Saturday, May 30, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - Round Edition

I'm late with the candy huh? So sorry. I do feel as if I'm just going around in circles trying to get ready for the show next weekend. So much to do, so little time. A too often used saying that's oh so true!

Take a look at the Undiscovered loveliness on Paige's blog this week. I think Christine is prepping for a big show too. So no Eye Candy there. :-(

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Amy Crawley of Moonroom Muse is doing a series on famous quotes and how they influence artists. She asked for volunteers a few months ago and I threw my name into the hat. 

Some of Amy's wonderful polymer clay work


The Crow Bottle Stopper

Fortune Pyramid Box
(Hmm... Does the face on this look familiar?)

Well, today my quote and response to it is up! Take a little side trip to Amy's wonderful blog to see the kind of thoughts that fill my silly head. ;-

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

OAW Listens!

Okay. I'm a slug. Actually I'm just so busy with getting ready for the CCM that I didn't have the energy to come up with something for punk or reggae. I fell back on Celtic. 

Metal clay on top, pierced copper on the bottom. All riveted together. Not sure about the Vintaj chain. Might change it out for patinated silver. What do you think?

Experimental Music - inspired by the Theramin! You know, the instrument that makes the scary saw-like music used in old horror movies?

Rock and Roll

And aren't these fabulous? Check out Alissa to see her piece and who made what!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Welcome to the Carnival...

Image via RozArt

Step right this way...  Each month a group of jewelry artists use their blogs to get together online and answer the same question - each in their own way. This month the topic is: 

Who is your most influential teacher or artist?

Teachers: I've loved every single one of my paid teachers. My fabrication teachers have really helped me spread my wings. Given me the confidence to solder, pierce metal, set stones. And knowing how to do all these tasks has given me the confidence to experiment on my own with various fabrication techniques that I've studied in books or noticed in another artist's work.

Cynthia Eid

Workshop teachers like Cynthia Eid, Suzanne Kustner and Robert Dancik have given me a glimpse into advanced techniques that might never appear in my jewelry, but have broadened my view of my own potential. 

Barbara Becker Simon

My metal clay teachers have shared their passion, their generosity and their personal modus operandi, tips & tricks - which in turn has inspired me to do the same with my own students. They've all influenced me in one way or another. Always to my benefit, but not necessarily directly influencing my style, my methods or my aesthetic.

Eric Silva

Artists: I can't think of a single artist whose work hasn't affected me. Some with the inspiration to  push myself to the next level, some with an insight of what to take more care with when creating. Sometimes when I look at a particular piece or body of work I sigh and say "I want to be her or him when I grow up", or sometimes I just lust after it - wanting to add that idea of perfection to my private collection. 

Ann Jenkins

These feelings are the ultimate compliment in my view. The artist has made such an impact that I want to curl up in their brain to see the wheels turn. I do have favorites. And when I look at their work with intent - I try to break down the elements, to try and figure out what exactly it *is* that so affects me. Is it the image itself, the craftsmanship, the imagination behind the design? 

Allison Bone

I know I don't have the skill of some of these icons, my mind doesn't work in the same way, my artistic vocabulary is less informed than those with 30 years of experience or a university degree (and the education, experimentation and freedom that came with it). 

Andy Cooperman

But when I feel myself beginning to take a step off center, to reconsider my path, to dream a new dream - I know that everyone, everything, every sight has had a smoldering influence on me. And that's a good thing.

Be sure to check out what influences the other carneys:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Helios' Gift

priceless print on my bookcase wall

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm a Winner!

Remember that I won a contest on Tangerine Treehouse blog? I helped Laura choose a Nom de Tweet name since her business name is too long for Twitter's idiosyncrasies.

Well, lookie what I found in my mail box this morning! Isn't it loverly? And it even looks good on my chubby wrist!  Thanks so much Laura! I may never take it off.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quickly, Quickly

The next OAW challenge was announced this morning. From season 5, episode 11. Rock'n Runway. The PR designers had to create something for one of the other designers (no models on this episode) that was inspired by a particular musical genre. Do you know how many genre's there are??? 

I really want to try to squeeze this challenge in, so help me out with the decision and tell me which one you'd like to see translated into jewelry. No early music, sacred music or celtic. That would be too easy for me. I like to get started by Wednesday. I'm teaching this weekend and there's lots to do for my show on the 5th.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - Candy Edition

Sweetness overload? It's just that I had an unbelievable craving for a little more yumminess. Isn't that always the way? 

Paige is out of town, but be sure to see what's shining over at Christine's blog. Ya'll have a tasty weekend now, y'hear?

Candy, Oh Sugar, Sugar...

Here's my submission for the One A Week project. The Project Runway designers made their couture confections entirely from candy wrappers and the like & I wanted to do the same. 

