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TextureChallengeKathleenKrucoff

I am part of a Chasing and Repousse group on Facebook. When I first joined, I did not know this technique, but I had a desire to learn. Last year, that desire was fulfilled when I took a workshop with Il Maestro Fabrizio Acquafresca. One of the things Fabrizio told me was to “keep hammering” and I am.

One of life’s serendipitous moments happened in June when I met Laurie Jane Kern (aka The Adventurous Silversmith) during the Artists Reception at Outnumbered Gallery in Littleton for the First Chasing and Repousse exhibit. Both Laurie and I had pieces in the show. And Fabrizio was back in Colorado for this event. Throughout the course of the evening I had many great conversations.

What does this have to do with The Texture Challenge? Well, Laurie is the founder of the Chasing and Repousse group on Facebook. She picks these challenges that run every 2 – 3 months. During that opening reception, she told me about this upcoming challenge and wanted me to participate. The photo at the top of this post is the result of my work.

Talk about fun. Not only did I make a couple of tools for a specific texture, I also learned so much that I want to incorporate in my future works. The best part of this for me was the continued, almost daily practice, so I could complete the sample in time. Doing this has shown me that if I want to try a new texture, grab a piece of copper and practice that texture before doing it on the actual piece I will create. This small effort can provide great insight into what needs to happen to create a particular texture.

I thought you would enjoy seeing the texture squares next to the references I used to create them. I’m also going to share a bit about the two tools I made as part of a personal challenge. More than one of the artists at the Exhibition stated that creating your own texture tools was one way to have your work truly stand out.

ReferenceR1C1Sand

Sand

This is the one square where I created my own texture tools. I will admit that starting to make these types of tools can be a bit intimidating for me, but that feeling quickly wore off and I am ready to make more! I will discuss my experience with tool making in a future post in my Talkin’ Tools series. I found that the smaller of the two tools was best for this sand texture. When doing this type of texture, there is a lot of repeating the pattern over itself until you achieve the desired result.

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Custom made tools.

Next is one of my favorites, a leaf.

ReferenceR1C2Leaf

Leaf

Again there is a lot of repetitious patterning so the end result looks like those cells in an actual leaf.

ReferenceR1C3FishScales

Fish Scales

I have fished but never truly studied the patterns in their scales until now. The amount of detail is surprising and something I find quite beautiful.

ReferenceR2C1Bark

Bark

My attraction to trees made a bark texture a perfect choice. It was far more challenging that I could have imagined.

ReferenceR2C2SeaShell

Sea Shell

There’s a delicate beauty in sea shells. I’ve collected a few and my interest in their patterns grew after our trip to the Oregon coast last fall. I knew I wanted to make a cuff design, incorporating lots of varieties. Now I know how challenging that cuff will be, but I think it will be a stunner.

ReferenceR2C3Rope

Rope

Somewhat in keeping with a nautical theme, I really like the big thick ropes that are tied to anchors.

ReferenceR3C1GrassSeed

Grass Seeds

I happened to find this specimen in our back yard. We seem to have so many pretty grasses where we live. This one caught my eye and I just knew it needed to be included in my samples.

ReferenceR3C2TreeRing

Tree Rings

I’m fascinated by the growth rings in trees. They tell a story about any given year in the tree’s life. A few years ago we traveled to Yellowstone and one of the 100+ year old trees had to be cut down. The rangers had marked years on the various rings, accompanied with a historical reference. They are little windows into the past.

ReferenceR3C3DogFur

Dog Fur

Last but certainly not least is the pattern from our Thorin’s dog fur. He wondered what I was trying to do when I snapped the close up of his fur.

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My handsome model, Thorin

A fun challenge that was a great learning opportunity. Which of these textures is your favorite?

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

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Chinese Writing Stone Pendant #1

Chinese Writing Stone Pendant #1

I completed this pendant last night during my lesson with Lexi.   One of my goals with this piece was to carry the stone designs into the surrounding setting.  Fortunately, I had received one of the first texture hammers I’ve ever ordered and it lent itself perfectly to creating the effect on the metal.  A patina was added to help accent the depth of the texture and compliment the coloration of the stone itself.

The stone in this setting is a Chinese Writing Stone.  The name of the stone is derived from the crystalline structures that resemble the Chinese characters of the written language.  I have a couple of these and I really enjoy the randomness of the patterns created by the crystal structures in the stone.  In my opinion, the stone has a very dramatic, striking appearance.  I will be creating more of these pendants for the remaining Chinese Writing Stones I have.  Right now I think I will continue to carry the texture into the next settings, but vary the effects to accent each piece…depending on the patterns in those stones.

Initial design

Initial design

This was my initial design.  At this stage I was debating about creating a pierced cut out to convey the ‘characters’ as this drawing shows.  That just didn’t seem to be working the way I wanted.  Then I thought about cutting pieces of sterling and soldering that around the background to carry the characters into the piece. When the texture hammer arrived, I knew as soon as I saw it… it was perfect for creating the effect I wanted.  In this photo, you can see that I’ve just cut out the back piece, which is 20 gauge Sterling Silver.  I took a couple of days to finally decide what effect I wanted to add to the back piece and as the final result shows, the texture won out over some of my other options.

Lexi has written a step by step article for this month’s issue of Lapidary Journal (August 2009), that provided the inspiration for the bail shown in the picture below.  I carried the texture effect to the bail.  Once I had soldered the bezel on the front of the pendant, it was turned over so this bail could be soldered in place.

Pendant back with textured bail

Pendant back with textured bail

I know, no one really sees this part of the pendant except the person who wears it.  However, as I’m learning from Lexi, that’s part of the craftsmanship that belongs with art jewelry.  Happy creating everyone!

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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