Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Enameling ~

Enameling in the studio requires a few tools. There is the small kiln and just as important are the gloves. Mine have several burn spots on them. The steel tray to put the trivet on and then the large tool to take out the tray.

This is a trivet with a copper piece layered with white enamel. It is sitting on top of the kiln before it goes into a kiln. The kiln will heat up to 1450 before I remove the piece. If you are making earrings or jewelry, always remember to leave a clean hole.
 These are two pieces out of the kiln. They were yellow and I added blue and red in separate firings. When I use enamel powders, I sift the powder on top of New Yorker magazine pages. I throw out the page after it is used...well sometimes I turn it over and use the other side. This keeps the colors from contaminating.
 Some earrings without the sterling silver ear wires. These were lime green and I added a layer of red enameling powder. I really like the result. Will be sharing more enameling processes.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Creating Glass Jewelry ~
 While at William Holland School of Lapidary Arts, I sold the necklace I was wearing. It was blue dichroic glass with a dragonfly. I decided to create a new pendant. Cut out dichroic glass. Cut out clear glass a little bit bigger than the dichroic glass.

 This is the glass cutter I use in the studio. Ray uses the same cutter in a different color. We do not use oil in the cutter.
 I use a sheet of copper that is made for fusing in glass. I punch out the dragonflies from the copper.
 Using just a little glastac gel, I glue the dragonfly to the glass. I also use the gel to glue the clear glass to the dichroic glass. I let them sit for a bit.
 Our grandson Ingram happened to be in the studio. He created his own pieces of glass using glass scraps. He has decided that he will make pendants out of his pieces.

                          The kiln is heating up. The pieces will be ready tomorrow to create jewelry.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May Flowers After the Rain ~
 Geraniums blooming among the columbine in the front of the house under a very large tulip poplar.
 On a warm day in February, I scattered some poppy seeds. I carefully covered them with soil and waited. This is the first of several poppies that made their way into the gardens.
 Last year, I began growing flowers from seeds in the greenhouse. The snapdragons grew so well last year. Early spring, I cut them back. They have been blooming most of the spring. These were the only variegated blooms.
 Just a few of the snapdragons blooming with one foxglove. Iris leaves stand behind stately.
   About six or so years ago, I bought this bush at Lowe's on clearance. It gets larger every year!
 These are Ray's blueberries. He planted them. He weeds and mulches all the blueberry plants. This plant gives us lots of berries each year. We net the berry bushes when they begin to turn blue. If we didn't the birds would not leave us one berry.
 These sun drops have traveled with me for over 35 years moving from house to home. These are the first to bloom. Easy to transplant and quick to spread.
 A few of the coreopsis which are scattered throughout the gardens. Behind them is the leaf of three let it be. Will be getting rid of that after the rains...
                      This primrose does not spread like the sun drops but is in the same family.
      Right outside the door of the green house is a cluster of sweet william and pinks.
 I grew this butterfly weed, a member of the milkweed family from seed last year. There are now over a dozen milkweed plants throughout the gardens. The newest addition is from the Asheville Botanical Gardens spring sale. No flowers on that one yet...
 Not sure of the name of this, think veronica? It is a very sweet little flower that grows on a very long stem.
 Nestled in among the plants near a butterfly bush is a foxglove. Last year I scattered seeds after a foxglove had bloomed. Several of these are coming up in interesting places.
Angelica among the ferns is a plant that is very invasive. If you have just one tiny bit of a root attached to another plant, it will multiply. It self sows itself and also grows on runners. Deer do not eat the angelica or it would not be spreading into the woods.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Early May Flowers ~
                      Just a few of the iris blooming in the gardens this early part of the month on May.

   This is the only peony blooming although there are three plants around the gardens.

 These snapdragons were some I grew from seed last year. They stayed green throughout the winter. I cut them back in the early spring and they are really spectacular!
 These tiny pinks are about the same color as the wild flower that is blooming now: fire pink.
 This is the year for columbine in the gardens. There are the two varieties of the deep blue violet and the rose pink. These plants even grow tiny seedlings in the gravel.

 These flowers are I believe false indigo. There are two varieties and this one has gotten about double the size of the smaller one which is not yet blooming.
These little carnations wanted to be noticed and seem to be here twice. The joy of flowers....