Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I'd spend a lot more time in my studio if I could. I'm having such fun creating jewelry again. I made a small series of these sweet little sterling earrings with soldered-on earwires. You will find my growing collection on my Etsy shop link.

This pair hosts little blossoms with cool textures and patterns hammered into their surface. The earwires are springy and will hold their shape, and I spend time making the points smooth.

Building toward more complex pieces...

I had such fun making this silver and brass Blossom Ring. It took many steps, from sawing the shapes to texturing them to contouring them to putting them all together. Not even I knew exactly how it would turn out!

The blossom itself is .999 fine silver. Its center and the rivet beside it are red brass. And the ring band is a wrapped style and made of sterling siver. The band has a hammer texture and a few stamped features.

It's very smooth and comfortable to wear. You can see it on my Etsy shop!



Saturday, May 28, 2011

Please visit my Earrings Extravaganza on my Etsy shop!

I've had such fun making a handful of new copper and silver earrings in the past few days! And the best way to see them all is to visit my Etsy shop, at this link:


This pair is made of recycled copper, which I hand stamped with metal tools. Their earwires are handcrafted of sterling. These are in the Sunburst design!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Striving for an original vocabulary...

When I took a week-long metalsmithing course at Arrowmont (Gatlinburg, TN) many years ago, my instructor stressed that we reach for a private language inside of ourselves.

I've spent about 16 years since then working toward that. A lot of metal design work is about mastering tools and skills, but it is also about thinking and finding concepts we enjoy making so we can cast our signature upon them.

My signature style includes mixing copper with sterling. I love copper's warmth, how it reveals texture and other surface embellishment, and how its coloring can be manipulated into so many colors. It also helps to keep my designs affordable, as silver costs soar beyond where they have been for almost 40 years.

I will be posting new earrings on my Etsy shop soon!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Please visit my Facebook fan page at: 

A lot of my work is posted there and you can dialogue with me there, too.

I added the 'My Etsy' feature to my FB fan page tonight, making it easy to see works for sale.

Would love it if you 'share' my fan page and blog with anyone you think would like my work! Thanks!

This is my Long-Leaf Pendant, in copper with a heat patina and sterling. See more views of it on my Etsy shop!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Etsy team: Aspiring Metalsmiths!

When you visit my page on Etsy, you'll find I'm a new member of the Etsy team, Aspiring Metalsmiths. If you'll click on that link, it will take you to the pages of many other metalsmiths posting great works on their own Etsy shop pages!

If you're as passionate about the artform called metalsmithing as I am, you can pass many an evening exploring their pages. Many also have their own blogs, which will usually be listed in their Etsy profiles.

I like to think that there are three basic forms of modern jewelry in the world: fine jewelry (gold, diamonds, precious stones, platinum) typically bought in jewelry stores; costume jewelry (often embodying great design value but low intrinsic value re: the materials these are made with -- and often found in fashion boutiques and department store jewelry departments); and art jewelry (which can be made of almost any material, including precious metals and stones and which embody interesting design value -- and are handmade in an artist's studio!).

Art jewelry tends to be of limited edition or one-of-a-kind. The artist starts with raw materials and fabricates them into something artistic and unique. (Metalsmithing is a large category within art jewelry.)

Some recent pieces... This one is a sterling blossom soldered to a copper tab, which has a heat patina from my torch. The pendant is linked to a sterling chain. 

I love creating imagined flowers and leaves, reminiscent of my childhood illustrations. 

New from my studio...

I call these my 'Spiral Post' ear studs. I draw a bead at the bottom of a sterling wire and then wind up the spiral. 

They're wonderful worn alone or in your second (or third!) ear piercing. They come with nice sterling earring clutches.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Growing gardens in metal...

 Every once in awhile, I create a complex Trapezoid Tab Necklace. Each one is one-of-a-kind. This time, the necklace is all metal: copper, sterling, brass.

I explore my whimsical side in these pieces and this is a new piece in my Imagined Botanicals series.It's available on my Etsy online shop, and this is the link:                       http://www.etsy.com/listing/74377896/copper-sterling-fan-necklace?ref=pr_shop

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My little home studio!

I have three workbenches in my little studio, but on these I manage to design and create metalwork jewelry.

This photo shows my solder station (aqua & yellow table at left) and my hammer station (old rustic desk at right). In the center is my acetylene torch.


This is my multi-function workbench. To the left is my hammer station where I forge and texture metal with my many hammers and forming tools. The hammer stand hosts about 20 hammers and other shaping tools. In the right corner is my polishing station (my dremel is just out of the shot, hanging on a hook on the side of the bench).

The wall hanger holds some of my rubber stamp collection, from when I worked in metal clay. You can also see my anvils and auto body tools. 

And this is my third workbench, where I design and assemble jewelry. My dremel drill press is on the right and in the center hang my jeweler's pliers and cutters. Many kinds of metal wire are also stored in this area and my new TV (for keeping an eye on world affairs!) is at the top right of this pic.

My studio is tiny: 10' x 12' and is squeezed into the smallest room in our house, forcing me to micro-miniaturize my equipment while still allowing me to dream big in metal!

My recent e-newsletter!

Not so very long ago, I co-owned and co-managed a craft/art gallery in Tallahassee (Humidity Gallery). It closed this past January. But the gallery's online social media has evolved, and my former business partner and I released an e-newsletter announcing our new endeavors, including our new Etsy shops.

This link will take you to that newsletter:

You may join our newsletter email list by clicking on its 'join' button!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Poppy Pendant is a bold piece comprised of four concentric disks. The large disk is copper. It is held together by a sterling 'cold connection' and hangs from an antique brass neckwire.

See more details by following this link to my Etsy shop?