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Yes, you read this right, The Blog Hop!

I am not sure who started this, but I find it is a wonderful way for artists to introduce people to other artists that we know and admire.  I have been invited to participate in a “blog hop” by artist Robin Samiljan.  I first ‘met’ Robin through the Art Scuttlebutt forums (that no longer exist) and I was drawn to her paintings, especially those of bamboo.  While she was working on her masters, she asked me and others for some feedback that she incorporated into her dissertation. Robin captures the beauty of nature in her work and I know that is why I am a huge fan of what she does.

My participation in the blog hop lets me introduce you to her art and her blog along with three other artist bloggers I admire. I also have an opportunity to answer 4 specific questions, allowing me to share more about my creative process and art.

First I would like to introduce Robin.  Oh and I wish I was the one who created the beautiful necklace that Robin is wearing, but it wasn’t me.  Gorgeous piece befitting a beautiful artist.

Robin Samiljan


“I am inspired to create a balance between what I see and what I feel. Golden hues of autumn leaves at North Pond, the ominous Gothic shadows standing in front of the Wrigley building, or the silver reflections from a fresh snow in streetlight on Broadway Street, evoke feelings that exist forever in my mind. The vintage buildings along Lake Shore Drive remind me of my childhood and the many visits and family dinners at my grandparent’s apartment. I paint the brownstones and skyscrapers surrounded by foliage and perennials and re-discover contentment and warmth from my past. Having spent 25 years in New England, a move back to Chicago last June has shifted my artistic focus from rural landscape to urban surroundings and cityscape.”  ~ Robin Samiljan

Onward to my answers to The Blog hop questions:

1) What am I working on?
 Currently, I am focusing on combining two techniques that I learned in workshops over the summer.  Those techniques are: a. Fusing 24KT Gold to Steel and b. Chasing & Repousse.   I have two bracelet blanks sitting on my jeweler’s bench that have had the first stage of the process completed.  The gold has been fused and placed in locations in the steel where the leaf placement will be.  I have one for Gingko leaves and another for Aspen leaves.  The next step for this work will be employing Chasing and Repousse to create the leaf patterns.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I have my own unique style, as every artist does.  It’s like my signature and I can recognized others works by their ‘signature’ too.  I think it is hard to differentiate yourself from others in any field and producing Art Jewelry certainly is not different in that aspect.  The one thing I hear a lot about my work is that it is very earthy and organic.  I was surprised that it took me a couple of years to find myself in my work, but it happened and my advice to any artist is to be persistent.  Whatever you do, do not try to force anything to happen because I have found that will never work.  One day the real you will come through in your work and I am grateful that has happened for me.

3) Why do I write about what I do or work as I do?
I have always loved working with my hands.  In the late 2000’s, many people were blogging and I wanted to experience that.  Once I started metalworking, I wanted to document my journey in that medium through this blog.  Writing about the various techniques, my learning curves and experiences, including the successes and failures, along with a few tool reviews here and there…..well….it all just came naturally and I enjoyed it.  Every great artist started with that first brush stroke, from there, I believe a passion ignited.  Some have more natural abilities than others, but the important thing to me is to acknowledge that everyone has gifts that are meant to be shared.  I am always striving to improve, learn and grow in every aspect of my life.  It is my hope that I can help others in some small way with this blog to just do it.  Step outside of your comfort zone.  You never know what wonderful rewards are there waiting for you!
4) How does my working process work?
It varies.  As I have grown in this medium, I am no longer surprised when an image forms in my mind of a particular design.  I will record that on paper.  As I work on it, I refine what the original concept was.  The fabrication begins with my choice of metal (gold, silver, copper, bronze or steel) and the magic begins for me.  Attention to detail is key for the fine craftsmanship I seek in my work.
The artist/bloggers I have chosen to feature are past and present day.  All are inspirations to me and I greatly admire their body of work.
Georgia O’Keefe
Sarah GreenoughWhat can be said about this legend that hasn’t already been said.
I feel this sense of affinity with her because of her connection with what happens to an artist when they are in Santa Fe.  You can see this in her works.  She was always growing and pushing herself as an artist.
Ansel Adams
A master of black and white photography.
When I hear he was never satisfied with his work, on some level I understand.  Always striving to be better, to capture the right light.  In his day, he didn’t know the results until the film was developed.  He possessed such a gift.
Dale Chihuly
Color, shape, wild abandonment.  A true force.
This summer my husband and I had the good fortune to see one of his installations at the Denver Botanical Gardens.  The blending of shapes and colors with the natural beauty of the Gardens was breathtaking.
I hope you enjoyed this brief summary of each of the artists I admire.
Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


This month’s Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank topic relates to The Bucket List.  What are some of the things you’d like to do/ accomplish before you die and maybe provide your reason why?

As I thought about this topic, I realized that all of the things that came to mind initially revolved around travel.  There are so many places I would love to visit and some I would love to return to, but for this, I’ll just cover the ones that are on the top of my wish list.

New Zealand

Ever since I saw Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, I just fell in love with the beauty of where some of the movie scenes took place in New Zealand.  I am hopeless when it comes to mountains and lakes; their beauty is beyond compare for me.  So New Zealand is one of those places I would love to visit to hike, cycle, take tons of photographs and just relax.  I’m afraid I would never want to leave once I got there.

See the Tour de France.  Dan & I have watched the Tour for a number of years now and being able to see that great cycling event would be a blast.  Plus, there are so many beautiful castles and chateau’s in the French countryside that it would be a great sightseeing trip too.

The Black Forest Region ~ Germany

My paternal grandparents and my maternal great-grandparents came from the Black Forest area in Germany.  I would love to visit and explore.  I know I have relatives that live there, but I have no idea where or who.  I think it would be awesome to see some of those places where my distant relatives once lived.  Plus, there would be more castles to see too and I’ve always been fascinated by castle architecture.

Denali National Park / Alaska

Dan & I have talked about a trip to Alaska for years.  I feel like this is one that is definitely in our future.  Alaska is such a rugged wilderness to me and I find it breathtaking.  Plus, I would dearly love to see more moose….sure they are bad tempered, big and unpredictable, but to me they are such handsome, magnificent animals.  Of course, Denali National Park would be one of the must see places for that trip.  What a great photo adventure!

Yosemite National Park ~ Moon & Half Dome by Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams’ photographs of Yosemite (poster of this print available through AllPosters) have made me want to visit ever since I first saw them. I was a fan of his works even before I met Dan….it is one of many things we share in common.  I think Ansel’s photographs of this area created my desire to see it in person.

There are plenty of other places I’d love to visit.  I think these are the top 5 on my bucket list.  Course there are other things on my buket list too, but I think this post is probably long enough and thanks for hanging in there … reading this far!  🙂

So many of these places are great for photography and artistic inspiration, along with healing of the spirit and rejuvenation.  One of the things Dan & I have discovered is that when you take the time to photograph a place, you take the time to soak it in and savor the experience.

Please visit my fellow Think Tank bloggers today and see what their responses are:

Andes Cruz:
Thomasin Durgin:
Wendy Kelly:
Natsuko Hanks:
Mary Watson:

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

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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