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

Friday, June 26, 2009

Joyful Rainbows ~ Earrings

Joyful Rainbows ~ Earrings
The Brilliance Collection


I'm experimenting with some ideas and I would enjoy hearing your thoughts. I have seen some other artists offer their work for sale via their blog posts. I thought I would try this and incorporate it into my website too. While my Etsy store has been fun to create and change, I am leaning toward making items available for purchase, directly from me, through this blog or my website. What do you think?

This is my first offering. A pair of earrings, made from the Crinklized Dichroic glass that I love. More in that joyful rainbow pattern, from my Brilliance Collection. These are wire wrapped in Argentium Silver with Swarovski crystals. And the ear wires are also Agrentium Silver.

As always, I appreciate the willingness of all of you to share your thoughts with me. Thank you!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Joyous Rainbows

I have a series of new wire wraps from my Brilliance Collection. This one is entitled Joyous Rainbows. All of these new wraps have the crinklized dichroic glass cabochons.

I'm anxiously awaiting the set up an addition to my studio so I can begin metalwork. In the meantime, I continue with my wire wraps. There's a certain delicate beauty in forming the wire to compliment my glass cabs. More to come.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Project #5 - Bezel Setting

Project #5 from Lexi Erickson's Art Jewelry Workshop

Being able to create pieces like this, well, yes, that was my goal from this workshop. And in order to do that, I needed to learn all the techniques leading up to the creation of this piece.

Originally, I had planned to use one of my glass cabochons for the bezel setting. Here is a preliminary sketch I completed in preparation for that work.

However, as luck would have it, a gentlemen who sells stones arrived at Coyote Creek early that afternoon and Pat Pocius only sees him twice a year. When he arrives, he has tons of beautiful stones. She brought a few samples into the class and we scattered upstairs to see what he had.

Here is a picture of my selections and of course, the one in the bezel was included in that group. So by that twist of fate, I was setting a stone rather than one of my glass cabs, but hey, I'm fine with that.

In this project, we created a design that would showcase the cabochon. For this stone, Lexi felt a simple design was best and I couldn't agree more.

We learned how to fit the bezel, solder it, and set the stone. I am ready to do more as soon as I get my bench and torch set up. My hope is that will happen in a couple of weeks. I have things on order and I'm ready to get started down this path of creating art jewelry.

This is the last of the projects that we completed in the workshop. Lexi truly is a phenomenal person and excellent teacher. I will have the privilege of taking more classes with her and I look forward to it. This was an intense workshop and Lexi told us that she covered a semester's worth of work in those two days. If you ever have a chance to take one of Lexi's classes...it's a MUST!

Happy Creating All.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Project #4 - Overlay

Project #4 from Lexi Erickson's Art Jewelry Workshop

After Saturday's class we had homework. Come up with designs for our next two projects that we would do on Sunday. We also had some reading assignments. It was a nice way to relax and let some of what I had learned sink in.

That evening I came up with several designs, but none of them really 'spoke' to me. When I got up on Sunday, I had time for a nice breakfast at The Hand Hotel and I decided to walk around the hotel and explore a little bit. It is a very quaint Bed & Breakfast and had lots of nooks and crannies. Some quiet little sitting areas and I decided to relax, get out my sketch book and see what else came to mind. I had some nice subject materials around me and found this great shot of a Puffin with a mouth full of shrimp to feed her young. The design literally jumped out at me. This beautiful Puffin beak would make a great design for a pendant. And as I looked more closely, I loved the shape of her eyes. They became my design for these overlay earrings. With my trusty digital camera, I snapped this picture of a picture so I could have it to refer back to in the future for my pendant design. If anyone had seen me doing this, I'm sure they would have questioned my sanity...taking a photo of a picture in a magazine when there is so much beauty in the scenery surrounding Fairplay! However, this was important for my art. :)

As my first attempt at this technique, I made a number of mistakes. One of the eyes has some fire scale, which I can and will sand to remove. The other one moved on me in the soldering process so I have some solder on the copper and need to work on that too. I did run these through the rolling mill with some textured paper to create a very soft texture...it's hard to see in this photo. And the shapes aren't completely perfect either. However, the important thing was learning the various techniques and I'm looking forward to creating my next overlay project.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Project #3 - Pierced Piece

Project #3 from Lexi Erickson's Art Jewelry Workshop

This was such a fun piece to make. Lexi provided some designs or we could come up with our own. I have such a weakness for Aspen leaves that I came up with this design.

First we make a template of the actual design and glued that to our piece of copper. Then we started to saw around the template to create the desired shape. In this case, I allowed for a bail that was folded down for a chain to pass through. Now the fun really started once the outline was cut. We had to punch a staring hole at a point in the piece to pass our saw blade through, reattach the blade to the saw and begin cutting the inner shape....which became the cut out design. This process is known as piercing and you can do all sorts of fun things with these outlines, such as solder them onto another background piece of the same or different metal....depending on your skill.

