Thursday, October 16, 2014

Art Bead Scene Editors Take the Challenge Blog Hop

The colors of Milton Avery's painting, Autumn, are the kind of stunning mix that make me want to get out the clay and create beads. When Heather Powers suggested we have an Art Bead Scene Editors Take the Challenge Blog hop this month I readily signed on.

   That swath of magenta arching  across the painting is what inspired me the most and was my greatest challenge as well.  Not an easy color to mix with the ceramic glazes I have.  So my first beads were cold glazed.

                                        Cold Glazed Stoneware Bead by Mary Harding

Cold Glazed Ceramic beads by Mary Harding

Which means that I fired the green stoneware clay beads to Cone 5, about 2200F and then added color with artist's crayons and sealed the them with a Matte Fixative.  In other words, the color is not a fired ceramic glaze.
Actually, I never got the magenta color right with my glazes but that didn't stop me since there are so many other wonderful colors and color combos in this painting like the oranges, reds and yellows.

                                                 Daisy Pendant by Mary Harding

                                 Three domed disk Maple Leaf Beads by Mary Harding

                                     Night Daisy Cabochon by Mary Harding

                                                              Bird by Mary Harding

And black

                                        Black raku beads by Mary Harding

My second most favorite part of Milton Avery's painting is his use of shapes.  I love those trees made of descending rectangles and tried to re-create them in a series of beads:

                                   Rectangle beads with center holes by Mary Harding

And finally, a group shot

                   Beads inspired by the painting Autumn by Milton Avery (some available in my Etsy Shop)

Be sure to stop by the other ABS Editors' posts.  Links are below.
 Erin Prais-Hintz
Tari Sasser
Heather Powers
Claire Lockwood

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Old Iron And Fall Leaves

The leaves were peaking this Columbus Day Weekend

For me Fall leaves and old iron just seem to go together and create the feeling of a wonderful Fall.  We  have had an incredible stretch of warm weather that is still going on for a few more days this week.

A few days ago I found this wonderful array of old iron and brass at a garage sale buried in an old cardboard box.  I was so excited.  They were anxious to get rid of them and only charged me $3.00!!

Some familiar shapes and some unknown but all wonderfully old looking

That set of drawer pulls is a delight:  small and very ornate

Upper right a maple tree syrup tap and on the left an unknown

 an escutcheon 

A beautiful set of drawer pulls--a closeup shot. Probably made of brass

A drawer pull that I have had for sometime.  I recently cut it down to make a pendant.  It was just stamped brass and not very strong so I soldered it to a copper sheet back.  Now it is ready to be made into a necklace.

I am looking forward to turning that Maple Tree syrup tap into a necklace as well.  I have wanted to find just the right one for sometime as it is such a part of this place where I live.   Hopefully this wonderful Fall will be the catalyst!!

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

SALE 20% off for First Friday Art Walk Weekend

It is First Friday Weekend On Etsy!!  I am participating with some new work and a 20% off sale through Monday October 6.
Use coupon code ARTWALK20 at checkout to get the discount.
You can also find out about the other great shops participating by visiting our First Friday Blog post HERE 
See my new work  in my Etsy Shop
Some of my new pieces pictured below.

Thistle Pendant in my Etsy Shop  SOLD

Handmade Copper Bead with Sterling Silver Spiral by Mary Harding Long with large hole
Metal Beads in my Etsy Shop

Hand built beads in my Etsy Shop

Handmade Ceramic Pendant Daisy Head with Textured edges Mary Harding
Daisy Pendant in my Etsy Shop
Toggle Clasp  or Focal with 3 Holes  Mary Harding Queen Ann's Lace Burgundy Many Design Options
3 hole Toggle Clasps in my Etsy Shop SOLD

Handmade Ceramic Pendant Birch Leaves  Beige Background  Oval Shape
Birch Leaves Pendant in my Etsy Shop

Handmade Stoneware Large wrapped Ceramic Bead-Cold Glazed Mary Harding
Cold Glazed Stoneware Bead in my Etsy Shop  SOLD
Toggle Clasp Etched Floral Pattern Hand Forged Copper Bar  Mary Harding
Etched Copper Toggle Clasp in my Etsy Shop

Button Handmade Ceramic Daisy Petals Orange and Brown
Daisy Petals Button in my Etsy Shop

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Metal Beads as seen in Stringing Fall 2014

For the last week or so, I have been working on making some more of the kind of metal beads that are featured in the current issue of Stringing Magazine in the Best New Beads section.  I love working with metal because it is so pliable, beautiful and immediate.   Today I am sharing some of my very  newest metal beads which are now in my Etsy shop.

Wild Ball Chain Wrap Bead  (sold already!!)

