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Spring
Tree-Scapes
Photography ~ Daniel Krucoff

Several weeks ago, I was approached to create a piece as a gift for someone who had purchased some of my art jewelry. The people who approached me, knew that this person loved what I did and they wanted to give her a special gift for Bosses Day. I was given free reign to create whatever I liked, because they said I knew what she liked. I was delighted and it was so refreshing to just approach a commission with no restrictions.

I knew that my new Tree-Scapes series would be the right direction. The sweet little stone in this pendant is a Chrysoprase that I had purchased from Gary B. Wilson. It seemed to call to me the loudest of any I had for this piece, so I started sketching as you can see from the photo.  I find I keep returning to variations on this shape as I did in Evening Moon….only with Evening Moon, that backdrop was long and slender.

As I am prone to do, I asked Dan his opinion and he was drawn to the more Oriental shape in the upper right of the sketches pictured.  Me too, BUT I was a little concerned with how I would fabricate this piece.  Well, as I proceeded, it just came together.  Again, I see imagery in the stone.  There is a solitary tree with a mountain as a backdrop.  I was going to carry the mountain into the setting too, but as I worked on it that did not seem right.  So a few tree trunks, some leaves and the frame.  All in sterling silver that has been oxidized to emphasize the details in the metalwork and showcase the stone.

I was so happy with this piece that I knew its recipient would be too.  I can report she loves it and has since told me it is one of her favorites.  As an added affirmation, the people who gave this to her have told me that she wears it almost every day.  Wow.

You just never know when creativity will strike!  Trying to force it to happen, really doesn’t work.  Having the freedom to explore definitely helps.  I am so grateful I can solicit a second opinion from Dan when I’m not completely sure where I want to go.  Relax and it will come.

I have more to do with Tree-Scapes and I am looking forward to where the stones will lead me.

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

A couple weeks ago I did a post on Discovery.  One of the things I wanted to convey is how important I think it is for all artists to be open to Creativity.  It can come to us at the most unusual times and places.  Sometimes imagery comes to me in a dream.  Another time I wrote about the images coming to me in my optometrist’s office!

The common denominator for me, in all of these situations, is letting my mind be open to receive that creative energy, force, or guidance.  Just doing the familiar in ones studio helps.  The flood of ideas can be overwhelming.  Overpowering too.  There are times when I cannot put my pen and sketch book down because I know I am in the zone and the energy flows from my mind to my hand.  I must capture those images in my sketchbook as quickly as I can.  I can feel, literally feel, that creative energy flowing in me.

I hope that all of you have experienced this feeling.  If not, seek out those places where you can calm and center your mind.  Breath, slowly.  Listen to music.  Find a quiet place where you can still all those distracting voices in your head and just breath.  Looking at the mountains, the trees, our sunrises and sunsets, the patterns clouds create…..those help me to find my creativity.  Even swimming laps or cycling hushes the distracting thoughts that can impair my creativity.  I must admit it’s difficult to capture anything as I would like when I’m swimming or cycling, yet I’ve been able to retain those thoughts until I can find my sketchbook.  Whew.

These techniques are not something that I have perfected, they have become a starting point for me and with practice, allow me to tap into a creative channel.

Today I would like to share the first in a new series.  The design inspiration came from those beautiful Dendritic Opal stones I discussed in my Discovery post.  Ironically, I have yet to use one of those stones in this series.  Yet this first one, Evening Moon, is very special.  It is an Amethyst Sage that Mark Lasater of The Clamshell gave me.  When someone gives me a stone, whatever I make will become mine, so Evening Moon will remain with me.  It is very special.

Evening Moon
Tree-Scapes
Photo Credit ~ Daniel Krucoff

The design came from what I could see in those other stones and also in this one. Trees. I carried some of the trees from this stone and added the texture to ‘create’ the leaves.  The technique that I used to create the tree trunks and branches is called ‘piercing’.  The bottom tree trunk is a replica of the one I see in this stone that is right in front of the white moon.

The shape of the setting does not follow the stone.  This is a shape I have been drawing in my sketch books almost from the beginning of my metalsmithing work.  I love this shape.  To have the stone offset from the center of the sterling silver was important to me.  I wanted the area in the lower left for the accent of the trees.  I kept the oxidation light as I wanted some of the silver to be light and emphasize the beauty of this stone.

I feel that I have been open to this aspect of being creative.  A new direction.  It is a continuation of what I have experienced throughout my life; growth, change, finding myself.  For some, things appear to happen quickly.  For others, like me, it takes time.  I am enjoying the journey.

I hope that some of you will share your thoughts and experiences on being open to creativity.  What are your challenges?  What techniques do you employ to bring your creativity to the forefront?

Please remember how important it is to be open to tapping into the creative channel.  It is out there, just waiting for you.

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

Kathleen Krucoff


Artist and Metalsmith

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