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Soul Searching Series
Photograph Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Another piece from my Soul Searching Series, I call this one Emergence.  The stone is an Amethyst Sage with Dendrites that I purchased from The Clam Shell, while attending the Denver Gem and Mineral Show in September.  I think this is my favorite piece to date.  It evolved as my work tends to do.  I find the stone captivating.

The reason I called this one Emergence is because I see a beautiful white cloud emerging from the stormy surface of a planet….as if a creative spirit has been freed from its bindings and released from the surface that has deep purple and rich rusts that comprise its surface.  It was a very freeing experience for me as I worked on this piece.  Why?  Well, it became more than the original design as I show in this next photo.

Working with metal has opened so many doors for me.  I really do work on my designs for the stones and I don’t just start something without a plan anymore.  I tended to not have specific designs in mind with the wire wrapped glass pieces I made.  Those wire wrapped pieces did turn out rather free form, which worked.  But now that I work with metal and stone, I can’t take that kind of cavalier approach anymore.

As you may have noticed, there are three textured sections in the final piece, not just two.  When the metal was ready for soldering, I looked at it with the stone and realized it wasn’t balanced.  The famous/infamous threes in art!  Keep the balance.  This was part of the fun for me in this piece.  I drew what I felt was the appropriate accent on the right side of the piece to draw attention to the shape of the stone and balance this pendant.  I found it worked.  And it made me very happy to realize that I could still capture some of that free ‘spirit-ness’ that made my wire wrap so unique.  I like carrying that into my metal work too!

I used Sterling Silver for the setting and applied liver of sulfur gel, with a hint of ammonia, to create the rainbow of colors that you see on the metal.  A couple of the textured components were overlaid to create the depth. And I really like adding the diamond shaped pieces of silver at the bottom.  I love the way this one moves too.

This piece truly symbolizes how I feel about my artistic spirit emerging as I grow with metal.  It wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning Lexi Erickson, my teacher/friend/mentor/sister.  She nurtures and nourishes me as a metalsmith, a person, an artist, and a friend.  Thank you Lexi!

I have been absent over the Thanksgiving holiday, but rest assured that I have more pieces in the works.  I look forward to sharing them with you soon.

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


Those of you who follow my Reflections of a Glass Artist blog, may recall a recent post about Lexi’s Dream.  To sum that up, after Lexi and I had our soul searching evening, she had a dream about a glass bowl.  She encouraged me to make it and I did.  You can read more about Lexi’s dream piece by following the link to Lexi’s Dream above.

Now, my husband/best friend/soul mate, Dan, has had a dream.  In it, I have made either a pair of earrings or a pendant that look like very detailed…almost realistic leaves.  He thought they may have been Maple leaves.  He said the details were almost exactly like a real leaf.

The coincidence here is that I’ve been thinking about leaves.  I love their beauty.  I knew I needed to incorporate them in my work at some point.  Clearly, it’s time to do that and see if I can capture the essence of Dan’s dream……..

I feel compelled to answer what I perceive are these calls to my creativity by the people I trust & love the most in my life.  The outcome from Lexi’s Dream was even more ideas for glass work, as I feel is evidenced by my Fallen Leaves bowl.

I just incorporated a leaf into my new logo:

I came up for the idea of this new logo as I was working on the redesign of my website.

It’s clear now that I need to begin working on leaf designs for a new series.  Stay tuned for further developments.  In the meantime, I have been working on more of my Soul Searching series and I look forward to publishing some of  the latest works in this series.  You can see a glimpse of a few of them on my website.

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

The Break Through
Photo credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

This piece is the reality come to life from my 4 AM break through moment in the early morning hours of September 29th.  This stone was one of those that haunted me, trying to come up with the ‘perfect‘ design.  After Lexi and I had our Gelatos and Mountain Sunset evening of artistic soul searching, many things simmered in my subconscious.  And I believe they are still simmering and bubble to the surface on a fairly regular basis.  This past week Lexi commented that neither of us has seen the full effects on that evening in our lives and our works.  I believe she is correct.

