Saturday, April 28, 2012

Roads End Pottery -- Portland Saturday Market

What artisan market would be complete without pottery in the mix?  In my opinion all artisan events should include at least one.  Portland Saturday Market boasts several and the are all different.  "Roads End Pottery" is one that prides itself on creating hand thrown functional stoneware.

There sign sits towards the back of their booth. Although in no way can you miss there booth.  They are on a corner in the park under the cover, two rows over the first row from the street (Natio Parkway).

Nothing is better on a cold day than wrapping your hands around a hot ceramic mug.  Such delightful colors, styles and sizes to choose from.   To the left in the picture, the item with the tree on it is a sponge holder.

Fun earth tone salad and dinner plates to grace your table.  Pie plates, bottom right in the picture and bowls in the top left corner.

Earth tones not your color scheme, check out these lovely blues.  

This is absolutely ingenious.  Bowls with built in chopstick holders.  Great way to keep them from rolling off when you set them on the edge.

Chilled wine container and glasses, keeping them all in one place.  

More fabulous mugs to choose from.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blog and Computer Update

Clip Art
For anyone following our blog you have probably noticed the lapses in postings.  Then the appearance of mass posting over this last week.  While accurate, let me explain what happened.

My primary computer was having problems for several weeks and then was essentially down for three weeks while it was being worked on.  Blogs were done and set to auto post, however for some reason that didn't happen and some of them disappeared.  Whether it was the behind the scenes platform update or my system issues I will never know.

As of this moment, I have caught up on all of my email accounts.  Blogging is completely caught up, yay.  Still a couple of things left to catch up in our Artfire studio.  Once that is done I will be completely caught up and back to my usual routine, yay.

However, after being down for so long I am completely amazed at how much I actually do online.  It never really occurred to me before just how much from the simple to the complicated that I do online these days. Nor the time involved in completing it all.  With this realization it has become apparent that I should and actually want to change a few things.  Not to stop doing what I normally do online, but to track and manage my time better.   I also think I will be implementing a one day or at the bare minimum one evening where I completely unplug from all electronics.  Perhaps with these simple changes I will recharge my creative self, which has been extremely absent of late.

So to all my reader's Thank you for your patience during this time I have been having computer issues.  Hopefully, with new procedures we have implemented this won't happen in the future, yet it is computers, the internet and we only have control of so

What challenges have you had to work through due to computer issues?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Materials

There is nothing more inspirational than a day of shopping for new stones.  One of our suppliers was in town this last weekend and we shopped.  Gemstones are one of our main stay mediums we use in our designs.  While some we do ourselves we also have several suppliers to keep pace with our creative needs.

Some of our best creative times are the weeks following the acquisition of new gemstones.  This round the selection was broader than we have seen in the past and were able to acquires types we have not had previously.

I can't wait to get started with those lovely citrine right there on top in two different sizes of nuggets. Also in this picture is some red aventurine, and gray crazy lace agate.

The large rectangular pieces at the top are orange striped agate pieces.  Oval honey jade is laying over top sunstones, both square and faceted.

Silverleaf jasper and ocean jasper rondelles are laying underneath a lovely strand of oval green quartz.

Carnelian, prehnite, quartz, jasper's,  moonstones and so much more. 

The cherry red rhodocrosite on top, while the tiny rondells of earth tones are lace opals.  Off to the left the light pinkish orbs are tourmaline and the orbs running across the bottom our a wild burrow jasper.  

Nope we didn't list them all, some shapes and types of semi precious gemstones saving for later as we are focused on creating new pieces for Mother's Day Weekend at Portland Saturday Market.  It's a great way to ensure Mom receives exactly what she wants by bringing here down to the market and picking our a new favorite piece or pieces as the case may be.

Share your favorite semi precious gemstone with us, we are always looking to learn about new gemstones.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Portland Saturday Market 4-21-12

While still early in the season at Portland Saturday Market the people have been out and about.
Entwined Vines Jewelry is seeing the benefits of having a reserved spot this season.  It is nice that people are able to easily find us.  Even though we are a month and a half into the new season, I am still amazed at the variety of people who visit the market.  Artisan markets draw people from all walks of life and I think it is absolutely fantastic that Portland, Oregon has venues were people interact with each other regardless of their backgrounds.  We need more of these types of events, who knows if we had them, perhaps the world would be a more peaceful place.

Portland Saturday Market hours of operation:
Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am to 4:30 pm

Follow us on Facebook at Entwined Vines, to track dates we will be at the Market.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lampwork Wrap Up

Hand torched lampwork glass beads are quickly becoming an obsession for me that might just rival my gemstone passion or obsession depending on your point of view.  Regardless I am passionate about both of them and plan to continue to create and share.

