February 17, 2010

Ice Resin Blog Hop: Shadow Brick Pendants

Thanks for your comments on the Sweetheart Brick Pendants I posted yesterday!  It has been really great to see these old pendants that I made so long ago finally get finished and come to life!  Today I have some even older pendants to show.  I made these brick bead pendants out of a variety of dark stoneware clays many years ago.  They took a long time to construct, as the insides were painstakingly carved out by hand.  They were also tumbled in a rock tumbler after they were fired to get a very smooth surface.  I made many collages in them, but I love them even more now that I can collage and capure the imagery in resin!
Unfortunately, I seem to have developed an allergy to something in the red and dark clays (possibly iron) that makes my hands crack pretty badly.  As much as I love the look, I am hesitant to try using iron rich clays again.  But I think I can get a similar look with porcelain and dark glazes... maybe something even more interesting!  I spent part of today sketching out some new designs for pendants I can make to use with resin.  I was thinking pieces that are a bit more organic would be fun, and probably much less time consuming than the ones I am showing today.  Heck, if I could make more than a few at a time, I might even start to sell the pendants without resin for *you* to make resin collages in... what do you think?  Would that interest any of you?  Leave me a comment and tell me what you think!

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. Melanie, those dark clays also have manganese in them, which is toxic, especially the fumes when firing. I love my local black clay, but stopped using it for that reason, though if you also react to reds, it may be the iron. You may want to consider brushing the dark clay on as slip, so you do not have as much skin contact? I love the dark earthy clays left unglazed, they look so earthy and touchable

  2. These are really cool. What a shame you have a reaction to the red and dark clays!
    I am sorry I missed the ice resin blog hop thing, I am having a blast playing with it!

  3. I love all your work, Melanie! It would be really cool to have some "empty" pendants to experiment with my self, though! Keep up all the lovely work that you do, you are a true inspiration! I enjoy your blog so much, and even though this is my first post, I am a faithful reader. Sorry about your reaction, but perhaps it will open up new methods with glazes!

  4. Yes, yes! I would buy. Sign me up.
    And that top pendant is my favorite so far. The colors, the key, the deep mysteriousness. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy the day! Erin

  5. Cute Pendant !! I would like to buy this brick pendant for my girl friend. How much for it? And from where i can buy it ? Can you please tell me..I will be very thankful to you.

  6. Thanks for your comments, everyone!

    Vintage Bracelets...
    These pendants are available here:


    Thanks for dropping by!

  7. Oh, I love the dark, tumbled look of these. They have just the right look! So sorry about the reaction!

  8. I love how they keyhole in the last pendant seems to glow! I'd love to know how you did that!! :D
    These turned out fabulous, though not without some cost to you :(
    I'm looking forward to seeing what the darker glazes and slips will do in your work!

  9. Christine RitcheyFriday, February 19, 2010

    Oh, you bet! I'd love to buy some of the unfiled pendants! I agree with Pam about your reaction. Red and darker clays are usually full of iron, but it could be manganese. What a bummer that you had a reaction. :-( I have a terrible problem with Egyptian paste. Makes my hands turn red and swollen. I still play with it, but I wear surgical gloves. You are still one of the most creative artists that I know. Please keep playing and evolving! :)

  10. These are lovely and I'd love to buy some of the empty shells!