The “Reading Room”

The nature of my health is that I have spent large portions of my life in the, ahem, “reading room.” T’is a room I like to have well-appointed. But this artwork-with-running-water is way beyond anything I ever imagined. This is the washroom at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey – and not a word of mention of it on their website, I might add. Now – I’m thinking to myself – I have enough beads – I could do that … . Dangerous thoughts indeed!

Leafy Waterfall Necklace and other Classes.

What a beautiful way to end the month of June… The Leafy Waterfall Necklace Our very own Malliga Nathan will be teaching this beginner class tomorrow. Imagine… for just a small fee, you will be able to dabble into wire working (bending, hammering, and shaping sterling wire), and still work with beautiful beads. Here’s some of what’s coming up in July: Japanese Stepping Stone with Marilyn Gardiner Right Angle Weave Lariat and Earrings with Rae Huggins And don’t forget, we have our guest instructor, Marcia Decoster, teaching three classes this month: Queen’s Anne’s Lace Bracelet, Bellisimo, Falling Leaves Lariat.

Design and Problem Solving

Sometimes, design is mostly a matter of problem solving. In my case – the problem is: “I made this really cool bead – how do I show it off?” In this situation, it was a large bead – ok – that’s not news, and I wanted to do something other than stick it on a chain. That is my usual approach – just to hang the bead on a chain. I found a strand of beads that I bought a few years ago that I thought went well with the focal bead – the dark blue of the beads picks …

Firing you silver metal clay – Torch, Kiln, Temperature, Time?

There are many opinions about how to properly fire your metal clay. Today I am going to give you my OPINION about firing your silver metal clay and some tips that may help you out. First, silver metal clay is made up of a binder, water, and fine silver particles that when fired the metal sinters and binder will burn off. The process of sintering is “to cause (ores or powdery metals) to become a coherent mass by heating without melting”. So in this case we are heating our fine silver to below its melting point to bond together to …

The Business Chat – Who are you? A Survey

Once upon a time in a land far away marketing was a scary word for micro companies because marketing cost a lot of money. To get your message right required people who went out and studied your customers, these people charged a lot and then they printed brochures that also cost a lot. It was tough for a small business to compete. Marketing was about you shoving your message at your customers and hoping they would listen. It was a one-way conversation and a dull one at that. And then came the internet (cue the angels singing). Reaching your customers …

Inspiration Fridays

My original plan for last week was to make a metal clay ring with a concave flower, filled with resin, and a bunch of copper tendrils poking out through it. – Well, as usual – I didn’t get the time for that, but I did make these cute little earrings. I think I’ll enjoy this, even if no one else plays along!  It’s the same idea as the ring a day projects, and even skull a day.  As much as I’m always inclined to join in on those types of things – I have a hard time finishing one project …

Copper Clay Firing Schedule

Just a quick note today for those who have been following my firing problems with the base metal clays. I have come up with a firing schedule that is now working consistently for MY kiln. Everyones kilns are different, and experimentation with what works for you may be necessary.  I’ve now fired about a dozen batches all successful! (in a row mind!)  I’m now due to replace the carbon, and hopefully that won’t cause problems. I have a paragon SC2 with the bead door. I’m using a large firing pan, with coconut carbon. ramp full speed to 665 – hold …

Metal Clay Playdays – and more on the sneak peek

Yesterday was another fun metal clay playday at beadfx. In my seemingly unending busyness – I forgot to tell my usual crew that we were having a play day, so Marija and I were both quite productive. I managed to make 84 little worry beads to get up on etsy, and bring some into the store. I’ve got about 30 of them firing right now.   I do want to point out that anyone is welcome to join us on our playdays. You do not need to have a lot of experience. In fact, it’s perfect for the beginner who does …

Seedbead Awesomeness This July

In a few weeks, Marcia Decoster will be teaching at Beadfx. Check out these beauties that you can learn to make this Summer: Queen Anne’s Lace Bracelet Bellisimo Falling Leaves Lariat Besides being the author of ‘Marcia DeCoster’s Beaded Opulence‘, Marcia Decoster’s work has been featured in leading bead magazines. Give us a call, or check our website and register!

Adding Gemstones and Metal Clay

There are new colours of gemstones for metal clay coming to BeadFX and this got me inspired to talk a bit about metal clay and stones. You can mix metal clay with some man made and natural stones. BUT NOT ALL. Many stones cannot be fired or there are limits on the time and length of firing. So today I am going to talk a bit about this issue of firing stones in metal clay. First, a little bit about naturally occurring stones. One misconception is if the stone is considered hard, then it be will OK. Well this is …