Sunday, January 31, 2010

this is it

large aligned earrings

today is the last day to order pieces from my website collections or from my etsy and supermarket sites. tomorrow my shop will disappear and a few changes will occur on my website. i will also close down my etsy and supermarket shops. please keep in mind i am not ending my business or my work, i am just taking a break to focus on developing my studio jewelry while i am resident at penland. i will return to brand new collections in the future.

tiny ratio necklace $30
bean bracelet $56.25

thanks for reading!

Friday, January 29, 2010

guest star friday #49...dorothea pruhl

Butterflies, cherry wood, 2008. image by Helga Schulze-Brinkop

today's GS is dorothea pruhl. i saw dorothea's work for the first time at the snag conference in savannah, ga in 2008. i was drawn to her work because it's so sculpural, first and foremost, but also because of the simple beauty and repetition of the forms and the directness that the work conveys. dorothea uses in a variety of materials, but her wood pieces are my favorites.

Fish, cherry wood, 2008. image by Helga Schulz-Brinkop

thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

this is it, well, almost

i'm in the last week of my collections and i feel excited, a bit unsure, nostalgic...yesterday i was thinking about the moment i decided to get a website. in the months leading up to the decision i thought something like "absolutely not. i want nothing to do with a website!" then one day i woke up and confidently knew i was ready. plus, it helped that lucky magazine wanted to feature a few pieces in their lucky breaks section. so in october 2004 i launched my site which was originally created by gina rymarcsuk and later taken over by my current webmasters, needmore designs. the blurb in lucky was huge for my business and it created an incredibly exciting time for me. looking back now i'm so glad i moved forward. i love my website! however, now that i am taking a long break from my production work and actually discontinuing all of it i am looking toward, most likely, a lot of change for my work and my business. this also means changing my website as well as my logo, my colors, my look, and i might even start using capital letters. (Whoa!) however, i am not ready to change it all just yet. my plans are so open and i don't even know where exactly i am going or what my new work is going to look like. (yes, i do have ideas...) i feel like my new look needs to echo my new work. even though i wish i could change things now because i am ready to move on, i think i'll hold steady for some time so i can thoughtfully consider where i am going next. my goal is to have a brand new website by the time i leave penland.

the "end" for this chapter of my work has come quickly and in many ways without warning. that's how things go, i guess. i made the decision to move on and immediately began the steps to reach the goal. then it hit me on monday that the days for my collections are numbered. i know i won't fully realize what's going on until it's over. i'm too busy getting there to think beyond and i still have lots to do in the next three and half days - filling orders, settling up with stores, dealing with website/blog changes, as well as the removal of my etsy and supermarket sites, plus other little details i won't bore you with. it's just time to tie up those loose ends and tend to new beginnings. i think i'll do a little bit more looking back next week. it will help me process and celebrate.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

lovetoknow interview

lovetoknow just posted an article about my work including some interview questions. i was approached a few weeks ago and got the questions in advance. i really enjoyed working on my answers and was impressed with the questions they asked. i spent a few days working on them and i feel like i got a lot out of the process. i think it's always good to write, it really helps me to figure things out which in turn allows me to better understand my own work. i am very pleased with the final article.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

only 6 more days

there are only a few days left until my annual holiday sale is over and my collections disappear. this sunday, january 31 is the big day. once again, i am retiring my collections completely and they will no longer be available through my website or in brick and mortar stores like velouira in seattle or habit in chicago.

thanks for reading.

the visitor

over the weekend something got trapped in my studio and literally tried to chew its way out. imagine my surprise when i went to work saturday morning and discovered the evidence! most of the things i had displayed on my window sill had been knocked off and there were wood chips everywhere. it must have been running around on my bench, too, because most of my tweezers were scattered on the floor. later in the day i heard something madly scratching away in the ceiling. poor little critter, i hope he made it out!

thanks for reading.

Friday, January 22, 2010

guest star friday #48...malou paul

i found today's GS, malou paul, (netherlands) on flickr. i have a new fascination with medals and i'm also interested in the use of unusual materials and stitching in jewelry. i think malou's corrugated cardboard medals are wonderful! i like that they are constructed with every things like staples and that she has peeled away at the cardboard to reveal the ribbed texture underneath. malou seems to experiment a lot in her work by playing with and combining all sorts of materials, especially ones that seem worthless or have been discarded. she also has a series of stitched cardboard pieces that i also really like.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

in the studio with raissa, part 4

my final day in the studio with raissa was on saturday. we spent the morning working in my space and later spent the afternoon in the penland metals studio with lola. so fun! i made more samples - stitching on two white fabric collages i made last summer in my embroidery class. i also made a simple quilt with scraps that will be yet another surface to try something else on. (i am out of white fabric at the moment so i pulled together the few bits i had to make a larger workable canvas.) raissa tried a few more things and i think she ended up accomplishing most of what she set out to do during her time with me.

from the punched metal series

the near (and all too short) week with raissa around was really good. i loved having her in the studio with me. it was fun to work side by side. plus, we talked so much jewelry, exchanging information about galleries, production work, one of a kind, and on and on. (i really do love "shop talk.") at the end of the last day, we traded and i got these fantastic earrings. they measure about 1.25" long.

more pics on flickr.

thanks for reading.

