Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Class items....... And Jodie Marshall is my favorite Lampwork Lady!

Last Weekend was fun... My hubby went out of down to a convention, so my Friend Anne, her daughters and another friend Jody came over to hang... we also went to the bead show held in West Des Moines. One of my favorite ( as in I want to lampwork like her when I grow up) lampworkers Jodie Marshall was there! I had to buy some of her beads of course.. and the naughty woman slipped an extra bead in my bag when I wasn't looking! Don't worry, sometime when she least expects it, I"ll pay her back! BWAHAHAHA!! But I thought she would like to see what I made with a few of the beads I'd bought... a simple pendant... and these earrings! I loved how the earrings turned out!! They almost "float" under the ear wire.. it's very interesting effect, and something I"ll have to make more of! Jodie's beads are always very inspiring! See more of her work here:

Here are a couple more pics of components I've made in Titanium. I love the watercolor blends you can get on Titanium! The moon shows this off pretty well!

Last is my favorite niobium piece to date.. a leaf! I hand cut this out of niobium 26 ga sheet, sanded, drilled, and colored.. soon to be in a very kewl necklace, have no fears!!!
Next time I"ll show off a few pieces of actual finished jewelry using Titanium and Niobium.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Update on my class....

I've gotten asked how my class is going.. and my answer is it's wonderful! I'm taking a class that shows how to work with Titanium and Niobium. The first picture shows a pile of findings and charms I've made. Notice the lovely light steely-grey cast to the metals. Most of the stuff in this photo is Niobium. Next few photos are components I've made. The flower and frame are Niobium, as well as the right pair of earwires after they have been anodized. The left pair of earrings is Titanium, which has a matte look in comparison. The colors are brighter and kewler in person! I'll have actual finished jewelry soon don't worry, but I"m having fun making the components at the moment!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

More Framed Earrings.....

I made the frames on these earrings using "bezel forms". These are the kewlest tools, I bought a set at Christmas for myself as a Prezzie.... and they are worth every penny. I've made a few pendants using them, which is what they were made for, but I've used them for other wire bending tasks... like the oval frame on the purplely-blue earrings and the triangle on the hematite ones. I've also made handmade ear wires using them, like pictured below. I call these my leaf earrings, but I actually used the teardrop shaped bezelform. If you are a wire artist, you should check them out: I know on some of the artist groups I'm on there has been "talk" that the bezelforms are cheating. I really take umbrage at that... before I bought these I still used something to help shape the earrings, including traditional mandrels and sharpie pens. Bezel forms are like 1 inch long mandrels. They are easy to hold on to, and fit well in my hands. These bezel forms just makes it easier, it doesn't make it less handmade. I still have to cut the wires to the correct length, hold them just so to make the shapes against the bezel form, carefully hammer flat part of the curve so they fit properly, file and sand the ends so they are not sharp or harmful to wear, and then tumble them in my tumbler to polish and work harden them. All of this takes knowledge and experience. To me saying that if you use a form makes them less somehow.. well if you cannot use tools to make your art, what are you going to do, cut the wire with your teeth???? I assure you, I use hygienic Linstrom cutters on all of my earwires!! Using tools as an artist is just being a smart artist, not a cheat!

Monday, February 9, 2009

wow, the difference natural lighting makes......

More experiments ... picture one taken with otts lights probably late at night... and 2nd picture, taken last weekend with natural light through my studio window. Wow! I need to play around with angles, but it really is all about lighting baby!

The sterling leaves here will be in etsy this week... part of my art jewelry components I've been working on. They match the sterling pendant leaf I've got listed already:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Playing with backgrounds....

One of my goals this year is better pictures, at least for etsy and my website. So here is an attempt to better capture clear/white items. First up is a lovely pendant I made ( and it's a "hint" on the challenge piece, hint hint) with clear crystals and pearls. It's about 2 inches around if you are curious.. against new "normal" background, it looks alittle washed out.

One of the websites for photo tips suggested black velvet. Second photo is black velvet.. while it really "pops" it does lack some detail.. I think in this case my lighting was too strong!

Here is another case, a pair of earrings in sterling and clear crystal. Again, it pops on the black, but the silver is too bright and lacks detail. Last photo is just the black.. the light background didn't turn out at all.
Let me know what you think!