Monday, December 22, 2008

Found Object Jewelry: Beach Pebble Necklace

Here is my last project for 2008. I've not sorted out the closure for it yet so this is still a work in progress but I want to share it to get some feedback on it so far.

It's a monster of a pendant measuring 9.5 cm wide x 9cm (3 3/4" x 3 1/2") and is made with found beach pebbles, cold constructed copper tube and wire plus rope stained with tea. My intention with this piece is to try to embody the spirit of the discarded rusty metal and natural objects that I collect from the streets and on walks in nature. It's a quirky compulsion of mine and I've been wanting to work it out in my jewellery designs to see where it leads.

I'm enjoying the result of this necklace so far but I'm still a little hesitant about it for reasons I can't quite put my finger on yet. Maybe it's because it's uncharted territory for me and I need to do a lot more experimenting with this new direction. I think maybe I also fear this necklace is a a little too much like my work in college which is a bit dated. I want this new work to be more edgy, different. I probably just need to follow it through and start on another piece to just keep experimenting and exploring and not get too hung up.

Give a shout!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recycled Materials: Plastic Pull Tabs Bracelet (from Milk cartons)

Jewelry making experiments with recycled materials continues to bring exciting new discoveries to my studio. I really enjoy making jewelry that challenges me as well as the wearer to reconsider traditional perceptions of what we think jewelry is or should be.

Since my exploration of exclusively using recycled materials in jewelry began earlier in the year I have been hoarding all sorts of interesting things from my recycling bin before putting it out for its weekly collection. One mound of objects that has been growing are the interesting little plastic pull tabs from our cartons of milk. I really love the shape of them and their flexibility. I've been living with this bracelet for a few weeks now not sure weather it needs any embellishment or not. I'm so intrigued as it is I'm not sure that it needs anything else. Though, I am considering adhering small fluff balls to each to transform it into something a bit more outrageous. Then again since my stock pile of pull tabs grows I could just make another one. What do you think?

Another interesting aspect about recycling and using recycled materials in art is that as you are drawn to collecting specific objects you really begin to see how many of the damn things we disregard. Then you think well this is just what I personally use and recycle on a weekly basis. What about all the things that are used, NOT recycled and end up in the landfill? It's important to reflect on these thoughts at this point in time, the population is growing rapidly, the global economy as we know it is falling apart and we will have to look for better ways of taking care of ourselves and our environment. How will you participate in the future?

Give a shout!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Jewelry Design Studies with Found Objects

This pendant and ring are studies or 3D sketches for a new jewelry concept I want to start working on. The concept isn't developed but my point of departure stems from my interest in using found objects and recycled materials. Both the pendant and ring pictured here are made from pebbles I found on the beach in Maine and both the copper wire and aluminum wire have been salvaged by my brother from his electrical job.

I'm not too concerned about craftsmanship with these pieces as I consider them sketches. Though I do like rough treatment of the materials as it gives it a bit more of a rustic character which is maybe something I'd like to make more intentional in future pieces. I love urban decay and weathered materials such as wood and rusty metal so this might be fitting for the new concept.

I'm really excited about using more found objects and recycled materials in my work. It has really changed the way I make jewelry, mainly not using a torch, and has also helped me make mental connections about some designs I wasn't sure about making in the past. Plus being more honest about where my raw materials are sourced from makes me feel better about my impact on the environment and people who are labouring in the metal mines under horrible conditions around the world.

Speaking of being more responsible National Geographic's feature article, "Gold: The True Cost of a Global Obsession" in their January 2009 issue should be on every jeweler/metalsmith/designermaker's bench right now. It is a fantastic artilcle that hopefully will stir up a lot of discussion. Keep your eye on my blog as this week I will being writing my response to the article.

Give a shout!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Inspiring Things - Part 3

Prague, Czech Republic

all images taken by Heather Skowood

Monday, November 3, 2008

Inspiring Things - Part 2

images from top to bottom:

Eiffel Tower - Paris, France
Architectural Metalwork - Paris, France
Arab Centre - Paris, France
Fire Escapes - San Franciso, US
Street Vent - Manchester, UK
Concrete - Manchester, UK

all images taken by Heather Skowood

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Delaware Decadence

I just love visual tension and contrasts, within them there are so many surprising textures, emotions + experiences. I often incorporate contrasts and tensions in my jewellery too through use of textures, materials + even through the way I design and fabricate my work. My Fluff collection for instance creates interesting tension between the soft fluff material, metal and colour which is why I believe, people respond to those pieces of jewellery. My larger sculptural jewellery like the Strangeways knuckleduster + the Sensual hand ornament are examples of how tension brings a surprise to my jewellery. Often people think upon first glance that these larger pieces I create will be cumbersome and awkward to wear but once they put them on they are exceedingly pleased how comfortable + wearable the jewellery is. I love that reaction since I try to make exciting work that is a delightful visual as well as physical experience for the wearer.

