30 June 2009

Etsy Team ~ MetalSmiths In Action

I am part of an etsy team, MetalSmiths In Action. They just updated their website with all of the members work. I will give you a sneak peak to get your mouth watering. Get out your credit card and start some early holiday shopping. Who are we kidding, get yourself a treat!

The repetition of shape is lovely in this necklace.

Simple and elegant with luscious color.

Unique, elegant lines. A treat to look at from all angles.

The surface has been treated so beautifully you may not stop touching this necklace.

Simple enamel to add a glimpse of color. The pink discs will dance lightly from your ears.

The sturdy look of these cufflinks is a lovely juxtaposition to the utilitarian design and attention to surface texture.

Nature captured in silver, never to go dormant again.

Love the attention to finishing and texturing the silver and the whimsical loops adding life to the chain.

Hope you enjoyed your preview, take a look at all of the work the team has to offer: http://metalsmithsinaction.50webs.com/memberstores.html

29 June 2009

Breakfast in Bristol, RI

I happily woke up to some sun this past Saturday so Callie and I set out for breakfast in Bristol. 

After breakfast we walked through a smidgen of town to get to the bike path. And I had to capture some inspirational iron work.

On the sunny path the views were beautiful, even the birds thought so.

On the way back from the path I found more inspiration in color, composition and lovely iron work.

After being in the foreign sun for so long I plopped in the shade on a lovely park bench. From there I looked through my camera lens and took in nature while I snuggled with Callie took a much deserved rest and drank lots of water.
After this Saturday, I can't wait to see more sunshine so I can go outdoors and enjoy it with my girl.

28 June 2009

Favorite of the Weekend!

Another passion of mine is sending handwritten notes on beautiful paper and uniquely adorned cards. Sometimes I fashion my own cards, others I find in unexpected places and add them to the collection. Of course, when I am traveling I search for exotic cards to send along special notes in. But a little search on etsy proved that there are some lovely handmade cards right under my nose. My search may have ended, these are the cards I have had pictured in my head as the perfect finds!

Have I mentioned that these little beauties have surprises that come with them? Handmade confetti is quite the luscious treat! Or you can use these decorations to get crafty yourself, add some adhesive to the back to decorate the inside of the card or the envelope. These cards aren't just playful in design, they are meant to be fun to receive as well.

Sara has other ideas to brighten your day aside from cards. Handmade check book covers have the same festive feel as your cards. Maybe this will rub off while you are paying your bills!

Did I mention that she has the same attention to detail with her sewing as with her cards?

Finally, an addition to your wardrobe, a pretty detail you won't want to be without.

Take some advice from Sara. Make every day special, even the rainy ones we have been enduring in New England.

Take a look at her shop. I am sure the whoever receives one of her handmade gifts will have a brighter day. www.sarakhomemade.etsy.com

26 June 2009

Etsy Scavenger Hunt Leads To More Than Pretty Buttons

During an etsy scavenger hunt to discover vintage buttons I came across a lovely supplier. Lynn isn't just stocked full of lovely supplies, she herself is lovely. I received thoughtful emails after making a purchase, but what really made the experience was a tiny hand written note enclosed with my purchase. It included a hand picked button, very lovely, and words of inspiration:
"From one artist to another. Make something beautiful."
So, these are my lovely purchases and I am in charge of making something beautiful out of them. When you buy from someone who cares about her supplies it gives you a greater sense of responsibility to care for them and use the pieces to their potential.

I decided that I wanted to write about Lynn so I check out her profile on etsy to learn more about her. I discover that she has been trained as an artist, which makes me realize how she is able to pick out the most beautiful buttons and buckles, she can envision the new life they are to have. And further investigation into her shop tells me she has some ideas of her own.
I move onto Lynn's flickr page and learn so much about what inspires her. I see photographs of friends, her foster kittens, travels and what really hits me as her inspiration is her surroundings. Plants, architecture and colorful scenery surround her and she takes in these compositions of color and recreates them in her jewelry. Her playful nature seen in her work, the movement of charms on her necklaces and the creation of doll-like figures can only come from someone who loves to frolic with her animals taking away from this friendship a sense of playfulness and a deep appreciation of fun and love of life.
After more time spent on flickr I see that Lynn needs to create, she has to add to her beautiful surroundings it is an intricate part of her life. Can I just say, I wish she were my neighbor, I would have the most beautiful courtyard!
I asked Lynn a few questions as I am most intrigued by an artist who is able to sell supplies. I know that I can't let anything go because I always have a plan for everything.

As an artist do you find it difficult to sell supplies? In my case, no.. I have been a jeweler and a collector a lot of years (MFA-Washington State University-Pullman, WA 1973..I think). I have accumulated SO many buttons in my years and it feels so good to see many of them getting used. I could never, would never use them all. And we approach with different ideas. So another artist comes up with new and different uses that I might not even consider. And buttons are applicable to many kinds of artists. From sewing to collages to hardware.. lots of ways to use them.

