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As a follow up to the last segment of Talkin’ Tools, I thought it would be important to discuss a few of the pitches I use.

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Pitch is the material that is used to support your metal as you move it into the shape of your designs using the Chasing and Repousse technique.

It comes in three consistencies: soft, medium and hard.  There are a number of commercial pitches available.  I have only used three types pictured at the top of this post:

  1. A special blend black virgin tar, made only by Il Maestro Fabrizio Acquafresca
  2. German red pitch
  3. Green pine rosin based pitch by Debra Montgomery

As I explored the different pitches available, I found the standard German black and red through retailers like Rio Grande, Otto Frie, Metalliferous and others.  As I like to say, Google is your friend when searching for materials and tools.  Some are what I refer to as ‘special blends’ created by teachers like Il Maestro Acquafresca, Debra Montgomery, and others.  I have discovered, as with most things I have learned, I tend to favor what I used in a workshop setting…..however……read to the end and find a surprising turn…..

Unfortunately, the black tar blend I used in Fabrizio’s workshop is only available through Fabrizio.  The only reason I prefaced that with “unfortunately” is because you can obtain this through him via his workshops (limited number in the US per year) and I think he may ship it to you, but it is heavy and international shipping….well, not much fun for this.  On the bright side, I have been told and so far it has been my experience that with proper care, your pitch can last a lifetime.  I think it is my personality to find alternatives along with being curious about others, so I decided to explore what might be available.

For the work I do, I have found a medium consistency to be a good, all around pitch.

So let’s get started.

Fabrizio’s special virgin tar pitch.  One of my favorites, because this is the pitch I used in Fabrizio’s workshop.  As you would expect, it has a very STRONG tar smell when heated.  Proper ventilation is very important.  My ideal is to heat and burn off this pitch outside given my studio set up.  However, living in Colorado, that is not always a practical option for me, which is another reason why I have explored and used other pitches.

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Safety is of primary concern when using any pitch.  I wear these gloves anytime I work with this pitch or any of the other ones.  The picture shows the front and back of the gloves.  The dotted pattern is the palm side.  I think they are garden gloves that you can find at Walmart, Home Depot or Lowes….other places too.  They appear to be a heavy cotton canvas with some type of rubbery dots on the majority of the surface.  The important thing here is that you need to wear some form of hand protection when you heat ANY pitch.  It will literally burn your skin off if you touch it when it is in its most liquid state.  Fabrizio was extremely adamant and strong with his warnings about heated pitch.  I too feel it is that important to stress the need for extreme care and caution when working with any of these pitch materials.

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Moving metal in this black pitch is wonderful. As with any of the pitches, you have to wait til it has returned to the right temperature before you begin your work. Fabrizio recommended testing for proper work temperature by placing the back of your fingers lightly against the metal seated in the pitch. If it is warm but not hot enough to make you want to move your hand, you are good to go. I have found an exception to this rule when working with the green pitch, which I will discuss in a bit.

If you have the opportunity to take one of Fabrizio’s workshops, buy the kit (which includes the pitch block that sits on a plywood base), purchase his chasing tools….including the small set and see if you can buy an extra pitch block.  Generally he only has what is needed for each student in the workshop.  However, if you can get a message to him through the facility where the class is held, do so and see if you can acquire an extra pitch block as a back up.  Just be prepared that you need excellent ventilation when you work with it and there’s just no getting around that tar smell.  Great workshop, awesome instructor, wonderful concepts and techniques, coupled with the tools of the trade that he has worked with and created over 30+ years.

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Red German Pitch.  This is a really nice, all around medium consistency.  I got this through Rio Grande.  It comes in a ‘brick’ that you have to break up and place in the pitch bowl to heat in your oven at a low temperature.  Rio recommends heating slowly, 250 – 300 degrees F.  It is one of the few pitches that you can put in your oven to melt the pitch in the bowl for the first time.  The bowl is cast iron, manufactured by Grobet.  If you can find a Grobet pitch bowl, don’t hesitate to buy it.  Wonderful quality.

