Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Christmas Present

  This copper pot was started way back in October. It is about 4" high and made of copper with tourmaline. It went to my Mom who loved it:)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where am I?

  World of Warcraft video game expansion pack is coming out tonight at midnight. I can hardly resist playing when there is so much new content to explore and play with. I can see me playing for the entire month of December. I'm funny like that;) My blood elf Death Knight will need some attention to level up.

 Here is an awesome inspirational goldsmith who weaves in wire. This is going to have to hold you over for whole month.

  I'll be back around Christmas time to show you the present I made. Have wonderful Holidays all.  If you play WOW /wave

Friday, November 26, 2010

Updated Etsy Shop

  Ok I updated my Etsy shop with affordable designs and terrific forged details. If I can't tempt a frugal shopper with these prices than I'll be scratching my head for sure!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Mom's Banner

  You guys will be so surprised to hear what I have been up to this last week. I've been making ordinary, every day jewelry! Super affordable jewelry, which I hope to get into the shop through my daughter's hands, but she has been too busy yet to do the photography and sales uploading.

   It surprised me to see a style of my own develop very quickly in this type of work. I'm on my fifth day of churning out jewelry and getting faster every minute, also am getting new ideas every minute.  And it surprises me that I am actually having fun at this!! I dragged my feet for so long....
  While I make tons of rings and is my Mom's banner finally up for us all to enjoy.

Mom, looking at your banner again, I think it is just darling!! I have one more block to still develop on mine.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Cloth Banner Part One

  I prefer to post on the blog at least weekly, but lately it is getting harder and harder to accomplish anything in one weeks time. Many of my current designs are taking me an entire week to finish, rather than several days or an evening.  In the back of mind I wonder what will be the fate of my Blog if I decide to make projects that take two weeks or a month? Do I even possess that sort of patience anyways?

  I am also thinking about my life in general. This artist journey I started 1.5 years ago, I see now, is not something that will end.  Following a creative path is always going to take an enormous amount of time and energy as long as I am physically able to do it. So, how do I make room for my other needs in such a full life? How will I live going forth into this future I see?

  These are not angsty thoughts, just a beginning understanding that I may need to change course at some point, or make adjustments in order to carry on with this path I started down. I may not be able to keep the Blog up so often in the future:(  But, I'm not ready to make that decision today!! I love blogging!


  This week I am working on the Mary Hettmansperger banner project that my mother and I started a 6 weeks ago. Until the banner is knocked out, there won't be any wire work done. The banner is taking a heck of a lot longer than I expected and I wanted to get a post done for my Blog, so here is half my banner to view for now.

  My mother and I collaborated on making the banners together, but embellished our banners seperately. I'm trying to get some good pictures of hers to show you also, so you can see how each is different.

  Each banner has 5 blocks, I decided to make my blocks themed. From top to bottom they are: Universe, Sky/atmosphere, People, Earth, Under the Sea.

It took me all week to get 2.5 blocks done:(


Half completed Sky:

Under The Sea:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Twined Cuff

  This bracelet gave me an emotionallly wild ride. Often times I have a very set idea in my head of what I want the finished design to look like. The problem with that way of designing is that it's much more easy to be disappointed with the finished project.

  I had to force myself to finish this design because the weaving wasn't as neatly and evenly done as I envisioned it would be. I also smashed a couple of the copper beads with a hammer accidently :)

  When I finally got to the very end (weeks later) and was able to bend it around a bracelet mandrel and shape it, I was very surprised to find myself as excited about the design as when I first imagined it. I just love it!!

 I wear a lot of grey in my wardrobe and I love how copper looks with grey. The copper cuff with peacock pearl accents and my new grey dress are going to look terrific.  I mean they DO look terrific, as that is what I am wearing right now. And I'm going grocery shopping like that:) hehe

  It's about 2.5" wide.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Catching Up

  I'm surprised almost two weeks has passed since I posted jewelry pics, it feels like just yesterday I posted the twined cuff. I've been busy getting myself into too many projects. More than one jewelry project is half completed, and more than one household project is in some stage of incompletion.

  Today is my daughter's birthday and here are two earrings I made for her. I'm not sure she won't be disappointed with them, but I'll find out tonight.

