I'll include the details on how to enter the Giveaway Contest in this post which includes two amazing handmade items selected specifically by Kathy for this Giveaway and for the lucky readers of my blog!
The winner of this Giveaway will receive the handmade items pictured below! Exclusive designs by Kathy McDonald.
|Giveaway Prize - Handmade Fine Silver Nautilus and Beach Stone Pendant AND Handmade Pottery Mug!|
Pendant: Drilled Manitoba beachstone pendant with handforged Fine Silver Nautilus design, oxidized for antique finish with polished highlights, gorgeous! The cord necklace is included and is finished with a sterling silver small lobster clasp. The Fine Silver design is handmade by Kathy using Silver Art Clay and is 99.9% pure silver!
Coffee Mug : Wheelthrown stoneware coffee mug with hand painted overglaze decoration, 10 oz size. Collectors of pottery, this is such a unique design, directly from the artist herself!
One lucky winner will receive Kathy's gorgeous pendant and coffee mug! Everyone is invited to browse her shop on Etsy. If you're lucky, there will still be items available, as she sells out quickly, especially her jewelry designs. Visit her Etsy Shop, Adornyourself and mark your favorites with a "heart".
Father's Day is fast approaching and handmade pottery is the perfect gift. Any birthdays that you know of for May or June, plan ahead now and order them a handmade item from Kathy's shop!
|Sculptural Pottery Bottle by Adornyourself|
|Pottery Basket Coil Built Sculpture by Adornyourself|
Kathy’s pottery background inspires me with her knowledge of kilns, firing temps and schedules (and repairs), her impeccable talent for creating forms and her techniques for enameling, which she used to teach. I enjoy the monthly chit chat about the daily projects, the good times, the bad times and sharing the ideas, tools, tips and trials of our craft.
|Kathy creating a wheelthrown bowl just this week!|
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kathy about her jewelry making and pottery adventures:
YorkAvenueStudio: Kathy, you started working with pottery clay almost 40 years ago and still have the enthusiasm and enjoyment which shows in your creations.
Adornyourself: I am retired now after a long career as a social worker and educator and can devote a lot more time to my business of creating and learning. I know that combining family, outside work and a clay addiction are very difficult to balance.
Even after all this time I am still amazed at the transformation of the raw materials into the finished pieces. That connection of human hand, earth, and fire that has been entrancing people for centuries.
I love glazes that are warm and earthy and draw most of my inspiration from natural objects and the prairie landscape around me. I work with both stoneware and porcelain clays, as well as metal clay and really like to experiment with glazes that are natural and earthy. I make all my own glazes from raw natural materials.
|Fine Silver and Birthstone Bridesmaid Charms by Adornyourself|
YorkAvenueStudio: When did you start using metal clay? (Precious metal clay, PMC or Silver Art Clay, is made up of recycled silver grains mixed with binder ingredients which forms the consistency of clay. The wet clay can be molded and shaped, then after drying, fired in a kiln or torched with the end result as 99.9 pure silver in the exact shape of the design!)
Adornyourself: I bought my first packets of metal clay when you had to purchase them from overseas and the instructions and booklets were all written in Japanese. It was so exciting to have an opportunity to turn “clay” into fired metal. I have a good friend who is a silversmith who agreed to mentor me back then and we both have been able to collaborate and learn the materials.
Lots of mishaps and waste but my friend was able to use the scraps in his designs.
I started out using PMC3 (I date myself) and switched to using Art Clay Silver
a few years ago after volunteering to co-teach a class at the local art center here and that’s what they had ordered because they got a deal. I’ve kept on with Art Clay Silver because it’s more readily available here.
|Handcrafted Stonewear Pottery Beads by Adornyourself|
YorkAvenueStudio: What materials do you use to make jewelry?
Adornyourself: I use mostly stoneware and porcelain to make pendants, beads, and other components for my designs, and combine these with many other materials including the metal clay, glass and semiprecious stones.
I have a passion for bead collecting and my favourites include artisan glass lampwork and African trade beads.
|Hand Marbled Porcelain by Adornyourself|
YorkAvenueStudio: What was your first inspiration for jewelry design? How did you decide to make jewelry?
