Serenity ~ Treescapes
All Photos by Daniel Krucoff

I have been fortunate that the start of 2014 has been relatively quiet and allowed me the precious gift of time to prepare for the busy months that are coming.  I am so very grateful that I have had this time to explore new things and improve on existing techniques.

The pendant at the top of this post represents one of the staples of my Treescape series.  A stone variation, yes, with a lovely Chinese Writing Stone.  To me they symbolize simplicity and elegance.  Garnet is my birthstone.  The deep red in this faceted garnet seemed like just the right contrast for the Chinese Writing Stone.  The pendant has a sense of tranquility to it, so that is why I call it Serenity.


Another of my favorites is Picasso Stones.  I finally understand why I love these stones so much.  It is because they look like tree roots and as most of you know, I LOVE trees.  This one has a touch of gold.  A great friend, Jerry McClure (who creates the most spectacular knives), suggested that I add Keum Boo gold to my Treescapes as leaf accents.  Well, I definitely like this look so you can expect to see more gold in my work.


I am exploring textures.  I find that just the right amount adds so much interest, especially when patina enhances them.  These earrings are comprised of Mookite and textured sterling silver with a dark patina.  I’m very happy with this look.  Expect to see more of this in my future works.


Ah, the return of the stone bracelet!  I so enjoy making these.  Now I must admit that wasn’t always the case and I made more than my share of mistakes with my first couple of these.  However, I am persistent and I have learned from my efforts.   Now I’m changing things up a bit with textures, adding some gold accents and trying to find the right color combinations that make these statement pieces for the wearers.  This one has warm rich hues of yellows and rusts.  I’m working on others with a more monochromatic palette along with a couple with smaller stones.  Variety is the spice of life!

Success is when preparation meets opportunity.  I am so fortunate and grateful for the opportunities that have been coming my way.  May will be the start of a very busy 2014 for me.  If you would like to be the first to know of an event and/or exhibit announcements, please sign up for my newsletter.  In the stillness of these past winter months, I have been working very hard and diligently in the studio.  Now the new works are emerging and will be available at trunk shows, exhibits and Art Hops.

Thank you for your interest in my work and my journey in this wonderfully artistic world of metalsmithing.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.



Last week, I saw this quote with the associated image and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I absolutely have to be creative.  I have done something art-like all my life, from childhood with coloring books and dressing up paper dolls, to a young adult learning about sewing and knitting.  As the years have gone by, I have tried my hand at tole painting, stained and fused glass work.  Now, I find great pleasure exploring the many avenues of metalwork that go into the creation of my art jewelry.

I absolutely know I am at my happiest when I’m creating.  I work full time in the corporate world, managing to make time for my art during any spare cycles I find.  Last week, it became clear to me that I have been unconsciously finding ways to be creative and inject art into my work as a software developer too.

Being creative is an integral, vital part of who I am.

Why am I writing about this?  Because I continue to meet people who tell me they are not creative, including some dear friends, and it hurts to think they are denying their artistic side.  It is my firm belief that every one of us possesses some creative talent.  As children it is easy to engage with the artistic spirit within.  We seem to be so free to let our imaginations run wild.  As we grow, it seems like exterior forces start to subdue those moments of freedom.

I was fortunate, my mother encouraged my exploration and pursuit of being creative.  I do think that when someone calls art work a hobby, they don’t really mean to diminish its value….they more than likely are denying their own inner artist.

Break free of self-imposed restrictions.  Maybe you are not the next Rembrandt, Michelangelo or  Picasso.  But I know this, you have a talent or a knack for something.  It may be how you raise your children, care for your home, prepare meals, train for an event, interact with people….those are talents, gifts that are unique to you.  Embrace them.  Nourish them.  Watch them grow.

Challenge yourself to do one thing that puts you outside of your comfort zone.  When you do that, you may not succeed at first, but something wonderful will start to happen.  Enroll in that class to learn something you’ve always wanted to do.  Try something new.  Just do it.  The rewards can be unexpected and quite pleasant.

I’ve been trying some new things in the studio.  Some are successful, some are failures.  No matter what the end result, I’ve learned something.  It’s wonderful.

Dig deep if you have to in order to find your own creative spirit, embrace it wholeheartedly and nourish it.  Stand back and which it flourish.

Until next time, aspire to be more as a person and an artist.

A new series….maybe?
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

Hello 2014!  You might ask, where I have been?  Well, after a very busy end of 2013, I decided I needed to take some time at the beginning of this year and refuel.  I needed to rest, relax and revitalize.  Plus, my studio had to be cleared and decluttered to allow new works to flourish.

Now I am back at the bench and this is one of the results.  It is something that is building a bit on my Treescape series….perhaps the evolution of that series.  If it starts to qualify as a new series, I may call it The Oaks of Righteousness, from Isaiah 61:3.  Something I heard this weekend and it resonated with me.

Last weekend I worked on reticulation again.  I love that process of the metal starting to wrinkle and fold on itself.  Those of you familiar with metalwork can spot the reticulation in this piece.  There was so  much movement in the patterns within this stone that I knew I needed to surround it with reticulated silver.  I kept seeing this beautiful waterfall on the right side of the stone and I wanted the churning waters to carry through not only to the reticulation, but the bezel too.

The stone is Variscite, the most unusual I have ever seen.  I bought this from Gary B Wilson at last year’s Gem & Mineral Show in Denver.  Gary said it was part of his secret stash, but he knew how much I liked Variscite so he brought this stone and others for me.

As I worked on the design, nothing was really solid in my mind, except for the shape of the backplate.  Eventually I added the wire frames that are somewhat of a signature in my Treescapes…but it needed more.  As everything came together during the fabrication, I decided that an acid etched bail would be a nice compliment to the liquid flow of the stone and reticulation.

I think this entire piece just evolved as I found things that worked.  No specific design, just having fun being creative with it.

The final touch was the addition of the copper leaves.   They added to the organic look and feel I wanted.  I used Prismacolor pencils to add a bit of green to the leaves and all has been preserved with a matte lacquer.

There are more little bits of inspiration setting on my bench.  I have a feeling that 2014 will be filled with lots of new growth.  How exciting!

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


I want to express my appreciation to all of you who read this blog and enjoy my work.  Christmas is just a few days away.  The new year, 2014, will soon be here.  I am sure many of you, including me, have new dreams, hopes and aspirations as 2014 approaches.

At the end of the current year, I find I tend to reflect on things that happened.  I guess many of us do.  I am filled with immense gratitude for the many blessings in my life.  First and foremost, I am thankful for my husband Dan, who is my best friend.  Not only is Dan my soul mate, he is the exclusive photographer of my work.  He has a great eye as a photographer.  His intelligence, patience and kindness are more than I could ever hope for as the love of my life.

We share our home with three adorable basset hounds.  They are perpetual canine clowns, giving us tons of  love and companionship.  This year we had to say good-bye to my beloved Little Miss Nocturne; they leave such big paw prints on our hearts.  And we also welcomed a new puppy, Thorin, who has tons of personality and is a perfect addition to our family.


(Left to right, Thorin, Quorra and Newton)

As I write this, I look forward to the possibilities that 2014 holds for each of us.  2013 has been filled with ups and downs, just like any year, well, let’s face it, that’s life!

Last night, Dan and I decided to enjoy some of the beautiful decorations in downtown Colorado Springs.  We went out for dinner and walked around afterward.  We may have discovered a new holiday tradition for us as the evening was wonderful.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the photos Dan took during our night out on the town.  It was VERY cold, but we had a great time.



Starting to warm up inside The Antlers.




I decided to ham it up a bit….trying to stay warm!

One of the wonderful things about life is it is a constant learning experience for me.  I am grateful to the many people who have helped me to grow this year, not only as an artist, but as a person.  Those of you who read this blog, know that is my tag line.  This year was filled with growth and I am grateful.

My expectations for 2014 are high.  I am looking forward to creating new works, growing as an artist, meeting more like-minded people and enjoying life.

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Holiday Season.

(Left to right, Newton, Thorin, Me and Quorra)

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.



Please accept this invitation to come and celebrate the Holidays with nine of this year’s Front Range Open Studios artists this coming weekend at Nancy Bonig’s Glass Studio.  We want to show our appreciation to you for your support of the arts.  There will be holiday treats, eggnog, spiced cider and more.  All of us will be offering our works at special pricing if you would like to do some shopping while you enjoy the festivities.



Here’s a preview of my display.



This weekend is going to be a chilly one, so why not escape into the world of nine artists?  I can promise you it will be enchanting.



Wishing you the happiest of Holiday Seasons!  Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!

Until next time, aspiring to be more as an artist and a person.


Once again, Marylee Reisig will be hosting my Holiday Trunk Show at her beautiful gallery as part of Small Business Saturday.  I think you will find Santa Fe Trail Jewelry is a delightful setting for your holiday shopping.  I will have my latest works available and it is my hope that you will find something that speaks to you as you search for that special gift.  Rumor has it that there will be some delicious munchies, along with tasty spiced cider and other warm beverages for you to enjoy as you shop.

I have been busy creating new works for this trunk show and would like to give you a preview of some of the items that will be available.

Every once and a while, Dan comes up with some ideas and suggestions for me to try with my work.  This year he asked, “What if you just do a metal pendant, no stone?”.  I thought about it for Treescapes.  The next two pictures show how I used a metal only component in a bracelet and a pendant.

TreescapeBraceletTreescapes – Bracelet

Since many of my Treescapes are asymmetrical, I thought adding the metal component to the side rather than the center would provide a more intriguing look for this bracelet.  The center piece is not a stone, but actually Walrus tusk, which my friend, Jerry McClure introduced me to over a year ago.  I love this material for what it symbolizes about the past, along with the beautifully rich colors and patterns.  Jerry also cut this cab for me.  The blue cabochon is Lapis, which I have not used that much, but Gary B. Wilson had a few of these that spoke to me this fall at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show.   I added an extra jump ring to allow for some variation in how this will fit different sized wrists.

TreescapesPendantAllMetalTreescapes – Pendant

This is just a very simple Treescape pendant.  Since most of my Treescape earrings are just metal, it seemed like it would be a perfect companion if someone wants a matched set.  My thanks to Dan for his support and the suggestions to experiment.  I like the direction these subtle changes take Treescapes.

Next is a pair of my Express Yourself earrings.  I’ve been working more on the leaves, adding stems and having them take on a more organic look with the spirals.  I’m fascinated with reticulated silver, so I am using it in a few of these earrings as I like the texture.  This pair has some slight asymmetry with the way I have arranged the pearls, leaves, and white buffalo turquoise.  They are light weight and have that classic black and white color scheme that makes them perfect for wearing with just about everything!

ExpressYourself250Express Yourself with a Touch of Colorado

Soul Searching was one of my first series.  So many of the pieces had a special meaning for me as I reflected about my life.  Now I have decided to revisit this series with more of a spiritual aspect.  My goal is to have a given piece resonate with someone and provide strength and encouragement.  This particular bracelet is acid etched sterling silver that I have oxidized.  I have applied a light matte lacquer coating to preserve the oxidation.  The stone is Mookite.  I see a distant mountain in this stone with the glow of a beautiful sunset in the background.  As I viewed this finished piece, I felt a sense of calm and that is how it came to be called ‘Serenity‘.

SoulSearching_Serenity600Serenity – Soul Searching

As I was going through my available stones, I ran across these lovely oval shaped Chinese Writing stones, acquired from Gary B Wilson.  I set them aside and in another box of my stones, I saw these elongated Onyx stones, which came from Rogue Gems.  As luck would have it, when I set those aside it was right underneath the Chinese Writing stones and I saw these earrings.  I knew everything had to be kept simple and clean.  The beauty of these two stones families, combined like this, was all the earrings needed.  I have titled them Pathways.  They showed me the path to take in my creative process to make them.  My hope is they will inspire their future wearer to follow their life paths as they are encountered.

