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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

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.

The Journey Begins
Soul Searching Series
Photo credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

At one point, I thought my Soul Searching Series was drawing to an end….yet as I continue to develop new art jewelry designs, I find that there will always be pieces that belong in that series. These earrings definitely belong. Another beautiful Jasper set from Gary B Wilson. I’m convinced that Jasper stones will remain at the top of my favorite stones list. As with so many jaspers, I can see a scene…as if it is somewhere I’ve been or would like to visit. This one reminds me of embarking on a new path, a new direction if you will. So I give you The Journey Begins.

These are the largest earrings I have made to date.  The nice thing is that they are not that heavy, although I did use sterling silver posts, rather than french hooks, to provide additional support when these are worn.  The stones are set in sterling silver and I have textured the settings.  24kt Keum Boo accents were added to the top portion as complimentary accents to the images in the stones.

Why call these The Journey Begins?  Don’t you look forward to the excitement of a new adventure? What awaits as we travel the path? Change is a natural part of life, as is growth I believe. Without those elements, doesn’t life become a bit boring? I embrace change. I look forward to it.  Currently I feel like I am embarking on a new life journey, artistically that is, and so The Journey Begins for me.  What wonders will happen along the way? May they be joyous.

Care to share your thoughts and experiences about your life journeys?  Please feel free to do so, I’d enjoy hearing what you have encountered.

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

Imperial Jasper

Yesterday, I went to The Rocky Mountain Bead Society’s 2010 Bead Bazaar at the Denver Merchandise Mart.  That was no small feat considering the surprise winter storm that came through the area on Friday and Saturday.  Fortunately, my dear friend and mentor, Lexi Erickson, offered to let me spend the night if I could manage to get up to Denver.  There was a 2-3 hour break in the weather that allowed me to make it to Denver on Friday evening.  Thank you Lexi & Mark!  Lexi and I had been planning on going to this bead event for a while because  Gary B Wilson and his wife Kathy would be there with his cabochons.  Both of us were on the hunt for fabulous stones that would be perfect for a show we will be doing at the Botanical Gardens this fall, along with another 20+ members of Colorado Metalsmiths Association.

This Imperial Jasper was one of my key finds.  I spent a good hour looking for the right stones for the work I have in mind for this upcoming show.  It was a while before I found it, but when I did I thought it was magnificent.  It’s larger than anything I’ve ever done.  It makes a statement.  And it definitely shows Gary’s care and craftsmanship as a stone cutter.  The thing is, I put it back, thinking it was too bold, too much for me to try.  Lexi and I walked around the show while Kathy & her daughter were tallying our bill.  The image of this stone started to haunt me and just got stronger in my mind.  Lexi has told me if you find that one stone that speaks to you, get it or it will always call to you.

We sat at one of the lunch tables to rest and I told her about this stone.  She had seen it and knew which one I was talking about.  I told her it was haunting me.  She said if it was one of those stones, then I needed to get it.  I thought if it was still there, it was meant to be.  As the picture confirms, I have this stone in my possession.  I want it to be my standout piece for this fall show.

This picture, and the others in this post, are ones I have taken as part of my inventory process.  They don’t do the stones justice but I can tell you for a fact that they are beautiful.  They have been cut by a master.  Gary has a way of bringing out elements in a stone that are perfect for the Art Jeweler.  Now his work is done and mine begins with designs and metal work to enhance the beauty of these stones.  The next time you see any of these stones, they will be in their settings and Dan will take those wonderful photographs that he does that does justice to the work.

More Imperial Jaspers

The rich forest green shades in these Imperial Jaspers were too hard for me to resist. There is a pair that should make a wonderful set of earrings as companions to the big stone pictured at the beginning of this post.  I am exited about the possibilities for this new work.  I have this sense that some of these are perfect fits for my Soul Searching Series.  Time will tell.

Amethyst Sage

This time I indulged my love of purple more than I allowed myself at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show. These two are a couple of my favorites. The one on the left is a very striking stone; it has a lot of depth.  These are the types of things that Gary does with his work.  If you ever have an opportunity to see his work in person, please do so.  And introduce yourself to Gary and his wife, Kathy.  They are good people.

