Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blogging for the ages...

One of my missions in life is to make sure no one is left out of anything important. And I feel that art -- and artisan jewelry, in particular -- is important.

In this age when we are instantly linked to one another (when we see protests and revolutions fomented by social networking), we are held in thrall to all of the information zipping around.

I want to be sure that some of that chatter is about art and design and craft. So I do my part.

One of my new passions is to curate 'treasuries' on Etsy (an online crafts marketplace). This satisfies the former gallery owner in me, as I put together little exhibits of works illustrating a theme or point of view.

On Etsy anyone -- customer or vendor/artist -- can put together a treasury list of 16 things they love, give it a name, add live links, and send it out into the world. I do this about twice a day these days. It fulfills my urge for presenting a curriculum on metalsmithing and art jewelry. And reminds me of one of the joys of running a gallery.

So, I hope you'll click on the following links to several of my recent Etsy treasuries and join me in this journey.

Pictured above are my new Maple Seed Earrings in fold-formed copper, with facted lemon quartz. The earwires and cold connections are sterling silver. The copper bears a heat patina from my torch. All pieces, except for the faceted stones, were handmade in my home studio. These and other things are found in my online Etsy shop: CityRusticJewelry!


This is my treasury about fine metalsmithing and colorful set stones:

This is my treasury about cast metal jewelry:

And this is my treasury of handcrafted blossom rings:

I hope you enjoy each one!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

We live in a spiral galaxy...

The Milky Way is shaped as a spiral and humans have always sensed the spiraling, cyclical nature of life. Metalsmiths have, from Day One, created them in this most elastic of materials.

I just just curated a treasury on Etsy: "We Live in a Spiral Galaxy," and I focused on the many ways metalsmiths relate to and create the spiral form.

From ancient petroglyphs to today, we exist in a spiraling galaxy we can't escape. And, why would we want to?

Pictured at left are my Spiral Post earrings in sterling silver. I have always used spirals in my work. These simple ones are great for second earring holes! Available in my Etsy shop.

You can see this new treasury on Etsy by following this link!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dots as Design Element

I've curated an Etsy treasury based on dots used in metalsmiths' design. It's a list of 16 really charming pieces using dots in a variety of ways.

Dots lend great detail and repeated pattern. Circles and round forms are usually both interesting and restful to the eye. They provide texture, too.

The piece at left is my minimalist Leaf Pendant. The dots are varied. Some are raised dots, some circles, some drill holes. And the round black onyx stone is encased in a round bezel. All of this on a brushed oval platform.

This link with take you to the Etsy treasury I curated called 'Dots!'

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Awakening to Fine Metalsmithing

I think of 'fine metalsmithing' as those pieces where an art jeweler makes something more difficult, amazing and complex, that goes a little beyond the ordinary.

While art jewelers often make affordable, more accessible everyday pieces, they will  break from their routine to create a coup de gras piece now and then.

I've curated a new treasury of Etsy metalsmiths' work to illustrates this.

As I come to understand how metalsmithing is done, I can see deeper and deeper into the methodologies and thinking of the artists who create it.

Though some pieces in the treasury could also be defined as 'fine jewelry' because they use gold or precious stones, the artful invention of these pieces anchor them firmly within my definition of 'fine metalsmithing.'

Please follow this link to see my treasury:  Coup de Gras: Fine Metalsmithing on Etsy I

The necklace in the photo, above, is my Trapezoid Fan Necklace. I fabricated it in copper and sterling silver. Each piece is handmade in my studio by me. I consider it one of my coup de gras pieces!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In a Minimalist, Contemporary Mood...

I was recently struck by a different creative mood and made this Contemporary Leaf Pendant.

It is made of darkened sterling silver, bright sterling and back onyx.

It features 'dots' in flattened sterling 'stepping stones,' sterling tube slices and round drill holes.

Its self-bail is the stem of the leaf wrapped backward, large enough to accommodate many chains, omegas and cables.

The black onyx cabachon is set in fine silver bezel wire.

I'll be producing more works in this vein before too long, as it was fun to make.

You can find this and many other metalsmithing and fold-formed pieces in my Etsy shop. This is the link to this piece, in my shop:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August Sunshine: Golden Rutile Quartz!

Summer isn't my favorite season in the deep South of the U.S. Hot. Humid. Buggy. Muggy. Ick.

But, the visuals are stunning. Everywhere it is verdant beyond belief. An orgy of green accented with blossoms everywhere. A second springtime, but more intense.

The golden rutilated quartz cabachon I set into this copper Trapezoid Pendant echoes the bouncing sunlight that is everywhere when it's not raining. You can almost feel it.

Two views of my Trapezoid Pendant with golden rutilated quartz. To the copper trapezoid, I soldered a shapely sterling silver leaf (with hammer textures from a chasing tool) and several flattened sterling 'stepping stones.' Drill holes in the copper repeat the circular motif found throughout the piece. (It's linked to an 18" stering chain with sterling toggle clasp.) Available on my Etsy shop at: