Monday, September 28, 2009

Swap / Meet

For the past few months my Etsy MetalClay teammates and I have been working on making charms for a team swap. 25 people took part and made two extra charms each. One for themselves and one for a bracelet to be donated to charity. Making 27 identical charms each is not an easy task. And everybody managed to design stunning and original pieces! Thank you all so much.

Charms were due to be mailed and compiled on the 15th, but some folks were a little late (*ducks head and tries to hide*) so the anticipation built and built until this weekend when we all received a box o' treasure in the mail!!

Aren't they all fabulous? Too hard to pic favorites. Thank goodness I don't have to. I love being able to hold and fondle all of these beauties. Makes me feel closer to my global team mates.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - Laurie Brown* Edition

Laurie Brown is one of my first Flickr finds and her work and photostream delight me. Laurie uses the technique of sand casting to make her silver and golden bones, wings, claws, shells, nuts, and other anatomical treasures. For the San Francisco gallery Paxton Gate - she includes both the finished item and the object it was molded from. Even her packaging is made to order. Each piece comes with it's own unique specimin tag, nestled into a round wooden box.

Her photostream is a journey into a world of wonder and delight. The photos of her personal collections are elegant and beautifully styled, shots of her life, sights around her neighborhood and furry family are fascinating, and the glimpse into her process is an education in and of itself. To say nothing of the stunning jewels that are presented.

I'm lucky enough to own two pieces by Laurie. A wonderful quail foot ring and a little silver seahorse. {thank you again*} Be sure to drop by her shop. Her work is hard to pass up.

Take a look at Christine's blog to see what lovey candy she's collected this weeked. Paige is out of town at a huge show and Michelle has puppy issues so they haven't been playing lately. But hopefully - next weekend things will be back to normal. Have a good one.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Welcome to the Carnival...

Image via Pablo Alto

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. The topic this month is:

Motivation: What’s inspiring to you about designing and working with jewelry? What excites you enough to create a new item?

Well, at the moment I'm totally motivated by the Master's Registry projects and my wonderful Mad Skilz team mates! It took me a while to find my voice for the first project, the stilt riveted brooch. I posted sketches and the clay model of the first version. But after firing it - I was less than enthused. So it was back to the drawing board. And I'm really loving what I came up with. So much so that I think I'm going to use the same theme throughout all of the first level projects. Unfortunately you'll have to wait a year to see it! ;-)

I like the idea of each section of the Registry (there are 5) having it's own *voice*. And using the same basic idea will force me to explore, examine and expand the design, hopefully creating unique pieces that all speak to and compliment each other.

My usual creative modus operandi is motivated by my students - developing classes that I think will be interesting and challenging. I haven't really been very motivated to create for myself in a very long time. Sometimes my mind sparks with ideas and designs, but actually sitting down and getting out the tools can be another thing altogether. Frustrating to say the least.

Thoughts don't usually flow seamlessly from my brain to my fingertips. Thinking up a design is an effort. Of course I think everyone else's path is easy, organic and faultless - but deep down I know that those kind of creators are few and far between. Design *should* take effort. It should be mindful and deliberate. Even if one is a slap dash, seat of your pants, wing and a prayer, found object, new age artist. A point of view is always the best starting point. I'm working on narrowing my focus, dialing in on what is most interesting to me and trying to come up with designs excite my brain to delve deeper.

What about you? What inspires to create a design, come up with a new technique and perfect a method? See what the other carney's have to say about motivation and creativity.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


It's a frustrating morning and I thought to myself "Self - what would make you feel better?" And the better half of my self answered "Why, what about another Pop giveaway?" Soooo right!

Probably silver gilt brass or bronze. There is a golden color showing through in places.

This lovely crucifix was given to me by a dear friend in the 90's after he returned from a trip to Italy to visit long lost family he'd never met. I'm Jewish and have never worn it, but it was such a lovely gesture and such a lovely cross that I've cherished it.

The name Asissi is imprinted on the back along with a prayer in Latin.

I think the cross is sad to be stored away in a jewelry box and it would love to be worn by someone who would appreciate it's support, spirit and comfort. And by proxy someone who would carry the loving feeling that brought it to America in the first place.

Hard to think of a game (and not sure it would be appropriate) that relates to the crucifix... How about the first person to claim it - receives it?

Monday, September 21, 2009

One A Day

I have a show coming up the first weekend in November at the Contemporary Crafts Market in Santa Monica California and I need to replenish my stock. At the same time I'm trying to market my classes and work on projects for the Master's Registry to say nothing of fitting in some time for playing with the new kittens. That's a very important task you know. ;- )

They sit on my feet as I work. Sweet.

