Pottery Experiments

And that is what they are:  experiments.  I spent the summer trying different hand building techniques and seeing what I could do with white porcelain.  I threw a lot of what I made away mostly because of mishaps during the glaze firing.  And I made a few pounds of unglazed beads, pendants and trinkets that are colored with Mason stains. Those will get a ride in the rock tumbler which should give them a smooth, shiny satin finish.  I also made a few  bead trees so I can make glazed beads.  So, here is what I ended up with:

 

Some bangles (I wish I had made more of these) some nerikomi dishes, one mug, a platter with a feathered slip design, and two mid-century modern-looking vases that I will find good homes for.

We Need to Get Creative Right Now!

I have been posting on this little blog every week for almost ten years.  I rarely write about politics because the blog is supposed to be about creativity in its many forms and incarnations.  And this post will (I hope) be no different.  Not because I don’t have opinions, because I do.  Very strong opinions shaped, in large part, by an insatiable curiosity about history and a career that enabled me to witness parts of American life that many of my fellow white middle class Americans don’t ever get to see.  But I digress.

3-march4I went to Women’s March Philadelphia last week and came away with the feeling that people on both sides of the political arena are scared.  Some are scared by globalization and the instability it brings.  They want to move the clock back, but things can  never be like they were before because the world has changed.  Community has broken down, technology is racing ahead and people are migrating throughout the world on planes, boats and the Internet.  The frightened response is to circle the wagons and hunker down. But this is not as simple as it seems because every action has consequences.    The yearning for a simpler time raises the possibility of  draconian measures that will imact public health,  national security, women’s health and reproductive rights, funding for arts and eduction, and, some fear, racial relations and religious tolerance.  No one knows what is going to happen.  And prediction is hard, especially when it is about the future.   Where does that leave us?    I came away from the march with the feeling that it will be a long time before things settle down.  Probably not in my lifetime.

My proposal: let’s get creative.  In the future, all kinds of organizations are going to need help if  funding  is cut for health care, legal services for the poor, education, the arts, mental health and drug rehab, community groups, child care and similar things.

Right now, people are fired up to volunteer,  give money and to get involved.  That momentum must not be lost.    Organizations that need help will have to be able to draw from beyond their traditional volunteer pool. People who want to volunteer need the ability to connect with  the right organization for their skills and passions.  Some organizations will be flooded and others will go begging unless there is a means by which they can make their needs known.

This also applies to fund raising.  Groups must be able to raise money to serve their communities and clients.  They need a way to reach beyond their  traditional pool of donors.  

We need something new.  I envision a kind of Craig List to do the job.  Why the Craig’s List model?  It is local and it is national.  It contains an abundance of categories to  facilitate the exchange of goods and services and to connect people with one another.  It is constantly updated by the people who use it.  It is organized and  easy to navigate.

A tool based on the Craig’s List model could also pair volunteers with programs, solicit donations of items like clothing, books and school supplies, publicize  community events, and alert the public  to vital issues related to the community, the nation and the world.

It goes without saying that there also has to be a way to maintain contact and to reach out to groups and individuals that are marginalized or feel uncomfortable getting involved or don’t use the internet.

Developing a tool like this is a huge undertaking that would need the expertise of programmers, tech companies, charitable foundations, libraries, designers and more.  But things have changed drastically in the past year and new tools are called for.  I ask everyone reading this post spread the word and get people thinking about how my proposal could be improved and implemented.  There is no way that I could do it but I hope someone takes this idea or another one like it and runs with it.  Maybe someone has already started!

And now, some creative posts about the past few weeks from around the Internet.

Sign making and the Boston Women’s March from the Be Creative Mary blog

For us visual thinkers,  A guide to Trump care from economixcomix

From The Economist, a Visual Guide to the Trump Administration

What you can do now,  10 Actions for the First 100 Days

And finally, let me point out that this is not the first time in world history that existing societies could not address the challenges of rapid change.  For those interested in looking at the past to see how other societies reacted to turbulent change, check out  The Axial Ages of World History: Lessons for the 21st Century  by Ken Baskin, Dmitri M. Bondarenko.  [Disclaimer:  I am married to Ken Baskin.]  This is the short version of a longer book they plan to write.  

