monday's muse

A few years ago my sister in law sent me a book for my birthday. Knowing me all to well, she got the last copy of hnoss depended. It consists of a collection of jewelry pieces which were on display at the Galleri Hnoss in Göteborg, Sweden. The work spans in time from 1997 to 2007, the first ten years of the gallery's existence. 
This piece is from Nel Linssen, a maker of paper jewelry from the Netherlands. Click on the photo above to see the movie of this bracelet in motion. I am in complete awe of it's fluidity. My wish is to see this in person. If I owned it I am not sure I could keep it on my wrist as I was want to play. It is quite beautiful in all of it's forms. Enjoy!

happy Monday!
xo, kim

object fetish fridays : Julia Turner

Another Friday, another crush on object fetish. While browsing through the schmuck I came across what I thought was a pair of enameled earrings. But when I clicked on Julia Tuner's Storm Earrings I realized she used a completely different process to produce her color. 
"a graceful teardrop shaped panel of steel is prepared like a canvas with traditional gesso, and then a unique bold design is created on each one by selectively removing the gesso to reveal the oxidized steel beneath."

Julia Turner seems to have mastered finding different means to create color. Here she uses gold wire to grace the inside of an oxidized sterling bezel, just like a stone. The lovely part about this alternative is the wire produces pattern unlike any stone, making for another great little detail. 

Julia's work is simple. Simply beautiful and timeless. She doesn't try and show off a bunch of skills all at once. Each piece is treated with equal attention and new materials are utilized perfectly. Showing us her real skill,  mastery of materials. 

don't forget that day with cupid and the bow and arrow coming up, start shopping
xo, kim

supermarket saturdays : Alisha Louise Designs

Alisha Louise's jewelry has been a long time love of mine on supermarket.  
Her piercing ability is impeccable. As is her planning of design. On the piece above lines intersect and overlap appearing to be formed ironwork. On the one below the design gradually increases in size, effortlessly.  

I am growing quite fond of these pierced pieces with vibrant colors. Especially the one above, orange and blue are just meant to be together, especially on a grand scale. 
Alisha Louise isn't afraid to make a statement. Her jewelry seems bold and fun to wear. And maybe one day I will get to try it on.

happy happy christmas! 
xo, kim

ps: I had mentioned in the original post that Alisha Louise had a body of work at Craftland. This is not the case. Through my crazy working haze I had confused her name with another jewelry artist who does some enameling. The whole time I was thinking the work was drastically different, there was something in the name that confused me. Alisha Louise has a sense of color and design unique to herself and not to be confused with another. Like I said, it was the name and not the work that threw me off.

studio sundays

My poppy earrings have really started to take off this sale
 season. Finally! I started making them in poppy colors and I think it has helped. Though I love red, orange and yellow I thought I needed a little something to mix things up. So, I did a little research and found this poppy in one of my favorite books. 

I rummaged through my transparent blues and after firing it the plain blue wasn't enough. 

I realized what I needed was some pollen. It is the orange that really makes this poppy color work. The opaque orange gives the true appearance of pollen as it looks grainy and suspended in the clear blue. I do wish I had a better photograph. Maybe if these are still around after the weekend you will soon find them in my etsy and supermarket shops. That is, if I have time to photograph and list them!

happy end of weekend! 

supermarket saturdays : Lola Riera Jewelry

Seeing as how I write mostly of jewelry I try and choose a craft other than jewelry for my supermarket saturdays post. But, Lola Riera Jewelry was too good to pass up. 

There is something wonderful in the simplicity of Cristina's jewelry. Her work is comprised of monochromatic, easily recognizable shapes. But to the trained eye her forms are quite complex as they are a hand-fabricated hollow structure. 

The simple piercings are also eye catching. Cristina turns a necessity for a hollow form into decoration making her work simply stunning. 

happy saturday! 
I am off selling my wares today. Hopefully, you are buying handmade.
xo, kim

object fetish friday : Islay Taylor

This week I am going to show off some work from a local jeweler, Islay Taylor. I happened to catch a glimpse of her work from the front page of object fetish as soon as I logged on. A design made of bicycle tubes caught my eye, then I realized I knew the artist's name as she was co-curator to the  Chromophilia exhibit at Craftland. Rhode Island is so very small, and I like it that way. 
I am deeply in love with the honey comb series of Islay's work. But I always fall for large scale pieces. 

