The Adorned Article Fine Handcrafted Sterling Silver and Gemstone Jewelry

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Website Launched Today!

Hello Ladies,
I'm happy to announce that today I'm finally launching my new website: and my new jewelry collection. It's like having a shiny new baby and I'm very proud so please stop by and have a look. Also on  the Giveaway front--I've decided to start small and let some other more experienced giveaway diva's host my first few giveaways for me so I will be sponsoring them on a couple of different websites-one giveaway in October and another in November...I'll post more details as I get them and if you feel the need to enter a giveaway right this very minute go over to The RikRak Studio Blog and enter the 'I Love my Sponsors Giveaway' for a chance to win a gift certificate to my store-the drawing will be on September 30th so scoot over there and enter. For now I'll just leave you with some shiny images to ponder.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Artist Snapshot-Seaurchin Ceramics and Sculptural Jewellery


Porcelain Dish 100-365 Dish a Day Project by Seaurchin

Meet Lisa Stevens of Seaurchin on Etsy, a mum,  model-maker for Aardman Animations and sculptor extraordinaire. Lisa was generous enough to take time out of her very busy schedule to answer some questions for us-so prepare yourself for a truly fascinating read! Click on the link above to visit her gorgeous shop, drop by Flicker and have a look at her amazing A Dish A Day 365 Project or join her on Twitter!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself 
I am Lisa Stevens, 36, married, mum to a six year old boy and two year old girl who keep me very busy :) Before becoming a mum I was one of the senior sculptors for Aardman Animations, sculpting plasticine puppets for feature films such as Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit - Curse of the Wererabbit, which, apart from being immensely satisfying, was great fun. I hope to go back to it sometime.

Porcelain Dish 37-365 Dish a Day Project

How did you first get started sculpting /what most appeals to you about it?
Sculpting...I guess I sort of fell into that! I have always been creative, but found that I enjoyed all aspects of art and craft, so I found it hard to focus on one discipline. I studied Theatre Design at college, but after a trip to the Aardman Studios, I put all my effort into securing a job there. Whilst there, we had the opportunity to study a further craft in evening classes and again, as the sculpture class was full, I ended up in ceramics. It was a great loosening up exercise after the detailed, tight, and sometimes stressful day to day sculpting at work. Since leaving work, I have found I can earn a small amount of money from my ceramics, and every little bit helps ;) I love the texture of clay and I am obsessed with surface texture, which I find relaxing. Glazing, especially when working with glass or metal oxides can be unpredictable and I love opening the kiln to see what treasures await! I am often pleasantly surprised (seldom disappointed) by what I find.
Porcelain Dish 123-365 Dish a Day Project by Seaurchin 

  Can you walk us through your creative process?
My creative process.... I'm a bit of a ' let's make a start and see what happens' type of person. I don't make sketches and I often don't know how the piece will turn out. I make beads and bowls in batches, which I bisque fire. Sometimes pieces need a sand, which I try to avoid as it is a tedious job, especially the pierced pieces...the holes need to be tidied before glazing. As the pieces are small, I paint glazes on rather than dipping, but that gives me more control. Sometimes glass beads are added to the pieces, which melt during firing. A few pieces will be fired once more at a lower temperature with metallic lustre's or fused beads of glass.

Porcelain Dish 85365 Dish a Day

Of all your work-which piece is your favorite right now and why?
My favourite pieces are usually the latest pieces. I love the pieces with glass in them; there is so much depth to them. I also love the very thin, textured pieces of porcelain which have such wonderful translucence and luminosity when held up to the light. I have 'lighting' on my to do list... It is a very long list though. Right now, my favourite piece is a low dish, only out of the kiln two days ago. It has loads of craters filled with seawater-like glass and a sandy body. There are random piercings around the edge as the craters get smaller.

