I realized I still haven’t posted the final jewelry pieces I created for my class in winter term. It’s time I did so. Part of my hesitation was the rather poor quality of the photos I took, but I realize now I don’t have time to stage them nice. These will have to do.
On January 6th I had the unexpected pleasure of visiting Fusions Glass Studio in Eagle, Idaho. Because it was the first Friday of the month, I also was able to experience what they call “First Friday.” The first Friday of the month they are open for extended hours and open up their studio to crafters of all experience levels. Their tools and materials are available for use, and knowledgeable studio helpers are on hand to help out. The best part is all visitors are welcomed to make a free glass pendant during their visit on First Friday. Other projects are available of course, for varying fees.
I greatly enjoyed my experience at Fusions. The staff was very helpful, including the owner’s very knowledgable daughter. She was so friendly, enthusiastic, and professional, for a ten-year old (I think that’s what they said her age was)! The helpers were very attentive, and the atmosphere was great. A lot of people, like myself, chose to make pendants. After agonizing over my design for what seemed like forever, I made my first pendant. Then, because I had so many other ideas, I chose to make three more for $15.
Aside from the pendant project, they also offer a variety of other walk-in projects on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays:
- $15 – 3 jewelry pendants or magnets or 3×4 suncatcher
- $25 – picture frame
- $25 – night light
- $25 – 7×7 sun catcher
- $25 – 4 drawer pulls
- $25 – 3 wire wrapped Christmas trees
- $30 – draped votive holder
- $35 – 6×6 dish
- $35 – Name Sign
- $35 – Pencil holder or treasure box (NEW)
They also offer Technique Tuesdays, open studio, and classes. Check out their website for more information, including specific days and hours. If you’re interested, also follow their facebook page.
If this post wasn’t clear enough, I really enjoyed my experience at Fusions and I recommend them to you. I hope I’ll be able to return and experience more of what they have to offer.
The other class I’m taking this winter is jewelry making. I already know some about jewelry making, and have created some of my own, but I know there’s still so much for me to learn! After three days of this class this week, I’ve already picked up a bunch of new techniques. It really inspires me, and I can’t wait to extend my jewelry-making opportunities. My favorite part of this week was working with wire. I sculpted a lot of little charms, and I also braided some wire bracelets (not pictured).
Here’s yet another gift-inspired piece of jewelry. A close friend of mine loves sushi, so I decided to make her a necklace with a tray of sushi made of baking clay. I admit I was inspired by a slew of miniature food jewelry I spied on Etsy. I made logs of clay with the millefiore technique, which, when sliced, became my California-rolls. The others were simply small squares of cream clay with salmon-colored clay on top, to imitate meat strips, and wrapped with a tiny strip of black clay. All the pieces were put on a thin rectangle of grey clay which acted as the tray.
After the basic charm was completed, I cut the tips off of two toothpicks, turned them black with a sharpie marker, and glued them alongside the clay sushi. I coated the whole piece with a clear coat of lacquer before hanging it on a chain.
Watering Can Fan – and no, I don’t mean a fan of the rotating blades sort, I mean an avid collector. A distant family member of mine collects watering cans, so when it came time to find her a birthday gift, my dad requested I make her some sort of watering can jewelry. Thus inspired, I molded a small watering can out of baking clay, and impressed a small jewel on the front. I also made sure to punch a small hole in the top lip of the can before baking the charm, as well as insert a wire loop in the bottom. These would be used to string the watering can with a jump ring, and to hang a charm off of the bottom. Once it baked I painted a thin layer of clear lacquer for a glossy finish. I completed the piece with some glass crystals, decorative beads, and a chain necklace.
My cousin has had two Barred Plymouth Rock roosters for pets, both of which she adored. I thought it would be a creative and personalized gift to create her a custom rooster necklace, similar to some of the owl necklaces I’ve been making lately.
To start off, I shaped some black sculpey clay into a flat, rooster-shaped charm, paying particular attention to the tail feathers. I added a small red comb to the top of his head. Then I inserted a jewelry wire through the middle, and baked it for about 10 minutes at 275 F. After baking and cooling, I used white paint and a very fine liner brush to paint on the white stripes of the Barred Plymouth Rock. I also added a little more red around the comb, and painted some yellow on the beak. After allowing the paint to dry, I sealed it with a quick spray of fixative, followed my a clear coating of lacquer. (I found out the hard way that sometimes the lacquer eats away my acrylic paint, but the fixative layer prevents this from happening.) After further drying I curled the ends of the jewelry wire into loops. On the top loop I connected a jump ring, through which to string ribbon. On the bottom I hung a charm, consisting of a real feather from one of my cousin’s roosters. I put a couple of coordinating beads on shaft of the feather before clamping the top with a special metal piece.
My cousin loved it, and raved about it. Although I worry about the feather charm being buffeted around, I’m certain it can be repaired if needed. I’m so glad my cousin was so pleased with her Christmas gift, and I look forward to seeing her wear it again.