Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Discoveries in 2009

During this year, I have discovered many things that have truly changed my life forever. Those of you who follow my blog know what an impact Lexi Erickson has had on my life both personally and artistically.

I follow a lot of blogs and have had an opportunity to get to know some of my fellow artists and bloggers through their works, their words, and even their Facebook pages. I want you to know that I value the friendships that we have established. I have learned so much from your generosity; sharing your artistic journeys, your growth, your trials and tribulations. I thank all of you for helping me to grow as a person and an artist. Those of you, who have left comments about my work and my artistic journey, I want you to know that you have helped me more than you may realize. Thank you.

As 2009 comes to a close, I thought I would share one of my discoveries. Another blogger, Christine Kane, has what I feel are tremendous insights. Her writing speaks to me and I hope it will speak to you too. She has such a positive way at looking at life's challenges. In 2007, she wrote about the Resolutions Revolution. She described a different approach to making positive changes in your life in the coming year. I would encourage you to visit her post on Resolutions Revolution and I hope that you will find her take on the subject of New Year's Resolutions beneficial. I have.

After you read Christine's post on New Year's Resolutions, this will make more sense, however I want to share that my touchstone word for 2010 is Aspire. I've already started to use it and I can tell you it works!

May 2010 hold wonderful opportunities and successes for all of you.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person. I am.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Six Things

A fellow blogger and friend, Shay Stone, posted this on her blog and I thought I would share here.

How it works: I will answer the below very random questions - then you can answer the questions as a comment. Feel free to post to your blog and carry it on.

1. Today I feel... Happy. It's Friday & I'm looking forward to the weekend. Dan & I will be heading to Coyote Creek in Fairplay for a fun Holiday Event tomorrow!

This week... I had a lesson with Lexi and learned the "marriage of metals" technique. The project isn't finished; I'm hoping it will turn out as the idea is really cool.

Last night...I worked on earrings and web design revisions for a client.

Lately the song stuck in my head is... one of Paul Taylor's from his current CD; it's jazz so it's all good.

My favorite pet memory is ...my German Shorthair, Taylor, looking out the window, waiting for me to come home from work and recognizing the car as I drove past...he knew it was me & I was home. One smart boy.

What is currently at the top of your Christmas wish list?...Fretz mini forming stakes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

'Tis the Season

Santa Sun Catcher

I love decorating for the holidays. I think I got that from my mother. Christmas was her favorite time of year and I so enjoyed helping her decorate the house. She had so many clever ways to bring the spirit of Christmas into our home. Now I feel that I carry that tradition in my own way.

I feel like I've been missing in action for several weeks. Holiday preparations and all that. I wanted to share a few of my stained glass creations that decorate our home this season. The first is a Santa sun catcher. I wish I could claim this design as my own, but I cannot. In the days before I started creating my own designs, I was quite the fan of Christmas pattern books. This originally was a Christmas ornament and I just didn't think that was the right size for this Santa, so I made him about 12" in diameter and he hangs in the kitchen window. I was really big on adapting patterns to suit my tastes and this guy is a perfect example of that. He helps me enjoy my time doing the dishes...of which I am not a fan, but it's one of those tasks that must be done! I used several different types of iridescent glass (red & white) in this one. He really does make me smile.

The Candle Nestled in Poinsettias

I've always loved finding the right glass to create a flame for a candle. I probably made this piece a good 15 years ago. Red poinsettias were my mom's favorite! The white in the candle is this great iridescent glass. I made several from the pattern book I had, one with a cardinal, one with some bells, all very Christmasy! I shared these creations as gifts with family and friends and kept this one for myself. This one is hung at the side window by our front door.

O Christmas Tree

This last one is another favorite of mine. A Christmas tree, but instead of the usual green, I used Bullseye's confetti and streamers Christmas glass with reds and greens. I had fun incorporating the red and green glass jewels in this one too. I have placed this next to the Christmas tree in our living room.

Each year these migrate to different locations in our home. I hope you enjoy the sign above this tree as much as I do. I found it a couple of years ago and really enjoyed the humorous note.

I do have projects waiting for completion and look forward to sharing these with you very soon.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person. I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was wonderful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Photo credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Another in my series of seasonal bowls. Shortly after I finished Autumn, I knew I needed to create a bowl with the shades of winter. I envisioned it to have whites, clears, and soft grays. As I discussed this with Dan, we frequently bounce our respective ideas off of each other, he said it needed to have some blues in it too. And now you can understand why Dan & I discuss our work with each other. If he hadn't suggested the use of blues to convey the coolness of winter, I don't think this bowl would look right. The minute he said blues, I felt like I had a Homer Simpson moment of "doh!".

Each one that comes out of my kiln, quickly becomes a favorite for me and I really, really like the turquoise blue in this piece as I think it emphasizes the chill of winter. Like those beautiful blue icebergs you see in Alaska. The darkest glass I used was a deep navy blue. I kept with the idea of clears and whites. Coupled with the blues, I feel this conveys a sense of the calm and stillness of a winter day.