As for the photo above I shot it at my brother's house. I had been lugging this chair around in the back of my car for the weekend to get it back to my house from our grandmother's. I took it out and put it in the entrance of my brother's shed thinking the contrast of the vibrant blood red velvet against the ordinary shed interior would make a interesting image. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thank You to 'On Jewels: Appreciation of the Art' Blog

Yesterday jewelry professional Katrina Morris kindly gave my blog and my jewelry a big shout out on her blog 'On Jewels: Appreciation of the Art'.

I'm grateful and pleased Katrina gave me a shout out as I have enjoyed her enthusiasm and passion for the jewelry she writes about on her blog. She has written about jewelry and politics, and highlighted some fantastic work coming out of the International Jewelry London show. Laura Bamber's work IS breathtakingly beautiful!

Thanx again Katrina and to all of you are visiting my blog!


Living with Me

When I'm not making jewellery I'm hoarding things I find on the street, at flea markets and in friends + families basements. Although I embrace contemporary architecture, sculpture and technology with full abandon I also can be very maudlin for objects left behind from older times. These objects can range from old photographs, rusty nails in all shapes and sizes, weathered wood and stones and metal with a good patina on it.

The photos above are of some wall pieces I made over the years and hang on the walls of my home. I'm not quite sure what it is about assembling old weathered objects together into these wall hangings that I find soooo satisfying. Maybe it's an urge to try to understand personal history - my own and others or trying to to hold onto time in an age where everything moves excessively fast and things can slip by us if we don't slow down long enough to notice.

The top photo is a wall piece I created for a show in Natick called 'The Chair Project'. Its title is, 'Reserved Seating'. The piece is assembled from an old piece of wood I found in my Nana's basement along with some old copper wire and the photo had been sitting in my collection for a quite some time. I thought it was perfect for this project. I find the photo really intriguing in that all the women are standing and the men and young boy are seated. The women as usual, stand strong and proud and standing by their men. But what about the old fashioned (?) courtesy extended to women by giving up their seat for them?

The 2nd photo is of a wall piece assembled with another old wood board found in my Nana's basement and some old steel and copper tacks. I've always loved African nail fetish sculptures with their magickal connotations as well as the history of Voodoo Dolls and Voodoo practiced in places like in New Orleans. The triangles have special meaning to me and my partner who met by chance. Two people separated by an ocean most of their lives then united when our paths crossed unexpectedly...or was it the voodoo that was being worked?

The 3rd photo is of a wall piece I created while studying at Moore College of Art. It is one of two pieces from that period I still live with. It has been fabricated from copper sheet, rope, and copper wire. The piece is from a short experimentation with metalsmithing and explorations in organic and sea life forms.

The bottom photo is a assemblage of wood, copper wire and an old awl I found in my grandfather's tool drawer after he died. As a lover of tools and homage to the man who probably influenced my desire to hoard things like old wood, hardware + tools this is for him.

I hope you enjoyed. Give me a shout!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Inspiring Things

There are loads of things that inspire me to create, like architecture, sculpture, bridges, girders, I-beams, sweet lil' rusty objects I find in the street, music, twirling fire poi, dancing, graffiti, machine mechanisms, old photographs I find at flea markets...there is so much beauty in the world....

These are some photos I took of some REALLY YUMMY bridges in Manchester, England....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crafthaus Network

I just found this network called Crafthaus via someone's jewellery blog over at While going through their almost 1500 page gallery of high quality work I stumbled on these beauties! Wooooweeeeee! I'm blown away. They are super lovely forms with VERY sexy textures!!! Purrrrrrrrrr. The blue rubbery neckpiece (damn this piece just makes me quiver!) is by Anthony Tammaro (he's from Philly too!) and Lick No. 1 neckpiece made of terry cloth and seed beads which would be handy for all the drooling I have been doing over it is by Amy Weiks!

