Friday, December 14, 2012
I'm tired after driving from the coast and setting up the booth but I just put together this collage of some of the new work that we will have at the fair that hasn't been shown before. We had 10 days to work before coming and it was a productive and fun time for us in the studio. This, of course, is the last selling that we will do this year and we are excited to have 3 or 4 months to play and be creative after the first of the year, depending on the shows that we get into next year. We are looking forward to seeing all of our Chico friends and customers in the next 10 days and taking turns wandering around Chico, having lunch with friends, and visiting Chico and Oroville thrift stores to harvest books for my next book sale in Caspar on the day before my 70th birthday, January 27th.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
We did well at the Sacramento Arts Festival, Friday, the first day of the fair was our best single day at the festival in our 14 years of showing there, with most of our sales to people who have bought our work before who came at the beginning of the fair to get the best selection. Saturday and Sunday were not as good but overall it was our 2nd best year, 2011 being the best. I'm not surprised, since my records show that fairs that we do that take place just before a presidential election are always a little less successful than the previous year and the following year. this is very consistent. So, we're looking forward to a great year at the convention center in 2013.
At this time of year we start thiinking about what directions our jewelry designs will take next year, what new ideas, new designs, new materials, new techniques will keep our interest and be fun as well as lead to interesting new jewels to present to the large group of clients and collectores who already have a significant amount of our work. One thing that we both want to focus on
is starting to use more of the gemstones that we've been collecting and stashing away for over 40 years. We'd like to find homes for them so that others can enjoy them. It will be interesting to see what other new directions happen. The period of time between Christmas and springtime when we start doing show again is often the most creative time of our jewelry work year.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
When I get home after this fair I'm intending to create a post detailing how I make the mixed metal beads that I've been infatuated with for almost 15 years now.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Above are just a few of the new things that Carlie made in this last work period from mid May to now. We've both been working on a lot of pieces that include our mixed metal beads.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
I've trying to come up with a new creature design currently but don't know what it will be. The other thing I've wanted to do for a while is a piece that is a musical instrument. I've started working on one and it looks as if it's going to be a cello hybrid of some sort. We'll see. Sometimes designs develop a mind and direction of their own.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Thinking about earrings makes me think of a time 40 plus years ago when I made my first solder constructed set that were asymmetrical. I displayed them at a fair and the first woman who asked about them sat looking at them for a couple of minutes and then said to me, " you know, they are supposed to be opposites, the one for my left ear should be the reverse of the one for the right". Well, I can't recall a time of feeling more stupid for having made them exactly the same, but I then made two opposites and ended up with two pair which both sold very shortly so it turned out OK.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
On the left are images of jewels we've recently finished. We've been working on some smaller heart pendant designs, the left two are close to nickel size and the one on the right is closer to quarter sized. The pendant at the upper right is called Spike, it's inspiration was a martial arts tattoo that I saw on the Internet, it's number three of a series. The earrings at the bottom right were a joint project although Carlie did most of the work, I made the lotus shape at the top. I traded them to her for ear wires that she makes for me to use on my earring designs. We pass parts back and forth between our work benches as well as ideas. If you have any interest in additional details of scale, materials and price of any of these jewel objects email us at
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you more specifics, scale, price, materials, etc. We have been working steadily, we were hoping to be on our way to Arizona right now to do a show that we've done off & on for over 20 years but we didn't get in this year, something that happens every so often. It's a very competitive show with probably 1200 artists applying from all over the US for a few over 200 spaces. We're not bummed out but we'll miss spending a couple of weeks in the sunny desert. The upside is that we will have exceptional selections of jewels for our May shows in Davis and Los Altos. It won't make any difference in our year's income by year's end, we'll have more to sell at our other shows. We are interested in selling things off this blog and I'll be concentrating on figuring out exactly how to do that in upcoming months. This blog will give clients who only see us once a year a chance to see a lot of our work that they wouldn't get a glimpse of otherwise. To keep our cash flow flowing we'll be concentrating on completing special orders and I'll be pursuing my other money making modes with my monthly book sales and my computer tutoring.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
For years I've sought and found copper and brass at flea markets and yard sales in the form of old plates, cups, bowls, trays etc and have cut them up and used them in our mixed metal jewels. Many years ago I used to find sterling silver ware and objects to use but when the price of silver started going up that became a rarity.
This process of recycling the metal for use in our work is a labor intensive but personally satisfying process.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
|Mixed Metal Rings|
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
The pendant at the top is one of Carlie's hinged pendants set with a piece of Mendocino abalone that I found, cut & polished and a cabochon of Afghani lapis lazuli at the bottom. At the top is a Chinese fresh water pearl. It is made of silver,
|Mixed Metal Pendant|
The bottom pendant that I made is silver, copper & gold set with an Orissa garnet from India. It is a little over an inch in diameter and will sell for $185 with a silver chain. If you have any interest or questions about any of the jewels we have posted to sell, send us an email and we can work out details.
I'll soon be going to the ocean to look for pieces of abalone shell that have been washed up by the recent storms we've had. I'll post some pictures of my findings.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
and never having made a cross before, Carlie suddenly started working on a half dozen cross designs most of which we sold at fairs before Christmas. When we started working again in January she continued designing and making crosses and her variations continued. All the other crosses in these two pictures are her designs. It was really great fun and also inspirational to me to watch her play. I imagine that I will make some more crosses in new variations sometime during this upcoming year. This is a typical process for us in our jewel work together, throwing ideas back and forth between our work benches and influencing and inspiring each others work. It's a fun game we play. The crosses without stones pictured here range in price from $135 to $155, the ones with stones range from $145 to $185. The price includes a sterling silver snake chain. I forgot to mention that the last time I visited Texas and saw my step sister, I gave her one of my crosses in thanks for her instigating a successful design series of jewels.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The metal ones are composed of multi metal layers, the top layer pierced with a thin jewelers saw blade in a variety of patterns and the back layer(s) textured by stamping or roller printing. When the back layer is copper, it is usually colored by heat oxidation with a torch. layers are joined together with rivets that I make out of wire. The design process starts by dividing a circle into equal segments, most commonly eight, but sometime 6, 5, 4 or 3 and then creating a design motif that repeats in each of the sections. I plan to divide a circle into 7 segments this year to see what kind of design that might lead to. These jewels can all be worn as either pins or pendants and although in this illustration they all look the same size, they actually vary in diameter from 1 1/4 inches to 2 1/2 plus inches. I normally only make one at a time and have rarely had more than one in my case at any given showing. These days I'm tending to make ones of smaller scale because the bigger ones are not selling.
Friday, January 13, 2012
I'm in the initial phases of creating another blog that will be a teaching blog to share the techniques I use to create my mixed metal jewels. I hope to have it up and running by the 1st of February.