Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Classes and an Announcement!

I have some new classes and exciting news to share with you!  First the classes:

Fine Silver Pendant Workshop
Saturday, December 11, 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Greene's Hill Artisan Studio, 65 Ellsworth Road, Blue Hill
Cost:  $60 (includes PMC and findings to finish necklace)

To register, call (207) 374-5148 or  1-866-676-7530

Using rubber stamps, natural items or a variety of items with interesting textures, you will create a one of a kind fine silver pendant from (PMC) Precious Metal Clay.  You will come away with a finished necklace and a taste of working with PMC.  This is a short, project-driven workshop.  While some background and information on PMC will be given, the focus will be on making and finishing the piece.   All skill levels are welcome.

All materials and tools will be supplied by the instructor, including the PMC and the findings to finish your necklace. 

If you have ever wanted to try PMC, this is a great chance to try it without the pressure of purchasing tools.   PMC is a very easy-to-use medium which allows even beginners to make beautiful, pure silver jewelry.

I have also submitted a proposal to Ellsworth Adult Ed. for a mixed level PMC class.  It will start sometime in January.  It will be on Monday nights from 5:30 to 8:30, but I do not have a start date yet.  Once I do, I will let you know.

In addition, I hope to be teaching a class at Sweetland Retreat in January or February on making a peekaboo lentil bead.  The proposal has been submitted and once dates and times have been ironed out I will post more details here.

And finally, some exciting news for me:  Beginning December 6th,  from 4:00 to 8:30, I will be having PMC Open Studio evenings.  The students taking my current class have expressed a desire to continue even after the last class on November 29th, so I have arranged for temporary space at 130 Oak Street, Suite 2, Ellsworth, Maine (it's the office right beside Hewin's Travel).

The studio will be open for anyone who wishes to come meet and work with other PMC enthusiasts.  Everyone is welcome to work on their own using any tools and materials I have available.  I will also be there for assistance and direction should anyone need that.  There will be one kiln firing each evening, between 7:00 and 7:30 and anyone attending can put pieces in.  I hope to cover one topic each evening as well.  I am working on a schedule and will post that when it's all worked out.  The number of weeks this will run depends on when the January Adult Ed class begins.

The charge for an evening will be $15, and I will have a limited amount of supplies and PMC available for purchase.  If you wish to have something specific, that I don't have available, let me know and I can order it and have it for you for the next class.

Currently, I am asking that people notify me in advance by telephone:  (207) 460-1077 (leave a message if I can't answer) or by email: if they intend on attending the first evening.  At the first evening's class, I will have a sign up sheet for the next weeks' classes.  If you cannot attend the first week, let me know which weeks you can attend by calling or emailing.

These studio evenings are intended for those with some basic knowledge of metal clay, if you have never worked with metal clay, you may wish to take the December 11th pendant class, which will give you a taste of working with PMC, or the January Adult Ed class which is intended for both beginners and more advanced students.

It is my hope that I will be able to expand these nights further to some weekend classes and workshops as well as other open studio times.  That is dependent in large part on the numbers of people interested.  So if this sounds like something you may like, please attend!  Thanks.

I would like to add a word of thanks here as well:  I have truly enjoyed teaching PMC and I want to thank Joy and Jamie of Sweetland Retreat who gave me the chance to teach my first class, as well as the students in that class who were very patient with me.   The students in my current Adult Ed PMC class also deserve thanks:  Mary, Tess, Deb, Beth, Amy, Jeani, Kristen, Hilde and Vicky have encouraged me right along and helped spark the idea of this open studio time.  Thanks to all of you!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sneak Peek and the Gifted Hand Show

I've been furiously working to make a few new things for the Gifted Hand Show,which is tomorrow and Saturday at the Ramada Inn (formerly the Holiday Inn) in Ellsworth.  Click here for more information on the show.

Here's a sneak peak.  I've made some new designs as well as a few of my most popular pieces.  Some of them go quite fast at shows, so be sure to get there early if there's something you might be interested in. 

I will also be doing something slightly different for some of my pendants.  They will be available to purchase separately from chains for those who have their own necklaces.  There will also be a selection of sterling silver chains and rubber and leather cords for purchase with the pendants.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Gratitude Wood Letters by Such Simple Gems

I have something I really need to say... Thank you!

Who am I thanking?  You.  If you are reading this, I'm thanking YOU!  Why?  Well, because you are reading this.  You're either reading it because you follow my blog or you are a Facebook fan and for both of those things, I want to thank you.  I do keep an eye on the numbers of followers I have both here and on Facebook and both those numbers have been steadily increasing.  Thanks to a good friend who shared my Facebook page with tons of people, I have a whole boatload of fans on my Facebook page.  I thought it would reach a point where the numbers would stay steady, but they have continued to slowly climb.

I have fewer followers of my blog, but still many more than I ever imagined I would have.  And I appreciate each and every one of you.  Some of you I know through my Etsy teams:  the Etsy Maine Team and the Metal Clay Heads Team, while others I don't know at all.  I'm not sure how you found me or what your reasons are for following  my blog (or fanning me on Facebook) but I want you to know that I certainly am grateful.

And I would like to hear from you.  What would you like to see on my blog and on my Facebook page?  I try not to overdo the spammy sort of things, and try to post things that will either be informative or entertaining to you.  When I try a new technique, I like to let you all know of it, but are there other things you would like to see?  On my Facebook page, I try to limit my postings to things metal clay or jewelry related and any new items I list on my Etsy shop.  Would you like to see more?  Or maybe less?

I am truly interested in your opinions and value each and every one.  Please feel free to post suggestions and opinions in the comments section on my blog or Facebook page, or you can email me if you prefer:

I wish there was a way to thank each of you separately, but I respect people's privacy and don't want to spam you so I thought this might be a better way to do so.

Appreciation Cards by Little Gracie Cards

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


That's "Finally!" for two reasons: Finally, I am updating my blog because FINALLY I had a bronze clay firing that actually went right. Prior to this, I've done two batches, with a total of four pieces and only one actually came out useable. One over-fired and melted and the other two cracked and are unfixable. So it was with fingers crossed but without high hopes that I put this last batch in.

I should say that I'm using the new "Fast Fire" BronzClay.  You can read about my first attempts at using it here.  I have not used the original BronzClay so I can't compare the two.

So what did I do differently in this firing to make it successful?  Absolutely nothing that I can tell.  I think it was just luck or happenstance.  Other than that the only difference was size and shape of the pieces.  The larger pieces were completely flat and the other pieces were quite small.  I made some plaques that are to be Christmas Tree ornaments.

And here is a photo of a couple that I have finished.  The round plaques are about 1 3/4 inches in diameter.

I also made some bells.  Ever since I went to Haystack this past summer, I was inspired by Donna Penoyer's whistles.  I have though it would be really interesting to make my own type of musical instrument and after having read that large bells are generally made from bronze, I thought the bronze clay would be a good medium to try for bells.  My favorite is previewed at the beginning of this post and all are shown below.  They do actually ring and each makes it's own sound, apparently dependent on the size and shape of the bell.   The tallest of these bells is about 1 1/2 inches. These were experiments but I had so much fun making them I would like to make more, maybe even some that could be tiny earrings!

It's great to have a medium that doesn't limit me as to the size of pieces.  PMC is and will always be my favorite, but I can't imagine making large Christmas ornaments out of it - they would have to be so expensive!  I can only hope that my future firings will be this successful because I would love to experiment more.