  One of my half completed household projects is getting my wardrobe updated and in order and sorted out. I handknotted myself a necklace to match some clothing. It's blue peitersite, sterling and hematite.  I even wore it doubled up with my coiled labradorite necklace. It was bold of me to do that since both necklaces have largish beads, but I had fun and they looked great together!

  Almost done with second twined bracelet, should have a pic up before the weekend is over!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Give Away at Lorena Angelo's Blog

  Lorena is having a give-a-way if you sign up and leave a comment on her blog. Lorena is a metalsmith who specializes in art clay with a mexican ethnic flare using plenty of skulls and roses.

Check her out!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Week's Work

  My brief fling with ordinary jewelry appears to be over already:)

The weeks work turned out to be only an excersize, rather than a finished design. I was 80% done when I suddenly decided to scrap it and start all over.

I wasn't prepared for how strong and dense the twining weave would be. I had been advised to use smaller guage wire, but did I listen?  lol

Other mistakes and lessons learned besides wire guage issues were, pulling too tight on my spoke wires and the LOS cannot be cleaned from between the weave, so I better want it to be black!

Also got biggest blister ever! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Back

   I've recently begun to feel some of that old excitement about wire and jewelry stirring about in my solar plexus area:) Even though I have been feeling dry inside, I have never been without ideas to work on. So I would not call my dry spell 'artist block' I guess. The christmas present is nearing completion, and I am happy with how it has turned out, but I can see that the design is really just a precursor of things to come and not the final idea. Still it will be loved by it's future owner.  

  Ever since I made 'The Buried Treasure" necklace I have been fascinated with mixing vintage glass or plastic with gemstone and sterling There were actually two failed projects still on my desk from a month ago. One was an octopus bead in vintage glass and sterling and another was an attempt to set a vintage button in an attractive manner in wire. This mixing idea led me into viewing more 'found object' type jewelry online and in books at the bookstore. I discovered that Richard Salley has a free tutorial on making a found object locket. Of course, my locket is better:)  I'm just kidding!!  Go look and enjoy!  Just click on "Tutorial' on the left hand side.

  During my visit with my parents, my mother and I dived into a Mary Hettsmansperger project from one of my mother's quilting magazines. Mary was making these pieced fabric banners and then embellishing them with found object stuff, like pieces of wire, sticks, buttons, rusted bottle caps etc etc

  So we put together two banners, one for each of us, and searched her craft room for found objects, trash, even a vintage silver fork. My mother lives near the beach and she has collected driftwood so I was even able to get a piece of that to hang my banner on at home. Here is my banner and a pile of the stuff I collected from her house to maybe sew on to it.

  The whole time we did the project we were encouraging each other to be sloppy, and to not care overly much about perfection so that we could be like Mary;) At least this helped us get it done in the short time we had:)

  Last night I faced the dreaded task of cleaning up the craft table:(  I decided it was high time I cleared the way for new ideas and projects and made space for a new mess. The vintage celluloid button I had tried to set in wire a month ago was laying on the table, and I suddenly knew how to finish it. So in between a small effort to clean the table I made a necklace using mixed elements, of celluloid, tourmaline, sterling and copper accents.

  When my daughter came home that evening I enlisted her aid to determine a proper length for it and she became so feverish in her desire for this design that I gave it to her. The poor girl tries so hard to not get attached to the jewelry that I make, but I haven't seen her this excited in a long time. Sometimes you just know when a particular design belongs to someone, don't you?

  One of the things she liked about the necklace was, as she said "it's so accessible". She was warily looking at me for fear of how I would take that. I found it awfully funny, I know many of my designs are not great for every day wear, and are kind of arty;) But as she pointed out, this very accessible design has so many of my latest ideas and my strong hand print on it and she loves that as well.

  I still have not met my daughter's challenge to make every day earrings for her birthday. I think I actually thought that cleaning up the craft table was a less dreadful task than facing the 'ordinary earring' lol.

  More button jewelry and 'every day' designs to come I hope;)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quick Update

  I've made some progress technique wise and I'm working on a new design (which of course takes forever to accomplish).  I'm thinking of saving this new design to use as a Christmas present, which means I can't post it until late December.

  My daughter's birthday is coming up in a month and she asked me to make her some every day earrings. Oy! I haven't made earrings in almost a year and I have no every day designs! So that will be a challenge. I did think up another nifty wire idea for her birthday, but I won't be able to post that either until early November.

