Thursday, 17 March 2011

Leaving This Blog



Hi I thought I'd better tell those of you that follow me here, that I am not going to be updating this blog anymore!!

I am in the process of opening an Etsy shop to sell my jewellery, and will be closing Amadora Designs for good.I thought I'd go under my actual name, which feels right to me at this juncture.I think I had a lack of confidence before, and put jewellery up under a pretty, but impersonal name.

So here are the pertinent links:
NEW BLOG http://samanthabraundjewellery.blogspot.com
ETSY SHOP http://sambraundjewellery.etsy.com

The new blog, will have links to the new Facebook and Twitter pages, and also has a bigger blog post area, so I can have L A R G E photos of my jewellery up.

The photo is of my latest piece, the Ocean Cluster Necklace, theres a link to the blog post HERE about it. Hope you like it :)

Incidentally, I'll also be selling offline too, and will get to enjoy meeting customers face to face which will be wonderful :)

Monday, 14 March 2011

Mokume Gane Minipop Pendants



I have used some of the Mokume Gane sheets to make these fun and funky little pendants. I've been calling them Minipops.
I have absolutely no idea why, LOL...but the name has now stuck. Minipop Pendants, fancy one?

I really need to get some work done, and get off the laptop...



Sunbathing Cats


Jasper

I thought I'd post these pics of my cats because they look so adorable
The sun has been making regular long appearances of late, which means the little ones are doing lots of sunbathing again

They do like to hang around me though, so I have this handy footstool that I place nearby, and they take a platform each. One goes in the wooden circle base, the other gets the leather seat. They swap round when the mood suits

Enjoythe photos


The Footstool


Jinx


Jasper

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Spring Awakening Wire Sculpted Necklace



This necklace has 4 different green gemstones. There are 2 teardrop shaped gemstones, one being Rainbow Fluorite, the other is Peridot. These are paired with 2 faceted rondelles, one is Green Amethyst, the other is Vesuvianite.

The sterling silver wire sculpture is similar to one of the Greek Goddess pendants I made awhile back, Medusa, which is HERE on my Flickr album. It's still in my shop too...

The theme is Spring Awakening, with lush greens and plenty of movement within the piece. I am really proud of it :)

I hope you enjoy the pictures!



Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Me and Tennessee from Country Strong



I watched Country Strong today. I found it to be such a sad bittersweet movie. I loved little Leighton Meester and Garrett Hedlund's performances particularly, they gave you hope

Anyway, I really loved this song, the melody is gorgeous.Funnily enough it's written by Chris Martin from Coldplay. I'm amazed at how talented this guy is

Monday, 7 March 2011

My First Enamelling Class



I had my first ever enamelling class this weekend with Joy Funnell. It was a fun packed day in her studio, with lots of tea, kitkat and laughter. Her cats are gorgeous too

Anyway, here are some pics of the work done. The first pendant, is a reddy pink enamelled flower with vines and enamelled leaves. This is using Joy's enamelled accents on metal clay method, which was a lot of fun to do

The other 2 pieces shown, were metal clay pieces I'd made before hand. I tried to blend 2 colours together in a gradient in each of the cells. It was strange in a way, because you are literally pushing around little grains of glass around to create the illusion of blending before they fuse in the kiln

By the end of the day, we had some time to tackle Keum Boo (fusing gold foil to silver) which I'd never tried before either. I'll definitely be incorporating this in my work

All in all it was a great day, I'd highly recommend taking a class with Joy :)

Now I just have to wait (impatiently) for my enamels to arrive!!










Friday, 4 March 2011

Mokume Gane - Seafoam



Here is another set of Mokume Gane polymer clay sheets. This time the colour scheme is more muted than the ice cream flavours, and are a combination of creams, greys , blues and greens. The patterns and colours made me think of seafoam

I'll be using some of these MG sheets to combine with Bronze, next week. I'm off on my enamelling course this weekend, and then going to the Desire Contemporary Arts Fair in London - which should be fun!

Wishing everyone a happy fun packed weekend too. Enjoy the pics..





Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Mokume Gane - Chocolate Flavours!



Over the last couple of days, I've been busy making Mokume Gane polymer clay sheets.

I hammered out some art wire, and made shapes to embed into my MG stack for texture, and they have turned out great. The colours were inspired by icecream flavours. Theres a Minty Choc one, and a Rasberry Ripple one LOL
I must have been hungry...








Hope you liked the pics!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Bicolour Smokey and Lemon Quartz Sculpted Necklace



It's been ages since I made any wire sculpted jewellery.
This is a Bicolour Smokey Quartz Briolette, which is quite sizeable.It's sculpted in sterling silver.

