If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you'll have recognized that I have a small love affair with gradients. So it was only a matter of time before I did the earrings in one. I was worried about getting the gradient transitions in the same places, as while the earrings I create will never exactly match, neither did I want them to be wildly different. And to be just a little off could end up looking like an error. So I was pleased when I managed to gradate these to my satisfaction.
You know, with my love of gradients, I'm surprised I never embraced the ombre hair fashion. Guess I'm a blonde through and through. Though every so often I do get the itch to revisit the pink...
In keeping with the theme of materials I can no longer access, I present this deliciously juicy pendant, moving from an orange red to a blood red with a true red in between.
The material here is red gold smalti, which used to be made by Orsoni. I managed to acquire a decent amount of it a couple years back, but I'm already panicking as I see my stash dwindling. I rue the day when this red is gone from my palette. Hopefully someone will revive the manufacture of the red gold.
This will probably be the last of the wee squares for awhile. I produced this at the request of my Vicki Hanson-Burkhart of M3 Gallery, my lovely hostess for the last half of November. She repeatedly mentioned how much she lovely the really small pendants as part of a stacked necklace look. And you know what? She's spot on.
As you read this I will be hunkered down and working on my piece to enter into the juried Mosaic Arts International exhibition which runs concurrent with the Society of American Mosaic Artist's conference, held this year in Philadelphia from March 11-14. Submission for the exhibition ends on December 15th, thus I'm a bit behind the 8 ball, having only come up with the idea for the piece on December 4th. I'm frantically working to get it done in time. Wish me luck both in finishing it, and having it accepted into the show if I do. Registration opened for the conference on December 6th, and they had 100 registrants in the first 90 minutes! In addition to some fabulous sounding presentations, the conference puts on loads of workshops. I'm teaching "Precision Mosaic Jewelry" on March 11. While we naturally make jewelry in the class, the workshop would truly benefit anyone who wants to work small or to improve their cutting skills.
I realized recently that this piece has never put in an appearance on the blog, so I thought it was past time that I posted it. This earlier piece has a bit more texture to it than some of my others, owing to me constantly updating and upgrading my creation process.
You'll probably notice that unlike my usual mosaic jewelry offerings this one is figurative. Occasionally, I base a piece of jewelry on a fine art piece. This one is based on a work I produced in 2004, "Pablo."
The pendants in just golds, or just white golds, or a mix of the two have been really popular over the years. However, I haven't yet done a gold blend that is quite this yellow. It is very gold, with a touch of brown. Though I have never been to India, I imagine this to be the colour of gold one would see in the numerous jewelry shops there.
As much as I tend towards wearing silver, this more yellow gold looks great with my blonde hair, so I might just have to make myself a pair of earrings in this blend.
While at M3 Gallery (so sad I leave tomorrow), owner Vicki Hanson-Burkhart asked me to make a square pendant in her logo colours. It nearly perfectly matches her blue green square logo.
I won't be able make many more in this colour tone, as one of the golds that I used in this piece is no longer being made, and my stash of it is limited. So enjoy this soft aqua hue while you can! I will be making a few more in a similar colour that will be available at Vicki's gallery, so there is still potential to get in on the teal.
I hadn't anticipating spending this much time in North Carolina, my travels were to take me to Tampa, Florida, and some warm weather before I headed back to the frozen tundra of Canada for the holiday season.
(Alright, not really tundra, my hometown is an urban city of one million. But cold? Most definitely.)
But serendipity intervened, and I have been here enjoying North Carolina. Oft times the best parts of travel are the unplanned segues. If nothing else, the nomadic life certainly keeps me on my toes.
I don't have kids, but I've heard you're not supposed to have a favourite child. May the mosaic gods forgive me, but I have a new favourite set of twins, these elegant, captivating earrings. They are creamy white gold, pearlescent, and ridiculously light reflective. They warranted three pictures for your viewing pleasure.
Thanks again to the lovely Jo Braun for being the purveyor of the excellent mosaic gold used here.
I am so glad I decided to start posting another picture for each pendant. It really gives a good view of the details, and the light reflectivity of these.