Islay has a knack for using non-traditional metalsmithing materials. Though she doesn't limit herself to re-used materials, she has mastered working with metal too. {Take a look at the Disenfranchised Objects section of her site to see what I mean.} 

Enjoy and make sure to look at the rest of her work on object fetish and her website. It is all quite lovely and playful.

supermarket saturdays presents nervous system

This week presents Nervous System, intricate jewelry made of fun materials. Nylon, silver, gold, felt, stainless steel and plastic make up their palette. While their materials may vary greatly the subject matter is what unites their work, patterns found in nature.
My first introduction to the work of Nervous System was while I was volunteering at Craftland. These rings were in a little plastic case on a table I was in charge of straightening. They were the reason for many oohs and aahs. I love how they appear to vary slightly, making each one feel as unique as the structure in nature they represent.

I have been able to touch these pendants and feel the weight under my hands. They are delicate, yet sturdy. Equally a pleasure to wear and to look at.

I am in love with their brooches. They are quite stunning and not at all traditional. While most jewelers would be using the actual coral to make a brooch, Nervous System creates a design inspired by the "aggregate growth of coral and dendrite crystals." Much more eco-friendly, wouldn't you say?

This wave bracelet is another great piece. I love Nervous System's sense of adventure, they explore materials and different manners to adorn the body. Brooches, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings make their work easy for anyone to pick up and want to wear. They are diverse while well unified. 

Enjoy and stop into Craftland to see these in person. If you aren't local I promise you won't be disappointed if you decide to splurge and order something from their shop. You will be in love. 

have a lovely Saturday! Kim

object fetish fridays welcomes Mike & Maaike

It seems I am still a little in awe of Chromophilia, the amazing jewelry collection in the Craftland Gallery curated by Devienna Anggraini and Islay Talyor.  Part of the awe is over the talent in the collection, the other part is that my jewelry is just a few steps away from all these fun pieces. I keep coming across some of the artists on object fetish and thought I would share them with you. 

Mike & Maaike's work was my favorite out of the conceptual pieces in the show. I love their interpretation of the Hope Diamond. It is every so interesting to see computer manipulation of jewelry. With all of the fancy 3D printers out there being used to create jewelry pieces I am happy to see these flat images. It creates another juxtaposition to the real piece.

We get impressions of color broken into facets, like the stones they represent. I would love to see the two pieces side by side, the original and the representation. To be able to feel the difference in weight and to see how the pieces interact differently with the body would be a fun experiment. The work of Mike & Maaike seems to be a interesting journey worthy of exploring, see the other pieces in their shop here. Us lucky locals with ogle it in person at Craftland.

object fetish fridays welcomes Sarah Loertscher

I have been noticing a lot of faceted jewelry out there, the ones that are puns on large carat diamond rings. You know the ones I am speaking of, don't you? Sarah Loertscher's pieces aren't at all like those that I have come across, and I consider this to be good, really good.

These artist does more than play around with the diamond-less rings. She draws her inspiration from "[her] interest/obsession with rocks, growth patterns of crystalline structures, and how a single line can became a chaotic mass. When constructing a piece of jewelry, I repeat a line or shape into a layered structure, or distill forms down into their structural supports."

In this piece I love how the artist uses her geometrical design but adds some depth to the piece. After she pierced the form out of a sheet of metal she cupped it slightly. I must mention that I also love that it is a tie tack. Men need jewelry too.

Sarah's double kite earrings look like they would be just lovely to wear. The design is simple, yet bold. I would love to see these on because the post was added in a brilliant spot. I love that the view of them would vary depending on what angle you viewed them from.

This steel hexagon bracelet is another display of how great Sarah's designs are. She took into mind how we love to play with our jewels. We like to layer them and see how they interact on our bodies. These are made with the intention of not wearing just one, allowing the model to make her own statement with how many she chooses to pile on. 