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The red pitch has a very mild aroma when heated.  You don’t have to burn off the residue from your work, but I have when it doesn’t respond well to being removed by acetone.  It is not as malleable as Fabrizio’s black or Debra’s green pitches.  However, the ease of accessibility and less noxious fumes makes it a great pitch.  I am certain if I had not learned the technique in Fabrizio’s workshop, I would be very happy working with this pitch.

Debra Montgomery’s Green Pitch.  I discovered this pitch through Nancy L T Hamilton’s blog.  I LOVE this pitch.  Debra makes it using a pine rosin.  It is so environmentally friendly, coupled with being great for moving metal.  I cannot say enough good things about this pitch.

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Now you cannot heat this green pitch in the oven.  Debra provides tons of information with the instructions, along with plenty of details on her Chasers-Pitch website.  And if you have some questions, send an email and she gets back to you right away!

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This pitch comes in chunks so I didn’t find a need to break it up for heating it in the pitch bowl.

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This is the pitch bowl (cast iron pie plate) that I purchased for the green pitch.  I found this at an online company, Wasserstrom Restaurant Supplies.  That link will take you directly to the pie plate I purchased.  You can also look for cast iron plates at thrift shops, Walmart or other online stores like I did.  The reason I got this plate is  I couldn’t find the nice Grobet pitch bowl any more.  Debra does recommend that you make some modifications if you use something like this as your pitch bowl.  I did try to weld the bar, as recommended, for this new bowl, but I wasn’t successful.  So far, I have not experienced any issues with the pitch pulling away from the sides, so maybe this bowl is shallow enough to not have the problem.

Again, since you cannot heat this green pitch in the oven, rather than using my torch, I used a hot plate I have in the studio.  Please, please, please remember that anytime you take a kitchen item into the studio (the hot plate in this case), that becomes its new permanent home.  You cannot safely return those items back to the kitchen for use in  food preparation again.

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I kept a careful eye on this and it melted quickly.

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I have a heat safe surface adjacent to this so with the gloves and potholders I moved the pitch to that area to cool down.  You can work material in this pitch at a slightly warmer temperature than normal.  I still use the back of my fingers to feel how warm the metal is before I begin my work.

This picture shows one of my cuffs that is ready for chasing.  Also note that because this is not a normal pitch bowl, you have to use something to act as a ‘damper’ for the bowl to sit on.  The material the bowl is sitting on is some left over rubber shelf liner.  I experimented with a couple of things before I found this works pretty well.

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The convenience of using this green pitch is great.  I can use my heat gun rather than my torch when I prepare it for use or just re-heat it once it’s too cool.  It liquifies quicker than the red or the black; again that is just with the use of my heat gun, not the torch.  It does have a lovely pine scent.  It is pretty easy to remove from your metal; I find with each new pitch I have a learning curve on how to correctly work with it.  I just gotta say, I am super impressed with this pitch and I highly recommend it.

To order the green pitch, you can find it at Chasers-Pitch.  I did get Debra’s eBook with my first order and have thoroughly enjoyed it.

A Couple of Tips.

> Something I read recently was to apply a light coating of PAM to the surface of your metal that will be placed in the pitch.  This helps to prevent the pitch from adhering to your piece once you heat it to remove it from the pitch.  I find it works quite well, but go light with the spray!  I have just applied it to a paper towel and then rubbed that across the metal; you don’t want to use too much.

> Again, let me state that with proper care, your pitch can last a long time….maybe a lifetime.  What is proper care?

  1. Don’t overheat your pitch to the point where it smokes and starts to burn.  That will cause bad pitch segments and affect the outcome of your chasing and repousse work.
  2. When not in use, keep your pitch covered to prevent contamination by dust, animal dander and such.

