Wednesday, August 30, 2017

It's Time for the Kings Mountain Fair

We are leaving Friday morning for our trip to the redwoods south of San Francisco for the Kings Mountain Art Fair. This is the 55th year for this great event, started in 1963. We first did it in 1971 when we were living in Berkeley, it was the 2nd fair in our 46 years of making our living selling our Mixed Metal Jewels at art shows, fairs and festivals. (and various and sundry other odd venues along the way). After our first year there we went back to southern California for a few years, doing shows in the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara area  and living in Ojai for a while. In 1976 we moved to the Nevada City area in the Sierra Foothills and in the late 70's or early 80's started doing the Kings Mountain fair again. So we've been doing it for close to 40 consecutive years. It's our favorite and our most economically successful. Looking forward to it once again. I'm adding three collages of newer work below. Click on this link to go to their website and get directions, parking suggestions, a list of participating artists and images of their work. www.kingsmountainartfair.org/






Friday, July 21, 2017

We Are Showing our mixed metal jewelry in Mendocino tomorrow

Our last local showing of our work is coming up tomorrow (Sat. July 22nd)  in Mendocino at the Street Fair along Little Lake Street near the post office in downtown. We've been doing little fairs here for many years. EZ set up, pleasant visitors and I hope a pleasant weather day this time. We've had a streak of sunny 65-70 degree days and I hope that continues through Saturday. You never know though, living this close to the ocean, the weather can change several times a day. Fog-Sun-Fog-Wind-Sun-Fog. We are getting ready for our biggest and best show of the year in Woodside, south of San Francisco on Labor Day Weekend and are creating jewels at a steady pace. To the right are some of the new ones.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Showing our mixed metal jewels in Mendocino in July

In July we will do the only local showings of our work at the 2 Mendocino Street Fairs on Heider Field, along Little Lake Street, near the post office and one block east of the Mendocino Art Center. We will set up and sell there twice, first on Tuesday, July 4th at the same time that the parade happens and for the second time on Saturday, July 22nd, the last weekend of the Mendocino Music Festival. Hours for the fairs are 10 am to 4pm, admission is free. These small but sweet shows feature creative work by local and regional artists. I expect we will get lots of visitors from inland areas where it is very hot this year, temperatures here at the coast are running in the low to mid 60's for the most part, very pleasant.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Mixed Metal Jewelry

I'm starting to take pictures of new work as we finish pieces in preparation for our upcoming fair in Los Altos in May. I've always been drawn to working in a circular motif, sometimes I make myself  work in other forms, squares, triangles, odd shapes and asymmetrical pieces but I've always done lots of circles because I like them. It doesn't hurt that they sell very well either. These are relatively small, 1 1/8 inches in diameter. In my 50 year career I've made circle pendants like these in sizes as big as 4 and 5 inches in diameter. At this point in time though the jewelry market is in a small phase and the large pieces don't sell as well. The mandala form on the left is silver overlaid over copper, joined by copper rivets and set with a fresh water button pearl. It is $235. The mandala form has always held a fascination for me, I've drawn and painted dozens if not hundreds of them over the years, even before I started making jewelry. I once painted one 10 feet in diameter on the side of a building in Ventura, California back in the late 1960's. On the right is a variation in a series I call Circle/Waves, a series that has been developing for close to 30 years. A  mixture of silver, copper and gold, set with abalone shell and a grey moonstone. It is $210. I'll be taking some pictures of Carlie's newest earring designs in the next few days and posting some of them. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Abalone Wings

I've just finished this necklace. Although I do very few special orders any more, I took this one on because it was one of the most striking pieces of abalone I've ever seen. The abalone was acquired by a customer some time ago in a very inexpensive pendant. I've seen a lot of abalone over the years and have boxes and boxes of it that I've found at the ocean on the Mendocino coast in the last 20 years. This piece was special. I captured some of it's color in the image but some escaped. I'll be putting up more images of our new work soon, we are gradually building up a good stock of new pieces for our first show of the year in Los Altos in a little over two months.      -Jima-

Monday, January 2, 2017

Starting to make Mixed Metal Jewelry in 2017

 I've taken some time off from making jewelry since our last fair of 2016 in Chico. It's sometimes good to take a break, it lets me begin the next phase of jewel making with a fresh mind and new ideas. Making new styles and playing with new ideas is what keeps jewelry making interesting to me after 50 years of doing it. These two collages of images are ones that I put together at the end of last year but we still have most of these pieces.

In my move to become more semi retired, I reduce my weekly quota of hours devoted to any aspect of the jewelry business by two hours each year. I started this in 2015 and the quota for that year was 20 hours a week. I ended up actually working about 23-24 hours. I must confess to being somewhat of an obsessive record keeper and keep track of every minute of work time. This past year my weekly quota was 18 hours a week and I just last night added things up and discovered that I actually did 19.6. That's progress. This year my quota is 16 hours a week. As you can see, it goes down 2 hours a year. I know it's crazy but it works
for me. We are also doing fewer shows each year and are analyzing which will be our next show to drop from our schedule. We will put our known schedule on the blog pretty soon. It's nice to have a few months off from shows now to have time to play and be more creative, take vacations, and sometimes do nothing which is by far the most challenging thing for me.

This year I'm planning to find a way to incorporate well shaped little beach stones into some jewelry pieces, collect and shape and polish more abalone pieces from the beaches around Mendocino and start using up more of the 50 year collection of gemstones that I have accumulated. I hope also to work on new designs featuring creatures of various kinds. Top of my list is to make a great many
bracelets this year, I have sold out of them at several fairs this years so that is sign I should make more.

I hope to see you at one of our shows this year. I'll be posting pictures here on the blog periodically as new items get finished, if anything interests you, send me an email at jica@mcn.org  and I'd be happy to tell you more about it. I've sold an increasing number of jewels
like that in the last few years. HAVE A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2017.