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SusanDolphinDelaney

Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Scientist

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I wept when I saw this photo on Facebook today. I weep as I write this. Science Fair was my salvation!

I was a teen when my family hit really hard times.

Fortunately, I was a kid who was a native of Washington DC. Four generations of my family had nourished our minds and souls at the Smithsonian Museums.

When I was a girl, Mother would pack me a sack lunch and pin two streetcar tokens to my blouse and off I would go to spend the day at the museums on the Washington Mall.

Natural History was my favorite one, especially the Hall of Minerals. I loved crystals.

Later, my science fair project would be about crystals. I grew crystals in a strong electrostatic field and observed the changes in their behavior under the influence of that field.

Even as my family was collapsing around me, I continued with my project. I did well in the school fairs and the regional fair. When I was a senior in high school, I won first Grand Prize in the Regional Science Fair and won a trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair in St. Louis.

As a result, I won enough scholarships that I could attend college. I completed my BS in Chemistry in 3 1/2 years.

Later, I would earn an MS in Human Physiology.

And later, my MD.

All because of Science Fair.

When my daughter started first grade I started volunteering to judge school, district and regional science fairs. I did so for 16 years. I judged twice at International.

My daughter was a science fair kid, too.

I coached her science fair classes starting when she was in 9th grade.

I taught the science fair kids to watch three movies:

* October Sky, because science fair CAN be your ticket “out”.

* Space Monkeys, because sometimes the judges give it to the monkeys.

* Cool Runnings, because, “If you are not OK before you win the gold medal, you won’t be OK after you win it.”

I am happy to say that science fair taught my wonderful daughter poise and grace under fire from science fair judges. She’s an alumna of the International Science and Engineering fair, too. She’s a PA and holds her own BS and MS.

So, you see, I wept when I saw the photo at the top of this blog. Because of science fair, I have three degrees. Because of science fair I’ve written two books, three columns for national magazines, many articles for national magazines and now this blog.

Thank you, Science Fair!

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A bead artist in one of my Facebook groups was bemoaning her cracked fingertips. I will share what I wrote to her, in case you are suffering as well.

I am a doctor/artist and I wrote a comprehensive health care guide for women who do crafts. It won a Gold Medal for Health Communication and was a Main Selection of the Doubleday Cooking and Crafts club.

One whole chapter of my book is on the fingers.

Here is what I am doing this winter for my cracked fingertips. Every night I put a teaspoon of sugar in my palm and pour in about a teaspoon of olive oil. I scrub down my hands, the backs, palms and fingertips. I rub my fingertips in my palms in the sugar scrub to burnish off dead skin and to stimulate the blood vessels.

Then I wash off the sugar with water under the tap, then most of the oil with hand soap.

I keep my fingernails very short so that the skin on the tips is uniformly tough, so that it resists cracking.

At bedtime I put 1/2 teaspoon of sweet almond oil in my palm and I massage it into my hands, especially my nail beds and fingertips. The massage not only delivers the oil to my skin but opens up the capillary beds so that maximum sturdiness of the skin develops.

If you want my book, many Amazon Booksellers have it for 1 cent plus $3.99 shipping (this keeps me humble; if you buy from Amazon Booksellers I won’t make even that one cent, which is fine).

If you need it today you can get it from C&T Publishing as an e-book. There’s a hot link to the C&T listing on my author website http://www.susandelaneyauthor.com.

BTW, C&T was the best publisher a gal could dream of!

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Each month earring artist Erin Prais-Hintz of Earrings Everyday challenges us to create earrings based on a prompt. This month her prompt was a film showing a kinetic sculpture “Breaking Wave” by Plebeian Design. You can see this amazing sculpture prompt at http://www.earrings-everyday.blogspot.com.

When I was a girl, growing up in DC, Mother would pack me a sack lunch and pin two car tokens to my blouse collar and off I’d go to the museums on the National Mall. Natural History was my favorite. I stood at the rim of the Foucault pendulum and watched it for a LONG TIME as it traced its mark in the sand on the floor below it.

I made these earrings to honor that experience. I hung Swarovski crystals from thin gold-plated chains. I created a Damascus cane from many shades of faded denim to echo the pendulums tracings in the sand. The Damascus cane is modeled after a Japanese sword makers technique.

These earrings will be listed in my new Etsy shop SusanDolphinDelaney on January 1, its grand opening!

In SusanDolphinDelaney I will offer earrings and earring components made me by from my polymer clay opals and from my polymer minerals.

My interest in minerals developed, as you have already guessed, during my childhood solo trips to the Museum of Natural History in DC. The Hall of Minerals was a place that I spent HOURS as a girl. In fact, my interest in crystals, fostered there, inspired the science fair project that led to the scholarships that allowed me to go to college!

Now that I have completed my degrees in Chemistry, Physiology and Medicine, I can take the time to study Geology and make wonderful earrings and earring components for you.

COMING SOON

The background of the photo above is taken from one of the polymer clay opals I made:

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My shop will have a selection of polymer clay discs in my Monet series:

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Some discs made from my Madam Pele polymer clay, which glows from across the room, just like real embers:

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There will be pocket-sized touchstone goddesses like this Madam Pele one:

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And finally, more discs from opal clay:

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The first pair of earring components is made from shimmering peacock opal clay. The second pair from a stunning mixture of white, black, gray and violet opal clays. It is fairly translucent. The third, a set of disks I made from a mixture of three yellow opal clays, white and a tiny bit of black opal clay is wonderfully translucent. I plan to pair it with some leaf charms from Suburban Girl Studios on Etsy.