Thanks for joining me for this segment of Talkin’ Tools.  I hope you enjoyed the read and more importantly, I hope I have given you some good information about the various pitches I use.

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

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Treescape ~ Amethyst Sage set in Sterling Silver

This coming Saturday, February 7, 2015 will be my first trunk show of the new year.  I am very excited to be debuting some new works, including some Treescape pendents like the one pictured here.

Where:  Santa Fe Trail Jewelry
215 Chapala Plaza
Monument, CO 80132
719.481.0250

Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Date: Saturday, February 7, 2015

The timing is perfect for Valentine’s Day shopping and I have some new earrings that you may find perfect for yourself or gift giving!

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I have so much fun spending the day with Marylee Reisig owner of Santa Fe Trail Jewelry.  In between our conversations with customers, we spend time reflecting on our respective art work.  There’s great energy at The Trail and so many beautiful things.

I hope you will join us.  Discuss a little bit about art.  And maybe find something that calls to you.

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

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There are times when I feel compelled to write about a certain topic.  Today I would like to share the story of my Treescape series.

On September 15, 2011 while I was at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, Treescapes was born.

I purchase a number of my stones from Mark Lasater of The Clamshell.  On that particular Thursday in September, as we greeted each other, he was very excited about a new batch of Dendritic opals he had.  Mark knew this was (and still is) one of my favorite stones.  He said to me,  “You won’t believe what these look like”.  Each one had a beautifully shaped tree, formed by the black dendrites in perfect contrast to the white in these stones.  It was remarkable and this was the first of those stones he showed me.

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Dendritic Opal

The minute I saw this, I knew exactly what my design would be.  That was a first for me.  What I didn’t know at the time was I was about to find my artistic voice.

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The Inspiration

Treescapes has grown (yes a bit of a pun here) and evolved since then.  Initially I was just focused on the Dendritic Opals that had tree shapes in them.   The response to those designs was wonderful and I started to think I could use other stones whether they had any tree elements to them or not.

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Variscite with Orange Garnet tube set 

It’s in my nature to try to understand the ‘why‘ about things.  I wanted to understand why this series was becoming so important to me.

I love trees and that is the foundation of Treescapes.  My work has always been very organic.  While I find symmetry beautiful, you will rarely see that in my pieces, because I am drawn to the uniqueness of leaves, flowers, trees; those elements in nature where nothing is identical.  I explain to people that just as no two snow flakes or leaves are exactly alike, neither is any of my work.  Each pieces is designed and made by hand, my hands.  The goal with my art is to reflect that uniqueness found in nature.

In addition to that, my father was a landscaper, as was his father.  However, as I look back on the work they did, they were true artists.  There were many times I went with dad as he worked his magic with a landscape.  His father taught him how to create beautiful lattice work accents (bridges, decorative elements for buildings, etc.).  I watched, observing the care my father had for the trees and plants he tended.  I believe that is where my deep appreciation and respect for nature started.  This is the ‘why‘ behind Treescapes; my dad, his father, it’s in my blood.

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This is one of the last remaining works of my grandfather in the park of my home town.

As I create the pieces in the Treescape series, things just flow for me.  The ideas, designs come easily and it feels almost effortless.  Each piece is unique like my fingerprint.

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I am so grateful that this work still calls to people.  I will continue to make these pieces because they are my heart, my voice, my essence, my soul.  My dad’s birthday was this past Friday, January 23.  While he left this world in 2005, never seeing his influence on my art, I have this sense that my dad is happy with these works and smiles knowing his influence is there.  I have my ‘why‘.

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

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Chasing Hammers by Saign Charlestein

I am officially resuming my Talkin’ Tools segment.  For this one, I would like to share my experiences with Chasing Hammers.   There are A LOT of  chasing hammer manufacturers and I certainly cannot give a comprehensive assessment, however, I can provide my insights and opinions on the ones I have and use.

