Thursday, March 31, 2011

The world is a changing

After watching footage of the Japan earth quake and tsunami I've been thinking about several things.

One I am still dumbfounded when watching footage. It's like watching a movie, my eyes watch it but my brain has a hard time processing that much devastation.

I am amazed at how well the country seems to be handling it. I wonder how well my own country and city would handle something of that magnitude?

I live on an Island and as long as I can remember there has been talk of it "sinking". We've had minor earthquakes but nothing causing major damage in my lifespan. Watching the Japan disaster on the news has made me re think my own evacuation plans, if I was to need to leave with little notice.

We've got three horses, at one time we had as many as 20. For the first time in either mine or my husbands life we can load all our animals in one trailer load if need be. It's a comforting feeling. It's got living quarters for us and our kitty (of course he's got a travel box!) so we could if need be pack in a short time frame and be mobile.

What has me wondering if how would the Island itself handle an evacuation? Would you head for higher ground or try to get off the Island completely? What households things would you grab in a short time frame? What would you leave behind?

It's all a bit mind boggling, but I've been thinking about it a lot lately and wondering what exactly I'd do?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Favorite Tool - Elbow Pads

As a lampworker (beadmaker) I spend a lot of time sitting, which isn't all that great for my already compromised back. When I set up my work station I had one of my physio people come in and look at how I had things set up. He raised my chair and mentioned I needed something to rest my elbows on. I had a piece of black foam for a long time but it finally compressed down and was almost useless. I had seen bean bag style elbow pads but often they were fabric, which would of course get holes fast with hot glass bits flying about. I cannot unfortunately remember where I found these leather ones but I love them. They are easy to clean and don't burn through if a hot piece of glass happens to land on them.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Featured Artist - Darla Chipperly

I absolutely love Peace Love and Cowgirls! Their etsy shop is fairly new and it's fun!

My favorite piece is this cowhide cross. I've got a bit of a thing for cowhide so this is right up my alley

How long have you been working in your medium?

I actually am very new at this, I created my first piece last Aprilish.

What drew you to this medium?

Curiosity is what first drew me, I needed a hobby while being home with my little girl, she has had two heart surgeries and getting sick just wasn’t an option for the first year or so. We were basically home bound. The want to be able to afford having the western jewelry that I admired from afar drew me as well, and I wanted everyone to be able to buy a piece if they chose.

What is your favorite thing about your art?

It is my creative outlet, my little escape from everyday life…. that and I am very particular I keep working on all my pieces until they would be something I would be proud to wear, so that’s another favorite thing, my growing jewelry box, some of them don’t even make it to the facebook page!

What's your favorite piece?

Lol! All of them….. My sister bought me a necklace for my Birthday a few years ago and while the pendant was beautiful the chain it was on was not, so I took it apart and made a necklace worthy of the pendant, I wear it all the time.

What's the hardest piece you've ever made?

Again, all of them! I have an issue with finishing a piece I don’t love so most necklaces get created and destroyed multiple times before I am happy with them, that and the six strand ones are very time consuming!

What’s the one favorite tool you cannot live without?

My tackle boxes, A cheaper alternative to craft storage and durable enough to haul everywhere!!

What’s your favorite thing about your workspace or studio?

I work out of my home, so my favorite thing about my work place is when my daughter lays down for a nap and I can get some work done!

What is your other craft?

I am a stay at home mom to a beautiful two year old daughter, and I am a certified Equine massage therapist. Craft wise ……A little of everything….I enjoy painting signs, and I am about to start dabbling in a little leather work, but my horses are my passion.

Who or what inspires you?

My daughter is my inspiration, I have never met a stronger human being.

What's your favorite inspirational saying?

Remember the guy that gave up? Neither does anyone else.

Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.

Life isn’t waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do?

Go back to school, although there are so many things I would like to study, I’m not sure what I want to be when I grow up (if I ever do!)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wonderful class!

I took a absolutely wonderful class this weekend. Robyn Cornelius of Little Rock Jewellery Studio taught at Andrea G's in Pt Townsend. It was amazing!

It was a small class so we really got to focus on things we had been wanting to learn. We covered many techniques and Robyn made everything easy to understand and relaxing. I highly recommend her, the best metals class I have taken!

I am smitten with tube setting and see a lot of pieces with gemstones in my future! The folded bracelets below were a lot of fun, very organic and comfy to wear. The geode ring I made the band and Robyn did the claw setting, I am really in love with it. I wore it today and already got two compliments on it!

The piercing is far more relaxing than I ever thought it would be, it reminds me of knitting! I loved the reticulated copper, it pits and does all sorts of interesting patterns. The horse piece I am incredibly thrilled with. I think it came together really well. The key was a blast! it was Robyn's idea to put rivits in where the horse shoe nails would normally go and I really think it makes the piece.

I had such a great time, many thanks to Andrea and Whit for welcoming us into their home. Thanks to Robyn for making it such a wonderful experience. And to Marion for laughing with me a LOT, good friends make classes so much better~

What design process would you like to see?

