Tag Archives: silversmith

Summer Is Finally Here

Just got back from my daughter, Savannah, High School class trip to Washington DC. It was a 16 hour bus ride one way and it was worth it. What a beautiful city full of amazing museums & monuments. I am a history, science geek so I could have stayed in one museum for a week but we covered miles of ground in just a few days. The HOPE Diamond is amazing… of course I went to see that and the Hall Of Gems in the Museum Of Natural History. This is my daughter and myself at the Lincoln Monument.

Sorry I have not blogged in a while. I have moved most of my commentary to http://www.instagram.com/wildprairiesilver   

If you do not use Instagram it’s very fun. I think it’s like a magazine you design yourself. I will try and continue to post on here once in a while and keep ya updated. My show schedule (click this link) is on my website for the summer. My next show is July 21st & 22nd in Sheboygan Wisconsin.. Kohler Art Fair, space #106

Tomorrow.. I teach this class at Peninsula School Of Art in Fish Creek Door County. I do not usually teach. I like it/enjoy it but I do not have time. Why this earring???? We use several tools… rolling mill & hydraulic press, beginning soldering, and beginning wire wrapping. I think there is one more open spot in the class. Again tomorrow Fish Creek Door Co WI Peninsula School Of Art 9-4pm

Other classes ~ We are excited to say that Richard Salley is making a pit stop in my teeny tiny town. July 17th, 18th (Tuesday & Wednesday) He will be teaching the above two classes. They are pretty much full, but might be able to take on one person in each class. Main issue is that it is in Casco Wisconsin. No hotel (or anything else) – nearest hotel 15 miles away or more… Algoma, Sturgeon Bay, Kewaunee have hotels. It is NOT at my studio. My studio fits one person in it. (It is in my basement and it is an underwhelming place to visit.) If you would like to take one of these classes, please text Wild Prairie’s Phone at 920-365-6341 and we will let ya know if they are available. $275… need to be able to solder a bezel and saw out a shape before you come to class. I will be there to help out if you’re a newbie. Again space is available for one person, already almost full.

We have done about one or two diamond ring restyles a month. The above two photos are of peoples diamonds they wanted redone into something else. It’s been super fun. The budget for this completely varies depending on what you want and the amount of gold you want to use. All of them turn out a little different than the next. email if you are interested 🙂 joy@joykruse.com

White Sapphire & Faceted Moonstone Necklace… This is currently at J Jeffery Jewelers in Fish Creek Door County Wisconsin. We made this for the Royal Wedding but ya know the Queen just never called? We are still perplexed as to why she does know us. 🙂 🙂 🙂 And the Bride! She wasn’t even wearing a necklace! Talk about missed opportunity on their part. (Hahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!)

Diamond Necklace & Pebble Ring 

We created another website for stone lovers. I have had a supply site for years on Etsy called MidnightinSavannah.Etsy.com. I wanted to have a site that was not controlled by another company. (I had an ecommerce site go out of business and take all my business with it- yikes!) So, we made a new site that is not owned by another vendor for our stones and supplies: SavannahJewelrySupply.com 

On June 21st at 9am Central time we will have a huge sale via Instagram for stones that I have hand picked. The instagram site is @savannahjewelrysupply  We post the stone parcels and they all have a name. You just text us the name of the parcel you want ~ Studio Phone # 920-365-6341. We let ya know if it’s available or already gone. You send us your PayPal email and we invoice you for your stones. If you want more than one parcel we make a pile for you & invoice you when the sale is over. If you are out of the country then DM us on Instagram. US shipping is $5 & overseas shipping is $12.

Amazonite Earrings 

Carnelian Turquoise Ring 

Awesome goodies from Bead and Button Show! Some of these will be for sale in our stone sale June 21st ~ It is held on Instagram @SavannahJewelrySupply  

We will have a large selection of faceted freeform gems as well on that day: Prehnite, Carnelian, Labradorite, Amethyst, Moonstone, Yellow Opal, Variscite, Amazonite, Chrysophrase, Pink Opal. Text to purchase right from the photo 920-365-6341

Moving up & moving out 🙂 🙂 🙂  If you have ever been to my studio, you know I work in my basement. It’s finally time for a new studio. Financially, it’s not worth it (my basement is ok) however, I plan to work until I am dead so I have to move above ground just for moral. It won’t be amazing like the pinterest photos of studios (it will be a garage with a lot of windows) but it will be amazing to me as it will be above ground with a spectacular view the sun setting on my wild prairie. I can’t wait to just pour some concrete and stand on it…soon… 🙂 🙂 🙂 I will have a Christmas Open House in the new studio and you’re invited.