Until next time, happy creating all. Aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Friday, November 6, 2009

She loved it!

In my post on Monday of this week, I published a picture of Lexi's Dream, which is one of my fused bowls that Lexi described to me from a recent dream she had.

Last night, I presented the bowl to Lexi. She loved it! She said that it was even prettier than the one in her dream. It had more depth. The only thing it didn't have was real gold, which I truly don't know how to incorporate gold into glass...I can do silver or copper inclusions. And given the price of gold, that would be cost prohibitive. She saw how I worked at replicating the gold color she described with this lovely, almost lemon yellow transparent glass I used. I found it to be be awesome glass....as with most of my work, the Bullseye Glass palette works so well for me.

I also showed her Fallen Leaves, which she liked too. However, her favorite was the vision come to life, Lexi's Dream. As with all my work, I am truly happy when a piece finds its rightful home.

All that being said, I could tell how thrilled she was with this and how much she loved the colors of this bowl. It is my gift to her. It pales in comparison to all she has given to me as a mentor, friend, teacher, and sister.

Aspiring to be more as an artist and person. Happy creating all!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves
photo by Daniel Krucoff

I'm still amazed at times how ideas come to me for something. Do you ever find this happening with your creative process? I was working on Lexi's Dream mentioned in an earlier post. And as I was cutting the strips of glass that went into the construction of that bowl, I saw all these pointed pieces of glass that were discarded from the strips I used to make Lexi's Dream. They sort of called out to me and the more I looked at all those glass shards, I thought, a cluster of them would create a wonderful autumnal effect.

So this is the result of thought process on my part. Very abstract, but they remind me of fallen leaves along a hiking trail. The myriad of colors. All those sharp little pieces of glass fused so wonderfully and melded together to create this piece.

I'm going to share this one with Lexi too and see what she thinks of my 'detour' of sorts from her original dream.

I think Dan did such a great job capturing the beauty of this one with the light shining through it.

Aspiring to be more as an artist and person.....

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lexi's Dream

Lexi's Dream

Recently I hit "The Wall", you know, that period of creative block. My friend and mentor, Lexi Erickson, helped me to work through this block. One of the things that Lexi told me was that I needed to let go of some things in order to grow in other areas of my work. She felt one of the things I may need to let go of was some of my work as it relates to glass.

Now I truly love working with glass. Yet I knew deep down she was right and I have let go of some of my glass work. However, I feel that I will continue to create my fused glass bowls and the occasional stained glass window.

Here's the funny part....several nights after our discussion about needing to let go so I could grow in other areas of my work, Lexi had a dream. In this dream, I handed her a bowl I had made. She said it was glowing. And she said this bowl needed to be comprised of transparent glass instead of the mixture of transparent and opalescent glasses that I normally use. She was concerned that I would be upset about this dream after she had told me I needed to let go of some of my glass work. Quite the contrary, it just made me smile.

She described how the bowl looked to her in her dream. She said I needed to make this bowl. And I have. It's pictured above and I'm calling it Lexi's Dream. Now we shall see how closely it actually resembles the one she envisioned in her dream. I will be giving this to her later this week and I'll give you an update on her thoughts about it.

As a result of this work, I had an alternative idea for another bowl of transparents in the same color family as this bowl. It's currently in the kiln for its final firing and I will be posting a picture of it sometime this week.

Isn't interesting how ideas and life co-mingle at times, creating such fun twists and turns in our growth?

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Featured Artist at Top Artists' Directory

I am so happy to announce that I have been chosen as the Featured Artist this week at Top Artists' Directory. I am truly honored.

Stay tuned, I am working on some new fused bowls and will be sharing pictures of them in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, please visit Top Artists' Directory as I think you will agree, there is a lot of talent there....consider joining too! Thanks.

Have a great week of creativity. Aspire to be more as an artist and person.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Artist Interview with Daniel Krucoff

I have some great news to share.... Dan is a Featured Artist at Whopple.com. You can read the interview here and see some of his latest photographs from our trip to Estes too. I think it provides some interesting insights into his approach to photography, along with his inspirations. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Teaching My First Class

Last month, Lexi and Pat asked me to teach a class at Coyote Creek. They love my wire wrapping and wanted to offer an advanced wire wrapping class to those students who had taken the beginning wire wrapping class that Pat teaches. I agreed and this past weekend I had 5 students at the studio in Coyote Creek located in Fairplay, Colorado.

This was the first time I've ever taught a class and I wanted to provide some tips and tricks that you generally receive when you attend a class. For me, that is one of the real benefits of a class when the teacher shares things that you can't find in books or online. I believe I was able to accomplish that for this class. Some of what I shared were those lessons we learn when we make mistakes...hoping to help them avoid those!