Once the shape was right, all the edges needed to be smoothed with a file. That took a while and I'm sure I will get better with that part of the process with practice. Rule #1 is jewelry shouldn't hurt the wearer, so no sharp points or edges.

Next I was introduced to the rolling mill. What a cool tool! I selected a decorative plate and placed that with my copper piece, running it between the rollers to stamp the design on the copper. Sort of like those machines at the state fair or amusement parks where you can put in a copper penny and roll the lever so the design of the event is now pressed into the penny. Of course the penny gets flattened and elongated in the process. And that flattening and elongation happens here too, but you can control how much you want.

One of the last steps was the liver of silver treatment again to darken the surface. Using some brushes the high points of the piece had some of the dark color removed so you can see little highlights in the piece.

It was so much fun. I keep thinking about all the possibilities this brings to my future work.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Project #2 - Three Stacking Rings

Project # 2 from the Lexi Erickson Art Jewelry Workshop.

Our second project was a set of three sterling silver stacking rings. This gave us the opportunity to experiment more with textures and it was my first attempt to solder metal. I love to solder and prior to this experience, I had lots of soldering experience with stained glass window construction. Well, this is nothing like stained glass soldering.

I learned about the torch and how to solder these three bands. Totally new for me. We learned how to size the rings. Add a variety of textures, which this photo doesn't show very well. One was hammered, another had a bit of sawing to add furrows and the last one was left plain. We learned the importance of having a flat edge to create a butt joint. And then, the soldering. Clean up in the pickle solution (a combination of sulfuric acid and water in a mini crock pot). And then the final polishing. I was hooked with project #1, but it just kept getting better.

As promised, here is a picture of the second set of earrings from Project #1. I created a different texture on this pair and we learned about applying liver of sulpher to darken the copper. Basically the same shape as the first pair, just another technique applied.

Each project built on the skills learned in the previous project. It just became more fascinating to me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Project #1

My first of five projects from this past weekend's Lexi Erickson's Art Jewelry Workshop.

All I can say is WOW. I'm still assimilating information and I think it is going to take some time to process what I learned. Plus, I will be practicing the techniques Lexi taught and developing new designs for my jewelry.

Let me tell you that Lexi is a fantastic instructor, friend, mentor. If you ever have an opportunity to take one of her workshops.... just DO IT!!! She is so sharing and willing to teach you what she knows.

Now I realize that these aren't the most fantastic earrings you will ever see, but these are my first pieces of metal work and I was delighted with the techniques I've learned so far. Part of Lexi's lesson plan is to build on each technique you acquire. And we did just that....wait til you see Project #5!!!!

The first project showed us how to get familiar with our saw, cut circles, add texture, shape, drill and finish. Pretty cool stuff from my perspective.

So I will share this photo of me (taken by Lexi) that shows my initial interaction with the saw and cutting the copper circle that eventually became two pairs of earrings. Yes, a second pair will make their debut tomorrow.

I did have a great weekend of creativity!

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Weekend of Creativity Awaits

This is the cover of the February 2008 issue of Lapidary Journal's Jewelry Artists Magazine. It was the only copy of this magazine I had purchased, until I subscribed last month. The reason I bought this was because of the earrings on the cover. I wanted to explore and learn a little more about metal work too and realized that I needed to enroll in a class....ah, but where?

The time has finally come and I am enrolled in Lexi Erickson's Art Jewelry Workshop, this weekend. It is a two day workshop filled with five projects.

I met Lexi for the first time last month. She is the President of Coyote Creek Studio Arts Foundation, where I am a member artist. I wrote about this meeting in an earlier post and have to reiterate what a great person Lexi is. We had/have an immediate connection.

Lexi is founder/owner of Lexi Erickson's Designs and has a Masters degree in Jewelry Fabrication and Design. She studied at University of New Mexico and Sam Houston State University. Lexi is the past president of Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths and currently serves on the Board of Colorado Metalsmithing Association. She has taught private and college level jewelry design and fabrication for the past 20+ years. She's also a regular contributor to Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist publication.

We're coming full circle ..............

Now here is something I find really interesting....that issue of Lapidary Journal, with those Windchime Earrings on the cover...the ones that compelled me to purchase that issue....well those are Lexi's!!! When I met her last month I kept thinking I knew this name. She had told me that she was a contributing writer for Lapidary Journal. When I got home I pulled out that issue and discovered why her name was so familiar to me....it was Lexi's article, her project, her article. How cool is that???!!!!

Fate? I believe things happen for a reason. I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences from this workshop in my posts next week. Until then, happy creating all!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sometimes you win, sometimes......

