Friday, June 24, 2011

New Metal Projects

Remember this post?  It features a pendant I made while in class at Volcano Arts back in April.  Now that I have my new miniature jeweler's bench and a small drill press, I decided there were no more excuses -- I had to start actually making some things.

Starting with the same design featured in that blog post, I made 2 more pendants.  For this first one, I etched a piece of brass and free-cut a circle-ish shape.  Because most of the brass is hidden, you can't see the gorgeous leaf pattern that I etched.  The black layer is a ready-made circle of anodized aluminum I found in my stash.  The center piece is sterling silver that I stamped with the letter "S" around the edges.  The 3 layers are held together with a rivet I made from 14 ga copper wire.  The bail is also copper, with a sterling rivet to attach it to the pendant.

The bottom layer of the next pendant  is a piece of copper from a sheet that I patinated (about 4 years ago -- I still have plenty of it left!) with an ammonia and salt concoction that I learned from Linda & Opie O'Brien's book Metal Discovery Workshop.  The middle layer is another piece of anodized aluminum that matches the aqua patina below it very nicely.  The center is a copper circle that I stamped.  The rivets and the bail are also copper.

This last piece is one I started while still in class 2 months ago.  All of the complex sawing was done in class, without a plan for how I would finish it.  This is sort of a no-no, as I've been taught to have a plan (thanks Christine!).  Having a plan ensures that all of the steps are completed in the proper order.  I can't tell you how important this is in a metalsmithing project.  Because of my lack of planning, I ended up with plenty of scratches that could have been avoided, and stupid time-wasting work-arounds.

Taking that into consideration, I think the piece turned out great!  I'm especially proud of the back, where I can show off my improved riveting skills:

I am so pleased with all of my pieces ~~ *pats self on back*

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sale in My Etsy Shop!

I'm having a sale in my etsy shop!  Use coupon code SUMMER20 to get 20% off your entire order.  This will be effective through Saturday, June 25.

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Aging Eyes ... Sigh

People of a certain age ... ahem ... will know what I mean when I say that I simply can't see the small stuff any more.  In all honesty, it's been going on for years, but I've been using some work-around techniques.  I'm extremely near-sighted and my glasses correct for distance vision.  When I take my glasses off (they are progressives) and hold my beads really close, I can see them perfectly!  I was finally getting tired of this silly work-around and invested in an optivisor.  The one I purchased has 3 interchangeable lenses of different magnifications.  So, when my eyes get even worse (is that possible?) I can change out the lens.

Why did I wait so long?!?!?!  This might possibly be the most important tool in my arsenal right now.  Plus, it's so flattering:

All I can say is that it's a good thing I work at home.  Alone.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Earrings in My Etsy Shop

I've continued to add new earrings to my etsy shop.  I sell necklaces too, but earrings are the bread & butter of my business, both online and locally.

You can click on any of the photos to go directly to the listings.  There are lots more, as I've been trying to add at least one new item per day.  I've also decided to let some older listings expire.  So, if you've had your eye on a particular piece of jewelry, now is the time to make your purchase.  Hint:  check the back pages of my etsy shop to see some of the oldest items that will expire soon.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Please don't hate me for sharing this .....

My regular readers know that I enjoy cooking and baking.  But a girl is still allowed a day off and a break from the kitchen, right?  So when I saw this item on etsy's front page, I immediately clicked the "add to cart" button.  Wouldn't you???

These are the most gorgeous gem-inspired truffles.  The package also includes macaroons.  Click the photo to go directly to the listing, so you can see what I mean.  I have not yet received them, but I will let you know when I do!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Artist Spotlight :: Karen Whitworth

I met Karen on Twitter -- yes, on Twitter!  I quickly became a great admirer of her work.  She is an extremely talented artist and a delightful young woman.  We had the opportunity to meet in person last week.  We had for an amazing lunch at Turkey Red in Palmer, where I've never had a disappointing meal.

The purpose of the meet-up was to complete a trade.  Karen wanted some of my jewelry and I fell in love with her chickens.  She made me a giclee print of the chickens, which she embellished with additional paint.  It truly looks like an original!

Be sure to visit her website to see all of her amazing work.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Garden Art

It's about time I shared with you Rick's latest creations.  In April, he was invited to participate in a show at Artique, in downtown Anchorage, focusing on the garden.  He created two amazing pieces of garden art, which I'm happy to say, sold very quickly!  Then he made two more. 

on display, at the gallery

and another, photographed at home

back at the gallery

There was one more that I don't think I have a photo of.  What you may not be able to see in these photos is that each sculpture has a small insect that Rick created from reclaimed parts and other stuff.

He has since created two more pieces for the upcoming show at the botanical gardens.  Will share photos of those later!