Thursday, October 28, 2010

Salmon Festival is Now Over

The Salmon Festival is now over and it was a extremely successful this year.  They had a count of more than 160,000 visitors over the three week period which is a lot of people for a town of a population of only 3000.

I want to thank Lynn Erin for the wonderful job she did of running the gift shop set up in the log cabin.  She was there every day, rain or shine, and worked tirelessly with always a cheerful smile.  Lynn has the Fireweed Art Studio in the area and this is an example of one of her gorgeous paintings:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Salmon Festival is Almost Over

These last three weeks seem to have been a blur and now this Sunday will be the final day to the end of the Salmon Festival.  We went out again this morning to add a few more salmon pieces to our display and hopefully there will be enough to last the weekend but if they sell out, that will be all right too!

I thought I would show you some more photos of the area since it wasn't too crowded with people this time.

One of the main focuses of the Salmon Festival is education and so every student from every school in the whole surrounding area comes to this event.  The other day we counted 11 school buses lined up and there were more arriving on a steady basis.

Another main attraction there was all the food.  There was everything from salmon burgers to salmon chowder with other types of goodies.  This booth shown here was extremely popular with their traditional native cuisine including delicious home made bannock.

The salmon society partners with First Nations People and this authentic TeePee was one of their displays.

Today was much quieter than other days but I know it will be busy again over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New and Fun Textured Pieces

Remember the supplies I showed you the other day that I recently purchased?  One of them was a texture plate from Helen Breil Designs called the Conga Line.  I finally got around to trying it out and fell in love with it instantly!

Here are some new buttons I created using this new texture design.



Ever since I made my first custom order shawl pin, I've been wanting to make more but never seemed to find the time.  I finally created 2 new designs using this same wonderful texture plate.


I have more designs I'm working on but these are a start.

And of course I had to create some switch plate covers using the same color scheme.

Monday, October 18, 2010

More Salmon for the Festival

We left a nicely filled display in the gift shop at the Salmon Festival last week hoping there would be enough stock to last over the weekend.  But with over 100,000 people so far, we weren't surprised when we got a call Sunday morning to come out and refill our display again.  So I'm back to making up another batch of red and green salmon in pins, magnets, earrings, pendants, pens and switchplate covers.

This event has been so overwhelming, yet successful - but I really am ready to turn in my fishing license after it is over!  lol!

One thing this event has taught me is how to speed up my production time. Instead of creating individual clay pieces one at a time, I found myself working in batches of a dozen or so at a time.

This is a new salmon design I created by carving out a template from my own drawing and then stamping it into clay.  The pieces are then colored with gold mica powders and alcohol inks.

I also apply these fish pieces to other items like pens and switchplate covers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Designer Pieces for Myself

I'm taking a break away from the salmon for a bit and hoping we put enough stock out the other day to last until the 24th of October.  If it doesn't, then I guess I will be back to making more which I don't mind at all.

One of the greatest perks of being a clay-jewelry artist is that I get to go shopping for new clothes and then make as many jewelry and accessory pieces for myself as I want that match so I can show them off!  I'm really into the matchy thing and so when I create a piece for myself I have to make a whole set that coordinates which usually includes a pendant or beaded necklace, earrings, watch bracelet and hair barrette.  I might even make matching buttons for a blouse or sweater.  I'm working on some new belt designs as well which I will show you later when they are finished.

Here are two sets I've completed over the last couple of months.   The pendant and earrings in this set were from my first attempt with using Helen Breil's Radiating Lines Tutorial.  When I created the texture sheet for this one I used a finding for the centre impression and then did the remaining part free-hand with my sculpting tool.  I had some rivioli crystals I purchased for these new designs and of course had to use a green one since it is my favorite color!

I have a rich velour jacket in a deep teal that sets everything off perfectly.  The beads on the watch bracelet are the double-sided textured in the Funky Swirl design combined with my own pearl rondelles in teal.

I used the Bezel part of the CaBezel moulds for the pendant and bracelet links in this set and then filled the centers with textured pieces accented with mica powders and Swarovski crystals.

As you can see,  I love working with all kinds of textures and mica powders and so both sets were made using these.  I usually use the new prototype designs I make for myself as a springboard for our pieces to sell and so I'm now working on some new sets for our Christmas shows that will be starting soon.  Will hopefully manage to have some pieces listed in our ArtFire studio as well.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Update on the Salmon Festival

We made a trip out to the Adams River today to restock the display in the gift shop as we knew items were either sold out or getting low.  This was our 4th time we needed to add more pieces and the festival is only one third over.  We decided to go out early and beat the crowd since it is our Thanksgiving holiday today.  Were we in for a shock when we arrived at 8:00 am.  There were already half dozen tour buses plus many private cars parked.  The gift shop wasn't open yet so I had my chance to take a few photos.

Was a little crisp but a beautiful sunny morning so thought we'd take a walk down the paths and view the salmon again.    We were amazed at how many people were there that early in the morning already!  As a matter of fact there are thousands of visitors every day with well over 100,000 visitors expected over the 3 week period of the festival.

Here are some tourists on one of the viewpoints overlooking the river.

There were more fish this time and the river is getting crowded.

The current in the water is very strong and the fish really struggle to maintain their guarding spot over the eggs they laid.  They will keep guarding their nest until they finally die.  Here is a fish trying to guard its eggs and we watched it chase several other fish away from its nest, all the while fighting the strong river current.

We have a few more photos posted on our facebook fan page so feel free to check them out there...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My New Toys Arrived

Actually they arrived a couple of weeks ago but I've been too busy to do anything about it -- I was really low on clay so was time to order more from Shades of Clay.  Each time I place an order I like to order a few extra "goodies" to play around with.  Here are some of the things I bought this time:

Shown here back to front:

- A new mandrel set which I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with yet but it looked like something fun to play with and the price was right....
- More PYM11 -- this stuff is fantastic!  Had to have more as my first can was almost gone.
- Some large texture sheets with leaf patterns.  These are quite large but thinking of using them for some collages.
- More Kato clay -- of course lots of black, pearl, white and transluscent which it seems you can never have enough of.
- Wire -- great for making button shanks, etc.
- A new texture sheet by Helen Breil Designs -- my first one and I thought this one was too yummy to pass up!
- And of course the latest CaBezels by Wendy Orlowski which I will show you a few things a already created with them....
- Not shown are some more mica powders (experimenting with Perfect Pearls to compare) and some Pinata Inks to play around with.

I really like Wendy's CaBezels and I have more ideas on using them which I should hopefully be able to get around to sometime later in the month.  Here are a few pendants I made in the meantime:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More new pieces for the Salmon Festival

We made a quick trip out to the Adams River yesterday to see which art pieces have sold and what we need to make more of.  There were a lot more holes on our display than expected so I have to get busy and make more.

Here are some more switchplate covers with a different look.

Some pens done in a similar style.

We really like the twist pens from Boston Craftworks but were looking for something a little more economical to cover and sell as another option.  Surfingcat and Angela from Crafty Goat's Notes each had great blog posts sharing various pens they had experimented with in covering and we really liked the Bic Soft-feel Retractable Click pen the best which is what we used here.  They come apart, simple to cover and then put back to together again.  One tip I learned about covering this type of barrel is to smooth a very thin layer of liquid clay all over before applying the sheet clay to eliminate any air pockets underneath.