The drive from Colorado Springs to Fairplay is a pretty one and one of my favorite parts was the crossing over Wilkerson Pass. The panorama of the mountains covered with snow as you come over that pass is stunning. It just takes my breath away. At one point there was a hot air balloon taking off and that made for a lovely scene. I only had my little digital camera with me and I just couldn't do justice to what I was seeing, so no pictures to post here.

We completed one pendant and there were a number of "Ah Ha" moments throughout the class. It ran longer than I anticipated and I feel bad about that. I underestimated a few things and if/when I teach another class, I know what I can do to prevent some of the "time eating" exercises. I guess that's somewhat normal, you learn what to do for class preparation and planning from each class you teach. The setting is dynamic and with this being my first time to teach, I didn't anticipate some of the situations that arose.

I put together my first step by step tutorial for them to follow as we completed the lesson. Dan took pictures of me putting together a piece and I wanted them to have something to refer back to after the class. Each pendant had the spin of the person completing it and they were a fun group.

While my focus isn't on wire wrapping as much any more, I am more than happy to share with others who want to learn. As I was leaving, one of them asked me to teach another class and I've heard some rumblings that others are interested too. We shall see. Given the approach of winter, I think a safer bet will be a class later in the spring months.

I learned something from them too and it was a worth while experience for me.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Soul Searching Series

Soul Searching Series
River to Ones' Soul

This is my first piece since my "Chocolate Gelatos and Mountain Sunsets" post. It is part of my new series, Soul Searching, that was inspired by my heart to heart with Lexi. I call this River to Ones' Soul. The stone is a Cobra Jasper that I purchased from Gary B. Wilson. I find this stone very striking in its markings and the color patterns. And I see a river running through this, so that is how I arrived at the title.

The stone is set in Sterling Silver with copper accents. There are a few firsts with this piece too.

I hope you can tell how inspired I've become by that heart to heart Lexi and I shared on September 28th....that was my mother's birthday too. Hmmm, there were a lot of things working to help me that evening and now. I'm certain of it.

Photo credit goes to my dear husband, Dan. Doesn't he do an awesome job? :)

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I would love to know what you think about this first piece in my Soul Searching series.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person. I know I am.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Estes' Surprise

A Small Grove of Trees

Sunday, Dan & I headed back to Estes Park to pick up our work from The Art Center as the Lines Into Shapes Show was closing at 1 PM. As we checked off our items for pick up, I told them I had a couple of miniatures to retrieve too. She unlocked the case and to my delight and surprise, my piece pictured above had sold. It's great to see that dot on the display card indicating a piece has sold during the exhibition. I don't know who purchased it and I would love to thank them. I hope they will enjoy it for years to come.

On the way back, glass artist Robin Grabowski of Glass Pony Designs had invited us to stop, visit with her, have some tea, and see her studio. What fun! Robin and I met through this land of blogs and met in person last month at The Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery. I have been a fan of her work for quite some time now and it was such fun to meet her. She has a gorgeous and very sweet Irish Setter too, along with her horses and cats.

Dan & I enjoyed a peach bundt cake she had made that morning...it was still warm, yum. And I had my first taste of African tea that was very full bodied. She lives in a great location; very inspirational. Her home is so comfortable and filled with some of her works too. I love to see other artist's studio spaces. Hers works so well and we got to see one of her latest commissions...it was gorgeous. Thank you Robin!

I'd encourage you to visit her blog and check out her website too. If you ever get to Boulder, Colorado, stop at the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery to see her work and that of the other talented artists....you may even meet Robin and that would be great fun.

Here's wishing all of you a wonderful week of creativity! Aspire to be more as an artist and person.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chocolate Gelato and Mountain Sunsets

I’m posting this on my glass and metalworking blogs because I feel strongly about sharing this with all of you creative spirits.

The Creative Block. It happens to all of us, right? The dreaded, proverbial block to our creativity process and energy. I call it “Hitting the WALL”. When it happens, we go through whatever we hope will unblock us and release that creative energy that we all have.

Sometimes it doesn’t last very long, other times it lasts longer than we would care to admit. What causes it? How do we work through it? Many folks smarter than I have written about it, discussed it, theorized about it, and proposed solutions.

I don’t know that I have a solution per se, but I do know that I hit “the WALL” a little over a week ago. The trip to Estes was beneficial, but even when I got home I was stymied. I couldn’t believe it. Here I had all those beautiful stones that I had just purchased at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show and every design I tried looked blah. They all started to look the same. Here’s the stone, here’s the stone shape…maybe a texture, an overlay, or nothing. BORING! At least it was boring to me. I wanted to showcase these stones and do justice to them, not detract from them.

Most of you know that Lexi Erickson is my friend, teacher, and mentor. Lexi has a wonderful ability to tune into others and get a sense of what may be happening with them. I am convinced she has an extra sense. After I got back from Estes, she asked me to come to her home for another lesson. I quickly agreed and told her I was having trouble with designs all of a sudden. She assured me we would work through it.

