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Daybreak
Treescapes
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

Just a sweet little Tiffany Stone. Small with lots of detail.  To me, it looks like an very unusual sunrise, distant mountains are just shadows and a few trees in the foreground.  It reminds me of Daybreak.

I really do love experimenting with oxidation of the sterling.  This one took on some lovely colors to compliment the stone.  I’ve used a light application of a matte lacquer to preserve the finish.

The piece is currently in residence at Santa Fe Trail Jewelry in Monument CO, awaiting its owner.

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.


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.

TiffanyStoneDrawings

These drawings represent the various designs I came up with for this Tiffany Stone.  The drawing in the bottom left corner of this picture is the one I have selected for this piece.  I’ve cut out the sterling silver back plate for this one and now I’m at the start of adding the rest of the design components.

I just love the different looks of Tiffany Stones.  Of course, they have some wonderful variations of my favorite color purple!

Part of the inspiration for this piece came from a cover photograph of the February 2009 issue of Lapidary Journal, pictured below.  I ordered this back issue because I was so intrigued by the design of the piece on the cover and this piece was featured in one of the magazine’s great step by step articles.

L0902

As a result, I am learning how to forge metal. Wow, this is great fun. Right now I only have the top piece partially completed as you can see in the picture below.  That piece that I’ve forged is in the upper right hand corner of the picture.  I still have two more sections to forge and then as an added touch I will be adding some half round wire at the base to give a ‘pillow’ look to it.

ForgedPiece

Next to the forged piece is the square wire that it once was.  Forging is an interesting technique.  In Robert Von Neumann’s book, “The Design and Creation of Jewelry”, he describes forging as taking thicker gauges of metal and moving the metal through carefully placed hammer blows.  Now as with all of this, I need to practice, practice, practice.  It is fascinating to me to see how I was able to move the metal and gradually take it from one thickness to a gentle slope, if you will, that reaches a thin edge. My hammering technique needs work and Lexi says I’ll pick it up quickly.  That’s good!

Of course, Lexi guided me through this process and it was such a great learning experience for me.  I used a combination of Lexi’s anvil to begin the basic forming and then moved on to her tablespoon stake to create the gentle curve.  It’s called a tablespoon stake because it has a spoon shape that is perfect for creating gentle curves.  I had to anneal the piece several times to soften it after it was hardened by all the hammer blows.  Did I mention how fascinating this process is to me?  Ultimately, my comfort level with pliers, from my wire wrapping, led me to finish the final curve using pliers rather than shaping it on the stake.  Hey, there’s more than one way to do something, right?

And yes,  I have to find an anvil!  I have my bench anvil (4″ square), but I need/want a real anvil.  The kind farriers use!  There are some local horse shoe suppliers and maybe I can purchase one through them.  I’m hoping to find one locally so I won’t have to pay to have one shipped!  I’ve looked for good used anvils, but so far, no luck.  The quest for the right anvil begins in earnest.

I continue to work on the hand made chain.  Lexi has seen it and based on its complexity, she confirmed that it will take me a while to finish it!  That’s me, pick something that requires a lot for my first attempt!  I know I’m going to love it when it’s finished.

An added bonus, Lexi had started her blog, The Torch, and made her first post today.  If you haven’t seen it, I hope you will check it out and leave a comment for her too. I know she’d enjoy hearing from you!

All for now, until next time, here’s wishing all of you a great week of creativity.  Strive to be more as an artist and a person!

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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