Thursday, April 29, 2010

Farmer's Market starts Sat!

I'm sooo excited, the DownTown Farmer's Market in Des Moines IA starts this Saturday, and I'm soooo there, selling my jewelry! (if you are in central Iowa check it out 7-12pm: One of my most popular items during farmer's markets are anklets, so here are a few new anklet styles for this season. I've made tons of new earrings:

All kinds of new pendants,
some using my very own fused glass:

and more wire jewelry! This cuff /bangle is made with 14GA sterling. And lots more! so come down to the farmer's market and see what I've been doing all winter!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On the Road Again....

Tomorrow Morning Jerry and I are heading to Magecon in South Sioux City NE for the weekend. I love this show.. I never make much money at it, but Jerry is happy because he gets to game all weekend. I love it because I get to hang with my good friends Cathie & Sue. We set up this huge mega booth ( one side my jewelry, one side theirs) and then we bead and make jewelry all weekend inside the combined booth.

The pendant is one of my glass cabs I've finished recently. The copper is hand cut, filed, sanded and then textured with hammers. I added a patina to bring out the lovely hammer marks, punched a few holes and then used sterling wire to "sew" the cab to the copper. I loved how this one turned out, and want to make more!

The decision to buy the kiln in December was one of the best decisions I've made business wise ever!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Posted for Carol.. Prom Night!

Hey Carol, they are done... I think they turned out great! Let me know what you thing and I'll get them in the mail no later than fri.. Thurs if I can swing it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

New At The Gallery.............

Fused Glass Art Pins! I just took my first batch in yesterday.. All are fused and kiln annealed by me, with pin backs. Only $10.00, these are a great way to own a small piece of wearable art. At this time these are only available through Central IA Artist Coop Gallery . Stop by Merle Hay Mall Sat-Sun to check them out.. along with art from over 25 other Iowa artists!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Frit load...

I got my work table cleaned off, and started to fuse again.. Thursday I ran a frit load.. here they are still in the mold!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The new stash from the Omaha show...

Last Saturday I went to the Bead show in Omaha NE hosted by the Bead Society there. It's always one of my favorite shows.. and the last few years I've gone down with several friends and we share a hotel to stay the night. This year wasn't any different.. Went down with Anne, Julie, Jodi, and Abigail, and met up with native Nebraskan Nancy. We had a blast buying stuff, eating at a really nice Italian restaurant. Did you know that Embassy Suites has a managers reception in the evening? Free Booze! WOOT! And Abigail bought wine for the room. After supper we all beaded/made jewelry and just had a really good time sharing our goodies and conversing.
Probably the most interesting thing I bought this year are watch parts. I'm never made anything steampunkish.. never felt like making anything like that before. But this watch part calls to me.. it wants to be something!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bead Trip Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the Bead Show in Omaha Ne! 4 friends and I are getting up and hitting the road by 9am tomorrow to shop, eat, and have a great time! I'll post my new "treasures" when I get back! In the mean time, check out some of the new Anklet styles I have for this year! All are made using sterling silver, pearls, semi-precious stones and crystals. Prices range from $20 to $26.00 I have a few more styles I'm working on.. my first show for the season is only 2 weeks away!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in the Jewelry world

Since my last few entries have a trend, why not continue? Only this time, it's taking something I started, then set aside, to pick up again a year or so later! This lovely little pendant is made using goldfilled wire, a very old Czech hand cut glass bead and crystals. What makes this extra special is the gold-wire is reused. Over a year ago I was making a wrapped cab pendant and misjudged the wire amount, or the wires weren't twisting right, or something... anyway, I didn't like how it looked, so I carefully took the cab out and put the gold wire bits in my used pile.

Like all good metalsmiths, when you have left over bits, or in this case, something that didn't work, you save them. There is only so much silver and gold in the earth, it's costly and if you save up a goodly pile, you can ship them back to your supplier for credit. Or you can melt them yourself, and reuse the metal that way. Sometimes you only need a inch or 2 of wire, and I go through my pile from time to time to get out the bigger pieces. Jewelry artist are the original recyclers, as this practice has been going on for hundreds and thousands of years!

Anyway, I was digging through my pile looking for a couple inches of goldfill for a headpin, and ran across this misshapen UN-pendant. I wish I'd taken a "before" picture, but it happened fast. I saw it, knew I could do something with it and in just a few minutes I had a new pendant, and no wasted wire!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

another project in process...

I was looking for another photo and ran across yet another project I started but didn't finish.. yet. Man I really need to get back to metalsmithing! The triangle is made out of Sterling silver, don't remember what gauge, probably 16 or 18. My plan was to solder it to the copper, making some sort of kewl pendant. problem is I had 2 MANY ideas of what I wanted to do. I have 2-1/2 pages in my sketchbook based on this simple idea. Before I decided which I wanted to do.. or all, I ran into summer show season and time constants. I have a couple of other metalworking projects in various stages. Normally I would have picked them back up before now, but I've been soooo enthralled by playing with the kiln! I'll get back to them eventually.

works in progress.....

OK, a few weeks ago I showed you a frit mold before firing, here is that picture again:

Here are the pieces after the first fire, and a close up of one of them. As you can see, they need some work before they are ready. You can see sort of raised bumps on the red close up? those are actually sharp points made when the frit melted and contracted. I either knock or grind those off. I usually add another layer of glass, or dichro or whatever seems to be "missing" from a piece. Then after that firing, I look again until I either feel it's "done" or I don't feel like working on it further. This is why some of my pieces are fired several times... I want it to look a certain way. If I can't achieve this, then the cab gets tossed in a pile, to work on at a later date, or maybe I turn it into a magnet. That way I'm not wasting any glass. I imagine if I get a big enough pile of rejects, I can turn them into frit the old fashion way and start over! ( old fashion method: insert glass into a pillow case. Take hammer)

Here is another piece in progress. This is all sterling wire and will be a necklace when I'm done. I will probably use pearls or rock crystal or both... how I want it to look keeps changing around in my head, so I'm not sure yet. It's a good start though, no?

I have several projects going right now. Like most artists I suspect. It's not that we don't want to pick something up and do it start to finish. Sometimes real life gets in the way, sometimes we have to start something else.. say a custom job, and have to put down what we are working on to get that done instead. And sometimes the vision in our heads change, or grow foggy. There is nothing wrong with letting the creative juices simmer abit. You can ruin something by not giving it time to properly gel. Sometimes you put something down, and don't pick it up again for a long long time, if ever. That's ok too. As long as your are learning something, even if it's as simple as "this isn't my bag", it's valuable.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

PMC Samples

Here is the batch of PMC I fired this weekend. I'm very pleased! I still need to clean them up alitte, and then I can make them into jewelry! For those who are not familiar with PMC, PMC is precious metal clay.. it's actually little bits ( really tiny little bits) of fine silver in a binder. You can roll it out just like play-do, let it dry and then fire it.
This one is totally made by me.. the glass cab I used I made! I need to add a bail.

I need to finish cleaning them up, then I'll probably add a patina to them to highlight the designs, clean them again, polish them, and hopefully sell them!