SoulSearchingPathwaysEarringsPathways – Soul Searching Series

The day I was pulling stones from my inventory proved to be a day of great pairings, just as the Pathway earring stones (pictured above) were. It truly did feel like I was being guided to put certain colors and stone types together.

In this pendant, New Heights, I have a deep green spider vein turquoise paired with the pastels of a Willow Creek Jasper. In the Willow Creek stone, I see another mountain in the distance.  It made me think of Mt Kilimanjaro and that symbolized new heights for me.  Again, I felt a strong need to keep things simple.  The cross shaped top piece is one I have used in another pendant.  As I revisit the Soul Searching series, I want to explore the use of the cross with single and multiple pairings of stones and metal.

SoulSearchingPendantNewHeightsNew Heights – Soul Searching Series

I will end with this pendant from Treescapes. Once again, I think it was the two stones that found each other as I was going through my inventory. Dendrites in limestone, tree perfection. The bottom stone is a lovely, rich russet red Morrisonite that pretty much begged to be paired with the dendritic top stone. I’ve been asked if it is hard to part with certain works. This one will be hard for me to let go to its future home. Yet, if it calls to the right person, as it called to me, so be it.

TreescapesPendantTreescapes – Pendant

A special thanks to my husband Dan for all the great photos he took of my latest works for this blog post. I would also like to express my appreciation to all of you who read my blog, who have come to visit me during Art Hop this past summer, stopped by my studio on the Front Range Open Studios weekend and purchased my work. I have enjoyed visiting with all of you. If you live in the area, I hope you will come to the trunk show on November 30th, discuss my work with me and find that right gift for this holiday season.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Luma at The Broadmoor
1 Lake Avenue
Colorado Springs CO 80906

I am very happy and honored to announce that my work is now available at Luma located at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs.  I had the good fortune to meet Cathy Coleman, owner of Luma, during this year’s Front Range Open Studios Tour.

First, let me express my heartfelt thanks to the tireless efforts of the tour founder, Nancy Bonig, who promotes the artists on the tour with a passion that is uniquely hers.  Nancy, your efforts for all of us is greatly appreciated.

You see Nancy visits numerous merchants in Tri-Lakes and Colorado Springs, where she knows people would be interested in the artists on the tour.  As a result, many of us are visited on the tour weekend by people looking to find new artists, see the quality of our work and explore our studio spaces.  They want to see and hear what we do.  I thoroughly enjoyed discussing my love of working with metal and creating my art.  The tour gives me a chance to show people my studio, the tools I use to create my work and demonstrate a few of the techniques.  It is a blast to see their expressions when they start to understand what goes into creating artwork.

During the tour weekend, Cathy and her associates stopped by my studio.  We visited, she liked my body of work and her friends bought a couple of my earrings.  She wanted to represent me, we made arrangements to get together and it became official on October 17, 2013!

Yesterday afternoon I delivered my first group of items.  Let me tell you, Luma is a beautiful, upscale gallery located at The Broadmoor.  Classy, elegant and stylish sums up the variety of art works Cathy has selected for Luma.  I am so grateful for this opportunity and look forward to our collaboration.

LumaColoradoSectionMy work will be in this section of the Luma gallery.  This is a dream come true for me as another one of my goals has been achieved.

If you live in the area or ever have the pleasure of staying or visiting The Broadmoor, please stop by Luma and see all the wonderful works of art.  Oh yes, and please check out the “Made in Colorado” area as I’m sure it will delight; look for my Treescapes too.


Treescapes #1047
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

This is one of my new Treescape pendants available at Luma.  It is a Burro Creek Jasper set in oxidized sterling silver. The soft mauve tones in the stone made me want to play with the oxidation colors for the metal so they would give  the right color compliment.  I added a bark like texture to the bail and kept with the Oriental theme of this series with just the top curve that reminds me of a Pagoda.


There are Treescape earrings like the ones pictured above, along with a nice selection of Express Yourself (with a little touch of Colorado) earrings similar to the pair pictured below.