Oh, how I do enjoy my object fetish posts. The jewelry is just so lovely.
enjoy, kim

object fetish fridays welcomes Amy Tavern

I never know how to begin my search for my artiste  du jour when it comes to searching object fetish. Not that the site isn't user friendly, it is just that everything is so darn pretty. This week searching through brooches I found Amy Tavern

cluster brooch

 The artist poetically describes her work in her bio:
My current studio jewelry, “Line Drawings/Borderlines,” is composed of simple lines and abstract planes that I vary, combine, and layer to create new, interdependent and often interactive spaces and patterns. I strive for a visual interplay between elements, creating pieces in which positive and negative space are equally important. The compositions are inspired by aerial views, simple drawings, and my interest in arrangements and order."

double line bracelet
In the double line bracelet, negative space is created for function. But it is also created in the larger circle framing the smaller one. I enjoy the simplicity of this design and the play on the circle. For me, straying from a perfect form would be difficult and it's this thought that makes me realize that the design really isn't all that simple after all.

large arc earrings
In this piece the negative space is created to interact with the body. Accentuating the wearer's jaw and neck. 

two-piece rectangular stateline earrings
These earrings seems to consume all of the negative space we are use to seeing in Amy's work. She keeps the silver it's original pale white making the piece seem smaller and fainter than the bold and darkened members of this series. We are forced to create our own ideas of negative space, which is in flux as the lower rectangle is able to pivot. 

web earrings
These web earrings are my absolute favorite. The artist starts to play more with the space she created in the largest circle, controlling the negative space we see. She draws with bold, thick lines and directs our gaze to the center and back around again. Making us appreciate every last bit of her design.

To see Amy Tavern's entire collection click here.

xo kim


production line

For the past few weeks I was working away on far too many earrings. I get antsy when I have repetitive work to do so I try and change things up a little with different textures and finishes.

Even through all of my complaining, I knew I would feel accomplished when I packed up my finished pieces. When the piles of work start to grow you remember why you started this big project after all. I have a decent inventory of the basics for Indie Arts Fest and Picnic. Now it is time to focus on enameling and creating new designs. 

Now I am off to take photos of new work, pleased with all of the hard work behind me.
xo, Kim

bitty earrings, because every little bit counts!

With the years of being a young student and supporting myself through college not too far behind me I can still recall the days of using my metal in a thrifty manner. When it came time to get metal for casting class I went to an antique store a few blocks from the arts campus and bought some old sterling silver utensils which were of no more value than the silver they were made of. I chopped the spoons and forks up and made some new jewelry with them. By re-using utensils I was able to cut the fabrication and shipping costs which would have been charged by a refiner. Even more thrifty than utensils I used pieces of scrap which I had been saving for such an occasion. On other projects, if I didn't have the correct gauge wire I would roll it out and forge it to the size or shape necessary for my pieces. While I was trying so hard to be thrifty I wasn't quite thinking about being eco-friendly. Now, I look back and realize that I was indeed being a good earth loving artisan in recycling my materials. Even more responsible than purchasing metals made of supposed recycled or eco-friendly materials. There are still a lack of checks and balances for responsibly mined metals, gemstones and diamonds. {for more information read Ethical Metalsmiths.} Until there is a complete list of safe places to buy metal which has been mined in a responsible manner which meets fair trade standards I will continue to believe that I am following the path of a metalsmith who uses every last bit of her materials, wastes nothing and uses only non-toxic flux and pickle, therefore, being an earth loving metalsmith who treads lightly on the environment. 

And these little earrings demonstrate my care in using every little bit.

This is what I start with...
yup, that's right, I start with scraps of scraps. The tiny scallop-edged piece of metal. I carefully place the punch to make sure I will get a full circle when I swing my hammer over the end of the punch.

