|SNAG pins 2013 - details|
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
After the prototype proved plausible, I decided to attempt to make at least 20 pins for the swap. I did modify my process a bit because of fit issues with the stones and the tubing, but overall it's still a quick and dirty approach. So I hope anybody who really trades with me doesn't judge me too harshly!
Playing with color has been my favorite part of the project, making me really want to rethink how to introduce color more frequently into my regular jewelry. I've also enjoyed the return to my fiber roots and including the occasional piece of glass. I need to devote thought to how to combine media more effectively.
Working in a series is so invigorating. The basic process is easily set down:
- cut tubing lengths
- set the stones
- reduce the tubing with the rolling mill and then shape
- cover with fabric and thread scraps
- add a feather and any other embellishments
- add the fibula
But within that process, there are lots of places for variation. I work the first three steps with sets of 5-6 pins, then I work the next two steps individually. Finally, I will do the fibulas all at the end.
I find that as I'm working on one pin, I have an idea for another. Since I know there are more to come, I feel no anguish over what to do with the current variation. I just make a quick decision and move on. The process moves faster because I'm not over thinking.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
This year I will venture into a new world - the annual SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference held in Toronto next week. I'm looking forward to an exciting education as the program unfolds with presentations and demonstrations. The offerings range from new to old: digital jewelry photography and CAD to historical context of jewelry and tools, sustainable materials to roller printing, sawing and riveting.
I quickly cut a short length of tubing, cut the seat for the stone and set it in about a minute, then used the mill to step reduce the tubing size. Finally I wrapped with some of my quilting scraps, stitching on a feather and a steel fibula. Now, can I set up an assembly line to make a collection of these in some reasonable time? The part I really enjoy about this idea is the possibility to make each one totally different. Wish me luck.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Bob Ebendorf is renowned for his teaching skill, so I jumped at the chance to take a short workshop titled "A Brush with Creativity" at the Cos House in La Villita, sponsored by Equinox Gallery. Based on a collection of found objects provided by the organizers and enhanced by anything we brought along, our assignment was to construct one or more artist brushes.
My first attempt was a simple wrap of coque feathers tied around a butter knife with a scrap of reclaimed silk ribbon. Bob characterized it as very Indian in feel, which seemed appropriate as I have some trace Indian ancestry. It reminds me of an Indian implement in my collection that has green feathers and wraps of white rabbit skin and fur, so this will complement it beautifully.
I also made a pair of brushes based on porcupine quills that I scavenged along a roadside in Italy. Both have feathers, one as the brush itself and one as embellishment, and the bristle brush is enhanced with a copper electroformed cicada wing.
Finally, while rounding up odds and ends to work with, I thought of these tubes that I've stashed for years. Wrapped with quilting scraps and thread ends, they provide a colorful handle for simple marabou brushes. The curved brush has two handmade glass beads scavenged from the bead reject bowl.
During the discussion, Bob suggested that I consider winding the long metal tubes into a spiral and forming the brushes into brooches. I was reminded today while gathering fiber and glass bits to combine with metal that I love all my special media and should give some serious thought to combining them as I move forward. There were many amazing brushes on the table to inspect. It's fascinating to see what attracts and motivates individual artists.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending both a show opening and a workshop with the legendary artist Bob Ebendorf.
Keep It in the Can Brooch with White Costume Bundle
4" x 3" x 1/2"
Bob exhibited a body of work based on the metal cans that he collects on his daily walks, visualizing the round rims of the cans as bezels to hold other found objects in a jewel-like setting. There was also a collection of found object earrings, including a roadkill bird claw that I added to my collection of bird inspiration.
I enjoyed meeting Bob and many other artists whose names and work I knew well, but whom I hadn't met in person. ff
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
I'm rethinking my process for making jewelry, trying to get my head around the idea of components. This week I've whipped up a collection of small bits that I regularly make with the goal of making molds and casting them in Argentium for further use.
|sterling components after first stage firing|
|sterling clay loading into carbon for firing|
|treetop brooch being repaired|
Monday, April 15, 2013
Spring is in full swing in Austin. My garden is looking totally fabulous and I'm really enjoying all the fauna coming to visit the flora.
|stock tank pond looking diagonally across yard|
|Louisiana iris in the stock tank pond|
|leopard frog resting amongst the iris|
|blue heron fishing at the stock tank pond|
|bluebonnets, Autumn sage, Knockout rose, and yellow bulbine|
The birdfeeder is a hotbed of activity. Today I spotted a painted bunting, and two days ago my husband saw a Prothonotary warbler there. Titmice, goldfinches, house finches, chickadees and cardinals, as well as lots of sparrows, are all busily emptying the larder. The squirrels, grackles and mourning doves are totally puzzled by the new feeder that has a grid that lowers with their weight. I've also spotted golden-rumped warblers and cedar waxwings in the treetops viewed from my second story studio windows.