Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy New Year

Due to the fact that I am in Arizona visiting family, blogging has not been on the top of the list lately. I will be back Jan. 2nd with a studio visit post about Michael David Sturlin. In the meantime, Happy New Year. My visual world has been filled with a lot of this type of thing. The hands are itching to get back into the studio very soon.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

And the Clock is Ticking

I was locked out of my blog for a while this week, while Google made sure I wasn't a spam blog. In the meantime, I am getting everything together for pre-holiday shipments. I have been making a special pair of cufflinks, a couple of custom rings, and a last-minute group of work for a gallery. There is a lot to do, but it is the gallery owners who are out of breath when I talk to them on the phone.

Wrought Massive Bracelet One
blackened silver

In the meantime, I figured out a strategy for photographing my newest bracelet (above). I bought a tube of white stage makeup, and applied it to my arm. Since I fit the bracelet onto my own arm as I made it, it seemed appropriate to use my arm as a photo prop. I have a new appreciation for makeup artists, as I has to apply the makeup four or five times to get a reasonably even color. Now, I am thinking about other pieces that might benefit from this photo treatment. After all, the jewelry comes alive when it is worn as intended, not when it is sitting on a sheet of white paper.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A little thing that means a lot

Pendant of a unified Iraq

I heard this story in the spring, many months ago. It struck me, because sometimes in the middle of my frenzied jewelry making, running to the post office, making sure all of my bills are paid up, I start losing the connection that jewelry has for the people that wear it. For all of the brave Iraqi women wearing this pendant, you are in my heart, I think of you as I work.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A very new bracelet

This bracelet was completed just a few short hours ago. I haven't figured out how to make the photograph convey just how dimensional it is, and of course, I will never be able to show all of the sides at once.

The material is blackened silver, and the name has yet to be decided. I have a simple hinge on one side, and the bracelet stays closed by means of two tabs that stay in place through the tension of one part of the bracelet on top of another. It is a heavy piece, but I think the weight can give one a feeling of power and confidence.

I am going to experiment with more photography for this piece and will post the results when I finish.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Dungeon in the sky

Artists will sometimes go to extremes for a cheap studio. I was one of them, and now that I look back at my first studio, I think of it as the Dungeon in the Sky.

One would think that I would have been taken aback by the appearance of the building. I think that it would be hard to find a more foreboding building. I once saw signs on the lamppost outside reserving the parking spaces for the crew of CSI. Yes, this is where they hide the bodies.

To add to my discomfort with the atmosphere in the building, it was, at the time, only occupied on part of the eighth floor, a fraction of the fifth floor, and there was a moving company in part of the first floor. The front door was also unlocked at all times.

With my studio on the eighth floor, I had to walk up through the empty building, since all of the freight elevators were broken, walk across an empty wing of the building, with just a lightbulb hanging on a string in the middle. Once in, I would lock the door behind me as fast as possible with my heart pounding. Then I would proceed to my unheated space in the back of the wing.

Why was I foolish enough to put up with all of this? Well, before I had this studio, I worked in my small apartment, and I felt that having a studio would make me feel more serious about my work, which is true. The other big factor....price. I rented the space, along with another space that my husband used for painting for $200/ month. Unheard of in the NY area now. Another perk was the view of Manhattan from Columbus Circle to the West Village.

As the photo above demonstrates, I didn't stay long enough to get the studio organized properly. I had found some shelves and a table in the bottom of the building and had plans for setting up the rest of the studio. However, some complications came up about us renting there, and the situation managed to save me from my bad decision. I don't know how much good work I could have made, as the heavy atmosphere in the building and the exhaustion of being cold all day sucked a lot out of me.

Now, I am happily settled in a studio in Brooklyn that features heat, ample locks and a nice atmosphere. I came away from the old studio with a good dose of wisdom and a great story.