I celebrated my first American Thanksgiving last Thursday with the Burkhart family in North Carolina, who made me feel so welcome. I contributed brussels sprouts with bacon-- because everything is better with bacon--and helped make apple pie. I hope everyone enjoyed the day and stayed safe and sound.
28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold, filati, smalti in sterling silver
I love bold jewelry, and am having more fun making the earrings than I ever could have imagined, so I was really pleased when I received a commission for these lovely red columns. They are just so juicy.
If you are interested in commissioning a mosaic jewelry item, I am more than happy to accommodate your colour, shape and design preferences. There is still time to get an order in for Christmas delivery.
I've decided that the mosaic jewelry shows better with more than one photo. These little guys really gleam when worn, but they are not photogenic. I think a side view really helps show how much they sparkle and glow. This wee one looks ready for a party!
"Sparkle" is made from this incredible vintage white gold that I just received from Jo Braun, mosaic artist extraordinaire. In addition to producing wonderful work, she also has an Etsy shop where she sells "secret stashes" of unusual and one of a kind mosaic materials that she finds. She had just ten ounces of this particular material, and several frantic emails later, I had snagged it. Plus another 2 lbs of delicious material that is sure to make a debut soon. She may have a teeny bit of the vintage gold left, but not in this colour blend. It's all mine....
My apologies for the lack of posts in the past week. First, I was on the road to North Carolina. Plane rides always seem to take a full day no matter how far you are going! The very next day, I taught my first day of Precision Mosaic Jewelry at M3. My students were wonderfully keen to learn and produced beautiful first pieces. One even brought fancy headgear!
The two day class was a great success, and I could not have had better students, nor a better host and facilitator than Vicki Hanson-Burkhart of M3. I hope that my short absence from the blog has only made your hearts grow fonder.
So, apparently I keep going smaller. These are just 1cm square, the smallest pieces I've made. For the Americans, that's 3/8 inch. To put it in perspective, the mosaic gold pieces cut down to make these start at 1cm.
My sister once made a small mosaic project. I even pre cut the pieces for her. When she was about 3/4 finished, she turned to me and said, "I can't believe you do this for a living."
I will admit, I do occasionally question my sanity.
I've got to stop working on these long ones--I'm nearly out of this style base and I have to bring them in from SE Asia. I just love working on the gradients though, and these bases are just perfect for a gradient. I enjoy working with this black, silver, and grey palette. If the past year or two of life has taught me anything, nothing is strictly black or white, but shades of grey.
These are so luscious. This is the second pair of earrings that I've done in this particular finding. I think I'm getting used to working at such a small size. Despite the challenges of this size, I still just love how they look. I officially apologize to all of you who I "pooh-poohed" when you requested earrings. I was wrong.
I adore the "acid green gold" by Orsoni. But never is it better than when I mix it with red dichroic glass. There is just something about the combination of the two that is truly appealing.
I have just a few more days in Tucson, then I'll be headed to North Carolina. The time here has just flown by! I'm already looking forward to coming back in the spring to teach. More information on that to come.
I'm in still in Arizona, and the beauty is everywhere. The locals are relieved that summer is over, and with it the extreme heat. One could go on a hike in the desert, finally. Having lived in Canada all my life, the idea of waiting for Fall to enjoy the outdoors is a completely foreign idea to me. But with the cacti, palm trees, and palo verde trees, I feel at times like I've been whisked to not just a foreign land but another planet, designed by Dr. Seuss.
After resisting creating earrings for so long, it's a wonder to me that I am enjoying making them so much! Here is the latest set of them for you to enjoy, all done up in cobalts. Very bright and eye-catching, these little devils are!
Speaking of devils, plenty of diablos and skulls were around this past weekend at the Day of the Dead Parade in Tucson, AZ, in which I was delighted to be a participant. The event draws nearly 100,000 people, half of whom walk, half who spectate. The 3 mile route is walked to celebrate one's ancestors and loved ones who have passed on. Whole families come out and parade with floats they have built, people carry mementos to honour their loved ones, folks amble on stilts or operate massive puppets. The sight of all of this is unbelievably moving, particularly when you factor in that the parade is managed without any corporate sponsorship.
