Thursday, May 27, 2010

Commissions, Theatrical Faces & Night Moves . . .

Okay; maybe I am persnickety.  That's okay though.  Right?  After all, we are self-employed jewelry-artists!

I spent much longer than I had thought I would sprueing this commissioned pendant Tuesday afternoon.  Here's yet more proof of why I think that Pat is The Best Wax Carver in Asheville!
(And, again, this wax was photographed on a sheet of white paper.
But at least this shows the dimensional aspects of this pendant well.)

Our Clients provided Pat with a rough sketch of what they had in mind.  This is her scaled-down design sketch that they approved before she began carving the wax of their pendant.

Yes, I can be persnickety.  When a piece has as much time in it as this one does I'd much rather err on the side of caution.  So, yes, I very carefully over-sprued.  (I'd rather have the casting turn out perfectly and spend extra time de-sprueing and re-texturing parts of the back than I would have a casting fail and Pat have to re-carve the wax!)  I also sprued the waxes of the two rings that Violet D. ordered.

Yesterday we shipped out the faceted forged ring that Sandy ordered.  I got the Parkway Crafts Center order all ready to ship out first thing in the morning.

I poured the first of these two flasks at 7 PM.  After I quenched and put the pieces into the devester Pat and I made a nice summertime-type dinner.

After dinner Pat flopped and began reading a new C.J. Cherryh novel that she's been looking forward to.  Sam and I went outside to enjoy the evening.  I sat on our bench and listened to the frogs next door and Sammy sprawled on his table so he could guard the edge of our yarden.

Last night was one of those times when it is hard to believe that we live where we do ~ just a couple of miles from one of the busiest roads in town.  Our fountain burbled, the frogs sang a discordant off-beat chorus next door.  An occasional car sound off in the distance.  And all was good.

Until it was time to come back inside and put the castings into the new pickle for the night.

Sam refused to come in. We have a family of coyotes somewhere in the scrub woods behind our house, so leaving the Tiger out unsupervised was not an option!  He wouldn't be herded.  He wouldn't come for the promise of food . . .

Sam finally did come running to the sound of a can being tapped with a knife.  Which is how we got the boyz to come in years ago.  Since we didn't have any canned cat food in the house I had to use a can of tuna.  Pat said it was only fair to let Sam and Ink have it since they came when I used it (Inky was sound asleep in the bedroom) . . .

Ink loved it and of course Sam turned his nose up at canned tuna and pouted; until he got a lap to cuddle on!
Sweet Sam blinks.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quick Yarden Update!

I still need to edit the photos of our newest work. This week is going to be another Fun one with some interesting work ahead of us. We'll be getting some work out to our galleries and we have, lets see, I think it's four special commissions to make! But, before getting to the work, here's what we've been doing for other kinds of Fun . . .

Sunday we went to Painter's Greenhouse for the next stage of their wonderful sale!
We came home with a wonderful mix of annuals, perennials and herbs!

We stopped at our little Ingles so Pat cold pick up some more Begonias.
How could I resist a couple of beautiful young squash plants?

Some of the Basil I potted up.  (Note to self:  Get more Basil ASAP!)

Pat and her Helper take a well earned break at the end of the day.

Inky's a good Guard Mountain Goat! 
Newly potted Dragon Wing Begonia beside Pat.
The new baby banana plant is peaking over the back of our bench.

Baby Squash!

Sugar Snap Pea Blossom; at an odd angle because
I've just started sending the vines back down their trellis.

One of our first Sugar Snap Pea pods!

When she heard we were collecting sedums and succulents for a new rock garden our fiber friend Sandra Rowland gave us two buckets crammed full of this type of sedum!
The others went into the lower rock wall.

The view from the bench Monday morning, after everything was watered in.

An unknown "wild orchid" blooming by our front door.
I bought one or packets of these at one of the big box stores years ago.

Now I have no idea what they are . . .  Except that they look like a miniature White Cattleya Orchid and they come back year after year!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sneak Peak

A quick sneak peak at two of our newest jewelry explorations before we head off for the Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival !

Christmas Fern

Budding Dianthus

The first fern and lichen pendants were named Reflections.  At this point we're leaning toward Botanical Ridgelines.  Have a Great Weekend!

Good Intentions . . .

