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Oasis
Veracity Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

This evening will be the opening reception at the Denver Botanic Gardens for Colorado Metalsmithing Association’s Jewelry at the Gardens. I think it is one of my favorite events.

I have a number of new additions to the Veracity Series and I thought it would be fun to show a couple that will be available this weekend.

Oasis, pictured at the top of this post, is an unusual Imperial Jasper that I purchased from Gary B Wilson. The patterns in the stone remind me of an Oasis which is how this piece received its title.


Being
Veracity Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Being is a beautiful Savannah Jasper. It reminds me of a quiet stillness of just being there, in the moment.

Both of these pendants are set in copper with sterling.   I have started to use stainless steel necklaces, rather than silver, because of the fluctuating price of silver.  They seem to be well received, yet I do have a few silver necklaces available if that is a customer’s preference.

The Jewelry at the Gardens Show has become one of those wonderful events where you have an opportunity to see the works of many outstanding talents.  I am honored to be included in the group.

If you live in Denver, Colorado or the surrounding area, I hope you will have a chance to see this show.  The Gardens have so much to offer in addition to the many events on their calendar.

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

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Jewelry At The Gardens
October 7 – 9, 2011
Denver Botanic Gardens

Jewelry At The Gardens.  This will be my last BIG show of 2011.  Even though it’s only the second year for this event, it is my favorite.

How many shows and or events do you do?  I have yet to come up with the right number for me.  Yet this year, because of the uncertainty of knowing whether or not I would be juried into the shows I applied for, well, I ended up with a very hectic September and October.

Thankfully, I have been able to reach a conclusion about doing the outdoor fine art festivals.  At this point in my career, they are not a good fit.  I have a full time day job that supports all the habits….food, shelter, clothing and materials used in my work.  Doing the outdoor shows/events, I give up my normal weekend and more.  From a financial perspective, they are not a wise investment of my time.

I’ve just started reading “Mystery of Making It” by Jack White.  It’s a bit early to make a full assessment of Jack’s recommendations for artists, but I must admit that right now I find his insights, on Making It in the world as an artist, to be extremely helpful.  My plan is to try other approaches for marketing my work in 2012, outside of shows.  I think I would like to do one show like Jewelry at the Gardens or the Open Studios Tour, but the outside shows have been physically hard for me.

I don’t think there is any right answer about how to approach marketing ones work.  It is my belief that it just takes time and effort with a variety of trials to see what works for the individual artist.  There isn’t an overnight success, as many have told me, it comes after years of hard work.  Very true.

All of that being said, I am excited to be doing Jewelry At the Gardens again this year.  We have some familiar faces from last year and some new ones.  The venue is fantastic.  Last year’s show was such a success that the show has been extended by one day.  Friday evening’s opening will have live entertainment, a little food, wine and the works of some of the best jewelers in the country….even a few who are known internationally.  I am honored to be among them.

Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments….I’d enjoy knowing your approach to marketing your work.

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


The Poster for the Event

What a weekend. The weather was fantastic. I was honored and humbled to be part of this event and share the experience with so many wonderful and talented artists. It was great.

My dear friend and mentor, Lexi Erickson, asked me to design the poster and post card for this show. I happily agreed and the top picture is the poster in its final form.

Not many people can say they have done a show with Harold O’Connor. I had the good fortune to be in a show with two of my idols, Harold O’Connor and Lexi Erickson.

Harold O’Conner, me, and Lexi

I don’t think my feet were touching the ground in that picture!  And both Harold and Lexi signed a copy of the poster for me….now that’s going to be framed and hung in my studio as a reminder of a very special event and the great inspiration both of these talented individuals are to me.  Thank you Harold and Lexi.

The crowd was wonderful. I believe all of us had good sales and hopefully that is an indicator that things are turning around in the art world when it comes to the sales of our works.

Several of you have asked that I post pictures of my work that sold. Well, here goes….  Oh, and all of the photos were taken by Dan, so I’m just going to say at the beginning of all of these great photos to follow:  Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff.

My first sale of the day was a pair of reticulated earrings I called Ocean Waves. Great to have that first sale of the show.  How fitting that the first sale was also the reticulated silver that I made during my workshop with Harold in May of this year!


Ocean Waves
Timeless Series

The next sale was a pendant and a pair of earrings.

It’s a Matter of Attitude (previous blog post)
Soul Searching Series


Unidelta Tree
Tribute to Pandora Series

And then things just started to blur together…..

Binary Sunshine (previous blog post)
Tribute to Pandora Series


Puff Ball Tree
Tribute to Pandora Series

Another pair of earrings, Pendulum, that I never got a picture of before the show, so they aren’t in this group ….

Chalice Plant
Tribute to Pandora Series

And then I was completely blown away….

Dimensions in Time
Timeless Series

Yes, that’s right, one of my bracelets sold. A multitude of beautiful stones, hours of work, and its beauty was not lost on the person who bought this. She has a discerning eye, as did many of the shoppers this weekend. Coupled with that was an appreciation for the art that this bracelet represents. She also purchased Break Through (pictured below) and I know my pieces have gone to someone who understands. Actually, all of my pieces went to people who got it. What a wonderful affirmation for an artist.

