Hearts, Love and Valentines

Brass and copper textured and riveted heart

Brass and copper textured and riveted heart

Is there a more familiar symbol than hearts for expressing love, likes and such?  Don’t we constantly say things like “I love this” for anything that we find pleasing from food to romantic love?

Aventurine heart with carnelian in sterling silver

Aventurine heart with carnelian in sterling silver

According to Wikipedia – “The combination of the “heart shape” and its use within the “heart” metaphor developed at the end of the Middle Ages.” and “The first known depiction of a heart as a symbol of romantic love dates to the 1250s”. You’d think we’d be sick of it by now.  And yet, as an artist and jewelry maker I still find my designs gravitating toward that over used, all too familiar symbol.  I keep trying to come up with new ways to use it.

Framed copper puff heart with patina

Framed copper puff heart with patina

I don’t know when I’ll get tired of this symbol, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep trying to make interesting, maybe even unique and pretty things with it. So, with that said (and Valentine’s Day approaching) here is a collection of some of my heart themed jewelry.

--60000--52498_product_1305868865_thumb_large amethyst_heart_and_sterling_silver_earrings__3667bac5 brass_etched_heart_pendant__097f4787 bronze_wire_heart_and_red_coral_penant_f94e873d carnelian_aventurine_and_sterling_silver_earrings_66efca16 heart_shield_pendant_with_etched_copper_and_brass_29f421f2 IMG_1251 lampwork_bead_copper_leaf_and_agate_collar_necklace_d7d9ac81 smokey_quartz_copper_heart_wire_work_necklace__5ec58f67 three_hearts_brass_and_copper_pendant_3c827bc452498_1462073596_gallery_image_thumb_largeamethyst_and_pearl_wire_heart_pendant_necklace_41f2be43My first wire heart pendant

My first wire heart pendant

Had enough, just imagine all the heart images I didn’t post 🙂

 

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My New Bracelet Obsession

I’ve recently come to the realization that bracelets are my favorite jewelry item – don’t quite know why.  It used to be earrings, maybe pendants, but this past year I seem to be creating bracelets more than anything else.  Of course that obsession is subject to change 🙂

Here are some new wire bracelets I recently made.

wire weave and wrapped copper and Turquoise color Magnasite

wire weave and wrapped copper and Turquoise color Magnasite

copper bead and wire bracelet

copper bead and wire bracelet

Rustic, hammered bronze cuff

Rustic, hammered bronze cuff

I tried to make some earrings but came up blank 😦  Maybe it’s because I’ve had so many orders for my basketweave like bracelet (which has been a huge success, especially with men, so I can’t complain.)

The original basket weave bracelet I made to order over and over again

The original basket weave bracelet I made to order over and over again

Oh well, I’m not that good at making small items anyway.  Maybe this year I’ll try to make more earrings, pendants and necklaces.

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Inspired to Weave Wire Again

New bracelet with two different weaves and a hinge

New bracelet with two different weaves and a hinge

Other than a particular basket weave bracelet I’ve been making (over and over again due to popular demand), I really haven’t made anything new using wire weave techniques.  But then, why argue with success ?

The original basket weave bracelet I made to order over and over again

The original basket weave bracelet I made to order over and over again

I’ve changed the clasp on this design since but I quickly grew bored with the design.  It was time to try different weaves.

Added a separate clasp to refresh the look

Added a separate clasp to refresh the look

That’s when I came upon Lisa Barth’s book -Timeless Wire Weaving and became inspired.  It’s amazing what you can do with a few simple weave techniques.

Using 4 bronze wires, a simple weave and spiral clasp

Using 4 bronze wires, a simple weave and spiral clasp

IMG_0889 IMG_0910IMG_0701So now I am obsessed with wire weaving again, at least for a while.  I think I’ll go through all my stash of cabs and such to see what I can weave 🙂

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Christmas Collie/Sheltie Ornaments

I love these adorable, handmade polymer clay Collie/Sheltie ornaments by Sam Bros of http://tatsushop.artfire.com. I just had to share them. The one on the bottom is our Rough Collie, Yuki 🙂

Shinrin Art Blog

These are Rough/Smooth Collie or Sheltie holiday ornaments I made out of polymer clay and hand painted with acrylic paints. I made them in nine different colors (golden sable, mahogany sable, tricolor, blue merle, bi-blue merle, bi-black, CHW sable, CHW tricolor and CHW blue merle). These were sculpted in a Japanese anime “Kawaii” style and inspired by Maneki-Inu.

Collie/Sheltie Ornaments

Feel free to check them out at my art shop, http://tatsushop.artfire.com I can sculpt other breeds too! I’m going to make English Shepherd ornaments as well ^_^

My mahogany sable piebald rough collie, Yuki, chibi-sized! My mahogany sable piebald rough collie, Yuki, chibi-sized!