Porcelain Dot Pendant-Green Gloss by Seaurchin on Etsy

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when you find yourself in a creative rut?
I feel ill if I don't have time to create! I try to do a little bit of work every day, with my favourite part being the texturing....but I do love the glaze firings. I have so many ideas on my to do list, although I often find I start something I hadn't thought of before when I actually get my hands on the clay. I wish I didn't have to sleep! I really would work all night if I could. So far I haven't had a creative block....mostly I find I am inspired just by the clay in my hands. Lucky I guess!

Porcelain Dish 25365 Dish a Day Project

How have you handled the business side of being an artist?
The business side is the part I find difficult. I find it hard to focus on a particular idea and stick with it, which means I tend to make one-off pieces. I would rather make a series of pieces which I can re-list once sold. I am trying to do that with my new 'dot' cabochons and pendants. What I think I am good at, and I sincerely hope I am, is customer service. I answer questions and ship parcels as soon as I can and pack my pieces well. In over a thousand sales, I have only had one breakage...and I've learned from that!

Porcelain Pendant Turquoise and Ivory Feathers

  Do you have any advice for artists wanting to start their own business?For artists wanting to start their own business, Etsy is a great place to start. Just getting your work out into the public domain is a great way to see what works, and what no-one has an interest in. Do what you love, price pieces realistically, be polite to customers (even behind their backs on Twitter!), join networking sites and generally engage with other crafters and artists. Oh and one very important point, if you're selling on line. please take good, clear photos!

Charity Listing Porcelain Dish 36-365

  Is there anything else you want people to know about you?Anything else I want people to know about me? ideal job, although I don't think it is done this way any more in the digital age, would be a forensic sculptor, recreating faces on skulls. Slightly morbid, but absolutely fascinating! 
Porcelain and Glass Black Current Coral Flatback

Porcelain Dish 47-365 Dish a Day Project by Seaurchin on Etsy
Porcelain Pendant Cobalt Chrysanthemum

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Artist Snapshot-Sacred Suds

Meet Andrea of Sacred Suds on Etsy. Andrea was kind enough to take time out of her busy soap making and momming schedule to sit down and answer some questions for us. I really enjoyed getting to know more about her and her soaps and I think you will too! Click on the link above to visit her delectable Etsy Shop and drop by her Blog to say hello and learn more about soap making!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm Andrea, the soap crafter behind Sacred Suds ~ Soaps with Soul and the author of Suds Blog - The soul behind the soaps. I grew up on the salt marshes of coastal Georgia, and have somehow ended up living in the frozen tundra of Minnesota with my biologist husband and my two hilarious children. I have a degree in ecology, I love to bake, and I rode my bicycle from North Carolina to Washington, DC to raise money for the DC AIDS Ride. Makes total sense that I'm a soap crafter, right?
How did you first get started making soap/what most appeals to you about it?
We were living in Maine one winter, and my skin was a scaly, papery wreck. A friend of ours gave us a bar of handmade soap, and when I tried it, and I was blown away. The soap was rich and creamy, and my skin soaked it up like milk. Standing in that hot, steaming shower, inhaling cinnamon essence, knowing someone had lovingly crafted this bar of soap, I could feel the soul in it. I began researching soap making as soon as we finished that bar. I don't think we've bought a commercial bar of soap since.
Isis Soap
Can you walk us through the soap making process?
As with baking, soap crafting is like magic to me. It is a transformational process – you pour and mix wholesome ingredients to make a batter, apply heat (or allow the soap reaction to make its own heat, as with the cold process method), and end up with a delectable, aromatic loaf of groan-inducing goodness. YUM. With soap making, you combine fatty acids (vegetable oils, nut butters) with a strong base (lye), blend them until they come to trace (a little bit of batter drizzled on itself will leave a bump before sinking back in), then pour the thickened batter into a mold. The oils and lye react with each other chemically to produce soap and the highly valuable byproduct glycerin. For a more detailed explanation of the soap making process (with pictures!), please see my blog entry about making my Gaia pumpkin spice soap.
Fire Cinnamon Cold Process Soap
What product or recipe are you most proud of?
I think I am most proud of my Lakshmi soap. I formulated both the soap recipe and the scent blend from scratch, and together they make a really luxurious, skin conditioning bar that smells light, fresh, and rich, all at the same time. The lather is fluffy, and my skin feels incredibly soft and supple after using it. It also happens to be very effective magically for me, too. Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of prosperity and good fortune, and every time I use my Lakshmi soap, the soap orders roll in. I wrote more in depth about that soap on my blog.

