Monday, November 28, 2011

Studio Kahn

silver & grey SPHERES NECKLACE - break it to use itI just wanted to take some time to highlight some very creative Artists!

I have been in love with these pieces from Studio Kahn since I found them exploring Etsy. I do not yet own a piece of their work, but I can just feel the cool smooth ceramic in my hands and the snap as the two conjoined pieces disengage. I can almost hear that snap while getting over the mental stigma of 'Breaking' a piece of ceramic in half, it seems so wrong. It would be a full sensory experience.

Studio Kahn was created by Mey and Boaz Kahn, a married couple living in Jerusalem. Their design aesthetic is minimalist with an ingenious mechanism.
You can view more of their work at: Studio Kahn Etsy Shop Facebook

LARGE Silver & Grey HEART NECKLACE  - break it to use itLARGE Silver & Grey HEART NECKLACE  - break it to use it

SILVER 925 LINK Necklace - break it to use it
NEW Light Grey FRAGILE S&P set

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Environmental Issue

The other day I was driving and contemplating the effect of art processes on the environment when a bird flew toward my truck. The bird actually clipped my passenger side rear view mirror and seemed to keep flying, but I wasn't sure, I was on the freeway going 70! And, this wasn't the first time something like this had happened.So, then I started thinking about how human kind and urban sprawl have encroached on the natural environment and how sad it is that most people would have thought it was the birds fault.
Urban Sprawl is not a good thing!
As I kept driving toward the Mesa Art Center for work, I noticed a little white fluffy thing on the side of the freeway curve where the 202 merges into the 101 south. When I drove the same route the next day, it was still there. I have to say, I couldn't even tell what kind of animal it was, just small and very fuzzy white. It made me want to cry!
Here I was fretting over what we have done to nature and yet, there I was driving a pick up truck 45 minutes on the freeway to work. It makes me even sadder that I haven't figured out a way to be better about conserving or giving back. I'd like to have solar in my house, but unfortunately I can't afford the initial fees. I saved a tiny little kitten from the freeway that some cruel human had to have put there. And, people think I am a little crazy sometimes about recycling, but if that is the least I can do....
Somehow I have to do more!
Today, I was watching TV while getting ready to go to the grocery store and there was a story about a man, Chris Jordan, who was posting online the very sad videos he was taking of Albatross sea birds that have been feeding on nothing but trash on the Midway Atoll Island. They have been dying with full belly's of plastic. It was very difficult to watch, one moment you are seeing the beauty of nature, new furry bird baby's waiting for mommy and daddy to bring food, and the next minute you see a bird carcass that was filled with garbage.  See Chris Jordan's work here.
Things like this are why I try to recycle so much and have been trying to find creative ways to include these items in my work. Below I have included some pictures of pieces that include recycled ingredients.

Here are some pictures that I took while in a photography class in college, my theme was urban sprawl and it's effects. They are 35mm Black and White, taken with my old Minolta SLR. I developed the photos and mounted them for project display, so they were not the easiest to scan in for this post, but I rather like the juxtaposition. I think it gives the viewer that uncomfortable feeling that one should get from seeing any attack on nature.

This photo is of a housing development being built out in the desert, far enough from the existing city that water and energy services would be difficult to get there. For me it was a perfect example of Urban Sprawl.

I know this is rather graphic and can be a bit disturbing, but I was very sad to find this poor bird with its guts spilled out in the middle of this dirt road. It was just at the edge of another new housing development that was encroaching on the desert. One side of the road was a neighborhood, the other side was the desert which contained a barbed wire fence, power line towers, and some sort of electrical outpost. While I was exploring this area there were people in fancy cars flying down the road, it's no wonder there were other animal carcasses there that day as well. And people wonder why coyotes and bobcats are eating their dogs and cats.

Garbage nestled into the bushes in the city.

An empty lot in the city that was quite an eyesore for years. Barrels with who knows what inside them rusting through. Nearby were various industrial business's and the river bed, but know this spot has been converted into a Mall, Tempe Marketplace that is. Before Tempe Town Lake was created. So many empty lots around the cities just waiting to be cleaned up and rebuilt, and yet developments still keep going up in the desert.

Just a little tid bit about some of my Art on the subject

My Water Droplet Box is a combination of turned wood and metal. I found the eucalyptus in an apartment complex that had cut down some of its trees. It represents my struggle between wanting to preserve the environment and my love of materials. Wood is such a beautiful material, as is metal, and unfortunately the processes required to bring us these materials have a lasting effect on the environment. The box represents the water needed to sustain life. As a box it contains a piece of metal shaped like a root, a precious root floating in water, preserved for when there are few left.

Salvaged Eucalyptus Wood, Nickel Silver, Glass, Cork, Water
             Size: 11”x6”

Recycled work for sale:

My friend Livia bought some of these earrings from me to sell on her website and a portion of her sales goes to American
Check these out on Livia's site: Seeds of Life.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Custom Commission Continued

This piece was time consuming because I had to stop and do some finishing work between adding the various stone settings. It would have been cumbersome to do the finishing after the settings were in the way.