Peace to all ~ Hope to see you at a show ~ Happy Summer ~ joy 🙂

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ETSY Shop Class & Metalsmithing Class Great Success

IMG_2893Great week at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek Door Co. Two day class, ‘Lauching Your Etsy Shop,’ was a great success. It had in my mind a potential to bomb… I had to rely on technology hooking up to screens and wifi working for every student and students bringing their own computers/ipads: all different with all different programs on them for photos.

Hooray! It was fine. Everyone opened a shop. Everyone edited pics. Everyone made a banner. Everyone worked their way through the site and created listings, shop policy, shipping criteria, etc… It was fun to see every student get a way to sell their work. We all had different artistic backgrounds as well: painter, vintage collector, and jewelry.

Murphy’s Law…. second day of class: ETSY changes the format to about half of the sellers shop pages. ETSY had announced they were going to make some changes months ago and gradually launch the changes…. Ha!!!!!!! Tricks on me 🙂 Half of us had pages that looked very different from the other half…. essentially it was fine. Same content just different look and different icons. I just chucked at the irony that it took place mid-class. This class will be offered again next year. It will be two days from 9-1pm. Not sure on the dates yet. The time (9-1) was perfect because you can only stare at a computer so long.

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Wednesday Thursday Friday: Metalsmithing Class at the same school 

Peninsula School of Art Fish Creek Wisconsin Door County

What a great great great great time 🙂 I now feel have three new good friends. Thank you Joan, Kate and Terri. This is why I teach…. wonderful human connect with these three women. All of us coming from different backgrounds and all of us completely in tune to what we are there to learn: new ways to create with metal. It was one of the best classes I have ever taught. Super energy!

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Kate’s piece without the stone in it…. Hey teacher don’t eat in the studio 🙂 Yes, those are my grapes….

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Ocean Jasper… The back plate of this sterling silver was put through a rolling mill with dried corn husks ~ thanks Joan for bringing them and telling us how great it looks.

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This is Terri… She was in my class last year and was really ready to advance beyond where she felt she was stuck. She wanted to make a birch tree like piece… Well, she did and it was fantastic!

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Her necklace without the stone… it swings on the branch 😀 Love it Love it Love it. I would buy this from her if she would let me.

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This is a terrible photo but it shows Joans piece…. I wish the pic was better because it was stunning. The rough agate matched these pearls… The pearl components in the chain are double sided so the same cupped square is on the reverse side with a pearl in it. We made these component from scratch and yes, even the pearls have a little tiny post in them. There are five different tiny little soldering jobs to do in one component of that single pearl chain link. (You are awesome Joan and you did it!) When her chain moves around the pearls in the chain are never flipped the wrong way. It’s beautiful all the time. Oh, and Joan hand made every single jump ring in that chain, soldered them all, and hammered them all. By  Friday she was ready to not make any more chains but she knows now that she can…   🙂

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Pic off the the far left was just a piece that was just started in the last bit of class time…. we did not want to leave it out.

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A lot of students want to visit my studio. Well, I hate to tell you it’s just not that impressive. This is it. It’s like galley kitchen… narrow with countertop/benches on each side. I have another room with my larger equipment in it in the concrete walled part of our basement (rolling mill, hydraulic press, buffing motor, large anvil ~ this space is even less impressive, downright ugly.) This basement room has windows and it’s where I spend most of my time. But it’s not anything fancy and it’s not what I would call a ‘studio.’ It’s just the space that I have… I try to make it as inspiring as I can with goofy signs… etc…. I would love an inspiring studio separate from my house. I have often joked about this with my husband and tossed the idea around about building some kind of ‘workshop.’ After last winter I cannot image doing that. I cannot imagine heating and shoveling another building. It’s just not realistic in my head…  I would love to have the space to have another person work or students work or clients stop in… but I just don’t think it’s worth the winter time work with maintaining another building. If I had elves it would be doable….

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I have two torching station setups ~ with three torches connected to two propane/oxygen setups. One of them on the bench on the far left will be replaced with my new welder when I finally get it. I have plans to travel to Chicago to a jeweler who is going to spend a day teaching me how to use one. I plan to do that as soon as I can… I haven’t got a date yet. I wish it was today… I’m ready. If you are ready to purchase a torch, my setup is my favorite and I think I have used a lot of different torches and gas sources. I use the Little Smith Torch and the Smith Versa Torch. I have them setup on propane/oxygen tanks with a flashback arrestors and Y-Adaptors. The Little Smith Torch is tiny and very precise especially for gold work. The Versa Torch is my 90% of the time torch but mostly because my jewelry is so big…. That torch melts things fast… heavy ring shank… takes seconds to solder. When I use the schools’ Acetylene without oxygen torches I feel like it takes all day to solder something large, even with the largest tip on the torch. However, it’s just what I am use to. I know a lot of jewelers and they use either or, and seem to love whatever they are use to. It comes down to ‘heat’ … have you got it?? Is your flame hot enough? At home Terri is using a ‘CopperHead Torch’ with propane only. She stated in class there are several things she just cannot do because there is not enough fire power. Same with several hand held torches (butane or propane)… They are cheap and handy but often not versatile enough to do any job.

