Friday, April 23, 2010

New Members: cindyhoo and lisaflanders


Cindy says: "I was born into generations of artisans ranging from painters,sculptors to woodworkers. A little different art from that of my family, I've built a relationship with my own rustic style of art that has been touched by the vast beauty on this earth as well as life experiences.

Growing up in the southland of California, I had the opportunity of living near the beaches and deserts. I made jewelry out of shells, leather,feathers and beaded onto my dads fishing swivels making bracelets or anklets out of them.

My father was a fireman who started a prospectors club with a co-firefighter. The Prospectors club took monthly camping trips all over the southern California, Nevada and Arizona deserts. We went to Turquoise mines, dug for rocks, dredged for gold, explored gold mines, visited ghost towns and spent a lot of time searching for treasures that were beneath our feet. As kids, we felt like we were truly experiencing the "Wild west". I guess my parents truly instilled in me a passion for metal and stones. It's no surprise that I would creatively grow and find myself where I am today.

I'm now settled in the foothills of the Sierra's and blessed to have the opportunity to spend each day down at the Creekhouse working with my torches and melting metal only to expand my horizons as I learn new technique and spread my wings.

I don't think it gets any better than this!"

Lisa Flanders

Lisa says: "My jewelry adventure began more than 20 years ago in Gainesville, when I went to purchase a vintage Volkswagen. At the end of the transaction, the seller, who turned out to be master jeweler Richard Beardsley, told me that he made jewelry and, when I expressed an interest, asked me if I'd like to see his work. When he opened the case, I was just blown away! It was the first time I had ever seen true "art jewelry" and I was amazed by his extraordinary creativity and by his metalsmithing skills, and I knew at that moment that I wanted to learn to make jewelry myself.

I design and create my handmade sterling silver and gemstone jewelry in my home studio, using traditional fabrication techniques of texturing, forming, forging, soldering, stone setting and finishing. To me, earthy, organic, hand-wrought shapes and textures, combined with beautiful natural gemstones, symbolize the essential, primeval energies of life and hearken back to a simpler time in our complex human journey. And just as I am inspired to create jewelry that reflects the beauty around me, so I hope that each piece may in turn be an inspiration for others and a talisman for love, truth, hope and peace."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Etsy Artist Feature: Connie Akers

I wanted to tell you a little about artist and Etsy seller Connie Akers who creates beautiful and striking art using fiber.

Connie makes a variety of things, including quilted art and hand painted scarves. Her work is influenced not only by color and texture, but also by family, nature, and travel.
She incorporates several techniques into her work. Among her favorites is fabric dyeing, and currently, she is also enjoying the technique of incorporating needle felting into her art quilts.

When asked how she got started doing fiber art, she answered:

I do not remember a time when fabric and thread weren't part of my life. The women in my family sewed, embroidered, quilted, and crocheted and I always loved the creative possibilites of these materials. In college I majored in Art Education and was sad that fiber weren't offered in the art department. After I started teaching I began to incorporate fiber into my program with macrame,stitchery, and needlepoint.

And if you recognize her last name, it's because her daughter, Ashley, is our very own Etsy Metal teammate!

Connie makes so many beautiful things, it was hard to choose my favorites to show you. So, please go to her shop to see more gorgeous scarves and fiber art. You can also read about her life and art on her blog: Sew Forth & Sew On, or view her photos on flickr.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cooking Can Camping Cup

finished cupSpring is almost upon us, the sky is getting bluer and the sun is getting brighter as it veers towards us. Thoughts turn to strolls along the beach, the river and in the countryside…maybe even tentative overnight camping trips at the early opening campsites?
cup with bread

If that sounds tempting, then pack your little camp-stove, instant BBQ, lighter and a few other bits and bobs and your Cooking-Can-Camping-Cup, for lightweight camping that makes you feel like a kid again making it up with your friends.