I'm headed to Oregon this weekend to visit my parents, so I don't think there will be any wire happenings getting done this week.

I just wanted to let you guys know, it might be a little slow around here for a while but I'm still in the game!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Tangle

  I'm still not feeling very enthusiastic about wire. I did submit some work to a juried website last week and got rejected. This only deepened my lack of enthusiasm:(

  I do trust that my excitement and interest will return in time if I am patient about it.

  I have seen some wire artists over the years abandon wire for metalsmithing. It's not like wire workers have any where to go to get advanced teaching and personal one and one training at the level you are at. There is just nothing like that out there for us.

  It can be tempting to ditch wire when it gets tough or you struggle to bring your ideas into reality and have noone to help you.

  I'm not ready to ditch wire yet.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spiral Brooch

I continue to be fascinated by the spiral in all its forms, both open and closed, coiled, straight, flat or in 3d.

This brooch design allowed me to bring another idea to life without being thwarted by trinket boxes:) I wore it to the office today on a black top and it  feels unique and special;)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I know it's been a long time since I posted, but I am going through a rebellious phase right now.

Just 6 weeks ago I was smugly patting myself on the back for having so much patience to do these long projects. I thought I had conquered myself. But, I was getting tired and I wondered about other areas of my life that were getting neglected because of it.

My daughter got a job recently and since we are sharing only one car in the household, this has disrupted the daily routine of my life. I've never seen anyone so happy to have a job though!

I'm not sure what direction I want to go in next with wire and jewelry, and due to some recent failures, my motivation is low.

I know that things will turn around again. After I regroup;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Buried Treasure Necklace

This entire necklace came about because of the carved bone skull bead. I decided I needed a treasure map to go with it.

Than I decided to make an Lynne Merchant style octopus bead to go with them.

Than I pulled out my vintage beads to add more unique items, like bakelite and purple crystals to go with the carved jade and amethyst and peitersite.

Than I pulled out my box of old components to complete it, some of them are as old as 5 years.

Very tricky to assemble something like this in an attractive manner, but I finally got it.

The octopus bead is something I have wanted to make for years and only just now did. I enjoyed it so much! I already have plans to do another using more of my vintage beads that I haven't used in years.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Those Aren't Beads

Every time I used this method of weaving I am asked 'where did you get those beads?' "How did you do that?"
Well, I'm telling you now, they aren't beads. These are head pins that I made myself and flattened. Than I did my weave using short head pins rather than a long strand of wire. The copper ball is woven using 5 inch long handmade headpins. It is just as strong as weaving with one long strand.
As far as I know, noone has ever done this method of weaving before and I am very proud of it. Feel free to use it, but it would mean a lot to me if you give me credit:)

Spiral Brooch

I've recently discovered the work of metalsmith Andy Cooperman and loved his style which seems a combination of art nouveau, organic textures and engineering connections. While looking at his gallery I decided to make a broach.
You can view his work here

Making pins is such a useful way for me to try out some of my new weaves without having to worry about the precision and commitment required for trinket boxes

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Fairy Ring

I decided to work on something a little bit easier than my latest big ideas:) This is the enchanted circle where fairies gather.

All copper wire, coated to block oxidation. Onyx, carnelian and chalcedony gemstones.

Measure about 2 5/8" wide by 5/8" high

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Self Critique and Play

I'm a little concerned that my last post came across more severely then I meant it to. I didn't mean to suggest that my last two projects were complete failures or that I hated them totally. Both projects are not ones I would offer for sale because they did miss my standards for selling on various accounts. However, I did think both projects had a lot of exciting ideas going on and tons of potential.

My frustration and lack of confidence at the moment, is in regards as to how to improve what went wrong so that they can meet my standards. The two techniques I use for creating and weaving spirals are not serving me well on my new designs. That means I need to break new ground technique wise. When breaking new ground, there is always the niggling doubt as to whether there is a solution to be found at all;)

When I said I was discouraged, I had only meant I was discouraged over these particular ideas, and unsure about finding a solution, not with all of my wire work.

