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I took some nicer pictures of the Open Box with Flower Necklace today.  The previous shot that I posted was done in a rush and I was not completely satisfied with the quality of the photo.  Today I took this necklace down to the Peoria Art Guild to submit it for the member’s show they will be having starting next week.  The show has an opening reception on the 8th and runs through sometime in August.

I have been doing quite a bit with viking knit over the past few days and I am almost ready to order a whole lot of sterling wire to make a new style of viking knit bracelet and possibly a larger piece.




This weekend I will be at Luthy Botanical Garden from 10am to 5pm Saturday and from 12pm to 5pm on Sunday.  Please come out and see all the lovely art on display there.  The earrings above have the most beautiful patina.

I have put together a lovely box bead with a flower blooming out from the window in the top of the box.  The necklace contains two sections of argentium sterling silver viking knit with fine silver end caps and toggle clasp.  The clasp matches the box very well and the whole piece has a pleasing weight and feel when worn.  This piece comes together just in time for the Rhapsody in Bloom Art Fair at Luthy Botanical Gardens this weekend.  Please consider coming out if you are in the Peoria area.  The gardens are such a luscious location for an art fair.

This is my 15th ring of the year for the ring a week challenge on Flickr.  I am quite behind at the moment but after this weekend I get a bit of a chance to catch up.  This ring was inspired by the events that surround the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan.  The ring has had lots of time to rest at every stage of creation.  It finally came together yesterday when I had a chance to rivet the pieces together.  I love it dearly.  It contains a bead that was hand lampworked by Ellen Dooley.  The rest of the ring is fine silver.  It is quite comfortable to wear and fits a size 7 nicely.  In this shot perhaps you cannot see the deeply fluted exterior of the bowl the bead nestles into.  It was inspired by the birdbaths and fountains I see in my walks and trips around town here.  The interior of the bowl is textured with my own fingerprints as I loved the look, it reminds me of ripples on water.  The bead cap has a dot pattern that I have used quite a bit and I chose it as it reminds me of foam on waves.  The shank is the earth.

Leaf and Twig Box in greenware state

I am finishing up my preparations for the Peoria Heights Art Fair this Saturday.  The pendant pictured above is unfired and almost ready to go into the kiln.  It gets to take that trip solo as I already fired a whole batch of other things two days ago when this piece was just two leafy pieces.  The hole with the wire jutting up through it is going to be the seat of a lovely pearl.  This piece sees my metal clay stash diminished to about 5 grams.  I made the bail and its stem from clay that had been cut away from other projects and saved.  I keep this package of clay that is labeled “used”  and if I need something that is textured but not a lot else is done with it then it usually works just the same as brand new clay.

I suspect this box will be ready late enough at night that I might not be able to show you pictures before tomorrow morning.  I hope to see some of you tomorrow at Tower Park.  Keep your fingers crossed for weather like we are having right now!

Heart Lily Pad Ring

I dearly loved the Lily Pad Ring that I made previously and have decided to embark on a short series of flower and pearl rings as a result.  This ring is the second in that series.  The third ring will be going into the kiln later today.  This ring and the next ring are the result of a design that did not quite work.  The flower I originally made was a bit too large when placed on the heart element.  The blossom dominated and obscured the heart too much.  That blossom is now placed on a very small disk with a cup shape supporting it and acting as an embed point for the fine silver wire shank.

This ring is my twelfth ring for the flickr ring a week challenge.  The group had proposed a challenge to create a ring that is “kinetic” by March 27th and this is my kinetic ring.  The bead and the star shaped piece below it both spin.  This ring is entitled Moon Lander Ring and has a crater texture with hand inscribed scratches.  The “moon lander” consists of the three elements, the star with radiating grooves, the bead with tiny silver dots following a line and the radial line circle at the top,  all riveted onto the moon crater layer.  This ring has wild colored patina and I used a very light hand removing the color from the high spots because it was so beautiful.  The bead is once again by Ellen Dooley.


This ring is totally about the coming of spring time.  I love spring and it shows in my art.  This ring is from a new texture I got from an etsy shop called Rolling Mill Resources, the texture is heavy paper which is laser etched.  The flower base for the bead is slightly domed and the bead is capped with a tiny circle with matching texture.  The patina is mostly a reddish color which tends towards both brown and fuchsia in places with halos of light blues and aquas near raised areas.  The hand lampworked bead is by Ellen Dooley.


I am putting together pieces to take to the Spring Bloom festival tomorrow and this particular piece stood out as having such incredible patina that I had to run up here and post it.  The pendant is entitled Oceana and is inspired by all the ocean documentaries I have been watching with my son lately.  The original idea came from  a depiction of a prehistoric sea creature but yesterday I noticed that it bears a slight resemblance to cuttlefish.  The multicolor patina this piece took on is very reminiscent of the way cuttlefish communicate with one another.  This is not the only piece that I finished today with this showstopper patina.  You have to see this stuff to believe!


Those of you who have visited my booth at shows know that I often make dogwood flower items.  There is a personal connection with my mother.  It was her favorite flower.  There is a personal connection with my childhood.  We used to live in New Jersey when I was quite young and there were several dogwoods in our back yard.  They were lovely when they bloomed.  When I was in college, the campus had two ancient dogwoods.  One of the trees was a pink, the other a white and they were growing up together entwined.  My Mother-in-law takes these photos of flowers, she arranges them facing the bed of her scanner, so they are upside down to her, and then she scans them.  One of her best photos, in my opinion, is of a group of dogwood flowers.  Maybe I like that one best because of all those other connections with dogwoods but it is one of her best sellers at art fairs.


Metal clay lends itself so well to hand sculpted pieces like this.  Each petal is cut from damp clay, slightly reshaped and hand attached to the base. The flower is completed by adding an element to simulate the center.  You can just make out my fingerprints as waves in some places.  It turned out to be a challenge for me as a sort of amateur jewelry photographer to get a nice shot of this due to the brushed finish which scatters light all over.  I am happy with this shot although I do believe this is a case in which the real article is more beautiful than the photograph.


This ring is my tenth for the flickr ring a week challenge.  You can find the whole group here, and my photostream here.