Wednesday, July 30, 2008

it has finally arrived!

Today the Paragon Kiln arrived. I am so excited. Of course I am not nearly ready to use it. I have to finish a few other projects first. I am hoping to be able to do some new PMC work next week while the girls are away. In the mean time I and sketching some idea so I will be focused and can use my clay wisely. It's expensive.
This is not where the kiln will live. I am not sure where I should put it yet, but it will probably live in the garage which is the safest place for it to go while it's firing.

Today it rained all day, and the kiln was delivered while the girls and I were seeing Mama Mia. The UPS guy left it under the awning of the garage so I brought it in to the ouse to unpack it.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Summer is great, but always about this time when I look a little forward to school starting again. This week promises to be another when I don't get alot accomplished, but the girls and I have a really good time.

Tamara took a KidzArt class last week and as you can see she is very talented. The theme was Caribbean, hence the pirate pictures. I was a little reluctant about this course because the kids copy alot of the pictures from what the teacher displays on the board. But I have to say, Tamara really enjoyed the class. The kids stay very focused and develop alot of basic skills. I think Tamara gained alot of confidence in her drawing this week. Her teacher recognized she was very creative and encouraged her.

My niece Alena is in town this weekend visiting. Isn't she adorable? The girls are really enjoying having her and their Uncle Josh here for a visit.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

frustrated and exhausted

It's another hot humid day in St. Louis. It was a perfect day for the girls and I to enjoy the afternoon swimming at our friend's country club. We are all tired, that great summertime type of tired when you are exhausted and can't move a muscle.

I am a bit frustrated though, since both the girls are home and not in camp I am finding it hard to carve out time to work on any jewelry projects. Plus the butane torch and PMC tools I ordered from Anne Mitchel have yet to arrive.

So in between projects for the girls, cleaning up the house, and weeding the garden, I am trying to use some of the gemstones and findings that I already own to create some new things. This choker necklace is strung tiny andalusite faceted briolettes separated by gold vermiel Bali beads.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

friendship bracelets

Abby came back from camp more interested than ever in making friendship bracelets. She made them for the entire family and is taking orders for more. Some are simple braids and others more intricate. She used to wear at least ten at a time but she sacrificed them at the end of her 5th grade year for the class's time capsule.

Here is my version which I finished today. I made the triple strand bracelet from my favorite Thai Silver beads from the Keren Hill Tribes. I mixed these with these cool African beads I found at the Tucson gem show years ago. They are lapis, jade and coral and very delicate. I hardly have any left and I have not been able to find them again.

The day I got my ears pierced......

I was 21 when I finally got my ears pierced. I went to some shop in Harvard square with my boyfriend. I remember I chose square gold cubes for my starter earring. They were very modern and new wave.

I don't always wear earrings. Sometimes a necklace is enough. But I love making earrings that compliment one's face without over powering. This style is one of my favorites. It gold fill wire and chain with tiny andalusite and whiskey tourmaline.

My daughter Tamara just got her ears pierced today at Libby Lu in the mall. She's nine. I am very proud of her because she was so brave. She really wanted to do this. She chose tiny gold topaz flowers (her birthstone). They are very classy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I've been experimenting with wire, paper and old magazines to come up with some earth friendly centerpieces for Abby's Bat Mitzvah next year. I think this attempt has some potential.I used galvanized aluminum wire for the stem, with origami lilies and leaves made from rolled up magazines. Try to imagine many stems like this in a tall vase or cluster of wine bottles.
This I'm not sure about, and neither is my cat! I am attempting to create a sphere like arrangement using the rolled up magazines. It's not looking as I planned, but I am not ready to give up.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I made it out of clay

Well, not exactly clay. I used PMC or Precious Metal Clay which is actually fine silver-99% pure silver. I made these pieces at a workshop I took with metal smith artist Kate McKinnon. Kate lived in St. Louis for a while and now is based in Tucson. She was in town for a quick visit and did this workshop, it was a real treat. I decided to take the plunge and really give this medium a go. I really like working with it and I love the gutsy silver pieces you can make with it. This means I can make my own original pendents, charms, links-anything!

Today was a bit of a disappointment. I did an initial tumbling of the pieces and planned to patina them with liver of sulfur. But my liver of sulfur had oxidized and gone bad so I have to get some more before I can finish working the pieces.

These components will become a two necklaces a ring shank and a bracelet. I'll post pictures when I can. Wait till you see the chain link I'm working on.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

pair of pears

This awesome painting was painted by my 11 year old daughter Abby. She took a course this summer at Maryville University. It's a really wonderful program taught by working artists and educators. It reminded me of my freshman year core program at Boston U, except no critique, only encouragement. She loved the camp especially drawing and painting. I love the unique way she chose to focus on just a part of the still life, it shows how she is already designing and thinking like an artist. And of course it, it celebrates her love of all things, fruit!

Abby also got really into metalsmithing, sound familiar. She is away at camp and I miss her so much. I took this painting, as well as a pen and ink drawing to Art Mart to get framed. I can't wait to display it.
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Monday, July 7, 2008

poor man's silver

I love this bombay chest. I started with a unfinished alderwood chest, painted it black and then hand lefed it with aluminum. I would have loved to use silver leaf but I didn't have the cash. Plus this won't tarnish.. Then I hand drew the flower details with a craft fine line paint pen. It's my ode to William Morris and the arts and crafts movement. The top is also black with a red undertone. I couldn't fine cool handles to fit the holes so I just spray painted the brass one that came with the chest. This piece is also at the denim store in Clayton. I originally made it for my living room but I enjoy that more people get to see and enjoy it at the store.

Is collage really art?

I'm not sure I can comfortably call this art. It's just a collage I made for the Elements of Denim store, (Venus is wearing a bootcut jean). I like it alot, I think I came out good, it's definately one of my favorites. I also like the Michealangelo"s David and Ingres paintings that also have on jeans. If you are in Clayton Missouri, stop by the boutique and check them out. I have about 6 collages there and a cool piece of furniture I'll tell you about later. Plus the girls at Elements can fit anyone in a great pair of designer demin jeans. The store is awesome.

My first attempt

Testing one two three...