Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Shades of Grey - SOLD

20mm diameter - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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When I was a child, I had a very defined view on how people should act and behave. Heck, I'll be the first to admit I was a goody two shoes AND a smarty pants. By the time adolescence rolled around, I realized things were not quite so black and white, and that many viewpoints had validity. Life was full of greys, not extremes.

I guess that is what happens as we get older. We develop more empathy and compassion, and those shades of grey, while making things more murky, offer a great measure of self forgiveness (and hopefully forgiveness of others). I now realize that no one quite knows what they are doing in this crazy drama we call life. Which is always heartening, because most of the time, I don't know what I'm doing either, so we are all in these shades of grey together. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Topsy Turvy

28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Life has been a bit up and down these days! Since arriving in Egypt, I have been plagued by a mysterious allergy of unknown provenance that has been rather extreme in its symptoms. I have now had two shots in my butt in the back room of a pharmacy, the first administered by a kid no more than 16 years old wearing a hoodie and skinny jeans. Dropping trousers to random men in modest Egypt is a very strange experience. The up swing is that I now have an amazing pharmacy where they are so kind, so inexpensive, and I feel cared for...and am feeling much better. 

I have always wanted to make "matching/not matching" earrings like this, so in light of this crazy experience, I though it was time. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Changing it Up - SOLD

45mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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So one perk of being a self employed nomadic artist is that I can pretty much wear whatever I want, and style myself however I want. I hated having to "dress for work" during my extremely brief stint in the corporate world. Now I LOVE to dress up, but definitely prefer it to be on my own terms. With my current lifestyle, with naught but a suitcase, I chose my clothing very carefully, as I know I'll be wearing the same things for months. Recently, I decided to have a bit of extra fun though:

The photo was taken in my beloved Perissa, Santorini. This pendant is a fun reflection of the blue green hair that is now adorning my head. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dust and Sky

18mm by 13mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Egypt has a lot of things, great food, cheap living, everything you could want delivered to your door in about an hour. But one thing it has more than anything else is SAND. It is everywhere. Of course, when the smog clears and there is a clear day, the contrast between the blue sky and the sand is just marvellous.

These are the largest earrings I've done. The usual oval size is 14mm by 10mm, and these are 18mm by 13mm, which is the same size as the small oval pendants I make. What do you think of the new larger size? I'm quite taken myself!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Back in the Game

12mm by 12mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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As is probably evident, I don't manage to work on mosaic jewelry full time, as my weird travel and teaching schedule doesn't allow me to do so. However, I love those times when I can designate a large chunk of time--this time two months--to simply creating. After a break of any length though, my skills need to be resharpened as they do get a bit "dusty", so to speak. Here is a slow, cute start to the next two months of making beautiful things. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Vanessa - SOLD

14mm by 10mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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While I sell a lot of my artwork via my blog and commission, I also sell a lot of it to people I meet on my travels. One of my favourite stories is when new friends Vanessa and Josh found out the pendant I was wearing was my work, and I told them they could see more. Vanessa eagerly leaned over my jewelry roll of available look, and Josh shot me a sideways glance, saying, "This is gonna cost me, isn't it?"

"Yep," I replied with a smirk.

But when he saw how lovely Vanessa looked and how happy she was, he had no problem handing me the money. Great meeting you both!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Reversible - SOLD

12mm diameter - Mosaic gold in staineless steel
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This is the second pair of ear plugs I've made for people who stretch out their ear piercings. I like to make them reversible, that way the owner gets two options for wear, or three rather, if they want to wear one of each direction. I only do these on commission for 10mm or larger diameters, and require a longer lead time for delivery, as I don't travel with a variety of these bases like I do with the pendants and other earrings. This kind of jewelry can be hard to find, and even harder to find something one of a kind!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Surf's Up - SOLD

40mm by 25mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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When I was in SE Asia a year ago, I decided I wanted to learn a few new things. Of course, I automatically learn when I travel, everyday there is something new to absorb and process, but there were a things I wanted to learn deliberately, like how I had taken cooking classes in each country the previous time I was in the region. This time I decided to focus on water sports, and so first learned to scuba dive in Thailand, and then to surf in Bali. I took a couple of private lessons two days in a row, and got comfortable enough to just start renting a board and going for it. I can't wait to do it again!

But seriously, make time for a few deliberate lessons on something when you travel. Coming home with new skills as well as new memories keeps those memories going for the rest of your life. I still make a mean Cambodian spring roll.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Endeavours - SOLD

14mm by 10mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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I'd like to announce a new endeavour I have, an online class through Mosaic Arts Online. This website has numerous excellent mosaic making tutorials taught by a variety of instructors. I will say that filming was an interesting, and laugh inducing adventure, but I'm ultimately pleased with the result! In my class, Smalti Mosaic Jewelry, you can learn how to make mosaic jewelry using the handmade Italian enamelled glass known as smalti. From what adhesive to use, to chosing a base, to how to cut smalti very small, you will learn what you need to make a piece from start to finish. While not as comprehesive as taking my full workshop in person, it can certainly get you started making mosaic jewelry if I haven't made it to your area to teach. 