In this tutorial, I show you how to make this fun, attractive and useful cup which can be used for cooking in or drinking out of. The cup needs to be made from a cylindrical tin. I originally designed it to be made by 1st yr Art & Design students as an entry activity and they all ate the bread they made at the end of it, cooked on a BBQ. You don’t need metals skills or fancy equipment, just basic tools.
You can heat your baked beans in your cup or you could bake Damper Bread in it (as shown above with a jam filling!). I include a recipe for the bread at the end of the tutorial. There are also two separate tutorials for making the fork and the spoon.clip_image002

1. Use dividers to mark a line around your can about half-way up.

2. Use the dividers to mark another line around the can, about 1cm above the 1st one. This will be how high your can will end up being, after the edge has been folded safe.

3. Now for the handles; Use the dividers and a ruler to mark a strip 3cm wide from the top of the tin, down to the upper line that goes around the tin circumference (you marked it just now). Do the same on the opposite side.

4. Now mark a line 5mm in from each of the handle lines you just marked. These will be the edges of your handles after they’ve been folded safe.

5. Wearing a glove, cut out along your line, so that you end up cutting out 2 squares of waste material (look after these). You’ll have a tin with 2 strips (handles) sticking up in the air.

6. Notice how in the corner where the strip sticks up, there’s a little diagonal cut to the inner lines that are marked. This is necessary for folding the edges over.

7. Use a pair of flat pliers to fold the edges of the handles over as much as you can. It doesn’t matter which way you fold them over.

8. Now hammer the folded edges smooth. Use a flat hammer surface against a flat metal surface. The edges are now safe, not sharp.

9. Do the same thing around the rim of the can; use pliers to fold over the edges (don’t worry if it doesn’t look very round anymore).

10. And now hammer the folded edge smooth, by slipping the can over a  round  forging steak or similar roundish form.

11. Shape the handles by pulling them down over the long ring triblet to get the big curve. Next use round pliers to curl up the ends to face outwards.
finished cup show wire

12. Finally, wrap a piece of binding-wire around the can, threading through the curled up handle ends. Twist the wire together tightly using pliers to hold the handles snugly against the can. Snip the twisted wire end to a neat finish and tuck it flat against the tin so it doesn’t poke out sharply.

How to use your Camping Cook-Can-Cup…..
…to make a scrummy bread ball with gooey filling, but of course you cold cook and eat all sorts of foods in it! If your can has printed decoration / painted surface and you are using it on a fire in the embers, then the paint will eventually flake off.

Recipemakes about 15 dough balls.
3 cups self raising flour.
1 can of beer (for the yeast element!).
Small pinch of salt.
1 tablespoon butter, margarine or vegetable oil.

Put the flour, salt and butter into a bowl and mix. Add the beer bit by bit until you have a soft dough, not too wet and sticky, not too hard. You wont use all the beer. Knead into a soft ball. Leave for 10 minutes to rest. When it feels soft and elastic, continue from step2.

1. Make sure your can is clean. Wipe the interior of your can with cooking oil, using a kitchen towel….if you forget this part, your bread will stick and BURN!

2. Make a ball of dough that will sit in the palm of your hands, no bigger.

3. Poke a hole in the dough and spoon in some filling (jam, honey, lemon curd, chocolate, cheese, chutney….). Seal up the hole by pinching the dough over. Try not to let any filling ooze out, make sure there are no escape holes or it’ll bubble out and burn!

4. Slightly flatten the dough ball so that it’s spread across the base of the can and is about 3 ½ cm thick.

5. Sit your can in the outer edge embers of your camp-fire / around the edge of your BBQ / hung on a stick above your fire / on a low heat / small flame on your camp-stove / on number 3 of your small ring electric hob. The main thing is that you want a low heat not a fierce heat, because the can is very efficient at cooking and you don’t want to burn your bread.

6. It will take about 10 -15 minutes to bake. You might like to knock out the bread and flip it over to bake on the other side for another 5 minutes or so. If it starts to smoke at any point then your can is on too high a heat and your bread is burning, so knock out the bread, flip it over to bake the other side and place the can somewhere a little less in the heat.

