Friday, January 23, 2015

Puffy Heart Wire Work

Although I designed and made this gold heart pendant a while back, I'm taking a moment to examine my work.  I often enjoy looking at my port folio and my gallery; it helps to see where I have grown and it also is great idea for inspiration!  I don't know about you, but whenever I examine one of my older creations, it often triggers a new design.  Don't you find it amazing that our brains are designed that way?  I personally was in awe when I learned that our brain never stops expanding through new connections!

All that to say that I was examining this heart pendant and I was thinking of making a similar one with a gemstone perhaps... Have any ideas?  Please share.   Who knows maybe I'll design the heart pendant around your idea.

What inspires you?  Share with us in the comment box.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Thinking Outside the Box

A client wanted me to make two very special rings with some pieces of White Oak found on her husband's family's farmland.  I had never worked with wood for a cabochon before, and so I felt this would be an interesting little project.  Have any of you worked with wood in a jewelry application before?

I tested a piece of the wood with poly and I liked the beautiful dark grain it brought out, but I decided to go with resin epoxy instead because I really needed to ensure the wood would be completely sealed in order to protect it from water.  Nothing is more annoying than removing a ring every time you wash you hands!  Did you ever have one of those rings?

The raw bark all around the wood piece really adds to the overall rustic look!  Personally, I love textures, and these rings are a beautiful combination of textures: the lovely lines of the wood grain contrasting with the jagged edges of the bark against the smooth, shiny silver of the metal!  

As per my clients request, I made both rings so that they're adjustable in size because she wants to be able to wear them on different fingers; such a clever idea!

I've learned one important lesson with this project:  Jewelry is not limited to stones, pearls and beach glass; any material can be used to make jewelry!  The key is to think outside the box! Do you have an original idea for a jewelry piece?  We'd love to hear it.  Please share in the comment box.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Never Stop Learning

Don't you just love learning how to do new things?  I enjoy the internet so much for this reason!  It's like having access to unlimited information and techniques at your fingertips.  What I especially enjoy is benefiting from another artisan's experience;  Building on their techniques, applying them and making them my own.

What have you learned lately?  What do you enjoy learning about:  cooking, arts and crafts, home decor...?  Please share in the comment box.  It's fun to see the varying interests of each person.

If you love to learn, you will be captivated by this site that offers online classes in so many categories.  You are sure to find one or two that you really would enjoy.

I decided to try one of them out.  I chose "Painting Trees in Acrylic."  I enjoyed this course so much, I cannot wait to apply what I've learned.  The one thing I loved about the course, is the HD Videos.  Once you purchase the course, you have unlimited access to the videos in your course package; isn't that wonderful?  No need to hurry; just go at your own pace and go back as often as you want... I love it and cannot rave enough about it.

The best thing is, you can even try it for free... isn't that great?  Click here to start your painting class free.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Copper with Patina Patterns - Beautiful!

If you love patina patterns that occur on copper with oxidization, then you will flip out when you see these beautiful patterns.  Browse the gallery by clicking the arrows.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Need Motivation for 2015?

As an artist, I know for a fact that it's sometimes very difficult to balance, your life and your business. It's easy to devote too much time in one area, while neglecting the other.  The most difficult for me is being consistent. Either I spend too much time in my studio, or not enough.  If you're reading this, I'm sure you know exactly what I mean.

One thing I have learned to do is treat my craft as my job.   The way that I do this is by choosing specific days and times to do my work.  I usually work on Mondays, Fridays and Saturday afternoons.  Of course, this is not a rigid schedule, but it really helps to keep me more disciplined and structured.  

Sometimes, I have no motivation and just don't feel like making stuff; I call this my dry period. 

 How do I deal with the dry period??  

- Since I photograph most of my creations and catalog them, I can review them for inspiration.  This often sparks a new idea.

- If I really don't feel like coming up with a new design, I usually don't force it because it'll show in the work.  I remember, one of my regular clients once commented: "Your work is different.  You must be tired because you're not putting as much effort into your pieces."  Although this comment struck a nerve, she was right!!  I was exhausted and I was just producing like a factory line...  My heart was not in it.  So, instead of attempting something new, I make repeat pieces, or focus on cleaning my studio, working on my website and blog, get some rest and I usually bounce back and get back in the game.

- Browse creations by other artists', but always do this with respect and never copy someone's work; it's a crime in the art world.  An artist works hard to come up with something new, it's really not fair when someone takes that away!

I found this 2015 desk calendar which I really thought was appropriate for artisans:  It's a motivational calendar which encourages artisans to make one project a day for 365 days.  I thought it was cute and I wanted to share it with you on my blog.

So what are your tricks to get through the dry season, when the creative juices aren't flowing ?  Please share them with us.  We need all the tricks we can get...  

My Photograph Featured in Canadian Magazine

A few years ago, I submitted some Humpback Whale photographs to a contest held by "Our Canada Magazine." I never heard anything about it and figured out that I didn't win, and that was o.k.  I really thought the photographs were worth submitting because of the most awesome display by Humpbacks; a superb double breach!  We were excited to even just see Humpback Tails, we never expected to see what we did.  So, you can understand that even if I didn't win, I was eager to share this shot with someone!

A couple of years later, I received an email from Our Canada's editor explaining that even though I didn't win, they held on to the photographs and knew they wanted to use them in a future issue of the magazine and wanted a small write-up of the day we went whale watching on the Bay of Fundy.  Of course I was thrilled and accepted the terms, and now in the September issue of "Our Canada Magazine" this amazing double breach, the Humpbacks in all their glory, was shared with thousands of readers across Canada!