Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Handmade Artist Sandi Levy

Sandi Levy (from Utah) crafts her art in thread and yarn.  She produces fantastic pieces for practical use.  And one of the practical uses for anything is "for pretty."  She markets her art in Handmade Artists Shops under the name Iknitquiltsew.  She was taught sewing by her gradmother and uses patterns dating from the mid 1800s.  I am totally fascinated by her ability to make her art.  This is of course something that I would never try again.  Above is a beautiful quilt that can be used as a lap blanket (I think of the horse drawn sleigh when I think of lap blankets).  Another piece is the blue flower head band to the left.  And my final piece that I am featuring from Sandi:

This is a rag doll; and it makes a great present for children, and even some adults.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stone Cutting January 16th

Had a fun day cutting cabochons (yesterday).  Ended the day with ten finished stones.  Seven came from the same slab of heat treated agate.  This agate had been heat treated by a flint knapper but he decided not to use the stone to make a point.  I liked the variety of color and cut the oval 18x13 mm stones that are on the side and bottom of the large sandstone cab (50 x 30 mm).  At the top of the picture are two ruby cabochons from the same crystal found in Franklin, NC.  Now to do something with them.  Btw, this is also a preview of the February prize drawing.  Three of these will be the prize.

Cabochons, 10 cabs cut 1.16.12


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reef Botanicals Handmade Artisans

Larissa and Eric make very unique products.  I am completely intrigued by the names for their soaps and other personal items.  I selected three terrific (my favorite) flavors to feature here.  First is a "Peppermint" soap fashioned into foot rounds.  I grew up loving when we would go to a Howard Johnson's restaurant so I could get some peppermint stick ice cream.  So here is that one:

 Next was my current favorite ice cream flavor Chocolate Chip Mint.  The idea of a soap with this as the feature name just got my fancy:

Last is not really a flavor, but a memory "Mashed in Beer."  While in college I was in charge of the "Crow Social Club."  This translated to I was the barmaster.  We did cocktail parties, and in the fraternity house kept the refrigerator in the basement stocked with beer.  All perfectly legal as the drinking age in New York State in the mid 60's was 18 and no brother in the chapter was under 18.  So I also give you

You can click here to get to Reef Botanicals shop at Handmade Artists Shops.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Peridot and Sterling Silver Pendant

I was thinking and decided to try a twisted wire project.  I took three strands of 18 gauge round soft copper wire and twisted them together into one strand.  Showing this to my wife, she said, why don't you use silver.  I would like something done with this in silver.  I took three strands of 21 gauge square half hard sterling silver wire and twisted them in a similar manner.  When I show this to Debora, she asked what I was going to do and I replied that I was thinking of a twisted drop with a stone set in the bottom loop.  She asked to select the stone, and she selected a 6 mm round peridot.  That set the size and shape of the stone and setting.

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The twisted wire was formed into the basic shape, then the top was wrapped with 21 gauge half round Argentium sterling silver wire to form the bail.  A precast head was soldered into the loop with hard silver solder.  The entire piece was then pickled, hand polished and tumbled to a high gloss polish.  The prongs were notched with a square fine file, and the peridot was set into the silver setting.  We have a finished pendant:

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These last to views are from the back and the extreme left side.  Overall, the effect of the twisted wire accents the entire design.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

CrochetHooked Shop

Handmade Artist Cari (CrochetHooked) makes very interesting jewelry.  Her unique style is market under the tradename of "Braidlets" TM.  Cari began crocheting about 11 years ago and then applied this process to making beaded jewelry.  Her shop is CrochetHooked at the Handmade Artists' Shops.  In addition to producing a very beautiful product, she also shares her style with classes and tutorials.  Here are examples of her braidlets and some earrings also:

 These bracelets show just a small example of the styles that can be produced with the crochet method.  Stop by her shop to see the fantastic jewelry.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hand Made Artists Forum

Handmade Artists' Forum is a group of artisans in many different genres.  The one thing in common is that all of the members make the pieces.  Members knit, cook, sew, metal work, wire wrap, scrapbook, stamp, and engage in crafts.  

On the forum members discuss many different subjects.  We learn many things from each other.  A very unique item with this forum is our "chat" on Thursday evenings.  This is an open interactive discussion where members can interact with each other.

The forum also has a moderated blog.  Any member can submit an article for the blog, however, the moderator makes sure that it is not of a commercial nature.  This keeps the spamming resellers from cluttering up our artisan  community.

Another feature associated with the forum is the Handmade Artists' Shop.  In the shop members are able to create their own venue to offer artisan pieces that they made for sale to the public.  The administrator of the Shop does a lot of work promoting all of the artisans represented in the Shop.

I invite any and all artisan craft persons / artists to join us on the Forum.