I photographed it in a light box, since the natural light where I am is still poor. It was tricky trying to capture the colour of the briolette, but I think the pics have come out well in the end







I've been a busy making fine silver pieces for my upcoming enamelling course. They're done now, I made 4 of them, and I'll put up the photos as part of a pre and post enamelling blog post.

I'm also heading to the Desire Contemporary Arts Fair in London soon too.
So there is lots of inspiration to be had...

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fake Coral Reef Sculptures Video



I found this video today, showing statues underwater in Cancun, acting as fake coral reef. They are sculpted in special concrete that is marine life friendly, so they are covered in algae, and are attracting fish etc

Its surreal to see statues of humans working in offices and from different cultures, sitting in a coral reef. As time goes by, they will look even more "natural"

I haven't made anything this week so far.I'm meant to be sculpting pieces in silver for an upcoming enamelling course...maybe I'll get some made today.

I've ordered the essential enamel tools, and the all important enamel samples.Maybe the cost of this is killing my mojo today :(

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Bronze and Jade Woodland Bracelet

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I'm still loving my new Bronze clay sculpting.
I am starting to think, it might be my new favourite medium - I'm afraid it does have to do with cost.I subconsciously design smaller pieces in silver, because I'm aware of how much an ounce is costing me

The price of silver is becoming extortionate, whereas Bronze is extremely affordable.Of course this means I can charge less to potential customers, so everyone wins.

My latest piece is something I am really happy with. It's another woodland inspired piece.

Its a bracelet of twigs and branches, covered in little leaves and fungal forms. The piece is sculpted in bronze, and is embellished with Jade beads.
I love the contrast, and the green tones of the beads, adds to that forest feel

Its really comfy to where to0 - I've been wearing it all day yesterday.I couldn't help it LOL

All the images are clickable thumbnails. That way you get some lovely closeups of the details

Enjoy the pics!!

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(Loads of pics aren't there!... I really must love this one)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lichen and Moss Bronze Pendant





Spring hasn't quite sprung here yet, but I am lucky to be surrounded by a mini belt of natural woodland.

The latest pendant is influenced by the plethora of lichen, moss and fungi covering the trees, that I can see from my window.

Some people are huge fans of this kind of flora and fauna.Flickr has whole groups dedicated to the subject. I used a couple of pics from this group to base my piece on.The original photos can be found HERE


I love the fungal forms in this image...


...and the colours and textures in this image

The pendant is sculpted in Bronze, with a small focal point of fungi.
An inlay of polymer clay has been textured and painted to mimic the lichen and moss

Here are more photos showing different views.Hope you like them:)







Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Bronze Aztec Style Pendant



My new piece is an Aztec Jewellery inspired pendant
Here is a typical example

This one is made in Bronze, using the Fastfire Bronze clay, I mentioned in the last post
I found it really easy to work with, and even managed to make the snake like coils, and ball embellishments, that I tend to favour in my designs

The finished effect was actually a light gold coloured bronze. I added a torch fired patina, which gave off deep gold and green hues, that for the life of me, I couldn't capture on camera LOL.
It's so much nicer "in person"

I took some close ups to show the textured details, and a little pic to show its true size to scale, with it in my hand


Hope you like the pics!



Saturday, 12 February 2011

Blistering Fastfire Bronze Clay





This was my first experience with Bronze clay of any kind.
I chose the FastFire version (from metal clay adventures),because its firing properties seemed similar to the artclay silver I'm used to

I also used the Cool Tools brand of no flake foil, to avoid the spalling and sooty mess, you get with a steel pan. You create a box, by folding it, origami style, and cut some slits on the top lid for ventilation

What I didn't factor in, was that in my experience, the flake foil box allows the kiln temperature to permeate the piece, better than the steel pan, so it sent the prescribed firing temperatures out of whack.

Most first time FastFire Bronze clay users according to their blogs, found they had to increase the ramp, or holding kiln temperature to ensure the test piece is fully sintered

My problem was the reverse.I fired the test piece at 1525 F/830 C, holding for 2 hours, as recommended. This resulted in a very blistered, deformed thing emerging from the kiln, as you can see



I lowered the holding temp to 816 C, and the blistering was still present, but to a lesser extent



Finally at 800 C, the same temp as I fire my silver clay, the piece came out fine.This temp is significantly lower than most of the anecdotal reports I've seen on blogs



So I thought I'd document the blistering time I had, in case it comes in handy for someone else.(Btw, the kiln is a Paragon SC2 and the piece was fully sintered, no breaking or cracks even at that low temperature)

I'm now looking forward to finally getting to play with bronze, yay!!

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