Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Favourite Pendant.

This was Debbie's favourite piece that she made in yesterdays workshop. She learned how to saw, forge, file, planish, rivet and apply patination to complete this beauty!

Workshop Wonders!

Today I conducted a workshop for the lovely Debbie - an aspiring jewellery artist who wanted to learn a bit more about metal and working with reclaimed materials. It was a great experience teaching one-on -one and I am not sure who got the most out of it, student or teacher!

Busy hands getting the hang of saw-piercing.

Debbie had never used a jewellery saw before today!

This was Debbbie's first sawing effort - cut from a copper penny - and she didn't even break a blade!

The heart takes shape.

This a spoon that we made into a pendant - there was sawing,filing,stamping,eyelet setting and wire wrapping involved - oh and adding patination!

Debbie also had a go at sawing material other than metal - the black butterfly is a vinyl record. She had just enough time to have a bit of a play with the doming block!

All in all Debbie was as proud as punch of her acheivements and I feel I have empowered another artisan to get out there and CREATE so I am very satisfied with that feeling! We handcrafters will take over the world one day! (insert evil laugh here!)

Monday, September 14, 2009


By 10am I had decided the weather was far too nice to stay indoors all day so I had myself a little jaunt to the oppie! Oh and I am so glad I did - just look at what I found!

These yummy sparklies had my name all over them - 3 strands of what I am guessing are vintage Czech crystals with matching clip-ons!

One of the lovely ladies who works there told me they had belonged to her Mother ( said lady would be in her 60's at the very least) so they must be quite old. She just didn't want to have them anymore! Well they have found a very happy new home with me!

They have a lovely AB finish so they pick up any colour they are near!

Lucky,lucky ME!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rock Chick Glamour.

So this is what you do when your baby child turns 16 - you make something you would never wear, that is suitable only for a young, gorgeous, non-crinkly neck/decolletage! I was having a little pity party (I mean how did I get old enough for my youngest to be 16 YEARS OLD for Heavens sake?) and started thinking back to what I was doing at his age and of course I was listening to and watching Madonna in all her lace,pearls and fingerless-gloved glory! This is my New Millennium take on the old Madonna ( I liked her better back then anyway! )

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Collaborations and deadlines.

Sometimes having a long lead time on things can be deadly! Case in point is a book collaboration a small group of printmakers and poets have been working on - it seemed we had ages until final images were due so that the book could be collated and then suddenly, the due date is NOW! Yikes! We needed to create an edition of 18 prints in response to the poem presented to us. So you have a bunch of emerging printmakers and a bunch of emerging writers all in one room - sounds like a recipe for disaster but I think everyone came through relatively unscathed. Overall, the theme of the book is about metamporphasis. The poem I was assigned was about a journey, transitioning from country to city - well that's it loosely anyway! So here are the prints - 18 caustic etch lino prints that have been hand coloured. Who knew hand-colouring could take so long - I am talking HOURS here! Still, I loved using this method to create an image - very loosey-goosey and kinda "organic"!
I measured the paper incorrectly so these are printed with dodgy borders which had to be taken care of post-colouring! The caustic has etched at different depths and I like the less defined effect that the shallow etching creates.

Aarrggh! So many dots! I had no idea watercolours could be so unco-operative!

Satisfying to see them all in a row though!

Glad to have it all finished and am excited to see the final book - unfortunately I can't be there to help with the collating and making of the book but all that is in good hands so I will just have to be patient!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Love is in the air - it is Springtime!

With Spring in the air I felt like making something a little Romantic. So, I gathered up some pearly bits, vintage brass findings and soft coloured beads and set to work. The result is this vintagy looking piece - slightly inspired in shape by a rosary. The filigree bit was an old brooch - it has something that looks like a white opal set in it and seemed so perfect for this piece that I had no hesitation in whipping off the pin, antiquing the metal and putting it to use! The lovely large bead is faux Cinnabar and was in fact a bit too white for my liking so I "antiqued" it using the old coffee in the microwave trick that Melissa perfected years ago to dye buttons etc. I couldn't resist a little "bling" - hence the Swarovski on the very end! All in all I love the romantic feel of this piece - kinda dreamy and reminiscent of a bygone era. Oh and how sweet is the little bird? It is made of shell and I found it in an odd earring from the oppie!

And something similar in pink - ah Paris the city of LURVE!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


After the mammoth clean-up I finally got into the workroom and made a few things - yippee! I am loving having all those beadies sorted and keep opening the boxes to look at the pretties within! Today was a Fleetwood Mac, Paul Kelly and early Rod Stewart day - hope the neighbours had their windows shut 'cos I'm not sure that my rendition of "Maggie May" is all that inspiring! I was inspired though and am really happy with todays efforts and plan to get into the workroom again over the week-end - maybe I could crank out some Savage Garden or Michael Franti .....
Must-try-not-to be-distracted-by-the-pretties ...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Studio Overhaul - eeek!

In an effort to get motivated to do some work I have embarked on a MAJOR studio clean-up! I quite often have a tidy up before I get started on new projects but this time a little clean-up just didn't do the trick. It started with the beads... I asked my menfolk to apply their lateral blokey brains to the problem and they unanimously agreed that what I really needed was those divided boxes - the kind embroiderers store their floss in or fisherman put tackle in. Originally my beadies were stored in little zip-lock bags, sorted into colours and stacked into cutlery trays which were housed ina special shelving unit the hubby designed and built. This was a great solution until the collection just got too big - I spent half my time hunting through the trays and the rest picking up fallen baggies from the floor 'cos the trays were overstuffed! I decided to take the good advice offered and started with 50 boxes ... Two days and a crippled thumb later I have finally transferred the last bead to its rightful place! I have sorted and sorted,labelled and stacked! I even culled - ALOT! Of course this new system is going to require a new shelving unit so hubby is getting to work on the design - which naturally will not fit in the space previously used to house the beads - hence further sorting and culling to rearrange the space. I am certain it will be GREAT once it is finished but it has been a Herculian task and I will be very glad to be finished! Hopefully it will spur me on to get into making mode for the next couple of things coming up - then again maybe I deserve a day or two off ...

The Original storage system - getting out of control!
the sorting begins ...
Goody goody - a tower of empty trays!A whole lot of RUBBISH! That is just empty baggies and packaging from the boxes!
Finally it starts to look orderly ...
and then
all neatly stacked awaiting new shelf!