I Blinked…

2-birdhouses-b

…and then it was December.

What a busy, productive, exciting time this has been. I’ve been making and selling lots of jewelry. I haven’t participated in any formal shows, but have created (or stumbled into) some out-of-the-ordinary sales opportunities.  One of my pieces was selected for publication in the Art & Design of Metal Clay Jewelry 2011 Calendar.  Jim and I grooved our way through (possibly the last) MagnoliaFest music festival. At the National Mango Board, we got approval for the 2011 budget and are working through a proposal to increase the assessment rate.  Most days, I’ve woken up a bit breathless in anticipation of the deadlines I need to reach in order to stay on track.

But, it’s December, and that means the pace slows down just a bit in my world.  I’m still selling, but I’m not in crazed production mode anymore.  Work is busy but not insane, and I can look forward to having the week off between Christmas and New Year’s.  I’m starting to clear out the flotsam and jetsam that’s been building up in the corners of my house.  I just LOVE this time of year!

Copper-BirdhouseI also love that I’m spending some time creating just for the fun of it.  Check out these super-cute copper birdhouse ornaments I made.   They’re about 3″ x 3″, and they will grace the tree of my friends Deborah and William.  These ornaments were my contribution to our annual ornament exchange at the Mango Board. My co-workers have come to expect that I’ll bring handmade ornaments for the exchange, and who am I to disappoint them?

I’ve never created anything this large in copper. I anticipated some problems with the shrinkage of the clay causing splits and cracks, but I did my best and trusted the outcome to the kiln gods.   Much to my amazement, all of cracks were on the floor.  The walls, roof and birdies came out of the kiln in perfect condition!  The splits in the floor actually add a rustic flair to these pieces.

To construct these birdhouses, I formed and dried each piece, then used a carving tool to add the texture to the roof, walls and floor.  After carving, I assembled the pieces together using thick slip.  The bronze wire loop was inserted through a drilled hole and fixed in place with wet clay before firing.  This was a really fun little experiment!

December 12, 2010

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