Thursday, April 30, 2009

taking a break and other stuff

i am going to take a break from blogging, twitter, facebook, flickr, etc. starting tomorrow after i post may's jewelry of the month. i've been thinking about how much time i spend on these things and it's a lot. although fun and worthwhile, they are incredibly distracting and lately they seem to fill the time i could be using to work in my studio. i find myself getting increasingly frustrated. so, i am going to step away for a month and not worry about any of it. i am just going to make my work, starting each day early and working as long as i want uninterrupted. i do worry that the lack of communication for so long could hurt me a little (people may lose interest…) but i think it’s a risk worth taking. i'll start up again in june and, hopefully, all of you will come back for more then.
now just a few studio is done and i've added lots of pictures to my flickr photostream . my partner and i worked many long hours fixing it up and painting. we finished on april 17 just in time for my first resident artist open house. i am really pleased with the finished space and eager to get to work in there! all i want now is a good sofa to put near my bookcase so i can relax, look at my books, and think about things. i am also in the process of adding new work images to my website studio jewelry section, to flickr, and to facebook. they should all be updated shortly. finally, i updated my events list (look to your right) with a few new things.

have a great month, enjoy the spring, and see you soon!

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

...speaking of enameling

yesterday i learned a little enameling from elizabeth turrell and her students in the penland spring concentration metals class. ( i tried enameling in college and when i say "tried" i mean one of my friends' showed me and i spent maybe an hour at it.) this time around i spent the day and just did some experimenting. elizabeth explained the different colors and fluxes (all liquid enamels), showed me how to fire my first plate, and how to stone (file/sand) away the layers. then i just went for it, trying not to think to much. it was really fun and so different from what i usually do! i like the plates i made, too, and will probably make a series of pieces using them. most of the plates have two or three layers of enamel which i have drawn into with different tools and stoned to highlight and define certain areas.
thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


jason bige burnett, a core student here at penland, came to visit me in my studio yesterday. he brought with him a series of enameled brooches he's been working on in the enameling class during the spring concentration. they are images of 8 different guys here at penland, enameled on copper and complete with packaging. i know most of these people and i must say their likenesses are dead on. i have very little experience with enameling and i am really impressed with what can be done with the material.

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 24, 2009

guest star friday #45...sayumi yokouchi

today's guest star friday is sayumi yokouchi. sayumi was born in tokyo, japan and lives in the united states. i first saw sayumi's work at the penland gallery in an instructor show. i think it was two summers ago and i remember really liking her details and use of layering. sayumi's materials of choice include industrial felt, thread, and wire, as well as some stones and found objects. she seems to be creating little worlds or her own version of the landscape she sees everyday.

you can see more of sayumi's work at gallery loupe, velvet da vinci, and sienna gallery.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


i'm in a flickr group called "artist-to-artist", a "small peer group to share feedback and encouragement about the making, selling, marketing, and sharing of our work." i joined awhile ago but didn't get involved until now. the members are participating in a collaboration called the "creative element swap". participants get an object from one person and send an object to another. then we make things for each other using the objects. i got a box of elements from masaaki shinko who lives in tokyo, japan. masaaki is a ceramic artist. the box included 3 different styles of elements - 3 dimensional stars and two different styles of beads. masaaki said i can use whatever i like and keep the rest for myself. the packaging alone was incredible and it was so fun to open.
i'm not sure which pieces i will use yet or how, they are all very beautiful and interesting to me. i need to spend some time with them and away from them. i am looking forward to making whatever it is i will make, though! i think this will be really fun and a great way for me to separate myself from my other work, explore, and experiment.

i will be sending my element off to shand stamper in greenville, nc today. i chose this small rusty blade. i have a small collection of these and i think i will make a piece as shand work's. i am curious to see the similarities and differences in our pieces in the end. thanks for reading.

Monday, April 20, 2009

108 meditations in saffron

here are some images of the case i made the key and escutcheon for. the case (made by sarah martin for david chatt) contains 108 different beaded objects (made by david chatt). sarah and david are both resident artists at penland.

