You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Front Range Open Studios Tour’ category.

coverartfrosfb

September signals fall. Accompanying that is the Front Range Open Studios tour of which I have been one of the participating artists since its inception just 6 short years ago.

The tour has grown, just as the artists have. My work has changed dramatically since I first joined the tour thanks to the encouragement I have received from others and my personal commitment to being a better artist. I have created new works especially for this coming weekend.

img_1711-edit

This weekend, people who live in the Tri-Lakes area of Colorado, have a wonderful opportunity to visit working artists studios like mine. All of the artists on this tour enjoy discussing their creative process. Here is the map to all of our studios.

tourmap

One of the unique things about this tour is our desire to educate the public about how we create our art. Sure we have work available for purchase if it calls to you. However, our focus is showing people our process, our love of the craft and our inspirations.

In my case, I have a fairly extensive arsenal of tools. They help me fabricate my art jewelry. The photo below shows just a sample of the tools I use in my work.

dsc08187

This year, people who visit my studio will see the process that transforms a flat piece of metal into a tiny Treescape earring. Those steps, a minimum of 22 for each work, demonstrate how committed I am as an artist to bring my interpretation of beauty into the world. I once had a gentlemen tell me that I “had too much time on my hands” because of what I did to make these. Sadly, he missed the point. As an artist, I am driven (just like my colleagues) to do what it takes to make art. It is our passion. As essential to our life as eating, breathing and sleeping.

If you live in the area, I invite and encourage you to visit our studios this weekend, 9/10-11 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day. I believe you will find the only real thing that differentiates us from each other is our respective mediums.

I work in metal. I am a Chasing & Repoussé artist. I create art.

handschasing

We hope to inspire young and old alike. Embrace your inner artist and join us.

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

 

GinkgoCuffWithCopperCab_Krucoff
Ginkgo Cuff in Shakudo.

I imagine most of you remember or are familiar with the Jerry Seinfeld show. There are many memorable episodes for me. The one when George struggles to come up with a decent comeback to a co-worker during a meeting has stuck with me. He thinks he finally has the perfect response and here’s his ‘moment‘. Never worked out as well as he envisioned, did it?

Ever since that episode, I classify some of my “That’s what I should have said!” moments of enlightenment as my personal George Constanza percolations. They generally occur about 24 – 72 hours after something has happened where I didn’t feel I had the best response. Some I could never say, some I tuck away for future reference and chalk it up to a good learning experience.

My most recent George Constanza moment happened as I woke up this morning. It was the result of an interaction during this past Thursday’s Art Hop. I’m sharing this not only because I find it a bit amusing, but also because I think and hope it will be helpful to my fellow artists and to those who purchase our work.

The ginkgo cuff at the top of this post is one of my recent works. I created for the Botanical Expressions Exhibit this past May.  I brought it to Art Hop with a number of my Chasing & Repoussé works. Around 7:30 PM, several women entered the shop and were looking over my work. One stopped at this cuff, picked it up and turned it over to check the price…..$650. She raised her eyebrows and said, “Well, that’s pricey!“. I expected that response given her behavior. I suspect she had been enjoying the wine provided by the other merchants as is customary during Art Hop. No matter, I replied, “Yes it is considering it is a very labor intensive work.” She acknowledged my response with “I’m sure it is“, put the cuff back and moved on.

Fortunately, I had read some recent articles about how to respond to these types of comments, but I still felt I fell short of explaining the basis for the price.

This morning it came to me. My George Constanza moment. What I should have said was:

“Actually the piece is quite reasonably priced considering the investment I have made in workshops to learn this technique, the tools I have purchase to execute it and the hours I have practiced. It is made from a Japanese alloy called Shakudo which is comprised of gold and copper. So in fact, this cuff reflects my personal investment and is very reasonably priced.”

Note to self this is the right response.

It’s up to us, as artists, to explain the ‘why’ in how our works are priced if people ask or complain. We should never feel ashamed or contrite for how our work is priced. My forms of personal adornment are labors of love and have a part of my heart and soul in each piece. It is hand crafted, not produced in a factory.