On Monday evening, off to Denver I went to spend some quality time with Lexi. My design journal and recently purchased stones in tow. As is our custom, we sit and catch up for a bit. She asked to see my designs and could tell my frustration. She commented that she knew I had been frustrated for a while even though I hadn’t vocalized it until that evening. As we looked at my designs, she shared my thoughts about how some of them were just plain boring. She kindly pointed out that there was nothing wrong with them, but I was growing as an artist and what was a perfectly good design was just too plain and boring for where I wanted to go next. She picked one design that centered on my favorite stone; a heart shaped Chinese Writing Stone. Effortlessly, she drew several beautiful designs for this stone to show me examples of how to create Emphasis in a design. Those were signature Lexi designs, just as individual as her handwriting. The key is they were the beginning of what would help me to break out of the constraints of “the WALL”.

I’m a very visual learner and just to see some examples of where designs could go was exhilarating. I didn’t understand why I hadn’t come up with that on my own, but I know that’s just part of the learning process too.

The mentor and her padawan learner; we went over the basics of design.

  • Line
  • Color
  • Shape
  • Value
  • Texture
  • Pattern
  • Repetition
  • Emphasis

Lexi was kind enough to write these in my journal and I am referring to them! She said it's not uncommon to experience being blocked after getting the sensory overload from the Gem and Mineral Show. I'm certain that had a lot to do with it. All these beautiful stones and I am so committed to doing justice to each and every one of them.

And then she turned to me and said, “How about going out for a gelato?”. It kind of took me aback, because to me, it was "what does that have to do with jewelry design?"... oh little did I know what was happening to break through my artist's block. Well, I had never had a gelato and wasn’t really certain what they were, but no matter, we got in her truck and headed out after a little more discussion and review of the stones I had purchased and the stones she had purchased at the Gem and Mineral Show.

On the way, she said that she didn’t think I needed a lesson so much as an evening to relax, talk about goals, art, and life, enjoy a gelato and watch the sunset on the mountains.

I thank those of you who have hung in there to this point, because I finally got to the part about gelato and mountain sunsets!

We enjoyed our respective variations on chocolate gelatos and conversed. A true heart to heart. Sharing our thoughts about our own unique life experiences. Let me tell you, those moments in life are precious and meant to be cherished. I do.

When we finished our gelatos, we headed to one of her favorite mountain viewing areas to watch the sun set. She pointed out that as the sun sets, the light on the mountains shows the variations that you don’t see during normal daylight. It reminded her of metalwork with all the depths and contours. She was right. I never looked at the mountains that way before. We took in all those wonderful colors in the sky as the sun sets too. Inspirational!

She asked why I was ‘blocked’ and the answer that came to me was fear. I was afraid of making a mistake. Gee, that’s how we learn! And believe me, I recognize fear is the worst emotion that can attempt to govern our lives and our decision making process. I KNOW THIS and yet it was holding me back. Calmly, Lexi said, “It’s only metal”. Yes, that’s true and I don’t work in anything expensive like gold or platinum yet. I’m still concerned about the cost of Sterling Silver, but on an individual item basis, it’s only metal and can be recycled into something else when you do make those inevitable mistakes as you are learning or working. It’s ok….you are going to make mistakes. Geez, duh, I know this…time to confront my fear and eliminate it.

Lexi reminded me that her series “Conversations with Harold” came out of a very similar situation; she was enjoying an evening of discussing life, art, and more with her friend and mentor Harold O’Connor. Wow. My response was maybe I’ll have a “Conversations with Lexi” series!!!

So much came out of that evening. We watched the sunset create new lines and outlines of those beautiful Rocky Mountains. I realized, as odd as it was, I needed her permission to venture forth and go beyond what I knew how to do metal work wise. She gave me her permission even though I shouldn’t need it. We’re both over achievers. We both got straight A’s. Neither of us can just do something simple and easy the first time, we have to try to do something more complicated and advanced. We laughed. We discussed our goals. What did success mean? Philosophical topics, dreams, hopes, aspirations, how fortunate both of us are with the wonderful husbands we have. Quite refreshing.

In order to grow in one area, sometimes you need to let go of other areas. I’ve been conflicted with my love of glass and this newfound love of working with metal. I’ve started to come to terms with this. I can’t stop creating things with glass; I enjoy the process too much. Yet, I’m just beginning to understand that art jewelry work is where I am even stronger as an artist….or maybe I should say, where I have my greatest potential. I truly have become consumed with the process. You will still see me posting my glass art as I cannot completely give that up.

She expressed concern that maybe this discussion wasn’t helping me, but I explained that I generally need time to process things like this. She understood because she does the same thing, that is, she needs time to process information about important subjects. I told her that knowing me, my subconscious was taking all of this in and I would probably have my break through in the middle of the night. Typical to wake up at 2 AM with an idea, solution for a problem I’ve been working on, well you get the picture.

