Tag Archives: metalwork

Ahhhh, Ammonite!

Ammonites are an extinct group of marine invertebrate animals in the subclass Ammonoidea of the class Cephalopoda.  That is according to Wikipedia, word for word.  Unlike other gemstones, Ammonites are really fossils.  They have elements of nacre and mother-of-pearl like the oysters and clams they’re related to and in the fossilization process they become something with an otherworldly beauty.

Ammonites vary in size from small ones you can easily hold in your hand to the Granddaddy pictured above:  it’s 2.5 FEET in diameter.

While we tend to get all excited about the colours these beauties exude, the entire creature was a marvel.  Don’t even get me started on Fibonacci Sequences.  Just look at the spiral precision of these marvels.

A great deal of ammonite is found in North America and, of specific importance to me, in Alberta, Canada, right next door.  When ammonite is found that is iridescent, if it is in good condition and graded as gem quality, it is called Ammolite.

I picked up some cabochons this week that these pictures just don’t do justice to.  It’s so tough to properly photograph something that has glowing colours that shift and change.

It’s sort of like trying to capture the northern lights in a brightly-lit room.

Or a firefly at midday.

Seriously, if you love opals or labradorite, Ammonites will make you very happy.

I’m thinking pendants.  Swirly pendants.  I need fire……fire…..heh heh heh…..fire.

 


Z is for Zebra

Zebra seems to be popping into my life a lot lately.  Not ZebraS….Zebra designs.  I have a friend *cough*Brandy*cough* who has a thing for Zebra designs and since I’ve been spending time with her it seems that Zebra-style is everywhere I look.

I first noticed it before Christmas.  I had to come up with decorations for my table at the craft fair.  I ended up with this:

I needed black and white so Zebra ribbon was a perfect fit.  Guess where that ribbon is now?

I bought fancy pencils this week for my music students.  There were Zebra pencils in the bag.  I held them up in front of you-know-who and they disappeared faster than ….well, considering the only witticism I can come up with here involves goose and some grossness, let’s just say it was FAST.  There’s no picture of them, well, because they’re gone.

Which brings me to this.  I’ve had this piece for quite a while.  I pulled it out this week and got looking at it again.

I swear….I’m seeing Zebraness everywhere.

It’s on this weekend’s to-do list.  Know anyone you think might like it?

Beachy Beads

I’ll get to the beads in a second.  First things first though.  Remember the pastel coneflower picture?  Yeah?  Well….it’s dead.  I killed it.  The plan  I had for it did not work out so it got turfed.  I felt bad about it for all of 15 seconds, until I remember what my friend Michele, another phenomenally talented artist friend of mine said to me once.  She told me that her philosophy was “Quantity over Quality”.  What she meant was that you need to just create lots and lots of pieces…..just don’t stop.  Out of a thousand pieces you might have one great piece…or you might have hundreds.  But you never know.  You just have to make lots…lots of mistakes, lots of baby steps, lots of great strides.  You just can’t beat yourself up over the ones that go south.  So I’m not.  Moving on now.

When setting up my bench again after Christmas, I found a treasure.  I forgot I had them and now I’m all intrigued by what I might do with them.

These are some uber-funky shell beads I found in a bead store.  I immediately fell in love with them and had to have them all.  If they’d had more I would have bought them too.  Between the swirliness and the colours in them, I positively swooned when I saw them.

They’re big too.

That’s a quarter (for my American readers).  They’re smooth and satiny and look almost like gorgeous candy.

So I’m thinking hand-wrought swirly chain….with shell-bead drops….with carnelian and mother of pearl……Oh Momma!  Time to fire up the torch!

Clickity Click

I did it. I splurged.  I BOUGHT A NEW CAMERA!!

I’m beside myself I’m so excited.  Now I cannot promise that I will miraculously be able to take stunning photographs overnight, but I do promise to work on my photography.  I know next to nothing about photography and, to be quite honest, up until now I wasn’t really interested in learning.  I know people who are very talented photographers but when they start talking f-stop and aperture my eyes glaze over and my brain shuts down.

It’s not that I’m not interested but rather that it seems HARD to understand.  I’m not good with things I don’t understand quickly or don’t feel I have an instant aptitude for.  If it feels like work, I’m just not that interested.  It’s a mental laziness I recognize in myself, and I’m not proud of it.

In buying a new camera I’m hoping that it will force me to figure some of this stuff out.  Perhaps it will prod me to figure out the Greek gibberish that is white balance and ISO so that I’ll be able to do better.

This is a photo taken with the new camera.  It’s pretty much auto-everything except for the Macro setting.  It’s much clearer than photos I’ve done in the past.

THIS makes me happy.  This is so clear you can see the glitter encased in the glass.  It’s so clear you want to reach out and touch it….or drool on it.  This is a necklace that I received as a Christmas gift and I’m totally enthralled with it.  I can’t stop touching it.  It’s smooth and silky and has this warm weight to it that makes it a pleasure to wear.  I’m so glad the photo does it justice.

So now I’ve just got to memorize the owner’s manual and take pictures….tons and tons of pictures.  There’s no better way to learn, and learn I must.  I’m no longer able to be a whiner and complain I don’t have the right equipment.   Hmmm…..not sure if I like that.  *grin*

Living Up To The Name

When I named this blog “Just Make a Mess” I meant it.  I meant to be willing to show the chaos that can ensue as a result of the creative process.  Now I know there are artists that create magnificent works while their studios remain pristine.  Their paints are carefully organized according to colour family, their pencils are all neatly sharpened and stored with their tips protected.  Their palettes could be sold as colour-wheels.  These kinds of artists do exist.  I personally believe them to be alien life-forms, but I do believe they exist.

Unless you have the luxury of a studio completely separate from your house, or you have a house with tons of storage, keeping a studio tidy and dedicated to its intended use can be difficult.  I live in a house that was likely built in the 40’s or 50’s and it is woefully lacking in storage space.  The end result of this is that most of my spaces must be multi-functional.  Which sucks for the studio.

Over Christmas, the usual happened.  This kind of thing……

led inevitably to this kind of thing…..

That’s my poor studio, buried underneath the remnants of our holiday.  Everything that needed to go “somewhere” ended up here.  This mess enabled the packaging of soap, the storage of yummy Chrismas baking, the taking of many blog photos, the printing of jewelry packaging and the final polishing of tons of new jewelry pieces.

So tomorrow, this room stops living up to this blog’s name and gets a mucking-out.  It’s a new year and I’ve tons of new projects I’m just itching to get at.  This is one of them:

From Away

This is a painting I started a long while ago that I kind of abandoned to get some jewelry done.  The plan is to spend more time on painting.  Until this is done, it’s going to be one day painting, one day jewelry, during the week, Monday to Friday once the studio is in working order again.  I have big plans for this painting.  I want to take it somewhere I’ve never seen a painting go before.  Stay tuned and I’ll keep you updated on that, AND the exciting new direction I’m going to explore with my jewelry.  It’s going to be a great year, isn’t it?  I’m excited and inspired and all of you are a big part of this journey.  Let’s see what’s next, shall we?