I had the pleasure of meeting the gallery mascot, Andie, who is a friendly little Schnauzer that wins the hearts of everyone she meets.  She may have more fans than any of us, but as you know, I am terribly fond of animals as I find they add so much to the quality of our lives.

Every year, something wonderful comes from being a part of the Front Range Open Studios.  You never know when you will meet someone and opportunity knocks.  Thank you Nancy for the work you do for all of us who are part of your tour.  And thank you Cathy for visiting my studio and inviting me to be a part of your gallery.

Dreams do come true.  Hard work does pay off.  Set goals and diligently work to achieve them.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Express Yourself with Silver Leaves
All photos by Daniel Krucoff

Just a quick reminder, this weekend is the Front Range Open Studios Tour.   Saturday, 9/14 from 10 AM – 6 PM and Sunday, 9/15 from 11 AM – 5 PM. Click here for the map to all the studios on the tour.

Now I want to share with you what will be happening at my studio this weekend.  I also wanted to give you a sneak preview of a few of the new works I will be introducing.

The Express Yourself Earrings, pictured at the top of this post have the new leaf variation in silver with a curly, vine-like stem.  The stones above the pearl are Picasso Stones and are put together to resemble cairn trail markers.  All of this symbolizes the true Colorado spirit I have wanted to achieve with this line.

I will also be introducing a new Treescape earring with a touch of gold.  The tube sets on these are 14kt gold with gemstones like Amethysts as shown in this pair.


There are a number of new Treescape pendants, with colorful patinas like this one.


As discussed in an earlier blog post, I will be providing an opportunity for visitors to discover their inner artist by creating a pair of earrings from components I am providing.  The cost of the earrings will vary depending on the components selected.

Earring components

 Of course I will help with assembling the earrings.  The added fun to all of this is a visitor can leave with earrings they created.  The next two sets of earrings are examples of what someone can create for themselves.

As I have done in previous years, I will be demonstrating a variety of metalsmithing techniques, discussing my creative process and showing you my studio where the real magic happens for me when I create.  I hope you will visit me and the other artists on this year’s tour.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


As August draws to a close, I am preparing my studio for all the visitors I hope will come to see me demonstrate metalworking on the weekend of the Front Range Open Studios Tour.


My studio has undergone a transformation over the past few months; some rearranging and redecorating.  Out with the old, in with the new.  I have made a lot of changes to my studio space to give me more room, better organization and a nice open feeling.  I can finally see the top of my bench, which is inspiring in and of itself!  On the peg board above my bench, you can see an assortment of Fretz Hammers and even the new jeweler’s saw by Sobaone.


I have new tools and new projects.  Meet my new rolling mill, a Durston….I keep referring to it as a rolling mill on steroids!  Of course there is my trusty Cliff Carroll anvil, along with my Shark Bite hydraulic press.  Plus an assortment of hammers from N C Black & Co.  Yes, I do like my tools.


Several additions to my tool repertoire are my bench shear by Accucutter and a Craftsman drill press.


Certainly, no metalsmithing studio is complete without the solder station area.  Safety is a must here.


For this year’s tour, I am doing something  that I hope will be fun for the visitors, get them involved and wake up their inner creative spirit!  I am providing an opportunity for people to create their own earring designs from an assortment of components I’ve made.  Shown below is just a sampling of a few of the earring components people can choose from.  Prices for the completed earrings will vary depending on what is selected.


And yes, there is a basset hound in the background, because nothing is done in my studio without basset supervision.  Or as Dan likes to put it, everything is easier with a basset around!


These are a few examples of the type of earrings someone can design.  I thought this would be a great way for people to awaken their inner artist.  What do you think?

This is my third year on the tour.  It continues to grow and change like a vital, energized living being.  There are so many talented artists on this year’s tour.  I am just delighted and humbled to be be a part of this group again.  Like me, a number of this year’s artists have surprises in store for those visitors to our studios.

