What’s a girl with a full-time job and an obsession with creating jewelry to do with all of her free time? How about opening an online store?! That’s right, folks. Big World Studio is online and open for business. Why should my Orlando-area friends have all the fun when the internet can help me reach folks everywhere?
The store is located on Artfire, an upstart Etsy competitor. As I write, there are 14 pieces available in the store and lots more coming just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. So, why not avoid the scary shopping crowds on Friday? Just stay home, log on, and shop Big World Studio for affordable, unique, handmade jewelry. Support your favorite artisan and pass this info along to your friends and family.
I’ll be adding lots more pieces over the next few days and weeks, so check back often. Feel free to check out these two Flickr sets, which include my latest creations, most of which will be posted to the Atfire store as I have time to get it done. If you see anything you like in the Flickr sets, just let me know.
November 23, 2009
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I’ve started experimenting with COPPRclay* and I’m having a blast! The material is fun to work with and I’ve had great success with firing it to full strength**. It’s beautiful with a simple brushed finish, but the detail is really stunning after applying a patina and polishing back the high points.
My customers seem to love it too. Over the past several weeks, I’ve sold a few silver pieces and LOTS of copper pieces. I think the rich warm color is attracting people, and they tell me they like it because it’s just “different”. It doesn’t hurt that the raw material is substantially less expensive than the silver, so my finished pieces are priced a bit better for this economy. Whatever the reasons, I’m having fun making and selling these creations.
Working in copper is also great because its low cost encourages me to experiment. If the experiment doesn’t work, I’m not worried about needing to recycle the materials. It’s really very freeing and a great way to sharpen my skills, which will apply equally to my work with silver clay. This process reminds me of my early days of free exploration with polymer clay, getting to know what the material could do.
The piece shown here features a pattern carved directly into a dried copper blank. I rolled out a fairly thick sheet of clay, cut out the shape and dried it on a domed Easter egg to attain the gently curved profile. After drying, I lightly sanded and smoothed the edges of the piece, then used my favorite Dockside MicroCarving Tool to cut the pattern directly into the bone dry piece.
Stay tuned for more copper creations!
* COPPRclay is the correct spelling for the brand name of the material I’m working with. The finished piece is pure copper after firing.
** I’m using the firing schedule developed by Angela Crispin: Open shelf fire, ramped at 450F per hour to 555F and hold for one hour. Second stage firing buried in coconut carbon, full ramp to 1650F and hold for 3.5 hours. My initial experiments with the manufacturers recommended firing schedule were not successful, but every batch fired with this 2-phase schedule has sintered perfectly.
November 22, 2009
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