Monday, March 29, 2010

More Updating

These are a pair of folded sterling silver earrings, one out of a few pairs I'm making for the upcoming Art Unleashed show at University of the Arts. This pair is actually complete, with black patina and gold leaf, but my camera is dead right now so we will have to content ourselves with this in-progress picture at the moment.

This is a page out of my sketchbook - one of many dealing with that enormous citrine. In the end, that stone is getting incorporated into my next brooch, a queen bee.

Again, it is much further along than this - this photo was taken last week. The carving is actually complete and is much more nuanced. Right now I'm working on setting the eyes and constructing the wings. I might also see about putting this one in the Art Unleashed show, if it is completed in time.

More photos to come, once my camera is working!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Update Part 1: Studio and some experiments

I feel pretty sheepish about not updating for so long (November??? Where did the time go???) so I thought I'd post some pictures to give everyone a feel as to what I've been up to lately.

During the week, I nanny for a couple of families in the area. It's really fun, the kids are cute, and the cash is definitely welcome (although I'm still pretty broke!) It can be exhausting though, and between that and the distractions of having a home studio, it's been hard to log a lot of hours at the bench.

Speaking of dad helped me make my own custom jeweler's bench over the winter! It doesn't have drawers but I have plenty of storage elsewhere. It works really well for me! Thanks dad!

The other sweet thing I got for my studio was a KILN! My awesome boyfriend got it for me for Christmas. It's a peppy little thing - haven't gotten a chance to do much enameling but I did fire it up and it works really great. Thanks Phil! It's sitting on my lab table along with all of my soldering stuff. (including that killer Otto Frei soldering turntable, a totally worthwhile impulse buy.)

This is my "miscellaneous" work bench (also made by dad) - pickle pot, drill press, and my tumbler, aka "the Behemoth".

And on the work front...I'm gonna save my bigger in-progress pieces for next post, because this one is huge already. However, I've also been chugging along with development for some production pieces.

I went through a period where I bought a LOT of stones, for no other reason but that I loved them. I'm just now getting around to using some. Here's a few that I haven't found a purpose for, just yet.

L to R: Picasso Jasper, Green Piranha Agate, Turquoise (mostly hidden), Red Piranha Agate, and Fossil Coral. Probably going to use these for earrings!

I bought these clunkers at Rice's market; I have NO idea what I'm going to do with them, but I loved them, and I got a really good deal. The big ones are Mookaite, Sodalite and...I don't remember what the purple one is! The little guys are either Mookaite or Jasper, again, I forget which. Maybe I'll carve the big ones, I dunno. I guess I could have them cabbed too. Suggestions?

I'm really diggin' these matte black triangle stones. What you see here are my experiments - these are going to be rings, and the black stones will be set with little tube-set CZs, like you see above. (There's a pristine stone in there so you can get a feel for it.)

Somehow in my move from Philly my diamond drill set got lost, so this has to wait until the new one gets here from Rio Grande. I tried using a regular drill bit on the ones above but it was not happening.

Side note - I wish I had my own personal metals resale. I waste so much time waiting for my supply orders, and I'm constantly getting derailed when I realize I'm missing something. Students - enjoy it while you caaaaan~!

Pearl and Black Stone drop earrings. I couldn't get a nice picture of these but they are really cute in person. Pictured are with white and peacock freshwater pearls, and I also have some with purple and faceted red pearls. The others are "on loan" to family members.

Here are some SICK Dalmation Jasper cabochons that I'm setting into rings (ring pictured was too small for me but I've been wearing a different one around all the time!)

I am in love with Dalmation Jasper. Someone told me it looks like kitchen countertop material. Oh well, taste is relative I guess. I think it looks like animal print, and someone agrees with me since it's not called "Countertop Jasper"!

Playing around with gold leaf on black leather. Something badass will come of this.

Cute little wax ant I'm having cast - after I get it back, it'll get legs, eyes, and mandibles set with pearls. I'm doing a couple of these. There's a few more things at Hoover and Strong right now getting cast - a couple of pairs of earrings and a carved cicada - but I forgot to take pictures before they left.

A gem of knowledge I have gleaned from this experience of trying to work at home - force yourself into your studio every day. Even if you have no inspiration whatsoever, once you've been sitting at the bench for awhile, it will start to come to you. I'm still having trouble adjusting to the more relaxed work approach, though. Nothing at the moment compares to the old urgency of school and the Senior Show.

I have to get up early to babysit tomorrow and this is getting long anyway, so at some point this week I'll fill you in with more of what I've been working on, including some one-off insect pieces for those of you missing the buggies. For now, I will leave you with a teaser...