Tuesday, June 30, 2009

hanna sandin jewelry

as i mentioned the other day, my birthday was in may. for at least the past 5 years i have bought myself a birthday gift of jewelry. this year i got this necklace (above image) by hanna sandin, a new york based artist who is mainly a sculptor. recently she started making a line of jewelry called, "samma", based on her larger works.

more hanna sandin info:

mc & co.
lower manhattan cultural council

thanks for reading.

radical jewelry makeover part 1

i spent the day in the radical jewelry makeover class yesterday. i started by looking through the many containers of sorted donated jewelry. i didn't take a lot because i did not want to overwhelm myself with choices. i just chose a bunch of stuff that caught my eye at first glance. then i got to work. it took me awhile to get going but i made a delicate necklace from a bunch of broken gold-tone chains and a pair of circle earrings. now i am working on an assemblage necklace using a sparkly brooch, a single clip-on earring, a broken sterling chain, and recycled sterling sheet metal made from some other donated sterling jewelry.

RJM blog

more tomorrow...

thanks for reading.

Monday, June 29, 2009

more about may

may 1 is the day i feel like i really started my residency. up until then i was busy with previous commitments and preparing my studio. may 1 marked the end of those things and the beginning of something very new. i don't even remember the last time i could just make whatever i wanted. however, the excitement of not knowing what i would make quickly gave way to feeling unmotivated, frustrated, stressed, and disappointed. the next four weeks were full of struggle and lots of staring at the ceiling. i still had several deadlines and i did meet them all, sort-of, but i can't say it was easy and it wasn't often enjoyable. the projects included 5 pairs of one-of-a-kind earrings for earrings galore at heidi lowe gallery, june's jewelry of the month piece, a few fabric pieces for a show application (plush jewels at fancy in seattle, wa - pictures are forthcoming), and my artist-to-artist piece. i began may thinking these deadlines were realistic but by the middle of the month i already felt like i was running out of time. days went by without moving forward, without making anything, and several projects took days longer than i had anticipated.

when i think back now i realize i was being pulled in too many different directions. trying to make new work takes a lot of energy and focus, much more than i planned. then i threw in some constraints and the pressure was on. still, i am pleased with what i made and more pleased with what i learned about myself, how i work, my expectations, and so on. it was a good learning experience for me and i'm now not disappointed in the least, although at the time it all felt very, very bad.

as for taking the month off from online activities. that was very, very good. i enjoyed not having to even think about my various web commitments. it was also nice not to have to pause in the middle of something to take a picture or turn on my computer to update my status. i'm glad i put it all on hold last month and put the focus entirely on my studio. now that i am back, i feel a renewed sense of enjoyment. i don't feel as much of the "i HAVE to or SHOULD do this" and more "i WANT to do this." i'm trying to be a bit more loose with the blog, too. i give myself 30 minutes to write a post and that time frame really helps.

here's where you can find me:


please visit my flickr site to view pictures of what's been going on lately.

well, my 30 minutes are up.

thanks for reading.

Friday, June 26, 2009

catching you all up

my schedule has been so full since the penland summer season began and i haven't been able to keep up with my blog. i have lots of things to share but they happened a few weeks ago or something. (plus, i haven't said much about my month "off" in may.) also, you may have noticed i haven't written a guest star friday in awhile. i will resume that feature once i get things caught up. AND, i have not forgotten about the new feature in which i write about my favorite non-jewelry artists. i'm still planning to do that and will, again, once i get things caught up. i am still considering ways to make all my online activities work for me in a more balanced manner. this will help me get on track for future guest star and favorite artists posts.

for now here are images of a few new shapes i just added to my little group of elements. i made these yesterday and i am pretty excited about them since they are dimensional and not just flat. (i am constantly trying to figure out ways to make my work more 3D.)

thanks for reading.

my new favorite tool

my birthday was in may and one of the presents i got was this silicone hot pad in the shape of a monkey. it made me remember a tool my first metalsmithing teacher, barbara crocker, used - a thin square of medical grade silicone that she would lay on her anvil while forming a piece to protect it from getting marred. i've always wanted something like this and thought this cute monkey might do the trick nicely. and it does! it's thin and very flexible. i use it mostly on my bench pin when i am sanding or adding the final texture to a piece. it keeps the surface i have already finished from getting damaged.

oh, yeah, and it's cute.