Please excuse me, I must now get back to viewing the other half of the Crafthaus gallery to find more drooling opportunities!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Found Object Jewelry: More Buidling Blocks, The Braclet

Now that I've handed over this lil' beauty to Nikki2Katz I can finally do a bit of blogging about this bracelet! This bracelet was made along with the necklace I made for her daughter Jazmine that I blogged about back in August for a swap of each others work. Nikki is a incredibly imaginative illustrator (as well as supa cool DJ with skillz that always get my booty shakin'!) and I fell in love with one of her prints so promised her some jewelry for it.

I had a lot of fun trying to work out how to assemble this bracelet. Like the necklace I made Jaz it is made of building blocks I picked up at a flea market. The thing about the blocks is that they seems to be half the thickness of ordinary blocks therfore work very well around the wrist. I have posted photos of the front as well as the back to show how I resolved assembling it. What I used in the end was an old nylon belt to join the blocks together by using threaded rivets, silver washers and epoxy. This joinery is quite satisfiying as it doesn't make the bracelet much longer than 7" nor is there big spaces between the blocks that disrupt the flow of Nikki2Katz which is her DJ name. I can just see her hands on the decks cahnging and skratchin' records with these lovely blocks dancning around her wrists...

Can you tell how much love celebrating the creative tools we've all been given?

Give me a shout!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Happy to be Bloggin' over at Ganoksin too!

You can now also view my blog over on Ganoksin on their new Members Blog area! So happy to continue being a part of their community!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back from the Wedding in Blighty

Well, I'm back from holiday in England catching up with Peeps in Manchester, checking out the new graffiti and architecture popping up all over the place in that town, dancing in the countryside at SolFest and bouncing on the bouncy castle at Nathan and Naomi Onions's wedding. It was a Ace time all around!

You may recall the engagement ring I made for Naomi that I posted about earlier in the year which is a great match with Nathan's wedding band (pictured above). In Nathan's ring I picked up the pattern of flush set diamonds in Naomi's ring by creating lovely divets on all sides of his ring to match. They are just as pleased as I am with the end result. I do think the rings are a stunning set and truly reflect the two of them.

Congratulations again you two, it was great to be able to be there with you on your special day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Recycled Materials: Steampunk Bracelet

This lil' number is one of the first pieces of jewelry that comes close to expressing my absolute LOVE for collecting rusty objects off the streets. It's a fairly straight forward bracelet and not as sculptural as many of my other pieces but I'm happy with the connection I have finally been able to make my rusty hunnies.

Most of the metal used to make this is either recycled electrical wire or silver and copper scraps from my scrap box. It is also completely assembled with cold connection techniques so no soldering/torch work was used to fabricate the bracelet.

I call it a Steampunk bracelet because I think it sort of fits that genre of subculture which I have a bit of fancy for too. Take a look at this wikipedia link to do some jaw-dropping over the craftsmanship of some of the object conversions people have done. There are some extremely talented people out there doing some brilliantly imagintive work!


Calder inspires

A few weeks ago I made it down to Philly to catch up with my Peeps and check out the exhibition of jewelry by Alexander Calder at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The first time I saw Calder's jewelery was in a major show in D.C. many moons ago that included jewelery as well as every other medium under the sun that this man dipped his fingers into. WOW! This show at the PMA however is the first time I ever saw a show of just his jewelery. And an amazing show it is and the catalog which is a seriously hefty volume with gorgeous photos is worth every penny!

So I took time out from drouling over the catalog (everyday since I bought it) long enough to do a little experimenting in wire. This necklace it part Calder and maybe part Cocoon necklace. In any case I'm lovin' it and it fits in with my new explorations in recycling. All the wire is from building sites my lil' brother is on while he is doing electrical work. Purrrrfect!

Give me a shout!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Found Objects Jewelry: Circus Bracelet

Circus Bracelet? Well, the ruffle effect of this bracelet reminds me of the collar on a clown outfit. It made me laugh so I thought I'd share the thought. :) It is a funny bracelet anyway, I just love the color combo. The bracelet is made up of folded non-slip rubber pads I found in the dollar store. Usually this material is used in larger sheets under area rugs to prevent them from slipping across your floor. I don't know why they have been made so small and is probably why they ended up in the dollar store.

Dollar stores are like flea markets to me. Its where you find useless stuff that is going to end up in a landfill. It just baffles me that there is so much dire crap manufactured out there! Well, I'm glad I could put it to use.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Found Object Jewelry: Building Blocks

Last weekend I went to the Riatta flea market in Hubbardston, Mass. to scout out some interesting objects to make jewelry out of. I will also be sharing some of these finds with my class at Metalwerx in the Autumn. So I found these great children's wooden blocks and created this pendant for my friend's little gurl. I have a bracelet in mind too and once I work out the design I'll post photos of it.

