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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Customer requests vs Artistic Integrity

 A possible customer contacted me and wrote  "Hello,
This is a beautiful piece, but if I were to buy it, could the lizard be removed? I would like only the bird in the scene with the flowers.
Thanks very much for your time and reply. You have a large number of some great pieces offered..."  I had to think for a minute about a reply. Was this person asking to redesign my work, my art? Or did she see some potential that I did not? Should my artistic vision be upheld? Silly prideful thoughts for sure. I do make art and yet unlike someone pointing to a spot on one of my canvasses and saying put in a happy little cabin and I will buy it...This request actually improved the piece in my opinion. The texture and fold formed copper looks more inviting than the crowded look with the lizard.
 So instead of a stiff necked posture, I carefully removed the painted lizard.  When I sent the picture this potential customer said she would like to buy it. I hope she does. But her suggestion may have improved the piece quite a bit.
 Here is another recently sold piece that was fun to make and has now found a new home.
 This was just finished yesterday. The center is a raku clay form made from a silicone mold. The glaze colors are picked up in the copper patina of the chain.
This also became real yesterday . Combining different colors of brass,gold,silver, and the bob cat glass eye gives a fresh look. In time the brass will darken to match the ring around the eye.


Remember to keep an open mind, heart, and ears when a possible client asks for change. After all its not like asking  Leonardo da Vinci to put a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Painting a metal flower

 This big raw brass flower has good bones, but needs a little more flavor.
 Paints and inks can add color while opalescent powders can add sparkle. Combining them is easy and can be fun if you are just a bit relaxed with technique. In art this is called a painterly approach.
 I started with a Ranger Patina in a deep green.
 Brush up the center to simulate the rib and then move out from the rib as the petals would grow.
 I next added a gold translucent paint to blend the darker color.
 This leaves a base to build on.
 Now a red orange was added .
 That again blended in stripes.
 More back and forth.
 As the richness of the surface builds I begin to use lighter and more transparent layers.
 Blending out all this in wet layers leaving streaks.
 Pearl powders added and blended then heat treated and its ready for a coat of lacquer to seal the surface.
 I picked out a domed glass bead and copper colored crown mount to cover the center. E-6000 was added to hold the mount and stone.
 A chain with lobster clasp to finish it up.
And this is the final result. Don't take this as a masterpiece, just a direction to guide your experiments. And most of all have fun.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Helping others is a good thing to do. In this case it can help you as well.  A dear friend and fellow artist  Emmanuelle RouĂ© from CreationsAsh  
is having a sale in her Etsy shop

huge sale - use coupon ASH50 for 50 percent Off everything




Welcome to my shop, Creations Ash!

Please come in and take a look around. You will find a variety of styles here as I do not design in simply one genre. I do a lot of mixed media jewelry because I love to create. You will also find Victorian jewelry, jewelry from the Romantic era, Noir jewelry, Steam punk pieces, Goth influenced jewelry, and others. Everything I make is designed and created by me. That means you will receive an artisan designed jewelry piece that is one of a kind. I don't limit myself to one style because, when I create, I go where my imagination takes me. I have the best job in the world because I always allow myself to create freely, and I believe it shows in my work.

If you have any questions, please feel free to convo me, I will not only be happy to help you; I will be happy to hear from you!

In the event you would like a piece you do not see in the shop, I do custom work for my clients. I can personalize your dream piece of jewelry just for you. It will become a family heirloom! Again, all you have to do is contact me (convo me) and we can discuss what you would like, the colors and metals you prefer, and so on. It is a very simple process that results in stunning results. :)

Always remember we offer - FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE - on everything in the shop. This is a courtesy to our clients.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Victorian Basket Ring

 With the holiday season underway I wanted to show you another quick ring project. I have been looking at some vintage style stampings and this floral basket stamping appealed to me. It resembles a woven basket with flowers. The ring shank is my usual cigar band http://www.bsueboutiques.com/product-p/brox0902.htm
in brass ox finish which matches the filigree. Also the stone mount is in gold filled sterling and the brighter color enhances the natural peridot faceted stone. Holes are punched through the centers of each component. To assemble them I add a dab of E-6000 glue on top of the ring and the bottom of the snap mount. The 1/16 diameter rivet is pushed through the stack and the assembly is set aside to firm up.
After about 20 minutes the stack is taken to the riveter and the center is flattened to secure the stack.
 Here is the riveted stack ready for the setting of the stone.
 The stone is set table down on the work surface with the ring above.
 Pressure is applied until the snap sound of the prongs closing around the stone is heard.
I checked the prongs and adjusted them with a prong pusher and pliers until the stone was secure.
 The finished ring has a very Victorian look, sort of like an old basket.
From the side you can see the ring hugs the finger closely.

