Saturday, September 26, 2009

Matter Gallery

Hi everyone!! I am lost somewhere in the redwoods right now... it's beautiful and oh-so-inspiring. Squeezing in the time to work on new pieces is proving to be quite tricky, but I'm certainly not giving up! Yesterday, I actually set up shop at a picnic table at a state park, surrounded by tall trees and fog... not bad, huh?!

I hope to have these pieces wrapped up and photos to share soon... but, in the meantime, I have an exciting announcement... Matter just opened!! Matter showcases functional art with a reclaimed/sustainable theme... and my jewelry is featured!! If you're near Olympia, WA (or feel like making a field trip), stop in and say hi to Jo and check out all of the creative goodness!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Confession: It's a bit strange to be on the road...

As an Etsy seller, I'm signed up to receive emails from them about updates and tips and all the goings-on. Lately, there have been a lot of great improvements and happenings. And, to be honest, as I scrolled through them all the other night, I found myself feeling a bit detached from it all and kinda sad about it.

I used to spend hours trolling through Etsy and thinking about my shop there and reading the EtsyMetal forums (and, basically, being virtually connected to the whole hand-crafted world). These days, I'm rarely online. I'm having a fantastic time exploring and learning - and I really need this time of pushing myself to think outside of my "usual" - but it's finally starting to all sink in that I'm living a very different life these days.

Part of the goal, in bringing all of my tools with me, was to keep working and keep growing my jewelry line - and to not just totally run away from everything. Over the past month and a half, I have effectively run away and learned how to "be" on the road for an extended period of time. But, I haven't quite figured out how to be "productive" while traveling.

The other day, I created a pair of headbadges for a couple that we've been staying with out on Orcas Island. I finally broke out my portable studio and did some work - and it felt really great. So, I know that I can find that happy medium - I just have a lot work ahead of me to figure out how to incorporate these things that I used to be more connected with into this vagabonding experience.

In the meantime, a few more photos of things that have been inspiring me on the road:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival: My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry

I am terribly late in posting this for the EtsyMetal Blog Carnival. I'm going to cop out and use the excuse that I wasn't near a computer and the internet for long enough to get this up in time. But, better late than never, right? :)

The EtsyMetal group that I'm a part of started this once-monthly blog carnival where a bunch of us would post on the same topic. This month, the topic is "My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry." I'm actually going to put up two pieces, one was my first metalsmithed item (which happened to not be jewelry, even though it was for a jewelry class), and the other is my first metalsmithed jewelry. So... drumroll, please...

My First Metalsmithed Item...

This was my first project in my first metalsmithing class. The task was to take a 4"x4" piece of copper and, by only piercing the sheet, create something 3-dimensional (in other words, no soldering, no riveting, nothing too complicated). The idea was to learn how to be creative in creating a 3-D object and to understand the ways in which metal is brilliant when it isn't flat and to learn to think outside of that typical 2-D mentality.

I chose to create this design with two people intertwined and dancing because I wanted to have fun with the project and create something the felt very kinetic and unusual. And that would also make you stop and have to think about the fact that "stood up" out of the flat sheet. It was a lot of fun to create and is still one of my most favorite pieces. (And in storage while I'm traveling.)

My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry...

This was also a project for my first metalsmithing class. (In fact, it was my final project, after doing a lot of practice and non-jewelry pieces.) The task was to create a hollow-formed ring that was at least 2" in one dimension.

This piece was hard. I had to work through several designs before I finally hit on one that was 3-D enough for my instructor and fun enough for me. And, man, it turned out to be extremely challenging! The ring body is hollow-formed out of sterling. The flowers were roller-printed, pierced and riveted on. Then I attached a piece of piano wire, coiled it and attached the bug. I used the piano wire was at the suggestion of my instructor, who rightly told me that it was have much more spring and I wouldn't have to work-harden it as much as a piece of sterling or copper wire. The only problem with the piano wire is that it's extremely brittle after being heated. So, I snapped several pieces (post-soldering) before I got one that worked. It was a huge exercise in patience (I remember wanting to throw the thing against the wall after the piano wire snapped for the fourth time), and I'm extremely glad that I stuck with it. I had visions of wearing it to gallery openings (which I used to do a lot), but I never have, because I'm slightly terrified that the wire will break again. (At this moment, it is very carefully packed and in storage.)

Read other EtsyMetal member entries (these ones were done on time!):
- Andes Cruz
- Beth Cyr
- Caitlyn Davey
- Clare Stoker
- Cynthia Del Giudice
- Danielle Miller-Gilliam
- Delias Thompson
- DuckduckGoose
- Kerin Rose
- Libby Rosas
- Nina Dinoff
- Nina Gibson
- Quercus Silver
- Sara Westermark
- Tamra Gentry