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Treescapes – Dendritic Opal
Photo – Daniel Krucoff

It’s been quite a summer so far.  I feel like I have been noticeably absence from writing about my metalwork and I have lots to share.

Day 1 – Black Forest Fire, the view to the south from our back yard.

As some of you know, we were evacuated for 5 days during the Black Forest Fire in June.   I wrote a bit about the experience in my other blog, if you would like to read more about that experience, click here.  Thankfully, we returned to our home which was undamaged.

Our beautiful girl Nocturne, with the red velvet ears.

Shortly after that, our oldest Basset Hound, Nocturne, passed away.  I wrote a tribute to her, with some of the pictures that told a bit of her life story.  You can read the tribute by clicking here.

Those two events felt like a double whammy.  To be quite honest, I had no real desire to return to my studio and work.  It took a while.  Longer than I would have thought.  Yet friends who went through the Waldo Canyon Fire a year ago said what I was feeling was quiet normal.  So, I waited until things settled.  Waiting for the new normal to begin.  Our lives had been turned upside down.  Healing of the spirit needed to occur.  Thankfully, I can tell you that it has.

I didn’t return to my studio until this month.  My first creative stirrings began when I started to clear and declutter my bench.  Prior to the evacuation, I had enjoyed a burst of creativity and the top of my bench was covered with the evidence of that flurry of activity.  Clearing things felt good.

The fire became a motivator to eliminate things that are not used anymore.  I am in the process of selling equipment and supplies related to my fused glass work as I’m no longer working in that medium.  I feel like I need a fresh start; a complete rework and reordering of what is necessary.

Once I returned to the studio, I started to work on completing a number of projects I had started.  Those include items in my current Treescapes and Express Yourself series.  I thought I would share a few of the completed pieces, along with other news.

Treescapes – Porcelain Jasper
Photo – Daniel Krucoff

Express Yourself with a Little Touch of Colorado
Photo – Daniel Krucoff

This summer I’ve been participating in Monument’s Art Hop at Santa Fe Trail Jewelry in Monument, CO.  Art Hop in Monument takes place on the third Thursday of the month.  Those have been wonderful experiences for me.  I get to spend time with my friends Marylee Reisig (who owns Santa Fe Trail Jewelry) and Nancy Bonig (Glass Artist extraordinaire!).  These art events have given me a chance to talk with so many people about my work.  I’m very grateful for all of the new connections.

In September, I will be part of the Front Range Open Studios tour again.  It’s the third year for the tour and each year just gets better.  My friend Nancy Bonig does such a terrific job promoting the artists and the tour.  It continues to grow thanks to her efforts.  More details to come….. in the meantime, if you go to the tour facebook page and ‘Like’ them, you will get details on surprises the artists have in store for this year.  This year I plan to do something a bit different on the tour.  In addition to demonstrating some of my metalsmithing techniques, I thought it would be fun to let people pick and choose components for making their own earrings.  I will help them put things together and they get to leave with a pair of earrings of their very own design.  How many of you would find that fun to do?  I often post updates about my progress, new works and ideas on my Facebook fan page, so if you haven’t ‘Liked’ my page, I would encourage you do do so.

And now, I am happy to share the best news I have had throughout this very eventful summer….this beautiful basset puppy with be joining our family after Labor Day.

Callaway’s Thorin Oakenshield
Thorin, aka Thor

This is Thorin, named after one of our favorite dwarfs in The Hobbit.  We have been told that he has quite the personality.  He’s a character, is the only boy in the litter so he believes he is very special (and I can tell you we already think he is extremely special).  Some fun facts, coincidences about him…..he was born on June 10, the same date that our beloved Bueller was born 13 years ago.  And he has a beautiful red dot on the top of his head, just like our sweet Little Miss Nocturne.  Synchrodestiny (the ebb and flow of the universe coming together)?  I think so.  Dan & I also think he has Bueller and Nocturne’s blessing.  Nothing warms my heart as much as a basset hound…except for Dan of course…… and Thor will soon take up the role as junior studio mascot with my crew of Newton and Quorra.  I can hardly wait to hold this guy and welcome him into our lives.

Quorra (left) and Newton in one of their many playful moments. Wait til they meet Thor!

So it has been quite a summer.  Life’s ups and downs.  The unexpected.  Lessons learned.  Joys and sorrows.  That is what life is all about and I can tell you that Dan & I feel so blessed.  We are grateful and looking forward to what the future holds.

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

Asymmetrical Express Yourself
Photo ~ Daniel Krucoff

I am happy to announce I will be having a Trunk Show this Saturday, June 8, 2013 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Christine Pech, owner of Colorado Expressions will be hosting this show.  Christine and her daughter have created a wonderful gallery space located in downtown Colorado Springs.  They even have a baby grand piano that patrons can play!