I received the news last night that my work, Growing Love, was not one of the entries that won in the Manhattan Arts Celebrate HerStory2009. Yes, a disappointment. However, I've never entered a call for entries like this before. I periodically saw some of the entries that were spotlighted before the final selection and I had a feeling Growing Love wasn't what they were looking for.

You can see the main page for HerStory2009 by clicking here, with links to the award winners in the various categories. Looking at the categories, I suspect I was in sculpture and from what I can tell, it doesn't appear that any glass work won.

As with all art, I find some really wonderful pieces in the final selections and others, well, just not my taste. That's part of what art is all about, right? Individual expressions.

As I said in my original post about Growing Love, I had fun creating it and I will add that I have learned from this experience. I will continue to submit my work for juried shows and grow from each new experience.

Another artist & blog friend, Don Michael Jr, has some thoughts about this on his blog post from June 9th. I cannot disagree with his sentiments and I'm sure we all have similar experiences. Just got to dust ourselves off, shake it off and get right back in the saddle.

By the way, I think Don does some wonderful work and I hope you'll take a moment to visit his website and look around at his paintings.

And as Don requested in his post, if any of you would like to share or comment about your experiences, please do!

I really appreciate all of your positive feedback, support and encouragement that you gave me in my original post for this work. Thanks.

Happy creating all!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dazzling Talisman in this Treasury!

One of the pieces from my Etsy store, Dazzling Talisman, is featured in this treasury! Lots of wonderful pieces here. Another nice affirmation to be featured in an Etsy Treasury. My thanks to NansGlam for adding my work.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

First Place with Puzzle!

First Place
Fiber Arts, Jewelry, Glass

Last night's opening reception for the Palmer Lake Art Group's Fine Art Show held many wonderful surprises for the Krucoff family. My work Puzzle, received a blue ribbon in the Fiber Arts, Jewelry and Glass. Wow. And my Messier Galaxy also received a third place ribbon in that category too.

My husband Dan won second and third place ribbons in the Photography category. Yay Dan!!! I told him that I thought his entries were some of his best works ever.

And my dear mother-in-law Mary, received an Honorable Mention in Watercolor. She is such a wonderful supporter of Dan & I in our respective works. And I will always be grateful to her for raising such as wonderful man as Dan.

We definitely enjoyed a Krucoff Trifecta last night and I have published more photos on my Facebook artist page if you would like to see some of last night's festivities.

I'm happy to report that some of the artist's work sold. In particular, Ellen Buskirk is a fellow glass artist and she created Aspen paintings using glass frit. Not only did one of her Aspen works sell, but also another of her works, a crackled fused bowl in cobalt blue sold. I love the technique and Ellen's work is excellent.

The silent auction did well too and my piece, Dazzling Purple Morn, raised $55 for the Art Scholarship fund.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Opening Reception Tonight

I thought I would share the evite to Palmer Lake Art Group, Spring Fine Art Show. The opening reception is tonight. The location is the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts. I think as a local art group, we have been very fortunate to have a great turn out for the opening reception. There are so many wonderful artists that participate in this show and since I have been involved with the group I have had the privilege to witness the growth of the show, the artists, and the audiences who attend this opening night event. I welcome anyone who is close by to come and enjoy this show.

I'm also one of the artists donating an item for their silent auction. The proceeds go to their artist scholarship fund; there usually are 2 - 3 talented high school artists that receive a scholarship from the Palmer Lake Art Group for their journey to college. This is the pendant I'm donating, called Dazzling Violet Morn.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


From my Brilliance Collection, this is Prism. A really nice rainbow effect of bright blue, yellow, and salmon crinklized dichroic. I used 20 gauge square Argentium silver wire for the wrap and added a solitary Swarovski crystal to compliment the salmon color. I really favor the use of crinklized dichroic for my jewelry designs.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Part of my new Brilliance Collection, this is one of my latest crinklized dichroic pendants, Flamboyant! For this piece I used 20 gauge square Argentium silver wire. And I also twisted some of the wire to add a more delicate touch to this piece. The glass is part of CBS Dichroic puzzle pattern and has more of a gold and salmon coloration.

Currently, I am revamping my Etsy store and will be adding this as one of my new pieces.

This is one of the pendants that I worked on last night with my new Lindstrom Rx pliers. I so enjoy tools and ones that are designed and work well are my favorites. I quickly took to these new pliers, so much so that all of my new wire wrapping tools will be Lindstroms. I purchased their ergonomic model (the Rx) and they have the greatest feel and touch of any pliers I've used since I've started wire wrapping. If you are looking for a great price on Lindstrom pliers, check out Urban Maille. They have a great website, beautiful chain maille, and wonderful customer service too!