Thursday, 27 January 2011

smouldering wood

fox den pyro 3 jan 2011

The first attempt using my new pyrography machine was so much fun and my hair had the faint aroma of wood smoke for the rest of the evening. It surprised me how slow the process was but I found it so relaxing and satisfying that I’m looking forward to doing another one. First though I can’t decide if I’ve finished this piece or not and I’m in two minds as to whether I should fill in the tree or not. I have a bad habit of always pushing things too far and then wishing I hadn’t so I’ve decided to leave it for now. What do you think?

fox den pyro jan 2011

It’s destined to be either a large key ring or a small wall hanging.

fox den sketch jan 2011

I used an idea from my sketchbook. All my ideas seem to revolve around the forest these days probably because of my daily walks with Floss. It seemed fitting to use a nature based idea on the wood which is a lovely piece of English sycamore.

pyro machine 2 jan 2011

This is the wire tip that heats up to burn the wood. You can make all sorts of marks and tones depending on how long you hold it on the wood.

pyro machine jan 2011

Speaking of the forest, the government is planning on selling off our precious woodland. You can find out more about it here and more importantly, there is a public consultation starting from today that will run for 12 weeks until 21st April 2011. If the issue is important to you then please take the time to respond to it. You can find the document on the forestry commission website and it is possible to respond online. This is our chance to make our views known.

fox den pyro 2 jan 2011

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

silver tea party

teapot necklace blog edited-1

My mum loves tea and always makes it properly in a pot. It is always brought out on a tray with the milk in a little jug and a separate pot of hot water. It is their ritual at least three times a day. I think my mum would stop functioning without her daily cuppa.

So I decided to make a tea necklace. It took me a while to figure out how to construct a teapot from metal clay. I knew if I tried to make it straight from the clay that it would start to dry and crack before I’d finished it because of the short working time. So I made a prototype from polymer clay first. I spent ages getting it just how I wanted it and it was very fiddly being so small. When it was finished I realised that to make life much easier for myself I could make a silicon mould from it to create an exact replica (albeit a slightly smaller one with the shrinkage of the clay when it’s fired). That was a lot of fun! So I made a tea cup too.

polymer clay teapot and cup

The moulds were very easy to work with, the clay popped out without any problems, even with the very thin handles to deal with.

teapot necklace for blog_edited-1

After firing and aging with liver of sulphur it looked like an old, well used teapot and I strung it with some crystals and a magnetic clasp to make it easy to take on and off.

I just wish the price of silver would come down. There are so many things dancing around in my head that I’d like to make but it is so expensive at the moment. I will have to start drawing them out in my sketchbook in preparation.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

silver trinkets

leather necklace blog 1

I wanted to make Mr P a very personal gift so I spent some time thinking about textures and things he loves and holds dear. There is a pair of leather boots that he’s very attached to that I will forever associate with him so I decided to make a texture plate using some polymer clay. I was really pleased with the amount of detail it picked up and transferred to the metal clay. When I aged the fired silver with liver of sulphur and polished it back, the texture really popped out. It was like magic.

leather necklace blog 2

I think Mr P likes it. It’s dangling from his neck as I type.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

a new year’s list


  1. blogging
  2. crafting
  3. laughing
  4. fun
  5. talking
  6. loving
  7. understanding
  8. spending time wisely
  9. making
  10. photo taking
  11. learning
  12. celebrating
  13. organisation
  14. walking my wolflet
  15. looking after my body

Happy new year to everyone! I hope that your year has got off to a good start.

I have a couple of new crafts that I’m planning on exploring more… the first is of course embroidery after winning that lovely prize last month, and the second is pyrography which has fascinated me for ages. Here are my first attempts at stitching (don’t look too closely!). Embroidered bags for Christmas presents.

embroidery 1st attempt

I’ve had a go at stem stitch, chain stitch (this seems like a difficult one!), back stitch and french knots (which I’m not sure I’m doing as I should but they seem to come out like knots so I’m not complaining!). The motifs are adapted from the book Doodle Stitching by Aimee Ray.

I also made a couple of fine silver trinkets as presents which I’ll share with you soon.