Wednesday 22 November 2017

A Transparent Mistake, Expanding Cats and an imminent DIY Tsunami. . .

Red brown semi trans rounded tube beads, or possibly 'bugle' beads(?)

Well, I was in a hurry so I didn't notice that I had bought 50% transparent Cernit Clay instead of the usual opaque stuff, until I opened the new pack and began using it. But After a bit of a double take and some initial confusion (until I spotted the little 50% badge on the packet), I decided to run with it. I made some simple beads and explored the way surface treatments seem to have more depth to them on trans clay. I used alcohol inks in layers, and other stuff. . . They came out nicely and look quite stone like, not that I was aiming for that particularly. I sold some as well, which always encourages the creativity. . .

Green stone like beads with 'includes'. .

For some I used a kind of a variation of my crackle effect idea. I was going to say that I made the clay a bit dirty by rolling it a few times and letting a little dust and tiny bits of desk detritus stick to it, but what I mean is I used 'includes', yes, that was what I did, cough. . . . Just slightly, so that it looked a little bit veiny and speckled.
I ordered some opaque Cernit straight away of course but as trans was what I had it made me explore  a bit more, which is always a good thing.

Groovy blue ones

I didn't get much done as time is a bit lacking this week as I am planning the details of how to redo our bathroom. I like to think it all through before jumping in, going nuts with a club hammer and ripping stuff out willy nilly. . . (there is a plasterboard side to the shower that has to go.) But I will try to get into the workshop and have a play in between diy splurges when I can ;-)
Oh yeah, and a joiner is fitting new bannisters on our stairs this week too. Gonna look so posh ;-) So it's all go round here. . .

I like the semi trans effect here

Alongside the other beads I made some turned effect earring bead pairs using the semi-trans clay. They came out quite nice too, imho. I shall make some more I think, although I am trying not to repeat myself too much.

And here, they sort of glow . .

I'm going to make more of these simple spikes too, seeing as how they sold, and I like the simplicity of them. 

unapologetically simple spikes

Simple beads are challenging in an strange way. There is quite a bit of resistance to putting forward something that has very little evidence of 'work' in it. Silly I know, but it does take a level of confidence to be satisfied with the simple and not complicate it for complication's sake, or for what you might imagine other people might think etc etc. I'm actually pretty ok with keeping it simple as a principle, but I get the annoying doubts from time to time ;-) Anyway, hitting people over the head with 'skill' for its own sake is amateur stuff ;-) You know, like those guitarists that play 48,000 notes a second when 3 will do. . . Skill is a means to an end and not an end in itself, which sounds like an excuse but really isn't. And worrying about what you think other people might think doesn't lead anywhere useful. imho.

As for the Expanding Cat thing. They are six months old now and have changed so much. This is Hereward as he is now, and as he was the day he arrived in our house. He's a big handsome boy now ;-) The two girls are all almost grown now too, but not as big as himself here.

Hereward 'Hairy Boy' now and then, wasn't he a cuticle?
I read something on several sites on the inter webs about how big cats are likely to grow. It said they grow up to 20 times their size. . . Yeah right! If a kitten is 3 inches when born it would be 60 inches fully grown. That's five feet! Hmmm. . . Not convinced that is altogether true. I hope not or I will need a much bigger cat flap. . . . .
Amazing how misinformation happily shared on the net isn't it?


  1. I'm oohing and ahhing over your beads Jon! They are fab! I can't tell you which is my favourite they are all so - special. I'd go for more of that if I was you. That glow - wow.

    Your Hereward. Oh my he's a beauty! I just wanted to pick him up and give him a cuddle. Is he cuddly?

    Take some pics of the girls when you can. I hate seeing them grow up so quickly as they are so cute when little.

    At present we have a 'rent-a-cat' as we call our visitor. She belongs to the next door people but spends a lot of time here. Enough time we started buying good wet food for her and then it went from there to a litter box and now toys. She's been here for a week and a half and doesn't seem interested in leaving. She lives with 2 huge dogs that are rambunctious to say the least so the quiet here is probably like a vacay.

    This weekend is my first big show. I've been cleaning jewelry all week...omg...I hate that part of it. Then another in mid-December and I'm done. Starting a course with Dan Cormier (look him up) in January. I'm so excited!

    Want to see your banisters when done. Love the posh look in the country!

    Great beads Jon. Give yourself a pat on the back for these.

  2. I love those beads you made with the clay you didn't mean to buy - as you'd guess, seeing as I bought some. I also really liked the glowy red on those turned pairs (I nearly BIN-ed them) - yeah, do make more.

    I know what you mean about the simple-complex thing. I often find myself trying to come up with some elaborate knew design. And then I think, 'Yeah, but how will someone use them into a pair of earrings?'.

  3. Beautiful beads.. i liked the transluscent effect with alcohol ink and other colors.. looks very authentic hand-made...