Sunday, October 25, 2009

Welcome to the Beads of Clay Bloggers First Ever Open Studio!

Hi there. I’m LeAnn. I’m so happy you’ve stopped by for the first ever Beads of Clay Bloggers Open Studio. We’re about as live as you can get here in blog land. So feel free to ask questions or make comments. I’m going to be here till 4pm EST and I’d love to chat.

Welcome to my studio. But shhhhhh! There’s a really big mess in there. Yep, that’s me, covered in clay. Is my hair really that gray? But first up, meet my crew.

This is Alice (aka Ms Wiggle Bottom). She’s my main studio assistant. Can’t you just see how much help she is? And that big brown boy is Bob, our security here at Summers Studio. He would like you to know that he is not napping. He is working undercover fooling those squirrels out there. One day he will catch one. It’s good to have aspirations, no?

And this is Peter. Much of what happens here at Summers Studio would not be possible without him. He schleps my clay, sets up my market table, charms my customers, rubs my shoulders after a long day, and best of all, patiently listens to me blather on about the exciting stuff happening in the studio. Truly a great guy!

So just what do I do?

I started out as a potter and still make pots as well as metal clay jewelry components. But mostly I make porcelain pendants, beads, and buttons. Somewhere along the line I became enamored of small tiny pieces of art and there you have it…. beads! I love texture and most of my designs have some textural element to them. I think most of that has to do with how much I love seeing glazes pool and puddle in the low spots and break across the ridges. Making glaze appeals to the mad scientist in me.

Here’s a few photos of some of my recent work

One of my greatest joys as a bead maker is seeing how people use my work in their own designs. So many wonderful people have shared photos with me of their beautiful designs it is hard to choose work to show you. In the end I settled on just a few pieces that use some of my favourite components.

These pieces, “treasures from the sea” cuff and pendant, are by Bev at No Easy Beads. She used my “sea things” as cabachons in these amazing beaded pieces. When I was looking at them earlier, I thought to myself that these are just perfect autumn colours. And quite honestly, I am in awe of her work and all of that painstaking, tiny detail, and stunning design. By the way she’s teaching the pendant design on this year’s Bead Cruise

I’m always fascinated how two people can take similar things and make completely different pieces. This necklace, “mermaid’s tears,” is by Rosanne at 2nd Hand Rose. I am completely smitten with those matt beads and how they echo the colours in the pendant.

I have this Victorian lock from the home where I lived in Melbourne. For a while now I’ve been working with the pattern on it to create pendants, charms, and connectors. “Loyalty” and “tranquility” were made by Sharon at Live Wire using some of those components. The necklace shouts autumn, I think, and the earrings are so classic any season.

“Coy” by Lorelei incorporates one of my barnacle buttons with silk ribbon and organic wooden beads. And to think that I’ve only ever thought of buttons as just buttons. Lorelei always surprises me with her creative and clever use of buttons in her designs.

I nearly forgot! There’s a 20% discount on everything in my Etsy shop from now until midnight EST. And I loaded up the shop with heaps of new things yesterday. Whoo Hoo!!!!

Just make your purchases as usual, proceed all the way through checkout, but don’t complete your PayPal payment. I’ll email you a revised invoice with your discount.

It’s coming up time for the first give-away! It’ll be posted at 1:45 and the winner will be announced at 2pm. How’s that for instant gratification! All you need to do is comment during that time. I’ve got on speed dial.

Be sure to check out the 17 other Beads of Clay artists participating in this open studio event. We’re all doing give-aways. Just click that photo up there in the top right and it’ll take you to the BOC blog and links to the other artistis. But do come back!


Lorelei said...

This is just so cool! thanks for the insiders look at the studio and helpers!! I love the pieces you showed too that incorporate your pieces.
I love your work LeAnn!! It's so fun and easy to work with!

SummersStudio said...

Lorelie, thanks and thanks for stopping by! I love the way you've used my pieces. You make them look so good. Another of yours later :-)

Jenny Davies-Reazor said...

LeAnn - nice to meet you. I am also a ceramics person, a shrine builder. You comments on glaze and clay are right on the money!

I adore your sea things, and am going to look for them in the shop right now...

SummersStudio said...

Hi, Jenny. Sorry but there are no sea things in there right now but there may be one in the studio.

mairedodd said...

this is awesome! i hope my fingers can keep up! i have managed to get the kids away from the computer - so we are all good! :0)

Jenny Davies-Reazor said...

Its funny really. I work in clay almost daily, some days I ma inthe mixed media studio. (Lucky, I know 2 spaces. No kids) And I have a love for ceramic jewelry components. Only recently have started a series of sculptural pendants, but I am in awe of the level of detail you BofC people achieve. Sometimes working that small makes me mental. What are yor tricks to maintain calm detailed focus?

No Easy Beads said...

Hi LeAnn it is pleasure to met you. Thanks for the look inside your studio. That is great support team you have! I am excited to be teaching a class on the cruise using your cabochon.

SummersStudio said...

Hi, MJ!
Jenny, I love tiny things and find it much harder to focus on the larger pieces I make. So I don't really have any tricks.

SummersStudio said...

Hi, Bev. Come back later for the full tour.

sharon said...

This is so wonderful LeAnn to see you, your "assisstants", and your work enviroment, and Peter! It makes it all so real to me, to see your process, and that is something I truly respect. Thank you for showing my work, and all the other ladies...they are incredible!! Your work is the highlight though!

Erin said...

Hi LeAnn! Wonderful post! Great job! I hope you will get a chance to stop by my blog as well!


SummersStudio said...

I'm glad you could come by Sharon! Yes, this is my real life here, warts and all. Thanks for making my things look good. I really am thrilled when I see you all make such beautiful works of art.

No Easy Beads said...

I will be back! I am looking forward to seeing more.

peacockfairy said...

I am the proud owner of Lorelei's Coy necklace - I love, love, love it! The button is so beautiful!!!

Lucid Moon Studio said...

I'm just now getting caught up on my blog reading, pathetic, I know! I'm so bummed I missed the BofC Bloggers event! I got way behind on everything :( Still, I enjoyed your studio tour and catching up on all the great posts that I missed! I love your assistants, and I wish they could meet Cooper...they would have so much fun!

Thanks for sharing,