I have an undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas in Art History. I went down a bad path and got my MBA in Finance from San Diego State University. I much prefer metalsmithing at my bench over working in a cubicle.
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Yesterday I got together with a bunch of my friends, most of them from my metalsmithing class, and we made succulent wreaths and had a yummy lunch and some great “girl” time. Everyone brought some succulents, a lot of us just picked them from our yards, we brought containers and wire wreath forms, and we each brought something to snack on for lunch. I brought my friend and hiking buddy, Karen, so she could meet some of the people I talk about on our walk.
We were at my friend Wendy’s beautiful house and she made an awesome lentil soup that was just right for the day because it was feeling “wintery” outside for Southern California. Karen brought an Asian cabbage salad, I brought guacamole (of course) and there was an outrageously great tasting corn salsa, and Elizabeth brought homemade Snickerdoodles. We were all supposed to bring something to snack on and somehow it all worked out just right.
Deb was the star of the day because she finished the most projects. She brought planters to fill and wreath forms to poke plants into and she was extremely prolific. She even did more after she got home. Connie was our succulent expert and provided much knowledge and encouragement.
Here is a picture of almost everyone’s wreaths and containers all together:
I wish I had taken more pictures! I always forget to take pictures. When will I learn?
Her name is Haley Hasler and I read about her in thisarticle. Take a look at her website and her portfolio. I have looked at everything that I can find about her. I love her composition of her paintings and the colors that she uses. I love that she sets up her work as a sort of still-life painting, but there is and undercurrent of real life and electricity. Like a still-life painting there are fruits and flowers and food, but Haley somehow presents a vision of a scene that is not going to decay and perish soon (like fruit and flowers in the standard still-life painting), and you almost expect her to dance (or topple) right out of her painting or hear her children playing the flute. The layers of lush colors and fabric and patterns are fabulous. In this painting, she shows motherhood and family as such a balancing act, one wrong move and everything would come toppling down, but it would just be something that had to cleaned up, nothing disastrous. I wish her much luck with her artwork although she clearly doesn’t need it. I will be keeping an eye out for more work from Haley Hasler.
Above is a new design on which I have been working.
And here is another design:
OK, it is the same design with different textures and embellishments, different, but the same.
Some earrings I made so I could wear them for a night out:
I didn’t realize that I hadn’t posted for almost a month. Yikes. That is certainly not how I intended to run the website. October was busy with several visitors and other things that demanded my time. I am back working again in the studio because I am part of a show coming up November 16th and I need lots of inventory. When I get in that mode, I can’t really experiment like I want to because I am under a time crunch, but still, more designs do surface in my mind when I am doing limited production pieces. I need to work on designs that I know will work and will sell, so that is what I will be doing until the show.
I have been hiking every Wednesday morning though. The weather that we have experienced in the last few weeks have run the gamut from having to leave early in order to beat the heat to walking in the cold and the rain and being completely soaked by the time we finished. Last week it was cloudy and the temperature was cool. We took our jackets off when we completed the climb, but put them back on not long after that and we still had miles to go.
We always seem to be discussing something spiritual when we pass this tree and this is what it looked like last week:
Here is the status of some of the projects I have posted about and are in various states of not being finished.
Remember this project?
Well here is what it looks like now:
What about this earring? Remember it?
Well, here are the two earrings together:
The earring on the left somehow got copper-plated in the pickle. If it weren’t illegal to use sad faces while blogging, then I would put a sad face here. I am not sure how to clean up the copper-plated earring. Oh, and you can also see that some of the granulation did not stick. The good news here is that I have made a new batch of pickle which no longer has steel in it. I think it was steel wool that got into the pickle.
And remember these?
Here is the status of of them now:
I am kind of stuck right here. I have frames made for the stones and I need to capture them with prongs, but I am not sure how I want to attach the stones to the top and I don’t know if I want the top to attach directly to the ear or be attached to something else in order to hang from the ear. I can see positive movement forward for these earrings though.
Today is Deb Jemmot’s birthday party. The invitees are supposed to bring something that they don’t use anymore, but that an artist might like. Happy Birthday, Deb!
I wanted to post something much prettier than the picture from the last post…the picture of the direction to a pig party on a piece of cardboard. I’m playing with these strands of turquoise, wanting to make something out them because it is too hot to be working at my bench out in my garage. Ugh…I have a lot of stuff to work on too.
I was on my way home last Saturday afternoon when I passed this sign and I stopped, backed up and took a photo because , well just because I had so many questions and most importantly, it was a photo opportunity. I didn’t see the “s” at the end of “William” until I downloaded the picture from my iPhone, so I thought the sign said William Pig Party. I thought maybe William was a pig. It is still a strange sign and I still have questions about the party. I don’t know this neighbor, but I could hear his party. There was no squealing, but I still think a pig died or maybe just had a party.
I was shopping the other day on Cedros Ave. and I ended up going into Lynne Merchant’s gallery and what an experience it turned out to be. We ended up talking about, of all things, photography. She is such a treasure ( a true San Diego treasure), she’s full of life and color. We talked about the trade-off of using the iPhone to photograph pieces and using an SLR. She loves her iPhone to take pictures. I told her I was struggling with photographing my jewelry and she had me get out my iPhone and she showed me a few things. I already had the Hipstamatic app on my phone and she said that she liked to use that to photograph her jewelry, so she took a picture with my phone using that app of the necklace I had on. The photo above is so representative of Lynne herself, just look how colorful it is. Her studio has really nice natural light flooding in from the outside and the day I was there, it was cloudy outside, so the conditions for taking a good photo were great.
We talked about so many things that day. I asked her if she worked on many pieces at the same time or if she focused on one thing. I asked her this because I skip around from project to project and sometimes feel like I should just finish one thing before I go on to the next thing, but she said that she worked on lots of projects at the same time. Whew!
We talked about life paths and how a person gets where they are in life and how things change along the way. Her gallery is filled with things that provide inspiration to her and she told me how important it is to surround yourself with things that inspire you as an artist. Inspiration…isn’t that what we are all looking for? Well, she certainly inspired me that day.
Below is MY picture of the same necklace. It is certainly a contrast from the one above that Lynne took.
Here is a bead that I bought from Gail Crosman Moore earlier this year in Tucson. It is made out of brass metal clay with color added by a Gail technique. I finally put the bead on leather so I could wear it. And then hey, I took a photo of it so I could practice my photography. Here is what the other side looks like:
I started collecting beads from Gail about 5 or 6 years ago. The first bead that I bought from her was a gorgeous silver seashell bead which came to unfortunate end when it got stepped on at an event. I was buying another bead from Gail to add the the cable that the large seashell bead was on and it slipped off and well, it was stepped on and crushed. Gail is making me another bead and I should have it sometime in September. When I get it, I will take a photo and show it to you. I love Gail’s work…she blows glass beads, and felts and enamels. She inspires me.
Above is a hawk feather and an owl feather (I think). I just love finding feathers on my walk, they amaze me. My kids used to pick up feathers and I would tell them to put them down because I told them they were dirty. Now I’m picking them up. Just look how the coloring in the feathers assist with camouflaging the bird.
I’m really trying to embrace this photography thing. I try to take a few pictures in the morning when the light is just right for taking pictures. I am reading the manual for my little SLR camera (snooze) and trying to figure out at least the best light setting in which to shoot my jewelry.
I found this quote by Pablo Picasso:
The chief enemy of creativity is “good” sense.
I should be crazy creative…I should be overwhelmed with great ideas according to Picasso…I should be whipping out jewelry designs right and left.