Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sneak Preview, Barrel Fired Pendants

Sage Pendant #1003 by Linda Starr

Here's a look at the barrel fired pendants I promised to show you when I finished them. (About time eh?) I'll be taking some of these to the Boys and Girls Club of the Sierra benefit show this weekend at Sierra Hills in Porterville Saturday from 10 am to 3 p.m. I'll also be taking functional and sculptural work I've completed over the last several months. I've been wearing one of the pendants when I'm out and about and have had so many positive responses, I thought you'd enjoy a sneak preview.

Sage Pendant #1008 by Linda Starr

I hand make each pendant individually incorporating a real leaf from my garden, so the texture and veining really pops. Most of the pendants have a silver plated bale attached with epoxy and either a leather or waxed cotton 18 inch cord with lobster clasp. The beauty of barrel fired pendants is they are just as pretty on the reverse as they are on the front. I think they're rustic enough to wear with a T-shirt or dressy enough for other apparel too. These pendants were made from stoneware. I bisque them and then barrel fire them, which is similar to a pit fire. I use various oxides and natural ingredients such as avocado and eucalyptus wood, seaweed, herbs, straw and sawdust. The oxides and other ingredients impart the natural color to the pendants and the effects are totally random and always a surprise.

Sage Pendant #1002 by Linda Starr

Throughout history various words have had a special or symbolic meaning. The word sage means: having or exhibiting wisdom and calm judgment; proceeding from or marked by wisdom and calm judgment: sage advice. I guarantee you'll be wiser wearing one of my pendants, because each day that goes by we're all a little wiser. How's that for logic?

Sage Pendant #1005 by Linda Starr

Several folks asked about purchasing pendants, if you see a pendant you can't live without, just email me know and I'll reserve it for you. My email address is at the top right of the blog in my profile. I've set up a Ceramic Jewelry Photo Album on Facebook where I've numbered each pendant, so you can friend me there to see them. Or if you're not on Facebook, I also posted the pendants on Flickr, so you can see them in detail.

Sage Pendant #1007 by Linda Starr

I'm trying to streamline a process where folks can purchase direct from my blog, if you have any ideas, please let me know. I've got to check with Lori of Fine Mess Pottery to see how she does sales direct from her blog. I see at the top of her page she has a "click here to shop" button. I'm also curious to see how Michael of Sawdust and Dirt will organize his upcoming blog sale. What unique ways do you use to sell your art?

Linda's Outdoor Photography Studio

In case you're wondering about the photos, here is a look at my outdoor photography studio. Sounds really professional doesn't it? It's outside my garage on the side of my house. Rocks, driftwood, and old barn wood were objects I gathered around here to use as photography props. I just dusted or washed them off and put them into immediate use. I turned off the flash on my Sony digital camera and set some poster paper on an old painting stool in the shade and started taking photos.

Sage Pendant #1014

I really treasure this red rock which I brought from New Mexico. I picked it up in a river bottom canyon on private land on a trip seven years ago. Gary and I were four wheeling in a canyon with a river running through it and didn't know if we would make it through or not, but we kept going. We knew others had traveled there because folks were living along the banks of the river as we drove along. The only way they could reach their homes was through the river bed. But still, we weren't sure if it would be a dead end or not. The canyon kept getting narrower and narrower and eventually was just wide enough for our car. Yikes! Now we were really wondering if we should keep going.

Sage Pendant #1028 by Linda Starr

At every turn we kept saying, "Well let's just go a little further" and "We've come this far, might as well see where this leads". Then we realized we had reached the point where we wouldn't be able to turn around. If the canyon was a dead end we would have to back out! Did I mention I was driving? I don't back up very well. The smooth canyon walls were so close on either side we could reach out and touch them. Above us the cliffs hung over our car. We decided to press on, the thrill of what was around the next corner kept us going. We were now driving in the river, straddling rocks and snaking our way through the canyon. Thoughts of a flash flood crossed our mind. We saw an occasional tire track so we just kept going. Then we had worried about the possibility of meeting someone coming from the other direction. At the end of the canyon we were miraculously led up and then out to an open mesa, what a trip.

Over the years Gary and I have traveled in the back country in most of the Western states, taking photographs of old ghost towns and wild flowers along the way. Each trip we have taken I've looked at the map and told Gary, "Here's a short cut we can take". I've become famous in Gary's mind for my shortcuts. This was one shortcut which we survived without incident. I'll have to tell you about some of my famous shortcuts another time. Oh and by the way when we used to go four wheeling, we did not disturb or destroy any natural terrain on our trips. We traveled with the motto: "Pack it in, pack it out, and leave it as you found it for others to enjoy". In all our travels in the back country, I think this red rock is the only thing I ever brought back other than photographs.

Clary Sage Pendant #1004 by Linda Starr

My ceramic photo albums also contain other pendants which I have made. Some have been glazed and fired to Cone 10 in reduction. Some have bales and some have holes and no bales. Those with holes can be strung on a cord of your choice or used in your own jewelry creations.

Overlapping Leaves Pendant #1026 by Linda Starr

My kiln is now in working order, I don't know if it was dust bunnies, a spider, or the sitter which was a little off center, but all of that has been corrected, and the kiln has been tested and is ready to fire. Yippee! Comments and questions are always welcome.


