Year of Jewelry Project: Week 14 THOR

For my #33 item on my 35 things to do when I am 35 I signed up for a weekly jewelry challenge.

Week 14: Thor inspired….

“Mean Norwegian Viking, hey!” was the drinking cheers of choice my senior year of high school when hanging out with my friend  Ane (who was an exchange student) and her hot friend Lars who was visiting her from Norway…and whom we called Thor when he wasn’t around – because he was just that good looking.  That’s what came to my mind first when I saw the jewelry theme for the week:  Gods and Goddesses: Thor.

So a lighthearted approach and a quick Google Image search resulted in the circles and rectangle arrangement in silver and copper.

thor necklace

#33 Project Runway Inspiration Jewelry

Etsy Metal is a curated team on Etsy of metalsmiths that are wonderfully talented group of folks and I spend a fair amount of time looking through their member profiles and drooling over jewelry. For their members they have a invitation to a challenge – to participate in creating an object that was inspired by the most recent Project Runway Show. I had this in mind when I wrote #33 Project Runway Inspiration Jewelry on my 35 Things I want to do When I’m 35. The essence of my claiming completion to #33 is the same but the method changed.

A couple things of why I didn’t do the Project Runway challenge…#1 I don’t watch TV – makes it hard to follow a TV show! In previous seasons I watched the episodes later via on demand, but I think what happened was that I had a co-worker who also loved the show and so we could talk about it and that was the motivation to watch. I honestly don’t even know if it’s still on or when the season cycle starts. I don’t really feel the need to ‘force’ myself to watch TV either. #2 I am not a member of Etsy Metal. I think part of the fun of doing something like this is that you can interact with your peers and see what everyone else is doing, get feedback and whatnot. When I conceived of this I would have participated from afar creating things for myself but without the interaction (or motivation)

I ran across the Year of Jewelry Project 2011 and it fits my rational for wanting to do something like this perfectly. Basically, the theme changes every week and you are invited to create and submit a picture and description of what you created. They open up participation on a quarterly basis – so serendipitously I saw it the day prior to accepting new participants. I believe it was started through the Creative Wire Jewelry Forum, so there is many folks that work in wire and wire wrapping – but looking through the posts a fair amount of metal workers as well.

I look forward to sharing the variety of new items that I’ll be working on. In looking ahead I am already scratching my head on the “Gods and Goddesses: Thor” theme…but I am sure a little research will trigger an idea.

Year of Jewelry Project : Week 11 Theme is Spring has Sprung!
I have a whole bunch of copper electroformed plant shapes that I created as part of my Take a New Class and Learn Something New goal and have been wanting to make something with them. I initially made a bracelet by forging and bending the sterling wire and soldered and wrapped the copper seed pods to the front. I am not entirely pleased with the result, so I put it aside for a bit.

Next I used more copper seed pods and soldered them together and hung them from the hollow copper branch that previously had some of the seed pods attached.  Happy spring!


Duck the Malls

Tomorrow is Duck the Malls a craft fair benefiting the Olympia Film Society and I’ll be there as a vendor and will get to then check off my #2 on my 35 Things to do when I’m 35.

I’ve been creating like mad and am really looking forward to it.  My camera is not cooperating lately, so I can’t yet download a whole bunch of designs that I’m really excited about.   I did manage to get a couple of photos of the display boxes that I’ll set up.

My wonderful husband made me two boxes with rods that hold all of my earrings.

I have my father’s old suitcase that he used when he left home to go to college.  It’s been just collecting dust and smelling increasingly bad.  So just fit a piece of plexi across the top (and have tap lights to illuminate from underneath to display my necklaces.  And also added a metal rod – so when it’s open can hang many more items.   Best part – i can store everything inside and just close it up.


Sitting here in a turkey and wine induced sleepyness after the family, fun and food for Thanksgiving I was browsing through photos on my computer and came across a few that struck me.

One thing that I did not expect from the jewelry business endeavorer is the absolute fascination of my nearly 5 year old.   Trying to explain to her what I do for my 9-5 job is confusing and perhaps not that interesting.  But my studio is sacred ground to her and the respect that she gives it continually surprises me.  She was working on a drawing the other day at the table and her 2year old sister comes up, and she boldly declares that it is her studio and that she is making artwork.    She draws constantly, and also has recently added to her repertoire a whole series of necklace designs.

jewelry design

So, based on her design, we’ve been working together to create her necklace.