thanks for reading.

p.s. thanks beckett!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


here are the two brooches i made for masaaki shinko using his ceramic pieces for the latest "artist-to-artist" project. he asked for a brooch which i was delighted to hear - the brooch is my favorite type of jewelry to make these days. i ended up making him two different ones that feature one object each. i tried mixing the pieces together but in the end i felt they needed to stand alone. you can see more images on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

updated links

i just updated my links page on my website. i checked every link to make sure they all work and added a bunch of new sites and blogs, including links to all my fellow penland resident artists.

if you happen to notice a glitch that i missed, please let me know.

thanks for reading.

new earrings

a few weeks ago i made some new earrings for an earrings show, earrings galore, at heidi lowe gallery. i struggled while making these and i know i was made the entire process harder than it had to be. like i said the other day about the work i made for the stimulus project, it felt awkward. i wasn't able to get pro shots of all of them so here are a few, plus two i took. one of these shows the four corners earrings after i oxidized them. i like them better blackened.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

the stimulus project at sienna gallery

i am one of 80 artists exhibiting in the stimulus project at sienna gallery. the show features all one-of-a-kind work under $500. (find me third row from bottom, second image from right)

the stimulus project
june 26 - august 25
opening reception june 27, 6-9pm
online exhibition starting july 1

here's the list of participating artists:

Efharis Alepedis Jon Anzalone Suzanne Beautyman Jamie Bennett Harriete Estel Berman Thyra Bessette Danika Bevirt Melanie Bilenker Kristin Bolhuis Allyson Bone Melissa Borrell Jana Brevick Lola Brooks Doug Bucci Raissa Bump Sarah Kate Burgess Tzu-Ju Chen Sharon Church Petra Class Alexia Cohen Erin Daily Leslie Dickerson Noam Elyashiv Ashley Ernest Pat Flynn Steven Ford David Forlano Susie Ganch Erin Gardner Grace Gerfen Caroline Gore Rebecca Hannon Arthur Hash Amy Haskins Anna Hinkes Reiko Ishiyama Dan Jocz Yevgeniya Kaganovich Lauren Kalman Anya Kivarkis Shoko Kozu Seung-Hea Lee Anna Lorich Sharon Massey Paul McClure Bruce Metcalf Myra Mimlitsch-Gray Seth Papac Joan Parcher Mary Pearse Hilary Pfeifer Maria Phillips Natalya Pinchuk Robin Quigley Tina Rath Alexandra Rivera Shella Robinson Vina Rust Biba Schutz Barbara Seidenath Sondra Sherman Leslie Shershow Sakurako Shimizu Marjorie Simon Kiff Slemmons Barbara Smith Tracy Steepy Rebecca Strzelec Kristin Sword Hisano Takei Anthony Tammaro Amy Tavern Islay Taylor Amelia Toelke Jenn Trask Sarah Troper Julia Turner Johan Van Aswegen Veleta Vancza Jonathan Wahl Stacey Webber Brian Weissman Heather White Joe Wood Sayumi Yokouchi

the work i sent is part of a new series called "awkward" which is how i've been feeling lately as i make new work. here are a few images:

thanks for reading.

Monday, June 22, 2009

stitched maps on flickr

thanks for reading (and also for looking).

stitched maps: a recap

"23 times in 17 years" - my final map - this map shows my many moves around new york state, across the country to seattle, down to portland and back, from my childhood home to asheville, and finally to penland

my "embroidery: stitched maps" class ended on friday. it was an amazing class! i loved learning all the stitches and making my pieces. it felt great to get out of my element and try something new. i thought i would think about jewelry a lot as i stitched, but i really didn't. instead i just focused on the basics and the projects. i worked very differently in this class - narratively, which i never do.

i also loved the instructor, melinda barta, and my classmates, virgina hungate-hawk (print making), martha park (painting), and vicki essig (weaving). what a great bunch! we had so much fun together! i feel very fortunate to have been in there with them and to have learned so much great stuff about embroidery from melinda. it was a sad parting for sure...

here are images of my finished pieces. i will post more shots, details, etc. on my flickr page shortly.

