Thursday, November 3, 2016

upcoming events

I just sort of threw this picture in here to have a picture for the post, although I've been doing quite a few of these more "modular" pieces, and I quite like them.  What I mostly wanted to mention is that I'll be displaying my work in several places in the coming weeks.
  This weekend I'll have the jewelry at the Gainesville Downtown Art Festival.  Also I'm showing work in 2 gallery shows for the next few months.  The Guildord Art Center in Guilford, CT has a show called Artistry that starts tomorrow and lasts through January; and the Ann Arbor Art Center in Ann Arbor, MI has a show called Art Off the Wall, starting in a few weeks and also lasting through January.  I'll have work in both shows.  Stop by if you get the chance.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

another redo

 I didn't intend for these redos to become a "thing."  But I did another one and I was so pleased with the results I decided to post it.
This was not a case of not liking the original piece; I actually liked it a lot.  My intent when I made it was to use it as a jury shot, as it was rather big and dramatic.  But I absolutely could not get it to photograph well (and I took a million pics).  The top pic is the best I got, and the gold doesn't stand out against the black well at all.  Also, photographing it straight on like that you don't get a good sense of the 3D-ness and it's hard to judge the size. So even though I liked the piece a lot, it wasn't doing what I wanted it to do.

That wouldn't have caused me to redo it, except for one thing.  I realized after looking at it for a
while that it would have been more pinwheel-ish if I had put the arms that extend out right at the points of the hexagon that is the central structure of the necklace instead of in the middle of each face of the hex.  Then it occurred to me that the best way to do it would have been to make a tetrahelix that would be part of the central part of the necklace and then continue into the extending arm.  That would be a true pinwheel. And I rearranged the gold tubes to highlight the spiral better.  Also I'm putting together an application for an exhibit of mathematical art and that would be a much purer mathematical structure. 

So I redid it, and was quite pleased with the results.But that still left the photography problem.  I took lots of pics, basically redoing all the mistakes I had made with the original necklace.  Photographing it on the black form was the best way to get a sense of the size and dimensionality. But for some reason that I fail to understand, whenever I did that, even in the same room and under the same light conditions as the other shots, I got a picture that waymore washed out.  Finally, I turned out all the lights, so I only had indirect light from the window, and dialed back the exposure to make it even darker--and it worked.  I think it shows off the piece quite well.  No idea why.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

a redo

I've been quiet for a while, but not for lack of making jewelry.   Partly, I've been on another canal boat trip in England, but, of course, I took plenty of silver tubes with me.  But since I've been back I've been spending some time redoing som pieces I was never quite happy with.  This is one example.  The picture on top is the original piece.  It's a chain of octahedra and tetrahedra made from a mix of oxidized silver and gold-filled tubes.  While I was making it I thought it was going to be great (I usually do).  But when I got it finished I didn't like it as well as I had expected.  I've stared at it off and on for a few months, trying to figure out what I didn't like. One thing I decided was that the "corner" on the left side wasn't sharp enough and didn't provide enough contrast with the curve on the
right, so I figured out how to make it pointier.  But then I decided that the real problem was that the piece sort of had 2 focal points, the change in shape on the left and the change in color on the right.  You couldn't quite tell where you were supposed to look.  So I redid it, eliminating the corner altogether.  I also changed from gold-filled tubes to red anodised aluminum ones.  I did this because I'm starting to make some pieces with accents of 14 kt gold  tubes, so it seems too confusing to have gold-filled ones as well.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cubes

Ever since I figured out ( post in Sept., 2015) that I could make a rigid cube out of an octahedron and 2 tetrahedrons, by using right triangles instead of equilateral ones, I've been wanting to make a necklace like this.   Not much to say about it, except that I really like it, and I wore it for the first time this week and got several compliments. I think I'll list it on etsy. I'm working on a similar one with 1 cube made from 14 kt gold tubes.  I've been wanting to buy some gold tubing for a while now, and I've finally done it. It's not quite finished, but I love the contrast between the gold and the dark silver.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Missing the target

   A while ago American Craft magazine had an article about the artist Wendell Castle, and it included a list of his artist rules to live by.  One that struck me particularly was " If you're hitting bullseyes every time, the target's too close."  
   Recently, I've been trying to produce some pieces with some more drama and impact to them.  One way to do that is with size.  I did a post about that not too long ago, comparing 2 oxidized silver and stone pieces with a sawtoothed edge. There I felt that by making the sawtooths considerably bigger I had produced a more interesting necklace.  I've been trying to do that with another concept.  Back when I was working mostly with seed beads I did a series of pieces I called "links".  Each necklace was composed of a series of open trapezoid shapes with a stem and toggle on one end, so that each could be joined to the next.  First I did plain links, and then I started to embellish them.

You could add or subtract links to change a necklace.  I really liked that series, and I've wondered about making links out of oxidized silver tubes.  They would necessarily be a lot bigger.  I've worked on that idea for past few weeks, but haven't been able to make it work.  Here's my final version.

I've tried all sorts of variations-- embellishing the bottom link, adding the stone link, making one of the links (the 1 at 11 o'clock) a more rectangular shape, and many others that I took apart and did over.  It actually doesn't look bad laid out flat like this, but on the body it just isn't great.  Also the toggles tend to fall out of the ovals too easily, making the necklace come apart.  I think one of the reasons for doing this post is that gives me a record of what I did, so that if I want to revisit the idea, I'll know what didn't work.  Now I'll probably take apart the stem and toggle on each link, and see if I can do something interesting with the open ovals.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Loom for sale

Just because this is a crafty sort of group, I thought I'd mention that I'm selling the Glimakra loom that I've used for rug weaving for  many years.  For the weavers I'll say that it has shaft switching and a warp extender per Peter Collingwood's specifications.  I have lots of pictures and plenty of information for anyone interested,  and would be happy to spend time getting you comfortable on the loom.  Just contact me.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

What a difference 8 beads (tubes) makes

 Yesterday was a good day.  I feel like I improved a necklace.  The top pic is a piece I made a few months ago. I wanted it to be sort of special, because I don't do too many pieces in bright silver  (don't want to spend time worrying about tarnishing). I had high hopes for it, but when I was finished, I wasn't quite happy with it.  I wasn't sure why.  But yesterday I was scrolling through my pictures, and stopped at that one.  It occurred to me that what I didn't quite like was the extreme pointiness of it, sort of like an icicle about to fall on you.  I also noticed that there were a pair of triangles on either side of the bottom point that could be turned into 2 faces of either an octahedron or a double tetrhedron.  I chose the double tet, cut some beads and added them on and I like the "new"
necklace, the one on the bottom, better.
That is both one of the upsides and one of the downsides of beadweaving versus the rug weaving that I used to do.  When  rug came off the loom it was done.  Nothing more to think about, because you couldn't change anything.  Now I find myself tinkering with pieces.  Mostly I like that, although sometimes it's nice to just say it is what it is.