Terri is taking the picture so she’s not in the photo… Kate, Joan and myself 🙂 at Peninsula School of Art in the Metals Studio working/playing the day away….

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Next show is this Saturday Sept 27th at The Settlements Shops in Fish Creek Door County Wisconsin. It is 10-5 Saturday only… It’s small (only 20 artists) but nice and the Door Peninsula is starting to turn gorgeous with Fall colors.

Huge show after that is October 11th & 12th also in Door County. I will be at the Fine Line Gallery in Ephraim. The show is called ‘Townline Art Fair’ and has been running for almost 50 years. It’s a beautiful show. The Peninsula has several festivals that weekend. It is the busiest weekend of the year for tourism there…. Pumpkin Patch Festival draws 70,000 visitors if it’s good weather. Last year I sold out several items I always have in stock and it’s was raining. I won’t be able to believe the crowd it if it’s good weather…. New post soon with upcoming work. Have a great weekend!


Is Your Box of Swarovski Crystals This Big????

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Got to head out to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee Wisconsin for just 35 hours of buying. The Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee is the largest bead show in the world. The offer over 900 jewelry related classes over a 10 day stretch. It’s a great show. I do not use that many beads any more but there are a couple great stone cutters there and it’s my only chance to pick the stones out in person for the entire year. Above is picture of the truck I parked next too. I think you have a serious problem if this is your box of Swarovski Crystals!!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!!!! Yes, I am sure they are vendors but can you imagine? It must weigh a ton. (Thank you Tammy Rae for the place to sleep: Lissa and Tammy and Chrissy and Jessica: thanks for the friendship! Hi Chelle! Good to see you too!)

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This is Tatiana she is from the Ukraine… I have been joking around with a good customer of mine that we are both moving to the Ukraine for a break in our lives…. I just had to take this woman’s photo for that reason. Here is our ticket outta here with this lady!   🙂

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Made these riveted earrings just before I left. They were a pleasure to make and wear at the show! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/191983849/crazy-lace-agate-riveted-post-earrings?

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This is just one box of stones I purchased from Gary Wilson. I helped out in his booth for a while as well and it was a fun learning experience to work at someone else’s show. Great guys, himself, and his son in law, Spencer. Thanks guys for the great stones and good times. I don’t have a picture of all of us and Lissa… what the heck! That would have been really nice to have. Gary got any pics?

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Tourmaline in Quartz.. I purchased a few very similar to this one piece…. Yes, I will make a necklace out of it and I can’t wait to do it I already have it planned out in my head.

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I cannot remember what this stone even is… hee hee….this will be a necklace too.

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Rhodocrosite is one of my favorites because it’s pink. I have not found it in a while in nice thick beautiful pieces. These are just perfect for me!

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Malachite Drusy and Azurite

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Bought a lot of Crazy Lace Agate, again a favorite with Laguna, Dryhead Agate and Rhodocrosite

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Dryhead Agate

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Crazy Lace Agate

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Labradorite…drool… I will not be able to keep these as a set. It’s just too expensive. I will split them up and make separate pieces from them.

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Petrified Wood… This one I am going to keep for myself.

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My Grandmother is doing better. She had a heart attack last week Saturday and is recovering her strength in a nursing home. She is 90 years old and will be 91 this summer. She pushed her call light because she wanted the nurses to see the jewelry I was wearing!!!!!!!!!! I was laughing my butt off at that. We look alike in this photo: same lips, same eyes… When she sees a picture of herself she always says, ‘Who is that old woman?’ She just cannot believe her own age and image. It’s funny how we just want to stay the same. Human nature I guess. This is my Grandmother years ago at about 22 years old. She had just graduated from nursing school.

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Home… Sweet… Home….

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Custom Piece

Just finished this custom piece for a great lady far far away from me… She lives in sunny California and this pendant will be on it’s way to her tomorrow. The stones were the customers own stones.

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I will be heading to Bead and Button Jewelry Expo in Milwaukee Wisconsin at the end of this week. I was planning on a long weekend at the show but the stars might not align for me and a one day trip might be all I can escape for. My Grandmother is not doing well this week and it is day by day. My Grandmother is 90 years old and has Alzheimer’s. She lives with my Mother. Both wonderful woman, strong, stubborn, loyal and hard working  but my Grandmother’s good days have turned to just good moments (not even whole days) and every week I can see her fading more and more….

Hopefully the next time I post it is from Milwaukee but we will see what this week brings. …. Just wanted to leave you with one of my favorite sayings. It is so true.