Last summer, I had what I considered to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn Chasing and Repousse from Il Maestro Fabrizio Acquafresca.  It was a great experience and ignited a passion within me for this technique.  I’m pretty sure the chasing hammer Fabrizio was using was one that had been handed down for generations.  It had that wonderful aged look from use and care.

This is the hammer that came in our kits.

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Nice weight and it has rounded face.  I have discovered that I actually prefer a flat face because it gives me better striking surface. This picture shows the differences between a flat face and rounded.

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It certainly is not a high end, quality chasing hammer, but it does the job and is great for getting a feel for the technique of chasing and repousse.  One thing that happened  during the 5 day workshop with Fabrizio is the head of this hammer became loose with use. Fabrizio fixed it with the well placed insertion of a nail as shown in the photo below.

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Now I will never give this hammer up for many reasons, but it is no longer my hammer of choice when doing Chasing and Repousse.

I have a variety of econmonical chasing hammers ranging from $15 – $30 is cost per hammer; I also have some high end, quality chasing hammers that I will discuss toward the end of this post..  The reason I have a number of the less expensive hammers is because they are a good all around hammer for working with stamps, punches, dapping blocks and forging metal, like creating the frames for my Treescape pieces.

This is the first chasing hammer I purchased when I began metalsmithing.  It came from Allcraft and is a solid hammer with many years of service in its future.  It was roughly $30 about 8 years ago.  The handle needs a bit of smoothing and a tip from the workshop was you can use the edge of a piece of glass to gently smooth the handle.

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Pictured below is another chasing hammer I purchased through Thunderbird Supply during one of their overstock sales.  It is heavy and very solid.

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One thing you will find with the less expensive chasing hammers is the quality of wood used isn’t as nice, they are not as well balanced for hammering and the handle shapes are not as well defined.

You’ve probably noticed that all these pictured have a bulbous end.  That is designed for comfort and to help with how you grip the handle.  It reminds me of instructions I received when playing tennis; grip the handle like you are going to shake hands with it.  Not too tight, a nice gentle and relaxed grasp.

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Place the ‘bulb’ end in the palm of your hand.

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Wrap your fingers around the bulbous handle with a gentle grip.

Drum roll please.  My indulgence in a great, quality chasing hammer came with my purchase of this one from Saign Charlestein, owner of SC Studios LLC.  It has 4 ounce head.  Perfectly balanced.  Higher quality Osage orange wood for the handle.  Superb craftsmanship.

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You may think it is too beautiful to use, but that definitely isn’t the case.   You can find a variety of Saign’s hammers, chasing tools and tutorials on his website, Metalsmithing-Tools.com.  The design of the handle and the wood Saign uses is such that it allows for the correct movement/action when hammering.  This helps to prevent injuries that can occur with repetitive use of the hammers in metalwork.   Trust me, you want the hammer to do the work, not your body.  Correct grip, use your wrist.  This hammering technique is one best learned in a workshop or by watching videos put together by people like Saign or Fabrizio.

As with any tool, proper grip and technique are imperative for achieving the desired result.  At the end of the workshop with Fabrizio, he told me to keep hammering.  Practice is the key to success with anything.  I try to hammer every day, but that is not always possible with my schedule.  I will say that when you have a quality hammer, like the ones Saign produces, they do help you to develop the correct hammering action.

Remember posture is just as important.  Don’t hold the handle with a death grip as that will not only fatigue your hand and arm, but will result in your body absorbing some of the ‘shock waves’ from the hammer blows.  Gently grasp the hammer in your hand.  Move your wrist in action with the hammer usage.  It should be a nice flowing action.  For chasing, your work surface should be at chest level which requires the proper chair height and work table.  I am more comfortable when I sit more upright and do not hunch over my pitch while chasing.

This Christmas, I treated myself to the purchase of a set of Saign’s hammers.  I wanted the different weights so I could select the right hammer for working with my designs.  The lightest head here is 2 ounces for detail and texture work up to 3.5 and 4.5 ounces to get the job done.  These have become my work horses for the designs I create.