Of course, I will be demonstrating various metalsmithing techniques throughout the weekend.  Metal piercings, like I use to create the trees in my Treescape series, texturing, stone setting, soldering and more.  My goal is to walk people through the fabrication process via a pictorial overview, accompanied by a variety demos I will perform.

All of us are very excited about this year’s tour and the potential for people to learn more about our work and our process.

Just in case more enticement was needed to visit my studio, I will be introducing my newest studio mascot, Thorin.

Thor11WeeksCallaway’s Thorin Oakenshield (aka Thor)

Now if a cute, not so little, basset hound puppy won’t get you in the car to come over to my studio, I’m not sure what will!

Click here for the map, with directions, for all the artist studios on the tour…including mine.  And look for the bright yellow directional signs with the tour logo to help you find an artist’s location.


I welcome you to join me and my fellow artists for these 2 days in September when we open our studios to the public.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Commissioned Pendant for Jerry McClure
Mammouth Bone set in Sterling Silver
with a Dash of Treescapes!
Photo ~ Daniel Krucoff

Friendship. It’s a two way street. Some friends are real friends, others are just acquaintances. This pendant is one of the few commissions I will do, in part, because a true friend, Jerry McClure asked me if I would.

Jerry and I have known each other for a number of years.  He likes to call me ‘kid‘ and that just makes me smile because it is said with affection.  He has been married to his wife, Sandy, for over 40 years and they embody a marriage of trust, friendship and love.  He likes to tell people his just a “Dumb ole Oakie” (he’s from Oklahoma), but I can tell you nothing is further from the truth.  He’s as sharp as they come, has great business savvy, and what’s most important is Jerry LOVES to help other people succeed.  He has helped me and countless others.  I maintain his website, Jerry McClure Knives.  He is one of the most generous people I have had the pleasure to meet and call my friend.

In addition to all of that, Jerry is a very talented knifemaker. He would tell you that his work is “just alright“. I get that. But let me show you a few examples of Jerry’s work which speak for themselves.  Jerry will have these knives with him at the Professional Knifemakers Show in Denver next weekend.




Clearly, the proof his talent is in the work. Jerry strives to get better with every piece he makes. I so admire that quality in him. And I am blown away when he tells me that he likes my work, because, you see, I strive to reach Jerry’s level of craftsmanship. If I ever do, well, let me tell you, Jerry will still be light years ahead of me.

It’s not a race, it’s not a competition, it’s just two friends who respect each other and admire their respective works. What Jerry does is motivate and give me incentive to be better. So while I don’t do many commissions, due to the constraints on my time, when Jerry asks, I do my best to say “Yes!”. I don’t want to let Jerry down.

Now, here’s some great news if you live in Colorado. Next weekend Jerry will be at the Professional Knifemakers Association Custom Knife Show. Friday through Sunday, August 16 – 18. The show’s location is Crowne Plaza – DIA 15500 E. 40th Ave, Denver Colorado (I-70 at Chambers Rd. Exit 283). Jerry and fellow knife makers/vendors will be in the John Q Hammons Center.  If you click the link above, you can find out more details about the show.   As an added incentive, here is a free admission pass to the show:


Last year was the first year Dan & I went to this event.  We really enjoyed it and I loved finding new materials to use in my work.  We plan on going again this year.  I’m really looking forward to it.

I hope you can go to the show, if you do, please stop by and say Hi to Jerry…….  oh yes….be sure and tell him Kathleen sent you!

Until next time aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 966 other followers

Kathleen Krucoff

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist, Metalsmith, Writer, Software Developer, Basset Hound Companion

I've never been one to color inside the lines, so why should my work be constrained by any boundaries?

Being creative is a way of life for me. I love working with my hands. Continually learning new things, quenches my thirst for knowledge. Metalworking has opened unlimited creative opportunities for me. I find great satisfaction in creating pieces of personal adornment with my art jewelry.

I am blessed to share my life with my best friend, soul mate and husband, Dan. We share our home with three adorable basset hounds; we find them to be the best companions.

Aspiring to be more as an artist and a person.

Follow my tweets!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 966 other followers