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I have been spending time reflecting. I took a break from working at my bench for some much needed rest, relaxation and recharging of my artistic batteries. The break lasted longer than I expected, yet I believe that is exactly what I needed to become a better artist. My husband and I vacationed out on the Oregon coast. We enjoyed some fall hikes, walking along the shores of the Pacific Ocean and soaking in the beauty of nature. New inspirations were just a few of the benefits.

After that kind of hiatus from the bench, it felt both good and a little strange. Working with my hands is extremely satisfying and initially I did feel a bit rusty. I think it’s safe to say I am back and fully operational now.

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Sometimes I find inspiration from movies. Here is an example. Any thoughts on which movie inspired this piece?

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Quoting the infamous episodes from Friends with my own spin, “I was on a break…. a much needed break”. Given this experience, I broke some of my own rules of spending at least 5 minutes a day in the studio. That does give me some pause and contradiction, yet I know me and this break was something I truly needed to recharge my creative batteries.

All that being said, I would encourage my fellow artists to do the same. Don’t fight the need for breaks from the work cycle or even worse, feel guilty about it. There are times when the best thing we can do for our creative process is rest and relax.

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

 

 

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Love, romance, that special someone. There’s still time to find that perfect hand crafted gift! All of these latest works will be available at my Valentine’s Day Trunk show, this Saturday, February 13, 2016 at the wonderfully enchanted Santa Fe Trail Jewelry in Historic downtown Monument, CO.

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Willow Creek Jasper set in Sterling Silver with various faceted gems

I have been preparing for this upcoming trunk show. One of the things I like to do for these special events is have an offering of what I am currently developing. Not only does this give my clients and Santa Fe Trail Jewelry aficionados the opportunity to have first choice, but it also gives me immediate feedback of people’s responses to the new directions I take with my work.

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Asymmetrical earrings are one way I feel people can really express their individuality with distinctive, one of a kind art jewelry.

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Treescapes are certainly a favorite. This series continues to evolve as I look for new inspiration and ways to make them even more unique. These earrings are inspired by a little Bonsai tree that sits on my bench. I’m having great fun adding gemstones, like the faceted peridots, as the base of the tree.

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This style of Treescape pendant is growing in popularity too. Here we have a richly colored Variscite stone as the focal point with my Bonsai tree accent.

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There are many more that will be available this Saturday. If you don’t live in the area and see something that calls to you, send me an email for details.

Until next time, I continue to aspire to be more as an artist and a person. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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I have been focusing a lot of my attention on creating Treescapes. They continue to evolve and I like the direction the pendants (and earrings) are taking. While I will continue to make pieces that are ‘framed’, right now I find the clean lines that are simple showcase the stones and the tree shape in a classic way.

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Dendritic Opal, pale lavender hue in the stone, set in Sterling.

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Classic Snow White Dendritic Opal set in Sterling. The patina created a colorful fall leaf look.

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These sort of look like a Treescape forest to me.

Lots of inspiration for some of the current Treescapes has come from a little Bonsai Tree I recently acquired. It has a great twisted trunk with such a graceful shape. I can see its influence in some of my recent pendants and earrings.

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Graceful trees – Sterling Silver with Patina

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Deep green Variscite set in Sterling; my signature Treescape design.

You can find these and others at my upcoming events. Sign up for my newsletter to get the latest information.

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

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Where:  Santa Fe Trail Jewelry

215 Chapala Plaza, Monument CO 80132
719.481.0250

When:  Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Marylee Reisig, owner of Santa Fe Trail Jewelry, will be hosting my Mother’s Day Trunk Show.  This is one of my favorite venues.

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This beautiful stone became the inspiration for one of my cuffs.  Hopefully I have peaked your curiosity because the cuff will debut at the show tomorrow.

Recently I discovered a New Zealand glass artist, Lesley McIver.  I just fell in love with her take on sea glass with traces of silver.  I’ve incorporated her work in mine to make these simple, yet elegant earrings.  I will have a nice variety in different colors and shapes.

