The beauty of raku

Raku is a traditional style of Japanese pottery, especially bowls created for traditional tea ceremonies. The word itself translates as “comfort” or “ease.” Here in the Western World, raku-style firing is different than the kiln firing processes that were passed down through families in Japan. Basically, by placing the red-hot fired piece in an aluminum container that allows carbon dioxide to pass through a small hole, you create a reduction chamber. This induces a reaction between oxygen and the clay minerals and metal elements of the glaze. By closing the container, after combustible materials in the can such as sawdust …

InspirationFX: Spike It Up

Spike It Upby: Dwyn Tomlinson Classy, dressy and so luxe. Make a pair for the upcoming Christmas functions. Or your birthday. Or just because. I used two jumprings per earring – for more movement and swing. One would have also had the teardrop pendant facing sideways instead of forward. 😉   Components Go to our components list for this project and to buy what you need! Need some help with some of the techniques? Check our tips page.

Winter Craft Sale Continues #handmadeholidays

You’re in luck – the sale continues! The holidays approach fast now, and if you haven’t gotten it in gear – you’re shaving it mighty fine, my friend. If you are already on a roll – you are probably running out of stuff – so here’s your chance to take a quick minute and restock! 25% off everything* in the store. (*Ok, almost everything. Some select items excluded. But some stuff is more than 25% off. Way more!) *OK – sale rules: The exceptions are: No discounts on class fees   No discount on gift certificates.  No discounts on Studio …

Play and the art of gift giving!

Where has the year gone? Yikes, it’s that time again! Time to start thinking about what you’re going to do about holiday gift giving. Yes, I’m aware that some of you, have been preparing for this for months, but I’d like to think that you’re in the minority. The vast majority (myself included), need the cooler temperatures, to get our collective rears in gear! The thermostat has dropped (and late this year, at that), so it’s time to make some fast plans. As a dedicated crafter (now billing myself as a Mixed Media Artist), I’ve been making handmade gifts for …

December classes: Creativity isn’t finished yet!

The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found? – J. B. Priestley 13 September 1894 – 14 August 1984; an English author, novelist, playwright, scriptwriter, social commentator,and broadcaster whose career straddled the 20th Century.     Yes, 2015 is starting to wrap-up but there are still many opportunities to express yourself creatively and learn a new skill at the same time. Looking for …

(Ear)hook, line and sinker

I find myself tasked with making a pair of earrings for two different bead society meetings this December. For the Niagara Bead Society, I need to make a pair for donation to a women’s shelter. We present them with a wreath adorned with the earrings, which are then given to the women they help. For the West Toronto Beading Guild, I have to create and anonymously packaged a pair of earrings for a holiday exchange. While I was designing both pairs, I started thinking about ear wires and how important their style and shape is to the overall design of …

InspirationFX: Eclipse

Eclipse by: Dwyn Tomlinson Inspired by the recent “Bloodmoon” – the eclipse of the moon – from a  pale silver to a haunting amber shade – these dazzling bracelet features  an ombre of blues and ambers – but don’t stop there! So fun and easy –  you’ll want to make more! Arrange your stones in the order that you’d like to use, and then  position them one at a time in the cup, and fold the prongs down over  the stone to secure. It is easiest if you use something wide and flat –  the side of a butterknife is …

The Business Chat – Wear your customer hat!

Last week I did a really long slow craft show. The hours were long, it was horribly slow, it felt like eternity. At the end of the last day people started packing out early. Knowing that the move out wasn’t going to be fun I stayed until the end. And at the last minute I made a $600 sale. She probably wouldn’t have spent quite as much however 2 people she’d come to see had already left, and one woman refused to sell because she was packing. The customer was looking to spend money and no one was nice to …

Winter Craft Sale #handmadeholidays

There’s no place like making stuff at home for the holidays! Time to make up a steamy hot cup of your beverage of choice, and cozy up with your supplies and tools and make some stuff. And to help you with that – we have a winter craft sale – so you can stock up on everything you need! Or, re-stock on everything you used up already! 25% off everything* in the store. (*Ok, almost everything. Some select items excluded. But some stuff is more than 25% off. Way more!) *OK – sale rules: The exceptions are: No discounts on …