What Inspires?

March 31, 2009

Every artist gets asked this question hundreds of times in their life. What inspires you and your art? And while all the pieces I have listed in my Artfire store are glass tile pendants, I do love working with metal and gemstones. Those pieces tend to take much longer because I have to balance working with the children and house, but that's another post for another time.

So what inspires me? You might be surprised. My mother hates it and asks me to not talk about it because it makes her uncomfortable. Ha! That's got you wondering, doesn't it? It's really innocent. Space. Yup, space inspires my jewelry design. I have tons of mental sketches and little doodles on paper that have been brought to the surface by images and talk of our great universe. I love to go to The Hubble Heritage Gallery and sites like it. I can spend hours upon hours looking at images of stars, nebula, galaxies and such just getting ideas and waking up the creative juices.

An example. This is a galaxy in the making. A ring of stars around a little (ok it's not little) nucleus. What do I see? A ring of hammered silver, maybe even brushed a bit and suspended in the center via wire wrapping a gold pearl or nice round citrine. It's images like this that make me dig out my wire, stones and pliers and sit down and forget the insanity around me.

So, what inspires you?

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Misadventures in Metalsmithing

March 27, 2009

On Weds, I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and comfortable temps, to attempt making some balled copper headpins. I hauled all my soldering stuff outside and set myself up on the steps leading the the back door. Hopefully by this summer I can get a small table and chair out on the patio, because that was not comfortable at all! I recently purchased a new charcoal block, so I got that all tightened up with some binding wire first. I plucked up my first little headpin to work on, a delicate little wire. I slathered it in flux, stuck it in my 3rd hand, and lit the torch. I began the warming process, watching the flux powder up and moved to the top to make the dainty, darling little ball I longed to have and.... nothing. The copper changed colors and blackened, then began to glow red and... nothing. It took about 4 attempts before I got one, pathetic little ball on the end of some wire. By that time, I was frustrated and needed to step away from it.

Of course, the weather has gone to pot since then so I haven't had the chance to get back out there and try again. Instead, I decided to begin another project. One that does not require melting metal or going outside. I was flipping thru a chain making book and got it in my head to make some little figure 8 links. An hour later I had a nice little pile of tiny 1/4" long copper links. I dug around in my gemstones looking for something that spoke to me, hunting for the sort that was ready to become a piece of jewelry. I stumbled on a few strands of flower jade, and they were perfect. The rich brown tones would compliment the warmth of the copper while the greens would remind on of the patina that metal can develop. The past 2 days have been filled with little links, making flower jade connectors, and I am beginning to assemble now. If the family behaves, it should be up in my shop by Monday (weather permitting)

On the non-jewelry side of things, it's been interesting. My youngest, 2 years old, is teething. So if he's not being your typical tantrum throwing 2 year old he is clinging to me and whining. And sleep?? What's that? You would figure after 12 months of getting new teeth in, he'd be a little more used to the process. We also purchased a chest freezer, something we've talked about for 4 years now and finally got around to doing. To celebrate, I ran to the grocery store and filled it with meat, veggies, ice cream and of course frozen pizzas. My husband also informed me this morning, he was going to take our 3 year old daughter to see Monsters Vs Aliens on Sunday. He has no idea what he's in for!

Be sure to check out the Artfire shop. I loaded it with a bunch of the glass tile pendants. I love making them, each one has it's own little story. Not to mention, they are affordable and cute. I gave all the women in my family pendants for Christmas, as a little woman to woman gift. More things are getting added every few days in the shop, so check it often!

Sunny Saturday

March 21, 2009

Weekends are always looked forward to. Today shaped up to be a pretty decent one too. The sun was out in force today, so I ducked out to grab some more pics of pendants. It was still a little bit on the chilly side to let the little ones out to play, perhaps tomorrow will be different. This evening, I settled down at my desk and used my handy dandy new tool! I got a 1" square paper punch, and boy does it make a difference! It's really going to help speed up the glass tile pendants.

I just finished up 6 new ones. Here's a little sneak peek.

Tomorrow they will get their bails, photo shoots and listed on Artfire.

While I was busily working away on these, the little ones ran wild. Until this happened.

The littlest monster climbed up into the beanbag chair and crashed out. It must be tiring coming over and pestering mom when she has tacky fingers! He's still asleep with his Superman blanket in the chair. I'm going to follow his cue and do the same.

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Sullying the virgin Blog.

Well it had to be done at some point, right? The first post.

I managed to finally get an online selling venue set up. As you can see to your right, there's is a lovely little quick cart for my artfire.com shop. I am working on getting things photographed and added into the shop. I actually preformed a miracle tonight and cleaned off my jewelry desk. That's unhead of! And yesterday I managed to swing by Lowes and pick up a torch head and little bottle of propane. Soldering, here I come!

Spring has gotten my creative juices flowing full force. The ice dam has thawed and the river is a flowing. So a few more of those little glass tile pendants should be up by the end of the weekend. As should some copper pieces. I also have to do a few anklet's for my mother, and finish up a necklace for my sister. The anklets will be fun. I am personally not a fan of gold, but it's all my mother will wear. So I have to craft her a gold and rose quartz anklet. I also told her I would make her a nifty little flat spiral woven anklet as well. Yes, I will take photos of them before they go to their new home.

I am working primarily in copper right now due to cost. For myself, and my customers. I have a stash of sterling, that I am sitting on. So, once I start getting my wire work up in the artfire store.. if you see something and want it in silver, contact me and I will do a custom order for you!

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