Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Posts Tagged ‘stones’

Crazy-busy Season

Posted by C Scheftic on 2014/12/01

Life tends to get crazy-busy this time of year, for multiple reasons, some of which I’m sure you can imagine and others would take too long to explain. So I’m just going to list a few events you may want to know about should you be interested in seeing some of my work in person:

  • November 30 – December 7: H*liday mART at Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Sewickley, PA

  • December 5-6-7: Holiday Gift Shop at the Wilkins School Community Center, Swissvale, PA

  • December 5-6-7: Open House in my Studio, to coincide with WSCC’s Holiday Gift Shop

  • December 13: Open House at the Hoyt Center for the Arts, New Castle, PA

  • December 13-14: Open House in my Studio, to coincide with an Art Studio tour in Regent Square (Swissvale, Pittsburgh, Edgewood, Wilkinsburg), PA

  • For other venues, please see the list of Ongoing locations down the right side of this blog.

If you find yourself missing any of those, no problem. Just get in touch with me: leave a comment on this post, or message me via Convergent Series page on Facebook (and, while you’re at it, a Like there would be very much appreciated…). We’ll find a way for you to explore my creations!

I’m not sure how much else I’ll manage to post this month. But I have new designs in the works, new workshop pieces I’m testing out plus, of course, new variations of ongoing favorites in both those categories … and lots more for 2015! I look forward to posting about all of those in the New Year, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about them too.

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2013 Art Buzz Tour — This Weekend!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2013/12/14

Have you heard the buzz? Six sites! All in the Pittsburgh area’s “East End” this weekend: Regent Square, Swissvale, and Squirrel Hill. And my studio is one of the locations on it again this year.

I’ve got lots of jewelry on offer, plus a handful of other small adornments.

I also have aloe vera plants that need a new home, babies that i repotted from some of the big ones I keep around. (I do work with hot metals here!) BONUS: small ones are free with a purchase of $35 or more (or a discount can be applied to the price of any of the larger ones if that’s what you prefer).

Plus you’re welcome to share some of my cookies and hot mulled cider. (I also got the makings for cranberry-orange frosties but, with all the snow that’s falling, I’ll save that until there’s a request or I run out of cider, whichever comes first.)

Happy Holidays to all!

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2012 Art Buzz Tour — This Weekend

Posted by C Scheftic on 2012/12/03

Have you heard the buzz? It’s even louder this year! Over forty artists! Seven sites! All in the Pittsburgh area’s “East End” this weekend. And my studio is one of the locations on it again this year.

At WSCC (where I’ll be), the Holiday Gift Shop will still be running downstairs, and I am pretty sure that Daviea Davis will have her glass mosaic studio open too, upstairs across the hall from mine.

2012 Art Buzz Map

If you’re in the area, I sure hope you can stop by. To say, “Hello” and “Happy Holidays” at least. If, for some reason, you can’t get yourself there in person, how about leaving a holiday greeting as a “comment” on this blog post. Even having you say just “Hello” or “Happy Holidays” would be much appreciated!

I look forward to seeing / hearing from you, dear readers, so I can extend my best wishes for this holiday season to you too, in return, in a more personal way.

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And some Holiday-colors now too.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/12/06

Today’s “colorful” story starts with the fact that I’ve had a disk with a sort of “dotted web” design sitting around for quite some time now. As in, for several years. In the dried-clay state, just a disk, pattern on one side but nothing on the other yet, no bail, etc. I made it quickly at the end of a “clay play day” with other members of my local Metal Clay guild. One of those moments when, rather than pack up the rest of my opened but unused clay with no idea when I’d have a chance to get back to it, I just made something, thinking I’d figure it out later on. I will often finish off a pack that way except, usually, it doesn’t take quite so long until I complete a piece started under those circumstances.

With the price that silver got up to this past year, last spring I decided I needed to get more of my UFOs (Un-Finished Objects — especially the silver ones) into a finished state and off to new homes. (Thus earning enough money to buy more silver, of course!) This being me, however, I had to at least try to make it reversible. So I cut out three deckle-edge strips and added them, mosaic-style, to the other side. (Yep, I cut three different pieces of textured clay using crafting scissors with a deckle edge pattern.) And I added a bail. But it still didn’t feel “finished” to me yet, so I set it aside for another four months, completing a good number of others in the meantime….

