Thursday, September 4, 2014

And...Another Leaf Necklace

When I made a fold formed leaf necklace the other night, I opted for a simple chain.
The part of my brain that prefers unique chains with wire wrapped lovely elements, would describe that previous chain as spartan. 
I needed to answer the inner demand for an alternative with more texture.
Fresh off my workbench is this variation of my fold formed leaf necklace.
Again, different sized leaves were wire wrapped to a short section of chain which was wire wrapped to a hand forged copper ring.
This time, I textured the copper ring with one of my wonderful, old chisels.
The chain consists of wire wrapped smoky crystals, long heavy gauge links formed from recycled copper wire and small, textured copper links.
As with the first necklace,
this one also has a handmade clasp.
now both sides of my brain feel satisfied.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to My Workbench

Preparations for hanging my paintings at Burlap & Bean pulled my attention away from the many jewelry projects on my workbench.
The paintings were hung yesterday morning
(with appreciated help from Wayne Art Center friends Mary Lu and Melanie....thank you!!)
and last night I was busy figuring out what to do with some of these fold formed leaves.
I developed this collection of leaves that were actually meant to be a metal interpretation of Koelreuteria seed pods.....
 as I figured out the size and shape for my pattern as well as the preferred hammer and hammer strikes.
I am completely satisfied that my original path ended up veering off in another direction because I am now very fond of these leaves.
With the approach of Fall, I wanted to capture the image of leaves fluttering to the ground and turn that image into a necklace.
Different sized leaves were wire wrapped on to a piece of chain which in turn was wire wrapped to a hand forged copper ring.
I wanted to focus to be on the leaves, so the chain was kept uncharacteristically (for me) gemstones, no beads, nada.
After all connections were made, the entire necklace was treated in a liver of sulfur bath and then cleaned with my favorite sanding block.
A handmade clasp keeps the back simple but elegant.
Ready for Fall.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Artist

Lucky me!
After displaying and selling a selections of my paintings at
during May, 2013, I was invited to hang a new collection of work.
Burlap & Bean is an independent coffeehouse where Fair Trade beans are roasted on site.
They make the best cup of coffee in the region, and they have become an important part of the social fabric for the western suburbs of Philadelphia
The Burlap & Bean owners are great supporters of local and national musical talent with a busy calendar of events.
They also host Delco Story Slam, a monthly evening of storytelling.
And then there's the Artist of the Month program.
Each month, a local artist has the opportunity to display artwork for sale on the walls of this cozy, engaging coffeehouse.
I'm thankful that for September, my paintings will be a small part of the fabric of Burlap & Bean.
Want to stop by and enjoy the intoxicating aromas from the roaster?
Burlap & Bean
is located at
The Shops at Springton Pointe
204 South Newtown Street Road (Route 252)
Newtown Square, PA

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

And Sometimes I Make Something Just for Me

During my thrift store hunts for unusual metal that could somehow become a piece of jewelry, I find that I just can't resist beautiful, old flatware.
Some of the flatware that I find to be especially irresistible is from the early 1900's, often made by Rogers Bros. or by Oneida.
I never know how I might use the spoons and forks that I end up claiming, but they come home with me because they're like small pieces of sculpture that deserve more than being relegated to the often-neglected kitchen wares section of the thrift store.
The spoon with the $1 price tag is a sugar spoon with the Orange Blossom pattern, made by Wm. Rogers & Son in 1910.
I love how the  flowers have the look of repousse metal work, one of the reasons why I have not yet been able to take my saw to this spoon.
The top spoon is a Florida commemorative spoon made by Oneida Community, possibly in the 1940's.
The state spoons by Oneida are so rich in detail, and so much more interesting than the contemporary commemorative spoons that some people purchase today as a keepsake of their travels.
When I found this Florida spoon a few years ago, I also found one for Illinois.
I immediately knew that the Illinois spoon would be used to make something for me.
I spent two years in Illinois, attending graduate school at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign which is where I met my late husband.
All of my in-laws are in Illinois, and the state will always be a place that has part of my heart.
I saw cut out the 'ILLINOIS' section and drilled a hole at each end.
Sterling wire was used to wrap connectors of garnet and sterling beads along with heavy gauge silver links.
Because my hands are so busy with different projects, I don't typically wear bracelets....
but when I do,
my Illinois bracelet is usually the one that I choose.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Presenting My Paintings

As I continue with my painting endeavors, I have begun working more earnestly to seek out opportunities to display my work....
and hopefully, sell my work.
I currently have work at the following locations...
That's my 'The Fields Before Me' at the far left on the wall.
When I dropped off this entry, I found out that several people wanted to purchase the painting that I entered last year.
Of course they did...because it wasn't for sale.
This year's painting is for sale, so we'll see what happens.
I entered two pieces for this show which opened last Thursday.
My painting, Echinacea, is in good company.
It was placed over the award winning 'Some Trees', beautifully painted by Ona, another student of Georganna Lenssen.
The other painting I was entering, 'Summer Sky', presented a bit of a challenge for me.
It's a small painting, and I thought it really needed some kind of frame for it to be effectively presented.
At 4" x 12", it appeared the only frame I would be able to get would have to be a special order which is code for too much money for me.
Time to be a little industrious.
I went to the hardware store and bought a miter box and saw.
I bought some 1/4" x 2" poplar.
I got to work.
I made a very simple frame that has a smidge of a reveal on the front.
I hammered two small pieces of scrap wood into the upper corners to fasten a couple of eyelets for the hanging wire.
Nice and simple and done.
I decided I like the look so much...
that I've been making similar simple frames for some of my other paintings.
So when I went into the gallery to look for my 'Summer Sky' painting, I didn't see it right away.
That's because my small, little painting is very low on the wall, just above the air vent.
Oh well...last year the painting I entered was almost down at the baseboard, so at least I'm moving up in the world.

A few days after the opening, I was back at the Art Center and found a red dot....

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Seeing Eye

My son and his guide dog...
featured on The Seeing Eye web site.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Shopping My Way

Earlier this year, I received a phone call from the accountant who was helping me prepare my taxes.
He asked me if I had made purchases in Delaware (land of tax-free shopping).
He asked me if I shopped on line.
I told him that I really don't do much shopping.
There was a long pause in the conversation and he said,
"You are a very interesting woman."
Actually, given the fact that he was looking at my financial status, he probably should have understood the reason why I don't shop much.
When I do shop, it's often for items that some people might find curious...
like these awesome chisels.
Actually.....3 chisels, one railroad spike and 2 iron thingies.
I recently found these pieces of heavy metal wonderfulness at local thrift stores, and they are now part of my arsenal of texture-making tools.
One of the chisels was used to texture the discs for this batch of new earrings....
being delivered to Woodmere Art Museum this afternoon.