The photos perhaps do not give it justice, but he necklaces that we create together are prized possessions.  And it is so wonderful to be able to support and encourage her creativity as well as have very special things that we work on together.  Perhaps I have a young metalsmith in the making.

Etsy Treasuries

Part of the Etsy community is creation of lovely treasuries which are created by members.  A compilation of 12 images around a theme, idea, color or just aesthetic.  Below are a few that some of my work has been included.

#3 Set up an Etsy Site

One item listed!

Studio Space

In all the places that we’ve ever lived I’ve always had a corner of a dank dark basement or garage that was my dedicated “studio” space.  Never appealing and never really wanted to spend time there.  That is until we moved about a year ago into our fabulously new much bigger house.  I now have a dedicated space that is inside, warm, has windows and a door, and I can set-up and spread out.  The result has been major productivity, inspiration, and really wanting to be in the space because it is pleasant. It’s not to where I’d like it to be.  It’s carpeted which needs to be torn out (I think there is even hardwood underneath the carpet), I need a more adequate bench and some serious organization, oh and I need to get the massive bathtub out of the middle.  But other than that it’s a dream come true.

You can’t see the bathtub in the shot, but it’s right in the middle of the floor – a 7′ clawfoot,  and the “minor” bathroom renovation (that started in November of 2009)

#10 Take art class and learn something new

On my birthday I took the day off and spent the morning with Amy Reeves at her new business the Tacoma Metal Arts Center.    I wanted to learn some new techniques, want to fully support her new business and completely respect Amy as an artist and instructor.  So hello, private lessons.  I wanted to learn casting, electrofoming and etching.  Her electroform machine wasn’t set up yet so that will have to wait for another day.

Etching was a simple yet very chemical dependent process.  So we did a few samples on brass and copper and in different solutions and let them sit and etch while we did other stuff.   Amy did give me a solution reciepe that doesn’t require disposal through hazardous waste,  so one of these days I’ll try it again.

Then onto casting first casting into a cuttlefish bone which just requires the pet-store variety for birds to sharpen their beaks on, cutting it into two pieces and carving out a shape, and pouring in molten metal.  Mine has much to be desired, and would still need to have the big sprue cut off if I wanted to try and use it but the texture of the cuttlefish material in the metal is very cool.  In hindsight, should have done a cool shape and not tried to do details – but lesson learned.

The last thing we did was wax carving in which you carve a wax blank and then do a lost wax cast method.   I carved and attached to the sprue and then left it in her shop which she then cast as during a weekend class on casting.  It’s fabulously chunky (although when I wear it I usually scratch my kids) and I can’t wait to get another wax blank to try and do another that is more organic and flowing.

It was a great way to spend my 35 birthday and love casting.  I am completely addicted to melting things.

35 things at 35

I was perusing Jennevieve Schlemmer’s blog a few months ago.  She (inspired by another in turn) created a 35 by 35 list. My 35th birthday was in June and for my 35th year I have been creating a list of 35 things to accomplish throughout the year. I’ve started the list, some big things some small – but all  goals that I want to accomplish throughout the year.

35 Things When I’m 35

  1. Run in a Race
  2. Participate in a craft fair as a vendor
  3. Set-up a Etsy shop
  4. Have a special day with Maren
  5. Have a special day with Tallulah
  6. Weekend away with hubby
  7. Presents and love notes for Cousins and Family
  8. Photo albums/memory boxes for the girls
  9. Start a blog
  10. Take art class and learn something newPart Deux
  11. Send an unexpected someone unexpected flowers
  12. Organize a field trip for Maren’s class
  13. Buy a pair of fabulous shoes  (and don’t feel guilty)
  14. Mail Christmas card to all
  15. Can summer garden bounty
  16. Have a dinner party with friends
  17. Studio family photo shoot
  18. Get a pedicure
  19. Change to married name for all accounts/documents
  20. Fix Lulu’s birth certificate
  21. Pitch  inventions
  22. Give my time to something that I believe in
  23. Write and illustrate a children’s story
  24. Have a housewarming party
  25. Paint a picture for each of the girls’ rooms
  26. Make gifts for the Helena girls
  27. Pay it Forward
  28. Paint bedroom
  29. Shade Garden
  30. Worm composting
  31. Attend a roller derby
  32. Go to a movie alone
  33. Project runway inspiration jewelry
  34. Finish downstairs bathroom (or help as much as I can)
  35. Laugh until I cry