After I solder the posts on I clean the earrings with my 3m wheels. I add texture to some and bring others to a polish. Some bitty earrings are made of textured sheet from the start, which make them even more fun!
 {sorry I checked and the posts aren't so called eco-friendly. I was sure the catalog claimed that all of their findings were eco-friendly but the listing is now missing the company's new seal of eco-friendly approval. I tried to throw some recycled goodness in there for you!}

And this is the final piece...
They are itty-bitty and using up almost every last bit of metal. The rest will be saved for casting. If you are in love with these, just click on the image to see them in my etsy shop!

Are there materials in your medium which you consider to not be so earth hugging friendly as they claim to be? Please share.

Grand Re-Opening {Finally!}

I am relieved, my etsy shop is finally full of all of my new work and a few old favorites. I am quite pleased with my photographs too. My cozy bungalow has a great window for photographing jewelry.

So, take a peek.....

This bamboo coral ring is the start of my specimen series. I have a few ideas up my sleeve and hope this project takes me in the direction of really glamorous cocktail rings.

I started my pod series last summer but started to focus on it more this spring. This ring is one of the first of the series that I made. It is a piece of faceted carnelian with a textured silver backing riveted onto a ring band. This ring is inspired by the bittersweet berries we enjoy decorating with in the autumn. 

This is my favorite of the pod series thus far. It is reminiscent of plump summer berries, not yet ripe enough to eat. The color of olive jade (or serpentine) is the essence of life to me. Watching spring bud to life around me has surrounded me by this color.

This pod ring is representative of decay. Not all buds blossom, some come to an end before they start ,and it doesn't necessarily lack in beauty.

Moon earrings are an old favorite. Inspired by lovely texture on left over scrap metal, they had a humble start. I have been having fun with different sizes and noticing that customers love the options. These are medium. Here are the small and large. Look and see which ones are for you.
{read: these are the start of a new series also. I have a feeling that these moons will appear on necklaces and dangle earrings too!}

I have been away from enameling for too long. To get myself back into the swing of things I designed some earrings that I could use as color palates for my explorations in color. After I have finished playing I get to come up with fun names for my studies. This one is Freckled Pink!

This was a fun exploration. The chartreuse was labeled as a transparent purple but I was pleasantly pleased with the outcome, I am smitten with chartreuse! Even more so in combination with lavender. The combination reminds me of lilacs blooming from green leafed bushes. 

These were the first pieces of metal that I enameled since university {it was long ago, trust me} and I started with my old favorite colors. Robin Egg Blue and Leaf. How could you not tell they would be a favorite? They have taken over my business theme. Banners, cards, stickers, ricrac, you name it is covered with this color combination. Luckily my customers seem to like my love for greens and blues too.

Now that I have filled my shop I find myself wanting to get back to my bench to design some more new work. As an artist are you ever done designing? I doubt I will ever be.

xo, Kim

Grand Re-Opening

I am currently taking a little break from the grand re-opening of my etsy shop. It is so exciting, I am finally getting my new work out on the internet. It has been done for a while and made it's debut in Craftopia this month but today most of my new items will be available online. Hooray!

So, here are some photographs but I would LOVE for you to take a look at my shop too. 

Here are my bitty earrings. They made of scrap pieces of silver. I just can't waste a speck, so I made these itty bitty earrings for people to enjoy. They reflect light and color and are fun to wear.

I heart enamels! My favorite part is playing with color combinations so I designed some earrings to show off my experiments. 

My frond earrings are an old favorite. I took new photos of them in the hopes of showing off their beauty. I suspect there will be a small series of these in the future. I can't wait to see them all together.

Another oldie. I wasn't going to continue my vine necklace series but it seems this one in particular isn't ready to be retired. I won't complain, vine necklaces are made from recycled silver and this one {olive jade} was always my favorite.

My enameled poppy earrings are a blend of my old style with my new passion for enameling everything. Bold, bright poppies hang from a delicately shaped ear wire. I can't wait to get some more color combinations together. Maybe there will be more ear wire shapes in the future?

I would love feedback on my grand re-opening. Constructive criticism welcome.

xo, Kim


new work, new market season

The first market of the season has come and gone. This has brought along a sense of anxiety, as the market season will be a long one this year, and a sense of relief. I put my new displays, work and packaging out for the shoppers to see and I got myself many compliments {especially on my teeny, square new business cards!}. So, all of my hard work seemed to pay off, ahh.. another sigh of relief. 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had been browsing antique stores for displays. And I had a blast in my search efforts.

