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Only 8 more shopping days til Christmas, depending on your threshold for braving the shopping malls.  Are you in need of any last minute ideas for your holiday shopping? How about a pair my Ginkgo Leaf earrings from my Arts & Crafts Impressions line?

I’m offering free shipping via Priority Mail in the continental US only. You can shop from the comfort of your home or other location via computer! If you see a pair you would like to give as a Christmas gift, I would strongly recommend ordering them no later than Sunday, December 18th so that I can ship them by Monday, the 19th.

Ginkgo Earrings ~ Approximately 2″ long
Arts & Crafts Impressions

All of these earrings are light weight, which my clients really like. No two pairs are exactly alike. I cut out each individual Ginkgo leaf so they are very natural, just like you would find in nature! The Ginkgo leaves are copper with a bit of oxidation to emphasize their textures. The rest of the earrings are sterling silver, including the ear wires. I did not do a high polish on the silver sections because I thought adding an oxidation to them would compliment the coloration of the copper leaves.

Ginkgo Earrings ~ Approximately 1 1/4″ long
Arts & Crafts Impressions

Ginkgo Earrings ~ Approximately 2 1/4″ long
Arts & Crafts Impressions

Ginkgo Earrings ~ Approximately 2″ long
Arts & Crafts Impressions

Hopefully one of these will speak to you as a nice gift for someone in your life.  If you have questions about any of these, leave them in the comments section and I’ll respond.

Currently, I am working on a Storefront where you can buy more of my work through my Facebook Fan Page.  However, I have run into a few technical difficulties and you can imagine how frustrating  that can be for a techie like myself.  I will continue to work on that and make an announcement here when I have that Storefront up and running.

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

Next weekend, I will be joining Nancy Bonig, Richard Pankratz and Margarete Seagraves in a Holiday Market, hosted by Nancy Bonig at her studio in Monument, CO.

Ever the creative, Nancy wanted to open her studio to our customers for a little holiday shopping.  All of us will be offering special discounts, along with Holiday treats and a chance to visit with us about our work.

We think the timing is right, just after Thanksgiving….you’ve had a chance to partake of Black Friday Specials or Cyber Monday online shopping….now you can relax a little and look for a unique gift that can’t be found anywhere else.

My featured items will be the Ginko earrings, an example shown below, from my Arts & Crafts Impressions.

If you are in the area next weekend, we hope you will stop by and visit us.  I think you will find lots of unique items for your Holiday gift giving.

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

One of the positive things that came out of me being one of the artists at the Castle Rock Fine Art Festival this September was two members of Commonwheel Artists Co-op stopped at our booth. They liked my mixed metal Ginkgo leaf earrings, bought a pair, and invited me to participate in their Holiday Market that starts today, November 18th and runs through December 31st!

Commonwheel Artists Co-op is located in Manitou Springs, CO and is a group of wonderful, talented artists….some of whom I actually know!  I am very happy to be part of their Holiday Market this year.

I thought it would be fun to share some of my latest Ginkgo leaf earring variations that will be available at Commonwheel for Holiday gifts.  They are part of my Arts & Crafts Impressions series, which originally debuted at the Boettcher Mansion’s Gathering of the Guilds this past May.

As I started to work on these, each one sort of evolved or morphed into another variation….all of which started with one simple little three leaf design.  I am finding it fascinating how an idea will take root and grow during the creative process.

I’ll let Dan’s photos do the rest of the talking in this post.

The Original Ginkgo Earrings ~ My Starting Point

The evolutions begin…..

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

A New Day
Veracity Series
Photo Credit – Daniel Krucoff

This is the first of many in my new Veracity Series.  Currently, they involve working with heart shapes, but I can see this moving to other stone shapes and no stones at all….just metal.  There is something to be said about just working with metal!

As I worked on exploring several new series, I entered into a dark period that I think many artists….seeking growth….encounter.  It’s dismal.  There were two people supporting me and giving me wings to experience this growth.  Dan and Lexi.  I wouldn’t be at this point if it wasn’t for both of them with their special gifts.  Thank you.

