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.
With Connie Fox’s help, on Wednesday I made a new earring to replace the one I melted a few weeks ago in her Granulation class. The entire earring above is made with argentium silver and has been fused together, none of it has been soldered, which is the beauty of working with argentium. Now I just have to finish the other one, clean them up , patina them and put ear wires on them and finally they will be done. OK, back to work.
We started earlier by a half hour on Wednesday for our hike because even at 7:00 a.m., it is already pretty warm. We are both liberally doused with sunscreen and are sticky messes already when we start out. I brought my iPhone so I could take pictures and just get into the habit of taking pictures wherever I go. I mostly forget to take pictures because it is not the first thing on my mind. That is because I am usually too busy talking and having too good of a time to remember to take pictures. I hate waiting for other people to take pictures, it is so tedious and I want to get on with what I am doing, but Karen is always a good sport and she doesn’t mind at all when I stop to take a photo. Thankfully, we came across some things that demanded we stop and take a look, so I remembered to take a picture too.
This is the first thing that we came across that was photo-worthy.
It seems like tarantulas generally just lumber along, but this tarantula was moving so fast, I really had to hurry to get it’s picture. It had no interest in posing, it just kept walking, so I had to get what I could get.
When we reach the top of our climb and really start to enjoy our walk, we run into this guy.
I was more comfortable taking this snake’s picture than I was scurrying by it even though I could tell from the shape of it’s head that it was not a poisonous snake. Karen kept saying, “Take the picture when it’s tongue is out!” I happened to be wearing prescription sunglasses with an old prescription in them. I could barely see the snake through my glasses and the iPhone without trying to time the picture when the snake’s tongue is out. The snake was much prettier in coloring than it appears, the stripes were a brighter greenish yellow.
OK, so I took some pictures of stuff on a walk with my iPhone. I need to be making jewelry and taking pictures of what I make.
Every Wednesday morning, my friend Karen and I take a walk that is a little over 6 miles long. Actually it is a hike because we are climbing 1500 feet by the time we get to the highest point in our walk. When we get to the highest point we turn and look at the view and sometimes we can see the ocean. So far we have been lucky with the weather because we have been doing the walk since the beginning of last November and we have never had to cancel because of rain or cold, but now that it is summer and so hot, we might have to find an alternative to our walk until it gets cool again.
Karen is from Scotland and she always makes me laugh by using funny little sayings that she grew up hearing. Sometimes I make her laugh too by doing the same thing. I am so lucky to have found such a sweet person with which to walk and talk and we just truly enjoy each other. We see all sorts of things on our walk while we are solving the world’s problems. Below is a snake trail with a hole at the end of it’s journey. Did he go down the hole? What kind of snake is he? (All snakes are male.)
I find lots of things on our walk, especially feathers, but not all of them are as pretty as the one below. I think this is an owl feather. It is about 3 inches in length.
The class I took last weekend from Connie Fox was called No Fuss Granulation. Granulation in jewelry means making and working with itty, bitty, teeny, tiny balls. The process of making the balls was really fun, but after that, things got dicey. This was a two day class, Saturday and Sunday, and on the first day I came up with my design and it went together easily. I was making earrings and using a design that I have used in the past, I was just going to incorporate granulation into my design. Easy.
After soldering together my earring design then I was free to make make my granulation, which was enjoyable, satisfying and relaxing because it is a repetitive process and mostly, I couldn’t go wrong because I was just melting tiny pieces of argentium (a metal made from .925 sterling silver that replaces 7.5% copper in sterling silver with germanium, giving the metal different properties than sterling silver). I was lucky if I came back to my table from the torch station and pickling pot with 3/4 of the little balls that I made. Some rolled off my charcoal brick right after they balled up, some probably ended up in the pickle and some ended up on the floor when I transferred them to a container for later use. That was pretty much what I did on the first day.
I stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home to get a salad for lunch for the next day for class. I was pretty sure that I had never met some of the people in the store, but they seemed to know me. I discovered when I got home that I walked around the grocery store with a huge yellow tag on my shirt that said, “Hi! My Name is CHALON”.
I made a lot of sketches on Saturday evening on ideas of how I would use granulation on my earrings. I decided on a design when I got to class and started working on it. Well, things went down hill from there. I chose the design that I thought would be the simplest and it entailed making two sizes of jump rings which I would then fuse together first and then fuse on to my earring. I needed two sizes of jump rings, two small ones and four slightly smaller than the small. Did you notice I said small and smaller? I banged those small and smaller jump rings out right away and went to solder them. I ended up with one small and two smaller rings when I tried to fuse them, the others just ended up in a ball. The day is ticking by fast and everyone is chugging right along.
FINALLY, I ended up with the correct amount of jump rings to fuse onto my earrings (I was using too fine a gauge for the small and smaller jump rings I was making) and I was ready to fuse them onto my earrings. Argentium is fun to work with until it isn’t (that is another post). I melted my earring trying to fuse the jump rings onto it and that was pretty much the end of my project because by that time, class was almost over.
Almost everyone ended up with a finished piece but me. I will continue to work on and finish my earrings and when I do, I will post a picture of them. You know how good I am at photography.