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Now you may wonder what size is right for you.  It just so happens that Saign posted a video discussing Chasing Hammer Sizing on this past Tuesday.  Please take a look as he does a great job answering the question.

Could I find comparable hammers for less money, no doubt.  Would I be as happy with them, I really don’t think I would.  In this case, my opinion is you get what you pay for.  I have a number of Fretz hammers.  They are truly beautiful.  I love the Fretz texture hammers I have.  However, the head on my Fretz chasing hammer  is loose.  In part, because I live in Colorado where it is very dry and the wood shrinks.  I’ve heard of a number of solutions, but I’m not comfortable trying any of them, so the Fretz hangs on my peg board above my bench.  I can tell you that it does not have the weight or balance the Saign’s hammers do.

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I also have a wonderful selection of N C Black Hammers and I am extremely happy with them; however, to my knowledge they do not make a chasing hammer.  If they did, I’m certain I would be very happy with the quality of theirs based on my experience with the others I have.

These are Japanese chasing hammers.  They look quite different from the others mentioned so far.  They are small in design to fit with the smaller, lighter Japanese chasing tools and chisels.  I do enjoy using these.  Their hammering action is quite different from the others, but I find them great for applying textures.  They also have flat hammer faces.

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Ideally, if you can ‘test drive’ a hammer before purchasing it, that’s the best route to go.  Everyone’s hands are different and some may fit you better than others.  I’ve been pretty fortunate with the selections I have made.

For more information on the topic of Chasing and Repousse, some resources I frequently use are

When you have the right hammer and practice practice practice….the joy of moving metal into beautiful shapes is absolutely magical.

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This is one of my latest Aspen cuffs.  I think the reason I enjoy these so much is the Aspens in our back yard have served as my models.

I hope you have enjoyed the return to Talkin’ Tools.

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

 

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Celebrate 2015

There’s an exhilaration with the start of a new year.  The anticipation of what the year holds in store for us and what changes we may make in our own lives.

One of the first things that Dan & I did to celebrate the arrival of 2015 was to have an Art Date.  We went to see Brilliance: Cartier in the 20th Century at the Denver Art Museum.  What a treat.  It took a little over 2 hours to see the exhibit of Cartier’s work.  A feast for the eyes and a delightful glimpse into some of the past eras where tiaras where the norm for the wealthy, fanciful tributes to Egyptian artifacts as people were caught up in the excitement surrounding the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, wonderful timepieces, and stylish cigarette cases when smoking became the fad to name just a few of the highlights.  While I don’t even come close to working with precious gems and the type of clientele like Cartier did, I do have an appreciation and admiration for the designs, works and craftsmanship.  If you live within a 100 mile radius of Denver or even a tad further, I think it is well worth the trip to see this feast for the senses.  The exhibit runs through the middle of March 2015.

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The jeweler’s desk is very messy.  It has to be that way.”  How true!

I think this bench at the exhibit is one of the most photographed by those of us who are jewelers.  I have an ongoing battle with the state of my bench.  The more the creativity flows, the messier it gets.  However, it reaches a threshold where I have to clear and re-organize.  Yet I find this quote such a wonderful affirmation.

As I’m looking at this bench, it is a confirmation of my thoughts at the end of 2014 that I needed to resume the Talkin’ Tools segment of my blog.

Talkin’ Tools Revisited

A number of years ago I started a segment called Talkin’ Tools.  To this day, those posts generate the greatest number of visitors to my blog.  My first post was on the purchase of a KnewConcept saw.  However, the idea for this actually came from my husband, Dan.  We were talking about one the most popular posts I had; it was related to the purchase of my Cliff Carroll anvil, which I called 35 lbs of Pure Metalsmithing Joy.  Dan suggested that I have features where I discuss my experiences with the tools I use.  From that, Talkin’ Tools was born.

