Saturday, January 23, 2010


Isn't this painting of Max beautiful? My sister Sheila painted it. She captured his sweet sleeping face perfectly! Seeing this portrait really inspires me to finish organizing the studio (a job I started yesterday....) and get my paints out. Right now there are boxes of junk piled in the middle of the floor, pulled from dark closets and under dusty shelves. I love working in a beautiful space, with tools in easy reach, reference material close by and clutter at a minimum. Unfortunately, this blissful area lasts for a couple of weeks before it looks like a gang of kids ransacked it. My hope is that I get it in perfect order before my buddy Jessica arrives Friday. I have big plans for us and they don't include cleaning. Mostly, we make plans for projects and think of delicious food to make, then forget to eat, resulting in low blood sugar, forcing us to eat what's fast (crackers) then we start all over. Eventually we take a break from laughing to do something useful. I can't wait till she gets here.
All this space clearing has unearthed all manner of relics from my old life. I have a block of time after college that I spent floundering around, working too many jobs, aimless yet ambitious, trying to figure out if I was happy or not (which is a sure sign that one is not). I found ways to justify the importance of staring out the window for hours, watching sunlight move across the lawn. I think of this gray period and I'm hit with a mixture of relief and fear, thankful its over but afraid it could come back. I suppose that's the price of happiness, the knowledge that its brief, that it could be snatched away. I look at the portrait of my baby and think how fast they grow, too soon he will be grown with his own life. So I will gather another pile of remnants from the murky past, hoping I get it all this time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

new work

Hello! Here is a group shot of the new pieces that will debut in Tucson this spring! The owl and branches is a clasp Greg carved, along with the faceted bead and the rose with thorns pendant (a team effort- I did the text that reads 'life is a rose, beware the thorns' ). We were working in what seemed like synchronicity, carving side by side at the kitchen table, on nearly the same subject matter, pieces featuring owls and roses. It was a nice way to work, a little different from my usual hide in the studio with a book on tape method. We listenend to Food network, a channel we can all agree on and worked away, imagining the delicacies whipped up by the Iron Chefs. This year its been a little different, more relaxed. I like it.

This year I won't be attending Tucson again, since Max is too young and Azalea is in school. I'm disappointed, but maybe I'll go to IDEX (International Doll Expo) in Orlando next weekend. Its a long drive, over ten hours, but my mom can watch Max while my best buddy and I stare longingly at dolls all day long. Sounds like a good time to me! Not more fun than going to Tucson, but still exciting. Andrew and Greg will be leaving for the cross country journey next Wednesday. I can hardly believe its that time of year already. Anyway, I'm pretty happy with this latest batch of goods. I was thinking simple cut sunstones and shimmery andalucite rondelles would look nice with the rose blossom bead. The faceted nugget is one that could either look really amazing in shiny pewter, with all the planes to catch the light, or not so good. We will see next week! I can't wait to see what emerges.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

baby bear

Look how sweet this baby is! He was being good at The Chocolate Lounge and letting his mama enjoy a maple and sea salt liquid truffle (a cup of super thick dark chocolate). We took him to get a check up and he's growing so fast, over 14 lbs already. I'm working hard and should have some pieces to show soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

love never dies

A new polymer master destined for pewter pieces. I'm imagining this as a link, placed between faceted rubies, or myriad colors of nuggets for a festive quality. Lengths of drawn cable chain would look tough, but tempered with sweet pink tourmalines....I think the effect would be magical. The quote 'love never dies' seemed like a very apropriate thing to carve on the back, it felt right. I believe the sentiment, more now than ever. There are some bonds that never weaken, no matter how much time has passed. At this point in my life, I've only known a handful of people that have passed away. It seems like life is being generous to me, keeping my cup full of blessings.
I often think of my brother that disappeared 19 years ago and I still feel like if I saw him again, it would be like old times, as though nothing happened (after I knocked him on his ass for leaving for so long, without a word). Although now it seems like the chances of ever seeing him again grow slimmer and slimmer and that it would be easier to just let him diminish in my thoughts. I still hope, every day, that this will be the day that he walks back into our lives.
Sometimes its the simplest phrases, uncluttered and unadorned, that ring with the most truth. So, that's the idea behind this next series of pieces, heart shaped links with carved symbols, universal and to the point. The next one features a rose, with thorns, of course.

Monday, January 04, 2010

new inspiration

I love Mark Ryden. Dark and disturbing, his paintings resonate with brilliant color and Renaissance echoes. The Tree Show is a particularly good book, the plates are vibrant and the photos of the ornate frames being carved are amazing. I feel like carving frames again.

I'd never heard of Scott Musgrove and bought this book on the recomendation of Amazon. I like it. Its weird. His creatures are odd and characture- esque, with their stretched mouths and forlorn expressions. I like the good quality of the book, how the paper feels, not to mention how fun the paintings are! His pallette is right up my alley, lots of pink and green!

The illustrations by Nicoletta Ceccoli are dreamy and bright, like sweet confections. Azalea loved the pictures (she promptly asked me to make nearly every toy she spotted). I loved the style, sort of diffused and airy, yet the details tightly rendered.

I've been an admirer of Femke Hiemstra's paintings for awhile. I love how she tucks her jewel-like pictures into old tins and on beaten books. They are so small, so intricately detailed, so strange...I love them. So, I made out like a bandit, with my new stack of books. I feel my creative batteries getting charged every time I open one of them. I look at color a lot, but am drawn to the imagery, whimsical and surreal. Now I'm torn, should I paint or wire wrap? Well, both those will have to wait, I have to keep carving! The new pewter designs are slowly emerging, I have a new heart link with a dainty skull surrounded by swirls, a faceted bead that will (hopefully) look like silver pyrite and some tiny nugget charms that look like wax seals.