Red Jaspers

Lexi has gotten me hooked on Red Jaspers. She found that heart shaped stone and in my box it went. Hearts have proven to be a real design challenge for me, so we’ll see how I do with this one.  I know she likes to challenge me so I am certain that is why this heart came my way.

I had to share some of Gary’s work.  It’s time for me to get busy!

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

I am very happy to announce that three of my Art Jewelry pieces from my Soul Searching Series have been published in this book, Just Jewelry. I received my copy of the publication at the beginning of this week and it certainly is a new feeling for me to see my work in a book!

I owe a huge thank you to my friend and fellow artist, Tracey Clarke, for letting me know about New Art Review’s call for submissions from jewelry artists. For those of you who have not seen Tracey’s work, it’s a MUST. She is an extremely talented and gifted oil painter. Thank you again Tracey!

My three Art Jewelry pieces in this book are:

I am deeply grateful to my husband Dan as he did a phenomenal job of photographing my work. He always does. Thank you Dan. Another first, Dan received photo credit in the book. I am so proud of him.

Currently the book is available through New Art Review’s online bookstore. It is my understanding that at some point it will be available for purchase at Amazon. And New Art Review distributes their publications to galleries for review, so it is my hope that this additional exposure will help advance the word about my work.

It is a great honor to know that my dear friend and mentor, Lexi Erickson, also has her work in this publication. I know I’m in good company and great talent with Lexi’s work!

Until next time, Aspire to be more as an Artist and a Person.

Quiet Passage
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Royal Sahara Jasper, another stone that has some beautiful scenery.  For me this almost has the look of a sand dune type setting with a lone tree to the left, along with a couple of birds flying.  Warm colors in this stone are from the brown/beige family.  It’s a small piece, roughly an inch square.  Given the beauty of the stone I felt I just needed a nice, clean frame for the setting.  I did apply a light coat of liver of sulfur to oxidize the sterling.  The oxidation is very subtle.

Another stone purchased from Gary B Wilson.  I’ve heard first hand that he has some wonderful stones at the Tucson Show this month.  My source is Lexi, of course, and she is my eyes and ears at that show this year.  I’m hopeful I will be able to accompany her and the ‘posse’ next year to enjoy some of what that show has to offer.  For now, I will wait til Gary returns to Colorado at the end of April with more of his cabochons.  And I am looking forward to Lexi’s return, not only to catch up with her on a personal level, but to see all the lovelies she’s found this trip.  I hear Gollum saying something about “my Precious” about now.  🙂

Why did I call this piece Quiet Passage?  The scene I envision in this stone has a very tranquil effect on me.  It looks like there is a path to be followed and that passage will be quiet, peaceful.  May all of your life passages be peaceful ones.  I have this sense that I may be nearing the end of the pieces in my Soul Searching series with this one and another one or two that remain to be finished.

Dan’s photographic work continues to amaze me.  He’s captured the simplicity of this piece and shown it to be very elegant.

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


Addendum: This pendant just sold to a fellow artist.  Thank you Tami.  It heads to its new home tomorrow.

New Horizon ~ Soul Searching Series
Photo Credit — Daniel Krucoff

Another beautiful stone from Gary B Wilson.  This is the ‘sister’ stone to Ready to Bloom.  It is Ruby in Zoisite and the deep magenta color has a rich sage green compliment.  Again I can see a vista in this stone.  I’ve looked at this one a long time.  The roundness of the magenta color reminds me of a planet and the space surrounding this imaginary planet has deep sage green hues to it.  Who knows, maybe there is a place like this somewhere in the vast universe?  I’d like to think so.  I guess I’ve been one of those enchanted by the movie Avatar and the gorgeous scenes of the imaginary world Pandora.  Perhaps that has added to what I see in this piece.  So I view this as a statement about the what waits beyond the horizon.  It’s a new year, a new decade, and there are new horizons for all of us.  These are my thoughts on how I arrived at the name for this piece, New Horizon.

The setting is Sterling Silver that has been textured and oxidized.  This time I added an overlay in the upper right that reminds me of a little mountain.  It just seemed like that accent was needed as I worked on this one.