I've done several tutorials over the last couple years. Trying to decide what to write one about if often half the struggle. I wound up picking things that interested me and that I thought were fun. But now I'm wondering if there is something you would like to see documented? Is there a process you'd like to hear more about? Something you've always wondered about? Maybe something you've been working on but can't quite figure out? What would you like to hear about?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Favorite tool - Ott Light

I love my Ott Light. I got three of them at Micheals with a coupon about 6 months ago and I use them a lot more than I thought I would. I have one beside my sink for examining beads once they are clean, it's also a area I do some resin work so it's helpful to have good light there. I've got one in the metal studio right by where I do the bulk of my wire wrapping, I find it saves my eyes to have some extra light there. The third moves around a bit, I use it when setting stones so it often goes with me where ever I may be doing that. I take it up to the School House Studioas I often do finishing work there. I am so glad I bought them, they tend to be expensive but with a 40% off coupon they really are worth the investment.

Class Project

A quick pixcture to share of a class project I am thrilled with. I am taking a class with Robyn Cornelius and we did piercing yesterday, I am so happy with how this key turned out!

We've done a lot of different techniques and she's a fantastic instructor I highly recommend her!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Customer Profile - Stacey Peterson

Stacey Peterson of Low Tide and Lemon Pie is my customer profile this month. I met Stacey at Bead and Button last year and liked her immediately. She's very caring, talented and very funny!

Take a visit to her shop, her bio page is really interesting. The story behind the name of her shop is really touching. It's a nice bit of insight into the artist.

I love this bondage bracelet! Very cool!

She answered a few questions for me, here's out interview.

What's your first passion? Jewelry design is definitely my passion/obsession, I've been doing it since I was 10! PMC comes in a very close second because of it's flexibility.

What's your hobby? Lamp work glass is still pretty much a hobby for me. I love it, but don't spend enough time practicing.

What did you like about my product or shop? I love your shop because of the wide range of items you sell. Your glass beads vary from very pretty colors and shapes to organic funkier beads. your rings are wonderful and I see you adding new things all the time. You do a beautiful job with everything you create.

Have you made anything with it? I have made an adorable necklace with one of your heart beads. The bead kind of has a speckled egg look to it which I paired with a fine silver bird charm. (pictured above)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Favorite Tool - Bead Press

This is one of my most used tools in the studio, turns out it’s made by one of my most favorite people! The Jim Moore bead press is what I use to cap and core all my beads. It's one of my all time favorite tools, and they are wonderful people too!

I also use the bracelet and ring mandrel for riveting all my beads to my rings and bracelets. The dapping balls make doming beads caps a breeze! This tool has so many different uses, well made and simple to use! Jim is always developing new attachments for this tool too, in fact he's working on a new one right now!

This tool was what helped me come up with the design for my Keepsake Beads. It makes it to easy to cap and core beads I can fill a hollow bead with any keepsake and flare with core without having any problems.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Featured Artist - Beth Hemmila

Featured Artist: Beth Hemmila

Hint Jewelry Design – Portland Oregon

I’ll admit I stalk Beth’s shop almost every other day. I have several of her pieces, two horses, a cat and a goddess and they are all simple yet absolutely stunning. I find her pieces so unique and they have limitless possibilities in jewelry pieces. My current favorite is her raven.

Her blog is inspiring in so many ways, I always enjoy reading it. I am totally entrance by her new series of charms, when I wrote this they were not in her etsy yet. They may be listed in there now, I’ll be stalking her shop yet again for the snow globe charm. I love snow, it’s the perfect charm for me!

How long have you been working in your medium?

I’ve been a sculptor for 20 years and working in metal clay for 4 years.

What drew you to this medium?

I like how I can mold this material like clay yet it transforms into pure silver.

What is your favorite thing about your art?

Connecting with symbols and researching their significance.

What's your favorite piece?

Wind Horse

What's the hardest piece you've ever made?

Love Dog because I went through a lot of different designs.

What’s the one favorite tool you cannot live without?

Burt’s bee balm

What’s your favorite thing about your workspace or studio?

A window with a view of the outside world.

Who or what inspires you?

Nature and ancient art

What's your favorite inspirational saying?

“Real happiness lies in that which never comes nor goes, but simply is.” – Yogi tea bag

What's one thing you've never done you always wanted to do?

Travel to Australia

Hint Jewelry Design:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How does the season affect my work?

I find myself often lacking motivation in the winter. I live in Victoria BC and it's often gray and overcast. Being that it's a rain forest area we get a LOT of rain and the gray days that come with it can be depressing.

I find I look forward to time spent with friends this time of year. I often feel the need to run away to some place brighter, be it brighter weather or a brighter out look.

Good friends can often give you a boost, brightening my mood often boosts creativity. I'm blessed to have many good friends I just wish I had more closer!

While I was in Chinook I made a bunch of boro glass hearts, something new for me and really fun! I see lots more of these in my future.