One of the principles for the Front Range Open Studios tour is to educate the public so they understand why art costs what it does. I am one of the tour artists and each of us opens our private workspaces to the public once a year to help them understand our investment in our art. It gives us the opportunity to explain and demonstrate what happens when we are in the studio creating. Every time we interact with a possible collector, we have the chance to educate them about our process. Yes, sometimes that is difficult with the atmosphere that can occur during certain events such as Art Hop, but it is not impossible. We have a responsibility to ourselves and the public to enlighten them about what goes into our art.

I am so grateful for all those who have purchased my works and become collectors. They understand. They get it. As artists, we need to develop future collectors of our works by helping them to get a better feel for the process.

Yes, this reasonable priced cuff is still available. If it calls you to and you wish to become a collector, contact me at info@kathleenkrucoff.com

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

TrunkShowFROS

For the past 5 years, I have been one of the artists of the Front Range Open Studios. Doors have been opened, new friendships have occurred and I have had the pleasure of working with the most enthusiastic, energetic founder of the studio tours, Nancy Bonig, who inspires me and is a great friend.

Each year, Nancy opens her home for us and hosts a Customer Appreciation Party for all of you who have supported us by becoming fans and purchasing our work. It is a private, invitation only event. Yet I wanted to share this here for those who are not part of my mailing list (you can sign up here) and may live in the Tri-Lakes area of Colorado. We want to thank you and invite you to this event too.

image002

As you can see, I will be joined by 5 other artists from the tour. We will have some unique works, some at special pricing, as our way of thanking you.

Please come and enjoy the festive atmosphere and holiday treats. We love talking about our process, our latest works and art in general.

RoundedSquareTextures

May your Holiday Season be bright, filled with love and laughter.

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

 

event2

Welcome September and with this month comes the early markings of fall, football, and the Front Range Open Studios tour. This is my 5th year with this great event and I am delighted to say I have been a part of it since its inception.

Sign

Just look for the bright yellow signs that will guide you to my studio and those of the other tour artists.

My studio is located at:
17595 Black Forest Road, Colorado Springs, CO

MapToHouse

Tour2015Artists
We are the artists of the Front Range Open Studios!

I have seen so much growth in my work since I first joined the tour. Anyone who knows me, knows that one of my goals is to continually grow as an artist and a person. I think you can see the progression of my work in this snap shot of a few of my works over the past five years.

WorkProgression

During both days of the tour, I will be demonstrating Chasing & Repousse. However, I have special times set aside for specific demos.

TextureDemoSaturday

 

Texture DemoSunday

In addition to that, those who visit my studio can enter either of the drawings I will have. One is for this pair of my Express Yourself earrings that are textured and oxidized sterling silver. A $75 value.

EarringsForDrawing

The other drawing will be for a $25 gift certificate to Wisdom Tea House in Monument CO.

GiftCertificateDrawing

It’s going to be a great weekend as each of us explain our creative processes and share our inner most sanctuaries where we create. Please join us for what I believe is one of the best artist studio tour in the state of Colorado.

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

 

GinkgoCuffGoldSteel
Botanicals ~ Ginkgo Leaves; 22Kt Gold fused to Steel
Photo credit: Dan Krucoff

September brings a change in seasons here in Colorado. The temperatures have already started to cool in anticipation of fall. Trees are even starting to change color. I love this season. And with September comes the Front Range Open Studios!

SignLook for these colorful signs to guide you to the 16 artist studios on this year’s tour.  I am delighted to be returning to the tour, now in its 4th year.  So many creatives, sharing what they do and opening their studios to the public during the weekend of September 13 – 14, 2014.

aspenCuff

 

Botanicals ~ Aspen Leaves; Sterling Silver
Photo credit: Daniel Krucoff

During this year’s tour weekend,  I will be demonstrating a metalsmithing technique known as Chasing and Repousse.  I took a 5 day workshop this summer from Il Maestro Fabrizio Acquafresca.  What a wonderful experience and it has opened so many possibilities for me in my work.

The cuff shown at the top of this post is a combination of techniques; Chasing and Repousse, plus fused gold to steel.  My husband Dan had a great idea to video my work on this cuff, from start to finish.  Here’s a sneak preview of that video.

If you visit my studio during the tour weekend, the video of this piece’s fabrication will be playing (except during the Bronco game on Sunday).  Throughout the days on Saturday and Sunday, I will be demonstrating Chasing and Repousse, the Italian way.  My goal is to share how this technique can be utilized to create wonderful forms of personal adornment.

aspenLeafEarrings

I will also be debuting a number of Aspen leaf earrings, like this pair.  Fused 22Kt gold to steel.  The movement in these reminds me of the way the Aspens in our back yard move as the wind blows.  As a matter of fact, several of the young Aspen leaves from this spring served as patterns for the earrings.