We enjoyed the sunset and I headed home. I was drained.

At 4 AM, the flood gate opened and design ideas emerged. I had my break through AND it was faster than I even expected! I think three designs came to me while I was trying to go back to sleep until the alarm went off at 5 AM. The good news is I was able to capture all of those designs on paper. And I’ve been on a roll ever since. Oh what a feeling!

As I reflect on that evening, I think it was more about Soul Searching. You guessed it, my new art jewelry line will be called “Soul Searching”. I have at least 6 designs in that series and I’m running with it.

The next time you hit “the WALL”, remember chocolate gelatos and mountain sunsets. Gelatos are delicious and well, mountains are breathtaking. Find that friend and mentor who will listen and encourage you, while you take in the beauty that surrounds in nature. The point is take in something that is beautiful to you, enjoy something delicious, and just relax. Your internal creative energy will come to life! Trust me, it really will.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I am sharing this in the hopes it will help you to unblock your creativity. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and experiences too.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person! I know I am.

Thank you Lexi.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beautiful Estes Park Colorado

Doesn't this scene just take your breath away? The peace and serenity of locations like this in Rocky Mountain National Park are well worth the hike to get to them. Although my legs and ankles would beg to differ with that comment.

Dan & I took a small vacation this past week and enjoyed the beauty of Estes Park in the Fall. The pictures I'm sharing here are Dan's. The weather was not terribly cooperative for most of the time spent there, however, there were some gorgeous moments that Dan captured and I wanted to share.

This feisty little Steller Jay joined us for lunch at the lake. I didn't realize that the crinkling noise made by Clif Bar wrappers or plastic bags would lure the wildlife in like it did this guy. He was very animated and extremely wishful for a bite of our food. I'm fairly certain that other visitors had shared with him in the past based on his reaction to the noise from our food wrappers. He made a wonderful subject for a photo shoot and Dan was able to get so many pictures of him I can definitely see doing a stained glass window of him.

Mr. Big

This is the largest elk that Dan & I have ever seen. For those of you who have not experienced our national parks, it's fairly common to see people pull over to view the wild life. We always look to see what the spectacle might be and this time it was HIM! Neither Dan or I had ever seen an elk this large. I counted 9 points on one side of his antlers. I believe a Royal Elk has 7 points a side....this guy was beyond Royal! Of course, he bugled and we have no idea why he wasn't surrounded by girls. He was magnificent and since he was closer to where we had just finished our hike, he was less comfortable with people than the other elk in the meadows down by the park entrance. He didn't hang around long, but at least Dan was able to get a number of photos of him.

We're back home and the bassets are happy to have our company again. There's something about being out in nature that recharges my batteries.

Here's wishing all of you a great week of creativity!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Opening Receptions

It's been an extended weekend of opening receptions for Dan and I. On Friday night we were in Estes Park for the opening reception of the Lines Into Shapes show. It was a great opportunity to view all of the art work that has been accepted into that show and we would encourage any of you who are in the area to visit this exhibit. It runs through October 4th.

Here is a link to the winners in each of the categories, including Best of Show and People's Choice. Clearly there are a lot of talented artists in this show and we are happy to be a part of it. Attendance was great for the opening too. No, Dan & I didn't win in any of our respective categories....but you know, it truly is great that both of us had work accepted into this show. We feel we are among great company with the artists that were selected to participate.

Last night we went to Denver to attend the opening of Riva Sweetrocket's Heaven & Earth Exhibit at the Buell Theater. I think Riva is the nicest person you could ever meet and it's is wonderful to have her as a friend. In addition to being a wonderful person, she is a great talent. Her medium is pastels and her works just take your breath away.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

20th Annual Castle Rock Art Festival

Lexi Erickson's Archaeologica Art Jewelry

Just Announced.... Lexi won Best of Fine Craft for this Show!!!
She is automatically accepted into next year's show.
Congrats and Well Deserved my dear friend.

Yesterday, Dan and I went to the Castle Rock Art Festival. This is the first time we've attended the event, even though both of us have lived in this area for over 15 years! Our main motivation to go was to see Lexi's booth. She's changed the look and feel of it to better represent her line of art jewelry, called Archaeologica.

Beautiful bronze sculptures

The weather was overcast that morning and it was cool. Fall is coming to the Rockies. There was a nice crowd and we were happy to see more people were buying from the artists than we had seen at previous shows this year.

Paintings and metalwork

The caliber of the artists in this show is really outstanding. I think the jury is very selective and discriminating in their choices and it truly shows.

In the afternoon, the skies opened up and according to Lexi it just poured. That chased all the potential shoppers home and the artists closed shop early for the day because it was a driving rain, no customers, and I can only imagine how tired they were.

Today is the last day of the show and right now the weather is overcast and it is cold. The forecast indicates that it should get into the mid 70's today and that would be great for all.

Loved these large Aspen paintings!