Not finding everything I wanted in an actual store I also searched etsy for my letterpress drawer. What would I do without etsy?

The finds from the antique stores needed some love and kindness to become the perfect displays for me.
I didn't mind, I love looking through paint squares at home depot just as much as I love to mix bold colors together to make one great piece!

Now, for the big reveal..... displays in action at the first market. 
{not to mention, my new packaging, gift wrap and earring cards!!}

I do love how this all came together for me. I must admit, there wasn't much of a plan when I started collecting these items so I am lucky everything came together. My theory is that if I like one thing then everything else I get will look perfect with it because I picked it all out. Might be silly but it makes for less stress while gathering all of the bits and pieces from different places. 

I had so much fun playing with colors, making new cards and price tags and designing new work. Now, I just need to get designing more to fill up my lovely letterpress drawer. More rings are in order!

What part of market preparation do you love?

Craftopia application: signed, sealed & delivered

Finally I hit the print button to be able to fill out my application to Craftopia. I have had the document open on my desktop for weeks thinking, I will make new pieces and photograph them, all to dazzle the judges. Since weather warnings and not feeling well kept me from these ventures I decided to try and take better photographs of the work I have. 

I have been making these "dash of color" earrings for a while now. They debuted at Craftland and have yet to be released on the internet so I guess they may be new to some of you. These are sweet little experiments in color through enameling. Sometimes they are one big dash of color and other times they are a dash of color splashed with a tiny sample of a complimentary color. They are so fun and I couldn't make two pairs the same if I wanted to. {for the curious minded, the color part sits against your ear lobe and the silver wire hangs gracefully from behind your lobe}

And my old favorite, a vintage button ring. Once again, no two can be the same. This one is no longer in my possession, it currently resides in Australia. {read more here} I am sure it is quite happy there! I know I am happy it has found a loving home. 
here is what the owner had to say: 
Hello Kim,

I got the ring today. It is lovely. I'm wearing it right now!
Hope my order is the first of many from abroad.
Thanks again,
...I think she is smitten!!

And these lovely frond earrings have yet to find a home. Maybe they are intimidating? Maybe my photographs have been poor? I did a little shooting today and I hope I caught them in a better frame.

Wish me luck on Craftopia!! 

adornments for the wedding of two dear friends

After so many years together my two former college room mates decided to finally get married. Really, I have been waiting for this day for some time. I have seen them grow into an amazing couple and the engagement has just made them even more amazing. 

When they started to get into the planning stages I received a call from the soon to be groom, asking me if I will make some jewelry to adorn the ladies of the wedding. I was so excited to take part in their celebration by doing something that I love for two people I adore so you know I essentially yelled yes into the phone.

A few months go by and they come over for a cookout. We talk about the wedding, see fabric swatches of the dresses and discuss flowers. So, out come the beads and away we go trying to match and compliment the dresses and bouquets. We are settled on carnelian, just yummy for this autumn wedding and all of the ladies get a vine necklace with these luscious stones. Then I am asked if I can make the maid of honor a pair of earrings. Again, I am most excited. I love making earrings. But I am not pleased with the maid of honor wearing just any pair of earrings. I let the couple know that I need to think about a design. It needs to be special. 

I decided that I wanted to try and capture part of the design that is embroidered on her fern colored dress so I request some pictures. I am delighted to open this email. Making earrings with a leaf design. Can it get any better?

I grabbed a sketch book and a pencil and tried some different designs, trying to capture the flow and grace of the embroidery while making it my own.

So, I came up with all of these designs and emailed the sketches to the soon to be bride. We agree, the two below are the best. And doesn't the carnelian look like a drop of color that an autumn leaf may turn? 

Out come the pliers for some bending and shaping. I try so hard to make the drawings to scale so I always have a form to rely on.

Now the fun begins. Setting up to solder, which means FIRE.

Now it is time for the second leaf to take shape.

