Thursday, 31 January 2013

Book Review - Welcome to the Jungle - Christi Friesen



This was the first book I bought, with step-by-step instructions for Polymer Clay- Cold porcelain also can be sculpted the same way , the curing process is the difference... It deals with a lot of techniques - the making of a lot of Jungle foliage and lovely leaves and a lot of delightful critters... For anyone  who has some
imagination, and is willing to experiment, this book is a very good starting point. 

But, what blew me away, was not just the instructions...It is the narrative style of the book. As an avid reader and a collector of books - on a variety of subjects, this is a welcome addition to my collection. The personality of the artist, fairly jumps out at you. It is a delightful read and I have gone through the book a few times, just to enjoy the quirky, and warm way, the instructions have been given. 

Christi Friesen has a fan in me, not just for her phenomenally stunning art work, but also for her honest and beautifully detailed style of writing. 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Cute Key Chains...

It was my brother, who asked if I was only making Cold Porcelain articles for the ladies... I decided to try out making a few Key Chains, though, inevitably, I did make it with a lady in mind.. !!


My sis-in-law, who is busier than any Bee I've seen..!!
Of course, my daughter had to have one key chain for herself, and even though I offered to make her a similar, but scaled-down version as a pendant, she decided she wanted a key chain..

So I made one with a lady bird, for my little one...


I got another order for the busy bee Key chain ..and since I do not like to exactly replicate my designs, I did it a bit different....

The tiny plaques are also made with Cold Porcelain and hand painted with acrylic paints. 

Indian motifs on Cold Porcelain

There is no dearth of inspiration when it comes to art in India. Being Indian, I am of course influenced by the variety of designs, and motifs that I have grown up admiring...

The art and architecture in temples, the ancient homes and other buildings... and also the folk arts have influenced me a lot.  I love incorporate motifs and use stones, mirrors etc.,  to enhance them....

Below are the samples of the style I love best ...


Bead tinted a pale yellow . I gave it a raised filigree design, done freehand. Studded with stones, and accented with a bit of gold and black.

The peacock - National Bird of India, and a most common motif here. I used a stylized version. Again outlined with a raised border in gold. Studded with stones, and gave orange and black accents, on a light blue background. Most of my drawing is freehand..


I added some matching beads, and made the earrings. The necklace is a  simple black chord. 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Custom Jewelry for My Daughter

My biggest 'client' stays with me, at home,... she is 6 and 1/2 years old and pays me with sweet hugs and kisses ..

Whenever I make anything , and she comes by and demands '1 for me', I know that piece will find favor with others ..

It was my cousin's wedding and we bought her a traditional outfit. I created the necklace and 'netti chutti' - an adornment for the forehead.


At the wedding......

Another Netti chutti I made for her for yet another occasion. 

Friday, 25 January 2013

1st Custom Design for An Outfit

It is always a pleasure to get a repeat customer. Even better when there is also a challenge involved.. to recreate a motif on a outfit , in Cold Porcelain. She was in Doha and coming to India to attend a wedding in her family.

All she could provide , was a snap of her saree.. we both agreed to wing it , on the dimensions...
Her blouse was going to be black..so we decided to go for a grand triple strand necklace, with the Cold Porcelain piece to one side , instead of a regular pendant.

I sketched out the pattern on a piece of paper and then hand carved it .

Kept the earrings simple, Gold colored hoops with extra large crystals.



The pretty lady and her adoring husband..!! To my absolute delight, the size of the pendant turned out to be a near match to that of the actual motif ... !!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Giveaways on Page Swardaa

I do like to gift my handmade work. Also , I think Contests and Giveaways are a great way to reach more people...



The earrings for the first Giveaway. 


The second one 

This one was a contest, to pick a new Logo for Swardaa. Interestingly, that particular Logo will not be used ..But the contest was fun . A junior from my school, was the lucky winner...!!

There will be a Giveaway in February 2013 . I had planned one after reaching 300 likes , but sadly, personal issues cropped up, and I could not act according to plan. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Cold Porcelain Works

Exploring the versatility of Cold Porcelain by adding it in Jewelry , and also trying my hand at sculpting.
I had some tiny tube shaped beads of Lapis Lazuli . I added tiny white fauz pearls and some beautiful black metal Flower-shaped inclusions. So I wanted to add a pendant to add more interest. I just tinted a little Cold Porcelain in a sober Grey and then painted some flowers and designs to mimic the colors of the other beads.


This cute little guy was made with a last remaining bit of clay from one batch .. It was okay while drying, but once fully dry , he developed a tiny crack.. Sad..!
These three angels were made to be gifted. I think next time, I may make the eyes , instead of painting them. 





Another stone studded pendant , almost hiding a tiny mirror. I love making these ....the color possibilities and designs are endless..!!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Facebook Page, 'SWARDAA'

It was my cousin who told me to add my jewelry as a Facebook Page so that my work would have a bigger audience than otherwise.

Though I had been blogging for about three years about my crafts and cooking, I was not ready yet, to start a blog exclusively on my Jewelry and Cold Porcelain Crafts yet.

With our home renovation going on, and shifting etc, it was easier to concentrate on a page, than post . To my regret, I actually could not continue blogging on my Cook n Craft blog either...