In the spirit of things, I had my lovely friend Theresa paint my face, and walked for my Gramma.
Okay, so maybe this isn't completely different. But instead of sterling silver, I found these lovely wooden bases. A bit deeper than the silver bases, has a more visual heft. Earthy and woodsy. It's masculine. Or at the very least, a titch more casual than my usual sterling silver offerings.
I apologize for this photo. For some reason, the findings look golden. They are still very much sterling silver. Yet the colours of the pendant pieces are correct, so I've left it as is.
This is yet another of those really teeny new bases that I received recently.
I do have a secret to tell you. I've been so enamoured with the new shapes and sizes that I placed yet another order of new bases. You probably won't see anything in the new bases until next week, but just you wait!
I set up for a small open studio showing in Tucson this past weekend, and realized that green was terrifically underrepresented in my finished jewelry pieces. So green was up next!
The open studio was a lovely time. I am currently working out of Di Mosaico in Tucson, AZ. A more perfect studio could not be found, I'm sure. They sell wonderful smalti by MDM, filati, stone, and all sorts of other mosaic goodies. The company is starting to bring in visiting artists to teach classes, and so I'll be back to teach in late March or early April.
In the meantime, I'll be in Tucson for the next week and a half, and if you come to Di Mosaico, you'll be greeted with something along the lines of this:
So while the name of this piece is "The Grass is Always Greener", it's pretty dang good from where I'm sitting.
A friend mentioned that I hadn't done anything with millefiori for awhile, so I thought I should use some. I do like how this one turned out, a bit frenetic, as millefiori often are. For those of you unfamiliar with mosaic materials, millefiori means "one thousand flowers" in Italian, and refers to the tiny pieces of class with flowers, stars and bullseye patterns in them that you see here. These are made in Venice, Italy, and they are cut from a rod of glass that has the pattern running the entire length of the rod.
And it's just two weeks until I teach at M3 Gallery. There are just a couple of spots available still, so if you're thinking about joining us for the workshop, don't delay in signing up.
I managed to squeeze in some blogging! Here is your pendant for today, done up in soft coppers with a hint of coral colour.
I realized I usually photograph the pendants without their chain, but this might lead folks to think they do not come with a chain. The pictures tend to turn out much better when the chain isn't on the pendant, so I usually photograph without one. However, the pendants do come with a very sturdy and attractive chain in either a 16" or 18" length.
I am travelling this week, so I may or may not be able to keep up with the posting. I don't usually post pieces the day I make them which allows me to have a bit of breathing room in keeping up with the "Mosaic a Day, five days a week". However, I haven't seen a studio in over a week now, so my backlog is diminishing.
I'll be in Arizona for much of November, then teaching at M3 Gallery in North Carolina (there are still a few spaces left!), then lastly a quick dip into Florida. I'm looking forward to warmer weather!
I wasn't sure when I purchased these mountings if I would like them. They seemed just a bit fussy to me. I really like them in person though!
Having said that, they are a challenge to work with. Each of the tiny pieces has to be custom cut to lay perfectly against the edge of the mounting. With such a small space, the percentage of pieces that I have to do this with is much higher than on larger pieces. In addition, the curvature of the edge is tighter than larger pieces, which also increases the difficulty. I think it's worth it though, as to my eye these look great.
Another of the new teeny bases here. These are really tremendously cute.
My mother would like me to write that as nice as they are in photographs, my mosaic jewelry is much nicer in person. She has an excellent point. Mosaics are notoriously difficult to photograph well, and mosaic jewelry even more so.
I started this week with a whisper, so now I'm ending it with a bang. To appreciate this one, I felt a side shot was also required. It's made of the blackest black gold I have ever seen. I got to hand pick this gold when I was at the Orsoni factory this past summer. While it's a simple matter to order the Orsoni products in North America, there was nothing like being able to choose exactly what I wanted; as with any handmade product, there are variations from batch to batch.