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Making a List and Checking it Twice

May 18, 2010
It is taking practically every ounce of energy in my body right now to write this blog post without posting a full picture of the special project I’m putting in the mail today (but I couldn’t resist putting a sneak peak is at the bottom of this post) … You see, Lori Anderson, the creative mind behind the amazing bead blog  Pretty Things, has put together a virtual bead party, and I feel so lucky to have been allowed to join in on the fun. She calls it bead soup — and as anyone who has attended a bead show with me knows, I can have quite a robust appetite for beads.
Not clear what does a virtual bead soup party means exactly? Well essentially, assuming most of the participants (like me) have waited until the deadline to send their materials, it means that close to 100 little packages are making their way through our global postal system filled with special beads and findings for another participant in the party. Lori matched each of us up with a beading partner, so my special project is headed to the talented hands of Sandi Lee James and I can’t wait to see what she does with it. 
You see, Sandi and I both love clay — she works with polymer clay, a medium I would love to master, but I stumble when it comes to all the color possibilities … I can’t even pick a paint color for my bathroom, so deciding when to stop futzing around with a little ball of infinitely malleable, color-rich clay is downright impossible for me … Instead, I have my fun working with precious metal clay (PMC).


Basically, PMC is a clay made out of incredibly tiny pieces of silver, held together in an organic binder. You can shape into all kinds of forms, mold it, cut it, add texture, dry it and sand it smooth. Then, when you’re all done playing around, the magic happens. With a simple butane torch you heat it until the organic binder burns off, and then for another couple of minutes longer so that all the tiny silver particles fuse together. When you’re done, you’re left with a practically pure piece of silver that you can polish and burnish. I’m writing this all down with pretty simple brush strokes, but you get the picture. 

As far as the bead soup party goes, I made my focal piece for Sandi out of PMC, and I just love the way it came out. Understandably, she wants to be surprised when she opens her package, so I’ll wait to tell you any more about what I sent her, but here’s a small sneak peak of part of the piece before I tarnished it … the party officially starts June 19th, one month from tomorrow, but I’m going to be whooping it up before then! 

Just a little snapshot of part of the PMC focal piece before I tarnished it -- after snapping this picture, I gave it a quick dip in some liver of sulphur to make the details pop

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 18, 2010 2:53 pm

    Now I am really sitting on pins and needles … I absolutely cannot wait to get your package. I truly hope that you are not disappointed with what I am sending you. In your talented hands, you will surely make gourmet soup.


    • May 18, 2010 3:07 pm

      I’ve taken a close look at your Flickr stream, Sandi — you have quite a gift — I know there is NO WAY I’m going to be disappointed!

  2. May 22, 2010 2:45 pm

    Oh WOW!

  3. May 24, 2010 12:00 pm

    Ooo – what a tempting sneak peak!

  4. May 24, 2010 2:23 pm

    I saw this thread and couldn’t help diving in!
    Nice one

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