Monday, November 15, 2010

Handmade Division Talk About Nov

What mentors/teachers would I like to study with?

Well unfortunately I am not big on names, I barely passed art history so...

Photo credit Keith Lo Blue

One name does come to mind in the area of finishing. I love finishing, it is where the piece comes to life in my opinion. One of the first things that I learned in school was that a good finish sells your piece.
So I am going to say that if I had the opportunity to take some classes and really learn some cool stuff, it would  be Keith Lo Blue.

If you check out his site you will see that he has pretty much rocked all of the finishing techniques from etching to weathering and distressing.

And there are classes to be had on his site!

Go ahead and check it out, you will be impressed!

Please check out what some other Handmade Division members are thinking on this topic!

Emily Watson
Thomasin Durgin:
WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival Nov 2010

Blog Carnival is Etsy Metal's monthly group blog where several members get together and post on the same topic. It s a great way to check out different views and ideas of some talented artists. Check out the links down there... and meet some wonderful new people!

Am I a successful artist?
What is that? What is successful?
It can mean many many things, my ideas of being successful...

people appreciate what I am creating, creating something that is meaningful to me
for the first time in my life, people truly appreciate what I am doing
being able to make my own work hours
wearing jeans every single stinkin day
working harder when I need cash and slacking when I don't
Stickin it to the man
wrestling with my dog at 3am because I love him
being free in general
learning that self discipline takes on a whole new meaning

But wait, it's not that easy.
It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
I still struggle with it daily.
It can be down right brutal.
It is a test to end all tests.

So am I successful?
Personally? Not yet, but I am on my way.
I can't see living with so much stress being a success, but it is getting better.

One of the hardest parts is being able to separate art from business. The way I do it, and I am still working on this, is to do just that. Separate it.
When I am working on art I block everything else out, shut the doors, turn off the phones, close the laptop, hide in my world.
When it's time to do business, I have to change personalities and become someone else.
I am still far from a successful business person but I learn every day.
So basically, I do not mix the two, they stay very separate.
I will know when I am successful because I will have someone handling all of my biz for me and I will just create.

The best thing that I have done for my shop is networking and marketing. Meet everyone I can and never cut anyone short.
Help everyone I can and in turn be helped.
You can be the best designer/artist out there but if people don't know you exist,
it just won't work ;)

Check out what some other very talented people are thinking on this same topic!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This weeks work = Orbtastic!

Can you ever have too much Ocean Jasper? I think it's impossible!

I mean jeez, look at the orbs, so many colors and patterns to choose from!

Garnets are one of my "classic" favs :)

Blue Lace Agate has the coolest of blues and purples!

and Labradorite... let me count the ways!

Stay tuned for a shipment of insanely awesome Labradorite that is on the way!
Seriously I wet my pants when I saw the pics!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Handmade Division super cool topic o' the month extravaganza!

Well so you know, this month's topic is...
How did I get where I am now?

Not really but here is a quick rundown...
I wanted to go to an art college and I don't really know why exactly I picked metals. I messed around with making my own necklaces and stuff before then, I had dabbled in several mediums at that time.. somehow metals just stuck.
So I went to Tyler School of Art(Temple) and dropped out after my junior year. I liked studio classes but hated academics so much that I left and went to work on a computer career(8 month course). It wasn't necessarily a bad choice. I mean I got a house out of it...

After about 12 years of off and on bench work(more off than on) I finally decided to get my art career started heh heh.
So here I am 2 years later doing it full time. I learned the basics in school and from there on out I am self taught.

And thats that!

Make sure to check out alllllll these cool artists and see what they thought about the topic this month!

Mary Spencer-

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Some new work from this week

Turquoise n Sunstone Pendant

Green Prehnite Ring

Chrysocolla, Malachite, Azurite Ring

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A nice mix...

I love to set cool stones. As of late, if it doesn't make me say wow, I won't even touch it. I can't express how important it is to make sure that you select only the "good ones" when choosing a stone for a piece. In my experience, while a wonderful stone will sell a piece, a boring/dull stone will make it sit and collect dust. Of course sometimes you need simple stones to go with certain designs.
Generally speaking… killer stones sell.
Here are some of my choices over the past few weeks!

Don't forget, custom orders are in full swing, bring em on!

