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Silver Saturday

After a somewhat stressful week I had the urge to crack open the silver clay starter set I had been given (4) years ago.

Inside I found

well plus a few other bits like instructions and such. There is a burnishing tool, double sided file, the cutters and mould are mine anyway. The metal mesh is for gas hob firing the clay, metal brush for finishing the piece etc.

One of my lore stone moulds, incidentally its quite large would have needed at least 20g of silver clay to fill it!

a ginko leaf texture plate that I purchased, I think this one is from sculpey studio range.

I got all excited and forgot to photograph the bit inbetween but esentially I rolled out one piece and textured it with the leaf and then cut it into shape and made the hole. The other I rolled up all the scraps into a ball and pressed into my mould and then reshaped into the rough triangle and made the other hole.

I dried the pieces in my clay oven and then used a file and microfibre sanding pads to refine the shapes. It occured to me the edges were a tad pointy and once transformed into fine silver may be a bit jabby!

I was then baffled by my kiln instructions and then realised that had been my excuse for the last four years. Yes I have had a lovely kiln for four years and not used it, much to my shame ๐Ÿ™

There the little fella. Its dead groovy with a bead anealing door for when I eventually start lampworking ๐Ÿ™‚

After firing there is a fine white residue left on the silver clay from where the binder burns off. The metal brush in the kit is very handy for getting rid of it.

Hopefully in this pic you can see the difference from where the silver is starting to emerge after the vigorous brushing.

This is the oxidising solution which you mix up with warm water and a chemical from the kit. It is supposed to be a translucent ochre colour, so evidently I mixed it too strong by accident! It smells like rotten eggs so I am guessing its a sulpher solution.

The pieces are supposed to take about a minute to oxidise but mine were ready in seconds…perhaps I did mix it super strength!

After being oxidised the pieces are washed in clean water ๐Ÿ™‚

Then buffed and scrubbed with silver polish and a fibre cloth to take the oxidisation off the upper surfaces. This highlights the texture ๐Ÿ™‚ and makes the shiny bits uber shiny

Voila ๐Ÿ™‚ I am really liking the leaf texture and the ‘aged’ look of the other piece from all the cracks.

ย and

ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Added to a sterling silver snake chain (the jump ring is too big and will be swapped) and the flash was too strong so you cannot see the patina sigh lol!

ย  and the other piece!

I am pretty happy bunny with these bits and pieces. I of course have mounains of ideas and want to try enameling the finished pieces and adding fused glass and all sorts of fun stuff.

thanks for reading and will post again soon


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Tuesday has arrived.

Heya, its a bit murky in Purky Towers at the moment but I promise that I am doing my best to keep making things.

You see I have had this big box of plaster whites that I cast up in October last year and decided (with some poking) that it was high time to get them painted up.

They are pretty much all from ice cube moulds I have found in cooking shops, homewares, skips and charity shops.

I dug out some lovely paints including the pearlescent and glitter paints as well as some brushes and set to work.

I gave everyone an undercoat of either gloss black acryllic or metallic silver and gold.

I like the blingy hearts. Initially I was worried about the brush strokes but I think it looks sort of charming.

Here is a ‘goth-berry’ ๐Ÿ™‚ I will drybrush it at somepoint.

These are hearts which have been black glossed then painted with different colour glitterpaints. Also they have been sealed with lacquer ๐Ÿ˜€

Purple ๐Ÿ™‚

Gold ๐Ÿ™‚

Green ๐Ÿ™‚

and Raspberry ๐Ÿ™‚

ย I tried giving a more aged look to this face and think it looks kinda swish.

A group shot for luck showing off my ‘golden-berry’ to the left.

and finally a very blue and silver strawberry ๐Ÿ™‚

Painting these up cheered me up briefly. I have been listing an item a day on etsy in my ‘purkyproducts’ shop which is yet to bear fruit but my listings are far from perfect methinks.

My DH is sulking with me at the moment so I believe I am in trouble because the agency hasn’t phoned to offer me a ยฃ35k a year job. We shall ignore the fact all the cooking and washing up has been my department for erm…how long? Sigh. I am probably being unreasonable, though I have taken up any days the agencies have offered and the well seems to have run dry. I am temping as a carer this week, its only twenty hours but its got to count for something?

There are some great jobs in the Blackmore Vale Magazine but I just don’t have….I don’t know. The urge to apply? Is this a lack of confidence or laziness? All I want to do is make things and then sell them. Unrealistic? Probably in this economic climate with the minimal investment cushion available to me.