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Where I’ll Be This Saturday

 

wmop

Saturday, January 21, 2017
10am Logan Square to Eakins Oval

For More Information

To volunteer

Facebook Page

Event Flyer

We’re Having Bead Soup Again?

This is one leftover I  never tire of.  I am just back from Clayathon and will post pictures later today.  But for now I am looking forward to participating in Lori Anderson’s 8th Bead Soup Blog Hop

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Attack of the Killer Beads (or Blog Hop Part 3)

OMG! Beads! Millions of Beads! Not killer bees, Beads! Well, I felt the same adrenalin rush but in a good way when Kristen’s beads arrived. I haven’t been able to put up pictures until today because my card reader gave out. Well, here they are. Ta Daa!

I love blue, I love encased beads and I love crystals.

And not only were there beads, the package was tied with beautiful ribbon which will probably find its way into the necklace.

I am starting to play around with design ideas in my notebook.

And since I love to take pictures, here are some more.

I think this will be my last post on the Blog Hop until the Big Reveal.

Blog Hop Part Two

I have been cleaning out my workshop. I’ve pimped my jewelry making bench (pictures later) and have been rearranging things in preparation for the major redo that I plan after we have some work done on our home. I had been hoping to get in some torch time but the heat and some other things have been sapping my endurance. The pictures below show what I sent my Blog Hop partner Kristen at MJM Jewelry Designs. I expect to receive her package this week.    It arrived in the mail today and the contents are beautiful!  But I can’t post pictures just yet because my card reader decided  to quit.   I will post pictures soon, I promise.

 I made the black polymer clay beads.  The bugle beads are pretty old.  I love the color.

I rarely make sets of anything.  The set of lamp worked beads is an exception.

One of my custom made clasps.  If you are interested in trying this project, it’s not that difficult.  You can find my project article in the new e book,  10 Easy Wire Projects Using a Micro Torch

Do the Blog Hop

I’m doing something new.  I am participating in my first ever blog party.  A blog party lets bloggers  share their work with one another and discover blogs they might never see otherwise.  But someone has to organize it.  In this case, the intrepid soul  is Lori Anderson  who  blogs at  Prettythings.  This is the sixth blog party she has put together and this time she has partnered nearly four hundred bloggers from around the world.  The plan is that  the partners exchange beads,  create something with the beads they have received and post it on their blogs on the day of the Big Reveal.  There are so may participants that there are three Big Reveal days.   I am in the second reveal group.  This is good because I was always in the third math group and third reading group in grade school and it was hell for my self esteem.  Now I am in group two which is a marked improvement.

My lucky (I hope!) partner  is Kristen Latimer of MJM Jewelry Designs.   I’m guessing that Kristen was probably in the first reading group in the fifth grade,  because unlike me, she has a discernible jewelry making style which is a bit more advanced than my, “Why don’t I put bead caps on whatever you call this thing,  wear it on a wire around my neck and wait for comments?”

The creative process can be an ignominious experience.

A list of all of the bloggers in group two follows.  I am familiar with some of  them and look forward to exploring the sites that are new to me.   Why don’t you check a few of these blogs out too?  If you see anything you like, drop that person  a comment and let me know so I can take a look too?  OHBOY I’m getting excited already!

Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux
Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs
Amy Freeland, Copper Diem
Amy Schmidt, Amy’s Treasure
Amy Severino, Amy Beads
Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners
Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Brenda Sigafoos, Sunshine’s Creations
 Bryna Lumb, Bryna’s Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
Carrie Tahquechi, Carrie T
Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads
 Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead
Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy’s Studio
Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes…
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Hajer Waheed, My Beaded World
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie’s Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni’s Beads
Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It’s a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations
 Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae
Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
Laurie Lalonde, HourGlass Studio
Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders
Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei’s Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M’s Place
 Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
 Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
Michelle Escano-Caballero, The Cabby Crafter
Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pam Farren, re-maker
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina’s Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends
Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
Saari Margareta, Mags-koruja
Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It’s a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
Sarah Goode, Pookledo
Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin’ of Beads
Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
Terri Gauthier, Blooming Ideas
Therese Frank, Therese’s Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Valerie Norton, Hot Art