7. Eat bread in the can with your fork/spoon after it has sat somewhere to cool awhile, or knock it out and eat it. The filling will be like molten lava so watch out! While you are eating, your can could be cooking the next bread ball.

Use tongs / oven gloves etc, to pick up your can from the heat, or 2 sticks through the handles.
Clean your can in the usual way, but make sure you dry it thoroughly and then completely wipe the inside with a little cooking oil again. This keeps it from rusting and stops your food sticking from sticking and burning. It would be a good idea to wipe the eating surfaces of your spoon and fork with cooking oil too, to preserve them.scorched

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Project Runway Jewelry Challenge 7.13/14: Finale

WELCOME to the reveal of last weeks' Episode 12
"The Big, Top Designers!"
Below are our Two EtsyMetal member and one guest entries!
Last weeks' TV challenge was to create a look inspired by the circus!

Ladies & Gentlemen, may I direct your attention to the center ring, where you are about to witness a spectacular feat! In just a moment, our performer will climb all the way to the top of this ladder and jump into the small pool of water below. Will he survive? wait and see!
Trapeze Necklace, made from sterling and copper.

street signs and sterling silver.
*amuckdesign was inspired by the circus theme. Please click the link to see several amazing circus pieces! Thank you for participating!
Episode 13/14:
Finale, parts 1 & 2
watch Part 1
In the spirit of Project Runway, create a mini collection consisting of
Necklace, Earrings, Bracelet, Ring & one Designers' Choice.

Designs will be due Friday, April 30th at 6 pm. pst.

Make it work!

*guidelines for guest participants*

The pieces you submit must be pieces that are made specifically for that weeks challenge. Then post your links in this weeks comment area, they will be retrieved as they come in before the deadline. *We only are accepting guest submissions from our blog comment area at this time, insert your links there. Then please cross-post this to your Blog, Flickr, Etsy, etc. And tag them with "Project Runway Season 7 Episode 12." We will post your name with a link and a picture of your pieces on our blog.

Etsy Metal Finds

This week's Etsy Metal Finds feature some eco-friendly finds from Etsy. There are many eco-friendly alternatives to the run-of-the mill products we use every day, and many of the alternatives last longer, are better quality, and best of all, create less waste and pollution. Have a look and enjoy!

Clockwise from Top Left:

Wool Dryer Balls by Ela's Idea

Ode to LA by Gina Michele

Set of 3 Bamboo Yarn Wrapped Stacking Bangles by Mystic Fibers

Honey Jasmine Natural Perfume by Spa Goddess

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Members: purifiedart and evemmetalsmtih


Bill Martin of purifiedart: "My mind creates, the body accentuates.
In the material space, my art objects are reproductions of my imagination — My mind uses the body as an organism to materialize constantly changing ideas, patterns, and emotions.

Educated at Tyler school of art, continuing as self taught and inspired by many wonderful metal artists throughout the world. I am in the Philadelphia area currently concentrating on functional / wearable art and mixed metals.

My work is described as future/primitive…
I like ancient but need change, tattered but strive for perfected craftsmanship… bold but am continually humbled.

Come visit me online! Anytime!"


Ester Eve of evemmetalsmith: "When I was a little girl, I would wander around outside and collect interesting rocks and rusty bits of scrap metal and stow them away in my pockets. Nothing much has changed really, except now I have an inkling of what to do with them.

I have always been fascinated with metal, and its cold, sharp hardness. A few years ago I decided to further my knowledge and take a beginning silversmithing class, and since then I have collected tools and successfully built up my personal studio space. I love to mix incredible stones with gorgeous sterling silver, the combinations are endless. Also, experimenting with new techniques such as electroforming, etching, and other various patination concepts is a huge passion of mine. I carry a sketch book everywhere I go, as I am constantly inspired and moved to creativity by the many incredible nuances of beauty and strangeness in this world.

Ultimately, I am living my dream of doing something I love...working with my hands and having the ability to expend my creativity into something that others can appreciate and fall in love with for years to come!"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sustainable Jewelry, books review.

