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New Horizon ~ Soul Searching Series
Photo Credit — Daniel Krucoff

Another beautiful stone from Gary B Wilson.  This is the ‘sister’ stone to Ready to Bloom.  It is Ruby in Zoisite and the deep magenta color has a rich sage green compliment.  Again I can see a vista in this stone.  I’ve looked at this one a long time.  The roundness of the magenta color reminds me of a planet and the space surrounding this imaginary planet has deep sage green hues to it.  Who knows, maybe there is a place like this somewhere in the vast universe?  I’d like to think so.  I guess I’ve been one of those enchanted by the movie Avatar and the gorgeous scenes of the imaginary world Pandora.  Perhaps that has added to what I see in this piece.  So I view this as a statement about the what waits beyond the horizon.  It’s a new year, a new decade, and there are new horizons for all of us.  These are my thoughts on how I arrived at the name for this piece, New Horizon.

The setting is Sterling Silver that has been textured and oxidized.  This time I added an overlay in the upper right that reminds me of a little mountain.  It just seemed like that accent was needed as I worked on this one.

I asked Dan to photograph this one like he did Ready to Bloom with the water drops as part of the background.  I just love that watery effect.

It’s a special weekend for me and perhaps that is why I’ve been rather reflective about this piece.  My birthday is tomorrow, Dan & I will celebrate by going to see Avatar again and then enjoy dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Pappadeaux.  I want to see Avatar again in the theaters.  I felt totally immersed in the planet via the special effects and seeing the movie at an IMAX in 3D.  Whatever your thoughts about the movie, its story, etc., for me the artwork and the ability to create those graphics just left me spellbound.  I’m certain it appealed to the geek and artist in me and  I suspect it will influence my future work.

May you enjoy new horizons this year in your life.  Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Finding My Way ~ Soul Searching Series
Photo Credit — Daniel Krucoff

Available ~ $225 without chain

The stone is Casessite Jasper, purchased from Gary B Wilson at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show last September.  I think I fell in love with Jaspers at that show.  They seem to have such lovely naturescapes….or at least I see nature vistas in them.  This particular stone has some lovely warm rust shades with a nice compliment of muted ambers and soft tans.  The scene I see in this stone is a couple of large trees, bending as if trying to show the right direction.  It evokes a calming sense for me and I feel like I’m finding my way with this one…hence its title.

As each of us grow, working with our respective mediums, don’t you find that our work changes as we are finding our way? Sometimes the growth is slow, other times it’s like skiing down a mountain and it is exhilarating because of that controlled speed.  Well, I hope it is a controlled speed for each of you!  This piece was one of several that I worked on as a group.  I would cut out the basic designs for each and then I had to stop and work on an individual piece, giving it my full attention.  As I completed one piece, that fed an idea for the next in the queue.  Things evolved from piece to piece.  In Peaceful Surroundings, I added Keum Boo and then that confirmed I needed Keum Boo added to this piece too.  For Finding My Way, the Keum Boo at the top is meant to carry the bending shapes of those tree trunks I see in the Casessite Jasper.  I’ve extended the lines from the stone into the setting and the top piece that has the Keum Boo (24kt gold).  The setting is Sterling Silver and I went with a more subtle oxidation this time as I wanted a gentle background for this beautiful stone.

My mentor, Lexi Erickson, reviews my work at my request and recently she has challenged me to take what I do even further.  I love a challenge and I think I have a bit of an internal battle going on with myself to see what I can do to expand my style.  In addition to being a good friend, Lexi is such a great teacher as she knows when a student is ready for that next stretch.  I’m working on it Lexi!  Thank you.  By the way, those of you who live in the Denver area, Lexi is going to teach beginning metalworking at the Highlands Ranch Recreation Center starting in March.  I’d highly recommend investing in yourself and take one of her classes.

A number of you have inquired about these Soul Searching pieces.  As a result, I will now add to my posts about the new pieces, if they are available and their price.  That is why you see the price under the photograph for this one.  The dimensions for Finding My Way are approximately 2″ long and 1 1/2″ at its widest point.

Of course, I think Dan’s photograph of this one has showcased the piece perfectly.  As a matter of fact, his photographs of my work have helped me to be accepted into some upcoming shows and a book publication!  More details on the book in another post. 😉

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts with me.  Your generosity in leaving comments helps me to grow as an artist and I appreciate it.

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

Serenity Speaks
Soul Searching Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

A beautiful Tiffany Stone, purchased from Gary B Wilson at the 2009 Denver Gem & Mineral Show.  This was one of my purple indulgences from the Denver shows.  I am totally drawn to Tiffany Stones.  They can vary so much in colors, dark intense purple to almost white with slight touches of pale lavender and some hints of rust thrown in.  Beautiful stones.

