My Hiatus

Wow! For me, it has been a very long summer.  I was not able to work in my studio for most of the time, and became very restless.  The reason I was not able to work is because we had the basement finished.  The basement is where my studio is, so no work while construction was happening.  Here is a little bit of what happened to our basement, and my studio this summer.

Here is how the studio started (when we bought the house)

This is my large work bench that holds my kiln, rolling mill and any other forging tools.

 

Here is my soldering station, near a window for ventilation.

 

My jeweler’s bench and some artwork done by my assistant.

 

There used to be a closet in my studio, not any more!

 

My assistant, and the doorway to the rest of the basement.

So, we interviewed a lot of contractors, finally decided on one, and got started.  Here are pictures of the gutted basement.

Here is the main area of the basement that was turned into a huge playroom for the boys

 

Here is my studio, without the walls!

After about 3 months of builders in and out of the basement, I have my studio back! I am so happy to get back to work.

Here are the pictures of the new studio:

New Studio

New Studio

New Studio

It is a constant work in progress as acquire more tools, skills and materials.  Keep Creating

 

 

This little guy joined our family a week after construction was finished.  He is my second assistant 😉

New Studio

This winter we embarked on the journey of buying a new home.  We were very happy with our purchase and delighted to get into our new space.  I was particularly excited about the basement space that would become my studio.  Though it still looks a bit rough, it is now workable and is up and running.  Here is the progression.

In the beginning. . . .

 All the boxes that need to be unpacked and organized into my new space.  Also, my little apprentice is always willing to help.
 Here is the new professional jeweler’s bench I purchased in January.
 If you recall, I had this large work table in the old house.  We deconstructed it and then put it up again in the new house.
 There is a closet but with minimal storage and we will be getting rid of it in renovation.
  Here is the view from my window into the back yard.
A couple weeks later. . . .
 My jeweler’s bench was functional but not completely organized yet.
The table was being utilized but wait, it gets better.
Currently. . . .
I have added a torching station for soldering and fusing near a window for ventilation.
 The jeweler’s bench has proven to be very useful.  It’s a perfect place for sawing, wrapping and planning out pieces.
 The closet is used for minimal storage and stays closed too keep things out of reach from little hands
The work table is now completely organized with enameling kiln up and running.
And my little apprentice is always willing to lend a hand (or hammer).
I hope you have enjoyed a sneak peek.  We are planning on finishing out the basement and revamping the studio.  So unfortunately, that means packing it up and taking another break.  However, I will be working until they begin construction.  Keep Creating

Great News

I was very excited to receive an email from Rio Grande, a jewelry supply company, telling me I won the “What Are You Working On?” contest for the month of October.  I submitted my last blog post and was chosen as a feature for the month.  I was very excited to receive this news and very appreciative toward Rio Grande for choosing me. Click here.

 

From Start to Finish

I have been working for a while on this piece.  It is very heavy and includes a lot of silver.  I am really happy with the way it turned out.  Mostly because it is very close to the drawing I came up with months ago.  This piece was a challenge for me, from cloisonne shapes I don’t usually use to bezel setting which I am in need of more practice.  I feel this piece shows my current level of metalsmithing skills, which I am always improving.  Forgive me, the pictures were taken with my iphone.

Here is my original drawing of the piece.  My inspiration was circles.  The entire necklace is circular, not a strait line to be found.
Here is the base of the enameled disk with cloisonne wires ready to go
This is the enameled disk with granular enamel painted on and ready to go into the kiln
in the process of adding color and firing to build up layers of glass
Ground and finished disk, ready to set
Here is the setting all soldered.  It’s starting to come together!
I tested the disk in the setting many times to ensure a good fit
I also pierced the back and used blue counter enamel so it would show through.  A little secret for the wearer to know 😉
I actually broke a file!!!! I guess I don’t know my own strength.
Here is the finished product, completely soldered set and ready to wear
A close up of the pendant
My favorite, the pierced back 🙂

I hope you enjoyed the journey for conception to reality.  I have enjoyed documenting it for you 🙂

On the Bench

I am getting very excited for the holiday season! Most of my applications have been filled out and sent in and I have some new designs to feature at these upcoming shows.  Here are some of the things I have been working on.

These first two pictures are new necklace designs to match already existing earrings.  I am making an effort to challenge myself lately.  Soldering jump rings may not sound like a big deal but when they’re 24guage and the solder is teensy, it was.

This is a new necklace design to match the forged circle earrings.
This designs matches the forged teardrop earrings.  This one is a work in progress, I’m not totally digging the huge tear compared to the others.
 The next few pictures are a new feature necklace I am working on and may submit to Saul Bell (we’ll see, it’s a big scary).  The concept is circles, each and every part of the design is circular, not a strait line to be found.

 

Here is the silver disk to be enameled, I have already bent the wires to form the design.  As I said, I am challenging myself, those circles are tricky business.
This is after the first firing, I wasn’t really happy with the colors, so I changed them up.  It actually turned out really good 🙂
This is after I tweeked the colors.  I like the way it turned out.  Now it needs to be bezel set and put on its necklace.   I’ll post pics when it’s done.