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 17, 2009

guest star friday #44...tarja tuupanen

today's guest star is from finland - tarja tuupanen. i have seen some of her pieces before and rediscovered them earlier today. i love her use of white and the soft, smooth handling of the material. i also like how hidden her settings are. they almost disappear yet they add subtle detail just where it's needed. her pieces have such an exquisite look that is quiet and comforting. in addition to the brooch images here, tarja also has some beautiful necklaces and earrings which you can see at her website (which she shares with three other finnish jewelers). it's called "hibernate."

...and see even more of tarja's work here.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

bench chaos

here is a picture of my messy bench. i was working on may's jewelry of the month and had a serious creative block. i struggled a lot. i would get an idea and try it out...sometimes i would finish it and hate what i made and sometimes i would loose focus half way through the process. there are at least 7 different ideas going on there. i stared at the ceiling a lot that day. it was very frustrating. looking at the picture now it really doesn't look that bad anymore, although, it felt pretty bad at the time.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

lock and key

today i made custom hardware for my friend and fellow resident artist david chatt. david commissioned sarah martin (another friend/resident) to make a display case for a collection of beaded objects and he asked me to make a key and escutcheon to match the lock. i reserved the entire day for this project thinking it might just take me that long. i was totally prepared for the project to be really difficult. i started working at 9am and was done by 1:30. i was pretty sure for awhile there that i would not be able to make a working key, but i did. i have posted images from start to finish on my flickr photostream. i'll post a photo of the finished case sometime soon.

thanks for reading.

Monday, April 13, 2009

new rolling mill

my new rolling mill has arrived - a pepe brand - 4:1 reduction - 110mm combination mill. i got it from metalliferous in nyc. the 4:1 refers to the reduction gear ratio - for every complete turn of the rolls, the rolling mill handle must be turned four times. this makes the mill easier to use. combination means it includes both flat milling surfaces and grooves for square and half round wire. i use the rolling mill to make wire from metal i have melted down and to flatten wire for my line drawing pieces. i also use it to make metal thinner.

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 10, 2009

guest star friday #43...sarah kate burgess

today's guest star friday is sarah kate burgess. sarah uses everyday objects as her materials - things like coffee cups for example - and manipulates them into adornment for the body. the finished pieces redefine the purpose of the object and help the viewer/wearer to see the usually overlooked object in an entirely new way.

i especially like sarah's "do-it-yourself" series. you can download patterns from her website to make different rings using zippers, tape, or snaps, to name a few... sounds like a good weekend activity to me!

thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

dinner with elizabeth

elizabeth turrell

last night i made dinner for elizabeth turrell and her husband roger. elizabeth is an enamel artist and senior research fellow in enamel at the centre for fine print research at university of the west of england. she is also the current metals instructor at penland, teaching a course on enameling. we had a lovely time chatting about art and travel. elizabeth gave me a copy of the catalog from the exhibition "the enamel experience - the international badge exhibition" which she curated. you can read about the show and see the pieces at velvet da vinci. i have posted a few of my favorites.
helen carnac

mark hartung

jessica turrell

thanks for reading.

caught-up? what?

what will it be? forgotten secret? rossland? eastern shoreline?

my work day is typically composed of time at my bench and time at my computer. the amount 0f time at each varies from day to day. i always have a running to-do list which never seems to get any shorter. but for the past few weeks i have been more of a workaholic than usual, working from early in the morning until late evening just to get caught up, and this time around i've nearly reached my goal. i feel satisfied, which is an unusual feeling for me. i haven't been at the bench much; instead i've been behind my computer. i've also been painting and rearranging my studio. i've pared down my list enough to have every remaining item scheduled, including some free time. it feels really good. i feel like i know what's going on for the first time in a long time and can think about things individually. i can also look forward to the different events in the future and see them realistically. they are clear, whereas last week they were fuzzy. my mind feels calmer, not like it's racing to get ahead or on top. i made some goals for myself - complete studio painting and set-up by april 17 (penland resident artists' first open house of the year) and get my production line organized and in a routine by may 1. both dates are still ahead, but i do think i will be prepared when they come around. once these are met, then i can finally get into my residency.

