushes; small to smooth and add water, big to sweep away dusting debris.
  10. Slat set to assure even rolling of clay from Metal Clay Supply.
  11. Stiff brush for removing clay dust from filing tools and a soft head toothbrush to clean up.
  12. A double-ended spatula and clay pick with wood handle.
  13. Smoothies from Cool Tools.  These files shape and remove clay easily in the leather hard and bone dry stages, and they look like emery boards; they come in fine, medium and coarse grits.
  14. A stylus with interchangeable heads in a storage tube.
  15. Agate burnisher.
  16. Tissue blades.
  17. Stainless steel burnisher.
  18. Bezel roller.
  19. Bead reamer.
  20. Pipette for siphoning distilled water from my gallon jug.
  21. Metal scraper (how I lived without this I do not know; it slices and scrapes and lifts and moves clay; love it!) from Art Clay World.
  22. QuikArt stylus from Metal Clay Supply; it’s like a hair fine needle or pin on a stick to use with templates; love it!
  23. Bent nose tweezers.
  24. Straws and other things to make holes or divots in clay.

These are only a few of my “tools of the trade”.  I have more cool tools and I’ll try to show them sometime in the future.  These just happen to have a new home.

What are your favorite metal clay tools?diamondsign

A Change in Plans

3 Dec

I became concerned about the weight of my commission earrings, and expressed this to my client.  While I don’t find the earrings too heavy, as they are currently may not be comfortable for wearing for long periods.

My client expressed an interest in lowering the weight, and we discussed the options.  The option we select, we decided, will be based on the reflected light of the stone when the setting is (1) open backed (client’s choice) or (2) closed back (my recommendation).  Because the recipient has long hair that is worn down, an open back will, IMO, reflect the darkness behind the earring.  I think that a stone backed by silver will not only reflect light off the silver from the front, but as the light is reflected the color of the gemstone will also be reflected.

Notice that “I think” my recommendation is correct.  To be sure, I am test firing these two pieces tomorrow:


The stone in the heart has an open back and the other stone does not.  It will be interesting to see the results of this test.  Note:  I have cleaned up the test victims now that they are at the dried leather stage and will fire them tomorrow after they reach the bone dry state.

Some artists wouldn’t have concerned themselves about the weight, much less scrapped a well-progressed design in trying to solve the potential problem, but this is my first PMC project and my philosophy is I live to learn; it helps me learn to live.

Stay tuned!PMCfairysign

Mermaid Fingerless Glove in Progress

1 Nov

As I’ve written lately, a whole lot of crocheting is going on in my head and out through my fingers (which are pretty darn sore!).

I went through my pouch/bag/purse phase and now I’m making fingerless gloves.  I’ve finished one of a set of two that has an ocean theme with turquoise, dark teal and lavender.  The upper part of the glove (the cuff, if you will) I did in shell stitches with “button holes” so it can be laced to the wearer’s size; it measures 7″.  The lower part of the glove that covers the back of the hand I did in crocodile stitches (it measures 3″).  The crocodile stitch is really beautiful and I chose it because it looks like fish scales.  The lacing is a turquoise leather string that I wish were longer.

Please let me know what you think of this no-pattern creation.


Itty Bitty Butterfly

23 Apr

This is the copper wire butterfly I will be attaching to the coil bangle I posted about earlier:


Wings "folded" upwards at an angle

Possible positioning on bangle

Good things do come in wee bitty packages!

A Prezzie for Me?

22 Apr

This bracelet design was created by Eni Oken and is very popular.  It is rated as “very advanced” and I just love it.  This is the second one I’ve made and it’s just how I like my jewelry; big and bold!

I haven’t oxidized it yet, and I’ve created a copper wire butterfly that I may attach to the center stone, all of which are rose quartz.  It is a little too snug to fit me perfectly, so even though I really want to keep it for myself (and I’m sure I can figure out an extension to the clasp to make it fit), you might see it in my boutique some day.

I just love, love, love this “coiled bangle” design!

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