Do you have ideas of how your supplies are to be used? Do you wonder what becomes of them? I do wonder what becomes of them..some times. I used to worry about them being destroyed or abused..but I got over it. I figure once they leave my hands they belong to someone else. I can only control my own integrity.

Is it a similar feeling as when you sell a piece of jewelry? You can be excited about the sale yet scared of how well the person will care for your art. Selling a piece of jewelry is different. I wonder what made THIS piece be chosen? People who like and "get" my jewelry are usually self-assured individuals with a good sense of humour. They don't need to look like everyone else.

When making jewelry which form is your favorite for expressing yourself? When I was able to do my own metalwork I did very delicate pieces with granulation and lots of detail in unexpected places. I was especially fond of doing rings and bracelets because they are what I wear and enjoy. Not being able to work like I used to (got very sick from chemicals).. I had to learn to use other softer materials that I was not used to. Now I love to do necklaces that are eclectic and treasure troves. I love mixing up materials and buttons, beads and found objects lend themselves into my work. I love my Boobie Babes. They are very difficult to do..to get the balance and find the right amount of matching or complementing buttons and beads takes forever. but when it is done and right..they are so fun to wear out in public.

If you are in need of something lovely for your work, or you want to buy a piece of fun jewelry take a look at Lynn's Shop. You won't be disappointed. www.Lynnaddison.etsy.com

21 June 2009

Favorite of the Weekend!

After perusing some blogs this evening I thought it would be fun to start a weekend favorite column. I enjoy seeing what other bloggers choose to select as favorites and thought I would like to make mention of my own.

Tonight I was looking through some etsy forums and discovered the FotoFairy.
Of course, I was drawn in by her main theme - nature.
Then I was further lured into her shop due to her sense of composition.
Next, I was attracted to the artist's contrast between striking colors and stark chiaroscuro.
And finally, I adored her knack of capturing every day objects in a striking manner which makes the subject more interesting and introspective.
Looking at the world through this artist's lens makes you realize beauty surrounds you.
Have a look at Tara Allen's etsy shop at www.TheFotoFairy.etsy.com. Be sure to read her profile, it won't disappoint.

18 June 2009

Helpful Hints on taking pictures for etsy

I just came across this article on another blog and thought I would share. Lately I have come to thinking that my etsy sales are essentially nil due to my pictures. Since I started the Open Markets I realized people do like my work and thus came the realization that my work is better in person and my photos don't reflect this at all. So, after this last Spring Market I am onto a full revamp of my etsy shop. With these tips in mind:
Tips for Taking Better Pictures for Your Etsy Shop
When you sell your handmade creations online, pictures mean everything. It's the only way your customers can get a good look at your products. Here are some tips to take the best pictures possible.
Hope this is helpful! Off to the studio I go to produce, produce, produce!!!

16 June 2009

When Time is On my Side....

I will soon be blogging about two artists once I can get some time to do so properly. I don't want to be hurried and botch it up. First, I met a lovely person through etsy while purchasing some vintage buttons to make jewelry out of. She is one of those sellers who can make your day, not just with delivering you what you paid for but by adding a little present and sweet note. Helping to remind you that you purchased these items to make something beautiful so put some of that precious time aside and do so. And this is a reminder that I need! I have been getting caught up in production work for the markets and I need to be more efficient so I can make more delicate jewelry that represents myself as an artist. The next subject will be a dear friend of mine who is like an older brother. We both have a compulsion to create and we look at the world through lenses that crop objects into compositions for us to relay through our work. This is why I am so drawn to his pottery. It is delicate, caring and so beautiful. Characteristics that I don't see often outside the jewelry world, but I guess that my world is a little isolated.

10 June 2009

Works in Progress

I have always thought it important to see the behind the scenes work of an artist. So, I thought I would post some pictures of works in progress that I have. These pieces are what I go back to when I have caught up with my production work for the Open Markets. I may not see them again for a while but I will share them just the same.

Here are my sketches with different leaf shapes and ideas for decorating them. I included the raw materials to give an idea of how this image made it from pencil on paper to silver. In the sketch you can see that I have added a small "dew drop" which I plan on using tubing to recreate, hence the pieces of tubing I am looking at to decide the size of the droplet.

The plan is that I will make quite a few of these leaves and I want to make them all about the same shape so I am trying to make notes on the size of the square wire that I use before making the curves. As you can see the leaf on the top is the closest to the drawing so I have some practice to put in before getting this shape down to a science.

Ultimately, this will be a lariat necklace. I am still playing around with the final design but I am leaning towards having multiple leaves on one end. The opposing end will have one leaf which you put the other end of the necklace through. Hard to visualize, I haven't sketched it yet, for now I have a vivid picture in my head.

Today is the start of the etsy Yart Sale! Please search on etsy.com in all categories for "yart" and see what deals you can find! I am sure you will be surprised. The sale runs until 14.June, so keep stopping by to look for deals!

thanks for reading!