If you want, you can hop over to my empty Etsy shop now and favorite it, so that you can revisit it on January 1, the grand opening. http://www.susandolphindelaney.etsy.com

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dec 2014 - pieter jansz saenredam 1635 choir of sint-bavokerk, haarlem palette

The painting above, by Pieter Janez Saendam (1635), is the current challenge for Art Bead Scene.

When I saw the painting, I ignited, and had to make my entries NOW.

I did not have the benefit of the wonderful palette you see above, to the right, created by the incomparable Brandi Huessey. A trained artist, she was able to break out the subtle colors in the painting.

I did print the photo of the painting in an 8×10 format, which revealed the warm grays and cool grays to me. I also saw surprising touches of gold and red.

By chance, I had been studying Lynda Moseley’s wonderful controlled marbling tutorial. Lynda always incorporates gray granite polymer clay into her designs.

Lynda keeps her word to provide support if you buy her tutorials. She once asked why I didn’t use the granite clay. I told her that I had to make my own magic.

Never say never.

When I saw all of that stone in the photo, I knew the time had come to use the granite clay. Here is my first piece, created in response to the challenge:

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I stood on the shoulders of two giants in this response to the challenge. Lynda Moseley and Jan Geisen, who uses torn clay in many of her amazing pendants. After I cut out the earrings, I looked at the scrap of clay left and decided to add it, a la Jan, fractured edges and all,  to a domed pendant.

My intent in these pieces is to capture the gold and silver tones of the stone in the painting, and the touch of red.

I had deliberately made more clay than I needed for the controlled marbling technique. I have been exploring a twisting technique with my clay that gives me a mineral-like effect. I decided to try for that. I layered the gold/granite; silver/granite; granite; translucent and subtle translucent red. I also created a second translucent red with some of my red/orange opal clay (Madam Pele clay, my own brand of magic).

The great cathedrals of Europe are almost always built on the same sites that held goddess shrines in past times. It tickled me to use a bit of the layered clay to make two goddess earrings to go with the second pendant. The earring on the right is the one that matches the clay. I spilled my beads and my dog picked up the matching one, which I found after taking the photos. I will be remaking the left hand earring!

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I took the best photo I know how to take of this, but I failed to capture the shimmering metallic gold, silver and even copper (where gold and red opal clay collided in a gleaming thin layer). The carnelian beads echo the red in the clay.

I found I wasn’t finished with Lynda Moseley’s controlled marbling!

On Thanksgiving I placed a wishbone from the chicken I’d roasted the week before on the table for my daughter and my son-in-love to “pull”. When they did, a surprising thing happened: the wishbone broke into three pieces. So they both made a wish. As it turned out they both wished for a long, happy life together!

This was too cool to let go. I made a new batch of silver/gold/granite/translucent clay and marbled it. I cut it into a rectangle that just fit into a gold frame. I baked it, polished it through 8 grits and Dremel-ed it. It took on an incredible, glasslike shine because of its translucency. I mounted the bone fragments on it.

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Bands of gold and silver shimmer all through the background. I plan to give this to the “kids” this weekend.

I had a blast with this challenge. I HAD to make two entries.

And just in time. Tomorrow the Earrings Everyday Challenge for December will be announced.

Here is the link to Lynda Moseley’s Controlled Marbling tutorial: http://www.etsy.com/listing/119526146/polymer-clay-tutorial-digital-pdf?ref=shop_home_feat_2

Here’s the link to Jan Geisen’s Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23551801@N03/

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My post for the Earrings Everyday Challenge is just below this one. As you scroll down, check out the glow-in-the-dark earrings in this post.

Ginger Davis Allman of http://www.thebluebottletree.com challenged polymer clay artists to create new polymer objects with an eye to their reactivity under UV light. When she revealed that white Premo clay glowed under UV light, I was IN. I already had a cane, “Blackberry Flower” and had planned to make this pendant for a friend who loves pink. I made it, with faith in Ginger’s statement about the white Premo, even before my black light flashlight arrived. The beaded beads are from DiacopeSupplies on Etsy. Sonia made them for me. When my UV flashlight arrived, I took this photo:

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The translucent clay making up the flower petals glowed blue under UV! And the background, which had white Premo in it glowed white. The friend who I made this for is a nerd like me and likely will never wear the pendant under UV light.

I was on a roll now. I had long admired the bioluminescent algae Noctiluca scintillans, which inhabits shorelines and glows when waves disturb it. I made a cane resembling the cellular structure of Noctiluca, incorporating some glow-in-the-dark clay.

This picture shows the earrings I made, which are translucent, with light passing through them:

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I photographed the earrings in darkness, to show their glow-in-the-dark properties:

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How cool is that?

Next I photographed them under UV light (which was the challenge after all):

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I hope those photos tickle you as much as they tickle me.

I made up a batch of my Pele opal clay last weekend. I made some of it into a Pele goddess. Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of volcanos. I love that way she turned out:

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I decided to see how she looked under UV light, just for fun. Under a mix of incandescent and UV light that she looks like glowing embers:

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I thank my friend, Ginger Davis Altman, a fellow scientist and nerd, for this challenge.

I had a blast with it.

You can see the other challenge pieces at http://www.thebluebottletree.com

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