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Welcome!

Yes, that’s me. My attire for both days represented what I normally wear in the studio, i.e. clothes that more than likely will have holes because of my pickle solution. The apron was something new, it has my logo and name.  I thought that was a nice touch for marketing my brand.  I will save the apron for special occasions like the Open Studio Tour.  Generally I wear a lab coat or a black apron to help protect my clothing.  Dan asked me to ‘strike the greeting pose’ and as you can see I was ready for the day.  Looking forward to seeing people come visit my studio and see where I work, along with offering some of my finished products.

This year’s tour was even better than last. Thanks to the tour founder, Nancy Bonig, I believe the word spread that the artists participating in the tour really wanted to show people what goes into our process. Metalsmithing requires forethought and attention to detail. If I do something in the fabrication of a piece that is done out of order, well, the piece may be lost.

This year I changed the configuration for my staging area.  I set things up in a “L” shape to allow people to sign up for my mailing list, view a couple of my sketch books along with some inspirational books and magazines I read.  One table had some of my finished product for those who would like to become collectors of my work.

I debuted Treescape earrings during the Open Studio weekend.  I found them to be very popular and by the end of the weekend, a number of these were sold.  Thank you to all who liked them enough to buy a pair.  I am working on more and will share some photos in the near future.

I learned a number of things from last year’s tour.  One thing I found to be important was to let people know, as they walked into our home, that my studio was just down the hallway.

Another thing that I did this year was to have more works in progress.  People really enjoyed seeing everything in stages.  It made things so much easier for me to explain how I fabricate pieces.

Some of the metalsmithing techniques I demonstrated were forging, sawing, hand finishing, piercing, and setting a bezel.  This display showed a few of the materials I use in my work, from sheet metal to some of the cabochon varieties to some of the finishing products like liver of sulphur gel.  I also had another sketch book that showed how a finished piece may not look exactly like the original sketch.  This provided a number of talking points and gave a nice overview of start to finish for a given design.

I met so many interesting people this year.  Their interest in metalsmithing generated some fun and fascinating conversations.  It was a great success for me on many levels.  So many commented about how wonderful it was for the tour artists to open their studios for viewing.  I, for one, hope to be a part of the tour again next year.

A number of people wanted to meet my studio mascots and they happily obliged.  The meeting area for the mascots was our back yard.  With people coming and going, that was a much simpler approach for the dog lovers who came to visit.

My studio mascots, Nocturne, Newton & Quorra.

My soul mate Dan was my main assistant, helper & greeter for the weekend.  On Sunday, another friend and fellow metalsmith, Ginny Maiolo, helped.  My thanks to both of you!

Again, I want to thank everyone who stopped to visit.  An extra special thanks to Nancy Bonig for her tireless efforts to promote the artists, their works and  the tour too.

I just wanted to share a few glimpes of what things where like at my studio.  Let’s see what next year holds in store.

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

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PURPLE!!!

Yes, I have loved the color purple since I was a child. Pretty much all shades in that color family.   In fact, I’m using purple colored text for this entire post.

This is just a small sampling of my purple nail polishes.

I have the only purple soldering station in the world….at least the one’s Lexi sells.  It was a custom color for me.  Thanks Lex!

Gorgeous purple stones from Tiffany Stone to Sugalite to Porcelain Jasper to Amethyst Sage and more!

One of the variations on my logo.  Even my website has a purple theme!

Purple glass!

Purple flowers.   Dan & I had 5 dozen purple roses for our wedding.

I find it a powerful color.  It is one I truly love.

Let’s see what my fellow Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank friends chose as their favorite color:

Andes Cruz: http://www.andescruz.wordpress.com
Beth Cyr: http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com
Natsuko Hanks: http://jewelrybynatsuko.blogspot.com
Barbara Donovan: http://barbaradonovan.blogspot.com/
Pencilfox www.pencilfox.com

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

Once again I am part of the Front Range Open Studios tour, which takes place this Saturday and Sunday.

This year I will be showing the various stages that a piece goes through from design to fabrication to completion.  I hope that visitors to my studio will find my demos interesting and informative.

What a great opportunity to visit working artist’s studios, see the work and even have a chance to buy some of their works.

Here’s the link to an online map showing all the artist’s studios.

If you live in the Colorado Springs area, I hope you’ll be able to stop by and visit us.

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

Aspiring To Grow
Treescapes
Photo by ~ Daniel Krucoff

Hello September! I can’t help but wonder how this month got here so fast, yet it did. Over the summer months, I worked on Treescapes quite a bit. I’m still working on more in that series, including some earrings!  Stay tuned for those in another post.

This pendant is one I finished during the summer.  The top stone is a Willow Creek Jasper;  the bottom, a Porcelain Jasper.  I love the subtle way the colors of both stones compliment each other.  Of course, I see mountains in both, do you?   The top has a large mountain in the foreground.  The bottom, well, it has lots going on.  A bit of a turbulent sky that dwarfs the deep purple, burgundy mountains in the distance.  No, I didn’t really see any trees in either of these, yet I  felt that I wanted to include some in the setting.  I did another variation of the Oriental look that Treescapes tend to have.  It took several experiments to come up with not only the right look for the component that allows the top and bottom sections to join, but one that allowed for the movement of the piece as it is worn.

The construction of this piece, as I think with most, helped me to grow as a metalsmith.  Ultimately, the final components came together easily and contribute to a simple, elegant look in my mind.  Yet, the journey to get there, well, that took a number of tries….including one of my tried and true….just back away from the workbench Kathleen and close the door….everything will be waiting for you when you return….you need a break.

My philosophy is don’t be afraid to try.  That’s how we learn.  Yet there are those days when nothing is going right.  Melted bezels, fire scale on the metal, your hands are just not responsive and you feel like you are all thumbs.  It’s those times when I have found it is best to just back away and come back later.  Progress isn’t going to come, generally, when things are not going well for me in the studio.  It’s something I learned early when I was sewing.  Some days, no matter how hard I would try, I just couldn’t sew a straight line!  I have found many similarities between my time sewing or working with glass and metalsmithing.  In each situation, it’s best to come back with a clear head and rested body when frustration is mounting and things are not going well.

As I looked at this piece, I thought about what I learned in the process of making it and realized it should be called Aspiring To Grow.

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

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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