Friday, September 19, 2014

Papoose Reworked

Strung on deliciously caramel colored walnut jasper.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Chocolate Cowboy

Another truffle mould, with agate beads strung on knotted silk, set in copper.  My continuing adventures with hand engraving are shown on the back of the setting.  I love the soft, autumnal colors of the beads, as if taken from a forest on the edge of autum, with soft greens, caramel browns, creams and yellows.  I have used a star milagro for a chain tag, and scratched my initials on the back.  Will list this soon in my Etsy store.  The papoose pendant is being reworked with walnut jasper beads of a delicious color, to call to mind walnut vanilla creme.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My Inner Papoose

The chocolate mold (positive part) now set as a pendant in a short necklace of hazelnut twigs, unakite, and antique carved wooden rosary bead with a handmade hook and eye catch, strung on knotted silk.  The hazelnut twigs are traditionally used by First Nations people for healing purposes, and they have been found to have antioxidant properties; the similar use of copper is well known, so I think of this little necklace as a talisman for healing.  The papoose looks a little like a chrysalis, too, and I find her irresistable, myself!  Even if you don't go for the healing theme, the colors are gentle and earthy, which makes it good for autumn.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hen Scratchings

Do you want to take up an arcane and demanding art? Try hand engraving. The tools must fit your hand ergonomically; you must have a super-expensive swiveling vise, googobs of patience, gimlet focus, and absolute mindfulness. Of course I have none of those. Just a roll of masking tape, a block of wood, some tools from school that I never learned to use properly, and I am too timid to sharpen them or shorten them, for fear of ruining the temper of the steel. But! I am trying anyway, since it occurred to me that plain sheet metal settings could be a bit more interesting with some patterns on them. Here are some of my scratchings, on a copper setting of a very interesting little object: a maquette for a chocolate mold from an out of business chocolate shop somewhere in Wyoming. Yup, it's a "papoose" that came in a set with a war bonneted chief, a horse and covered wagon. Very American -- wipe everything out and turn its vestiges into souvenirs. Mow down the trees and call it Walnut Hill, pave paradise, etc.  Then go out of business.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Work Table!

It is high enough to put my file cabinets beneath, and thick enough for my mandrel clamp, and long enough for more tool stations.  The fresh pine smells great.  Next, a peg board for the wall, to hang my hammers, and with luck, a jeweler's bench, second hand.  Yipeeee!

Friday, August 1, 2014

WIP Octopus Brooch

With my studio uprooted and waiting for the new built-in work table, I am taking my time with the foundations of this project.  The top photo is a sheet of tin, 4 by 4 inches, with multiple layers of gesso, prismacolor pencil, and matte finish acrylic spray, baked between layers and cured.  The layering and successive sealing and baking enabled me to begin to show the changeability of the fascinating octopus.  Below is a preliminary sketch.  The body and mantle will be die pressed, and the tentacles and other details will be riveted-on layers of tin.  I'm researching the wonderful creature, as well, and am finding many admirable and loveable qualities in their natural history.

What we think of the "head" is actually the body that holds all the organs, and internal gills connected to siphons.  There is so much to learn about them, it just feeds my fascination, and adds energy to my creative forces!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Something to Feast Your Eyes

Feeling starved of dazzle and joyousness for your eyes?  Go visit this blog. For pure sumptuousness, there are few rivals to Kate Boyan's beadwork.