Also, I know the past couple weeks of posts have not had any available eye candy, but I promise that next week I will be posting brand new work!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Collaboration - SOLD

28mm by 18mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Have I mentioned I love commissions? I love having the ability to create exactly what someone wants. I especially enjoy collaborating with someone in deciding what they want, or what they think someone else would want. When this piece was commissioned, the client discussed skin tone, personality, and cultural considerations with me, and I managed to put it all together using a colour combination I had already been playing around with. It's always so fascinating and thrilling to me when a piece comes together like this. 

If you want a piece for a special someone or for yourself, I'm always happy to work with any ideas you may have. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hearts Together - SOLD

28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold, smalti, filati in sterling silver
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Love is a wonderful, scary, and complex thing, be it romantic, friendship, or familial. But for today, I just send everyone of you all the love in the world, and leave you with this:

"If you wish to be a warrior, prepare to get broken, if you wish to be an explorer, prepare to get lost, and if you wish to be a lover, prepare to be both." - Daniel Saint

I am all these things, and they are worth the risk. Much love and happiness to you all. XXX

Monday, February 13, 2017

Friendship - SOLD

14mm by 10mm- Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Apart from mosaics and travel, my life these days revolves around my incredible group of friends. These earrings were commissioned by a woman for a dear friend, so I got to thinking about what a lucky woman I am to have such a great set of friends. They span veritable continents, and always seem to be ready to be of help, lend an ear, have a laugh, or pour a second glass of wine. Many of them have taken me into their homes as well as their hearts. I am forever grateful to each and every one of them!

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Mother's Love - NFS

30mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold, freshwater pearls in sterling silver
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This ring was created for my mother for last Mother's Day...and I plain old forgot to photograph it before giving it to her, so you are only seeing it now! This is a family ring, with each of her children represented. My older two brothers and my sister are represented with the colours corresponding to their birthstones. However, I am born in the same month as one of my brothers, and I didn't want the ring to be overwhelmingly silver by using my birthstone colour. Instead, since my name means "precious pearl", I chose to represent myself using pearls, since my mother still calls me that from time to time. And...it happens to be her birthday today, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!! Love you very much. 

As an aside, I am happy to create custom jewelry of this nature for other mothers, and there is plenty of time to special order in time for Mother's Day.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Blue Skies, Smiling on Me - SOLD

28mm by 7mm- Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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The one thing that never fails to astound me is how life can come together so interestingly, even when there has been an unexpected change or upset in life. Today I am headed to Cairo for an extended stay, which just a couple months ago was not even a remote possibility. The universe is always so surprising, and I often think even moreso when an ending, and a corresponding new beginning, occurs. Wish me well in the land of the Pharoahs. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Apple Red

18mm by 13mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Small kindnesses can mean everything at times. Recently, as I was leaving a friend's place, I asked if I could take a bottle of water, as one cannot drink the tap water here, and I had none in my room at my hotel. In addition to the water, I was not allowed to leave without a lovely apple and a mandarin, both grown on Crete, which has some of the finest produce in the world. This kind gesture meant so much to me, as during the winter here on Santorini not much is open, and the rich pies served by the bakeries one of my few breakfast options, but difficult on my jet lagged and anxious stomach. Thank you Ingmar!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Surprises - NFS

5cm by 5cm - Mosaic gold, tourmaline in wooden box

This piece was made as a birthday surprise. How I managed to make it in secret with him putzing about the apartment, I will never know, but he was definitely surprised. It was designed to match some of my jewelry he already owned, and give it a special place to be stored. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Spritz - SOLD

45mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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One of my favourite, obligatory things to do in Venice is to eat small snacks known as ciccheti in various ciccheti bars around the city. For a euro or two each, these small snacks can be a predinner delight, or make a meal of themselves if you're a smaller eater as I am. But the most important thing is to order a spritz to go with your lovely ciccheti. A spritz is generally made from an aperitif called Aperol, prosecco, and some soda water. It is the perfect way to transition from afternooon to evening. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Murano Bliss

30mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold, millefiori, filati in sterling silver (adjustible ring size)
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The island of Murano in Venice, Italy, is famous for its glass work and is particularly well known for the creation of these little slices of glass rods known as millefiori or murrine. Much of the mosaic gold I use is also created in Venice, so this piece is an homage to that mysterious, magnificent place that creates the raw materials of my jewelry work.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Changes - SOLD

28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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As I'm sure you're aware, I do a lot of jewelry pieces with "gradients", where the the colours change from one to another. One thing I've discovered is that on this nomad path, one needs to learn to be comfortable with change. Some of it is easy, as it is planned, but the unplanned changes are the ones that always still hit me over the head sometimes. I like to think though, that these pieces I make are a meditation of sorts on the subject of change. And interestingly, many people feel I do these gradients better than anyone...indeed, I think I could do a gradient in my sleep, I've done so many of them. Evidently, change can be a very beautiful thing, whether chosen or thrust upon you. Now if only I could accept the unexpected changes with the ease I create them in my jewelry!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Land of Sunsets - SOLD

45mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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My apologies for what may be the longest hiatus from this blog. I could give the usual excuses of being busy, etc, but the plain truth is that I've been focused on other things, such as figuring out what 2017 looks like for me and sorting out where the travels will take me. 

But for now, I am back in my dearest land of sunsets, Santorini, and will be posting the pieces I made at the end of my stay here last summer and over the autumn months. I may not have been blogging, but I HAVE been creating and teaching a fair bit! This piece was commissioned by my lovely friend Sue Garrett, to honour her love of the island. This Rock is a special place for so many.