Whatcha think?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reclaimed/Recycled Materials in Jewelry Course at Metalwerx

Photo: necklace study using reclaimed packaging materials

My recent jewelry explorations reflect my growing concerns about global, local and personal environmental issues and how I can change my impact on them. I already recycle much of my household and studio waste, buy local and organic food as much as possible and buy local handmade gifts when I don't have the time to make something myself. My attention is now focusing on my jewelry and studio practices. As you have seen in the past few blog entries I have started making work with reclaimed/recycled materials using techniques that use less chemicals and the torch to reduce health hazards.

This new approach to jewelry has inspired me to offer a new 6 week course at Metalwerx in Waltham, Massachusetts this autumn titled, 'Reclaimed/Recycled Materials in Jewelry'. The course description is as follows:

As environmental awareness grows into a more urgent concern for our society, we are examining our impact on the natural environment as well as the impact on our health and personal environment more and more. As a result we are beginning to rethink how we approach everything we do in our lives to make our impact less wasteful, more sustainable and healthy. Our jewelry making practices should not be excluded.

Join Heather in an exciting six-week exploration joining reclaimed/recycled materials to create jewelry that is surprising, insightful, inspiring to lessen our impact on the environment. Let your imagination run wild and create daring jewelry with materials found either at home, at work, from walks in the woods or by the sea. Anything goes: packaging material from wine corks to plastic, worn out toys, twigs, bones, gun shells, wire from used spiral bound notebooks, twist ties from trash bags or drinking straws. The materials at your fingertips are endless! The next time you throw something away just ask yourself, "Can this be made into jewelry?"

Though much emphasis will be placed upon using reclaimed/recycled materials, using metal will not be discouraged but using scraps from your scrap box should be considered. We will discuss using a variety of handmade joining techniques such as rivets and jump rings as well as making bezels to frame unique found objects.

And at the end of the class students will have a bold new piece of jewelery that will generate much discussion about the importance of creativity in a time when creative thinking is needed most to save the environment.

For more information about Metalwerx and how to register for this class please visit their website.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No Dirty Gold Campaign + Ethical Metalsmiths

The No Dirty Gold campaign was started by EARTHWORKS, "a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the destructive impacts of mineral development, in the U.S. and worldwide. EARTHWORKS stands for clean water, healthy communities and corporate accountability. We're working for solutions that protect the earth's resources and communities."

The No Dirty Gold
campaign has been established to raise awareness among consumers, retailers and makers of jewelry about the health and environmental impacts of mining metals used in all industries- tin (food cans), aluminum (soda cans), gold and silver (jewelry + electronics) etc.

Quick facts from the No Dirty Gold campaign website:

About Mining:

  • A single gold ring leaves in its wake at least 20 tons of mine waste.
  • Open-pit gold mines essentially obliterate the landscape, opening up vast craters, flattening or even inverting mountaintops, and producing 8 to 10 times more waste than underground mining.
  • Cyanide is used by large mining operations to separate gold from ore. Cyanide pollution is a major concern. A rice-grain sized dose of cyanide can be fatal to humans; concentrations of 1 microgram (one-millionth of a gram) per liter of water can be fatal to fish.
  • Metals mining employs just 0.09 percent of the global workforce but consumes as much as 10 percent of world energy.
  • Between 1995 and 2015, approximately half the gold produced worldwide has or will come from indigenous peoples' lands.
  • Metals mining is the number one toxic polluter in the United States, responsible for 89% of arsenic releases, 85% of mercury releases, and 84% of lead releases in 2004.
  • The world's largest open pit, the Bingham Canyon mine in Utah, is visible to astronauts from outer space. It measures 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) deep and 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) across.
  • 120,000 tons of toxic waste spilled from the Baia Mare gold mine in Romania in 2000, contaminating the drinking water of 2.5 million people and killing 1,200 tons of fish.

About the U.S. Jewelry Market:

  • More than 80 percent of gold in the U.S. is used to make jewelry.
  • U.S. gold jewelry sales were an estimated $19 billion in 2006, accounting for 31 percent of the $62 billion U.S. jewelry market.
  • Nearly half of all people surveyed by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council call jewelry their favorite Valentine's Day gift.
  • Jewelry is among the most popular Valentine's Day gifts, following cards and candy. 28 percent of shoppers gave a gift of jewelry last Valentine's Day.
  • Eight of the top ten U.S. jewelry retail companies (by sales) have endorsed the No Dirty Gold campaign's Golden Rules. These companies are: Wal-Mart, Sterling, Zale Corp., QVC, Tiffany & Co., Helzberg Diamonds, and Fred Meyer Jewelers and J.C. Penney.
  • The companies who have endorsed the Golden Rules represent about $14.5 billion in jewelry sales, or 23 percent of the U.S. jewelry market.

