Saturday, January 29, 2011

how happy am i?

Aren't these great? I love how warm and shiny these octopi look in bronze!
I love these owls cast in bronze and shibuichi! It was alot of fun setting the eye stones. I found some beautiful rose cut garnets and sparkly black spinels, polished cabachons in opal, moonstone, garnet, turquoise, peridot, jade, lapis, carnelian and iolite. I kind of went crazy with the gemstones! They still need silver wire bails to finish them, but I like positioning them around my desk.
Since this project turned out so well, I'm inspired to make more little jointed and jeweled lovlies! Anyway, I have loads of stones to set! Greg liked the idea of a toad or frog. I thought a cat or monkey would be pretty neat. We'll just have to see what happens.....

Friday, January 21, 2011

mechanical owl

Hi! Here's my favorite of the new batch, a little 'mechanical' owl. Its round head will swivel and its hollow, so it'll be nice and light. This will be cast in bronze, with gemstone eyes. Yeah, can you tell I grew up in the eighties loving the original 'Clash of the Titans'? Anyway, I've got my fingers crossed that this piece will cast nicely, so we can debut it in Tucson. We've got a week left.......back to work!

Monday, January 17, 2011

almost done....

Ok, here are the latest pieces in the new batch of goods. This will be a toggle clasp, with a feather as the toggle bar. Its quite dainty, perfect for jewelry made with smaller beads. I wanted a clasp for some simple faceted gemstone necklaces and I think this will work great.

This pebble is the latest piece in the 'little blessings' series. I haven't decided what to carve on the back. I'm thinking of 'fond memories' or 'sweet memories', maybe something about strength. This is the hardest part, next to carving text, which is always hard on eyes and hands. I've been meaning to mention something that has greatly improved my work.....optivisors! Bob Burkett has been talking about these for years, but the set I picked up had a light and were too heavy, so I never used them. I picked up a pair of opti visors and now I can't work without them. They pretty much eliminate eyestrain, since they magnify so well and aren't so close to your eyes, like glasses. Opti visors fit on your head and the lenses lower down, without touching your face. If you work with small things, try them out.

I just recieved these stones from a store on etsy, called stonestudiostoo and I just love them! They are nice and light and have lovely colors. I have an idea to paint patterns on the surface, like lace or seaweed. They seem like amulets, earthy and magical.
I have a few days left to finish carving masters, then its all production till Greg leaves for Tucson. He and TJ have been working around the clock developing formulas for bronze. There are so many formulas out there that determine color, strength and porosity. The recipe they finally settled on is based on an ancient formula, without any of the toxic stuff found in a lot of modern alloys. Its also very beautiful, warm and golden. I can't wait to show the finished pieces!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

mini projects

The gem show was in town today, so I stopped in to say hi to my good friend Jess (of Jess Imports) and do some shopping. I picked up these sparkly beauties from Sona: the top strand is rough diamonds, the pinkish brown are andalucite, next are tourmalines and the tiny ones are Tunduru Sapphires (gosh I love that name!). I've been on a tiny dangle stint- I think its like the sugar on a cookie, the tiny sparkles add so much to a piece.

These are some polymer face plates that will soon be cast in porcelain. These will serve two purposes: one, to attach to soft bodies of fur or velvet to make sculptures and secondly, they are a good size to practice china painting faces. It will also be fun, since painting the face is always the most delightful part, its like giving the piece life, or personality. I know very little about china painting so it will be interesting to see how different it is to watercolor or tempera. Any advice on the subject would be greatly appreaciated!
Ok, you know how Tucson is less than a month away and I should be freaking out, carving all night and drinking way too much coffee? Picture instead the table filled with paints, glues and glitter and......Barbies. That's right, Barbies. We spent the day customizing doll shoes and having dance offs on the wii. I also made a cardboard house for our new gals to live in, since they are so awesome. Azalea and i have renewed our love for Barbie after spotting the latest batch with jointed elbows, wrists and knees! Plus, they aren't all rubbery legged, but plastic. Some even have this crazy swappable head business thats amazing. You can buy one or two doll bodies and have a bunch of different heads! We adore Barbie Fashionista. Completely.
Anyway, tonight I'm getting serious, (seriously!) and will be carving till my hands are arthritic claws. Expect to see pandas and maybe a mermaid.....possibly a sphinx (i just listened to The Dweller in High Places by Sussana Clark and its got me in the mood for that sort of thing). And maybe a fairy clasp. We'll see.