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Wire Wrapped Cross Tutorial

Rustic wire cross is 1 7/8" long

Rustic wire cross is 1 7/8″ long

Tools and Supplies

A 6″ piece of 16ga or 18ga round, soft wire for frame

12 or so inches of half round, half hard, 16ga wire

Round nose pliers

Square or Chain nose pliers

Wire cutters

Chasing hammer

Small file

Steel block or anvil

Ruler

Sharpie marker

IMG_0787Steps

Straighten and cut a 6" piece of the frame wire

Straighten and cut a 6″ piece of the frame wire

 

Fold wire in half using round nose pliers

Fold wire in half using round nose pliers

Make a round or oval loop at the halfway point

Make a round or oval loop at the halfway point

 

Make a 90% bend 5/8" from the top on each side

Make a 90% bend 5/8″ from the top on each side

Using your marker, draw a line at 5/8" on each wire.  Bend the wires with the tips your round nose pliers

Using your marker, draw a line at 5/8″ on each wire. Bend the wires with the tips your round nose pliers

Bend the wires again at the mid point as shown with your chain nose pliers

Bend the wires again at the mid point as shown with your chain nose pliers

Use the round nose pliers to form a little loop at each "arm" of the cross

Use the round nose pliers to form a little loop at each “arm” of the cross

Bend your wire with the chain or square nose pliers again as shown

Bend your wire with the chain or square nose pliers again as shown

With your chasing hammer, flatten the loop at the top and the loops are each end of the arms.  Lightly hammer the rest of the cross

With your chasing hammer, flatten the loop at the top and the loops are each end of the arms. Lightly hammer the rest of the cross

Straighten the whole pendant and hammer the ends into a paddle

Straighten the whole pendant and hammer the ends into a paddle

Using a 2" to 4" piece of half round wire, begin to wrap the ends as shown.

Using a 2″ to 4″ piece of half round wire, begin to wrap the ends as shown.

Place the center of the half round wire behind the cross, flat side facing you

Place the center of the half round wire behind the cross, flat side facing you

Crisscross the wrap wires in front as shown and around to the back

Crisscross the wrap wires in front as shown and around to the back

Bring the wires to the back and crisscross again

Bring the wires to the back and crisscross again

Bring both wrapping wires towards the top and wind each one around the arm at the point nearest the center of the cross.  End up with the wrap wires in the back and trim the wrap wires on the back of the cross.  There will be a crisscross pattern in the front and back.

Back of the cross pendant

Back of the cross pendant

Be sure to cut all the wires in the back of the cross and file the ends smooth.  Make or buy a jump ring of heavy gauge wire and insert at the top of the cross.

If you have a problem keeping the wires straight while working, loosely wrap a fine wire around the separate sections to hold them in place temporarily.  You can also use masking tape or painters tape.

IMG_0792File all wire ends smooth, oxidize with Liver of Sulfur or leave your metal bare as you wish.

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Creative Again and a New Pendant

IMG_0647I finally made a new piece of jewelry after what seems like an eternity. I was beginning to think I’d lost all desire to create.  Thanks to my talented daughter, Sam (of http://shinrinart.wordpress.com) I was able to create this dragon pendant.  She drew the dragon, free  hand, on a circle of brass for  me.  I then etched it, riveted it onto a section of copper and made this pendant.

Woke up, it was a hazy morning

Woke up, it was a hazy morning

Our big move to the country has been more of a  change than I anticipated.  The weather here changes dramatically from minute to minute.  We’re quite high up in altitude now and we were actually below sea level before.  The sky is spectacular with stars and clouds like I’ve never seen before.

And the moon – wow,  was it always that big!

Early morning moon

Early morning moon

This is  the road where we walk the dogs everyday

This is the road where we walk the dogs everyday

We’ve had many adjustments and compromises to make.  It’s no wonder I haven’t been really creative.  My computer was damaged in the move thanks to a leak in the U-Haul truck which they refuse to acknowledge (but that’s another battle) and I’m not always able to go online. I can’t afford a new computer right now.

We still have stuff in boxes but I recently found an old sketchbook of mine.  It had some pencil drawings I’d done a long, long time ago – not bad.  I used to like drawing portraits of faces with character.

Old pencil sketches - portrait studies

Old pencil sketches – portrait studies

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Perhaps I’m rediscovering crafts/interests that have been dormant for a while.  It’s a slow awakening.  I’m looking for my crochet hooks, color pencils and even brought out my guitar music books.  Who knows what I’ll do next 🙂

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I’m in the Country Now

The country side surrounding me

The country side surrounding me

I haven’t written a post for while.  It’s been a little rough concentrating on anything.  We’ve finally moved to our “new” home in the country after many months of setbacks.  Many of my things are still unpacked, my computer was damaged, we had no internet service and so on and so on.

View from the front of my house showing the road I walk everday

View from the front of my house showing the road I walk everday

One the positive side however, the neighborhood is awesome.  We’re high up in the country in a very rural area with beautiful views and town is only about 15 minutes away.

In the town

In the town

I do need to get back to creating jewelry or something but I’ve been so busy with the house and the land it’s on – I’m exhausted!  Soon the colder weather will arrive (hope not too cold) and I’ll be indoors more.

Did I mention my new puppy ?

Did I mention my new puppy ?

I have hummingbirds!  I’d never seen one in a natural environment and now I have Ruby Throated Hummingbirds everywhere.  The Goldfinches are the most golden I’ve ever seen and the House finches  are the most intense shade of red ever!

Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird at our feeder

Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird at our feeder

Oh, and I have these lovely, nosy neighbors

Nosy neighbors

Nosy neighbors

Another view of the surrounding countryside

Another view of the surrounding countryside

I think I need to paint or replace our mailbox

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The sky up here is incredible !  I did manage to get this photo of the “supermoon” on 8/10/14

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Well eventually, I’ll get back to my jewelry making.

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