Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Out of the Studio

It's been a while (well, actually quite a while) since my last post - but I've been wanting to get back to blogging and sharing my thoughts, designs and process again. Over the past few years, I've gotten away from making beads and polymer for a bit but have been working towards bringing it back into my metalwork. Having come from working with metal first, I wanted to get back to that, learn more, and add elements like polymer, gemstones and different metals to my work.

This is one of my most recent pieces from the studio. The first is in progress:

And here's the finished piece:

The polymer was cold connected between sterling and copper. Whenever adding polymer to metal, it usually doesn't happen quickly for me. It seems to be a slower process than the bead making was. 

My studio has also expanded a bit. I seem to have taken over most of the downstairs. I've been acquiring tools (just another tool junkie). There's two tools I tend to use the most - my hydraulic press and my rolling mill. I enjoy making paper patterns with my Silhouette for the mill - which can also be used to texture polymer. I'll share some of those in the days to come!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Marvelous Monday

Sheila McDonald works wonders with enamel on 18ct gold and silver, paired with gold and silver leaf.  Her work is bold and her colors hit the spot.  If you've ever worked with gold or silver leaf, you'll be impressed with her intricate work.  I love how she uses the leaf to form shapes around color.  Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Marvelous Monday

After graduating college (with a BA in 3D design - silversmithing, jewelry & ceramics), Eric Moss went into graphic design as a career, while keeping his potting skills up sporadically at a local college.  It wasn't until 2005 when he decided to enter the commercial ceramics world - this was after a two week course in raku firing.  "My current forms are inspired by natural seeds and nuts, ringed planets, flower bracts and mechanical aero/spacecraft engine parts."  

The word that comes to mind when I look at his work is nestled.  Some of it brings back memories of the wooden Russian nestling dolls that my kids had when they were younger.  Just makes me want to play!  Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!


"Blue Orbalance"

"Seed Pods"

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Trip to Burlington, VT

I've been away again at one of Lily's last summer basketball tournaments. This time, it was a drive up to the beautiful city of Burlington, VT. Burlington is bustling with energy as it sits amidst several colleges. We managed to enjoy a nice relaxing meal with some friends at Sweetwaters. Sweetwaters is located on Church Street which feels very much like Faneuil Hall here in Boston. No cars are allowed on this street, theres lot's of shops, restaurants and people watching. We ate outside, drank the local beer, and enjoyed the view. Ben, my physical therapist, insisted I try Magic Hat, or not come home. It didn't disappoint!

While perusing the internetI saw this beautiful polymer collaboration piece by Annie Pennington and Jillian Palone. There's so much I love about this piece. The texture, the patina, the colors and the shape. Sweet!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Marvelous Monday

Is it just a coincidence that this week's post is about another Sante Fe artist or, as I'd like to think, is a ticket to Sante Fe in my near future?  Tracy Page Smith is a metalsmith who uses combinations of sterling, resin and pigments in her jewelry.  I love the her choice of simple shapes and combinations of color.

"After trying enamels years ago, I realized how much color inspired my forms and gave life to the metal." 
I hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Marvelous Monday

Originally from Northern Ireland, Carla Pennie has set up her studio in her home located in Santa Fe, New Mexico (one of my dream locations).  Of the numerous techniques that she uses with her metalwork, I found her resin inlay work to have this quiet beauty about them.  I like how she incorporates gold and sterling as the material to suspend in the resin.  This first photo reminds of minnows shimmering as the light catches them.

Yet this black resin and ivory inlay is such a strong piece with a tranquil quality as well.  Carla recently began incorporating scrimshaw design in her work.

To see more of her work, be sure to visit her website here.  Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I've got about 40 minutes or so before I'm off to a doctor's appt. . . my first post-op appt.  Which brings me to where I've been. . . for probably 20 years or so I've had a hip problem that went undiagnosed. In fact, labral tears were never diagnosed until three years ago. Long story short, it created a messy problem with my hip.  So much so that I had to have a hip replacement.  I had a scheduled surgery for late in May and am three weeks into recovery.  I spent two days in the hospital and then was released.  They teach you to go upstairs in the hospital, and as long as you can maneuver that, you're good to go.  I do have stairs in my house, so climbing the stairs as I had done in the past looked a little different for a while.  I tend to stay to the right side of the stairs so anyone coming up the stairs is in the left "passing lane".  My faithful dog Luca is the only one who wants to walk behind me.  In fact, he's always by my side.  He's the epitome of man's best friend.

