• Alone Star Jewelry

    Post #2 for Faux Bone tools & supplies

    This post goes through the tools and supplies list, starting with info and comments about the characteristics of how the tools will work for you, and perhaps offer ideas and tips for execution of the project. The hope is that this extra information will assist in preparing for and then moving through the activity with more complete knowledge ahead of time. Thanks for reading. Faux bone: Comes in various sheet sizes and thicknesses; ours is 1/8″ thin. You will have an 8×8″ sheet that you will cut in half, then one half cut again for making a few small practice tiles. The material is cut with a hand saw: A…

  • Alone Star Jewelry

    Class notes: Silver and Faux Bone Pendant

    This post is the first in a couple that in more detail describe the project and follow the materials and supply list in order to give extra information on some items in the list. A photo of the class models in this post show elements to be included in the design. Enjoy! Left: Front side of pendant I included the original faux bone pendant I made for this class, showing your friendly neighborhood owl (front and back sides). This pendant features the “cap” referred to in the class description on the Two Loose Beads website. This is categorized as an intermediate to advanced level feature; however, it is not required.…

  • Alone Star Jewelry

    New project sketch

    The sketch is of a new piece that I can get into after several other projects are complete. I love drawing but haven’t been good to it in recent years, so I’m trying to fulfill—once again—a New Year’s resolution: I grabbed my pad and my morning cup and settled more or less on this idea. I’ll shoot for an update when I begin. Thanks for having a look!

  • Tools & Supplies for Upcoming Classes

    Tool images for Beadoholique Bead Shop February jewelry class

    Welcome! This articles shows images of some tools required for this upcoming class in February, in which participants will make a sterling silver pendant “with a twist”. I’m hoping posts like this will help with questions about the tools and supply list for the class. Contact information regarding such questions can be found below. Thanks for looking. These center punches are of two varieties. We’ll be using the one on the left that is used with a hammer. The one on the right is automatic and packs a strong punch, making it inappropriate for the small pieces in this project. Short and definitely sweet! I may post additions to this…

  • Artwork

    Nothing sleepy about making hollow beads

    Nothing, scary, either–we’ve left that–and Halloween–behind for this year. I’ll be teaching this class tomorrow, so come join us at Two Loose Beads in Houston! This post is about my experience making a second hollow bead to take to the class, along with the bead shown above. As sometimes happens, things didn’t turn out as expected, but that doesn’t always mean that the result negates success! Clays contain a lot of moisture that of course evaporates when meeting air, causing clay to shrink into itself and potentially stress the piece one is making. It’s definitely a consideration when building hollow forms from any clay, but the two silver clays I…

  • Alone Star Jewelry,  Just Talking

    Catching Up!

    I’m getting ready for my next class, coming up just before Halloween. For quite a while now, jewelry artists in the metal clay classes have been adding many new clay skills. Along with me, they must from time to time feel the longing for the satisfaction of sawing, filing, soldering and hammering (SFSH!). As soon as I made a pair of earrings as a model for the upcoming class, ideas for other projects bubbled up. I made three more pair of earrings, two little drop pendants, and completed a drawing for a dendritic opal that would be pretty dusty if I didn’t lovingly take care of it in all the…

  • Alone Star Jewelry

    New Kiln

    It has been a while but an update is definitely due on the last post made regarding firing of Fast Fire bronze clay. I have gotten a new kiln that apparently has made the difference in firing this and others bronze clays, so if you are having problems, heed the read. I decided to contact Cindy Silas, the developer of the clay giving me the struggle, Aureus Bright bronze , but of course it was not the clay’s problem that it couldn’t sinter after going through the FF process. Dumb me–really. More on that later. I can’t say more than that Cindy was accessible and full of information–a truly nice…

  • Just Talking

    Our Firing Schedule for Fast Fire Bronze clay

    My next class is on October 29, when we’ll make a pair of earrings using FASTfire BRONZclay and a selection of beads from Lisa’s Two Loose Beads shop. To my eye I have an unnervingly huge selection of beads, so I had to narrow down those choices and put together a rustic, end-of-summer theme. The pieces are fired as seen below, and to the right is a pre-fire pair Lisa made that’ll be fired early next week. So cute, so rustic. I love the color of this fired clay and have little desire to do much else for this project except to burnish on the petals. It will polish to…

  • Alone Star Jewelry

    New adventures in silver clay

    Greetings! We first engaged our curiosity about silver clay many years ago, making pieces that prompted our lovely, perennial customers at the Mary Queen Christmas Bazaar to call us “the next James Avery.”  We have always loved working in other media as well, while keeping the fires burning for metal clay. Now that our kids are grown we want to step up our creative trek and have gone back to this familiar medium, taking new paths for ourselves with it, and teaching others what we have found. I want to share some of our newest pieces in silver clay. Below are two fine silver cross pendants, one (left) with a…