The idea for tool reviews had been on my mind, because of my frustration with the lack of independent reviews on jewelry making equipment.   I wanted to provide helpful information about the equipment I use in my studio.  With the continued visits to that post on the anvil, it was as if people were telling me to write reviews.  So I did for a couple of years and then it lost momentum with me and I stopped writing my evaluations.

After seeing this work bench at the Cartier exhibit, I felt like it was time to revisit sharing my experiences.

In conjunction with that, I would also like to introduce you to a fellow metalsmith and friend, Melissa Muir.  Some of you may already know her, follow her blog, enjoy her Tool Time Tuesday posts and YouTube videos.  If not, I encourage you to get acquainted because Melissa freely shares her knowledge and skills, along with her evaluations on jewelry making equipment and how to use them.  I think our respective blogs are a nice compliment to each other.  Plus we both want to help others with the information we share in our posts.  Here’s a link to Melissa’s latest Tool Time Tuesday where she discusses bench shears vs guillotine shears.  Check it out, I think you will enjoy it.

So stay tuned because Talkin’ Tools resumes on Friday, January 16, 2015.  My topic will be chasing hammers and how I use them for Chasing and Repousse work.

Know that I will continue to share my experiences in this fascinating world of metalsmithing.  Please join Melissa in her journey too.

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

 

ChristmasBassetsInSnowFrom my family to yours….

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

And a wonderful New Year!

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Thank you for following my blog, becoming collectors and offering support, along with encouragement.

I’ll be back in 2015 with more of my metalsmithing adventures and journey.

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

ShopAnnouncement

I am happy to announce that my online store is open!  I have a variety of items from several of my series, including this bracelet from Sensory Delights.

As an added bonus, I am offering a progressive discount starting today, December 12 through Sunday, December 14, 2014.

Heres’ how it works.

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This is my way of celebrating the opening of my web store and thanking you for following my blog.  Hopefully you will find something perfect for your last minute Holiday shopping.  Click this link to my store to view the works available.  Please check back from time to time as I will be adding more items.

I would like to wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous 2015!

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

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A couple of my latest fused gold to steel works

New works, Holiday events and more.  Sit back, explore and enjoy.

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My annual Holiday Trunk Show will take place on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at Santa Fe Trail Jewelry in Monument, CO in conjunction with Small Business Saturday.  I love doing this show at Marylee’s cozy cottage gallery and shop.  She has created such a warm atmosphere for artists to display their works.  I will have all of my latest offerings.  There will be warm cider to compliment the Small Business Saturday shopping experience there, along with some tasty treats too.  Please join us, if you live in the area.  It’s a great way to kick off your Holiday shopping and support local businesses.  Thank you.

I have had a number of requests for earrings with posts, so here are a few of them.

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I love Aspen leaves.   New to my Botanicals series, these have been created by the chasing and repousse technique.  Sterling silver, oxidized to emphasize the details.

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From Sensory Delights, the texture has been created through the use of a pattern sheet and my rolling mill.  Oxidized sterling silver, to bring out the details.

If you can’t make my Trunk Show, you are in luck.  Once again, Nancy Bonig (founder of the Front Range Open Studios) will be hosting the Holiday Party for artists who were part of this year’s tour.  I’m one of the participating artists who will be joining the festivities.   Mark you calendars for Saturday, December 6th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  There will be plenty of goodies from food to drink to art!  Free gift wrap with your purchase too.  It’s a win win.

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Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I am so very grateful for all the blessings in my life.  I appreciate your continued interest in my work and taking the time to read this blog. And, as always, I thank my husband Dan for taking such wonderful photographs of my work.  I couldn’t do any of this without your love and support.