Its like my life is enveloped by an extensive feeling of ‘meh’ and nothing is shifting it. There are lovely people around me and the house is pleasant, my cat is ….well a pain in the arse but brilliant with it.

Also in a bizare twist an abusive figure from my past has reappeared and I am not keen on that frankly. Lets see how the rest of the week goes.

Ta ta for now x

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Studio Saga

I am messy….. well, I like to think I am untidy rather than dirty. Healthy clutter?

Anyways I and my friend the FutureRobot took on my studio earlier this week so that I had space to actually do some creating rather than just mulling over Purky past. It started like this….

Entering from the stairs of doom, the studio is the middle room out of three. We live in a maisonette which is a posh way of saying two storey flat. I hate clutter and mess but it seems to love hanging around me.

From left to right we have half used milliefiori canes, colour samples, scrap clays, inks, powders, a corner full of crackled metal leaf projects, a partly completed lamp project, chemicals, boxes of beads etc. Urgh. Note Pasta machine location as well.

ย From right to left we have canes, unbaked projects, disorganised sheleves of mediocrity, a fleeing Ikea lamp that cannot take the mess anymore!

ย Plaster, baking racks, resin scales, commendeered food processors and my baby clay oven.

ย And a pile of stuff in poorly stuffed drawers…eeek!

ย But then my friend FutureRobot said ‘Have no fear, we shall sort this out!’

ย He waved his dual function wand / sculpting staff and my powders, clays, inks, foils, leaf and tools became magically organised.

ย The work surface was restored to white shiny-ness. Although the fractured leaf project is still in the corner… My pasta machine moved itself to a better location.

ย The task specific lighting breathed a sigh of relief and cast their gaze upon the newly discovered table tops.

ย The food processors and ovens stopped their territorial feud realising there was space for all of them to co-exist happily.

And my tools had a massive gang bang in their new drawer. I mean seriously, every time I look there seem to be more. I swear they are breeding.

The new view from the stairs of doom ๐Ÿ™‚

There is the saga of the Purky Studio, deep in the Purky Tower, in deepest, darkest Somerset.

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Monday Blog Time

I hate dust, really do. It makes me sneeze, turns my eyes funny and even my lips start twitching. I do not mean dust in the Hayacinth Bucket sense but actual, ‘this room has been abandoned’ dust.

My DH has decreed that the house must become immaculate and I actually completely agree with him. Its just that artists (even the tidy ones) generate more mess than they are inclined to clear up. Or perhaps its just me. Oh that has to stay there while it cures, oh thats there becuase I am about to use it!…..four months later guess where it is?

This time I mean it though. I want to sort out a proper office space in the spare bedroom so I can photograph and pack items ready to sell via the magnificence of etsy. I have put several people on to etsy in the last month or so and they are all selling things. I am not as I have not listed anything, although my shop is registered. ARGH.

I am so demotivated its not true. I am back in my glass cupboard looking at all the possibilities but trapped and unable to act upon them. The frustrating thing is its my cupboard. I am gonna take a hammer to the bastard sometime soon.

This week, I have had three jobs…Whooo! One was part of a pyramid scheme ripping off the elderly, so I left after the second day of training. I am unfortunately burdened with a strong sense of ethics. The second is some minor ongoing agency work in a cheese factory. Nict Fun. The third is the saddest. I qualify in every way for the job except I have not been registered as unemployed for six months. What?

So, in order to keep up the AsboApseys, I did some funky prototyping for a range I was hoping to release for valentines.

It is using my classic technique of embossing powders and texture but unlike a lot of folks I apply the powder directly to the texture rather than stamping onto smooth flat clay. I really dig this effect and wish I more types of powder and texture.

To this end I have started carving some lino to make texture plates. ๐Ÿ™‚

Plus this one was a free formed texture using a needle tool and some pen lids to create the rings.

The original idea was to create the look of aged metals with a patina but that has sort of shifted sideways into a more abstract form.

Yeah, I am addicted to verdigris powder…. I am wondering if I can mix in some sand to create a more textured effect.

I love swirls inside hearts. Got a sort of motif going on methinks.

Interestingly (to me at least) Gold tinsel powder has a really gritty texture when its cured. I don’t know whether I just put too much on though.

