Sunday, December 21, 2008

older work

I thought I would post these photos of a ring I made in 2002 or 2003. I just photographed this ring a couple weeks ago to enter in Lark Books 500 Gem and Stone Jewels book. It is cast silver, the green stone is chrysoprase, the orange stones are carnelian.

This ring is pretty typical of a lot of the designs I was working on when I lived in San Diego (1999-2004). I used to carve a lot of wax, mostly rings. Eventually I got sick of these kinds of rings because they have straight sides and can't be sized without changing the shape of them.

More rings I was working on 2003. I think 2 of these are sitting in
a box still unfinished.

I used to love carving wax. One of the other reasons I carved wax was because I didn't have a lot of tools and you don't need much to carve wax. I was also living in an apartment, so I couldn't make a lot of noise. When I moved to Iowa to go to grad school in 2005 I pretty much totally stopped carving wax because I had access to a large studio and wanted to take advantage of it.

Carving a wax in my apartment in Oceanside, CA. Sept 2003.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What I have been doing lately.

I realized today that I haven't posted any thing I have made lately. Mostly I have been doing commissions, but I finished this brooch recently:

I also made some Christmas presents.
A chasing hammer head...

And a folded vessel. Almost like the titanium one in 500 Metal Vessels. I found an old paper model, and I thought it was the same as the titanium one, but it wasn't, this one has slightly different proportions. I didnt know it till I was finishing it. This one is much more closed than the titanium one.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mesa 30th Annual Contemporary Crafts

My struggle photographing my bronze vase paid off- it was accepted in the Mesa Contemporary Arts' 30th Annual Contemporary Crafts exhibition. 58 pieces from 39 artists were selected from 482 pieces submitted. The exhibition will be from January 23, 2009 - March 15, 2009 at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, AZ.

Monday, November 24, 2008

trying to keep my bench clean

It's been over a month now since I did that major cleaning of my bench and its still relatively clean. I hate cleaning and it took so long, I decided I didn't want to have to do a cleaning like that again for a long time. The thing that makes the biggest mess is the aluminum. So I have started putting up newspaper when I grind aluminum to keep chips off the bench top. That's the area that takes so long to clean, cause I have so much stuff on my bench I need to move everything to clean it all. So far the newspaper is working, but I hate having to put it up every time I want to grind aluminum cause I work with it fairly often.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I found out today that I got in the exhibition 5x5x(5). My friend found out last week that she was accepted, since I hadn't heard anything I thought I must have been rejected.

The requirements for the work being submitted is that is must not be bigger than 5"x5"x5". Most of my work was eligible. I hope they make a catalog, I want to see what kind of work was selected.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Another disappointing issue of Metalsmith

I really don't want to use this blog to rant, but I got the new issue of Metalsmith today. I don't know why I subscribe to this magazine. I think it's the name: Metalsmith. I think if they would change the title to something that would more accurately reflect the content I would be able to stop subscribing. But the name- METALSMITH- I feel like I have to subscribe. Underneath the title it says "Jewelry - Design - Metal Arts," and its published by the Society of North American Goldsmiths, this sounds like the perfect magazine for me since I am a jeweler and a metalsmith. I am really starting to feel like a chump for wasting money on this magazine. At least I didn't send them any money when they were whining about their financial problems and begging for money.

There was some talk on the SNAG forum about changing the name of the organization. I didn't participate in the discussion and I don't know if it's still being discussed. I think they definitely should change the name. The organization is not about goldsmithing, and the magazine is only partly about metalsmithing. This year's Exhibition in Print really made me feel that this magazine is not for me, and the long discussion about it on Orchid let me see that there are a lot of people who feel like I do about this. I am not going to cancel my subscription over one or two issues, but my dissatisfaction with SNAG is increasing.

