Monday, July 25, 2011

What I'm Working On....

It's been far too long since I've updated my blog, so I thought it would be great to jump back in with a post about things I'm currently working on here in my studio, and since it was also selected as this month Aspiring Metalsmith's Blog roll theme, it was perfect timing! I always have many projects going at once...sometimes certain ones will be put on the "back burner" while I work on new idea that comes up, or because I have customer orders to fill, or just because I am not inspired to sit and finish them. The picture above shows a pretty Sillimanite faceted bead and a sterling silver ring, which will eventually become a hammered hoop necklace. I started on this one piece back in April.

This picture below is my sketch of the next stone set piece I'll be working on, featuring two cabs cut by Laura of Cabbing Rough. They are so pretty together, and will be blooming into a pretty flower themed necklace! You can see the sketch next to it, which I did for the finished necklace that's in my shop can see how it turned out here. I always do up a couple of sketches when deciding how I was to set a cabochon. I find it helps a lot to have something to refer back to, and I make changes as I go. This is the first rough sketch for this piece.
This next picture shows a simple set of three sterling rings, which still need to be textured and polished, and will be listed in my shop soon. I use my old Looney Tunes mouse pad under my bench block so I don't scratch my table....I love the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes! Whose your favorite character? Mine is a toss up between Michigan J. Frog and Gossamer....
And lastly are these sweet kitty and baby whale pendants still waiting to be sawed out and finished. I sketched these out over two years ago, and these poor creatures have been waiting to come to life for far too long. One of these days I'll get around to them.... I hope anyway! :)
And that's what I'm working on see what my fellow team mates are working on in their studios, please check out the links below.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Loving My Rocks!!

I have become quite the stone collector in the last year....I've always been a collector of things...all of my's in my blood. My passion for rocks started last year when I realized that I could actually incorporate them into my art, and share their beauty with others. How exciting it is, to take something from the earth, that in some cases is millions of years old, and turn it into a piece of wearable art that can be enjoyed for years to come!

Their allure is undeniable....the sparkle of druzy entices me....
The beauty and mystery of tiny transparent windows tingles my imagination...
The power of stunning turquoise calls to my soul....
And I can't resist the sparkling crystals that catch my eye, and make me stare with wonderment and awe....
Such things of tiny interesting....some may say they are just rocks, stones, just hardened hunks of earth....but really they are so much more.....
I love looking at my rock collection...and really, I do hope to make some jewelry with them, to share with others....really I do...but, some are just so pretty, just so amazing, that I may not be able to part with them....they may have to stay here with me just a little while longer.....
I'm sure you'll understand....right? I mean, we all have our vices....and some of these recently acquired stones, I just couldn't bear to part with....they are just so stunning!
Please take a peek at my fellow Aspiring Metalsmith's blog posts, to see their rock collections. Maybe you'll be enticed to start a new collection yourself! :)

Autumn Bradley -
Clarity @ Scrollwork Designs -
Stacy Low -
Chrissi Lynn Designs -
Sylvia Anderson -
Jessica @ Abella Blue -
Contemporary Jewelry by Beatriz Fortes -
Esmeralda -
Steph Stargell -
Pennee -
Silver Pearl Jewelry and Metalworks -
ArtistiKat -
Claire -

Monday, January 24, 2011

My Humble Metalsmithing Journey....

This months Aspiring Metalsmiths group blogroll theme is to show the first piece of jewelry that we made and talk about where we started. Well, I don't think I have a picture of the actual first piece of jewelry that I made, due to my computer crashing last year, but I was able to dig up a photo of some pieces made shortly after, and that were pretty much along the same lines. I have always loved jewelry, and bought a few books with projects that seemed right up my alley, and then started playing....

These collage charm pendants were made a few years ago, using glass, copper foil tape, decorative papers and vintage images. I soldered them closed using silver based soft-solder, flux and a soldering iron....much like working with stained glass.
From there I bought a few more books, and taught myself to do some basic wire wrapping, and started working with gemstone beads, and sterling is one of the first necklaces that I made utilizing those techniques.

After making many charm necklaces, and wire wrapped necklaces and earrings, I felt I was ready to push my skills to the next level, and signed up for a four day intensive beginning silversmithing class at my local lapidary shop. I was hooked! Here is the first completed metalsmithed piece that came out of that class...I hand sawed out the pieces, forged the metal, soldered the bail, oxidized and polished it. I used several different tools and equipment...and learned a lot along the way.
I started putting my new found skills to work by adding simple soldered pieces like this sterling floral bangle to my jewelry portfolio. I have made many of these over the last year, and they helped improve my techniques and finishing skills.
So all of these little steps...working with new materials, trying new techniques, reading and learning...pushing myself to that next step, brings me to where I am today, and where I hope to go. These are two pieces that I have completed in the last two weeks...I think they are good examples of where I am headed on this journey. I hope you'll stay along for the ride. :)

Please take some time to stop by my fellow Aspiring Metalsmither's and read about their humble beginnings by clicking the links below.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy 2011!!!

Happy New Year everyone! I am a bit late with my first post of the new year, but I wanted to wait until I had something interesting to post about. I finally finished my first new piece of the year and listed it in my Etsy shop yesterday. This is a one of a kind champagne quartz heart necklace....Valentine's Day is around the corner, and I wanted to get a jump start on it!

I love how this necklace turned out, and I hope that it will make someone very happy this year.

I entered it into a contest as well....The Handmade Gift Guide is running a Valentine's Day themed contest, and the winner will get a free spot in the showcase. If you'd like to vote for my necklace you can do that here.....mine is at the very bottom...number 32. The contest runs for three more days...thanks in advance for sharing your love! :)

In other news, I am on an early Spring cleaning spree, throwing out the old, and organizing as I go. My studio is in a bit of a shambles after the holiday's so I am starting there, and working my way through the house. I hope to get that finished up in the next week. Having a clean space helps my creativity I think, or at least I don't feel guilty thinking I should be doing something else while I'm working in my studio!

I been amassing a collection of gorgeous new cabochons and beads in the last year, and will be introducing a new line of jewelry soon. I am excited, and can't wait to share it with everyone, but I have to finish a few pieces first to get things rolling! Stay tuned for some sneak peaks....

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!