Sunday, March 27, 2011

A New Lower End Line Coming Onboard!

Bunnies made a debut in Hickory. These are also available in a sterling silver setting as a pendant for $36!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


After last year's drought I was worried about some of our plants, but things are coming out like mad. Both bleeding hearts by the patio are in bloom.

The peonies are coming up

Daffodils are still blooming, we love these white ones

and I found one little violet. Wes says violets are weeds, but I love them!

What a great time of the year! I wish it could be like this for everyone, everywhere.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hickory, Dickory, Show time!

Catawba Valley Pottery Festival is coming right up. I will be back after a two year absence and am looking forward to seeing familiar faces!

I picked up a new Nikon Coolpix yesterday. My Canon and Olympus are just a little too big to take along comfortably to shows. This is my first try with it. I think I'm going to like it!

Now despite fabulous weather outside, time to make some earrings from the freshly fired load of cabochons.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Folding Metal

Cuff Bracelet, heavy gauge sterling silver, with patina and brushed finish.

My first go around with trying fold forming.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Little Ruskinism!

John Ruskin was the founding father of the Arts & Crafts Movement, a major social movement in England and the United States during the last half of the nineteenth century. The Ruskin Pottery was established in 1898 in a suburb of Birmingham, England. The founder, Edward Richard Taylor,  followed the teachings and philosophy of John Ruskin and admired him so much,  that he named his pottery in his honor. Ruskin Pottery was taken over by Edward's son, William Howson Taylor in 1912, and it was he who was came closest to Ruskins's ideals of arts and crafts.

Ruskin silver arts crafts pendant necklace
In the early 1900's, the Ruskin Pottery began producing small round cabochons, which they called,   "plaques" or "enamels". They were made for the purpose of using them as gems to be mounted in metal and wood jewelry. These varied in size from the size of a button to 3" in diameter. They became a major part of the pottery's output. The pottery also made tiles, hatpins, studs, cuff links, scarf pins, and pendants. All Ruskin advertising included "Ruskin Pottery, Enamels and Buttons".
Liberty of London, makers of pewter and sterling silver art pieces, started using Ruskin plaques in place of semiprecious stones. The semi-precious stones had become so expensive that they were no longer cost effective, and the Ruskins cabochons were relatively inexpensive and the colors so beautiful that they immediately gained popularity. These were all leadless glazes and many are similar in color to what I am achieving today with the glazes developed at Jugtown by my sister Pam owens.
Other pottery's such as Moorcraft, Minton and Kensington also produced ceramic cabochons, but they are rare to find.

Doesn't this look like one of my stones!!
If you get to see the original Ruskins, they are a treat. I used to exhibit annually in Asheville at the Arts & Crafts Conference at the Grove Park Inn, and had the opportunity to see many fine examples. It just amazed me how close the colors were to those that I have been making using Jugtown's glazes! You can now understand why I get giddy over every single firing!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Shades of Turquoise And Springtime on My Mind (and Lightbox)

Springtime is in the air! Here is a preview of what I am working on. Some of these will be available at Hickory on the 25 and 26 of March at the Catawba Valley Pottery Festival.
sterling silver and pottery cabochons (turquoise with copper); adjustable 17"-20"

Large pottery cabochons in turquoise with cobalt & copper, linked by torch formed, reticulated sterling links; adjustable from 12" to 20"

Pendant in roller printed sterling, formed and forged. Peachbloom, reduction fired pottery cabochon with 2 5mm garnets. Pendant, 3-1/2" long

Pendant in sterling, formed and forged. Mingled blues and cobalt pottery cabochon with a 7mm created opal. Pendant, 3-1/2" long