The ring is available in my shop https://www.etsy.com/listing/212902638/victorian-style-basket-with-natural
Hope you enjoyed this and have a Happy Thanksgiving Day

Friday, September 19, 2014

Queen of the Woods necklace construction sequence.

 These are the basic components for a new necklace I created this week. The metal parts come from http://www.bsueboutiques.com/
and the head is from my shop at Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/listing/203394408/excavated-antique-porcelain-german-doll?ref=shop_home_active_13  I have hundreds available in almost every style from 1850-1910 in age. This head is from 1850-60 and is soft porcelain.
 In the first operation I formed the back a bit to accept the head using a dapping block and punch.
 Next I notched the side rails to allow the head to fit back into the frame.
 Here it is partially fitted and the bottom edge of the doll is smoothed with sandpaper to clean up the line along the edge.
 The metal needed annealing with a torch to soften the metal for bending around the front piece.
 It is also fitted to match the groove around the head and the overlapping is crimped with pliers. I wanted a clean look with a bit more elegance to the top so this next addition gives that and a place to hide the chain connection.
 Fitted under the back and behind the front with a little glue and a rivet it will be strong and give that extra interest to the top.
 The rivet has been set and rings added to hold the necklace.
Side stations in vintage glass flowers and twisted pearls were added for a bit of interest.
 The chain is attached and one of my signature tags is added.
And here she is the Queen of the Woods. I hope you enjoy seeing my methods and materials. You can create this type of necklace so easily. And should you want to buy the original it is listed in my shop on Etsy.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Some musing and projects from summer to share with you.

 It's been a good summer. Busy with all kinds of projects and gathering both new and vintage materials. Also a lot of ceramic work in handmade and molded items.  These filigree pieces were sold to me as Miriam Haskell components. Certainly vintage what ever the origin. I acquired a large lot of fine findings all from the 1940-1970 vintage. They are more delicate and filled with lovely details. The aged patina on these is a coppery gold and to make them into something new I simply added bronze ear wires.
 This transforms them into earrings and doesn't alter the original permanently. If a buyer were to buy these and toss the hooks and say make a bracelet, well that would be fine. That is the beauty of making simple things that can appeal on one level as jewelry but be available to become in some other person's hands something else.
 These are a few of my ceramic pieces from the recent past. I have fired and sold all but the Mother Nature piece. I am still trying to decide on what colors to use and whether to make a realistic or wild colored piece.She wont be a one only but part of a small series of doll adaptations with animals and cherubs. The doll is from an antique mold from around 1890. The birds are from a 1962 mold and remind me of Disney birds from cartoons.
 I featured two of them in these earrings. The nests are commercial wire beads in steel. The birds are glued to the nest with E-6000 and wired to steel hooks.
 This is a project from a group that promotes Bsueboutiques.com Conceived on a Wednesday and finished by Friday. It has several layers of filigrees with the head pins sandwiched in between the layers. Color was added with Adirondack Inks and Lumiere paints. The skull is my handmade addition to the commercial components.
This is another piece labeled as Haskell. I know its well made and will be worked into a necklace soon. The old finish has acquired some dark patina in spots and that will have to be modified before I can add color to this leaf and flower.  As we move on into fall I will have some more seasonal pieces from my imagination to share with you.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review Jewelry For All Seasons by Linzi Alford

 I buy a lot of books. Some I read once lightly and others get a lot of use. This wonderful book by Linzi Alford fits in the well used category.  She is a talented jewelry maker and writer living in the Lakes District in England. Her observations of the flowers and trees and all of nature has inspired her to photograph natural scenes. These have informed her jewelry making.  The designs are fresh and original.  And Linzi explains in detail how to create 24 bead and wire pieces.
 The illustrations are clear and well photographed. Simple enough to follow even without the well written text that accompanies the pictures.
 Original art pieces are photographed as if they were part of the surrounding landscape.
 And explanations follow that will enable anyone to follow along and recreate or grow originals from the wonderful directions.
 The printing in the entire book is top notch and really is good enough to hold my eye as art.
One can almost feel the temperature drop when this page is turned. There are countless books to gather, but this one holds treasure, visual, literary and artistic. The book is available through
www.gmcbooks.com
ISBN 978-1-86108-956-4

It is a bargain at any price. And the book will feed your eye and creative soul for a long time.