I asked Dan to photograph this one like he did Ready to Bloom with the water drops as part of the background.  I just love that watery effect.

It’s a special weekend for me and perhaps that is why I’ve been rather reflective about this piece.  My birthday is tomorrow, Dan & I will celebrate by going to see Avatar again and then enjoy dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Pappadeaux.  I want to see Avatar again in the theaters.  I felt totally immersed in the planet via the special effects and seeing the movie at an IMAX in 3D.  Whatever your thoughts about the movie, its story, etc., for me the artwork and the ability to create those graphics just left me spellbound.  I’m certain it appealed to the geek and artist in me and  I suspect it will influence my future work.

May you enjoy new horizons this year in your life.  Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Finding My Way ~ Soul Searching Series
Photo Credit — Daniel Krucoff

Available ~ $225 without chain

The stone is Casessite Jasper, purchased from Gary B Wilson at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show last September.  I think I fell in love with Jaspers at that show.  They seem to have such lovely naturescapes….or at least I see nature vistas in them.  This particular stone has some lovely warm rust shades with a nice compliment of muted ambers and soft tans.  The scene I see in this stone is a couple of large trees, bending as if trying to show the right direction.  It evokes a calming sense for me and I feel like I’m finding my way with this one…hence its title.

As each of us grow, working with our respective mediums, don’t you find that our work changes as we are finding our way? Sometimes the growth is slow, other times it’s like skiing down a mountain and it is exhilarating because of that controlled speed.  Well, I hope it is a controlled speed for each of you!  This piece was one of several that I worked on as a group.  I would cut out the basic designs for each and then I had to stop and work on an individual piece, giving it my full attention.  As I completed one piece, that fed an idea for the next in the queue.  Things evolved from piece to piece.  In Peaceful Surroundings, I added Keum Boo and then that confirmed I needed Keum Boo added to this piece too.  For Finding My Way, the Keum Boo at the top is meant to carry the bending shapes of those tree trunks I see in the Casessite Jasper.  I’ve extended the lines from the stone into the setting and the top piece that has the Keum Boo (24kt gold).  The setting is Sterling Silver and I went with a more subtle oxidation this time as I wanted a gentle background for this beautiful stone.

My mentor, Lexi Erickson, reviews my work at my request and recently she has challenged me to take what I do even further.  I love a challenge and I think I have a bit of an internal battle going on with myself to see what I can do to expand my style.  In addition to being a good friend, Lexi is such a great teacher as she knows when a student is ready for that next stretch.  I’m working on it Lexi!  Thank you.  By the way, those of you who live in the Denver area, Lexi is going to teach beginning metalworking at the Highlands Ranch Recreation Center starting in March.  I’d highly recommend investing in yourself and take one of her classes.

A number of you have inquired about these Soul Searching pieces.  As a result, I will now add to my posts about the new pieces, if they are available and their price.  That is why you see the price under the photograph for this one.  The dimensions for Finding My Way are approximately 2″ long and 1 1/2″ at its widest point.

Of course, I think Dan’s photograph of this one has showcased the piece perfectly.  As a matter of fact, his photographs of my work have helped me to be accepted into some upcoming shows and a book publication!  More details on the book in another post. 😉

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts with me.  Your generosity in leaving comments helps me to grow as an artist and I appreciate it.

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

Serenity Speaks
Soul Searching Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

A beautiful Tiffany Stone, purchased from Gary B Wilson at the 2009 Denver Gem & Mineral Show.  This was one of my purple indulgences from the Denver shows.  I am totally drawn to Tiffany Stones.  They can vary so much in colors, dark intense purple to almost white with slight touches of pale lavender and some hints of rust thrown in.  Beautiful stones.

My goal with this piece was to simply showcase the stone.  I didn’t want to add too much to the setting and distract ones’ eye from viewing the inherent beauty of this stone.  I think I achieved that goal and added some interest with the curved shape of the setting.

The piece is set in sterling silver and I soldered half-round sections of sterling wire in place at the top and bottom of the setting to help enhance framing this stone.