  1. Nice I really like the penants in the beginning. Glad you got your kiln up and running! Spider or dust huh? Don't you just hate that! Good Luck!

  2. Wow Linda, I see why you have had so many positive responses when you wear one of your pendants! They are very artful! just beautiful. The barrel firing really gives them their own look.

    whew! glad the kiln is up and running -can't wait to see your next body of work you pull out of the fire!

  3. Wow... these are gorgeous, just gorgeous. I really like your photography studio too. :) Simple is good, huh? Your posts are always thought-filled. I'm heading out to the west coast- (WA State) soon, so I think I'll try and pick up a rock or two there in the Puget Sound area. Would be good for photography. Your post has got me thinking in new directions .... :)

  4. Linda, Gorgeous! I tried to email you, but cant't remember your email.....I like one of these for purchase. Email me please

  5. Hi Kitty, thanks so much.

    Hi Mary, thanks, yes, spider are everywhere around here, who knows.

    Hi Cindy, thanks so much. These are very earthy and folks just love them, the pale ones look like porcelain although they are stoneware. I am glad it was something simple with my kiln. Now I know how to check it out.

    Hi Amy, thanks so much. Have a good trip to Washington, I love that area. Careful the rocks may put your luggage over weight. Glad I could inspire you. Talk to you soon.

    Hi Yolanda, thanks very much, I just emailed you. My email is at the top right hand corner in my profile for the future.

  6. Really lovely pendants and photos! Glad to hear your kiln came back to life! :-) M

  7. Oh wow.....I see it now... Maybe eyesight is next thinbg to fix....
    And I also found it after posting here, I went thru my list of contacts. Thanks!

  8. Linda -I love your Sage pendants -just beautiful! An Etsy shop is super easy to set up and there is a widget that you can use to show your shop on your blog.

  9. Oh, these are beautiful! I love them all! Your work is right up my ally for sure. I love the story of your adventure! Well told! That was wonderful! I would love to hear more!

  10. Hi Miri, thanks so much about the pendants and the photos (still haven't gotten around to the pvc, but I will - things just seem to move so slowly here in the summer due to all the chores). I am so glad the kiln was a simple thing too. Now I know how to check everything though so I learned something.

    Hi Yolanda, I sent you an email and I reserved yours for you.

    Hi Eleanor, thanks so much. I thought about Etsy, but I was hoping we were going to sell our house and I didn't want to set it up and be in the process of moving. I do want to eventually have one though as I think I could reach more folks that way. Thanks so much for your information.

    Hi Erin, welcome and thanks so much about my pendants. So glad you liked my story, I have many more to tell. I'll have to remember to incorporate them into my posts.

  11. Wow - great pendants, Linda! Really lovely...I would second an etsy shop - very easy to set up. Otherwise, you can set up a buy now button through paypal or even google payments.

  12. Hi Cynthia, thanks so much. I was looking at your pendants on your album on facebook the other day and your pendants are so beautiful. You had one which was textured amber and some black highlights I particularly remember that was so wonderful.

    I might have to bite the bullet and start an etsy store. I'll have also check into the buy now button through paypal or google. Seems to me you had a post about that on your blog I'll have to go back and re-read it. Thanks again.

  13. Love the pendants! Your photography studio looks a lot like mine, and I live with a professional photographer! I had some good comments on my blog about Etsy. I think I like the paypal button thingy , sounds easier. Although, I had to mail two packages the other day and found it to be so irritating- couldn't find the tape, couldn't find the right box, had to wait in line forever at the post office. Really made me wonder if I want to ship items for sale....

  14. Dear Linda,
    Thank you for writing me, and for liking my paintings.
    actually I have visited your Blue Starr Gallery, blog, many times. especially because i do not paint much anymore,
    I do pottery. maybe I paint again, one day, when the economical situation will be better and selling paintings will be easier in my country, right now I try to adopt my calligraphy to my ceramic dishes.

  15. Hi Tracey, I definitely need to get organized as far as tasks go I need a mailing station, a photography station, a glazing station, a greenware station, a drying station, a making station, a firing station, then there is the marketing and computer station, no wonder potters are dirt poor - no dirt rich, money poor. Thankfully my post office doesn't have lines as yet, that is if it stays open.

  16. Hi Varda Sharon, thanks so much for the visit and your kind words. I remember your paintings very well, they are so powerful with every human emotion contained within and unfolding from them. Your voice and that of mankind truly speaks through them.

    Yes the economy has it's drain, but we must go on as best we can. Would love to see some of your calligraphy pottery.

  17. Linda,
    Thanks-- Will you pay the extra if the rocks make my luggage heavy? :) Just joking. I'm also hoping to pick up some seaweed on the coast of WA State for the next barrel firing here in Charlotte. Take care-

  18. Hi Amy, can I hide in your suitcase and go on vacation too? That seaweed gets to smelling pretty bad, make sure you put it in a plastic bag.

  19. Hi Linda - I want one of those sage pendants! ... Am emailing you right now!

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  21. Hi Patricia, thanks so much.


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