Adornyourself: Good question. I think my first inspiration for making jewelry was watching my dad work in his shop when I was a child. We lived on a farm and he often repaired machinery and made or repaired horseshoes for our horses. I can still remember the smell of that shop and the old anvil and fire pit. I was fascinated by the fire, the metamorphosis of the materials from molten to finished product, and the rhythmic pounding of the hammers used to shape those metals.
Now my inspiration is the textures and impressions that natural materials and images evoke.
I ‘m very inspired by the design courses I’m taking that are leading me to explore the natural geometry and symmetry that occurs in objects of everyday life and the world around me.
|Porcelain Pendant by Adornyourself|
YorkAvenueStudio: What shows off your style the most in your jewelry designs?
Adornyourself: I think my style (if I have one) seems to change and include something new and different every day. Making jewelry lends to the exploration of many materials incorporated in various ways to make a whole. The whole is so often greater than the sum of its parts.
I have tended toward very simple designs when I use metal clay and more complex forms when I use stoneware and porcelain. I love using fired lustres and enamels to embellish porcelain and I would really like to explore this next.
YorkAvenueStudio: Does your background in pottery lend itself to jewelry making?
Adornyourself: Yes it definitely does. Over the years, I’ve made many discoveries about metal and clay simply by experimenting with both materials and combining them. Some have been utter disasters. Others have been quite beautiful, but difficult to replicate. Like throwing silver and copper clay into the raku combustion can with my pots. Gorgeous pieces, but I’ve never been able to replicate them.
YorkAvenueStudio: We talked once about the necklace that you made that you wear daily. Tell me the inspiration for that piece?
Adornyourself: I do have a piece of mine I wear all the time. When my daughter got married several years ago I made 2 very similar pieces so that we could wear them on her wedding day. We both wear them a lot.
|Special Wedding Day Necklace worn often by both Kathy and her daughter|
YorkAvenueStudio: With the price of silver almost 4 times what it was last year, how is this affecting your designs?
Adornyourself: The cost of silver has made it quite difficult to be really as creative as I’d like to be with the material. I am so much more conscious of the amount of material I am using that I think it inhibits the kinds of things I undertake. I’m tending to want to go back to things I’ve abandoned in the past like working more with sheet and copper.
|Adornyourself Craft Show Jewelry Display|
YorkAvenueStudio: What are some tips or techniques for working with metal clay that work for you?
Adornyourself: I know this likely isn't really accepted, or proper, technique but I sometimes use a bit of liquid polymer to help condition my clay when I`m getting it ready to use,or to coat the clay if I want to have a clean line etched into green pieces. I found that it makes the art clay a bit easier to handle during its green state and does not affect the fired outcome at all. NOTE: I have a big kiln with lots of ventilation so I do NOT torch fire the pieces because of the toxicity.
I often make my designs in clay before I make them in metal clay, that way I can get a good idea of what they will be like once I commit them to silver.
YorkAvenueStudio: Tell me some things about you that you are proud of accomplishing, dared to try or on your Never Again list.
Adornyourself: I was very proud to have had a “one person” show at our local art gallery several years ago.
Never try again: demonstrating torch firing at a local music festival and art sale.
|Adornyourself Pottery Craft Sale Display|
YorkAvenueStudio: Do you participate in craft fairs or shows? Stories to share, tips on booth
The funniest anecdote I can tell you all happened at a folk music festival last summer. My adult children were helping me out at my booth when my daughter noticed a woman openly breastfeeding her baby while trying to sell her work. They both made comments to the effect that they felt that the time and place were inappropriate when the fellow in the next booth to mine piped up and said, “ I remember your mother breast feeding you at this festival some 20+ years ago, don’t knock it, it gets the job(s) done.” Total silence from my kids.
If you are lucky enough to live near Kathy in Manitoba, Canada, here are some local shops and galleries that you may find her designs:
Poor Michael's Bookshop Art & Cafe
The Cinnamon Tree
934 Rosser Ave, Brandon, MB R7A 0L4
Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba
|Pottery Pie Plate Baking Dish by Adornyourself|