A design challenge that I faced was how to attach the pearl settings.
The customer wanted a pearl to be placed between the round peridots, but the pearls could not be attached before the Gold plating was done. Her solutions was to solder the head pins that she wanted to use to the piece and then after the plating she would cut the head pins, slip on the pearls, and then glue the balled end of the head pin into the pearls. The problem, first of all, is that it was not a very strong connection to solder a small piece of wire to the side of the piece. The head pin could be just snapped off at any time, not to mention how difficult it would have been to set the stones around such a small wire without mangling it or breaking it off myself. Of course there is also the problem with having just a little bit of glue holding the pearls on in one small spot.
I experimented and tried to solder a wire with a soldering iron, in the hopes that maybe I could solder it on after the plating was done and with the pearls in place, so there would be no need for glue. Unfortunately, it didn't work, the soldering iron was just not hot enough to flow the gold filled solder that I had.
I finally came up with a solution by the time it came to solder on the head pin that I found satisfactory.
 My solution: to solder on small pieces of tubing with a tapered end. I nippled the end of the tubing in order to make the hole small enough for the head pin to be inserted with a tight fit. This way the head pin could be glued to the pearl and the tubing, hopefully creating a stronger bond. I also reamed out the pearls just enough to fit tightly on the head pin. I reamed a larger hole at one end of each pearl for them to slip slightly over the tube, thus being able to be glued directly to the tubing, again, creating a stronger bond. Another issue was that we were afraid the pearls she gave me might be a little too small in relation to the size of the piece. Adding the tubing pushed the pearls out further balancing the relationship of  size of the pearls with the layout of the whole piece giving the impression of a larger pearl.

More process photos to follow.
You can check out my original post to see where I started.
Original Post:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Event Photos: Dia De Los Muertos Festival 2011

Here are some great Sugar Skull designs that we fired for patrons at the Dia De Los Muertos Festival at Mesa Art Center this year. For $5 they were able to decorate their own Vitreous Glass Enameled Copper Skull with Glass beads and then we used a torch to fire them and fuse the beads on.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Custom Commission

I was commissioned to create a pendant for a wholesale order using the customers own center piece and stones. The center piece is an Italian cut glass intaglio and the stones are London Blue Topaz, Peridot, and Pearls. When finished the piece will be gold plated over the sterling silver. Her design was inspired by an antique piece she had seen.
I will continue to post pictures of my process.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Spirits Connect
Mesa Arts Center
Saturday, October 29 - Sunday, October 30, 2011
Sat 10:00am-5:00pm / Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm
Free and Open to Public! Spirits will connect at the Mesa Arts Center's annual Dìa de los Muertos Festival - a community celebration complete with a community altar designed by Veronica Ochoa, live music and performances. For more info click here.
The Day of The Dead festival will also feature delicious food, a mercado featuring an assortment of Dìa de los Muertos merchandise, jewelry, arts & crafts, children's activities, and more. You will not want to miss seeing the special altar designed by Mesa Artist Virginia Aguero. Festival admission and parking are free.
Once again, I will be there all weekend doing Vitreous Glass Enamel Sugar Skull demonstrations. For $5.00 you can decorate your own sugar skull and I will fire it for you with a torch! Lots of fun!  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011



Earlier I wrote a post about the GUITARS & HANDLEBARS SEASON KICK-OFF FESTIVAL & EXHIBITION for the opening, weekend but the exhibitions are still up in the Mesa Art Center Museum until December 2011, so make sure you go check them out!

I specifically wanted to make note of the 'EASY RIDIN' AND HARD ROCKIN' AZ STYLE' Exhibition.

A few of the artists exhibiting, that I know personally were asked to come to the museum and choose from a pile of Harley parts to include in a sculpture of their own style with their usual medium.
Some of the artists showing are: Jonathan Brown, Tedd McDonah, and Becky Chader McDonah.

These pictures are from the exhibition of a sculpture made by metals Aritist Jonathan Leo Brown.

Premiering Exhibitions:
Radical Rides: The “Art” of Motorcycles – Wilson and Ruby Dobson Main Gallery
Six-String Masterpieces – South Gallery
Easy Ridin’ & Hard Rockin’ AZ Style – North Gallery
Lego Experience – Dr. Ruth Tan Lim Project Room
Altered States: Dreams, Nightmares and Fantasies – SRP Permanent Collection Gallery

Click Here for Info

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Decorative Trees for Sale

These Decorative Trees are not just for Christmas!Use them year round as decorative topiaries. I can also make them  larger for Yard Art.
They are made of Copper with Wood bases, and have hand applied heat patinas. All Hand Made! $40 each
One has holes, so that if you choose, you can hang Holiday ornaments from it. Keep an eye out for my Vitreous Glass Enamel Ornaments too!

My steps in creating these cool trees!