Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Meet the Maker"

The Craft Studies program at the University of North Carolina Asheville has a great lecture series called "Meet the Maker: Conversations of Meaning with Craftspeople." Daniel Marinelli (fellow Penland resident artist) and I were invited to be a part of this series and will be giving talks this coming Monday, April 4 at 6:30pm.

Meet the Maker
Monday, April 4 at 6:30pm
UNC Asheville Owen Conference Room (302 Owen Hall)

Decent/Descent by Daniel Marinelli

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week 2 Updates!

$100 donor perk - sterling silver Bow Pin
Hello! Just a few updates... I've added images of the donor rewards or "perks" to my USA project page. You can find the showcase here:

For a donation of $50 you get a Graffiti Badge in the color of your choice.

For a $100 donation you get a sterling silver Bow Pin.

For a donation of $500 you get a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece based on your favorite piece of jewelry. (When the deadline is here and I have reached my goal I will ask you to email me an image of your favorite piece of jewelry which I will use as inspiration for your special piece.)

Sound good? Email me if you have any questions -
 $50 donor perk - Graffiti Badge

In addition I created a showcase titled "Works-in-Progress" where you can see images of the first piece for the the show. I will add more images over the coming weeks.

Also, if you would like to make a donation with a check, you can email me for a special mail-in form. I will email it to you, you print it, fill it out, and send along to USA with your check. So simple. (

Please keep spreading the word!

Finally, I can't say it enough THANK YOU!  This has been a remarkable 10 days!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Week 2 and a First Glimpse

Over the coming weeks I will be posting images of the first piece I started for my solo show. It is based on a light blue rhinestone necklace I played with as a kid. At that time I saw this necklace as the ultimate in opulence and I remember I loved just holding it. I am lucky enough to still have this piece in my possession, but have chosen to not look at it until this new necklace is complete. This image is of the paper model I made when I began working. It is constructed of lots of folded paper cubes. I made this maquette so I could see the actual size of the piece and to determine how much material I needed to make the piece in sterling silver. Please visit Flickr or my USA project Works-In-Progress showcase to see more images.

Before I sign off here, I must say thanks to all of you for supporting my project through donations, spreading the word, and your encouraging emails. Your support really helps to keep me going! Week One was incredible and now Week Two starts at 75% funded! I am in awe! Thank you!

Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Guest Star #75...Per Suntum

Dive #2, brooch in silver, niello, enamel

While looking at 500 Silver Jewelry Designs I discovered the work of Per Suntum. Per's work caught my attention because of its quiet presence and fascinating surface design. I am so curious how he created the surfaces on these pieces! Each brooch reminds me of a moment on a wall of a building or along the ground. I take lots of pictures of distressed surfaces, peeling paint, and rust that I see in everyday life and Per's pieces are like studies in these textures.

Out on Tuttles Wheel, brooch in silver, 18K gold, isolit

Calm Luna, brooch in silver, fine silver

Kyros, brooch in reconstructed coral, 18K gold

From Many Moons Ago, brooch in fine silver, silver, 18kt gold, pigment
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I am amazed. My USA project launched on Monday around 4:30 and I am now just over 60% funded. I want to give a public shout-out to all my supporters and to all of you who are out there spreading the word. Your generosity is truly special. Thanks also to anyone who has visited my project page, watched the video, or read the description. This is incredibly exciting for me and I hope you are excited, too! Thank you!

And thanks as always for reading.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"This is the Way I Remember It," My USA Project

I am excited to announce that I launched a project called "This is the Way I Remember It" on the USA Projects website. USA (United States Artists) is a wonderful organization that promotes and supports artists around the country. I was invited to create a project for the website and I feel honored to be involved with USA. My project focuses on the work I will be making for my solo show as I raise funds to cover the cost of the materials for this extensive body of work.

Please visit my project page to learn more about the project, watch the video, and find out about USA.

In the coming weeks I'll keep you updated and post more information. I hope you will join me here or on Facebook.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 21, 2011

500 Silver Jewelry Designs

I have two pieces published in the marvelous new book, 500 Silver Jewelry Designs by Lark Books. The book was juried by Talya Baharal and edited by Marthe Le Van. I have looked at every piece and feel excited and honored to be among such an amazing group of jewelers.