Please visit the No Dirty Gold and EARTHWORKS website to read the valuable information you need to know before you make your next jewelry purchase, jewelry supply purchase or even open your next tin of food. Also please sign their campaign pledge. Everyone knows about blood diamonds we should now be asking what we can do and how to help our jewelers to obtain metal more responsibly.

More info:

Ethical Metalsmiths was started by metalsmiths and Society of North American Goldsmith members Susan Kingley and Christina Tatiana Miller. Ethical Metalsmiths have organised jewelry exhibitions such as 'Composting Good and Evil' and projects such as 'Radical Jewelry Makeover' to raise awareness about mining practices and their impact on our environment.

Please show your support - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Monday, July 14, 2008

'Vicious Circle' (reclaimed toys in jewelry)

In another experiment in recycled/reclaimed materials I've used some toy army men and linked them together with silver jump rings to create this bracelet called "Vicious Circle". I'm vehemently opposed to the US war/occupation in Iraq and found this piece to make a great anti-war statement.

Jewelry really is such a wonderful medium for self-expression. It can be a statement about politics, beauty, wealth, poverty, the environment, sexuality...the possibilities are endless! Plus it isn't just something you hang on the wall but something you can wear anywhere at anytime.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Recycled Materials in Jewellery Study #1

It's time for a new direction.
With environmental issues in our homes, at our work, in our studios and in the world at large becoming more and more urgent we must take a closer look at our environment and ask if we are dong enough for the health and safety of ourselves, our family and the global community.

I've decided to take a new approach to my work and begin exploring materials and techniques that reduce my impact on the environment and my personal health. I've started doing this by considering recycled and reclaimed materials much more and using less chemicals in the process of making my jewellery.

This bracelet is one of the first pieces I made recently while embarking in this new direction. It is constructed of black plastic hair curlers that I have linked together with oxidized copper jump rings. To create a seamless/continuous design that isn't disrupted by an obvious catch for opening and closing the bracelet; I used the female parts of the curlers and used only one male barrel curler part to enable the bracelet to be opened and closed. I really enjoyed the challenge of making this bracelet and very excited the result was architectural in style.

The next few blog entries coming up this week will feature a few pieces I have
recently made with reclaimed or recycled materials. I will also talk in more depth about the No Dirty Gold campaign which advocates responsible mining as well as my upcoming class at Metalwerx in the autumn, "Reclaimed and Recycled Materials in Jewelry". I hope you will join in on discussions.

I hope everyone is having a great summer so far!

Friday, June 27, 2008

More Jewelry From the Hollow Forms Class at Metalwerx

For some reason I've misplaced the photo of the reverse of this piece so apologies to start.

Anyhoo, this lovely silver hollow form pendant was made by Laura who took my Hollow Form Fabrication class at Metalwerx in Waltham, Massachusetts. I'm a serious sucker for reticulated fine silver which gives this piece it's lunar surface. Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! She has a huge lovely sheet of the stuff and from it cut out a disc and formed it into a dome to create the front plate you see. The hooks are attached to a finely made back plate so it can be hung on one of Laura's insanely sweet beaded cords like the one she made for her 1st piece in the class.

I had a great time with you ladies and hope you will be joining me again for my next exciting class at Metalwerx in the autumn - "Reclaimed/Recycled Materials in Jewelry". Details soon!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Student's work at Metalwerx

The 8 week Hollow Forms Class at Metalwerx has been a blast! I really have enjoyed working with my students and they have created some nice work. Plus it has been a pleasure working in such a creative environment and in a VERY well equipped metals studio.

Above is a photo of Laura's lovely square pendant in oxidized sterling silver on her handmade woven bead cord. She completed it nicely with her own handmade end caps and "s" hooks. Laura is also pictured soldering away at her 2nd hollow form pendant which I will post a photo of after our last class next week.

The bottom photo isn't of a hollow form but Sue likes to multi-task and finished what she calls her "candy dish" pendant set with a fine Jasper stone. Sue is having a great time forming metal and we will be working hard to finish up her hollow form pendant in the last class.

We've had a lovely time and I am already looking forward to offering another class at Metalwerx in the autumn!

