Friday, May 13, 2016

What WE See When We Really Look


 During a very brief recent trip to Kansas City Mo. I visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with my nephew Matt as my guide.  Many years ago, when I lived in that area, my mom and I would spend hours there enjoying the sculptures, paintings and architecture.   We spent several  hours enjoying the architecture and art as well as eating lunch in the café next to a fountain. we pretended to be  somewhere in Italy during the 15th century eating excellent food. Easy to do at that cafe! 


The current special exhibit is REFLECTING CLASS IN THE AGE OF REMBRANDT AND VERMEER.  It offers a different way of seeing history as well as appreciating the masters.  http://www.nelson-atkins.org/art/exhibitions/


Seeing the actual paintings, the detail of the brush strokes, and the stories was mesmerizing.  I knew how luxurious the laces and fabrics were just by looking.  It was as though I hear the satins moving and the lace fluttering and feel the textures without touching. 



I started really looking at the details of the painting and the story they told.  The variety of lace patterns and who had ruffles and who did not and what did they mean in their society.  This of course led me to look at the type of jewelry the ladies of the upper class wore.  The trends of the day- pearl chokers and pearl bracelets worn by young and adult females- were similar to today’s trends in pearls. 


The more I looked the more I saw - about how the past and present connect, about our need to conform with rules and how it all shows up in how we present ourselves to others.  The more I looked, the more detail and understanding I encountered and isn’t that true of everything.



You might enjoy this blog about Anne Boleyn and timeless trends.  I did.

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Happy Dance - The Finished Piece



I'm doing the Happy Dance!  It's what happens when a completed project looks like the picture in my head!  
As a designer (interior designer or jewelry designer) I generally have a picture in my head that needs to be translated to paper.  It could take the form of a floor plan, a sketch, a collage of ideas.  Once it gets onto paper then the 'how to make it happen' stage takes over and eventually the pieces come together.  Once the project is complete there is  that moment of fear and of anticipation,  The question, "Did I get it right?  Does it work?"That question is always right there no matter how much research, knowledge and talent has gone into the project.  Almost always the completed outcome is within the realm of acceptability. Sometimes I get to do the Happy Dance because it is so close to that picture in my head.

Today's post is about sharing the process and the joy in the finished piece with you.

My dad was a lapidarist by hobby and one of the stones he cut and polished was an oval opal.  I love seeing the fire in this white opal and picked it up often just to look at it and to think about how I could set it.  I did this for several years.  Finally the time had come to design a setting.  My sketchpad started to fill with ideas -some good and lots not!  

a variety of designs

After selecting the one I wanted to use, I started collecting the pearls and the wire.  Lots of thought went into the way to fasten the wires and how to design the bail and what textures to use.  I started making the silver clay backing and embedding the bezel.  Making the bezel the correct size for the stone is always the most challenging part for me.  It has to be just a little bigger than the circumference of the stone because there is some shrinking of the clay.  If it is too big the stone will fall out and if it is too small I have to find another smaller stone!  The bezel wire is embedded about half way into the clay - too far and you will see it or holes on the back of the piece and not far enough it will not be secure.  This time the bezel gods were with me!

Bezel wire embedded in the backing

Back of setting with design 

Next step was to make the cones and loops to hold the silver wires and to make the bail.

pieces to be applied
Once all the pieces were dried and sanded, I attached everything and drilled a hole to allow the wires to come from the back (looking like the cone was holding them).
To make sure the stone would fit after firing I placed fiber paper where the stone would lay and then filled the area with Satin Cast (a type of plaster). That's the white material you see in the oval.


Ready to put in the kiln

After the piece is fired, the Satin Cast is removed and I check to see if the stone will fit.  That's the beginning of my Happy Dance!  Sanding and polishing take a little time but must be done at this point.

Eight 24 gauge wires were cut and torched to form a single ball, cleaned and placed in the hole so the ball is on the back of the pendant.  The wires are twisted a little and placed through the loop at the top and side.  I decide how long I want the wires and where the tiny pearls will be placed.  The pearls are secured, a chain added and it's complete!

I may continue my Happy Dance for days!  I hope you enjoyed the journey and the finished necklace and are dancing with me.



Friday, April 22, 2016

Creating a Jewelry Collection

 


My ‘Silver Bug’ Collection is finished!  It contains 11 silver bug jewelry pieces made with silver metal clay (Art Clay, FYI silver clay and one piece Hadar’s Steel Clay) and it has taken close to a year to complete.  I do admit I worked on it sporadically! 

Throughout the process of creating this collection, I took photos and wrote a post about part of it.  http://www.lindabrittdesign.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-making-of-silver-bug.html  
Today’s post is an overview. 

Yes, the shape and colors of bugs interest me –mainly dead ones. (Not live ones so much - unless we are talking butterflies)  My bug project started as soon as I found some stylized bug stamps at The Art Glitter Co. in Cottonwood AZ.  www.artglitter.com/ 


I ordered some Art Clay silver metal clay and some FYI silver metal clay and started thinking and sketching.  I wanted dimension and some sparkle in each of the pendants.  For the dimension I cut, dried, carved and layered each bug.

Forming and Layering

For the sparkle, I set a variety of colored CZ’s (cubic zirconium) both before and after I fired the silver depending on the effect I wanted. 

First three pendants

As you can imagine, it took several months to get all those bug pendants completed!  And then I made the bracelet and the earrings.  What collection would be complete without earrings? 


photo set up

Photographing the individual pieces came next.  Since I’m going to put the collection in my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/lindabrittdesign) I need 5 photos of each piece.  Each photo needs to be edited.  I’m still working on the editing so stay tuned!  That’s 11 pieces x 5 photos = 55 photos to edit.

I’m also putting the physical collection in my display case at the Prescott Art Market (which is moving to the Prescott Gateway Mall in May) and I need to show off each piece.  Each pendant will be on a polymer leaf in a white box.  Think about what a nice gift that makes!  And each pair of earrings hangs on a leaf on a stand. 

A Lovely Gift for The Nature Lover!


Next I’m designing the hang tags for each piece.  They need to be small with my logo and other information on them so I better get busy!  No wonder this has taken a year!  And retail stores bring out a new collection every 3 months!  










Friday, May 13, 2016

What WE See When We Really Look


 During a very brief recent trip to Kansas City Mo. I visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art with my nephew Matt as my guide.  Many years ago, when I lived in that area, my mom and I would spend hours there enjoying the sculptures, paintings and architecture.   We spent several  hours enjoying the architecture and art as well as eating lunch in the café next to a fountain. we pretended to be  somewhere in Italy during the 15th century eating excellent food. Easy to do at that cafe! 


The current special exhibit is REFLECTING CLASS IN THE AGE OF REMBRANDT AND VERMEER.  It offers a different way of seeing history as well as appreciating the masters.  http://www.nelson-atkins.org/art/exhibitions/


Seeing the actual paintings, the detail of the brush strokes, and the stories was mesmerizing.  I knew how luxurious the laces and fabrics were just by looking.  It was as though I hear the satins moving and the lace fluttering and feel the textures without touching. 



I started really looking at the details of the painting and the story they told.  The variety of lace patterns and who had ruffles and who did not and what did they mean in their society.  This of course led me to look at the type of jewelry the ladies of the upper class wore.  The trends of the day- pearl chokers and pearl bracelets worn by young and adult females- were similar to today’s trends in pearls. 


The more I looked the more I saw - about how the past and present connect, about our need to conform with rules and how it all shows up in how we present ourselves to others.  The more I looked, the more detail and understanding I encountered and isn’t that true of everything.



You might enjoy this blog about Anne Boleyn and timeless trends.  I did.

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Happy Dance - The Finished Piece



I'm doing the Happy Dance!  It's what happens when a completed project looks like the picture in my head!  
As a designer (interior designer or jewelry designer) I generally have a picture in my head that needs to be translated to paper.  It could take the form of a floor plan, a sketch, a collage of ideas.  Once it gets onto paper then the 'how to make it happen' stage takes over and eventually the pieces come together.  Once the project is complete there is  that moment of fear and of anticipation,  The question, "Did I get it right?  Does it work?"That question is always right there no matter how much research, knowledge and talent has gone into the project.  Almost always the completed outcome is within the realm of acceptability. Sometimes I get to do the Happy Dance because it is so close to that picture in my head.

