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Namaste
Timeless Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Namaste. A term I associate with my Yoga practice and feeling peaceful, happy, centered. The literal meaning of the word is “I bow to you”. However, I prefer the definition that Mandy Ingber, of Yogalosophy, provides…. “The Spirit in me salutes The Spirit in you”.

As I looked at this finished piece, I felt such a sense of peace and calm. I feel this was a subtle change in my work. I did several things I had not done before. Dan thought it best demonstrated metalwork because my design didn’t ‘feed’ off of the stones….that is their shapes or markings.

The creation of this piece took some interesting twists and turns.  I knew immediately that I liked the pairing of the round Petrified Palm Wood with the tongue shaped Imperial Jasper.  I had never set a tongue shaped stone before; when I bought it from Gary B Wilson in April, Lexi was with me and she said it was no problem.  She explained how and I laughed and said “Duh”!  Just had to think about it after she told me what I needed to do and of course it made sense.  Thanks Lexi!

This is my initial sketch of what I wanted to do.  I knew I wanted a sun like background for the round Petrified Palm Wood.  And just having the sharp edges wouldn’t work, it would need to be overlaid on a backing so the wearer wouldn’t be poked by sharp edges.

You can see from this that I was initially thinking of calling the piece ‘Leap’.  And I was concerned about the number of ‘rays’ emanating from the circle.  I showed Lexi my sketch one night during one of my lessons and she suggested that I reduce the number of ‘rays’.  She had a little sunshine charm, which I photographed, and thought I could use as an example of where I wanted to take this piece.

It definitely was where I wanted to go with the rays.  I’m certain it helped me as I worked on more sketches as shown in this next photo.

You can see I still couldn’t get away from my design to have lots of ‘rays’.  The sketch in the lower left corner became the final one for the rays.  I had never tried to saw a shape like this before and I thought, let’s give it a whirl.  I’m accepting Lexi’s philosophy of “It’s only metal”.  Hey, I can recycle any failures by broomcasting or other means, so it’s ok.  Try it, see what happens, you may be pleasantly surprised!  Well, I was very happy with the result.  Ah, but there’s more to this story….

I overlaid my ray piece on top of its rounded square back plate.  Set the bezel for the stone.  Had a bit of trouble with that bezel and there was this ‘bubble’ in the center which was telling me I wasn’t doing it right.  Things finally got to the point where I overheated the piece and it started to melt!  Oops.  But remember, “It’s only metal”.  Here’s the piece that taught me a lot from the failure…..

The arrow is pointed to the bubble.  I really liked the rays in this one too, but I still had my template from my drawing so it was ok.

I started again.  This time I drilled a hole in the center of that ray piece to allow the air to escape and prevent the bubble.  Completed the overlay of the ray on a its back plate and soldered the bezel in place.  Added a bail to the back of the top piece.  Completed the setting for the tongue piece.  Soldered the joining jump rings in place that connect the two settings.  Set the stones, oxidized the sterling and viola!  Namaste was born.

The journey to bring this piece into being was a lot of fun for me, in spite of a few set backs.  Learning and understanding how to do things appeals to me.  And I feel like I am rewarded in many ways by going through the process.

Believe me, I know how fortunate I am to have a mentor like Lexi Erickson.  Her encouragement as my teacher and closest friend is invaluable.  Dan too provides that encouragement and support as I work in the studio and come out for breaks or discussions about what I am doing.  Of course, the bassets are my studio mascots and there is at least one of them in there while I’m working….sometimes underfoot…..sometimes sleeping at my feet.

Remember, failure is as much a part of life as success.  If we accept that failures are showing us a better direction, a better way if you will, it becomes a winning situation for us.  Embrace the journey.

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


Living In the Moment
Timeless Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

So many times I think we have a tendency to think about what is going to happen in the future, what has happened in the past.  Instead of just Living in the Moment and treasuring that specific moment in time.  Recent events have provided an awareness that I need to focus on the current moment.  Live in that moment.  When it is gone, it is a memory.  Embrace that instance in time and stop thinking about what might happen tomorrow or the next day or the next week.  Remember the good things that happened in the past.  Cherish the present.   It’s all we have.

This piece spoke to me about Living in the Moment.  Embrace it.  As I thought of a title for this, all I could think of was “live in this moment in time“.  It is part of my Timeless Series.  This will be available at the upcoming show, Jewelry at the Gardens, which will take place at the Denver Botanic Gardens on October 16 & 17.  There will be more information on this show as the date draws near.

Petrified Palm Wood is set in sterling silver.  The stone is one I purchased from Gary B Wilson when he, his wife and daughter were in Denver this past April.  It is a beautiful stone.  The top circle is reticulated silver that I domed and soldered onto a sterling back plate.  The reticulated silver was one of the pieces I made during the Harold O’Connor workshop during the end of May.  I’m finding ways to use reticulation in a number of my pieces.  I love how the silver folds into peaks and valleys.

Again, my thanks to Dan for taking photos of my work that makes my pieces look so good I find myself asking “Is that one of my pieces?”  I am so blessed to have him in my life for so many reasons.

It may be too early for some of you to see where I’m going with this Timeless Series, however, I would still love to hear your thoughts about it.

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


Harmony
Timeless Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

At the end of June, I posted some of my sketches and the stones I assembled for upcoming work. This is Harmony and was one of those in that June post.  The stones just seemed to come together in the right shapes and shades.  I kept things simple so that the stones were showcased.  The top and bottom stones are petrified wood and the center stone is a red jasper.  I thought they were the right compliment with each other and that is how I came to call this piece Harmony.  They are set in Sterling Silver that I have lightly oxidized.  I didn’t opt for texture or even a high polish on the silver for this piece.  I wanted the stones to make their own statement.

This is the first in a new series I’m calling Timeless.  As I post the next few in this series, I think it will become obvious why I settled on the theme of Timeless.  It is my hope that each piece in this series will stand on its own, no matter what the time period.

Harmony is one of my pieces that will be available at the Colorado Metalsmith’s show at the Denver Botanical Gardens in October.  That upcoming show is my current focus.  I’ve come up with a new display that isn’t your typical jewelry display for a show.  It’s still a work in progress and I will share pictures of it once it is  set up ‘real time’ at the Gardens.  For now, I’m still tweaking things to make sure it makes the right statement.  I am very excited about this show and feel it presents a great opportunity to introduce my metalwork to the public.

Back to the studio to start on a bracelet.  And yes I am very partial, but I think Dan’s photography of my work has gone to the next level.  Thank you Dan for making my work look so nice!

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

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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