Sunday, January 10, 2010

Leaf Drop Earrings

As promised earlier, here is a picture of the shorter Leaf Drop earrings, made from a bronze leaf disk that was formed from my own design mold. We sold several pair of the longer version at the recent Galveston show, but many asked about making them shorter, so here is what that looks like. My mother-in-law, at about 5' in height, never wears earrings that dip even 1/2-inch below her lobe! Lisa will make one of her professional-looking shots very soon and these will be placed on the site aside the long version, seen below. The wire is sterling, as is the connecting bead and earwire.

Here is another something new, Longhorn earrings. I had 2 pair at the Mary Queen bazaar and sold both; one to a woman who owns a longhorn ranch in the hill country. I have only a drawing to post here, since I foolishly failed to photograph them--which tells you how hot off the bench they were. I am going to make more very soon. They measure just over an inch at the widest, and the longhorn diamond shape swings freely inside. The design on the outside diamond is oxidized. It may seem hokey to put up a drawing, but I have ulterior motives. I will always remember the wise words of an old friend: "If you want to get something done, tell someone you are going to do it." Thus you are bound to the task! I wouldn't like waiting too much longer to get my new plans completed and on the website. It is not easy to get cranked up again after Christmas, hard as it is just to get back into the regular routines of working and caring for house & home, much less a "second job".

Here, too, are a couple of shots from the Bazaar, since we always like to publicize our shows. We had a great show here this year, best ever for us at MQ. Very happy about that.

Take care & Ciao!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Settling down in 2K10

Yes, the Longhorn game is behind us, the Christmas decor is packed away and routine is slowly reasserting itself. Last night I got my workroom organized once again so that the drawings in my sketchbook have a chance to morph into the real thing.

This year I will continue making earrings, seemingly my favorite item, but will push into making rings. Rings have been on the back burner for a long while and it's time to try my hand at them.

I had not made a new necklace in a while until coming up with this new one, seen above: Lisa is photographing it to put on the site but here is my amateur effort so you can see it. I sold the first one of these, fresh off the bench, at the Christmas bazaar in December, and have one more. It's assembled with cold connections except at the clasp where jump rings are soldered. I could have soldered the jumps at the pendant, but I didn't want to risk heating the bronze (cool gel might have worked) because it would have turned the color of copper. The customer who bought the necklace said she liked cold connections better, however, thinking they are stronger. I can't argue that point. See the website soon for pricing and more details.
The necklace does match the Leaf Drop Earrings already at the online store, but I made a shorter version of these earrings. I will comment on those and post a photo in my next blog entry. For now, though, Lisa will put up a photo of a new pair of earrings to complement the necklace, seen at right. I wanted something that matched but didn't repeat the strong pattern of the leaf disk on the necklace, so toned it down with plain bronze disks and repeated the necklace's silver leaf. Topped with a beaded earwire, I think these earrings are very pretty and feminine.

Another Project on the Bench: Quick Fire Copper Clay

Bronze clay has been a quirky material with which to work. I have only used the commercial BronzClay, but am going to try Hadar Jacobson's new Quick Fire bronze and copper clays next. I am going to start with copper clay, which I have yet to do: Lisa's already used Hadar's older copper version. I will rework a pair of earrings sold a year ago at MQ; they resembled spoons although the design was taken from an African tribal rattle. The original pair was made with copper sheet cut and domed (left), with silver clay for the shafts, to which earwires were soldered.

The new pair is similar to the photo on the right. Interestingly it features a switch in construction: the copper will not be sheet but clay, and the shaft will not be clay but sterling wire. In this "sketch" I was unsuccessful drilling the hole at top because I didn't anneal first (had to explain that glitch). I will work the silver wire by hammer & sanding for an organic look--more pounding and working sterling wire, which I love to do. And using clay for the disk removes the need for etching, although that is not an unpleasant or difficult technique. If you look closely at the edges of the copper disk to the right, you can see the etched lines.

See my next blog entry for a picture of the shorter Leaf Drop earrings. Ciao and Happy New Year!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Welcome to the New Year!

We would like to wish everyone a happy new year! It is my warmest wish that 2010 be a good year for us all. I'm not here to talk about resolutions because I haven't made any and I'm not a fan anyway. They tend to make me stress and feel guilty for not following through on them all. I would prefer to say that I will strive to be a better person and work hard at whatever I may do this year.

Shauna and I are both working on new designs and I wish I had something to show you today but the sketches are too rough at this point so that will have to wait until the next post.

For now, my intent was to wish all a happy new year! We'll be talking to you again very soon.