I want to mention my favorite piece in this new issue, Iris Eichenberg's piece on page 35 that looks like dirty socks hanging on branches. I like her installation of wool blankets too.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

12" x 12" sterling

I got this awesome 12" x 12" sheet of 22 gauge sterling silver a couple days ago. I am going to make another folded vessel with it. I haven't given much thought to the design yet. I plan to do a prototype in copper before I do anything with this silver.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today I sent 12 pieces to the Museum of Contemporary Craft sales gallery, in Portland, Oregon. Christmas is coming and it's been a while since I sent them work, they were running out. These are some of the new earrings I sent:

Friday, October 24, 2008

photographing a stupid bronze vase

I photographed this piece yesterday. I made it in grad school in 2005. It's cast bronze, about 6.25" high. This was probably the most difficult piece I have ever photographed. This photo isn't that great, but it's the best I can do. I photographed it back when I first made it, but the pics were terrible. The problem is it is reflective and dark. Normally if you have something reflective, like polished silver, if you photograph it in a light tent, which is all white material, it's ok. The white reflections on silver look ok. But on a dark piece like this, light colored things reflected on it look terrible. The main problem I was having was the backdrop I was using, this big piece of paper that goes from white to black. The white and gray in the foreground were reflecting on the piece and making it difficult to see the patina. So after messing around with it for a while I decided to move it to a darker area on the back drop. I no longer had the reflections and the patina looked good, but its difficult to see the shape of the dark piece on the dark background. I gave up on photographing it and decided to try to work with what I had on Photoshop. I have limited Photoshop skills, just like I have limited photography skills, but I was sick of taking pictures. This photo is what I ended up with. Its dark, but it shows just how the patina really looks. If I really wanted a good photo the thing to do would be to send it to a professional photographer, but this piece really isn't worth it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

brass vessel

Sunday I took a break from commissions and stuff for galleries and made this piece. It is cut from a sheet of 12" x 12" 22 gauge brass. The finished piece is about 3 3/4" high x 4 3/8" wide.

I used almost the same design as a different piece, but made the neck longer and scaled the piece up to fit the larger piece of metal. Doing the design with CAD makes it so much easier to scale the piece to fit the sheet of metal.

This is right before I started drilling the holes. I used a highlighter to mark the borders of the areas where I will drill.

Finished except for the patina.

It is the same design as the smaller piece except it has a longer neck.

Monday, October 20, 2008

CraftForms 2008 part 2

I emailed one of the CraftForms organizers Saturday about which piece was accepted. I got a reply today. It was this copper vase, which is what I thought.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

CraftForms 2008

I just found out today that I was accepted in the CraftForms 2008 exhibition. Of the 711 entries, 109 pieces by 94 artists were chosen.

I am very happy to get in because they have rejected me twice before, in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 I didn't enter cause I didn't have any good work available to enter.

Embarrassingly, I have done it again with the untitled pieces. They have told me my entry Untitled was accepted.... both my pieces were untitled. I did this with Cheongju last year too. And even mentioned it in this blog and said I should start titling my work for this reason. But I am pretty sure I know which piece was accepted.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

clean bench

Last Wednesday I spent all night cleaning my bench and the area around it. It was really bad, I hadn't cleaned it thoroughly in months. I feel much better now that it is clean. I'll try not to let it get as bad as it was before, but I know as soon as I have a deadline it will go back to being a mess.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

an update

There has not been much worth writing about lately. I have just been working on commissions. More lock picks, mostly the same design as the photo I posted Sept 19th, just different colors. It's kind of boring making the same thing over and over, but at least I know I am being paid for them. When I make a new noncommissioned piece it might not sell, it might not be accepted into any juried exhibitions or competitions, and it will end up sitting in a box. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a waste of time, but I like to get something out of my work, like money or recognition. Sure I get satisfaction out of making something, but satisfaction plus money and/or an award is better.

I was going to take a machine shop class again this fall at the community college, but decided to take a vessels class in ceramics instead. I used to love working with clay, and it's been about 9 years since I have worked with it, so I was really looking forward to it. Since the class was only 2 credit hours, it was scheduled to start Sept 22, which is about a month after the semester starts. So I went to class on Sept 22, and no one was there. I called the college the next day and found out the class had been canceled. And since it was already a month into the semester it was too late to register for another class.

I got the exhibition catalog from The Ring Shows the other day. It's small, thick and spiral bound, which is different from most exhibition catalogs. I don't really like it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ornament Magazine

Me and my blog were mentioned in the article "Georgia's Ring Shows. Pretty Cocky Stuff" in the latest issue of Ornament magazine. It is about The Ring Show and Putting the Band Back Together exhibitions. Here is a link to the step by step process they mentioned:

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I am not a jeweler, I am a lock pick maker?