Soldering is underway and the second earring is started. I try so hard to keep them identical but I am reminded that nature isn't always perfect in shape and size. I accept the imperfections that I am sure only I notice and realize that had I found this discrepancy in nature, I would embrace it.

Where would I be without a flex shaft? I clean up the rough edges and messy solder with my sanding discs. They are dreamy to work with, but I still need to improve my soldering skills. 

Another dreamy device, radial wheels. The firescale is getting whisked away. Don't you just love seeing the silver color we love oh so much start shining through?

After tumbling over night I assemble these two lovely pair of earrings. I am quite pleased. I have never worked on a piece using only thin wire (20 gauge) and this is the first time I have ever wrapped beads. Really, how is it that I have a bachelor's degree in metals and never wrapped a single bead? I had to buy a book to learn! 

I made them five necklaces for the five ladies and I just couldn't remember who had what for colors, some varied from creamy white to luscious oranges. The necklaces have already been boxed up, tied tight with a green ribbon and handed over to the lovely couple. So, I made one pair with a darker orange stone and one with a creamier stone and I will leave it up to the soon to be wed to decide which pair will best match their maiden's necklace. 

You may be wondering why I would make two pairs of earrings just to be certain they will match a necklace? I decided that it didn't seem fair that my gift to this lovely couple was jewelry for everyone in their wedding but themselves. So, I made the extra pair for the bride. A little keepsake. A detail of her special day which otherwise may have been forgotten. A reminder that she chose lovely dresses with beautiful embroidery for her ladies. Maybe these earrings are taken out of their box to celebrate anniversaries? Other special occasions? I am lucky to be a part of these celebrations also! What about the groom to be you ask? Well, he just gets and extra tight hug in the receiving line because I know he wants his new bride to have the beautiful things in life and is content enough just to be able to share all that is beautiful with her. Forever.

eco-friendly jewelry on the Huffinton Post. vote for your favorites.

I have known I was smitten with the Huffington Post, maybe even addicted. All of the signs are there. I have the iPhone widget to read up on the blogs, I get the daily email with all the highlights, I have fanned all of their pages on facebook...well, I can't let you know how obsessed, I must stop somewhere.

This is my favorite but I think you should take a look at the link and choose your top five. Then post them to facebook, blog about it, obsess in anyway you choose.

enjoy and be inspired!

Rough Sketch to Finished Piece

My interpretation of nature is a major theme in my art form. I set aside some time to make a piece of work which better represents me as an artist. Not that my "production work" doesn't represent me, I have fun playing with different beads concentrating on their colors, shapes and textures. It is metal work, therefore, I love it. But my true passion comes out when more tools come out. I love noise: the hissing torch, bubbling flux, the steel of a hammer hitting silver, a saw blade cutting at raw materials... All of this noise means I am more active, more involved, thus, the work is a better representation of me.

I must admit, this is quite a rough sketch. When it comes to drawing I can draw anything put in my line of vision, yet sketching something from my imagination, well, you can see what happens.

So often I forget about the early days of metalsmithing when seeing the raw materials didn't seem to have any resemblance to jewelry. I forget how foreign the basic materials are to the majority. It has been brought back to my attention thanks to some curious visitors in my studio, so I remembered to take pictures of the tubing I used to make the "dew drops" which collect on the fronds.

I hope these inspire the same awe that one would feel upon discovering fronds sprouting up from the earth. And the woman who decorates herself with these earrings should feel just as lively and fresh.

In the end I decided that I would create a finish which represents how the original fronds appeared in my mind, sketchy, hazy and with a satin sheen. Like a fond memory getting cloudy over time.

Staying close to the theme I chose packaging which is made of recycled materials. And you choose from a pink or green ribbon, which I know you will reuse. Maybe as a little bow around the neck of a vase to make that flower arrangement sizzle?

Breathtaking blog

just wanted to pass along the new post on 18kt's blog about these amazing jewelers...

Rara Avis Nidus by Elena R.Gaspá i Elvira H.Mateu

she did such a great job with the post it only seems fair to provide you with the link.