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 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!