Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Obsessions

I have been busy doing what I do and have completely misplaced this blog for a while. In this brief sabbatical, I have found a few new obsessions. The first is trying to perfect my new acorn beads and I'll get to the second in a moment.

I have been playing with making handmade beads for a while and have been learning a lot as I go. I was really aiming to keep the beads consistently textured to catch the variations in my glazes but didn't want to stilt them in the glaze firing because the stilts would blemish the surface texture where the beads sit on the little tines.

So, I bought a bead stand and was happily hanging my beads from the heavy wire. I had to search for findings and bead caps that were malleable enough so I could fit them to my handmade (and not perfectly symmetrical) beads. The pieces also had to be strong enough to hold and secure the weight of clay.

Now some of you might say "just make them symmetrical" but I rather like qualities that let the viewer see the mark of an individual maker. If I valued perfect symmetry, I could just buy or slip cast perfect beads.

Well, I thought I had figured it out until I put them together. Visually, I was really happy with the old school charm of the clay against the metal, but the hole where the bead was hung from the wire was a bit thick for the thin headpins I used to connect all the pieces together. So, back to the drawing board (or rather back to Etsy for some online shopping). Luckily I found some stronger headpins and some tiny beads that I can string onto the pins to firm up the center hole in each bead.

Ok, enough rambling and on to my second obsession...my new neighbours. You may have seen these on my Facebook page but here they are again!

1 protective Mama with 5 babies have moved into our back yard. We found them under the steps of our deck the day they were born. The next evening, they had move up onto the deck and Mama put all of the babies into our BBQ cover that was hanging over the deck railing. It was the perfect hammock for those little ones. We gave them one more day to grow until giving them enough attention that they decided we were not the best neighbours. Those little ones had a party at midnight, trying out their wobbly legs and when I checked on them this morning, the hammock was empty and they had moved on to the next adventure.