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There will be plenty of Treescapes.

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Enjoy the freedom to Express Yourself with some of these.

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Lots of possibilities for that special person in your life and maybe even for you!  I hope you can attend.  If you are unable to make the show and see something here that interests you, please inquire via email.

Thank you for your continued interest in my work.

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A couple of my latest fused gold to steel works

New works, Holiday events and more.  Sit back, explore and enjoy.

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My annual Holiday Trunk Show will take place on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at Santa Fe Trail Jewelry in Monument, CO in conjunction with Small Business Saturday.  I love doing this show at Marylee’s cozy cottage gallery and shop.  She has created such a warm atmosphere for artists to display their works.  I will have all of my latest offerings.  There will be warm cider to compliment the Small Business Saturday shopping experience there, along with some tasty treats too.  Please join us, if you live in the area.  It’s a great way to kick off your Holiday shopping and support local businesses.  Thank you.

I have had a number of requests for earrings with posts, so here are a few of them.

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I love Aspen leaves.   New to my Botanicals series, these have been created by the chasing and repousse technique.  Sterling silver, oxidized to emphasize the details.

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From Sensory Delights, the texture has been created through the use of a pattern sheet and my rolling mill.  Oxidized sterling silver, to bring out the details.

If you can’t make my Trunk Show, you are in luck.  Once again, Nancy Bonig (founder of the Front Range Open Studios) will be hosting the Holiday Party for artists who were part of this year’s tour.  I’m one of the participating artists who will be joining the festivities.   Mark you calendars for Saturday, December 6th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  There will be plenty of goodies from food to drink to art!  Free gift wrap with your purchase too.  It’s a win win.

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Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I am so very grateful for all the blessings in my life.  I appreciate your continued interest in my work and taking the time to read this blog. And, as always, I thank my husband Dan for taking such wonderful photographs of my work.  I couldn’t do any of this without your love and support.

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

 

 

 

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Fulfilled
Treescapes
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

Since the end of last year, I have been working on a number of new Treescape pendants.  This is one I call Fulfilled.  At last Saturday’s trunk show, there were some interesting reactions to this piece.  I think people found it quite unusual with the stone set on one side and the tree piercing on the other with a faceted peridoit tube set.

It was a bit challenging to fabricate because the tree design required a backing to support it.  I did one in copper in the shape of the tree that was overlaid to the back. It certainly makes for an interesting hidden element.

Why did I call this one Fulfilled?  Well, I must admit this had been sitting on my bench for while.  I had started this during the Open Studio Tour last September, because I felt it was an interesting piece to discuss how the fabrication takes place.  Once I finished the piece, I definitely experienced a wonderful sense of fulfillment and so it earned that title.

The stone is Morrisonite, set in sterling silver that I’ve oxidized.

The finished work is fun and a definite eye catcher.

Stay tuned for more Treescapes.

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

Time Stands Still
Treescapes
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

Returning to the Dendritic Opal stone family with this piece.  Dendritic Opals were the original inspiration for this series. A family of tree shapes take up residence around this lovely stone. This time I added a small silver accent in the upper left corner as a representation of the sun or moon, depending on one’s mood.

Set in sterling silver that I’ve oxidized with a liver of sulphur application.

The dendrites formed a solitary tree a bit off-center in this stone.  As I looked at the finished piece, it spoke to me about a moment captured in time.  The kind of thing that happens every time we take a photograph.  That instance is preserved on film or digitally; a second of frozen time.  As I thought about this, Time Stands Still seemed to be an appropriate title for the piece.

I like the small stone in this setting as I think it conveys a sense of delicacy, making this a very feminine piece.

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


Classic Elegnace
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

Sometimes I find that the simplicity in a design is all that is needed for the piece to make a real statement.  The stone in this ring is one I bought from Gary B Wilson.  A deep, rich purple in this particular Tiffany Stone.  It’s the first ring I’ve made where I’ve set a stone.