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

 

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of demands on my time.  I like to think I am fairly good at time management.  However, there comes a point where I just cannot get to my bench to create.  Fortunately, that time has passed and thanks to a beautiful rainy day, I returned to my creative zone on Sunday.  Ah, working in my studio, soothing music plays, new projects start to unfold with a slumbering basset hound at my feet; that is perfection….my picture of contentment.

One of the items I recently finished was another Aspen cuff; chased in sterling and oxidized with a liver of sulphur patina.  This is the first cuff design that I have drawn free hand, on the metal, from my observations of fresh Aspen branch cuttings.  I have found myself completely absorbed by the Chasing & Repousse technique.   I am so grateful that I had, what I considered to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn this from Il Maestro Fabrizio Acquafresca during the summer.  Chasing and Repousse, the Italian Way, as Fabrizio likes to say.  I am forever in his debt.

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New works on the bench are some items in my Treescape series.  I am so thankful for the continued response and interest in this line.  Currently I’m working on a variety of earring shapes in preparation for a November Trunk Show and the Holiday Season too.

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That creative pace I enjoy is settling into perfect momentum, which allows me to produce a variety of new items.

I will leave you with a bit of a teaser.  Music is one of the many things I love. How will I incorporate it into my work?  Wait and see….rings, earrings, pendants and cuffs are coming soon.

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

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Botanicals ~ Ginkgo Leaves; 22Kt Gold fused to Steel
Photo credit: Dan Krucoff

September brings a change in seasons here in Colorado. The temperatures have already started to cool in anticipation of fall. Trees are even starting to change color. I love this season. And with September comes the Front Range Open Studios!

SignLook for these colorful signs to guide you to the 16 artist studios on this year’s tour.  I am delighted to be returning to the tour, now in its 4th year.  So many creatives, sharing what they do and opening their studios to the public during the weekend of September 13 – 14, 2014.

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Botanicals ~ Aspen Leaves; Sterling Silver
Photo credit: Daniel Krucoff

During this year’s tour weekend,  I will be demonstrating a metalsmithing technique known as Chasing and Repousse.  I took a 5 day workshop this summer from Il Maestro Fabrizio Acquafresca.  What a wonderful experience and it has opened so many possibilities for me in my work.

The cuff shown at the top of this post is a combination of techniques; Chasing and Repousse, plus fused gold to steel.  My husband Dan had a great idea to video my work on this cuff, from start to finish.  Here’s a sneak preview of that video.

If you visit my studio during the tour weekend, the video of this piece’s fabrication will be playing (except during the Bronco game on Sunday).  Throughout the days on Saturday and Sunday, I will be demonstrating Chasing and Repousse, the Italian way.  My goal is to share how this technique can be utilized to create wonderful forms of personal adornment.

aspenLeafEarrings

I will also be debuting a number of Aspen leaf earrings, like this pair.  Fused 22Kt gold to steel.  The movement in these reminds me of the way the Aspens in our back yard move as the wind blows.  As a matter of fact, several of the young Aspen leaves from this spring served as patterns for the earrings.

 2014map

This is the map to our studios.  Click on the map or this link for the online information showing where our studios are located. My studio is lucky #13!

In addition to all of this, we have the Zentangle Challenge!

ZentangleSmall

What are Zentangles? They are a form of creative doodling.  The ‘zen’ part is the calm, relaxing sensation one experiences during this form of self-expression.  Anyone can do it.

Ten artists on the tour have either incorporated Zentangles into their work or have examples as inspiration in their work space.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find all ten artist locations where the Zentangles exist.  When you find them, circle or star the location on the studio brochure (that is your entry form for this contest).  Once you have identified all ten locations, you can leave your completed brochure at any tour studio.  Please include your name, email and phone number so we will know how to contact you if your name is drawn as the winner.  The prize, a gallery quality dichroic  glass platter by Nancy Bonig Glass Studio!

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The weather forecast is wonderful for this weekend, with a hint of coolness and that means I might make a batch of spiced cider for people who visit me.

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

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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about.me

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.

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