here's an idea of the kind of things i've been working on:

catalog edits and updates
studio painting
website updates
marketing updates
scheduling and planning
inventory issues for 2008 taxes
other tax stuff for my bookkeeper
filling mail orders and wholesale orders
writing a book project

in the midst of writing directions for my lark books 30-minute earrings project

i hope that all makes sense...i needed to get it written down.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

new pins

i was filling an order for habit in chicago the other day and made some new pins to include. after i made them i liked them so much i decided to add them to my collections as regular items. i'll have them photographed for my website soon. for now, you can find them with their matching necklaces - small aligned necklace, small preface necklace, and large aligned necklace.

thanks for reading.

Monday, April 6, 2009

news and updates

i recently had my klimt02 page updated with some new images and information. i changed my portrait, too. the last one was embarrassingly large. i think the new one is much better. you can view the page here. i am also a new jewelry artist on object fetish, an online jewelry gallery. when i was invited to be on the site i spent some time getting to know the other artists and site features. i was happy to find lots familiar names and several friends including sarah loertscher, aran galligan, geoff giles, and arthur hash. i know i will spend more time there over the next couple if weeks getting to know the artists that are new to me. (i see a great resource for guest star friday...) you can view that page here.

i also added some new studio shots to my flickr page. these pictures were taken when i first started painting the space. this week i will be painting the windows and the entryway door. i will be adding more pictures soon once the project is complete.

finally, i started adding model pictures to my website shop. you'll find them in the preface collection. more coming...
thanks for reading.

Friday, April 3, 2009

guest star friday #42...sonia morel

i was reminded of today's guest star friday last night as i was moving my books around in my studio. i happened to flip through adorn by amanda mansell and saw a pendant by sonia morel. i paused for a few moments and thought about how she made the piece and realized i wanted to know more about sonia and her work. i've been searching for info and images and have found very little. i did find a few pieces that are new to me - i was only familiar with her pendants like the one pictured above. i was pleased to find different jewelry which i have added below. what i'm seeing in all of this work and what interests me is the feeling of movement and speed, the repetition, and the layering...and of course, i love the overlapping of negative space in this very cuff:

see more at tactile

read more about sonia at alternatives gallery

thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

wow, cool!

i got some interesting press recently. the first is in a publication called "l'essentiel" from luxembourg about the work i have at cbijoux in switzerland. it mentions my minimalist style.

the second is from design*sponge which i am incredibly excited to be in. i've loved that blog for years!

"Good Idea: Make something special


I have been working for 9 months on a project called jewelry of the month. I set out with the intention of giving myself some creative freedom while offering my customers affordable limited edition jewelry. During these difficult financial times I understand that jewelry is among the things people stop buying – I am trying to give my customers something special and worthwhile for when they do decide to spend some money. It has been a fun and challenging project. In addition to using different techniques and unusual materials I will also collaborate every season with a friend who works in another medium."

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

april jewelry of the month

it's the first and time for the 10th edition of jewelry of the month! april’s jewelry of the month was inspired by a few things i loved in the past - calico fabric and making yo-yo's in my spare time. in college i sewed a lot of my own clothes and loved making dresses out of calico. then one of my friends taught me how to make yo-yo’s and i could sit for hours making them. i never did anything with them, though. i think i just liked the process of simple, quick sewing, and the end product was just so sweet on its own. this month i pulled out some prints from my fabric collection and chose several complimentary ones. i then made six unique yo-yo pendants that also have pins sewn on the back so they can be worn either as a necklace or as a pin.

the pin/pendants are 2" wide and available in (from left to right): lavender corduroy, wood grain, brown paisley, turquoise, lime green with white dots, and white with a delicate yellow pattern. each yo-yo comes with attached pin, jump ring and 18” sterling silver chain. the fabrics are all 100% cotton.

the yo yo pin/pendants are $40 each and each comes with a numbered and signed card as always.

thanks for reading.