Monday, January 18, 2010

in the studio with raissa, part 3

my view of raissa working.

written on friday, but not posted...

today we got into the studio a little bit earlier because we have to leave for the opening of fourteen hands, three years shortly. (lenoir, nc is about a hour and a half away.) i had a few little things to deal with first, like making my maps for the show, but was able to get to work pretty quickly afterward. i considered some different experiments, but have a tendency to feel overwhelmed by choices. as soon as i felt that twinge, i decided to stick with what i know - more paper embroidery. this time i cut out shapes and stitched two different collages. as raissa and i talked about them i remembered how much i enjoyed making collages as a teen using magazine pictures. raissa continued with her production samples and went back and forth between groups. (she has three different series - twisted wire, punched/chased shapes, and beaded/sequined shapes) she has already added several new styles that she likes a lot and she also has a few in progress. these still need a bit of work before she feels really good about them. tomorrow...

raissa's view of me working.

sample 3

thanks for reading.

Friday, January 15, 2010

guest star friday #47...pia aleborg

today's GS is pia aleborg from sweden. pia's work is a response to things she observes in daily life. i like the looseness and compositional quality each piece has. i also love her mix of familiar materials and the over-sized scale of some of the elements.

see more at platina gallery.

thanks for reading.

in the studio with raissa, part 2

yesterday was another lovely day in the studio with raissa. she continued making samples while i filled mail orders. (my little babies necklace was featured on cool mom picks the other day and i've gotten lots of orders.) after taking the orders to the post office we made some lunch and then got back to work. i was then able to carve out some time to start my first experiment - embroidery on paper. i picked a shape i've been drawing a lot lately and stitched it on butcher paper. i like the results. raissa is building her collections by adding some new styles. she began by laying everything out just to see the groups together in full. we discussed what each series needs - smaller earrings here, french wires there, and some sequins, too, for example. she has a goal to grow this aspect of her work this year so she has an eye on strengthening her lines and wanted to spend time focusing on them while she was here.

thanks for reading.


fourteen hands, three years opens tonight. to help the gallery staff keep track of my work i took photos of each display and created simple black and white numbered "maps." since i don't really title my work and describing them individually can get cumbersome, i thought these maps would help keep confusion at bay.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

in the studio with raissa, part 1

yesterday raissa and i got to work in the studio. she worked on new samples for her production line. i planned to begin experimenting but had too much business to do and a bunch of mail orders to fill. this was a frustrating thing - i'm grateful for the orders, most definitely, but they can keep me from doing what i really want to do. it's a tricky situation. anyway, we spent the morning working and then went up to school for a coffee break. i also wanted to use the draw bench in the metals studio. we visited in the coffee house and saw some different folks. after that we went to the metals studio. i did the few tasks i needed to do and then we happily ran into our friend lola who is here for a few weeks of winter rental. we spent some time catching up and were later joined by the metals coordinator, adam whitney. it was a fun afternoon and so typically penland, running into different people, we returned to the studio and i continued working on mail orders while raissa tried out some more samples. we worked until after 11. a long day, productive day...

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

14 hands, 3 years

the residents have a group exhibition opening this friday at the caldwell arts center in lenoir, nc. today we are driving our work to the gallery and will be helping the staff and volunteers install the show. i will have 3 groups of work on display including regal graffiti, line drawings, and my latest borderlines (see the work i made for "the barns 2009").

fourteen hands, three years: penland resident artists
jan 15-feb 12
opening reception fri, jan 15 from 5:00-7:30pm

thanks for reading.

Monday, January 11, 2010

in the studio with raissa

my friend raissa bump is coming for a visit today. i am about to go to the airport to pick her up and i can't wait for her to arrive. we've been talking about spending time together in the studio for awhile now and then a visit this january just made sense. she will be here for a week!
raissa and i met a few years ago when i was her assistant here at penland. we worked well together - there is a lovely give and take between us and i am really looking forward to sharing my space with her. i will be blogging daily.

thanks for reading.

Friday, January 8, 2010

the return of guest star friday...#46, sarah abramson

today marks the return of one of my favorite things to write about, guest star friday. i took a break from writing the GS posts for months, but that doesn't mean i wasn't looking for or collecting them. now that i am in a very contemplative mood, i love looking at the work of others more than ever - it helps me to get inspired and to learn. plus, i just love sharing jewelry that i think is incredible with you. so, my GS posts are back! i love the work of today's guest star, sarah abramson, and i am sure you can see why - graphic compositions, abstract shapes, sculptural forms...all things i love in contemporary studio jewelry. sarah is taking 2 dimensional drawings and turning them into sculpture for the body - each piece is simultaneously static and kinetic, organic and architectural. the images on her website are protected so i am not able to share more with you - please be sure to visit her website to view her entire body of work. (the two images posted here were found at the MAD museum website.

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

etsy markdowns

revisit bracelet $60 (was $175)

i reduced the prices of everything in my etsy shop and i added a few more older pieces. i'm still trying to "clean house" before i close down my etsy and website shops on january 31.

plus more...

thanks for reading.

p.s. you can always make me an offer on anything in my etsy shop, too! email me at like i said, i am trying to clean house!

filigree gift

my parents' gave me this sweet filigree pendant for christmas. they got it for me during a recent trip to croatia. i googled the shop - roberto studio - and found this link which has a great slide show of interior images. my mom said she saw filigree everywhere and i love that she choose a traditional piece as a souvenir for me.
thanks for reading.

Monday, January 4, 2010

it's still love

one year ago today i moved to penland! how time much has happened and i feel as fortunate now as i did then, even more so really. i'm not going to write about the past year and my thoughts on all that has happened yet. i'm still thinking...

here's a link to the first post i wrote shortly after i moved.

penland summer catalog

the penland summer catalog is out and i am psyched to have my work pictured on the metals page. it looks good! my class, "it's the little things," is 7th session from august 29-september 4.

to get a copy of the catalog for yourself, please call the penland office at 828-765-2359. if you have questions about my class, please feel free to email me at

thanks for reading.