It's a very nice show and Dan & I are considering applying for it next year with a 10' x 20' booth for Krucoff Studios. Dan can display his photographs and I can have a variety of my glass and metal works.

May all of you have a wonderful day and week of creativity! Aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Featured on Art Center Post Card

Lines Into Shapes Post Card

Tonight, Dan & I received an email from The Art Center of Estes Park with the poster and post card they will be mailing out to publicize the Lines Into Shapes show. They send this information to the artists so we can print copies and distribute information about the show too.

I glanced at the poster, but didn't open up the pdf file to look at the post card. Dan comes into the office and tells me that both of my pieces are on the post card. My jaw hit the floor...if you heard a loud thud, that was my jaw dropping!

To my delight and amazement, both Puzzle, the pendant, and A Grove of Trees, the bowl are on the front of this post card. I had to share. I feel so blessed.

Happy Creating Everyone!

Monday, September 7, 2009



Don't the colors in this bowl remind you of fall and the trees changing? As you can see there is a heavy concentration of rusts and oranges in this piece. I left a little of the green just to give the impression that the tree leaves had not changed color completely. In this case one of my favorite Bullseye colors, Mineral Green, to represent the remaining leaves. And I added some Bullseye marzipan and amber streakie to represent a little of the tree bark...I'm thinking of Aspen bark.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the crisp cool air as summer fades. Aspens are one of my favorite trees. They generally turn a beautiful rich gold, but there are those rich russet ones that show up here and there as Dan & I find when we hike in the fall. I can't wait! This year we will hike Rocky Mountain National Park and I'll be looking for those rust colored Aspens, while the bull elks bugle in the background. I love fall.

Addendum: Photo credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Minis

A Small Grove of Trees

Over the weekend, I completed the work on three small sushi dishes. One of these will be my entry in the miniatures portion of The Lines Into Shapes Show in Estes Park. After looking at all of them, I decided the one that looks the most like A Grove of Trees will be my submission for the miniature category. A Small Grove of Trees, pictured above, became the obvious choice.

Each of these are approximately 4" square. And I used some of my favorite Bullseye glasses for these dishes.

The runners up are:


This one reminds me a little of An Arrow in the Forest, only without the arrow. I love the green hues in this, however, I kept coming back to the one that more closely resembled A Grove of Trees.

Autumn Strings

As I was working on designs for the minis, Dan thought it would be fun if I worked on a collection of the straight stringers, lining them up. I started with that and just wasn't feelin' it, so I mixed it all up and included some of the vitrigraphs I had created. I'm pleased with the look and layering.

These are the minis. I think they are cute and fun. Now I hope others will find them appealing and consider adding them to their art glass collections.

May all of you have a wonderful week of creativity!

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise!


This morning I received a phone call from The Art Center of Estes Park. Apparently there had been a small glitch in their system and they wanted to let me know that another of my pieces had been accepted in their "Lines Into Shapes" show. My jewelry submission, Puzzle, pictured above was also accepted. You can imagine my delight!

You may remember Puzzle from a spring show that I did; it actually took first place in that show in the glass category. It has companion earrings that I will enter in their miniatures collection. The Art Center of Estes Park lets artists include miniature works, once one of their pieces has been accepted. Tonight I'm off to work on a small version of a bowl or plate to compliment my other piece, A Grove of Trees. Pictures to follow in another post.

Happy creating all!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Accepted ~ Lines Into Shapes Show 2009

A Grove of Trees

I am happy to announce that this piece, A Grove of Trees, has been accepted into The Lines Into Shapes Show at The Art Center of Estes Park in Estes Park, Colorado. In addition to that good news, Dan's photograph Rusting Winch (see below) has also been accepted.

Rusting Winch

This is an internationally juried show. I was fortunate to have one of my jewelry pieces accepted for last year's show. My friend, fellow artist, and blogger, Karen Phipps, purchased that piece, Asp-Zen Twigs.

The great news is both Dan & I will be in this show.

The opening reception will be from 5 PM to 7PM Friday, September 18th at the Art Center. It is located in Middle Stanley Village, 517 Big Thompson Avenue, Estes Park, CO. The show runs from September 18th through October 4. The Art Center is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. Any of you in the area are welcome to stop by and if you can make it for the opening reception, we would love to meet you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Salida Riverside Arts Festival

Yesterday Dan & I traveled to Salida, Colorado for the first Riverside Arts Festival. It was a nice day, even though a few rain showers visited. There were 100 artists admitted to this juried show. My friend, mentor, and teacher, Lexi Erickson was there. It's the first of three shows she will be doing in the next 6 weeks. The following is a picture of Lexi talking with a customer in her booth. She's wearing one of her pieces, of course!

I saw some beautiful work and had an opportunity to meet some of the artists. Pam Caidin was there. Her metalwork jewelry designs/creations are just phenomenal. She's featured in the current issue of Lapidary Journal. We had a chance to visit and I discovered she was a member of Colorado Metalsmiths Association (CoMa) too. We discussed getting to know each other better at the upcoming meetings, which would be great.

