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Inner Strength
Timeless Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

This was one of those stones. I found it at Gary B Wilson’s booth during April when he, Kathy, and Jesse were in Denver for Beadfest. It caught my eye immediately and I just knew I had to come up with a design that wouldn’t detract from the beauty of the stone. I went through so many sketches, that I will share here. I’m a little embarrassed to show some of these sketches, however, I think it is important/relevant for those who read my blog to understand the journey I take with a piece as I bring it to its final state.  Plus one of the goals I have with this blog is to document my journey as a metalsmith.  I hope you will enjoy my creative journey with Inner Strength.

The stone is an Amethyst Sage.  I’ve never seen one quite like this.  The markings within the stone are so beautiful. And that shade of purple, more lavender, is so rich and lush to me.  As many of you know, I have a passion for all things purple.

I truly struggled with finding the right design.  Here’s the first one.

Whew, is that like the flying red horse logo that Mobile gas had eons ago?  Ok, I just carbon dated myself with that one.  For those of you scratching your heads, here’s the logo I’m referring to….

Oh sure, now you can see the resemblance!  When I was a kid I loved horses, this was one of my favorite horse images, so maybe it crept into that initial design?

Well, I scrapped that one and moved on to these…..

Ya, I just couldn’t get that flying horse out of my mind yet, could I?  I did like the one in the bottom of this, but my gut was telling me it was too busy with that gorgeous stone.

Then I went off and tried some stone pairings to see if that was a way to go….

Pretty, yes, but it just wasn’t speaking to me.  Back to the drawing board, literally!

I thought I was getting somewhere now. I have this thing for two pieces that create movement, plus I really like what a tube set (that little circle at the bottom right of the sketch) does with a little faceted stone. But, for me the stone was upside down. I wanted it to have a different orientation that I felt was a better presentation of the markings within the stone.

Definitely more progress. The stone’s orientation is what I wanted. I still had a little tube set accent. I just wasn’t satisfied.

Almost there! There was a piece of broom casting that reminded me of Delicate Arch in Utah. I thought it was a great compliment to the stone. I still felt like something was missing.

Found it!  One of those moments.  I had done enough to get my subconscious working.  I think reticulated silver is gorgeous and all of a sudden I could see how the folds of silver would compliment the markings within the stone.  My ah-ha moment!  I had this beautiful reticulation that I had made during the Harold O’Connor workshop and one piece was made for this stone.  Plus I could include that little piece of broom casting too.  I gave up the tube set, but you know, that was ok.

I love the way the oxidation turned out on the piece too; nice subtle colors to compliment the stone.

On September 16, I wore Inner Strength to the Denver Gem & Mineral Show and got to show it to Gary, Kathy and Jesse.  The highest compliment I could have received was when Gary, who cut this beautiful stone, told me that I did a great job with its setting.  Kathy & Jesse also complimented me on this piece.  Talk about making my day.  Thank you Gary, Kathy & Jesse!

I am finding too that Dan continues to exceed my expectations when he photographs my work.  He is one awesome photographer in my book!

I hope you enjoyed reading about Inner Strength’s journey to fruition.  Why Inner Strength?  I think we all have more inner strength than we know.  Persistence is the key to so many things in life and it definitely enhances ones Inner Strength.  This is part of my Timeless Series.

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


Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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