Well, despite my Good Intentions it's been a week since I last posted . . .  Of course that just means we've been busy.  Very busy!!!

We're heading to Gatlinburg tomorrow.  Except for packing the car we're ready for the Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival!  Friday night is the "A Night with the Artists" party, catered by the Ripley's Aquarium's Executive Chef ~ need I say more?

Last year's party was pretty amazing.  Great food, and a good time.  (You call that "heavy hors d'oeuvres"???  I'd call it two meals!)  Amazing chocolates too . . .  This year the location has changed.  What was once the banquet room at the Aquarium is now the new penguin exhibit!  Since the last meeting was canceled (because the Festival Committee was so on top of things) I'm going to make sure to finally get some photos of the really neat penguin environment.  (I want a sun room roof with moving water on top of it.  Really.  You'll see what I mean next week!)

Nope, no new photos up yet.  But I will be photograph our newest work in the morning.  This is the new evolution of our Ridgelines series.  Sort of a natural growth . . .

I was taking an afternoon break a couple of weeks ago and was sitting on our bench looking at the world.  My focus shifted and I really started to see what was right in front of me.  When I came in I showed Pat what I'd seen and told her about what I was thinking of trying.  Of course she said, "That's Cool!  Do it!  Make it real!"

We're unveiling the first of our Botanical Reflections at the Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival Saturday.  We're looking forward to seeing what folks think and what Laurel and Craig and Emily and all of our friends at Arrowcraft think!

Photos up soon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Aunt Leola & New Work

(Belated) Happy Birthday Aunt Leola !!!

I photographed our Yellow Lady Slipper blooming just for you yesterday.  Pat and I hope that your Birthday was Wonderful and filled with Love and lots of Family!  (Thank you Tina for showing her this page!)

I'm sorry that I didn't get this photo posted until today!  Carl, Pat's son,  gave this beautiful plant to her years ago.  This year we have five stalks with three blooms!

I'm still having trouble with the camera's settings; which is why the backgrounds in the next photos are different tones.  Here are some of the pendants that we delivered to Allanstand, at the Folk Art Center, last week.

Full Moon
Fossilized Bali Coral and Fresh Water Pearls.

Picasso Jasper with 14 K Gold accents.

Falling Water #3
Crysocolla, Boulder Opal and Emerald.

Close up details

Ancient Seas
Boulder Opal, Chrysoprase, and Fresh Water Pearls, with 14 K Gold accent.

Doorway Into Time
Labadorite with Fresh Water Pearls.

Night Falls on the Mountain
Australian Maramumba (an Australian Tiger Eye with Heatite and Jasper) with 14 K Gold Accents.

Hope that you enjoyed this glimpse of what we've been working on lately!  Back to work for me.  We have lots to do before the Gatlinburg Fine Arts Fetival next weekend and lots of new ideas to explore!

Just like our Sugar Snap Peas we're reaching for the sun!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day !!!

It Worked !!! !!! !!!

Well, we've missed the Herb Fest at the Farmer's Market.  We worked through Friday.  Even though we woke up early today we got a later start today than we had hoped.  Still it was a relaxing morning for us.  After a little time in the yarden we both got busy.

Pat and Ink cuddled in the wildflower garden.

Pat spent her day in the studio, finishing up a couple of tricky time-consuming repairs and she finished a new pendant of ours.  Then, at the end of the day she, in her own words " . . . got lost in design-ideas!"  Which is always a good thing for us!

I invested the flask of new ideas I sprued yesterday.  An hour later it went into the kiln.  I spent the rest of the day shooting waxes for our production work.  (Besides the galleries that need work we'll be at the Gatlinburg Fine Arts Festival in less than two weeks.  There's a lot of work to do!)

I slowed my burn out cycle down long enough to make dinner.  As soon as we finished it was time to cast . . .

Then the wait for the flask to cool just enough to be quenched . . .  Only then did we finally know that our new ideas worked and are now real in sterling silver.

This is very exciting and opens up a whole range of new natural growth in our work.  It will be interesting to see where we take these ideas . . .

Until then, Happy May Day to all!!!

Tomorrow will be our day off.  It'd be nice to make it to the Herb Fest, but if the rain holds off we'll be digging plants to transplant in at our Friends John and Nancy's.