Lexi introduced me to Harold O'Connor, her friend & mentor. Harold is an internationally known goldsmith and an extraordinarily gifted artist. It was great fun to finally meet him and I hope someday to take one of his workshops.

Fellow Coyote Creek Artist Cat Roberts was there with her beautiful watercolor paintings. We had a chance to talk and discussed the possibility of doing a trade of our respective works. I really enjoy doing that with other artists.

Salida is known for its artists and there is a definite charm to the city as reflected in the next couple of pictures that Dan took.

One of my favorites is of this building with the large stained glass sun in the circle window at the top.

Dan took this shot of me with some of the festival in the background. Who knows, maybe I'll apply to do the show next year? I'm wearing one of Lexi's pieces, of course!

Oh and I have a finished pendant on my other blog, it has one of my glass cabs as a center. Please stop by and take a look. Thanks!

May all of you have a wonderful week of creativity. Aspire to be more as an artist and person.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Not One Sparrow

Thanks to my friend, Tracey Clarke, I discovered a wonderful blog, Not One Sparrow and Ben DeVries. The mission of Not One Sparrow is to be a dedicated voice for animals in the Christian community.

Ben contacted me to discuss doing a feature about my work and how some of it relates to animals. He has honored and humbled me with this post about the special connection I share with dogs. I hope you will take a moment to visit Not One Sparrow and read the wonderful post Ben completed about me.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Arrow In The Forest

Arrow in the Forest
12" square

I finished piece this weekend. You may recall that I did a step by step on the construction of this piece in a May post.

Once I completed coldworking the edges of the plate it was ready for the next step...slumping.

The square sushi plate mold that I used for this piece is one of my favorites. The shape and the way it slopes when the slump is complete seems so elegant to me. I thought you might enjoy seeing the mold, shown in the picture below. The pink on it is the kiln wash that I've applied. This is a necessary step in the slumping process as the wash prevents the glass from sticking to the mold when it slumps.

This is how the fused blank looks as it sets on top of the mold, prior to being put in the kiln for slumping. Once the correct slumping temperature is reached, the glass 'drops', ok it slumps, into the mold and takes on the shape of the mold.

I used some of my favorite Bullseye glasses for this. I've become quite fond of the richness the mineral green opal shade. It lends itself so well as a compliment to the dark green streakie. And I had a lot of fun with the wine colored 'arrow' accented with yellow and clear glass.

Here's wishing all of you a great week of creativity.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Grove Of Trees

A Grove of Trees

I cannot believe I started this piece back in May! However, I am happy to report that it is finished. I completed the coldworking on Tuesday evening and the slump firing in the kiln on Wednesday.

I am really drawn to this color scheme. It's abstract, yet I find the subtle colors define that feeling of a grove of trees. Hope you enjoy it.

Happy creating!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kathleen's Newsletter

My time has been divided with LOTS of activities:

Now I've added to this list and I am trying a new service, Mail Chimp, to start a newsletter. I know a number of you have monthly newsletters and I enjoy them. So I felt it was time for me to start one. If you'd like to sign up, just visit my studio site and in the upper right hand corner is a link to subscribe to the newsletter. If you are thinking about creating a newsletter, you might want to look at this service too. Initial start up is free and as your mailing list grows, then you will need to upgrade.

I do have glass projects pending in my 'work queue' which I will be publishing soon.

Here's wishing all of you a great week of creativity!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Metalsmithing Blog

I felt it was time to set up another blog, this time I'm going to give Wordpress a try and see how I like it. I want to chronicle my journey as a fledgling metalsmith. I have called this blog, Mystical Mythical Metalwork. I want to document my experiences, thoughts and feelings as I approach this new medium, metal. If you have a chance to read today's post, I think you may enjoy some of the insights and realization I came to about metalwork and it's not as foreign to me as I originally thought.

Hope you enjoy the new blog and thanks for keeping up with me here too!

Monday, July 13, 2009

First Glass Setting

Coppery Blaze

This is my first glass piece set in a bezel. The second design that I worked on for last week's assignment.

More textures. The copper has a slight texture that was achieved with some paper that had a subtle design to it. The silver overlay has a more hammered appearance achieved with the chasing hammer. And the glass is one of my crinklized fused pieces.

Initially I had a different arrangement in mind with my design as the drawing shows. However, as I worked on this, the design evolved to have the glass cabochon setting square, rather than as a diamond. I also was thinking of doing a piercing to create the bail, but I changed my mind and rolled the tip over toward the back of the pendant.

Lexi thought that the curling of the bottom of the pendant would complete the look and she was definitely right. I'm very tickled with this piece and look forward to doing more settings with my glass cabs. Of course, I have always liked stones too, so I will be using them in my jewelry pieces too.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lapis Pendant

This is one of the pendants I finished, with Lexi's help, on Thursday evening of last week. My homework for this lesson was to design two pendants, do all the preliminary work necessary to set a bezel in class that evening. This is the first of my two designs. The three leaf outlines on the bottom right are variations from the crystal pattern I mentioned in my last post.