 2014map

This is the map to our studios.  Click on the map or this link for the online information showing where our studios are located. My studio is lucky #13!

In addition to all of this, we have the Zentangle Challenge!

ZentangleSmall

What are Zentangles? They are a form of creative doodling.  The ‘zen’ part is the calm, relaxing sensation one experiences during this form of self-expression.  Anyone can do it.

Ten artists on the tour have either incorporated Zentangles into their work or have examples as inspiration in their work space.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find all ten artist locations where the Zentangles exist.  When you find them, circle or star the location on the studio brochure (that is your entry form for this contest).  Once you have identified all ten locations, you can leave your completed brochure at any tour studio.  Please include your name, email and phone number so we will know how to contact you if your name is drawn as the winner.  The prize, a gallery quality dichroic  glass platter by Nancy Bonig Glass Studio!

NancyPlate

 

The weather forecast is wonderful for this weekend, with a hint of coolness and that means I might make a batch of spiced cider for people who visit me.

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

holidayFROSshowMoreSnowflakes

 

Please accept this invitation to come and celebrate the Holidays with nine of this year’s Front Range Open Studios artists this coming weekend at Nancy Bonig’s Glass Studio.  We want to show our appreciation to you for your support of the arts.  There will be holiday treats, eggnog, spiced cider and more.  All of us will be offering our works at special pricing if you would like to do some shopping while you enjoy the festivities.

HolidayInvite600MailChimp

 

Here’s a preview of my display.

DSC01529

 

This weekend is going to be a chilly one, so why not escape into the world of nine artists?  I can promise you it will be enchanting.

collage

 

Wishing you the happiest of Holiday Seasons!  Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!

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

ExpressYourselfSilverLeaves

Express Yourself with Silver Leaves
All photos by Daniel Krucoff

Just a quick reminder, this weekend is the Front Range Open Studios Tour.   Saturday, 9/14 from 10 AM – 6 PM and Sunday, 9/15 from 11 AM – 5 PM. Click here for the map to all the studios on the tour.

Now I want to share with you what will be happening at my studio this weekend.  I also wanted to give you a sneak preview of a few of the new works I will be introducing.

The Express Yourself Earrings, pictured at the top of this post have the new leaf variation in silver with a curly, vine-like stem.  The stones above the pearl are Picasso Stones and are put together to resemble cairn trail markers.  All of this symbolizes the true Colorado spirit I have wanted to achieve with this line.

I will also be introducing a new Treescape earring with a touch of gold.  The tube sets on these are 14kt gold with gemstones like Amethysts as shown in this pair.

TreescapesWithGold

There are a number of new Treescape pendants, with colorful patinas like this one.

ColorfulTreescapePendant

As discussed in an earlier blog post, I will be providing an opportunity for visitors to discover their inner artist by creating a pair of earrings from components I am providing.  The cost of the earrings will vary depending on the components selected.

EarringComponents
Earring components

 Of course I will help with assembling the earrings.  The added fun to all of this is a visitor can leave with earrings they created.  The next two sets of earrings are examples of what someone can create for themselves.
SampleEarring1
SampleEarring2

As I have done in previous years, I will be demonstrating a variety of metalsmithing techniques, discussing my creative process and showing you my studio where the real magic happens for me when I create.  I hope you will visit me and the other artists on this year’s tour.

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

kkInvite2013Final

As August draws to a close, I am preparing my studio for all the visitors I hope will come to see me demonstrate metalworking on the weekend of the Front Range Open Studios Tour.

bench

My studio has undergone a transformation over the past few months; some rearranging and redecorating.  Out with the old, in with the new.  I have made a lot of changes to my studio space to give me more room, better organization and a nice open feeling.  I can finally see the top of my bench, which is inspiring in and of itself!  On the peg board above my bench, you can see an assortment of Fretz Hammers and even the new jeweler’s saw by Sobaone.

