A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Trickle of Creativity

Well, I am slowly trickling out new pieces. They are from the 24-item list I made a couple weeks ago in my efforts to increase my focus. As I write this, at this very moment I am realizing that "24-item list" and "focus" may be conceptually incompatible. Perhaps that is why I have only completed three items on the list in two weeks. Of course part of the reason for that is because of my 25-year high school reunion that took place over the weekend--I would have made at least one more thing over the weekend if I hadn't been out goofing off with people I haven't seen in 20+ years. Then it would have been a ratio of 4 items completed:24 items contemplated. (Still not real good). I did do prep work--oxidized a bunch of brass wire with ammonia fumes to a lovely brown color, and antiqued a bunch of sterling wire to a nice gunmetal color. I am all about the ammonia fumes method for brass--it happens slow so it's easy to control the degree of oxidation, you can get anything from a nicely mellowed brass to a sable to a deep brown to black (depending on how long you forget to take the items out of the container), and the finish doesn't come off!! You can brighten it up again some with steel wool, but unlike using some of the Midas solutions, the finish doesn't just wash off in water. It's really durable. If you want a slightly greener oxidation on your brass, Liver of Sulphur works better.

Here is the first item on my list, that I started at the lake at our camp spot, and then finished in the car last week. I'm calling it Sea Bubbles.

The large smooth slightly irregular sea green stones are aqua agate--just love the stuff. (Golden agate is lovely too, a mellow golden yellow like the inside of a peach). The teardrops and rounds are new jade, and the three mint green discs on either side are matte, opalescent glass discs from Happy Mango. The chain is handforged and all the sterling wire is lightly antiqued with Liver of Sulphur. Oh, and there are soft green freshwater pearls. I'm just surrounded by water all summer, being down at the lake, and as it's glacier-fed, it tends to be green--I keep making these aqua green things and I have more in the pipeline. (Just got some tiny, deep green aventurine rectangles that I'm dying to use).

I completed this piece two weeks ago at the lake--I'd been carting this cherry quartz around for months, trying to decide what to do with it. The watermelon association is obvious, and I had to maintain iron discipline not to fold up and do something literal and cheesy with blackstone roundels or little black coins. So I used garnets instead. I took the photo under our awning at the camp spot in my lap with the item in the lid of a copy paper box. No tripod. Like I said, steady as a friggin' rock. And that was even after a night of heavy drinking. Should have been a neurosurgeon.

I did this the other night--I cheated and just riffed off one of the necklaces I already did. I have had a devil of a time photographing this, and the necklace and earrings that are made from the same stuff. The silver coin pearls and sterling silver are pretty remarkable in person, but they just don't look very impressive in photographs (so unimpressive in fact that it only got one measly view on Etsy overnight). Pearls are weirdly hard to photograph. They almost look blurry to me sometimes (like after said night of heavy drinking). Going to try photographing this item again later but for the moment this is all I got.


  1. Your pieces are just beautiful! Those watermelon beads look yummy enough to eat. On the black/gray bracelet...what about photographing it on a colored background like a soft pink, green or blue. The black and gray might pop a little more. Just a thought...

  2. I LOVE the Sea Bubbles necklace...the colors are wonderful and the antiqued silver really complements the green...beautiful. Really nice work.

  3. Oooh, adore the sea bubbles necklace! I know what you mean about photographing pearls, sometimes I have luck with them outside on a sunny day but it's hit or miss.

  4. yeah, pink or green. or even eggplant. the silver coin pearls actually have quite a bit of rose/purple in them...going to try it!! thanks KJ! (p.s. LOVE your blue hydrangea earrings--those CZ are exquisite! I'm still working on the matchy matchy thing myself--love your earrings with the different copper finishes.)

  5. I love the black & silver bracelet! And I adore it with that black & white photo! Such a good idea.

    And seriously, if you can't perform brain surgery after a night of heavy drinking, then you shouldn't be drinking in the first place.

  6. I think your work is just lovely...great designs, unique composition and I want to know how you make your chain! Julie S

  7. trade secret. ha, not really. saw it on WigJig University. there's tons of tutorials on there for all kinds of stuff. (hint, don't buy the jig, it's worthless. Stick with your pliers). I think it's just wigjig.com. If you google wigjig it'll probably be the first hit.