Hopefully , once I get into a proper schedule with my Jewelry making and Website, I will be able to repair all the neglect that my cookery blog has suffered.

I chose the name 'Swardaa', which means Gifting Heaven in Sanskrit. I thought the phrase was apt, and have an affinity for the language.



                                                  This lovely Logo was done by my cousin V.

As of December 19th, 2012, page Swardaa had exceeded 300 'Likes' ..!!!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Wire work



I was keen on attending some kind of workshop for Jewelry Making, but did not come across any, that taught more than I already knew.. It was by chance that I saw a flier that announced a leading Jewelry Institute offering a course on Costume Jewelry Designing .

Since I was interested in knowing more about the manufacturing aspect, I opted for a module on Costume Jewelry Manufacturing. It was perfectly tailored to meet my needs. And the best part was , I could do it over the weekends or while my daughter was at school...

I later found out that it had only 4 branches in India, and the one in Chennai was a 10 minute ride from our home !!!!


I had seen a lot of videos about wire work jewelry on Youtube.. and attempted a few pieces. But after joining the course, I really got confident in quite a few techniques with wire... The scroll-work is my
favorite...



Copper wire and black bead earrings.














Earrings with Colored wire and Dark brown beads


Thursday, 17 January 2013

Off Loom Bead Weaving

I was searching for new techniques to incorporate into my designs, when I came across weaving techniques using needles and seed beads. it was quite interesting and the sheer variety of stuff that could be made was overwhelming...

But it took me ages to get used to securing the beads properly, and even the finished works would sag and droop... it was absolutely frustrating in the beginning, but instead of going for a 'daisy chain' I was drawn to weaves like the Russian Spiral...!!

I did manage to make three pieces,



I also made a bracelet with something like the Daisy chain. had to wing the number of black seed beads used. this was a custom design for a friend. 





Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Few Handmade Gifts

I was happy that there were people buying my creations, but I was also used to making stuff and gifting people. And I did not want this to change that.... so since I was used to gifting card and paintings I made, for Birthdays and Weddings - I did so, with Jewelry also.


This was for my sis-in-law

I made this for my mom's birthday. She would never buy anything black, so I went ahead and gifted her one. She loved it ...!!


I gifted the necklace on the left to my cousin. She was wearing an outfit which exactly matched it, and I had just made it !!

Yet another cousin A, got the set on the right as a wedding gift.





I made this for my aunt. It was an exact match to a saree she wanted to wear to a wedding.









A cousin V, helped me with a lot of stuff , helping me with my Facebook Page, designing my first logo, helping with web design, photography tips (which still did not seem to help matters, but not his fault !)

Anyway, when I asked how i could repay him, he replied that it would be enough if he gifted his wife some jewelry - this was ages before he and his girl chose each other ...!!

So the blue sandstone with filigree embellishments is what I gifted on their wedding ... I hope it was a just reward ...!!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Beaded Jewelry, Customized



This went to a friend of mine, in Doha. The opaque deep -brown crystals just teamed up perfectly with teh triangular glass beads.



Beautiful monalisa beads with pale green crystals and square, stone embedded embellishments . Made delicate earrings, bracelt and necklace - for my younger sis-in-law.















Yet another friend, asked for a custom design - I thought gun metal discs and tube shapes would fit someone who had been a tomboy till recent years....














My older sis-in-law wanted a set all in black, with silver color accents.. so i made her a  necklace, earrings, bracelet and a pair of delicate anklets, all with various sized of black crystals.






Proof enough, that I was supported my friends and family alike ...!! 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Custom Cold Porcelain Pendants

My neighbor's college going daughter wanted me to make a couple of custom pendants for her.

She asked for a Hawaai Slipper in blue , which I made with twisted straps and a tiny rose...!!




Later, she asked me to make her a Book Worm, pendant, which I made, complete with worm-eaten book. Wormy is sporting tiny wire spectacles..!!










This is a custom-made Cold Porcelain pendant , I teamed with some exquisite glass beads. Also added some cube and spherical beads to give it length.. So I designed the Pendant with matching designs and colors.













I also got two more orders for the slippers ...  wanted them all to look unique.



So this purple pretty with black straps and a black satin ribbon.....


...and below, the sunny yellow one with a smiley face, and a blue satin ribbon.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Cold Porcelain Cuties

It was fun to work with Cold Porcelain.

After my first failed attempt with the Hello... err.. Kitty , ahem..

I decided to persevere and managed to make a passable Teddy bear... it was not perfect, , few unintentional marks, that I did not know how to smooth away...and a slight crack on the back of an ear because I did not knead the clay enough... but it was progress ....


I was sooo excited , that I did not wait for the glue under the nose to dry . And I gave teddy away, so No chance of more pics..!

The Kitty was mainly to observe the effect of painting Cold Porcelain with acrylics .



Miss Piggy was a locket for my little one, who adores pink.

I made her a mouse , too..he did turn out looking a bit grumpy, though.. What do You think?

She could not wait till I was done taking a picture... so her little hand is in there too..!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

My first commission





A friend called me from Doha and asked to make a custom designed set for his wife, who was vacationing in  Kerala.