I thought of a number of names for this series…”Fiercely Wild“, “Fierce and Wild“, “Untamed Hearts“, “Courageous“.  As I sat down to write this post, Veracity came to me.  This series represents strength, hope, courage, a willingness to grow and explore.  The shape reminds me of a wild horse’s mane or someone with that wild mane of hair.  While the name of this series is not set in stone yet, I would welcome your thoughts, impressions and suggestions.  The name of the series feels right to me, but I am curious about your thoughts.

So how did I get here?  Well, Lexi’s mentor is Harold O’Connor and Lexi is my mentor.  They have discussions about art vs craft (among other things) and that generates similar discussions between Lexi and me.  I don’t just want to do craft, that is follow the shape of the stone for a design.  Yes, this one sort of mimics the stone, but that was not my intent; it’s not a true heart shape that follows the shape of the stone.  It’s funny, I never really considered myself a heart person, but these hearts that I have from Gary B Wilson really draw me in.  I have a number of these and I didn’t want to come up with some cutesy design to mimic the heart shape.

As I started to emerge from the darkness of the block, this was not my first design.  That new series of designs will come in future posts and I will wet your appetite with a comment that they are just metal…simple, clean and in my opinion intriguing.

Several days after the break through, Veracity started to flow.  It was just like Mountainesque as far as the channeling and the pen having a mind of its own as I drew the designs.  A New Day was not the first design in the drawings, but it was the first one I decided to make.

I find I am having a love affair with copper and sterling.  Ever since Arts & Crafts Impressions, I have developed a new appreciation for the warmth and richness of copper and sterling combinations.  A New Day did not let me down in that regard.

The stone is Willow Creek Jasper, purchased from Gary B Wilson in April of this year.  I can feel how drawn I am to these stones now…the delicate pastels.  They are beautiful and I think they will remain in my palette.  Of course, I see wonderful scenery in this stone; clouds, a beautiful valley with a river running along the right side of it.  I thought copper was the perfect color accent for this stone.  The silver back plate is meant to accentuate the copper and the stone.  I have oxidized them and sanded the copper so it is bright and pops.  I think that as the copper ages, the color it will assume will also provide an excellent backdrop for this piece.

There are at least another 15 designs in the ‘book‘ so expect to see more of these as I continue to work on this series.

My heartfelt thanks to Dan for his encouragement, support and love during those dark days of the block.  And also my deepest thanks to my sister, Lexi, for all of her nurturing through my dark period too.  You will hear about my break through in a future post where that other series will be unveiled.

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

Soul Searching Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

With this piece, I am revisiting my Soul Searching Series. It has been a while. In my quest to find other ways to fabricate my work, I envisioned a slightly different way of bringing two elements together. I think part of this came from my previous wire wrapping experience. When I wire wrapped cabochons, I never really set out with a pattern in mind. It was an adventure to see where the wire would take me and how the cabochon would signal the wire’s path.

Originally, I set out to create my first hinged pendant with this one.  As happens with some of those first efforts, one learns but doesn’t always succeed.  I wanted to salvage the components I had already completed and re-worked things which led to this design.  I think this is part of the reason I’m known as ‘da fixer‘ in my metalsmithing circle of friends.

I realize it may be a bit difficult to see in the photo, but I’ll try to describe the connection variation I used.  I forged a bit of wire, wrapped it to form a multi-circle loop that allowed the bottom connector to pass through.  With my Arts & Crafts Impressions, I started incorporating some copper elements.  It seemed like this piece was a likely candidate for a few copper elements to enhance that pale peach/pink section of the top stone.  The top copper accent on the bail is intended to carry the ‘scene’ from the top stone.  The copper circle place on the connection was a just because I liked the idea.

