Clay Play Day Revival

Diane, co-owner (with her hustband Bob) of the wonderful local bead store, “Basically Beads,” used to have a few of us over to her store once a month and we would spend 3 or 4 hours playing with clay, just working on our own projects but enjoying each other’s company and picking each other’s brains. Sadly, she had to stop several months ago because of scheduling problems, but today she reinstated the monthly fun! Yea! It was just like the good old days except that in the meantime a wonderful bakery has opened across the street and I got a great “to go” lunch there.

Here’s a photo of the beads I made. They’re nestled on the kiln blanket waiting for me to pop them into the oven. When in doubt of subject matter, make a bear!

I wish there were more time in the day because I’d love to finish the necklace and earrings I have in mind, but it will just have to wait for another day. Sigh. The stones I have wired to the beads include turquoise, carnelina, and new jade, so I suppose I’ll use more of those beads in the necklace. I poked a hole in the bear’s mouth in case I want to use one of my favorite artifices – a beautiful gem or pearl in the mouth. The symbolism eludes me, but it appeals greatly and I use it often. I have a faceted carnelian drop that might work well for this purpose. At this point I’m undecided whether to use antique brass chain or multiple strands of seed beads for the necklace “cord” so I’ll just have to see how the spirit moves me when I’m able to get back to the project.

A little more about the flower fairy I wrote about yesterday. The Cernit clay gives such a nice finish that looks like bisque porcelain. Unfortunately, I ruined that beautiful finish by coating it with a satin finish water-based varnish. The varnish I used was JW which I think is a great product. But it was just the wrong choice for this project. Perhaps I didn’t need to varnish the skin at all, but I wanted to protect the little bit of painting I did on the face, fingernails, and toenails. I’ll have to try an experiment with matte varnish and see if that works out. (I often skip the “testing out” step when I’m trying something new and sometimes it bites me.) By the way, the satin varnish was fine on the “dress” and “hat.”
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