Tuesday, November 27, 2012
It's quite easy to do, and I made a bunch of molds of items that Jen had that looked gorgeous so I can use them in the future pieces.
Here are the molds ready for the resin.
You can't really tell what will come out of a few of them, but I have at least one to show you - the only one I made into a piece of jewelry already. See the one on the top right corner?
Here it is all made into a resin piece and colored with Gilder's paste.
I paired it with another component I made at the workshop using a new technique - creating hollow forms with resin paper. The glitter inside the bezel moves around with the movement of the piece.
Then I hammered some bronze wire till kingdom and riveted it, to break the shape of the molded resin and the bezel, since they're the same.
It's a really long necklace and large too. I don't think I'll be selling it, and maybe not wear it either - I think I'll just hang it in my studio as a reminder of an awesome trip.
The one thing I retained most from the workshop was to be more adventurous with materials and tools, and free myself from preconceived ideas of how things should look like. I was so happy that with time my wrapped loops had become so perfectly symetrical, and when I looked at Susan's loops and saw how "carefree" they looked and how that actually made the piece more interesting (at least in my eyes), it opened a new door for me.
We were making resin paper and I decided to use a leaf that was part of our kit to create a large riveted pendant - and played with fire and oil pastels to give it texture. I used eyelets on the paper and then wrapped to the hammered and riveted piece.
Another one to adorn my studio.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Except that happens to me sometimes with jewelry - I have this image in my brain of what something will look like, I think I have all the tools, supplies and the ability - and when it's done, it has nothing to do with what the coggs in my brain are showing me. hmmmm....
Mind you, this time, it was not my fault. I hate you, colored aluminum tubes!
I wanted to make metal earrings with either negative space holes, or resin-filled holes, and I wanted a dangling bead matched by tubular rivets in the same color as the bead and the resin! I bought the colored aluminum tubing for my rivets, waiting the longest time as usual for them to arrive (if they did at all - thank you mail system for keeping things surprising for me) and then proceeded to make my earrings - beads and all had already been selected.
So here they are:
To make myself feel better, made a bunch of my favorite earrings:
1) my clients sometimes have no idea how much work goes into the process, or how long it can take - but maybe it's my responsibility to be better at talking about my work;
2) that while I make one pair of these, someone makes 3 necklaces stringing handmade beads from other artists in an artistic way and selling them.
But then again, that's not my path, and I always wanted to see my blood, sweat and tears in my work - the more the merrier. So I guess that's ok.
Disclaimer: I have a bunch of gold-filled earwires I bought at the very beginning and I'm trying to save a penny of two, so I used them in these earrings instead of making my own as usual. So sue me.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
When we were in Paris, the concierge at out hotel wasn't the most polite and friendly person in the world and his favorite word was certainly "Non!" He actually ended up inspiring the first piece I made in Durfort. It is called "Monsieur Non". I used a picture of a man and took my revenge upon the concierge by painting his moustache red and giving him pink eye shadow. Used some sparkle and did not seal the paper so that the resin would seep in and make it look older. I applied the resin in layers, engraving the word "non" and using paint to highlight it.
The metal piece above it was another example of what we learnt. Susan taught us to use a forming block to create different shapes, and then we used nail polish to color them. Pretty cool...
My second piece is called "Cheeky love". I bought a few 1950's postcards at the flea market in Paris and one in particular I found very amusing. It was a photo of a couple in a bedroom, she had her arm in his, and he was saying something like (in French): "now that we are married, we can have some fun in this bedroom". I loved it! So I used it in a heart-shaped bezel, colored with oil pastels and glitter paper and added some blue rhinestone chain.
I finished it with sari silk and the heaviest gauge wire I ever used, 8 gauge. We were hammering away like crazy... I really love the look, but I'm note sure how much of this heavy wire I'll be able to use in the future - it takes a while to get it into the shape you want and in the meantime you and the neighbors are going deaf...
But after all that hammering, Nese, our wonderful cook, would prepare us lovely meals with local produce, wonderful French bread and lots and lots of cheese. I have never eaten better tomatoes in my life.
Here we are, getting ready to tuck in. Meals together were definitely a highlight of the trip.
|Susan, Mary, Claire and Nese|
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The square is completely surrounded with beautiful arcades where you can find quaint boutiques, artisan ateliers, art galleries, trendy restaurants… Around the area there were brasseries, more shops, Jewish delicatessen full of food treasures.
After a few hours, I headed to the Père Lachaise cemetery.
And I like the way it looks like he's watching over someone.
The following day we flew to Toulouse and then had another hour's drive to Durfort. Cathy was driving, I was navigating from the front seat, and Mary from the back. Cathy made a few French enemies navigating the roundabouts but we made it safe and sound and had a lovely trip through the beautiful French countryside.
We stopped in a neighboring village for lunch - we knew there would be nothing in Durfort - and had a wonderful meal and got to know each other better and bonded.
And we arrived in Durfort. La Cascade is a beautiful rustic house with stone walls and wooden shutters, quiet and romantic. The perfect setting for a lot of things - jewelry-making included, although I'm not sure the neighbors appreciated all the hammering we did...
The front of the house...
The back of the houses and the small patios were so inviting...
And every night I would be lulled to sleep by the sound of the cascade outside my room... Bliss...
I was so ready to start some jewelry-making the next day!
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Sandy is truly talented - her work is beautiful, imaginative and well-crafted - no wonder she was chosen to be part of the Ice Resin Creative Team this year. Yeeahh! Go Sandy! Plus, she is a giver - always helping out and doing things for others. She was so wonderful in class to everyone, helping people with their projects and showing them new techniques, including me.
Cheeky (or is that lippy?) mime!
