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Celebrate 2015

There’s an exhilaration with the start of a new year.  The anticipation of what the year holds in store for us and what changes we may make in our own lives.

One of the first things that Dan & I did to celebrate the arrival of 2015 was to have an Art Date.  We went to see Brilliance: Cartier in the 20th Century at the Denver Art Museum.  What a treat.  It took a little over 2 hours to see the exhibit of Cartier’s work.  A feast for the eyes and a delightful glimpse into some of the past eras where tiaras where the norm for the wealthy, fanciful tributes to Egyptian artifacts as people were caught up in the excitement surrounding the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, wonderful timepieces, and stylish cigarette cases when smoking became the fad to name just a few of the highlights.  While I don’t even come close to working with precious gems and the type of clientele like Cartier did, I do have an appreciation and admiration for the designs, works and craftsmanship.  If you live within a 100 mile radius of Denver or even a tad further, I think it is well worth the trip to see this feast for the senses.  The exhibit runs through the middle of March 2015.

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The jeweler’s desk is very messy.  It has to be that way.”  How true!

I think this bench at the exhibit is one of the most photographed by those of us who are jewelers.  I have an ongoing battle with the state of my bench.  The more the creativity flows, the messier it gets.  However, it reaches a threshold where I have to clear and re-organize.  Yet I find this quote such a wonderful affirmation.

As I’m looking at this bench, it is a confirmation of my thoughts at the end of 2014 that I needed to resume the Talkin’ Tools segment of my blog.

Talkin’ Tools Revisited

A number of years ago I started a segment called Talkin’ Tools.  To this day, those posts generate the greatest number of visitors to my blog.  My first post was on the purchase of a KnewConcept saw.  However, the idea for this actually came from my husband, Dan.  We were talking about one the most popular posts I had; it was related to the purchase of my Cliff Carroll anvil, which I called 35 lbs of Pure Metalsmithing Joy.  Dan suggested that I have features where I discuss my experiences with the tools I use.  From that, Talkin’ Tools was born.

The idea for tool reviews had been on my mind, because of my frustration with the lack of independent reviews on jewelry making equipment.   I wanted to provide helpful information about the equipment I use in my studio.  With the continued visits to that post on the anvil, it was as if people were telling me to write reviews.  So I did for a couple of years and then it lost momentum with me and I stopped writing my evaluations.

After seeing this work bench at the Cartier exhibit, I felt like it was time to revisit sharing my experiences.

In conjunction with that, I would also like to introduce you to a fellow metalsmith and friend, Melissa Muir.  Some of you may already know her, follow her blog, enjoy her Tool Time Tuesday posts and YouTube videos.  If not, I encourage you to get acquainted because Melissa freely shares her knowledge and skills, along with her evaluations on jewelry making equipment and how to use them.  I think our respective blogs are a nice compliment to each other.  Plus we both want to help others with the information we share in our posts.  Here’s a link to Melissa’s latest Tool Time Tuesday where she discusses bench shears vs guillotine shears.  Check it out, I think you will enjoy it.

So stay tuned because Talkin’ Tools resumes on Friday, January 16, 2015.  My topic will be chasing hammers and how I use them for Chasing and Repousse work.

Know that I will continue to share my experiences in this fascinating world of metalsmithing.  Please join Melissa in her journey too.

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

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Denver  Art Museum
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

This past weekend was the last weekend for the Becoming Van Gogh exhibit. My friend, Nancy Bonig, told Dan & I this was a must see and so we bought tickets.

Saturday, January 19th, Dan & I enjoyed our Art Date.  It was a very special day that both of us thoroughly enjoyed.  I hurriedly jotted down a variety of Van Gogh’s quotes.

“Success comes from a string of failures.”

“I am an artist….those words naturally imply always seeking without ever fully finding.”

“Just let me be myself — and express severe, rough, yet true things with rough workmanship.”

It was a fascinating journey of his brief artistic time….just 10 years.  To see where he started at age 27 to where he evolved at age 37 was more than impressive.  I was deeply moved by one of his last paintings, completed just two weeks before he died.  After seeing some of Van Gogh’s works in person, hearing his story, and seeing his growth, I find myself wondering what seeds may have been planted that will cause my work to grow and change.

Before we left the museum, we stopped at the gift shop because I wanted to see some of Nancy’s works.  Her beautiful glass work tends to sell out quickly and I wondered if we would even be able to find any.  Fortunately, there were a few of her pieces and a couple of my favorites that she’s just started are those of the Denver skyline.

After we left the museum, we walked around downtown Denver, Dan taking a variety of photographs, one of which is pictured at the top of this post.  We enjoyed an early dinner at Maggiano’s Italian Restaurant before we headed home.

I find it so important for Dan & I to have these types of Art Dates.  It’s a great time for both of us to discuss our respective work, future plans and more.  Do any of you have regular Art Dates?  I certainly hope so, the benefits are priceless.

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

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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