I named this piece The Break Through.  I didn’t feel there could be any other name for it.  It is part of my Soul Searching Series.  The image of what I wanted to do literally woke me up at 4 AM that morning.  And I wondered if I could hold on to it and bring it to life.  After that, 2 other images popped into my mind too.  I wanted to go back to sleep.  I was exhausted from the energy of the evening before.  And I felt I would be able to preserve that image and the others in my sketch book the next morning.  I did.

The Sketch

I believe you can tell that I was able to capture it and then ultimately create my vision of this piece.  Now, my drawings are not the prettiest ones in the world, but they help me as a pattern and guide me in working with stone and metal to create my art jewelry pieces.

The stone is a White Opal Dendrite that I purchased from The Clamshell while at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show.  I have another stone in this family, but it is completely different from this one and even more unusual.  I don’t have a design for it yet, but I will.

The setting is sterling silver with various textures that I created with one of my Fretz hammers.  I finished this with a variety of patinas to add contrast to the setting.

So, what do you think?  I always value the thoughts and opinions each of you take the time to write and share with me here.

Aspiring to be more as an artist and a person.

NewGrowthNew Growth

Earrings from my Soul Searching series, these represent my new growth as a metalsmith.

Lots of different techniques here.  My first venture into Keum Boo. Keum Boo is a seriously cool technique that involves bonding very thin, 24 kt gold, to the surface of your metal.  The link I’ve given is to Wikipedia’s explanation and I think they’ve provided a good description of Keum Boo.

I kept the design pretty simple again.  I’m using Sterling Silver for the background and the ear wires.  The texture I created on the sterling was done with the use of my Pepe rolling mill and a piece of fabric.  I am so into creating textures on metal.  Looking at mesh for screen, lamp shades, artificial flowers, well…I look for pieces I can use to texture metal just about anywhere!

Once I had the texture in place, then I filed the edges so they would be smooth.  I added a line to represent the branch for the leaves.  The lines were created with a very tiny diamond coated bit and my new Foredom.

The sterling needs to be annealed several times to bring the pure silver to the surface.  This provides the adhesion layer necessary for the Keum Boo to bond completely.

Time for the placement of the leaves, which are the Keum Boo part of these.  I traced the leaf design on the paper to use as a guide for cutting them.  Using my Joyce Chen Scissors, I was able to cut out these very small leaves.  If you have need for an ultra sharp pair of scissors, get some Joyce Chens.  They will cut chicken bones and you have to be VERY careful when you use them as they don’t distinguish between bone, fingers, or metal.  I can’t speak from personal experience on the injury front, but I have been instructed to be careful with them (thanks Lexi 🙂 ) and I want to pass that information on to anyone who hasn’t used them.

Now we’re ready to bond the leaves to the surface.  Truly an interesting process.  Lexi is demonstrating how this is done and I’m watching, completely fascinated.  Now it’s my turn.  Wow.  She has one of those glass cook tops and that was our surface for heating the metal and then using a burnisher to gently rub the Keum Boo as it’s bonding to the surface of the silver.  Who would have thought!  Of course, as with anything, there is more than one way to do this.  I just never expected to put metal on a stove top and that would bond two layers of metal together!

Once the bonding is complete, we decided to add a patina to really have the gold stand out.  Well, after all, it is gold and no matter how small, one should be able to see it.

Another technique Lexi showed me was how to create those cute little balls on the end of the ear wires.  I did have fun doing this on my own and will be incorporating this into more of my work.  I added patina to the ear wires (also sterling silver) so they would match the earrings.

Ever since my Creative Block break through, I have been literally consumed with trying new things and variations on techniques I already know.  Metalwork is truly fascinating to me.  These earrings do symbolize my New Growth as a metalwork artist.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an Artist and a Person.

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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