Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Be as a BIRD, who, halting in her FLIGHT . . .

Zoe is turning 16 tomorrow.  It's actually her "golden birthday" because she is turning 16 on the 16th (and she would add that there are 16 letters in her name, thus making it extra, extra, extra special).  She made this sweet little silver bird a few months back - it's less than an inch wide (but looks much bigger in the photo) - because we were designing a bracelet together and she loves birds.  She kept waffling back and forth about what quote to put on her bracelet, and I think she finally gave up, because this silver bird has been sitting all alone on my work table for several months.  I've had this idea in mind for a bracelet incorporating an adaptation of a Victor Hugo quote that I love, (changed the pronouns to be feminine), and that suits Zoe perfectly right now.  So, I borrowed her bird - traced it, sawed it, filed it, sanded it, polished it, and soldered it - to work it into a beautiful birthday surprise:
"Be as a BIRD, 
who, halting in her FLIGHT, 
on a limb too slight, 
feels it give way beneath her, 
yet SINGS, 
knowing she has WINGS."  
Here's a closer look at the copper quote (but, not too close!):
This is actually my second attempt at this bracelet - the first little bird slipped when I soldered it, leaving what I call a "ghost mark."  You can see it in the photo below.  So, being the semi-also-not-predictable-perfectionist that I am, I started over.  To say that this was an easy project would not be truthful.  But it is soooo rewarding.  I'm planning to give it to Zoe in the morning to start out her birthday in a special way.  Here's to hoping that she likes it!  Here's to her Golden Birthday!
 I made a companion necklace to go with the bracelet.  
It is the same sweet little bird on a copper disc that says, simply, "FLY."

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Stuff

This is one of my favorite glass blends, it's called "Boro Bora" by Val Cox.  It is a beautiful mix of colors and the deep red is a "kiln strike" color, which means it only shows up after it has been in the kiln.  This necklace is for my friend, Ashley's birthday.  Happy Day, Ash!

This circle pendant is for my friend, Ann.  She has been patiently waiting for my oomph to come back so that I could make it for her.  The top photo is the front, which includes all 6 of her kids names, and the second photo is the back which has her wedding date.  This is a beautiful pendant with special meaning and I can't wait to see her wearing it!

Here's a Mother's Day gift for my friend Kellie's mother-in-law.  It's a hammered circle pendant with the words "mother, grandmother, friend."  And below, is a wedding gift for my friend, Ashley.  She was just a young sprout when we lived in Pleasant Grove (years ago . . .) and is getting married in June.  Sorry to say this, but that is making me feel really old!

What New Year's Resolution?

So, I'm pretty sure I remember sitting down with my family and making some resolutions for 2012.  I have a foggy recollection that I made some sort of resolution about making a blog post WEEKLY, or something silly like that.  Well, that resolution obviously went straight out the window!  Here it is May, and I finally got a full day in the studio yesterday.  I have some great projects to post, but just can't post new things until I get caught up with some of the pieces I've made so far this year.

Here's a sweet baby bracelet for my niece, Paisley.  The front has her name, and the back has a secret message: "love you always."  It is a sweet little piece for a sweet little niece.  Can't wait to see her wearing it!

And a simple heart charm for Zalea's friend, Aurora.  This is one of my favorites.  This heart is so small that it kept flipping out of my fingers while I was filing and sanding it.  I lost it in the garbage can so many times, I actually had to dump the trash out on the kitchen counter and dig through wrappers and pencil shavings to find it TWICE.  I need to come up with a better system when shaping pieces, but that's another story for another day.

So I have had sort of an epiphany when it comes to making jewelry.  I consider myself a hobbyist - an amateur.  I teach myself the skills I want to know so that I can incorporate them into what I already know and do.  I love my glasswork and I love the metalwork.  But I have come to a point where I have outgrown my make-shift tools and set-up.  I know what good tools can do, and I'm trying to do really good stuff with really poor tools, and I'm getting frustrated.  Like, yesterday, for example.  I was soldering some beautiful pieces (photos to come) and since I use a plumber's torch instead of a jeweler's torch, things got a little too hot and heavy and on one piece the silver got too hot (beautiful reticulation in the wrong place and completely unwanted) and on another, one of the pieces slid along with the solder leaving a "ghost mark."  I'm also frustrated with my studio set-up.  There's just too much stuff in there and I have to keep moving things to get to my supplies.  These factors are all keeping me out of the studio.  But, I have so many beautiful pieces in my mind, I just need to figure out a way to make this work because I really do love it.  I need to make time and space for it.  So, here's a good thing:  we are moving next month.  I have my eye set on a spare room that would make a perfect studio (except that the lighting is poor - something I can work around).  I think I can re-configure my stations and supplies so that they will be much more conducive to a good work-flow.  THEN, maybe then, I can break down and buy some good tools.  It would make sense if I was being productive.  I could be even more productive.