Did I cheat a bit by using the plastic ring? Maybe. But I really like the alterations I made. First I cut the top of the ring into two leaves and a little ball, then covered it with the gold foil from the peanut butter/chocolate cups. Needed two. Yum! ;-)

The red gumball has definitely seen better days, er - hours, er - minutes (short life for a gumball), but I like the turquoise studs. Did NOT try either of these candies and have no idea of their consumptive delights. They scare me.

Great minds must think alike! Look, everybody else made rings too! Make sure you see all of their pictures and who made which. What a delicious challenge. What's next I wonder.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

So Much To Do...

My postings may be really sporadic for the rest of the month.  I started creating my booth for the CCM (which is in just two weeks) and it's coming together very nicely. But... I realize that as much jewelry as I have - I need even more for a three day show. So that's what I'll be doing. Making pretty silver things. 

First incarnation of the left side of my tiny booth. The magazines will 
not make the trip to the Civic. I'll use that space to store supplies.

I'll make sure to visit at least twice a week, but I don't think I'll have time to take pics to share with you.  Sorry. Have a lovely time perusing all the great blogs right over on my blog roll, and if you discover someone great - please share with me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Too Much Excitement!

Laura Crawford over at Tangerine Treehouse has been trying to come up with a Twitter friendly abbreviation for her company name and asked for some help. I like to stick my nose in anywhere I can - and if I actually have an invitation? Ha! Just try to hold me back. So of course I gave a couple of opinions. It was actually a giveaway, but since I never win - that part didn't have anything to do with my buttinski ways. Well, would you believe it? I won!! So excited. Laura mixes metalsmithing and nature conservancy to come up with her unique designs and I've been a fan for quite a while. Can't wait to see what she gifts me with!

These are a few of my favorite pieces from her shop.

And in more news, I've decided (at the very last minute) to participate in the Contemporary Crafts Market coming to Santa Monica, California the first weekend in June. Oh... June... that's ages away. Or so I thought. And then I looked at the calendar. Yikes!!! Two weeks!!! So here I am, scrambling to put together a tiny booth (just 6'x5') and polish up my tiny collection of silver goodies in time. Pleaaassse come and visit me if you're in the neighborhood. And even if you're not. I need all the support I can get.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - Back to Basics Edition

I'm often complimented on the texture and design on the backs of my pieces. Thank you universe! ;-) It's one of the first things I try to teach my students. That even though a rear view isn't the first thing one thinks of when designing, how often have you seen someone stop to admire a pendant, hold it in their hand, turn it this way and that, and then flip it over to look at the underside!

Are they looking for a makers mark? A hallmark? A secret message? I don't really know the answer to that. Probably a combination of all three, But the person who's wearing the jewel has definitely examined every millimeter of a treasured object and will appreciate the careful craftsmanship the creator put into unseen details.

I know I made one sale because the buyer was so delighted to find a hidden pearl nestled into a cavity on the back of a hollow brooch.

So take the time to look at the backs of things, see how they're designed, discover how the technical aspects were accomplished. See if you can absorb a little inspiration to use in your own work.

I've been wanting to start making my own pin backs and the ones pictured here are giving me all sorts of ideas! I see a little fabrication in my future. How 'bout you?

Be sure to stop by Paige and Christine's blogs to enjoy their lovely Eye Candy mosaics.

Sweet Treats!

Well, I think it's totally appropriate that this week's One A week challenge is from season 4, episode 6 of Project Runway - Eye Candy! The PR designers were set loose in the Times Square Hershey's store to find some sweet couture "fabric". I suppose I'll just take a tour of the local  99¢ store to find my yummy findings. Look for the delicious results next Thursday!

And in other sweet news:

The talented Paige of Hammer, Stitch, Burn is having a fabulous giveaway on her blog! Read all about it and try to win one of these terrific cup cozy's. I want one myself. Very chic and oh so green.

Dear friend, Maggie Bergman, has just started a new blog based on my post about Kaizen last year.  Small Steps - Big Changes gives tips, offers support and shares Maggies own experiences in trying to conquer seemingly overwhelming problems by taking small, easily accomplished actions.

Generous Christine of Chocolate and Steel featured a pair of my Bronze Earrings in a gorgeous summer outfit she put together with items right off the internet. I love her style!

And never fear, my own Weekend Eye Candy will be posted later this afternoon. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Take a Picture Why Don't You!

The theme for this week's One A Week challenge is taken from Bright Lights, Big City.  Take a walk, take a picture, make somethin' pretty. Simple.  

I was kinda pressed for time, seein' how as I didn't see the instructions until Monday, so I used a picture that I had taken in my neighborhood a while ago. Each time I walk past the house, I love the serene feeling I get when I look at this Buddha fountain. I'm sure the homeowners think I'm stalking them or something. My photo was taken on a rainy morning, when the sunlight was diffused and the air was misty.

What do you think the granulation beads symbolize? Rain drops or the carved tendrils of Buddha's coiffure? I especially like how the sparingly applied Keum Boo foil is evocative of the weathered surface of the fountain's basin.

This will be in my shop next week!