Sustainable materials, Found Objects, Non precious materials, Recycled Materials, Mixed Media....These are all 'hot topics' in the jewelry design world right now and have been for a while, from both a fashionable as well as conscientious point of view, with plenty of beautiful jewelry books out on the market to show for it. If you were to afford only one or two of the jewelry books on these subjects then which ones should you go for, which ones are right for you? Here I'm going to outline 5 of the current favourites that some of us have been talking about, so that you can make up your own mind. I personally own 3 of the titles, whereas the other 2 I have read but didn't buy,  because I already had 4 similar, not because they were lesser quality, these books are numbered in brackets ( ).

(1) The most 'academic' of the books on review here, this book thoroughly investigates the variety and depth of jewelry created under the challenge of working with sustainable materials as well as processes. What is unusual about this book is that it looks at the work which has been produced by different generations of jewellers, not just contemporary artists, pointing out that the interest in this field broke ground quite some time ago. There is also good reference to jewelers around the world, not just in the States. There are plenty of beautiful images of exciting and innovative work, much of which is more 'conceptual' than 'everyday wearable', perhaps because this book challenges using its visuals what can and could be sustainable, instead of presenting us with written essay. After all, it is invention which sparks off debate and further investigation. There is room for essay in this book, but it's present incarnation allows you to make you own enquiries and decisions on what is acceptable in terms of a wearable material (human hair?).

2. This book makes an excellent choice for those who make jewellery but perhaps haven't been doing it that long and have wondered about breaking away from the traditional materials and processes associated with jewellery. It really does start with the basics but still contains informative discussion and debate about the feasibility of making wearable jewellery by recycling materials first. Chapter 1 gives you a variety of opinions and insights from jewellers. Chapter 2 gives an overview of tools needed, Health & Safety points. Chapter 3 outlines a range of materials that fall into recyclable territory, particularly accessible to most people. Chapter 4 deals with techniques of joining and construction, giving illustrations and step-by-step techniques. Chapter 5 gives you a few step-by-step projects to follow for making jewellery, which produce simple and basic, undemanding items which although not to everyones taste, gives you a jump off point from which you can develop your own ideas.

3. Here is a book which covers a wide variety of materials, so that even seasoned jewellery designers should find information about using a material that they haven't previously explored. For example, in the section on rubber, as well as there being an explanation of the types, processes for working, methods of colouring, forming, fixing and finishing, there are also "creative ideas" and "tips" in the margins to refer to. An example of this is; "Using a sheet of acrylic, burr into it to create a pattern or texture, then carefully pour or paint the rubber onto the surface and leave to set" (creating a texture plate for rubber). The whole book is like this, with beautiful examples of work, processes and materials. The last chapter gives 5 Design Briefs complete with points to consider, sketches to get you thinking, extra questions to help your enquiry and tips for you to explore. Even experienced designers will find something here that sparks off new trains of thought.

(4). Another clear and concise book full of exciting images and ideas, with a similar emphasis as book 2 on broadening the horizons of jewellery making for those who have not yet ventured out of their recently learned territory of traditional techniques and materials.. Where this book is different to the previous 3 is that it has jewelry projects to follow that are broken down into ability levels of beginner, intermediate or advanced. For seasoned jewellers there will certainly be some fresh tips, whereas for novice and intermediate jewellers there is lots of instruction on, for example, how to solder, use equipment and develop ideas through materials exploration and the use of sketchbooks, showing plenty of examples of how other jewellers do this.

5. Of the books reviewed here, this one is the most appropriate for jewellers who are more interested in creating ideas by following very specific, step-by-step instructions. What this book does is present you with a scrummy selection of pieces for you to choose from and make. Each piece is made and project written by a different jeweller, all with different styles, processes and every conceivable type of material available to most people. There are liberal scatterings of contemporary jewelry to oggle at throughout the book and introductions to basic processes and tools, for a variety of materials as well as metal, which is something that most of the Lark Books include.