The museum was fascinating! Full of exquisite sculptures - many of the human form. I was mesmerized by the level of detail, the folds in the skin and yes, even some cellulite, haha, that someone could carve out of a stone… As we entered, there were numerous signs not to take photographs, but rebel that I am (read: usually respectful of those rules, and not keen to get into trouble) and seeing so many people with camera in hand, I immediately pulled out mine, and was also immediately caught and told to put it aside. Jeez, a girl can’t feel just a little mischievous for one tenth of a second…
Pretty soon, both Sandy and I were crying. No, the security guard did not strike us with his baton after my camera indiscretion.
Onto to the subway we went, and headed to Montmartre. The subway station is not for the faint-hearted. It is a steep spiral of stairways, and at every turn you expect it will be the last but it just goes on round and round. Has some pretty cool graffitti, though.
We took the funicular to the Sacré Coeur, and where immensely lucky that there was a service going on at the time. The basilica was filled with the sound of this French angelic voice, and the organ in the background. Truly magical moment, that made my heart burst with happiness from all the beauty pouring through my senses.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
That first night, Susan had a bunch of prayer boxes with words inside for us to choose from. We couldn’t peek to see the words, supposedly the words would choose us, and would be the words we needed at this point in life.
Next morning, we went to the Portes de Vanves flea market, with Jen Cushman leading us through the Paris subway maze. Jen is exactly as I pictured her to be, warm, gentle but assertive, and looking out for everyone.
|Susan, me, Jen, Cathy and Patti|
Like Cathy said, it was better than the Jungle Ride at Disneyworld!!!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Busy, busy bee, making jewelry, packing bags and tools for my travel later this week, making sure all systems are in place in the house and that I don't come back to a starving husband and kid after my 2 weeks off...
I still managed to make one piece of jewelry three times... because I'm stubborn as hell and won't let a piece of metal defeat me... (exceptions made for guns, knifes, speeding trains... you get the picture...)
I had another beautiful slice of agate and wanted to hold it in tabs, but using 2 layers of metal underneath it, with negative space in between them. Now I had read somewhere that you can create that space by riveting the layers of metal with some paper between them, and then just getting the paper wet so it would come off.
So silly old me grabs a piece of cardboard, rivets the layers together and then.... IT WOULDN'T COME OFF! not with water, not with scalding water, not with submersing in water overnight, not with boiling in water... sigh...
So here comes my saw again, I sawed new metal layers and tabs, sanded, oxidized, stamped, made holes, and then decided using small pieces of cardboard only under the rivets, and not between the whole layers. Well, this time it did come off, but there was hardly any negative space between the layers. It looked nice, but wasn't what I wanted...
Third time: re-read all the steps in previous paragraph, minus the paper and adding small pieces of copper tubing which I sawed and used between the layers, inserting the rivets through the layers and the tubing, and then riveting together. Voila!
I made the bail as well, and used a beautiful bead by ChelleV2 and silk ribbons from Marsha Neal to complete the piece - all mimicking the colors of the stone. I love it!
So please, people! Remember - you can use paper with rivets to make moveable rivets, but be careful with the type of paper you use. And if you want to add space, use tubing instead. Lesson learnt the hard way.
Here's a better picture to show you the space between the layers.
I guess this is it for now and the next 2 weeks at least. I'm off on Thursday to Paris and then on to the South of France for my jewelry workshop with Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman. I'm hoping to learn lots and not finish a single piece of jewelry. Yes, that's right. I don't want to waste my time putting pressure on myself to finish pieces, but would rather spend my time learning as much as I can and practising. Well, that's the plan anyway.
I leave you with Lola, in what is apparently a comfortable position for a dog to be in. Go figure...
Saturday, September 8, 2012
It's hard work, thinking of what you will write, if anyone will want to read it, taking pictures, editing, uploading (using a jurassic internet connection)...
I'm not even sure why I blog... I don't have an online shop, so I'm certainly not trying to attract customers; my blog isn't wildly popular so it's not like the world is suspended from my words... I guess one of the reasons I started was because I'm so physically isolated from other similar artists where I live that I hoped I could at least become part of an online community. Well, I can't say I've been very sucessfull... But I think that's my own fault as well. I guess you have to reach out first before people come to you. And I spend a lot of time reading blogs of artists I admire, but I rarely leave a comment...
So I promised myself that everyday I'll make an effort to leave at least one comment on the post that most strikes a chord with me. After all, I'm sure all bloggers love comments, and although most of the ones I read aren't short on them, and followers, etc., one more doesn't hurt.
Enough talk, let me show you what I've been up to.
I experimented with some foldforming... I don't have the proper hammers, and just used a regular ball peen one. Still love the result though and I'm looking forward to exploring this technique more.
I am enjoying using tabs to hold stones. The first technique I used to hold a stone was wirewrapping, basically using tutorials by other artists. But I much prefer working with metal than the fine wire that kept getting all tangled... uffff.... plus, everything is my own design. That's essential to me!
I created the pendant by sawing two similar pieces of copper that were textured, LOS, and riveted. Didn't turn out exactly as I wanted - I wanted more height between the layers. But I think I know how to achieve that for the next piece. Hold tight!
A slice of agate in tabs... Notice the lovely bead by ChelleV2...
|A Slice of Life|
And finnally, my favorite of the lot... I love how this necklace turned out. My husband says it looks like a cross, and I can see that, which is totally fine with me, although not intentional. I picked up this amazonite a long time ago in Pilgrim's Rest - an old mining town in South Africa http://www.pilgrims-rest.co.za/ . If you're ever in that area of the world, don't miss it - it's lovely.
And now that I uploaded enough pictures for 5 posts all in one, I bid you farewell...