Prehnite, Garnet, Starchild

Prehnite, Space Commander, Prehnite, Herkimer Diamond

Ocean Jasper, Chrysocolla, Prehinite, Herkimer Diamond, Quartz with black rutile

Spessartine Garnet

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Herkimer and mmmm Labradorite...

So I think this is the biggest herk ring yet...

I had to cut this Labradorite from a larger oval cabochon. It was worth it!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stars, Red, Toxic Green

Hi! Quick Update!

Starchild Ring, Chunky Green Prehnite and a Garnet Nug Ring...

Starchild ring is still available and of course I am still taking custom requests :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Handmade Division Team - Talk About...


It's time for our monthly Handmade Division Team topic!!!

What would you like to create but do not currently have the skills or technology to do?

To start, I love to figure things out. I have always been that way with musical instruments(buy first, learn later) and it definitely carries over to my artwork. There are so many things that I would like to do, but lack the tools and know how to do it. Once I get the tools and the capability "skill" is not so much an issue as I am willing to put the time and effort into figuring it out and practicing. I have just been through this with stone cabbing/lapidary... still have a ways to go with cabbing, but I am having a blast learning.

Right now what I reallllly want to learn, and am about to make a priority is... engraving. I would love to get the tools that I need and really start giving this real try. Sure I have dabbled in it, but I want to put some real effort into it. Being able to add engraved designs to my work would be so nice right about now. I have always wished that there was a way to "draw" on my work and engraving seems to be the way to go.

Acid etching is another skill that I have dabbled in but wish to really put some effort into. It is another way for me to draw on my work. Currently I have a nitric acid setup, but find it too unpredictable and uncomfortable to work with.

I have tried scribing and some other techniques to get this drawn look, but nothing has worked out the way I wanted as of yet.

I am open for suggestions!!!

Please stop by some of our other team member blogs and see what they are thinking on this same topic!!! Seriously, these artists are great, you don't want to miss what they have to say!!!


Lisa Hopkins Design:

Jewelry by Natsuko:

Beth Cyr:

ArtJewel Designs:

Abhaya Fibers:

Nova of Sweden

Bella-Bijou Jewellery:

Pink Crow Studio:

Sand Fibers:

Alice Istanbul:

Thomasin Durgin:

Moxie & Oliver:

Andes Cruz:


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Recent work & Herk Overload!

Can there be too many Herkimer diamond rings??? Apparently not!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cabbing Update!

I finally put in some real cutting time this weekend! Here is what I came up with. Ocean Jasper goodness!
Things are finally starting to go a bit smoother(literally) in the Purified cabbing department :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

What I have been up to...

Just a quick update with some eye candy! Got to get back to the bench!!!! PEACE!!!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Handmade Division Talk about...

This Month’s question is…

Are there artists you would love to collaborate with? What would you make?

I would love to get into doing collaborations. I have actually been thinking about this off and on for a while now. It could bring about some very interesting work! On top of that, it would be a great way to promote.
My current idea is for a ring. One artist would do the band design and the other would do the top design and possibly set a stone. Since each artist would only focus on one part of the ring, it would be much easier to add some great details and end up with a really unique piece.
I would also like to collaborate with a non metal artist, say maybe a painter and incorporate a small painting into a pendant. Or on the opposite end, do a cool copper or brass boarder for a painting... something along those lines. It would be nice!

Please check out some other artists on the Handmade Division Team who are sharing their answers to this very same question!!!

ceeb wassermann aka howlindoggie:

nanopod: Hybrid Studio -

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Work, play, help others...

I'm super busy this week! Here are a few completed pieces...



I'm thinkin real hard about starting a new nano-reef. If/when I do, I will document it here :)

Since I have been playing with lapidary lately, a helpful tip came into my head last night. Now this may be a well known thing, but whatever!

So if you are into setting stones, and you like your bezels tight like me(I like my cabs to "pop" into place), occasionally you may get a stuck cab, even using dental floss underneath it. So a good thing to have on hand would be some dopping wax, a dowel and a flame. Make sure your cab is clean first and heat it up. No direct flames and not too hot as to crack the stone, but hot still. Heat up the wax on the end of the dowel, and clump it onto the entire surface of the cab. Let cool for 20 minutes or so to room temp and pull that sucker out! When you are done put the cab in the freezer for 5 minutes and the wax will all crumble off. Thats it!