benchTop

I have new tools and new projects.  Meet my new rolling mill, a Durston….I keep referring to it as a rolling mill on steroids!  Of course there is my trusty Cliff Carroll anvil, along with my Shark Bite hydraulic press.  Plus an assortment of hammers from N C Black & Co.  Yes, I do like my tools.

rollingMillAndFriends

Several additions to my tool repertoire are my bench shear by Accucutter and a Craftsman drill press.

tools

Certainly, no metalsmithing studio is complete without the solder station area.  Safety is a must here.

solderstation

For this year’s tour, I am doing something  that I hope will be fun for the visitors, get them involved and wake up their inner creative spirit!  I am providing an opportunity for people to create their own earring designs from an assortment of components I’ve made.  Shown below is just a sampling of a few of the earring components people can choose from.  Prices for the completed earrings will vary depending on what is selected.

earringComponents

And yes, there is a basset hound in the background, because nothing is done in my studio without basset supervision.  Or as Dan likes to put it, everything is easier with a basset around!

exampleEarrings

These are a few examples of the type of earrings someone can design.  I thought this would be a great way for people to awaken their inner artist.  What do you think?

This is my third year on the tour.  It continues to grow and change like a vital, energized living being.  There are so many talented artists on this year’s tour.  I am just delighted and humbled to be be a part of this group again.  Like me, a number of this year’s artists have surprises in store for those visitors to our studios.

Of course, I will be demonstrating various metalsmithing techniques throughout the weekend.  Metal piercings, like I use to create the trees in my Treescape series, texturing, stone setting, soldering and more.  My goal is to walk people through the fabrication process via a pictorial overview, accompanied by a variety demos I will perform.

All of us are very excited about this year’s tour and the potential for people to learn more about our work and our process.

Just in case more enticement was needed to visit my studio, I will be introducing my newest studio mascot, Thorin.

Thor11WeeksCallaway’s Thorin Oakenshield (aka Thor)

Now if a cute, not so little, basset hound puppy won’t get you in the car to come over to my studio, I’m not sure what will!

Click here for the map, with directions, for all the artist studios on the tour…including mine.  And look for the bright yellow directional signs with the tour logo to help you find an artist’s location.

frosSign

I welcome you to join me and my fellow artists for these 2 days in September when we open our studios to the public.

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

IMG_6162
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.

IMG_6163
Treescapes – Porcelain Jasper
Photo – Daniel Krucoff

IMG_6130
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.

Thorin
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.

This will be my last show of 2012.  Once again my friend Nancy Bonig is opening her home for a unique holiday shopping experience.  I am grateful to be one of the six Front Range Open Studio Artists participating.  This e-Invite has been sent to those who are signed up for our respective newsletters.  I thought it would be nice to include all of you who subscribe to my blog posts too.  Any of you that may live in Monument CO and/or the surrounding areas are welcome, as this isn’t an event that will be publicized to the general community.

One of the great things about this weekend event is that Nancy has created a very festive and relax atmosphere for people to shop, talk with us and enjoy art.  Her home is beautifully decorated for the holidays and filled with lovely yuletide music.  We will be providing plenty of munchies, mulled wine, eggnog, cider….well you get the idea….good food and drink!  Oh yes, and last but certainly not least, we are offering some of the most unique, one of a kind, handcrafted art works you will ever find for this season’s gift giving.

My thanks to everyone who came and purchased Treescape pendants and earrings at my trunk show yesterday at Santa Fe Trail Jewelry.  It was so good to see everyone, discuss my process and talk about all the beautiful artwork Marylee has in her shop.  I had a wonderful day and you have my gratitude for liking my work enough to give it as gifts this year.

For those who didn’t have a chance to come to the trunk show, next weekend is another opportunity to see if my Treescapes works will find their way into a stocking hung with care or a present under the tree!  The earrings shown above are just a few hot off my bench.  I’ve been adding rough cut sapphires and more facetted stones.  The pair at the top left of this photo collage has 2mm facetted citrine tube sets; I wear the best magnifiers I have so I can see what I’m doing….those stones may be small, but they add that sparkle that flashes in the light when you wear them.  From start to finish, each pair has at least 10 and as many as 15 steps in the process to complete the work.

Whether you survived the frenzy of Black Friday and the upcoming Cyber Monday, I can assure you that coming to Nancy’s to shop will be a true slice of heaven.  I hope to see you there.

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

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 813 other followers

Follow my tweets!