Some of my favorites after the first look include:

500 Silver Jewelry Designs is available for pre-order now and comes out on April 5.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Guest Star #74...Yu Hiraishi

Japan is on my mind so today's Guest Star is Japanese jeweler, Yu Hiraishi. I really like how Yu presents singular color and simple line and shape. Her use of layering and negative space also resonates with me as each piece appears like a fictional land mass. (Plus I love the shadows that some of her pieces create on the white backdrop.)

A group of Etsy Metal artists has committed to donate a portion of their sales to help Japan. Please visit Catherine Chandler's blog for details.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

All You Can Eat

On Monday I started to sample Lola Brook's spring concentration class, All You Can Eat. In the morning everyone shared images of their work and inspirations. In the afternoon we shared our most prized possessions and talked about why we chose them. Lola asked us to write an essay before class about our object and gave us a list of questions to consider. (How did we acquire it? What does it mean to us? What does it mean to posses something? Etc.) I chose a locket that once belonged to my grandmother. I enjoyed this exercise and was especially excited about it because I've been so curious about the meaning of objects. (see Evocative Objects.) It was fascinating to listen to the other students talk about their objects as everyone brought something different to table. Then we drew numbers from a hat and took turns selecting from a pile of wrapped packages. Once we had unwrapped and then swapped back and forth a bit, we were instructed to make something wearable with our object. I got a package of plastic strawberry paper clips which I altered and clustered on a safety pin.

More pictures on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Works-in-progress have become a regular thing for me in my studio. I usually work on several pieces at once and while some pieces get started, they might remain untouched for months, like the images of these necklaces and brooches. I started these last summer, but have not pushed the ideas or process since mostly because I have had other projects to work on. I'm also learning that some pieces just take months to complete because I need time to ruminate and process the idea before moving forward. When the time is right, I am sure I will complete them, even if it's a year from now...

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I completed this wedding ring set last week for friends in Portland, OR. The bands are steel with 18K gold dots and blacked with gun blue. (Nathan Blank helped me with the wider band. Thanks, Nathan!)

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Winter Studio Inspirations

Some shots of my wall of bits and pieces...To read about where these things came from, please visit my Flickr set.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I've had lots of custom spray-painted and scratched pieces to make recently. I really enjoy making custom work for clients because I am giving them exactly what they want. It's also nice knowing that many of these pieces are for special occasions--the orange earrings are for a bride to wear when she gets married and the necklace is for a graduate student to wear the night of her MFA opening.
More images on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Guest Star Friday #73...Charles Wyatt

Geodesic Brooch in sterling silver and stainless steel

Today's Guest Star is Melbourne, Australia-based jeweler Charles Wyatt. Charles is inspired by forms that appear in both the natural world and in man-made structures. His dodecahedron and geodesic pieces appeal to my love of geometry, layering, and repetition.
Geodesic Brooch in nylon and sterling silver

Dodecahedron Neckpiece in mild steel, stainless steel, sterling silver, fine silver, and 14K gold

Dodecahedron Earrings in 18K gold

Ring in mild steel and laser sintered nylon

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thoughts on Twigs and Trees

March is here and so is the beginning of the third and final year of my residency. Needless to say, time flies and I can’t believe I only have a year left. I would like to share my thoughts on this subject with all of you, but honestly, there is just too much to say and I'm not able to quantify or define it succinctly in words yet. Instead, I want to talk about the twig necklace pictured above.

I took my first Penland class in the summer of 1999. The class, “Intimate/Monumental,” was taught by Heather White van Stolk and focused on casting. I cast many natural objects over those two weeks and made a series of rings, necklaces, and brooches. On the first day Heather asked us to collect materials around the Penland campus and to make a wearable piece of jewelry using them. This twig necklace is the piece I made that day and is very special to me. It marks the beginning of my relationship with Penland and is the ultimate souvenir from a pivotal moment in my life. Looking at it now, it also symbolizes some of the fundamental interests that are still important to me now: line, asymmetry, and simplicity.

As I embark on these next 12 months I will be looking at this necklace as an important reminder of so many things. I will also be thinking about something a friend said once about looking at one tree at a time instead of the whole forest. One tree keeps things in perspective, while the whole forest can be overwhelming. I believe this will be my mantra for 2011.

Thanks for reading.