Anyways, I had best finish my cup of coffee, finish checking out other folks blogs and then go to some tidying up to create my dream (ish) workspace ๐Ÿ™‚



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Failure to land

I went to bed at 1am, having been up since 10am the previous day and laid there, awake until my DH’s alarm went off at 4am. I went downstairs and made him a coffee and did the washing up. Phil (the cat) was all intrigued and loving that I had surfaced so early.

So how come I failed to land? Well, lots of powerful conflicting emotions (damn artistic types!!!!) and unfulfilled desires of lots of types.

I have a lot of family orientated anxiety, well actually more specifically anger, unresolvable misery. I am going to drown the sadness and negativity the way I always have. Entering the fantastical world of being an artist, be it writing or making or whatever. Its how I continue to preserve my sanity and keep walking on.

However, I did do some amazing mental brainstorming which due to not falling asleep I remembered and have doodled down, yay! I have ordered some new crafty supplies which feels indulgent yet completely justifiable. There is a new range I have been meaning to get on the road for months and finally bought the components. ๐Ÿ™‚

My lovely friend AJ has figured out a technical hitch in an item she has been developing. From the buzz going backwards and forwards between us I am really looking forward to meeting a prototype. Go nag her on her blog to get it finished for me.

Another fabulous lady is coming over later today to have a stitch and bitch session with me where I have to remember how to knit, so I can teach her….eeek!

On another positive note I have been refining my packaging ideas for the big etsy launch and DH has been talking about putting easy systems in place so I remember to post things ๐Ÿ™‚

Looking at the fact is now nearly 6am I am assuming I will crash out eventually so will dissapear now ๐Ÿ™‚



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A friendly kick up the arse

I had coffee with the lovely Louisa and vibrant Victoria earlier today and quite unexpectedly it kicked me up the arse.

I have spent too much time inside Purky Towers being sad and quiet and all that kind of stuff. To reconnect with some friends in a bizarely painted cafe has done me lots of good.

Plus the lovely Vix has her own blog with crafty stuff on it ( and she has made a funky cupcake wreath. I had to go upstairs and make something.
So I came up with these.

I have been meaning to do some more experimentation with textures and mica powders.

I really enjoy juxtaposing fluid organic shapes against rigid ‘containers’ like geometric shapes and such. I think the textured tiles will join the ranks of my tile pendants with some serious refinements. These guys don’t have my proper textured backplates on them because they are just samples.

I will probably tidy them up with some lacquer and perhaps some sanding then pop them in a shadow box for my house.

I also need to mention that a slightly older artistic chap gave some wonderful life advice to me and chilled me out for another chat. For political reason I will leave him anonomous but his help was greatly appreciated xx

Keep it Purky guys, I am back behind my desk ๐Ÿ™‚

(ta muchly Vix)

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A whole week gone…again

Methinks I need to get a grip. Well, probably anyways. This week I have achieved.

Registration with HR GO
Registration with SMART START
Investigated possible training and courses
Registered an Etsy account
Registered a Folksy account
Done some kickass design work
Cooked awesome thrifty food

Ahh that makes me feel somewhat better. While my to do list is enormous I also need to try and find myself again. I have fallen out of my creative groove and I really want to get back on the horse so to speak.

I am considering launching a competition on my Purky fanpage on facebook for some free goodies just to put me back into the creative mood as I will need to create.

I think that I really want to work on some Purky tile pendants as they are fun for me to produce and work as limited edition runs in multiple designs.

Tommorow I will have to be brave and just get on with finishing my studio cleaning and get back behind the wheel. (I know enough motivational bullshit metaphors now)

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New Year

Well here it is 2011.

I apologise for not talking much but its been a hard few weeks. I got super poorly and the Christmas rush never arrived so I got rather deflated and a tiny bit depressed. However, this year I am going to blog much more frequently, post pictures much more often and take artistic leaps of faith.

I am currently deliberating over which online craft retail site to use. Folksy, Etsy, Notonthehighstreet, Artfire and all the others. Currently its a pretty even split across the first three. Do we reckon I could maintain market presence on all three?

I dunno. Currently I am gearing up for at least 6 months to a year of temping, sorting out CV’s, finding my shirts, ties and with any luck some trousers that actually fit. Even going to polish my smart boots, which always reminds me of the story of working boots, but I digress.

Happy New Year for everyone out there, although on a zen note I genuinely believe that the attitude of a New Year starts every day is a very helpful one.