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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.

Spring’s Blush
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

I suppose it seems a bit odd to write about one of my newest Treescape pieces with a title of Spring’s Blush, on this lovely fall afternoon in October.  Yet, the green of this stone is so fresh and delicate, it reminded me of spring.

After the Front Range Open Studios Tour, I had quite a few works in progress.  This was one of them.  Over the past number of weeks, I’ve been working to finish all of those progression pieces that I used for my demos during the tour.  I think I still have another 4 or 5 to complete.

The stone is American Variscite, cut by Ken Brittain of Rogue Gems.  I set this in Sterling Silver, which I have oxidized with Liver of Sulphur.  I find it fascinating that I can play with the oxidation process to achieve colors that compliment the stones I use.  I’ve also used a bit of Guilder’s Paste to accentuate the piercing that forms the tree.  I’ve sealed this with a matte lacquer to preserve the finish.

I decided not to frame the setting as I have in some of the Treescapes.  I just wanted to keep things very simple for this particular piece.

On this beautiful fall afternoon, as our aspens have started to turn rusty gold, I truly am enjoying one of my favorite seasons.  Yet I am reminded of the renewal that comes in the springtime.

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


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.

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

If you live close to Monument and the surrounding areas, this is the weekend for the Front Range Open Studios. It is our inaugural year and Nancy Bonig has worked so very hard for all of the participating artists.

You can find a map online showing where all of the studios are on the tour.  We have such talent in this tour.  I know each of us is looking forward to sharing our process with people to help develop a better understanding of what it takes to create our respective works.

Here is a complete listing of all of the participating artists in this year’s tour.

I wish I could visit the studios of my fellow artists as I think we have an incredible group.  However, I will be busy demonstrating how I work with metal and sharing insights about my creative process.  This is one of those great opportunities to learn about art, talk with the actual artists, see our works in progress and those that are completed.  I hope you will join us!

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

It’s time for Art Hop!  Thursday evening, June 16, 2011 from 5 PM to 8 PM.  Lots to do.  Plenty to see.  And this time, I think the weather is going to cooperate too.

I will be one of the artists representing the Front Range Open Studios Tours, along with Nancy Bonig at the Gallery Center located at 366 Second Street #C in Monument, CO.  I think there may be some other open studio tour artists, but I haven’t heard the final word.

Just wanted to send out a shout and if you live in the Monument, CO area, come visit downtown Monument.  There’s lots to see and I think you will be glad you did.  Hope to see you there.

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

I am delighted to announce that I have been accepted as one of the artists for the Front Range Open Studios Tour this fall.  The event will take place on the weekend of September 17th & 18th from 10 AM – 6 PM on Saturday and from 10 AM – 5 PM on Sunday. Rest assured I will post reminders and more details as we get closer to the dates.  In the interim, if you ‘Like’ Front Range Open Studios Facebook page, you’ll receive updates on what our plans are.

To my surprise, one of my Mountainesque pieces, Uncharted Territory,  is featured as the artwork for the poster too!  Whoot!  I am truly honored and humbled to have been selected as part of this group of artists whom I consider to be very talented and gifted.

The first Art Hop of the season will take place tomorrow night, Thursday, May 19th from 5 PM to 8PM at The Gallery Center, 366 Second Street, Suite C, Monument CO.  I will be there with several of my fellow participating artists to discuss the upcoming open studios tour and provide a preview of some of our work.

One of the goals of the open studio tour is to show the public the working artist studios located in the Tri-Lakes Area which includes Larkspur, Palmer Lake, Monument, Gleneagle and Black Forest.  During the open studio tour, each artist will demonstrate the process of creating their art, including materials, tools, special procedures.  It should prove to be very informative.

Initially, I was approached by Nancy Bonig, who is a glass artist that I greatly admire, to apply for this event.  I am touched and thankful that Nancy liked my work so much that she thought of me and asked me to apply.  The rest is history now and I’m so excited that my work was juried into this tour.  I believe this is a great opportunity.

I am looking forward to demonstrating my process as I create my art jewelry.  Over the past year, Lexi & I have discussed the importance of educating people about how we create our work.  This tour will provide a wonderful way to see where we work & create, the tools used in our craft, what inspires us, and more.  We recognize why there is “sticker shock” at times for a certain piece of our work.  We feel it’s incumbent upon us as artists to help educate the public about why a piece of our work costs more than the trinkets you can purchase at the large box stores.  I’m just saying!  Do you want to buy something of quality and craftsmanship, with a bit of the artist’s soul in it, or something that’s just crunched out by machines?  Big difference, Huge, ok, CAVERNOUS!  🙂  I’m more than a little passionate about this topic, can you tell?

There may be some challenges to get to my studio, as there are detours and road construction out where I live and that may deter some, but I hope it won’t.  I can promise those who venture to my studio, they will not be disappointed and I will be very happy to discuss what I do and show a variety of aspects that go into creating my art jewelry.  Plus you will get to see some of my finished work, maybe even a new series!  Well worth the price of admission, which is FREE by the way.

For now, I hope those of you who live in the area, maybe you can find some time to check out the first Art Hop of the 2011 season, stop by The Gallery Center and say Hi!  I’m certain there will be lots of beautiful work to admire.

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

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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