Finally, as I was finishing off a few other pieces (ones that I had designed and executed in a much more timely fashion), and adding some gemstones to those, it hit me: what this piece needed was a colorful stone. I kept turning it over and over, trying to decide which side should get that addition. Both of them kept calling out, “Me! Me!”

After maybe two months more, I finally gave in to what it was asking for: each side got its own gem! The decision to put a jade piece on the “web” side was easy. I kept debating over the other side and then I remembered that I had some citrines that were on the red end of the orange range. If I used one of those, I could make a reddish-and-green piece that might jump out as a great gift for someone during the Holiday season, but would still be versatile enough to wear year-round.

The end result, at last, is shown here.

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Yet Another Ring.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/09/17

To understand what I mean when I say (as I did in my last post) that, relatively speaking, I don’t make a lot of rings, you probably need to know how many other pieces I make. I don’t have that number handy, but it’s a lot.

What I do have, however, is another example of a ring I recently made for myself. A few weeks ago, I wrote about one that I said was a practice piece, and that I had plans for additional pieces. Here is one of its successors:

I built it from components, using a design that required multiple firings. The flower was built atop a slightly squared-off band: because the top is heavy, that shape helps to hold it upright on my finger when worn.

The stone was set in a fine-silver bezel. I fired that combo in place as part of the last step (unusual for me: I tend to set stones post-firing), so I had to use one that could handle the heat of the kiln. I chose a lab-created ruby cabochon.

But the main treat, for me, is that all three of the flower-petal layers spin! Do you like, as I do, jewelry that you can play with? (I do try to be discreet about when I do that, but there are moments when it’s just so much fun…!)

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A tiny bit of progress…

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/07/25

Spinner Ring with Red Lace Agate Cabochon.

OK, to be honest, I made this ring months ago. But the recent progress–finding a bit of time to do something, anything, with metal clay again–involved adding the red lace agate cabochon to it.

The original ring was one of my “experimental construction” trials. The silver part of the ring actually includes four stacked disks. The one on the very bottom (not visible in this photo) is there solely to hold onto the ring shank. The next one up (the largest one, visible in this shot) forms the base of the design. The third one (hanging sort of low in this photo) has a hole in the center (not visible here) that lets it spin around a hidden central post: some people might therefore call this a fidget-ring because there is something to fidget, or play, with. The fourth disk is solid, and serves to hold that third (spinner) disk in place.

The part of the construction that was experimental involved using the spinner disk at all: Figuring out how to stack everything so it would both hold together and allow just-enough movement. Now that I’m more sure about how that works, I have plans for additional pieces, ones where the spin-able disk is much larger and more elaborate.

In the meantime, I thought this first trial piece needed something … somewhere. Looking at a few 8 mm red lace agate cabs t’ohter day, it struck me that this one——with its ever so slightly curved banding——would go well with the texture on the silver here. [So I added a little dollop of very thick metal clay paste (laced with a bit of lavender oil) to the top, positioned a fine silver bezel cup on top of that, and fired it into place. (original sentence expanded to this on 7/28)] Then, of course, I had to re-polish everything. Finally, I was able to add the stone. I’m happy with the result and, even if it’s just a simple little change, it is something at last!

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Another bar-pendant.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2011/02/19

This long rectangular piece developed over several sessions.

It started out as a piece I made during a workshop demonstration. First, I made a “backing” piece (I wish I knew of another commonly-accepted word for this because, as I’ll show shortly, in my quest to design fully-reversible pieces, the striped backing can certainly be worn facing the front…)

To that were added three textured squares that were the same width as that piece. Each was just a bit under 1/3 of its length. They were attached so as to leave just enough room at the top to add a simple, smooth, fold-over bail.

That was as far as I went in the classroom. I fired the piece along with those of the workshop participants, polished it, added some patina, and used it for a while as a “sample” piece I’d leave in other locations where I’d also get a “silver mosaics” workshop on the schedule. But, while I was fine with using it like that, for some reason it just never felt “done” to me.

Rummaging through my little bin of cabochons the other day, looking for a bit of red lace agate for another piece I was working on, I found myself digging through a few others I’d used recently that were still on top of the pile. Looking at the green aventurine and the little blue lab-grown spinels, for some reason I just thought of this piece.

When I next had a bit of time, I added bezel cups to each side of the piece, fired those into place, re-polished and re-did the patina, then set the stones.

Now, I do think it’s done. And, unlike the pieces I mentioned in my last post, I’m pretty sure that anyone looking at this one should get that it’s meant to be fully reversible.

Posted in General Techniques | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

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