The beautiful blue lapis stone is one of the ones I purchased during my weekend workshop in Fairplay last month. I liked the shape of this stone and wanted to have it offset with a small design element, the leaves.

Another part of this assignment was to create a textured surface and then I would learn how to set a bezel on that. Our back patio provided the texture for this one.

Here is the original design template that evolved after a number of drawings.

And this shows how the sterling blank looked prior to setting the stone in a bezel. I also wanted the bail to fold over and carry that leaf look.

The setting and bezel are Sterling Silver. Once I had the bezel soldered in place, I set the stone. After that, I curved the bail around and down toward the top of the pendant. I wanted that delicate leaf for the bail and carrying that theme through the piece.

Lexi showed me so many neat little ways to demonstrate craftsmanship. She is an amazing teacher!

I have another pendant to post, that was part of this assignment. Stay tuned for tomorrow's episode. :D

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Design

To the left is this itty bitty picture of the design I have been working on today. Ever since we moved into our house, about 4 years ago, I wanted to create a piece of stained glass for the side window next to our front door. I could see parts of the elements in my mind, but had an awful time getting them on paper. I wish I had a better image for you to see...sometimes the worlds of Apple and Windows do not blend very well.

So this morning I started again and went back to the GlassEye software I have. It can be hit or miss using this software. The thing I really like is I can easily take ideas and mix them up through copy/paste in the program. Saves tons of time when the paper and pencil method is failing me.

This result is after a lot of iterations today. I'm ready to print this out full size and then start refining the drawing even further. This is the really GREAT part of this software...I can put in the dimensions of the piece, in this case 7" x 63" and start working with the actual finished size. As I add more elements to the design and can resize them accordingly to get the right look and feel I want.
The floral, leaf, vine pattern was adapted from the pattern on my mother's fine crystal in the photo shown above. It has such an elegant, graceful flow that I wanted to transfer that to this window. The colors are only rough approximations so it is easier to see the design elements. I'll start pulling glass and putting the pieces next to each other on my light table when I'm actually ready to start cutting this out.

I find that it takes a little while for a pattern to completely gel for me. I'll look at the lines and see things that work well or won't work at all. Now I will continue to refine the drawing by hand, only on the actual scale it will be. Once I've printed out the full scale drawing, I use tracing paper to create my additional templates with the changes I will make. This can take a few iterations, but now that I have the design to this stage I find refinement to be lots of fun and relatively easy.

No title for this piece yet....I'm sure it will come to me during the process.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cherry Creek Art Festival

It's the 4th of July weekend and one of the traditions around here is the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver. My husband and I have never been, however this year my dear friend and mentor, Lexi has invited us to join her, her husband, and some of her friends.

It's a little overcast this morning and I think that will work to control the temperatures. It's always a little warmer in Denver than it is here in the Black Forest. I for one will be thankful if it doesn't become too hot. Oh yes and I will be wearing sunscreen....at this altitude, you just must!

I'm looking forward to the day, all the sights and sounds. Hopefully I will have some fun pictures to share with you.

Happy Creating All and Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I feel somewhat scattered these days and I am finding inspirations for future works in a variety of places and things.

The flowers in my various gardens are starting to provide some wonderful displays and yes, inspirations! In my class with Lexi, she told me that I would start to see jewelry designs in almost everything I looked at. Well, my flowers are providing that for me, so I wanted to share a couple that have grabbed my attention. I see earring & pendant shapes in many of these. All keeping with how nature inspires my work.

And then, the flowers are lending themselves to designs for stained glass windows.

I have reached that point where I need to create another stained glass window....or two....or three.

I've had several requests to create some basset hound windows for some dog show art and Newton has provided plenty of inspiration for that so I need to include him in this post. He has a wonderfully expressive face and a great head. I know I'm partial, but I just find him absolutely handsome!

Over the weekend, we were finally able to mow and edge our back yard since the rains let up to the point where things were dry enough to do the necessary work. As luck or maybe misfortune would have it, we think a piece of pea gravel was thrown by the string trimmer or the mower and fractured the tempered glass in one of our living room windows. As a glass artist, I am truly fascinated by the splintering effect of tempered glass when something causes a break. I took a couple of pictures and thought this would be something cool for a design too....maybe stained glass...maybe jewelry...yet to be decided.

My journey with the combination of metal and glass has just begun. Lexi set up my torch today. I'm very close to starting work on more art jewelry. I need a few more pieces of equipment and Lexi's tutelage. The demands for her work and instruction are many; I know I am truly blessed as she has accepted me as her only student at this time. I will live up to her expectations.

Thanks to all of you too for your support and encouragement. It means more to me than words can express.

Happy Creativity All! :D