The stone itself has another scene that I can visualize in it.  I can see gentle mountains on either side of an river flowing into a larger body of water in the distance.  Another stone that reminds me of scenery from the hiking trails Dan & I have enjoyed at The Tetons.  The sky has some high white and purple clouds.  Very serene.  As I looked at this piece this morning, I felt a calm….a sense of serenity.  So I call this piece Serenity Speaks.  It’s part of my Soul Searching Series.

Of course, I think Dan’s photograph helps to enhance the beauty of the pendant.  We’ve been collaborating on various backgrounds to make the photographs pop and maybe become a little bit edgy or different.  I thank Dan again for another great photo of my work.

Please let me know what you think of this piece.  I always enjoy reading the wide range of thoughts and insights you have and are willing to share with me.  And Dan enjoys the feedback on his photos too!  Thanks.

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

Ready to Bloom
Photo credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

Yes, I am ready to bloom as an Art Jewelry Designer and as I looked at this beautiful stone, all I could see was a tight rose bud, ready to bloom and I knew….I just knew that was the right title for this piece.  There is a lot of meaning in this for me and I’m fairly certain this latest piece in my Soul Searching Series will become part of my private collection.

The stone. It is Ruby in Zoisite.  I purchased this from Gary B. Wilson at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show this past September.  I think it is so important to give credit where credit is due.  Lexi introduced me to Gary at that show.  Prior to that, Lexi had introduced me to his work.  As she says so well, Gary is one of those stone cutters that designs with the artist in mind.  And those of you who have been following my blog know that I want to do justice to all of the stones that I purchased from Gary and others.

The setting. Sterling silver with textures.  I’m quite fond of adding textures to my metal pieces and right now I have a fascination with bringing some of what I see in the stone and extending it into the metal.  I have several hammers that are my favorites for texturing.  The texture you see at the top is from one of my Fretz hammers with the silk pattern.  It’s subtle and yet, you can do many different things depending on how much and how hard you hammer the metal surface with it.  The ‘dots’ are my attempt to bring the patterns from the black spottings in the stone out into the surrounding metal.  I used another oxidation process to try to emphasize the textures.

The photo. Dan just came up with this idea to spritz water on the surface he was using.  The liquid look and feel really enhances the beauty of this piece.  I hope you think so too.

I have to come back to this beautiful stone again.  I’m really not one for pinks.  Yet when I went to that show, I made a mental commitment to NOT buy everything in purple, my favorite color.  And I did well, just ask Lexi and Dan. I may have acquired about 5 purplish stones then and the rest were totally different.

This stone stood out from day one.  As I worked with it from design … to creating the setting … and the final phase of putting the stone in place, I kept seeing that tight little rose bud.  Ready to burst forth and bloom.  If I may, that feels like me right now.  I’m ready.  Yes, I will always have more to learn, if we are honest…that is or should be the case for all of our lives …. if we truly want to continue to grow as individuals.  Without growth, we stagnate.  I for one want to continue to grow and learn until the day I leave this Earth.

Can you tell I fell emotional about this piece?  Yes, I have made a connection with it.  I feel it represents where I am at this time as a Jewelry Artist.  Get ready 2010, I’m going to bloom!

Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person…you know I am.

It’s a Matter of Attitude
Soul Searching Series
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

I think this is a beautiful piece of Texas Flint.  I purchased it from Minerax during the Gem and Mineral Show week.  It was another one of those stones that perplexed me when it came to a design.  However, after I had my breakthrough, this one just continued to evolve.

It’s one of my first pieces that I think has that true Arts and Crafts look to it.  In my opinion, the sterling silver circles really compliment the stone.

As I worked on the top section this week, I truly wished that someone had a square cutter just like they have circle cutters for metal.  I used square wire and soldered them in place.  My first attempt at this resulted in melting the top piece.  I’m very pleased with this second attempt.

I used sterling silver for the construction and added patina for color highlights to compliment this stone.

The title just kept resonating with me and so I felt it was necessary to call this “It’s a Matter of Attitude“.

Please feel free to share your thoughts with me on this one.  I always enjoy what others see in my works.

The holidays are here and I want to send my best wishes for a safe and festive holiday season to all of you.  Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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