Please note that these reviews are not affiliated to any bookseller or publisher.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Project Runway Jewelry Challenge 7.12: The Big, Top Designers

WELCOME to the reveal of last weeks' Episode 11
"Sew Much Pressure"

Below are our two EtsyMetal member entries!
Last weeks' TV challenge was to create a piece which would compliment one or both of the winning designs from Episode 11

I made neutral look pendant to fit both. I used sterling silver, Clear quartz carved lady piece, and leather cord.
Quartz Size(mm):40x33x11

These earrings are inspired by the Emilio's metallic sequin gown with a sculptural loop at the top.

Episode 12:
The Big, Top Designers

Guest judge is Cynthia Rowley. Air Date: 04/08/10. In this episode, the designers' challenge was to create a look inspired by the circus.

Have fun and we will see you next week, we are very much looking forward to seeing all your creations! *click to watch Episode 12:

MyLifetime full video here!

Our Jewelry Challenge:

Create a piece inspired by the circus!

Click here for inspiration!

**guidelines for guest participants:**

Please read this every week as there may be small updates and changes. The pieces you submit must be pieces that are made specifically for that weeks challenge. Then post your links in this weeks comment area, they will be retrieved as they come in before the deadline.

*We only are accepting guest submissions from our blog comment area at this time, insert your links there. Then please cross-post this to your Blog, Flickr, Etsy, etc. And tag them with "Project Runway Season 7 Episode 12." Currently we will post your name with a link and a picture of your piece on our blog. The new deadline for guest submissions will be Friday at 6 pm, Pacific Standard Time. The new blog posts and the new challenge will go up the weekend after the new episode airs.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Members: Hartleystudio and emetalworks


Ann of Hartleystudio says: "I started out my art life as a printmaker and loved it. The metal and stone, the mark making and the ink, all the mess and the process, I loved it all but didn’t like the finished product. I finished my BFA and was almost finished with MFA when I wandered into an art jewelry gallery and knew what I wanted to do. I have never looked back. I started over on that day, quitting my printmaking program, taking metalsmithing classes and applying to a new MFA program. After grad school I worked for 3 years as a goldsmith and learned about working with gold, platinum, precious stones and, most of all, clients! I love making wearable art as much as I love making jewelry for every day. I am a full time mother of two little kids and a part time metalsmith but I look forward to a day when it’s just me, all day, in the studio."


Emily of emetalworks says: "My work seems to end up being about texture...patinated, rolled, hammered and more recently by adding fabrics, plexiglass and other (ahem) flammable materials that i enjoy trying to successfully incorporate with metal and to add a different flavor!"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Recycle Your Packing/Packaging Material

So often I hear people say they buy their packing material. I've never had the need to, I recycle! I order so many of my supplies and most boxes come with their own stuffing. Some have styrofoam or the eco-friendly dissolving peanuts, the little inflatable air packets, others just use paper or my favorite, bubble wrap! Though I know its fun to simply pop it, save it instead and reuse it!

I have a large bag I use to collect the variety of materials I receive and then I simply pluck something out when I am mailing my own package. If I happen to be using a flat rate envelope instead of a box, old bubble mailers are great for an additional inside cushioning.

Plastic bags are great to reuse as are old newspaper, magazines or even shredded bits from your paper shredder (just make sure they are thoroughly mixed up!)

Bottom line - recycling your incoming packing material is not only good for the environment, its great on your wallet!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Which Spring Wedding Item Makes You Say “I Do”?

Beth and Rachael have been nominated in the “Which Spring Wedding Item Makes You Say I Do?” Etsy Voter and they need your votes!!!
You can support their awesome work in the voting:

Good Luck, girls!!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Etsy Metal Finds

Today's finds are inspired by the age old saying "April Showers Bring May Flowers"...the rain is here and hopefully we will reap the rewards in another month!

