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Harvest Moon
Soul Searching Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

It’s the wrong time of the year for a Harvest Moon, yet I kept seeing this rich orange moon in the carnelian stone that is the top of this pendant. I almost thought this would be my first “Untitled Piece”, but that little voice in my head kept saying Harvest Moon. This one is part of my Soul Searching Series. It just fits.

The stones are from Gary B Wilson. The tongue is petrified oak. It’s a rich brown with a number of interesting variations. The top stone has already been named, it’s a carnelian in a lovely shade of rust/orange. This piece is very earthy and I guess that’s part of the reason why I couldn’t shake the title it has.

Set in sterling silver that I’ve oxidized. I’m very fond of these 2 piece pendants, connected by three jump rings.

Perhaps, as I think about the extra twilight lighting that the Harvest Moon provides, the concept of new beginnings resonates with me.  It revolves around that last day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of the autumn season that the Harvest Moon signals.

Those are my thoughts about this one and why it became part of my Soul Searching Series.

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


Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

In the last 30 days, one of my online friends, Andes Cruz (she’s a talented art jeweler BTW), started a Blog-O-Sphere Think Tank group on Facebook. She asked people if they would like to blog together once a month on the same topic, linking back to each other. It sounded like fun and a nice diversion from the regular blog posts that we do, so I signed up. The other bloggers who are participating in this theme post will share links to their blogs and it will be a great way to see what everyone has posted. I have links to their blogs at the bottom of this post. I hope you will enjoy this diversion.

The topic for February’s post is “What is your favorite winter meal / recipe?” That was so easy for me because Dan had just made Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo on Superbowl Sunday. It was the perfect day for that kind of comfort food. We were in the midst of another blast of winter and I was coming home from a weekend meeting with the CoMA (Colorado Metalsmithing Association) board members. When I walked in the door Sunday afternoon, not only was I greeted by our bassets & Dan, but that wonderful aroma of gumbo! Yum.

Dan is a great cook and he does most of the cooking. This recipe is one he modified from Emeril Lagasse’s Louisiana Real & Rustic.

Here’s the recipe with Dan’s modifications:

Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup vegetable oil, 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 3 bay leaves

3 cups water, 3 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups chopped onions,

1 pound boneless chicken meat, cut into 1″ chunks

1 cup chopped celery, 1 cup chopped bell peppers, 1 teaspoon Rustic Rub (Emerils)

1 pound chicken sausage *** (Dan frequently changes this up with different types of sausage like andouille, smoked turkey, kielbasa), cut the sausage crosswise into 1/2 inch slices

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1/2 cup chopped green onions,

1 tablespoon filé powder

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Directions:

1. Combine the oil and flour in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 – 25 minutes. This makes a dark brown roux; chocolate color.

2. Add the onions, celery, & bell peppers to the roux; continue to stir for 4 – 5 minutes or until wilted. Add the sausage, salt, cayenne, & bay leaves. Continue to stir for another 3 – 4 minutes. Add the water and chicken broth. Stir until the roux mixture is combined with the additional liquid just added. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for about an hour.

3. Season the chicken with the rustic rub and add to the pot. Simmer for 2 hours.

4. Skim off any fat that rises to the surface. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, creen onions, and filé powder.

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We like to cook some brown rice and start off with some rice in a bowl. Add several scoops of the gumbo over the rice and then add a dash of our favorite hot sauces to spice it up a bit. A slice of fresh sour dough bread on the side and you are set!

Here’s the list of my fellow participants in this month’s post. I hope you’ll stop by their blogs and see what they’ve posted.

Andes Cruz: www.andescruz.wordpress.com

Stephanie Nocito Clark: http://thethinkingsofacoldweathergirl.blogspot.com/

Kirsten Skiles: http://www.kaskiles.com/

Natsuko Hanks: http://jewelrybynatsuko.blogspot.com/

Shaun Young: http://shaunyoung.ca/

Brad Severtson: http://hammeringoutaliving.blogspot.com/

Wendy Kelly: http://www.wendykianakelly.com/

Beth Cyr: http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com/

Kathryn Cole: http://www.kathryncolejewelry.blogspot.com/

Hope you enjoyed. What are your favorite winter meals/recipes?

I’m headed back to the studio, pieces are almost finished and I’ll be posting new work soon. Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


Vulcan
Mountainesque Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Another in my Mountainesque Series. The stone is a pyramid shape, Sonoran Sunrise, that I purchased from Gary B Wilson last year at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show. I really loved the ‘scene’ in this one. It reminds me of a lava flow, right after the volcano has erupted. The churning, the flares of the lava as it flows over everything in its path.  Powerful.

This presented a photographic challenge for Dan because of the depth of the stone and its shape. I hope you can see the scene that I replicated in the overlay of this setting to compliment and emphasize the drama I see in the stone.

Why call this one Vulcan? Well, no matter what direction my thoughts went, I kept coming back to the name and its relationship to volcanoes. I actually found an interesting commentary on University Today that discussed the mythology about the Mediterranian Island, Volcano.  After reading that, I thought it fit for me and decided on Vulcan for the title of this piece.

I used Sterling Silver for the back plate and shaped overlay component in this setting.  The piece was oxidized with liver of sulphur; my design called for the removal of the oxidation from the overlay to further emphasize the shape and depth.

Time to get back to my bench and work on more in this series…I have 5 more designs in this series waiting for me to get busy!

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


Beginnings
Mountainesque Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

There are times when all of us experience that feeling of “stuck”.  The block to our creative channel.  It’s frustrating.  When I have it, I refuse to move forward.  I know the right thing will come to me.  With this piece, I had the top figured out pretty much from the get go.  But that bottom portion of this one, taunted me for longer than I care to admit.  The design for Beginnings happened in that flurry of the creative spurt when Mountainesque became a series.  I knew I was on to something.  And I must give credit to the stone too as I FINALLY saw a mountain range in the lower stone that became the inverse of it in the metal.

That is why I call this one Beginnings.  It helped me along the way to the beginning of my Mountainesque Series.  The stones are copper with chrysocolla.  I purchased the lower stone a little over a year ago from Gary B Wilson.  In September of 2010, I bought some more of this from him and I suspect I will add more to my working inventory as I love the subtle colors and markings that copper with chrysocolla produces.  The stones are set in Sterling Silver that I oxidized, along with adding some silver balls as accents.  I still enjoy making these two piece pendants.  Part of me is fascinated by the construction process and I thoroughly enjoy the finished piece that has movement.  I’m also caught up in this new direction with mountains as my sirens.

I hope you enjoy yet another piece in my Mountainesque Series.

It’s still quite frigid here in Colorado, with snow, ice, and blustery winds.  If you live in the northern hemisphere, I hope you have found ways to stay safe and warm.  I am thankful for the comforts our home affords us in these severe weather conditions.

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

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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