Wednesday, March 31, 2010

final class

Finally finished my Alice in Wonderful necklace last night. As it was my first attempt at enamel jewelry, I am pretty happy with it.

Last night was supposed to be my last class for the semester, but my wonderful, super-sweet teacher, Maureen Duffy, offered up some additional studio time as it was looking like I would not be able to complete my locket due to the chaos that inevitably goes hand in hand with the last class of the semester. So check back after April 10th to see the finished piece. And if you feel like checking out some of my teacher Maureen's work, visit

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Sorry folks, but I can't think about anything other than babies right now. My niece, Maya Elise, was born yesterday at 7:33pm PST, making me an aunt for the very first time! Now all I can think about are baby clothes, baby toys, baby books, and how I am going to spoil this little girl rotten. I am so smitten, so in love...

Monday, March 22, 2010

working hard

I worked awfully hard this weekend on my portfolio. I had a mini photo studio set up on my kitchen island. See the fruits of my labor at:

If you are interested in taking your own photos at home, this site was really helpful for me to construct my own lightbox:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

getting there

I am quite content with the progress I made with my locket last night. I drilled a circular design in sheet metal with 3 different sized drill bits and used a saw to cut out the 3 different teardrops on the inside of the locket. I soldered the top sheet metal to the bezel base and filed away the excess metal to create this drum-shaped piece. I started to saw through the middle to create the two halves of the locket. Next week I will dome the front of the locket, create the hinge and a pressure clasp (a little piece of metal soldered to the inside of the locket that will hold the lid shut), solder the bale to the top of the locket, oxidize, and polish. And because I hate waiting for metal to clean in pickle solution, I started cutting out the shapes needed for my Alice in Wonderland pendant and hope to finish that along with the locket next week. So excited!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Last week a few of us from work went to tour Fonthill Castle and Mercer Museum in Doylestown (Fonthill Castle seen above). Henry Mercer was known for his tile designs, which can be seen throughout the entire interior of his home, Fonthill Castle. But he was also obsessed with tools and collected them en masse. He had a very loose definition of the word "tool," making the collection a clear vision of his interpretation of the word. His entire tool collection, from printmaking blocks to seamstress tools to stoves to cradles, is showcased at the Mercer Museum. Below are some items that inspired me: Keys and locks... I love the designs on the ends of the keys.
Butter mold... such an amazing carving!
Hair comb... as we all know, I am a HUGE fan of hair combs!
Buttons... I love the star design on them. Definite jewelry inspiration!

If you decide to visit the museums, tour Fonthill Castle first. It is great to get an insight into who this man was before seeing his outrageous collection at the Mercer Museum.

Monday, March 15, 2010

inspired enamel

I saw this beauty in Lucky magazine about 2 months ago and I pulled it as inspiration. Little did I know, it was featured in Lucky because it is similar to the necklace Alice's mother gives her at the beginning of the new Alice in Wonderland movie (which I saw this weekend). Through my internet searches, it appears this necklace is no longer available through, although there are other Alice in Wonderland inspired pieces available. I also discovered that Hot Topic carried a similar piece as well to offer with their Alice in Wonderland collection which also appears to be sold out!
Guess I have no choice but to make my own version with enamel and silver. 3 classes left and I have a lot to get done. But in the meantime, maybe I will go shopping at Hot Topic and pick up a pair of striped wrist warmers for myself!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the lost girls

I have yet to see the new Alice in Wonderland film (directed by one of my faves, Tim Burton) and I cannot wait to see this lovely piece of eye candy! Seeing the advertisements of the new Alice makes me want to don ice blue and color my hair back to blonde. But my love of this story follows along with my love of other children-lost-in-a-fantastical-world stories, like The Oz books. And, as an adult, I love the dark interpretations people are taking with these beloved stories.
Who remembers this movie?! Return to Oz, comprised of the 2nd and 3rd Oz books written by Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz (my personal favorite!), takes a darker twist than the more familiar Wizard of Oz musical. Electro-shock therapy, the wheelers, Mombi, oh my! A cinematic gem that has been, for a long time, underrated.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

locket underway...

Here are my locket sketches. The locket will be circular (about 1") and completed entirely in sterling silver. The sketch to the left represents the outside of the locket. I plan to pierce 3 different sized holes throughout the piece to create a graphic element to the front and polish the metal with a brushed or satin finish. The sketch to the right represents the inside of the locket which will also include some pierced holes and a cut-out design that was inspired by tattoos I have on my wrist and foot. The metal inside will be oxidized so you will be able to see the dark detail of the metal through the holes in the front of the locket.

Last night in class, I created the back of the locket. Now I need to move on to piercing and sawing the designs in the front and back and adding the hinge, clasp, and bail. The hinge will be standard, created with silver tubing and silver wire. I am still looking at my options for the clasp. The bail I intend to be a circle soldered to the locket that the chain will run directly through. All in all, I am pretty excited about the possibility of completing this in my next class, but that may just be me being a little overzealous... we'll see! I have a lot to get done and only 3 classes left... EEK!

Monday, March 8, 2010

spring fever

I have been in a very contemplative mood these last few days and all I really want to do is lay out in the crisp cool breeze and let the sun rays warm me while I think about everything I need to think about until I have thought about it so much, I don't need to think about it anymore. Maybe I am suffering from spring fever... I would love nothing more than to escape into this wild flower field!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

organic opulence

Ever since I saw this little beauty on Melissa Joy Manning's site( I have fallen in love with yellow gold again. I love the inclusions in this stone (surprise, surprise!) and how the brushed gold compliments the threads. And I love the mixture of the organic shaped stone with opulent gold! I think I am going to have to make a much needed school supply run to pick up a new piece of rutilated quartz and some gold bezel wire.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

water casting perfection

I am continuously melting down my metal scraps and submerging them in water to make beautiful organic shapes, called water casting. I have made pendants with these pieces before, but decided to create a ring in class yesterday. I feel like it almost looks like some kind of flower bud, but like a Rorschach test, it is all up to the eye of the beholder. Here are some other shapes I have created:

an orchid?

a fingerprint in wax?