One of the things I am discovering is when I go into my studio and have no idea what I want to make next, I start looking at my stones and pulling a few out as possibilities.  This particular stone has been in and out of my stone boxes as I deliberated.  Sometimes I thought about making a pendant with this one, another time it seemed like something at would work in a bracelet with the right combination of other stones.  But, nothing ever clicked.

A little over a month ago, I was in one of those moods, and started pulling stones.  Of course, this one made it to the ‘pondering tray’.  I also had rings on my mind and had a few pieces of decorative wire on the work bench.  Then it clicked.  Something simple.  The stone would speak for itself.  The metal that would showcase it would be simple, understated.

The pattern on the top band is a classic Greek design.  I’ve used it for bails and other decorative elements.  On this particular day I wanted to overlay it on a piece of silver and then set this beautiful stone.  It just came together.  No sketches, none were really needed.  It was just the fun of picking out a few bits and pieces and visualizing them coming together to make this ring.

Based on the end result, I know I will continue with my creative exercise of what if I put this and this together?  Have any of you done this?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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


Solitary Companion
Treescapes
Photo by: Daniel Krucoff

Interesting title? I like the contradiction of the words. Once again, I see this little isolated tree in a sea of white. Lonely? Perhaps. Yet I have this sense that the little tree can be a companion for the wearer of the piece. Hence, Solitary Companion; another from my Treescapes series.

This beautiful Dendritic Opal came from my shopping finds with Mark Lasater of The Clamshell. Set in sterling silver, with more of the colorful oxidation that has a light coat of Renaissance Wax to help preserve the color.  The piercing in the upper right corner of the piece is my replication of the solitary tree I see in this stone.  I added some texture to represent the ‘leaves’ that those little dendrites form around the tree in the stone too.

I’m having great fun with these new pieces.  While Treescapes was originally inspired by the Dendritic Opals, other stones will be finding their way into this collection.  More to follow…..

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


Forest Canyons
Photo Credit: Daniel Krucoff

Now if you had asked me in high school what I thought of science experiments, I would have told you that I didn’t care for them at all.  It just seemed like I had way too many failures in the lab.  Sulphuric acid ate holes in my clothes, dissecting frogs was just unpleasant and I just didn’t enjoy it. Scientific experiments…well, that just wasn’t my thing….then.  However, since then,  I have learned that there is great value in being willing to experiment.  The rewards from experimentation vary, yet I am finding the frustrations I encounter when experimenting with my metalwork can ultimately yield some wonderful results.  As my sister Lex likes to say, “Creativity begets creativity”.

Continuing with the theme of my last post, these earrings represent another experiment of mine with how I attach components. Instead of the typical use of jump rings to join components in a piece, I decided to try twisted wire and a patterned wire to join the top metal component to the stones.  Dan really likes the result with this pair of earrings.  The stones are Cherry Creek Jasper.  Ever since I completed my first setting of a tongue type stone shape in Namaste, I have been fascinated with the ways to create something unique when combining two or more sections of jewelry.  These earrings have sterling silver posts.  I tried a different approach with the oxidation, working on more color.  Another experiment on my part.

One of the prinicples that Lexi has taught me about making jewelry is the importance of movement in a piece.  These have a nice ‘dangle’/movement quality and they are just plain fun to wear.  Light weight, nice movement, along with the interesting ‘shapes’ I see in the stones.  As is my pattern, those shapes reminded me of Forest Canyons, so that is how the name for them was derived.

The process of experimentation can actually be very freeing.  At least that is my experience with it.  I find that I am embracing the process of experimenting.  Sure there are failures, I have come to understand that is expected in this process.  Yet the rewards…aaaaahhhhh, the rewards are so worth the risk of experimenting.  And as Lex likes to remind me, it’s only metal.

So jump in, the waters of experimentation are just fine.  You will enjoy it.  Trust me.  It’s true.

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

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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