I was able to get rid of the crutches at two weeks (and began driving again) and am now using a cane.  On good days, I try to walk without it.  I started outpatient physical therapy this week.  I'm looking forward to seeing my doctor today as I've got a couple pages of questions for him. . . fortunately, I did listen to my p.t. who told me to write down questions as they came up.

So, what does one do when recovering?  For me, for some reason I couldn't get into the book "Defending Jacob" as I had planned.  I've always seemed to need to get up and move too much.  Which really doesn't explain why I managed to watch way too much t.v.!  But as far as the studio goes, I really haven't spent much time there at all.  For the first 1 1/2 weeks or so, I had no desire to even turn on my computer.  Go figure.  Getting into the studio just feels like too big of a task at the moment.  So things may be quiet for a while - but I will definitely get back to at least my Monday posts.  Until then . . .

Monday, June 18, 2012

Marvelous Monday

I had all these intentions of scheduling numerous "marvelous Monday" posts during my recent unannounced break.  I even intended on writing a quick note to let you know I'd be gone.  But unfortunately, you know what they say about best laid intentions, right?  I promise to write about my disappearance from the internet this Wednesday.  Unfortunately though, it's totally unrelated to polymer or anything possibly artistic. I've only just recently started catching up with blogs for a little inspiration.  My life had been pretty uncreative for about three weeks now.  But it's good to be back.

So, seeing that it's Monday, I wanted to share the work of Angela Bubash.  She's a talented metalsmith professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  I was instantly enamored with her "fins" line of jewelry - it's quite extensive - you can view it on her website here.  I swear I was hearing coral reefer music the moment I clicked.  And upon a closer look at her stones, I was surprised to see what some of them were - dyed feathers!  Would you have guessed?



Monday, April 23, 2012

Marvelous Monday

Sarah Lindsay is a jeweler who developed a unique process in creating her "dust" jewelry.  She mixes her color palettes from acrylic dust. The dust is then laminated by heat treating it into solid slices. It has an agate-like appeal and her color palettes are vivid yet very soft.  Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Horizontal Growth- a Business Strategy

A number of months back, I purchased the Swanstrom disc cutter.  I had made the decision to start making more jewelry and one of the things I wanted to create more of, using the disc cutter, were earrings with circular components made from metal.  I've shown a couple photos of these in the past.  But the business side of me thought maybe I should do something with this tool to help cover the cost of this investment.  Innocent enough, right? I already had my Etsy supply shop set up previously that was used to de-stash some supplies, so I thought I would put a few disc shapes in there for sale. I already had some sterling, copper and brass sheet in different gauges so I began making a few different sizes.  The sales started trickling in soon after. And once the shop was set up, having a product line that I could just re-list rather than individually creating a listing for each sure made my life simpler.  What I didn't plan on was how busy I would be during the months of October through December.   My intention was to create a little side business that would allow me to make my art jewelry at a leisurely pace - and not have to create one or two listings per day as they suggest in the Etsy world.  But what happened was I became immersed in this side business.

So where am I headed?  Having done this over the past 10 years or so, I have much stronger sense of what my strengths and weakness are as well as what I'm willing to do and what I'm not.  If you've been following my blog, through this transition of work activity, what's remained for the most part has been my Monday posts.  That's my passion. I love being inspired by and sharing the art jewelry that I come across during the week.  But I also want to be able to step back and create more of that.  I'd joined the Boston Metal Clay Guild in the fall of 2010 and I intend on using base metal clay in some of that (like the earrings below).

But I know that there is also a need for components in jewelry, especially something a little more artful.  So I purchased my dream machine - the Durston rolling mill.  I've been experimenting with textures and hope to soon add these not only to my jewelry, but also my supply shop.  (http://naftalisupply.etsy.com)

Here's a little sample of some of the textures I've done with the mill.  I haven't nearly had enough time to spend creating textures with it but I've always got an eye out for that special item from the hardware, fabric or craft store!

Through this busy transition, I plan on continuing with my Monday posts and my Out of the Studio posts because they seem to be what most of you want to see and hear.  So stay tuned for what's in the works for Naftali.