Sterling Silver Spiral Copper Bead

Small Sterling Silver Spiral Copper Bead

Wrapped in Wire and Solder Copper Bead
Dragon Fly Wrapped Copper Bead

Filigree Wrapped Copper Bead
Copper Nugget Beads  Set of 3

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a look at my new copper beads.
Have a great day!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Art Bead Scene – team members’ challenge blog hop

                           The Little Mermaid by Edward Dulac

The swirls and rhythm of this painting send my imagination into a dance of forms.  When Heather Powers, Editor and founder of the Art Bead Scene blog suggested that we, the ABS blogging Team, have a blog hop of work inspired by the July Challenge painting--seen above--I was quick to say "count me in."  Today we are having the reveal of our creations celebrating art beads.  Some of us made a piece or two or three of jewelry and some of us made  art beads.  I knew from the get go that I would make beads.  And so I did.  I surprised myself by what I came up with.  I hope you enjoy them too.

I start with a picture of quite a few pieces that I made as I played with forms and ideas.

unglazed ceramic beads by Mary Harding

From those I chose a few to take further for today's post.  The ones I didn't choose will be further developed.  Perhaps made stronger or smaller or larger.  Not sure.  The ones with the octopus edges will need to be made thicker I think since I want to run them through the tumbler to soften but not really change the edges.  To sponge clay that thin and delicate would probably break it.

ceramic bead shard with ancient water worn look by Mary Harding

another view of the ancient shard by Mary Harding

The pieces I chose for today's post are rugged enough to stand up to necklace wear and have a wonderful texture and form to color.  I tried hard to keep the palette of the painting but that is very difficult for me to do.  I do think I kept within a reasonable range.  I love the colors of this painting but I could not resist making them a bit brighter after making the first piece a little too dark I think.

Scroll style beads ceramic ( cold glazed)  by Mary Harding

I love all the movement in this painting and tried to recreate it in these scroll shaped beads.  I imagined them being worn on a hemp net style cord.

Scroll bead on hemp net core

Scroll style beads on a hemp net cord.  Beads and cord made by Mary Harding

And finally a couple of little mischievous  sea serpents for charms, or earrings.

                                            Sea serpent charms by Mary Harding

I hope you will check out the work of the other team members to see what they created.

                     Mary Harding  you are here

And then feel inspired to join in and make a piece of jewelry with art beads.  You can get all the details about participating in the ArtBeadScene Monthly Challenge HERE

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Inspired by Reading Book Club: The Drunken Botanist

The June selection for the Inspired by Reading Book Club was The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart and what a fun and informative book it is.  I was captivated from the first pages of the  Aperitif where she describes how this book came into being.  I think it was her love of jalapenos and her introduction to me of the concept of "muddle"  that got me to keep on reading.  And of course because I love plants.  Amy's knowledge about them is astounding and fun!!  The book's format invites browsing and curiosity.  I am sure that I will be forever looking into it to find out more about plants I love and ones I have never heard of.

As I mentioned earlier, my curiosity was perked by the use of the word muddle.  After I found out what it meant, it became the cornerstone of what I was inspired to make for today's blog post.

Yes, that is right, I made a muddle stick necklace.  First I looked up what a muddle stick might look like on Google Images and realized that I had one ready made right in my stash--that is almost ready made.  I did have to add a few components.  

Picture of my loom part

I didn't know exactly what it is called but knew it was for textile manufacture so again I looked on Google Images and found something similar and traced it back to its technical term: pirn bobbin.  And then just for fun I looked on Etsy and there they were.  I had gotten mine some time ago in antique mall.
Set of three vintage wood bobbins, wood spools, vintage sewing
Pirn bobbins on Etsy

Since I have adapted mine somewhat to meet the needs of muddling:  a long stick to bruise herbs, and other plants to flavor a drink, I attached a texture disk that I had on hand to the bottom and strung it all together with a very long and sturdy balled head end pin and then made the wrapped loop for stinging it.
copper clay textured disk  by Mary Harding

When it came to stringing it all together I actually gave up the balled end head pin and instead wire wrapped it to one of my porcelain ceramic beads.

 and then strung on the pirn bobbin and attached the textured disk with a small spacer and a wrapped loop.  I attached a small garlic clove to it it for decorative purposes.  I did not find any reference to using garlic in a muddle but I suppose you could.

And finally an overall view

Overview     Muddle Necklace by Mary Harding

If you are interested in trying a muddled cocktail I would suggest  The Mamani Gin and Tonic  on page 238 even though I have not.  I just think the idea of jalapenos and cilantro with tonic would delicious.  I may even try it without the gin since we don't have any on hand.

Thank you once again Andrew Thornton for a wonderful blog hop and opportunity to let our imaginations run wild and have fun doing it.
Now to visit the others and see what they made.

Andrew Thornton, Laurel Ross, Alison Herrington, Constance Vale and Karen Hiatt

Raku Bead Video Part III