Just a couple of follow up items in this series of quick high level overview tutorials:

The top bead in the above picture is what your beads will look like when removed from the flame of the torch.  All the while the mandrel is being turned to keep the shape of  the bead.

Here is a glimpse of what can be done with glass and the different looks that can be achieved.  The top bead on the right hand mandrel is the one added a second color to.  The other two are dark blue plan beads on that mandrel.    The middle mandrel is green glass and I was  just playing with different bead sizes.  Left hand rod contains two beads, the bottom one I was testing the setting of the torch using clear glass, there are a couple of bubbles in it which indicates the torch was not set properly.  Doing an initial test bead is always a good idea.   Now the top bead on that mandrel has been done with clear glass and the veining was created with the application of a tool to create the striped look without using a second rod color of glass.

Hope you have enjoyed this series on lampwork.  How many of you were familiar with hand torched lampwork glass before reading this series of blogs???

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Movies and Lovable Aliens

Tina and I (Tammy) love movies, name a genre and we generally like at least one movie out of any given category.  Even if it does not become a favorite we do enjoy movies and will usually watch any movie at least once.  Over the years, in talking about and watching movies together we have found we both enjoy children's movies that have lovable aliens in them.  Some of our favorites include:

Toy Story -- all three of them

 It was these movies that inspired me to peruse Artfire to find handmade alien artistic creations. 

We are always looking for movie recommendations, what is your favorite movie?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

3 Sevens Pottery -- Portland Saturday Market

Meet Chris Paulsen, one of our fellow artisans at Portland Saturday Market.  He owns and operates 3 Sevens Pottery and is a ceramic artist.  Chris has been in business for 12 years.  A quiet gentleman with a quick smile and great customer service.  His quirky sense of humor really shows in his artistic creations.

Chris manning his booth at Portland Saturday Market.

The tray in the center contains his ceramic rings. While the surrounding shows off his unique plate designs.

His wall art is unusual, colorful and very unique.

His hanging pots for air plants keep calling to me.  I have always liked air plants with there ease of care and they easily add a decorative touch to small places.

The flower magnets are colorful and detailed.

Chris has been creating his ceramic heads for over 12 years.  I have yet to see him create the same one twice.  Not sure if it is his intent, yet they remind me of zombie heads.  Some have horns some do not.

You can also find Chris's creations in his online studio.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lampwork Basic Designs

Lampwork glass bead designs can range from the simple to the complex. So complex in fact that some artisans create mini paintings with there glass designs.  Today we are going to talk about the most basic lampwork glass bead design.  It is a simple solid color bead with color added to it.

The first step is to heat your rod (mandrel) and the bead release that is on it.  While at the same time heating a glass rod to melting point.  Then create your initial bead.  Creating the initial bead is the same principal we are going to talk about using to add the second color to the bead.

Adding a second color to an already started bead
Adding a second color to an already started bead.

This is what the first step at the torch with your second glass rod of color will look like.  The rod of glass is heating and at the same time keeping the initial bead hot and molten.

Shows the glass as it reaches its melting point.
Shows the glass as it reaches its melting point.
A close up, you can see the rod is just starting to reach melting point.  This is harder than it looks, because while you are holding the glass rod in one hand, the other hand is constantly turning the rod (mandrel) with the beads on it.   That rod (mandrel) is constantly moving until the created design is completed and the glass has cooled down and is no longer moving.  If you stop turning that rod or tip it, the glass slides and you have just lost all of your hard work.

Initial layer of glass, the first color.
Initial layer of glass, the first color.
Here is a glimpse of the final application of glass to the initial bead.  The glass rod is used until the bead is to the desired size and shape.  All the while the rod (mandrel) is being manually turned continuously while it is kept perfectly horizontal.

Second color being applied to the initial color
Second color being applied to the initial color
Using the same principle above, you take the second color and apply it directly to the initial bead.  This technique allows for a melded look to the completed beads.  Once done and cooled it is then ready to add to the kiln for firing.

As you have probably already gathered there are a lot of minute  details to the process that I have left out.  My goal in writing this series of blogs, was to introduce people to hand torched lampwork glass.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April Collection's

April has spring in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest.  With unusually mild weather so far.  Including seeing more than our usual fair share of mild and sunny days.  Cruising for delightful spring inspired handmade pieces on

The above collection depicts a delightful array of colorful creations.  At Entwined Vines Jewelry we have been busy little bees with spring inspired creations.   This Viking Knit piece is one of Tina's newest creations inspired by spring.

Mauve  Bright Green Lampwork  on Amethyst Wire Viking Knit Bracelet
Mauve  Bright Green Lampwork  on Amethyst Wire Viking Knit Bracelet

In addition this is the time of year we spend a lot of time in our gardens and reconnecting with nature.
What do you do to celebrate the coming of spring?