My goal with this piece was to simply showcase the stone.  I didn’t want to add too much to the setting and distract ones’ eye from viewing the inherent beauty of this stone.  I think I achieved that goal and added some interest with the curved shape of the setting.

The piece is set in sterling silver and I soldered half-round sections of sterling wire in place at the top and bottom of the setting to help enhance framing this stone.

The stone itself has another scene that I can visualize in it.  I can see gentle mountains on either side of an river flowing into a larger body of water in the distance.  Another stone that reminds me of scenery from the hiking trails Dan & I have enjoyed at The Tetons.  The sky has some high white and purple clouds.  Very serene.  As I looked at this piece this morning, I felt a calm….a sense of serenity.  So I call this piece Serenity Speaks.  It’s part of my Soul Searching Series.

Of course, I think Dan’s photograph helps to enhance the beauty of the pendant.  We’ve been collaborating on various backgrounds to make the photographs pop and maybe become a little bit edgy or different.  I thank Dan again for another great photo of my work.

Please let me know what you think of this piece.  I always enjoy reading the wide range of thoughts and insights you have and are willing to share with me.  And Dan enjoys the feedback on his photos too!  Thanks.

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

Ready to Bloom
Photo credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Yes, I am ready to bloom as an Art Jewelry Designer and as I looked at this beautiful stone, all I could see was a tight rose bud, ready to bloom and I knew….I just knew that was the right title for this piece.  There is a lot of meaning in this for me and I’m fairly certain this latest piece in my Soul Searching Series will become part of my private collection.

The stone. It is Ruby in Zoisite.  I purchased this from Gary B. Wilson at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show this past September.  I think it is so important to give credit where credit is due.  Lexi introduced me to Gary at that show.  Prior to that, Lexi had introduced me to his work.  As she says so well, Gary is one of those stone cutters that designs with the artist in mind.  And those of you who have been following my blog know that I want to do justice to all of the stones that I purchased from Gary and others.

The setting. Sterling silver with textures.  I’m quite fond of adding textures to my metal pieces and right now I have a fascination with bringing some of what I see in the stone and extending it into the metal.  I have several hammers that are my favorites for texturing.  The texture you see at the top is from one of my Fretz hammers with the silk pattern.  It’s subtle and yet, you can do many different things depending on how much and how hard you hammer the metal surface with it.  The ‘dots’ are my attempt to bring the patterns from the black spottings in the stone out into the surrounding metal.  I used another oxidation process to try to emphasize the textures.

The photo. Dan just came up with this idea to spritz water on the surface he was using.  The liquid look and feel really enhances the beauty of this piece.  I hope you think so too.

I have to come back to this beautiful stone again.  I’m really not one for pinks.  Yet when I went to that show, I made a mental commitment to NOT buy everything in purple, my favorite color.  And I did well, just ask Lexi and Dan. I may have acquired about 5 purplish stones then and the rest were totally different.

This stone stood out from day one.  As I worked with it from design … to creating the setting … and the final phase of putting the stone in place, I kept seeing that tight little rose bud.  Ready to burst forth and bloom.  If I may, that feels like me right now.  I’m ready.  Yes, I will always have more to learn, if we are honest…that is or should be the case for all of our lives …. if we truly want to continue to grow as individuals.  Without growth, we stagnate.  I for one want to continue to grow and learn until the day I leave this Earth.

Can you tell I fell emotional about this piece?  Yes, I have made a connection with it.  I feel it represents where I am at this time as a Jewelry Artist.  Get ready 2010, I’m going to bloom!

Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person…you know I am.

Peaceful Surroundings
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Another pendant in my Soul Searching Series, this one I call “Peaceful Surroundings“.  I have been able to complete a number of art jewelry pieces over the holiday break and it’s nice to reveal this one at the beginning of 2010.  I feel it represents many of the good things to come in this new year.

The stone in this setting is Dendrites in Limestone that I purchased from Gary B. Wilson at the Gem & Mineral Show in Denver this past September.  I textured the metal to carry the dendrite markings from the stone into the surrounding setting.  This is set in Sterling Silver and I added 24kt Keum Boo to the top piece.  I thought the gold was a nice touch to sort of extend the rich color of the limestone into the top piece.  I oxidized the sterling with a liver of sulfur and as I worked with it, I wanted to emphasize the texture I had added to represent the dendrite extensions into the metal.

I find that the name for a piece is an interesting process for me.  Sometime it comes to me as I start the design.  In other cases, nothing manifests until it is complete.  This time, it was the latter.  As I looked at the completed pendant, I saw some of the gentle grasses that line the hiking trails in the Tetons.  I always feel at peace when I’m in the Tetons and there was my title, Peaceful Surroundings.

Wishing all of you a healthy, happy, and peaceful 2010.

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

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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