And since I have so many components laying around waiting to be transformed into lovely treasures, I've decided that whatever else I do in a day - I must make at least one finished piece of jewelry. That means I'll have at least 30 new things to put on my table (allowing for a day off here and there).

Curio Necklace #3

This piece is made of a reproduction of a vintage Maltese Cross I found at the swap years ago, a little fine silver corno that I formed with the tail end of a package of clay and a small, red rock (which I drilled) that a dear student of mine brought back from a trip to Australia. The chain was attached with a watery blue Kyanite. I still haven't decided whether to patina it or not. What do you think?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - Cynthia Del Giudice Edition

I'm particularly enamored of Cynthia Del Guidice's work with fused plastic bags. Who'd have thought that such a common, disposable and earth destroying material could be reconsidered into such soft, sculptural and feminine jewelry?!

And her exploration with patina's is the perfect example of how surface treatment can totally change the look of a piece. Claudia has finished her copper earrings in bright metal, verdigris and deep black and they each have a character all their own even though they share the same simple form.

Let's see if Michelle and Paige have collected some tasty Eye Candy this weekend. I know that Christine has a big, exciting announcement that you won't want to miss!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What's For Breakfast?

This has been making the rounds on FB again and it cracked me up this morning, so I thought I'd share. Just in time for a little break-fast! I love spaghetti in the morning. Hope you do too. :-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On Being Brain Fogged

Happy Tuesday! I haven't been as prolific as I like to be here on the old blog, have I? Not really sure why. I have too much on my mind and creative writing is taking a back seat in the old thinking cap/cerebrum.

Fresh Out of The Kiln

As you know, I've started on the Master's Registry, finally conquered my 2008 taxes which I had obviously put off for much too long, have been working on 27 charms for the Etsy MetalClay team inaugural swap, said farewell to my sweet Sweets, adopted two new small; furry children, have a new 8 week class starting tomorrow night at Otis and I guess I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. Oh - and I have to start a heavy production schedule for the Contemporary Crafts Market in November.

Ready for the final sanding and polish

I do have things I'd like to talk about, but I think maybe this space will be occupied by interesting, but not very challenging fluff for a while. But jewelry fluff is always worth investigating isn't it? Hope you'll stick it out with me. Thanks for coming so regularly!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy - Natasha Wozniak Edition

It's no great shock that I'm an admirer of Natasha Wozniak's work. I fell in love with her a long time ago and am delighted to see her new designs on Flickr. Curls, tendrils and spirals. More of the very black patina. I'm seeing a trend in my tastes.

The silver (really it's platinum) ring in the third row is more like the designs I originally admired. The wire is round, the ends have been forged into a point and the curls are more flowing and feminine.

But the new version is lovely too. Square wire with straight ends. More contemporary, masculine and bold.

And that brocade with the delicate tendrils on top! Love that. Might have to try to adapt it to metal clay. Is that copying? I guess it is. But maybe I can find a way to make it my own.

Christine, Michelle and Paige have some Eye Candy to share too. go check it out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


So, the last time we "met" I told you that my lovely kitty Sweets had passed and that I was going out just to meet some new little playmates. Really... I was just going to look. No touching! HA!!!

Senior Diego Pigletta de Velazquez

I took one look at these two and it was all over. Their Mother was a Blue Point Siamese. Which explains the brown fur! Very unusual. And they're so sweet. Purring, kneading... biting, clawing, wreaking havoc. ;-) 

Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez
They could be twins. Look at the mustache and goatee! They both part their hair in the middle. What other proof do you need?

No one reminded me that I'd have to child proof the apartment. Two plants are now dead and the pussy willows will be given to a friend. Good thing the carpet and furniture are old. *note to self - buy powerful water spritzer*

Principessa Ella Fitz. Fitz what I don't know yet. At the moment I'm leaning toward Fitz Delicato. But we'll see. There's still time to add more descriptors to her name.

I'm really happy to welcome them to my home and call them my new family. Yes, I'm one of those.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Weekend Eye Candy -Friends Edition

I was doing my 2008 taxes all day Thursday and Friday (finally) and frankly - just forgot to make a mosaic.

I had to put my sweet Sweets the black cat down last week and will be going to meet some potentially new friends this afternoon, so I thought I'd collect some of my Flickr friends friends for inspiration! Back to gems and jewels next week. Although these babies are jewels enough, don't you think?

Shall we travel over to Michelle, Paige and Christine's blogs to see their Weekend Eye Candy?