Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Landscape Painting

Third Session
All right....looks like a 'Fourth Session' is necessary.
Those flowers in the foreground are an unfortunate garish blue. I hope I can figure out how to tame them.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Opportunities

I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions, but as 2012 began, I did make a pledge to find more business opportunities this year. As family expenses increase, I am headed toward a bad mathematical equation if I don't find ways to increase my income.
Time to seek out new opportunities.
When I recently accompanied my son to his college's bookstore, I saw that there was a display of "Made in Pennsylvania" items. Hmmmm.....possible opportunity.
I sent an email to the bookstore manager with images of my jewelry and we scheduled a meeting.
Kathy, the manager, is delightful and I was delighted that she liked my work. When I returned with pieces that I made in response to her preferences, she bought almost everything which definitely exceeded my expectations.
Some of the jewelry that I made is very specific to the college.
For the above necklace, I searched for images of the college and found a vintage postcard that features the landmark building on campus (which also happens to be where my son lives). I reduced the image to fit it within a silver plated bezel, added the word 'learner' that was pilfered from my 1930's dictionary, and filled the bezel with 2 part resin.
The bezel pendant hangs from a chain that I made with wire wrapped amazonite, Swarovski pearls, vintage crystals and etched silver discs.
This necklace will soon join the other items already at the bookstore, and I will be joining the bookstore's outdoor display for the upcoming Arts Weekend.

Friday, March 16, 2012


My attempt at a landscape in oil based on a photo that I took at Chanticleer:
First Session
Second Session
I'm feeling satisfied with parts of the painting like the shadow under the tree.
Overall?........not so sure.
I think I need a couple more sessions of working on this before I can decide if I like it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

More Lunar

Inspired by my recent 'lunar' pieces, I made more textured discs this morning.
Brass discs were cut and then placed on the concrete steps alongside my driveway. Using my old, beaten up household hammer, I pounded away on the discs which left a wonderfully irregular, pitted surface.
The discs were then filed, sanded, torched, domed, sanded again and then drilled and sealed with Renaissance wax.

A simple sterling earwire, and the new earrings were completed.
They are 1" in diameter, lightweight and fabulous!

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Resin Evening

An emergency repair to my son's eyeglasses required the mixing of resin last night, so I decided that I would mix enough to work on some jewelry projects as well.
I had soldered some pieces for future dictionary charms, and finished step one of the resin work.
When first making similar charms, I followed procedures that I had seen outlined in publications featuring other resin work done by jewelry artists. My results left me unsatisfied and frustrated for various reasons. I ended up experimenting and now have a technique that works very nicely for the results that I want.
My technique requires doing an initial pour. After soldering copper jump rings to brass squares, I press the pieces onto the sticky side of duct tape and then carefully pour resin to just below the top of the brass. Contact with the duct tape creates a seal, keeping the resin where I want it- in the brass square.
After one day, I can peel the pieces from the duct tape, and they are now ready for the next step- inserting a small square of text/image which is then covered with the second pour of resin.
This is more labor intensive than the techniques that I had seen published, but I am better able to control the outcome with predictability.
My resin batch was also used for more Longfellow pendants....
and for some new pendants that will hopefully be carried by the bookstore at my son's college.
I found a vintage photo of the landmark building on campus and reduced it to fit some bezel/pendants that I had in my supplies.
Several weeks ago, manager of the bookstore agreed to include my jewelry in the 'Handmade in Pennsylvania' section of the store. I'm delivering inventory on Monday, including these soon-to-be-made-into-necklaces pendants.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Model Progress

We had a second session with the model.
It was unnerving for me to put the first, new brush stoke on my previous work, but agonizing progress was made thanks to Georganna's skilled guidance.
Moving on to landscapes next.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Can't Hold a Candle (Anymore)

Always in pursuit of new ways to display my jewelry, I keep an open mind when I come across interesting thrift store this old, beaten up candle holder that cost 50 cents.
I loved the patina (some might just say that it's dirty) and the interesting textures and thought it might be perfect for showcasing earrings.
Hanging earrings on the candle-holding-thing (I'm sure that the candle making industry has a specific name for this) didn't quite feel right.
I turned my attention to the wax-catching-collar-thing (again...I'm sure that there is a more legitimate name) where I was sure earrings would be able to hang in a more appealing way.
There were no holes in the collar, but that was no problem.
With a drill bit in my flex shaft, I carefully drilled holes in the collar.
I can now put earwires through the new holes, allowing earrings to dangle in that appealing way I was aiming for.
I like my new/old 50 cent earring display.