 Alisa, Mike and Rochelle designed some delectable gems themselves.  Be sure you take a look! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Woodland Altar

I almost saved this to post tomorrow as my OAW project, but it felt too much like a cheat. I made this metal clay Altar at home weeks ago meaning to use it as a demo piece in my class at Arrowmont. I wanted to create a remembrance of my Tennessee experience filled with bits and pieces particular to the retreat.

My first fidgity evening there I picked apart a mini pine cone. One of the scales kept a thread of it's stem and it looked so much like a lilly that I had to save it. I put some gold leaf underneath and three tiny gold glass balls in the center to represent stamens. My little fantasy flower. There were lovely Iris' and other flowers all over the campus.

Debbie Rijn, a Senior Instructor from South Africa brought some porcupine quills (and other treasures) to sell and I bought a few. Man are those things sharp!! Take care if you're ever face to face with one in the wild.

The little shard of bronze clay was a breaker in one of my firings. The leaf pattern represents the stunningly beautiful deciduous forests of Tennessee. 

So this is my little reliquary. My "Woodland Altar". My tribute to the Smokey Mountains.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

OAW is back!!

After my usual crawl through my blog roll over there on the right, I've discovered that Alisa has revived the One A Week/Project Runway challenges! Yay! This weeks muse is from season 5 - Bright Lights, Big City.

The Winner

The PR contestants toured around New York taking pictures for their couture version. We're going to tour our very own home towns to discover scenery worth immortalizing in jewelry, snap a pic of the inspriational item(s) and post both in our blogs.

Anyone can play along, and I invite you to take up the gauntlet. I usually just contact Alisa via her Etsy shop with links to my blog post and flickr. I'm discovering the revival a little late and the project is due this Thursday. Yikes! But I'm up to it. Are you?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tales from the Tennessee Woods

My trip to Arrowmont was a great adventure from the plane ride in to the plane ride out. When I was snailing down the aisle of the plane at LAX and approaching my row, a man stood up and asked me if I wanted to change seats. I hesitated until someone in a first class seat said "Just say yes!" So I took a leap of faith (not much on the line after all) and said sure.  Well, it turns out that the man who wanted to sit in my assigned seat (never found out why) was in First Class!!! So I got the royal treatment all the way from L.A. to Charlotte, NC! I ate quiche with real silverware on real china plates with real cloth napkins! What an experience. 

Gatlinburg via Planetware

From Charlotte I flew to Knoxville and then met a driver who drove the rest of the way to Gatlinburg. He was soo charming. Told us how he was born in a log cabin just a few miles from Gatlinburg, yes - he knows Dolly and she's a wonderful gal, shared his surprising political outlook (voted for Obama), and was a wonderful tour guide in general. Instead of taking the highway, he drove the scenic route through the forrest and even though night had fallen, it was just gorgeous.

Ripley's Aquarium in the Tennessee mountains, Believe It Or Not!

Sky Tram via Borderline Barbie

Then we arrived in downtown Gatlinburg. Oy Vey! Not exactly what I was expecting. I was picturing a sleepy town with a main street lined with historical architecture and one or two stop lights. What I saw was the Smokey Mountain version of Las Vegas or Hollywood Blvd!  If I wanted to see Ripley's Believe It Or Not or The Hollywood Wax Museum or the Hard Rock Cafe or a mile of neon lights - why did I leave home! Although it makes sense since Pigeon Forge, the home of Dollywood is just a few miles down the road - and I hear even more tourista'd out. 

Staff Quarters. I slept here!

Porch at the Staff Quarters via Borderline Barbie

But once on the grounds of Arrowmont, all that faded away and I was immersed in the glory of nature again. We were housed in a lovely building that had it's own living room and  10 or so small bedrooms, all very prettily decorated. I shared with Mary Ellin D'Agostino. 

I found the classroom I would be teaching in the next day and began to set up the tables and lay out the supplies. The facilities are spectacular. I'd love to teach there on a regular basis. Bit of a commute though.

Main building via Donya Stockton

My class, Little Altars, went really well. I had five students and they were all wonderful and made such lovely pieces. Unfortunately I ran out of camera batteries, so I have  no pictures. I was so proud of myself for remembering to bring the dang camera in the first place and it never occurred to me to check the battery life. Phooey.

The next day I took the second day of the Level Three class. Remember I made the box/inro pendant in preparation for that? Well now I needed to complete the other project, creating a setting for an un fireable stone. Man - there were some talented ladies in that class too! Must be something in the water. 

Metals Classroom via The Foundling
This is where the Level 3 was held

The following morning I was off! Back to the airport for the flight home. Drove through the lovely forrest again and had a sighting of a wild turkey!! So beautiful. All in all, a wonderful time was had by all. I met some lovely new friends, spent a very relaxing few days, and highly recommend the experience for all of you. If there's ever a workshop offered at Arrowmont that sparks your imagination - go for it. It's an experience to remember!