Today's post is about sharing the process and the joy in the finished piece with you.

My dad was a lapidarist by hobby and one of the stones he cut and polished was an oval opal.  I love seeing the fire in this white opal and picked it up often just to look at it and to think about how I could set it.  I did this for several years.  Finally the time had come to design a setting.  My sketchpad started to fill with ideas -some good and lots not!  

a variety of designs

After selecting the one I wanted to use, I started collecting the pearls and the wire.  Lots of thought went into the way to fasten the wires and how to design the bail and what textures to use.  I started making the silver clay backing and embedding the bezel.  Making the bezel the correct size for the stone is always the most challenging part for me.  It has to be just a little bigger than the circumference of the stone because there is some shrinking of the clay.  If it is too big the stone will fall out and if it is too small I have to find another smaller stone!  The bezel wire is embedded about half way into the clay - too far and you will see it or holes on the back of the piece and not far enough it will not be secure.  This time the bezel gods were with me!

Bezel wire embedded in the backing

Back of setting with design 

Next step was to make the cones and loops to hold the silver wires and to make the bail.

pieces to be applied
Once all the pieces were dried and sanded, I attached everything and drilled a hole to allow the wires to come from the back (looking like the cone was holding them).
To make sure the stone would fit after firing I placed fiber paper where the stone would lay and then filled the area with Satin Cast (a type of plaster). That's the white material you see in the oval.


Ready to put in the kiln

After the piece is fired, the Satin Cast is removed and I check to see if the stone will fit.  That's the beginning of my Happy Dance!  Sanding and polishing take a little time but must be done at this point.

Eight 24 gauge wires were cut and torched to form a single ball, cleaned and placed in the hole so the ball is on the back of the pendant.  The wires are twisted a little and placed through the loop at the top and side.  I decide how long I want the wires and where the tiny pearls will be placed.  The pearls are secured, a chain added and it's complete!

I may continue my Happy Dance for days!  I hope you enjoyed the journey and the finished necklace and are dancing with me.



Friday, April 22, 2016

Creating a Jewelry Collection

 


My ‘Silver Bug’ Collection is finished!  It contains 11 silver bug jewelry pieces made with silver metal clay (Art Clay, FYI silver clay and one piece Hadar’s Steel Clay) and it has taken close to a year to complete.  I do admit I worked on it sporadically! 

Throughout the process of creating this collection, I took photos and wrote a post about part of it.  http://www.lindabrittdesign.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-making-of-silver-bug.html  
Today’s post is an overview. 

Yes, the shape and colors of bugs interest me –mainly dead ones. (Not live ones so much - unless we are talking butterflies)  My bug project started as soon as I found some stylized bug stamps at The Art Glitter Co. in Cottonwood AZ.  www.artglitter.com/ 


I ordered some Art Clay silver metal clay and some FYI silver metal clay and started thinking and sketching.  I wanted dimension and some sparkle in each of the pendants.  For the dimension I cut, dried, carved and layered each bug.

Forming and Layering

For the sparkle, I set a variety of colored CZ’s (cubic zirconium) both before and after I fired the silver depending on the effect I wanted. 

First three pendants

As you can imagine, it took several months to get all those bug pendants completed!  And then I made the bracelet and the earrings.  What collection would be complete without earrings? 


photo set up

Photographing the individual pieces came next.  Since I’m going to put the collection in my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/lindabrittdesign) I need 5 photos of each piece.  Each photo needs to be edited.  I’m still working on the editing so stay tuned!  That’s 11 pieces x 5 photos = 55 photos to edit.

I’m also putting the physical collection in my display case at the Prescott Art Market (which is moving to the Prescott Gateway Mall in May) and I need to show off each piece.  Each pendant will be on a polymer leaf in a white box.  Think about what a nice gift that makes!  And each pair of earrings hangs on a leaf on a stand. 

A Lovely Gift for The Nature Lover!


Next I’m designing the hang tags for each piece.  They need to be small with my logo and other information on them so I better get busy!  No wonder this has taken a year!  And retail stores bring out a new collection every 3 months!