How/when did you decide to start your own business?
I am a stay-at-home mom, and as a people person, making the transition from working out in the world to staying home with babies was very challenging for me. When I started making soap for our family, I had ideas for more soaps than we could ever use, and I knew I would have to start selling them in order to buy the supplies for all of my ideas. Through Etsy, I am able to fulfill my need to interact with people while still staying home with my kids, so it's pretty perfect. 
Asharah Milk and Honey Soap

How did you come up with your shop/business name?
All of my soaps are crafted with intention and inspired by goddesses, gods, yoga, the natural elements, and earth-based spiritual paths. My hope is that they serve as tools for customers to enjoy the sacred in everyday life. Hence the name Sacred Suds.

Where would you like to be in five years?
My five year goal is to be available to my children, who will be nearing the end of their elementary school years by then, and also to be established in a second career as a manager in a book store (I recently started working part time at Barnes & Noble, and I love it.) My goal is not to make Sacred Suds my full time career -that would be too much work! Even though I work on my shop and my soaps 40 hours a week, I would have to quadruple production and sales to earn a real salary from it. I like the place Sacred Suds is in right now, and in five years I wouldn't mind if it were in the same place or bumped up just a notch or two (as long as I've figured out how to work efficiently to fit it all in to a smaller time commitment).
Rhiannon Lavender, Bergamot and Lemon Soap
Is there anything else that you want people to know about you?Just that I am so grateful to you and to other bloggers who take the time to interview and feature small sellers like myself. Thank you, Sam!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Artist Snapshot-Red Brick Glass

Wendy Jeavons of Red Brick Glass on Etsy was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. She makes absolutely gorgeous glass decorations and gifts. Visit her shop on Etsy here: or check out her website at:

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
From my studio Red Brick Glass on the Dorset coast, I make rather gorgeous handmade kiln formed glass products such as bunting, fairy lights and lanterns. My studio is in a converted outbuilding at home where I live with my husband and three children.

What inspired you to start creating with glass/what appeals to you about this particular medium?
Glass is a magical material. It is unique in terms of colour and transparency and when lit it seems to come alive. I gained a 1st class honours degree in Glass and Architectural Glass from Edinburgh College of Art in 2000.

Blue Glass Bunting by Red Brick Glass

Can you walk us through your creative process?
To make my glass products I start my cutting glass sheets into my shapes. The glass is then fused together in my kiln. When the glass is cool I then apply my screen printed patterns to the glass. These are then put back into the kiln. All my glass is then finished by hand and can be engraved with personal messages.

How did you come up with your shop/business name? Is there a story behind it?
In 2002 I received funding from the Crafts Council's Setting Up Scheme. I set up my first studio in a tiny red brick building so it became The Red Brick Glass Studio, and my business Red Brick Glass.

What piece are you most proud of?
I love the glass products I make and am very proud to be running my own business and being a mummy to three small children.

Pink Petal Fairy Lights

Where do you want to be in 5 years?
In 5 years time I will still be making gorgeous glass goodies, and I hope people are still buying them. I have a little dream to have my own retail outlets, but there is plenty of time for that.

Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
Here are a few things that make me smile: Log fires, blossom, fish finger sandwiches, running, beach huts, my bell tent, polka dots, fresh eggs from her chickens, weeping willows, stripy deck-chairs, the aga, eating al fresco, family duvet days, the sound of seagulls, my pink radio, stars and Benny my Morris Minor.
Blossom Glass Fairy Lights in Blue by Red Brick Glass