Break Through
Soul Searching Series


Independence
Soul Searching Series

Pretty incredible.  The show, the weekend, the crowds, the talented artists, the beautiful venue, the experience….ALL exceeded my expectations.  I truly believe I found my audience.  It has infused me with new enthusiasm and the belief that I am on the right path as an artist.  It is my wish for all of you, my friends, to find that path we are destined to follow.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.  Thank you for sharing this journey with me.


Incan Dawn
Timeless Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Right now I am definitely captivated by using a tongue shaped stone with a top accent stone. For this piece, both are in the same stone family, Sonoran Sunrise. When I saw these stones a few weeks ago at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, I knew they belonged together. As I worked on the design, I kept seeing a ceremonial Incan headdress in the top piece with the sun’s reflection. I couldn’t visualize anything else as I looked at the completed piece, so its title is Incan Dawn.

This is one of the last pieces I completed in preparation for the Jewelry at the Gardens Show this coming weekend.

Tonight I packed my display materials and everything is ready to be loaded in the car. It’s nice to have things in this state a day early so tomorrow evening won’t feel so hectic. I set up with the other artists on Friday evening. Doors open at 9 AM on Saturday morning at the Botanic Gardens in Denver and I think the weather will be cooperative this weekend too. If you are in the area, I hope to see you there.

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


Free Spirit
Timeless Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

The stones are Teal Blood Stones from India. I purchased them from Michael Hendrix of Minerax at the sneak preview evening for Colorado Metalsmiths during Denver Gem and Mineral Show week last month. It was an easy pairing for me. Although both are the same stone family, they just looked like they belonged together. I couldn’t wait to pair them and set them in sterling.

Michael Hendrix is such a nice person.  He has his unique style for the stones he cuts.  And he is generous with his knowledge about the stones and why he cuts the shapes he does.  I liked his commentary on his expectations that art jewelers should look to be innovative and embrace unusual stone cuts in their designs.  Of course, I like a challenge.

Admittedly, these stones are cut in shapes that I find easy to work with, however, I did buy a few of those challenging pieces from Michael and I look forward to the creative juices kicking in as I work on their designs.

I don’t have many teal or bluish colored stones in my inventory.  However, when I saw these, I just couldn’t resist adding them.  I know I’m still finding what my true color palette is, yet part of me is resisting this….I don’t think I like the sense of feeling limited by just working with certain colors.  There are so many beautiful stones, I just don’t want to restrict what I will work with.  That may change as I continue to grow as an art jeweler.  For now, I enjoy the liberating feeling of experimenting with colors, shapes, stones, and textures.

Perhaps this experimentation led me to the title for this piece, Free Spirit.  It feels like this piece can soar high above the clouds.  As I looked at the completed work, all I could think was Free Spirit, so that is its moniker.

I felt it was necessary to keep things simple in this design because of the beautiful stones.  I textured the backdrop for the top stone and lightly oxidized the sterling settings.

Free Spirit will be available a week from tomorrow (10/16/2010), opening day for our Jewelry at the Gardens Show.  I think its a perfect piece for the setting we are so fortunate to have at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

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


Faith
Timeless Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

In one of my previous posts on Dare to Dream, I mentioned how fond I was of the Corazon de Santa Fe. Well, with this piece I was able to incorporate that cross into it. As I looked at this finished piece and the basis for its design, I couldn’t help but think ‘Faith’. That is how this one received its title.

Two weeks ago, at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, I purchased these stones from Gary B Wilson.  The top stone is an Ocean Jasper and the bottom tongue is a Savannah Jasper.  They paired up quickly and I felt they were the right stone combinations.  I couldn’t wait to get started on them and this design came together quickly.

Faith will be available at the Jewelry at the Garden’s Show in less than 2 weeks.  I hope it will be well received.

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


Living In the Moment
Timeless Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

So many times I think we have a tendency to think about what is going to happen in the future, what has happened in the past.  Instead of just Living in the Moment and treasuring that specific moment in time.  Recent events have provided an awareness that I need to focus on the current moment.  Live in that moment.  When it is gone, it is a memory.  Embrace that instance in time and stop thinking about what might happen tomorrow or the next day or the next week.  Remember the good things that happened in the past.  Cherish the present.   It’s all we have.

This piece spoke to me about Living in the Moment.  Embrace it.  As I thought of a title for this, all I could think of was “live in this moment in time“.  It is part of my Timeless Series.  This will be available at the upcoming show, Jewelry at the Gardens, which will take place at the Denver Botanic Gardens on October 16 & 17.  There will be more information on this show as the date draws near.

Petrified Palm Wood is set in sterling silver.  The stone is one I purchased from Gary B Wilson when he, his wife and daughter were in Denver this past April.  It is a beautiful stone.  The top circle is reticulated silver that I domed and soldered onto a sterling back plate.  The reticulated silver was one of the pieces I made during the Harold O’Connor workshop during the end of May.  I’m finding ways to use reticulation in a number of my pieces.  I love how the silver folds into peaks and valleys.

Again, my thanks to Dan for taking photos of my work that makes my pieces look so good I find myself asking “Is that one of my pieces?”  I am so blessed to have him in my life for so many reasons.

It may be too early for some of you to see where I’m going with this Timeless Series, however, I would still love to hear your thoughts about it.

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

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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