When I first began to openly share my self critique, I was a bit worried about how it would be perceived by others. I want you to know that I critique my work because I genuinely want to improve and do excellent work. It fills my heart with joy to have a well made design in hand;) So I always strive for that.
I would also like you all to know, that I love my own work. I used to think that other peoples work was more interesting and inspiring than my own. I have grown so much this last year that I find my own work to enthrall me and excite me, more than other peoples work. I never thought that I would ever feel that way.

Today I decided to only play with the wire and test out ideas. Self discipline to commit to any project is in short supply at the moment;)

These wire projects might appear to all be the same, but each one is slightly different and each one experimented with a different technique to create it. This is my attempt to manage an oval shape that is also curving.

And now I think I should take a walk or do something different and give my poor brain a break;)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Steep Learning Curve

Here is another project that has not quite turned out as I hoped. I was inspired by a box Christine made at Jewelry Lessons. Christine had run out of copper wire and so had turned to some green florist wire in her eagerness to make a trinket box.

Every time I look at her box I see forest vines and trees climbing up the spirals in some chaotic fashion. I was determined to bring that inspiration to life and this is my first try.

There are two requirements that my designs must meet. They must be structurally sound, and also aesthetically pleasing. This design misses the mark on both accounts, but I am still hooked on the vine idea and I still want to incorporate this idea of an erratic weave up the spiral.

Everything I want to make is advanced for me and taxing my wire abilities. I'm a bit frustrated right now, because my ideas take so many hours to complete and than to miss the mark on 3 projects in a row is hard on my self confidence.

But what can I do? I really want a Sea Trumpet, a Vine Box, and my other project is to do a trinket box in an oval shape. I have no idea how long this learning curve is going to last. I don't even know if this is just a learning curve, or am I missing the signs that say 'Road is out ahead, turn around" lol

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Finishing Things..

I told my mother, "just because I've started using Facebook doesn't mean you will miss out on anything" (since she doesn't use it). Than I turned around and posted this finished design to Facebook, with no intentions to blog about it! Not on purpose mind you, just wasn't thinking:)

This is a pendant I did some time ago, inspired by Deborah Muhl basket artistry. I finally worked it up into a necklace.

I'm trying to also get an older silver trinket box reworked into a better necklace.

I also started another advanced coiling design that I can tell already won't work out, and I put a lot of hours into that. If I can work out these advanced ideas, I know I can make some really cool stuff. I'm motivated to work them out, but it's slow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Medicine Woman

I've always had doubts about this design and never quite connected with the end result.
You can see what it used to look like here:

Somewhere in the design process a 'should' creapt into my thinking. I should have some bright copper pieces available for potential buyers. I shouldn't be selfishly designing to please myself. I should think of other people's wants.

It's funny how such ideas can creep in unawares, even in lifes nonessentials like jewelry design.

The entire necklace came to life for me after I finished my intentions and she spoke clearly enough to give me her name. Meet the Medicine Woman.

I left the copper extra dark in some spots and did not evenly polish. I used the Protectaclear coating for the first time and loved it! This product is supposed to keep the copper from oxidizing any further. Before I can offer it for sale I want to see how she looks in a few weeks to be sure that I used the product correctly.

Though my attachment to this design has gone up 100% and I'm not entirely sure I want to part with her.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Trumpet

I spent most of my weekend working on this trumpet shaped box. It's been in my heart for a month now.

On Friday night I spent 4 hours just trying to figure out how I would construct it. Then Saturday I set out on the project with low hopes. Then I had very high hopes as it was working out OK. Than I got to the 'hinge from hell' SOB!!

I'm utterly wire exhausted. Maybe in a few days I will consider trying this VERY challenging project again.

On a lighter note... When I first started wire wrapping I had a very low view of the spiral. I thought the spiral was a 'necessary evil', or 'for baby wire wrappers'.
I get such a chuckle when I think of how horrified my younger self would be if she were told that all her best designs were going to be centered around a spiral:)

When I designed the Spiral Locket a year ago, I had only come to tolerate the spiral. Somewhere along the way I came to like it, and now I fully embrace it! Who knew?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Facebook Promotion

Making an effort to improve my marketing skills this week. I'm finally ready to take on Facebook to market finished pieces that are ready for sale.

If you hit the LIKE button and follow my Wired Elements facebook page, you will be eligible to win this iolite and sterling necklace. Details of the promotion are on my Wired Elements facebook page.