Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wild Roses

Wild Roses, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

Most likely I won't be doing too much blogging for the next two weeks.

My parents move is taking up much of my time. Plus we had quite a scare at my dad's 90th birthday party. My mom collapsed and we had to rush her to the hospital.

I was very afraid this might happen. She is trying to do entirely too much in regards to the move. I hope this was a wake up call for her to just sit back and let us and the movers work this out.

We have hired a junk man to come on Saturday and I am hoping he will take everything that they are not taking to the new apartment.

She wants to give it to charity but that ship has sailed. We have 10 days until the move. I am not relying on the charities to take everything that we need removed from the house. There is too much stuff and charities tend to be too picky.

I say let the junk man take it and if he can sell some of it then good for him. Let him make some money. Keep the economy going.

Anyway, I'll try and blog but if I am quiet for a bit you will know why.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer is Here at Last!

Beads using Kato clay, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

First of all, let me just say how amazing the weather has been over the last few days. I have been riding my bike every day this week (well except Monday, Monday sucked).

All the windows and doors are open. I cannot believe it. I had a feeling it would come eventually but honestly, it was so bad for so long I had almost given up!

Needless to say, I have not been spending much time in the studio! But enough to try Kato clay. At first I thought the stuff was just awful. It is very crumbly and gets all over the place. But once it finally gets conditioned and starts coming together it is like nothing else. The beads above are made with it. I don't think you can tell the difference once they are baked. It is really all in the handling.

Very nice. I'll have to get some more.

This weekend is my dad's 90th birthday.

We are having a Memorial Day BBQ in his honor with all the fixings! Then in 2 weeks my parents finally move into assisted living here where I live. I am very excited about having them so close by and with lots of people around. They have been isolated out in the 'burbs for too long. The suburbs may be a good place to raise a family but for aging it is a different story. Every time my dad gets behind the wheel to go to the store it fills me with worry.

Once they are here in town, they won't need or want to drive anywhere. Everything is right here within 2 or 3 blocks. It is actually faster to walk around here than to drive! I am quite sure they will miss their Walmart and Target but hey, we just don't have those things here and it is too far to drive to get to them. So they will have to be happy with Trader Joe's, Star Market, and Whole Foods! Plenty of CVS's and Walgreen's and so many restaurants!
I know they will love it.
The best part is they will have people around. New friends and lots of family.
So there is much to do and to look forward to!
Happy summer everyone!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


another shot, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.
The color scales are finally finished! I can't believe how many colors are in here. It is just amazing. I am looking forward to trying to incorporate them into my work! I especially love the third row from the right. The wines and the ochres are just wonderful. I can't believe how long this took me. It feels like I should be wearing it or something. Much too heavy for that though! It is just for looking at and studying.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Maggie Maggio's Color Scales

So what have I been doing all this long and rainy week you ask? Besides going insane from all the rain and cold?

Well, I decided to delve into my Maggie Maggio and Lindly Huanani book called "Color Inspirations." I have been putting this exercise off for a while since it is very labor intensive. So far I have only four strips of color done. I still have three more to go. The cobalt to zinc yellow, the fuschia to zinc yellow and one more purple violet to yellow.

These color exercises are really great for finding all those lovely tertiary colors that really appeal to me. The winey purples, the ochres, the olives. These are my colors and I was having trouble finding them in the brightness of the packaged colors.

Next time I will try three other primary colors and see the differences. I'd like to try cadmium red, cadmium yellow and ultramarine. But I still have to finish this one.

For now I am staying away from alizarin. Funny thing about alizarin. When I was painting, it was my favorite color. But in polymer, not so much. It darkens quite a bit. Doesn't do much for me.

Anyway, I hope it clears up soon. I need a bike ride!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Serendipitous Online Meeting

earrings, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

I went back to the drawing board with my earring design and let me tell you why.

I can’t take all the credit. I was responding to a healthy critique of my work by a new online friend. Here is the story of how we connected.

A few weeks ago I realized that I really do need to start signing my work. So I went onto Ebay and looked for some metal type. I found a lovely metal type alphabet, bid on it and wonder of wonders I won it. I usually do not win anything on Ebay. Someone always outbids me.

A few weeks after winning the type I was contacted on FB by the woman who sold me the type! Small online world that it is we friended one another.

The other day when I posted my new prototype earring design she commented on my blog. She said she really liked the beads but that the earrings didn't look quite finished to her. She hoped I wouldn't be offended. I assured her that I was absolutely not offended at all. I can use all the help I can get because to be honest, finishing jewelry is not my strength. I find it very frustrating to try and figure out the best way to connect things. I am always looking to cold connect. I hate soldering. Plus soldering is not even an option with polymer clay.

So for the past few days I have been ruminating over the best way to finish my beads in order to make them into durable, wearable earrings. First, I tried making headpins with the clay. I then inserted them into the tubes, only to have the clay pop off from the pressure of making the top loops. Back to the drawing board.

Then I had an epiphany. I created the loop first, inserted the headpin into the bead, then inserted the raw clay onto the bottom and through the silver wire. Then I re-baked the bead. That is the wonderful thing about polymer clay. It can be baked over and over.

I think the earrings look lovely, but I won’t know until I hear from Paula. So hey, Paula, how do these look? Better?

Thanks again for making me think harder about making my design work. It is very much appreciated.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Earring Idea!

Earring prototype, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

On these tube beads I embedded some fine silver balls. I made these balls a while ago for another project which I never finished. (The story of my life)! I had a whole set up where I would roll them down an incline into a dish of water. Many times they missed the dish of water and landed all over the room, but I still ended up with quite a few balls!

I think they look nice here and add a little pizazz to the clay.

These are prototypes for earrings for my new line of affordable jewelry.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Some new tube beads, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.
What did I do before polymer clay?

I don't know. I struggled I guess. With solder, with repetitive stress wrist problems from hammering, with spending too much money on silver.....

I really feel like I have found my medium. Finally after nearly ten years making jewelry I feel comfortable. I feel like I can grow and grow. Like the sky is the limit.

I am making tube beads now. Grant Diffendaffer has a wonderful technique in his book for making these. They come out nearly perfect. With nice straight holes. What more can you ask for?

I only just got back in the studio yesterday after a long exhausting weekend. I had my grandson nearly all weekend and then had my annual Mother's Day brunch at my place. It was fun but I was pretty tired and did a lot of resting on Monday.

But yesterday and today I am "cooking" in the studio. Lots of interesting things happening, which I will post as soon as I can.

Notice I even got a little color in.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Necklace Prototype

Necklace prototype, originally uploaded by Roberta Warshaw.

I finally designed a necklace with my recursive pendant.

I still have a few tweaks to make to the clasp and toggle but I think it looks nice and I hope to have something of this new line to add to my Etsy shop soon.

I am very excited with this new line. I feel it is unique and that I will be able to have each one be a little different so that they are one of a kind. Plus that will keep me from getting bored. It is one reason I have never done a production line...