The stones are India Jasper (top) and Chrysoprase (bottom) which I purchased from Gary B Wilson in April this year.  I go through this process when I’m getting ready to work on something new; look at the stones, touch them, see what calls out. The pairing of these two just clicked.  This was the first time I added pale greens to my palette and I was drawn to a number of these when Gary was in Denver.  Set in sterling silver with the aforementioned copper accents.  Textured some of the metal components and oxidized with liver of sulfur.

It’s a small change in direction, which I plan to continue to explore.  I’m quite fond of my Soul Searching Series and from time to time there will be those new works that are destined to become part of that series.  Just as I feel that I am destined to “develop things according to plan”.

Well, I guess I’ve dropped enough hints about the title of this piece….it is Destined.  For me, it represents a promise of things to come, things that are destined to happen with my work.

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

Ginkgo Leaf Earrings
Arts & Crafts Impressions
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Today, I am debuting my new series, Arts & Crafts Impressions.  The Ginkgo Leaf Earrings pictured are the result of many experiments, learning experiences and more than a few frustrations that occurred during the creative process.  All signs of personal and artistic growth in my opinion.  I must say that I am very happy with the end results, along with a few other sneak peaks I will provide in this post.

This weekend, I will be participating in Colorado Arts & Crafts Society’s The Gathering of the Guilds at the Boettcher Mansion in Golden, Colorado.  This is the second year for this event and I am looking forward to being one of the participating artists.

The intent of The Gathering of the Guilds is to promote the ideals and aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts Movement produced by such local guilds as the Book Arts League, Castle Clay Artists, Colorado Calligraphers’ Guild, Colorado Metalsmithing Association, Colorado Woodworkers Guild, Friends of Dard Hunter, Guild of Book Workers, Handweavers Guild of Boulder, Red Rocks School of Fine Woodworking, and the Rocky Mountain Weaver’s Guild. Designed to be an interactive event, there will be featured demonstrations, presentations and/or workshops on the best craftsmanship in and around the Rocky Mountain region.

It became very important for me to explore an Arts & Crafts theme for this event.  I have always loved the simplicity and elegance that the Arts & Crafts movement represented.  To bring this into my work, proved to be a real design challenge for me.  As I have mentioned, I certainly had my share of failures as I worked on this, yet it was worth it.  I feel that I definitely experienced growth in my work and I am happy to provide a preview of some of the new art jewelry pieces that will be available on this coming Sunday, May 1st.

I’d also like to provide a little background about the Boettcher Mansion.  It was built in 1917 as a summer home and seasonal hunting lodge for Charles Boettcher.  The 110 acre estate is in the Arts & Crafts style located  in Golden, CO.  I’m looking forward to seeing this historic home.

I am happy to be one of the members representing Colorado Metalsmithing Association, along with my fellow metalsmiths Lexi Erickson and Pattie Parkhurst.  Lexi, Patty & I will be demonstrating metalsmithing techniques, along with offering some of our works for sale. 

The admission is $5 and the event runs from 10 AM to 4 PM on Sunday. If you are in the area, I hope you will stop and take in all this event has to offer.

Here are a few of my new pieces in my new Arts & Crafts Impressions Series.

Geometrics Pendant
Arts & Crafts Impressions
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

I have a mixture of the circles and the Ginkgo leaves in this series.  I was surprise at how difficult it was at times to create pieces with simplicity in mind.

My focus for this series was to work completely in metal. I used copper and silver combinations.  It was a pleasant surprise to see how much warmth and  interest copper added to the pieces. I was determined to make this series just about the metal, no stones, just metal.

Offset Circle Pendant
Arts & Crafts Impressions
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Again, my hat is off to Dan for the great photos he has taken of these new pieces. He really makes my work shine.

I have more pieces, but I wanted to provide a sneak peak and I will feature more of these in my posts over the next few weeks. Right now I’m hoping that I’ve peaked your curiosity about this new series and if you live in the Denver area, maybe this will entice you to come see my new works along with the work of other local artists.

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

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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