Colorado Expressions
122 East Kiowa St
Colorado Springs, CO 81032

For directions, click here.

I will have lots of new Express Yourself earrings, including the ones pictured here.

Express Yourself
Photo ~ Daniel Krucoff

  There are a few new Treescapes that will accompany me for this show.  I’ve been experimenting with patinas and here’s a sneak preview of one of my more colorful pairs.


Treescape Earrings
Photo ~ Daniel Krucoff

There are so many beautiful things at Colorado Expressions. If you are in the area, I hope you can stop by, say Hi and spend some time with me and Christine talking about art.

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

Express Yourself
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

Petrified Palm Wood, Copper, Bronze and Sterling Sivler

Being able to express my individuality has been very important to me ever since I came of age in high school.  For some it was the best time of their lives, for others it was a trying time and for people like me it was the start of a very personal journey of self-discovery.  I started to learn the importance of  being an individual.  Being a lemming and following the crowd wasn’t something I sought.  What I learned to embrace was being the person I was meant to be.

At that time, I expressed myself with the clothes I made.  Unique.  No one else had anything like something I had made.

Today, the same holds true for people who express themselves with their sense of style.  A favorite pair of shoes.  That eclectic blouse or dress that says I have the confidence to wear something this classic.  So it holds true for those who wear art jewelry.  It makes a statement, sometimes bold, sometimes subtle, about the individual who wears it.

It is my hope that my new series of Express Yourself, with a little touch of Colorado, will provide the wearer that statement of individual style, grace and poise.  The series is currently available at Santa Fe Trail Jewelry in Monument CO.

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

Express Yourself Earrings
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

Another pair of earrings from my new Express Yourself series.  These are available at Santa Fe Trail Jewelry in Monument, CO.  Sterling silver, a variety of pearls, Mokume-Gane, 14Kt Gold filled wire, brass and of course, the signature Aspen leaves.

From my perspective, working on these earrings gives me the joy of creativity.  I find it to be completely freeing; allowing me to be very artistic.  From that comes such uniqueness for the person who wears them, allowing for a true sense of expressing who they are as an individual.  I’ve always been one to shy from following the crowd, looking for ways to be me.  Now I think these earrings can help others make statements about their self-worth and individuality.

With the current forecast of snow and colder temperatures, fitting for those of us who enjoy the beauty of living in Colorado, I know I will be spending some quality time at my bench this weekend, working on more Express Yourself items.

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

Express Yourself
Photo by ~ Daniel Krucoff

I would like to introduce my newest series, Express Yourself…a little touch of Colorado.  The little touch of Colorado are the Aspen leaves.

For a number of years I have wanted to inject Aspen leaves in my work.  Now I have.  In this series, every earring will have an Aspen leaf in either bronze or copper.

Thanks to Andrea Kennington of NC Black Hammers, I learned a bit about metal forming.  I took a workshop with Andrea a year ago at Sandy Harris-Murphy’s studio here in Colorado Springs.  Even though I was “sicker than a dog” during the workshop, I managed to pick up some of the techniques and some pretty cool tools too.  If you haven’t tried NC Black’s hammers yet, and you are a metalsmith, well, I would highly recommend you get a few of their hammers for these techniques.

The thing that makes these earrings so enjoyable for me is their uniqueness and how it is serious playing with metal as I put the components together.  No two pairs are alike.  I don’t have a design in mind as I start to fabricate them, I just ‘wing it’ as I go along.  The process is very similar to what I did when I used to wire wrap my glass cabochons….no design, just an image in my mind and it flows from there.  I love that part of the creative process.  As you can see, I use a mixture of metals and materials.  It’s sort of like making soup with whatever you have around the house.  In this case, I sit at my bench, and have an assortment of items that I pick and choose from to see what plays well together.  It’s a blast for me!

A few of my Aspens provided the shape for the leaves.  I plucked some leaves last spring, that were new growth from some of the branches I had pruned to help promote growth in the trees.  Now they are helping to provide growth in my work.  The technique I use to form the leaves is one of the ones Andrea taught which involves my rolling mill, torch and a variety of the NC Black hammers to texture and shape the leaf so it’s 3 dimensional, rather than flat.  Love it.

This pair has fresh water pearls, mokume-gane, oxidized sterling with 14kt gold filled wire, and textured copper.  Added bonus, they are super lightweight, which makes them so easy to wear and people hear tiny little ‘tinkles’ from their movement.   When I wear mine, I don’t hear them, but others have remarked they can hear them and they way they move, they really do direct people’s eyes to check ’em out.  I like that.

Yesterday I delivered my first batch of these to Marylee at Santa Fe Trail Jewelry in Monument, CO.  She liked what I had and took everything!  Thank you Marylee.  So, lucky me, I get to make more and it’s a pure joy to ‘play’ at my bench like this.  I think pendants would be a nice touch too, what do you think?

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

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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