Monday, June 27, 2011

Marvelous Monday

I couldn't leave town without this one last post.   Who doesn't like a great handbag, right?  But wait. The colors, textures and patterns on Bo's Art Opera Collection of handbags, belts, etc. will leave you clicking for more! I was inspired when I came across their bracelet section.  I like how they recycle together several scrap pieces to create an unusual one of a kind bracelet. 

This unique collection is handcrafted by artists Bozenna and Lukasz Bogucki in their Los Angeles studio.  Several different grades of stainless steel mesh are used, with larger mesh being more rigid and industrial looking and smaller mesh being smoother and silkier.  There's such a variety within their line with over 40 models named after famous operas.  Everything is made to order so the combination of model and color make for a possible choice from 2000 variations.  Feast your eyes and have a marvelous Monday!  See you when I return!

Note:  when I brought these photos over into my blog and made them larger, they became too blurry.  So to get a really good sense of their work, you will just have to visit their site!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Goings on - In the Studio and Out

My blog posts have been a little erratic lately - have you noticed?  I haven't been spending as much time in the studio as I would have liked.  This is always a busy time of year with the end of school.  It means shortened days (yesterday was the last), numerous commitments, endless carpooling, and too many appointments that I care to even think about.  And then I recently opened a new shop.  I've separated my jewelry under a different shop name - "StudioNaftali".   As I mentioned before, I'm looking to add more metal to my work.  When I initially started working in metal, I was doing sterling wire beaded bracelets which was a technique taught by Lynne Merchant (which would work wonderful with polymer by the way) and made very popular by Connie Fox.  I had never put them for sale in my Etsy bead shop and have now put a few in this shop.  I mean, do they really need to be kept in my studio closet?  I almost forgot all about them.  Crazy!  Their prices are really wonderful considering the silver market, design time, and work involved. 

Here's a couple pairs of newer earrings I added to the shop.  They are made with copper discs.  One is etched and the other has a textured sterling disc. 

They both are patinaed  Many moons ago, I bought a bunch of patinas from with intentions of using it as another way to add color to my metal.  Just another one of those things I hadn't gotten to.  When I saw Missflickermedia's tutorial on patinas a while back I figured I would purchase it when I had some time to experiment.  Lo and behold, I finally got around to it and thought she did a great job.  It sent me back in motion.  I'm adding base metals as a way to balance the cost of materials.  Besides, the patinas can really add some nice color to these metals.   But that's all going to have to wait a few weeks because I'm going on vacation.   I'll be out of town for 16 days and will be closing my shops on June 28th and re-opening them up on July 14th.  Lily, myself, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law will be going to Israel together.  We're all pretty excited as this will be the first time for three of us. 

And who would ever think that I'd be getting in touch with my my BAO teammate Triz for a shopping date?  Another one of my favorite stones is a Chrysocolla.  And when you have Chrysocolla mixed with malachite and turquoise, it's known as the Eilat (Israel) stone as this is where it is mined.  So, I'm meeting up with Triz to go shopping for Eilat stones in Tel-Aviv - as long as all the stars and planets are aligned. 

Below is a necklace which I set my first stone in a bezel.  It was a Chrysocolla. 

Oh yeah, and then to our surprise, we received 4 tickets to the Jimmy Buffet concert.  This was our 25th year and we thought for sure we'd be missing it as we didn't receive the tickets until 4 days before the concert.  For a number of years we've been renting an RV and taking anywhere from 10 - 12 of us. So this was the year of downsizing.  It was kind of like a flashback as that's how it all began - two friends from CT, myself and Mark.

And finally, every few weeks we have a color challenge with the BAO team.  So every chance I get to experiment, and it's usually for this challenge, I experiment with patterns.  I almost started to write the directions down for one of the patterns when it dawned on me to pick up my camera.  I've done this for tutorials, but NEVER for myself!  So now, when I'm in the process of discovery, I pick up the camera, and shoot.  And as they say, a picture's worth a thousand words.  SO MUCH EASIER!  So now I've started some folders of just pattern development.   Every now and then I poke my head out of the cave and say "huh"?  Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Helen Otterson Ceramics

With only a few glances at Helen Otterson's work, you get a clear sense that succulents play a key role as her inpsiration

"My work is a hybrid of human cells and plant forms that share the pursuit of survival and beauty of natural form. Drawn to the succulents of my native Californian landscape, I am intrigued by the succulent’s ability to survive in a harsh environment, yet produce colorful lush forms. I am drawn to the dichotomy of these plants that thrive in water-deprived environments yet, produce voluptuously plump leaves and tendrils."

Hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Marvelous Monday

The original Series 7 chair (1955) was designed by the Danish designer Arne Jacobsen.  Australian artist Lisa Jones made a symbiosis series of chairs based on his original design.  Each chair represents a human organ system.  My jaw dropped a bit when I came across her work. I hope you enjoy and have a marvelous Monday!

Some of her previous works include these laser type cut acrylic and pencil drawings.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Your Best Shot

Even though I've been working with the same camera for a number of years, I recently saw an Etsy camera workshop that I thought was pretty informational.  The two videos review cameras, provide a photography checklist, review camera setups, backgrounds, aperature settings, lighting, photo sizing, photo setup and more. It's given me a few things to think about and I hope you find it helpful in creating the best possible images.  Have a great weekend! 

Watch live streaming video from etsy at

etsy on Broadcast Live Free

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Out of the Studio

Every two weeks, the BAO team does a color challenge.  I never seem to get it done ahead of time.  It's usually completed at the last possible moment.  Bad habits are tough to tame.  But for one of the future challenges, I thought it might be fun to actually take some time and experiment a bit with patterns and see what evolved.  It must be late because I'm now seeing faces and bodies within these patterns.  Yikes.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sally Bright's Basketry

"Sally J. Bright began collecting baskets as a teenager, searching for unusual examples in local shops. As an artist, she strives to continue pushing the definition of basketry.’” In her Fenton, Mich., studio, Bright grows each sizable basket from rattan and palm, sometimes including metal or plastic, then applies up to 50 layers of acrylic paint. “Entropy Overcome,” which incorporates copper, is a whopping 4 1/2 by 6 1/2 feet!

Sally has a website which is only temporary as the new one is currently being built.  Most of the photos on her site are found here within the In Print tab. Click on the magazines to view. This next particular one was taken from Timothy Reddy's flickr photostream.  He took a bunch of shots at a Fine Art Fair in Peoria, IL.  Here you get a really good sense of scale.
Regarding the photo below, here's what Sally had to say.  "I realize that not everyone can afford the type of work I am obsessed with making and I have tried innumerable times to create smaller, less complex work. But my brain is not wired that way. So I created an affordable poster with photos of my "Amoebas" series."

And to get a sense of Sally's adventurous spirit, she has a "For Fun" area.  There, you can read about sky diving, parasailing, and other fun stuff.   Her description of the sky diving gave me a really good sense of the experience.  Kind of like being there . . . well, almost. Cowabunga! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Out of the Studio

Here's a few photos on what's been on my bench this week. 

This piece was etched and has been percolating for a while.  The silver is pretty unfinished at this point.

I punched a hole in the silver and layed it out on a piece of copper.  Using a circle template I marked the copper with the size w/sharpie.

Cut the copper, sanded and polished both pieces.

Next, I'll be etching the copper piece.  I originally planned to etch it using the same pattern as the sterling.  But the piece of polymer that will fit inside is more of an organic look so now I'm thinking that the copper should have a different pattern.  We'll see what develops.  And finally, a pair of earrings that are actually . . . finished.  Yay!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

C. T. Whitehouse

C. T. Whitehouse creates simple vessel forms with bronze in such a way that they seem to just illuminate the space they're in.  If you're a fan of patinas, then I'm sure you'll enjoy his work.  They are filled with color and light. 

"The intent of my work with bronze is simply to express the nature and beauty of the material itself. From the original designs in wax I make each bronze form unique each showing subtle variation of texture and color. Use of simple forms frees the viewer to see the qualities of bronze without concern for subject or detail."

"The patina of each piece is created by heating and chemically oxidizing the bronze, giving each piece its unique look. Finally, the edges of the forms are highly polished until they hold a halo of light. The artist's signature marks his pleasure in completing this art." - The Artful Home

To see more of his work, you can visit his website here.