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Great Show!!!!! Awesome People & Weather

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What a fantastic show in Sturgeon Bay, Door County Wisconsin. The weather makes it or breaks it. I have loved this show since I have been doing it, maybe five years now….

My kids love it too because there is a beautiful park and beach. These pictures are of a wonderful couple that came to the show. They have both been through a lot in the last couple of years and sound like they have the possibility of a long road ahead. It was their 14th wedding anniversary. The woman (Jill) in the photo is an accomplished metalsmith herself so I am honored that she purchased a necklace. My sincere prayers go out to her husband who has to have a big surgery June 2nd. God Bless…. wonderful meeting you both and I hope we get to meet again.

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Below is a Fox Mask that I purchased from another artist and he is just foxy!!!!!! I love him. He is in my son’s room. The artist is Nancy Briggs. You can see her work at http://www.nancybriggspottery.com

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This sign hangs next to the fox….I purchased this print on Etsy.

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Lastly, it’s finally nice here. Grilling pineapple, mango, nectarines along with chicken and carrots on the grill. Yum, summer….

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Dodge Street Antiques… in Algoma… I love this can — ‘SUPER PYRO’ Could it get any cooler than this can????????? I really wanted it but it was outta my price range. It will have to have another home with someone else.

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Next week is the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I will get some amazing stones and I will send a lot of pics! I am just a shopper at the show this year and not teaching classes so I will have time to take in all the eye candy. I will try and share it with you.

 


Race…. Show This Weekend

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Hey there everyone… ran a half marathon over the weekend with my 13 year old son and it was a beautiful day. I was suppose to run the full  marathon but I was just not ready. I had a leg injury during training and even though my leg is better I was just not confident enough to run the whole thing. I have run 7 other marathons so it was not a huge disappointment and by mile 12 I knew I had made the right decision because my leg would not have held up. My sister in law, Jenny, ran the full marathon, her first one… She did amazingly well and looked like it was a walk in the park right after she finished. Good Job Jen!!!!!!!!!! It was a miserable winter to train so she really deserves a standing ovation.

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This is part of the Green Bay Marathon Course… Lambeau Field, Home of the Green Bay Packers Football Team. We are in the stands waiting for Jenny to run by. This is the end of the marathon course and it’s pretty thinned out by this time, not a lot of runners bunched up. Spectators were only allowed in one end zone to cheer and take pics. That is why the stadium appears empty but it’s really not.

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This is a crazy man wishing for someone to trip him while he runs…. He is carrying a Chicago Bears flag through the stadium while he finishes the race. He really is taking his life in his own hands here. Everyone boo-ed the entire time… pretty funny.

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Ring made from 1815 Sterling Knife… The way it curves around your finger is just perfect. I love it. No soldering and the ring will fit almost anyone as it is just curved in a circle with my Pepe Tools ring bender.

Heading to Sturgeon Bay Door County Wisconsin this Saturday and Sunday for the Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Show. It is in Sunset Park right on the Bay of Green Bay. It is a beautiful setting, very kicked back atmosphere and one of my favorite shows of the entire year: 10-5 Sat and 10-4 Sunday Stop in and say Hello.

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What the heck is this? Well, I am sitting in the back of our pickup truck with a pile of steel pipes. My husband made some new soccer goals for our County’s new soccer park: Ryan Park, Kewaunee County. We are hauling them over to the park so they can be installed. The goals are huge. Never realized how huge until I saw these pipes hanging out the back of our truck. This is our driveway and it is finally starting to green up around here after our coldest winter on record.

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Oh so soft Porcelain Jasper Stone… I will be wearing this all weekend I think. The chain is really a work in itself. I handmade every single link and soldered it together. Took forever but it’s good mind numbing work.

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Just a little surprise that I will have more pics of later. This is going to be a sculpture for the city of Egg Harbor. It is finished and I am taking there today and installing it. This was just the beginning of it. The ‘see through’ base is perforated stainless steel like the stuff they use in the drain for the soda machine at a gas station… That part will be lined with moss and planted with plants… More pics to come later as it put in place in Egg Harbor.

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This is my new photography booth from B&H photography. I absolutely love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow, it really helps take amazing pictures. I have never been disappointed with anything B&H has sent me. They are very helpful and they always include a DVD on how to’s etc….. Makes something that is difficult for me much easier….

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Ok, I’m off to deliver this Egg Sculpture… I will send pics later. Hopefully see you in Sturgeon Bay over Memorial Day Weekend….


DIY: Nail Headpin Video

DIY: Nail Headpin Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq0GM08Y-G8

sterling silver headpin making

Made a 3 minute quick video on how to make the nail headpins like in this earring shown in the picture above. Had a request for that, so enjoy…. if you’re interested. I have all of the supplies you need for this project in my silver supply shop… I think I have the best price on the hex anvil as well??? http://www.midnightinsavannah.etsy.com

Link:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq0GM08Y-G8


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