I made a couple lock picks for my friend's dad who is a locksmith, and now I suddenly find myself making more lock picks than jewelry. Here is a set I finished last week for a locksmith in the UK:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

new glass for photography

A couple days ago I got a new piece of non-glare glass on which to photograph my work. My old glass, which was about 24" x 24", broke several months ago. Since most of my work is small I was able to use one of the broken pieces for a while, but it wasn't big enough for everything. I got the new glass cut to 17" x 20" so it fits inside my light tent.

Here is my first photo on the new glass, the piece I posted some process photos of Sept 10th.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CAD renderings

Here are some designs that are a little different from most of the things I post on this blog. I designed these with CAD last week.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

brass vessel

I made a small folded brass vessel last week. I have several commissions to do and some other things I need to finish, but I felt like doing something else that day. It took one night to make, from designing it to the to finished piece. It was cut from a 6" x 6" sheet of 22 gauge brass. Finished size is 1 3/4" x 2 3/4". I will post a better photo of the finished piece after I photograph it.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


A few days ago I got argentium sterling silver for a teapot. These pieces are 18 gauge, 6" x 6" and 6" x 7.5".

Saturday, August 30, 2008

finished copper vase

I finally finished my vase. I had some issues with the patina, and had to redo it. It was a real pain in the ass to remove the first patina attempt. But I don't know if I am satisfied with the second attempt either. I might redo it again, or maybe put a totally different patina on it. I will wait a while and see how I feel about it later.

The model and the finshed piece:

Here is a link to all the process photos on Flickr.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

back of the brooch

I started carving the back of this brooch the other day. The flat spots at the top and bottom are where the pin back will go.

The copper vase is almost finished, I am just waiting on a patina ingredient to arrive.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

copper vase

I finished trimming the extra metal off the edges of the folded copper vase that I was talking about in a previous post. I used a separating disk to cut it off then filed it smooth. Now the sides fit together much better. I need to fix some little things on it, and patinate it and I will be done.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jewelry Arts Awards

The 2008 Jewelry Arts Awards winning pieces are now posted on the Jewelry Artist magazine website. They will also be in the Sept 2008 issue which will be out very soon, if it's not out already.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

a sketch book

I finally got a sketch book. It's been a few years since I have used one. Lately I have been drawing my designs on printer paper. The problem is I end up with these papers all over, and if I do a design I like I have to put the paper someplace safe or I will lose it and never make the piece. I will try to get all these papers together and put them in a 3 ring binder, but anything new I draw will be in the sketch book. Hopefully now I will be able to work on designs and come back to them later, rather than having to worry about them disappearing or being thrown out or on the studio floor being trampled on.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

finished chasing hammer

Last night I finished the chasing hammer I had started in May. The handle is zircote.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

earrings part 3

Here are the finished earrings I posted photos of in two previous posts (July 11th and July 25th)

Taboo Studio show

This is from the Taboo Studio website:



Belle Brooke Barer, Sana Doumet, Janice Ho, Casey Miller, Erica Molinari, Victoria Moore, Red Circle Metals, Jon Ryan, Sandra Wrightson, Genevieve Yang

This summer we are proud to introduce an entirely new group of jewelers to the gallery. Taboo is always on the lookout for the unusual to add to the familiar, and these artists fit the bill. Gold and silver, diamonds and pearls, these are some of the usual precious materials utilized in fine jewelry. This group gets creative working with these old favorites along with less typically used materials such as aluminum, brass, ebony, rubber, and steel. The designs run the gamut as well, from traditionally inspired to modern, and embellished to minimalist.

August 15, 2008 - September 26, 2008
Please join us for a glass of wine and the opportunity to view stunning handmade jewelry by a fabulous new group of artists.


Friday, July 25, 2008

earrings part 2

I still have a few things to finish for the show at Taboo Studio. These are the earrings in my July 11th post. I am mostly finished shaping them. It's difficult to inspect them when they are shiny so I sand blasted them to make it easier to see any unevenness. I need to finish working on the areas where the shapes come together. Those areas always take the most time. I will probably use knife edge graver to clean up the deepest areas where the shapes meet, but mostly I will be using files.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Appalachian Center for Craft part 2

Here are photos of some of the metal studio.

There were several rooms, this one had all the stakes, forming tools and other equipment...

This room was mostly benches, soldering, casting...

This is blacksmithing...

I liked the studio. There was also a room for chemicals, and a room for polishing and grinding.