From Left to Right:

Felted Boots Slippers by Aurelia LT

Rain Cote by Violin Halune

April Showers bring May Flowers Bowl by Cathy Nan

Saturday, April 3, 2010

EtsyMetal Jewelry Challenge 7.11 "Sew Much Pressure"

Episode 11
Sew Much Pressure
"Project Runway" Season 7 Episode 11 (Sew Much Pressure). Guest judge is Jessica Alba. Air Date: 04/01/10. In this episode, the designers' challenge was to create a red carpet look for Heidi Klum.

Have fun and we will see you next week, we are very much looking forward to seeing all your creations! *click to watch Episode 10:

MyLifetime full video here!

Our Jewelry Challenge:

There were two winning looks (click the name):

Emilio and Anthony

Let these two looks inspire you! Create a piece which would compliment either or both of these dresses.

**guidelines for guest participants:**

Please read this every week as there may be small updates and changes. The pieces you submit must be pieces that are made specifically for that weeks challenge. Then post your links in this weeks comment area, they will be retrieved as they come in before the deadline.

*We only are accepting guest submissions from our blog comment area at this time, insert your links there. Then please cross-post this to your Blog, Flickr, Etsy, etc. And tag them with "Project Runway Season 7 Episode 9." Currently we will post your name with a link and a picture of your piece on our blog. The new deadline for guest submissions will be Friday at 6 pm, Pacific Standard Time. The new blog posts and the new challenge will go up the weekend after the new episode airs.

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Members: 2Roses and Joana Miranda

"Designing and hand-fabricating jewelry allows me to share my passion for beauty with others. My designs often originate from geometric shapes, though the resulting style is often more lacy and feminine than ultra-modern.

I am as at-home designing with pencils, paintbrushes and watercolors as I am at the bench with my soldering torch, saws and other tools. My award-winning designs have featured colored diamonds, high-karat gold and pearls. In my own shop, however, I strive to offer affordable jewelry because I believe that good design transcends materials and should be accessible to everyone.

When I'm not at the drafting table or at the bench, you'll find me with my viola tucked under my chin performing as a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Long training as a classical musician has taught me dedication and focus, as well as an appreciation for arts and culture."

2Roses world-class inventory management system ensures our Just-In-Time manufacturing process meets global demand for stuff.

The History of 2Roses

2Roses is a collaboration of Corliss Rose and John Rose. Many people have wondered about the name. It made no sense to call the pair 3Roses, and after 42 years, the name 2Roses has stuck. But you can call them Corliss and John.

Both Corliss & John have been working artists since childhood, and are the products of an old world traditional arts education. This is simply because they are old and the world was older then. They are now living in the new world and really like electricity and stuff.

Over the centuries the two have established a style that defies definition, except that it is eclectic, unpredictable, irreverent and often humorous. 2Roses work often combines wildly unorthodox materials and themes to create jewelry that is, er… different. Some even deem their work “interesting” in a quizzical way.

2Roses jewelry isn’t for everybody. It doesn’t even try to be. But don’t be surprised if one of their pieces “speaks” to you. You’ll know it when you see it.
Love them or hate them, one thing is certain. Walk into a room wearing a 2Roses piece and you WILL be noticed.

Disclaimer: 2Roses is not responsible for unwanted attention at social events, parties, political rallies, weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthdays or ship launchings. Wearing 2Roses jewelry during the commission of a crime is not advised. Caution: wearing 2Roses jewelry while drinking heavily or taking drugs may cause unpredictable results.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blog Carnival 04.01.10 - "The Creative Process: How do you plan and organize for design?"

This month's Blog Carnival is "The Creative Process: How do you plan and organize for design?" And include a photo of your bench! How fun will that be?

2010 April challenge - "Earth, Water, Air, Fire"

The April challenge was your free interpretation on any/all of  the 4 elements  
"Earth, Water, Air, Fire"  
We had 3 amazing entries this month:

The May challenge, due to April 30th, is "Inspired by Joan Miro"
This one will surly be colorful and most exciting ! 
I cannot wait to see the new pieces !

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