"mykonos" - this map outlines the tiny greek island of mykonos complete with the roads i traveled on and the beaches and other places i visited.
"you will be here" - stitched fabric and paper collage (i haven't finished the framing yet...) this map uses an actual north carolina map. this map hung on my studio wall as i prepared to leave seattle for my new home. the cardinal is the nc state bird and represents a vivid dream i had before i left.
stitched pins with cotton fabric and felt - just for fun

thanks for reading.

Friday, June 19, 2009

stitched brooch

yesterday i made a stitched piece of jewelry for the session's scholarship auction using two colors of thread and the colonial knot. i really like how it turned out and plan to make more very soon.

the session ends today and i'll blog more about the class next week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


i stitched two different ties yesterday for my bf. one had a burned hole on it and the other had a few small stains. these were really fun to make because i was giving them new life. plus, making something for someone else is always the best.

thanks for reading.

Monday, June 15, 2009

graph fabric

last night i stitched an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of fabric to look like graph paper. it's all machine embroidered and took about 3 hours.

thanks for reading.

Friday, June 12, 2009

still stitching

i've been stitching all week and just loving it. this class is really fantastic - the content and projects, the instructor, the other students, even the location (the textiles studio here has an incredible view). more on all that is an image of my desk and a few samples of my stitches.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


i finished my first map yesterday, the island of mykonos in greece. i stitched the beaches and places i visited and some of the roads i drove to find them. i also stitched the ferry routes to and from the island.

thanks for reading.

Monday, June 8, 2009

stitched maps

i started an embroidery class called stitched maps today. the instructor is melinda barta. we learned about materials, tools, and basic stitching and i made this little sampler. it starts with back stitching and ends with french and colonial knots. my favorites, besides the knots which i could make endlessly, are the satin stitch (the little green pod) and couching (the blue spiral). it was incredibly fun and i am totally hooked!

we will be stitching actual maps over the next two weeks...tomorrow i will start my first which i am pretty sure is going to be the island of mykonos in greece.

i am also very excited to organize my needles since i now know there are so many different kinds.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

royal brooch

i just finished this brooch moments ago...oxidized sterling, silk thread

something new. i really like it.

i am pretty sure this sweet wasp nest specimen i found yesterday got under my skin. i didn't realize until after i assembled the top layer.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


as you may or may not know, i took the entire month of may off from online activities. i did not blog or read other blogs, i did not update my facebook business profile page, my website, or my flickr site, i barely touched email or my personal facebook page, and i did not even think about any of these things really. i have to admit, it was wonderful. i felt lighter. i had more time to do other things. i know how important this stuff can be so i'm coming back to it with a refreshed, open mind. i just want to figure out how to make it all work so i am blogging and such AND finding all the time i need and want to be at my bench, a challenging balancing act for sure. this week i will be thinking about how to do this and would like to have a plan of sorts by the end of the week. i spent some time considering it yesterday. it felt like a brainstorming session only with one person, me. i have a good start so far. also, i have to clarify that i am not loosing myself on the internet, wasting time by getting carried away. my problem is that i spend too much time making it all sound and look right, typos, grammar, spelling, image size, links...i am a bit of a perfectionist. obsessing over all those details can make a blog post that is maybe a short paragraph take over an hour or my flickr uploads two hours plus. then i get mad because i spent too much time. anywhere, there it is. more to follow.

i will also be writing about everything that happened over the last four weeks. when i look back i feel like i did nothing, but when i look closer i realize i actually did a lot. more to follow on all that, too.

for now, see you later and thanks for reading.

p.s. that took me 32 minutes to write. yikes.

Monday, June 1, 2009

june jewelry of the month

i am really pleased to present this month's jewelry of the month because it is a very special collaboration with a ceramic artist from japan. his name is masaaki shinko and he lives in tokyo. masaaki and i were introduced to each other through a flickr group we are both members of called “artist-to-artist.” for the past two months we have all been making jewelry for each other using objects sent from a different members. masaaki sent things to me, including three different types of ceramic objects. since he sent so many i got to thinking about collaborating with him for june. i asked him if he would be interested and he said yes right away. i think masaaki’s work is a wonderful mix of the quiet, modern, and handmade and i wanted my metalwork to echo and complement his style. i experimented with the different objects until i came up with june’s necklace, “east meets west.”

east meets west measures about 20” long and the beads are approximately 1.25” and 1.5” wide. the chain is oxidized sterling silver. using the pieces masaaki sent, i was able to make an edition of 4.

east meets west is priced at $120.

thanks for reading.