Soon I will also be posting about a few things I have been playing with in the studio recently. I'm taking on the new challenge of doing work without the torch and all the chemicals. I'm missing the torch soooooo much as I love the fire but it's time to change direction for a bit and get re-inspired. I hope you will let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hollow Form Class at Metalwerx Starts Next Week!


My Hollow Form Fabrication class at Metalwerx in Waltham, Massachusetts starts next Tuesday,
April 22nd and I soooooooo cannot wait!!! This is my first time teaching at Metalwerx and I am so very excited as they have such a really well equipped studio with lots of yummy tools to go around for everyone!

To all who have already signed up thank you and to those of you who haven't yet get on the phone and register! It's going to be a very exciting class and I cannot wait to see what each person makes. I will ask those taking the class if it is okay to take photos so hopefully we will have some photos up on here in the next few weeks.

Looking forward to meeting everyone, see you there!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Commisisoned Jewelry for Rachel Hearne

Another necklace using another luscious stone from Horizon Mineral. I was instantly drawn to this stone because of its aquatic characteristics. The stone emanates both tranquil and hypnotic vibrations so thought it perfect for my gurl and mother-to-be Rachel. She has since had a lil' boy!

Though we all know how I love metal and the more of it the better I couldn't stomach encasing this stone in too much of it. The thought was like thinking one can harness the sea. So I kept the design minimal allowing the stone to flow and just be. The wavy linear element plays nicely with some of the lines in the bottom end of the stone too. I believe this really works well and ties into Rachel's new phase of motherhood.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Commissioned Jewelry - for Sharmishtha Ghangrekar

Sterling Silver pendant with bezel set Fossil Coral

This is another necklace in my exploration of using beautiful stones from Horizon Mineral. The stone I used here is a Fossil Coral. I love contrasting textures, shapes and colours and really love the way the architectural elements I made in silver support the organic and somewhat fragile feel of the stone. I only say fragile because this is a fossil and a snapshot of life has been captured eternally within this stone. The imagery is beautiful, this once living organism so fragile is protected and incased in silver.

Because this necklace seems to embody this theme of life and death I thought it was quite a perfect necklace for my friend Sharmishtha Ghangrekar in the UK who I can now proudly say is a doctor! Sharmishtha is a strong and passionate person who is dedicated to educating, nurturing and taking care of people so this one is for her.

Give us a shout!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mind The Gap

Hey there! Well I got that bug that seemed to be going around which landed me in bed sick for a few days. As soon as I felt better I jumped a train to see mi Peeps in Philly and back on the homestead. It was a good trip all around. It's always great catching up with the loved ones!

I also got to travel by train which is my favourite way to travel really. I love the rhythm of the train, putting the headphones on and watching the world go by, making up stories about all the scenery and people you see. I also just love the tracks themselves and all the electrical wires used to make it all work. It is especially fun for me when we go through North Jersey which despite being a bit of a gross wasteland right outside of NYC is a visual feast of ideas for me. I mean look at all those girders, supports and crazy network of wires! I just could stare at them for hours getting so many ideas from them.

We'll see what brews up in the studio over the next few weeks and I'll post more photos.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Commissioned Jewelry - for Indrayani Ghangrekar

You may have noticed that it isn't very often that I use stones in my work. The reason being is that I am obsessed with metal and how I can use it to build forms with it rather than using metal as a just a platform to showcase a stone. Nonetheless I cannot deny the allure of shiney things and particularly stones that are VERY unusual so occasionally I do use them.

A Connecticut jeweler friend of mine who uses a lot of stones in her jewelry designs introduced me to her stone dealer last year and it was then I began to really understand her obsession with stones and reconsider them myself. Her dealer is Joe Jelks of Horizon Mineral in Lewes, Delaware. Joe is a kind and very chilled out guy who hand cuts his own stones from minerals he sources from all over the world. I have to say I walked away with quite a few of his stones and set out to do a few pieces with them as a challenge to how I usually design.

The first of these challenges was this necklace that I made for my friend Indrayani in the UK that features one of Joe's hand-cut Ocean Jaspers. I chose this stone for Inda because she studies neuroscience and I thought the pattern in this Jasper was very cellular looking. Since the stone's pattern is not just on the surface and can also be seen from the back I decided to pierce the metal out in the back to reveal its pattern there too. I also added the extra metal pieces on the top and bottom to continue the pattern and imply that it was growing out if its frame.

The next few entries that I post will be on this series of pendants with stones, I hope you will let me know what you think.