Tag Archives: stones

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!

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Happy Birthday KT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY KT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

KT helps me out all the time… she recently graduated from college and now has a real job… miss her, but she will still be around and help me at my shows, etc.. I hope!

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This is such a pretty picture I couldn’t help but put it in here… very possibly the prettiest pic I have ever taken. Again KT Happy Happy Birthday! I hope you are out having a great time with your guy…. Yes, she’s taken.


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Fresh out of the workshop today ~ Desert Drusy Stone Necklace

Chain is completely handmade as well.

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/192593108/desert-drusy-sterling-silver-necklace?

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This is a big rough gorgeous specimen stone… If you notice the nice recessed rivet at the top of the pendant. The rivets turned out perfectly and they are perfectly recessed in to the metal ~ was fun to experiment with…. This specimen stone is not too big for a shy wearer. Anyone can wear this piece, well, except maybe Roni ~ (Just kiddin’ ya Roni!)

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/192602553/azurite-sterling-silver-necklace-one-of?ref=listing-shop-header-1

Chrsocolla stone necklace

chrysocolla stone aquamarine necklace sterling silver

Chrysocolla and Aquamarine Gemstone Necklace ~ I worked for a long time on this necklace getting it to be ‘right.’ I just love it. It has great movement, color and the aquamarines have a lot of flash… Fun to see it come together.

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/192603405/chrysocolla-aquamarine-gemstone-sterling?ref=listing-shop-header-0

Here are some pics just taken off our deer camera from down by the river on our land. Great pics of spring time movement in the woods ~ Enjoy!

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Look at this Wisconsinite ~ First time on the deer camera ~ A Wisconsin Badger ~ Not a football player or a sports fan but the real deal. Pretty funny.

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Tiny little baby fawn….

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Coyote… Furry and Noisy.. woke me up the other night yipping right in the yard

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He looks fake but he’s not. He must be all fanned out for his girlfriend. Great picture for the deer camera. It’s like the turkey needed a picture for his dating service.

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Last one… little guy is getting bigger…. was a taken two weeks after that first one…

Happy Birthday again KT! See you at your graduation party!

 


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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Elements Unleashed Tomorrow

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Made this today…. I love it! The heart is a Jasper Stone…The nail comes from a walk with my daughter out to this old concrete structure on our land. The concrete structure was a wash tank for gravel in the 1920’s. There are still shoots coming of the side of it to load train cars with gravel and the train tracks are still in place beyond the concrete tank (it’s almost 2 stories tall and has 3 or 4 compartments in it so it’s like a building). We found this nail with a lot of other iron relics inside the building and around it. There is a lot shrubs and trees growing around everything so you have to hunt for your treasure!

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177450381/sterling-silver-nail-heart-necklace-one?

Tomorrow I am heading to Elements Unleashed…. a boutique in downtown Neenah Wisconsin. I hope we hit it off and have a start to a great new relationship. I hope they will be a new retailer for Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry. I have been wanting to go there for about 10 months! That is what winter is for…making new things and developing new business. Thanks for having me Elements Unleashed. From the looks of the boutique I might leave there with a new wardrobe. They have awesome boots. I love boots.

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Crazy Lace Agate Garnets… The stick is free to move, nice unexpected movement and it can’t go anywhere…it’s trapped. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177446446/sterling-silver-crazy-lace-agate-stone?

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This is a piece of quartz trapped in a piece of Tourmaline. The stone was great but this is a very unusual piece for me to make. For starters it’s a regular size… a size anyone would love to wear. The chain is 3 cables of sterling silver. I love it and could actually see it on a guy. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177445737/sterling-silver-tourmaline-specimen?

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Last but not least… huge oversized cross…. 3.5 inches long x 3 inches wide on an oxidized chain. It looks great long or as a choker. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/177455087/sterling-silver-huge-hammered-cross?

Wish me luck tomorrow. I hope it works out great. Would be wonderful to have a friend and store in the Appleton, Fox Valley Area. That is new territory for me and my art shows do well there so I’m crossing my fingers. I will post some pics of the store on my next post. Take care and caution in this freezing cold weather. It’s really getting to be a long cold winter. One like I have never remembered. Some good friends are heading to Tucson right now. I wish I was with them. Maybe next year. Good luck Tammy, Rick and Maggie. Enjoy the sun and stones for me. I miss you all. I can tell you are not is Wisconsin anymore. There’s a little piece of magic missing…


Busy Couple Weeks…….

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Working hard because there is the Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Show next weekend (25th & 26th) and the Bead and Button Show Milwaukee is the following week. The Bead & Button show is a huge tradeshow I teach at. It’s a ton of prep work but I lot fun, great people, great students, great companies, great contacts. I look forward to it all year. Tomorrow I will snap a pic of my pile of supplies I take with me…it’s crazy.

Above pic of stones is 22 stones I made bezels for today. They will be made into something before next weekend. Two of the stones on the far right have no bezels. I decided to prong set them because they are so irregular. I better order some more silver for backing these bezels. I’m going to run out for sure!

Next pic is of some hinged earrings…. I just love this style because they move so much! Great stones!

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Here’s the link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/151228654/crazy-lace-agate-stone-earring-sterling


Sheet of Silver and a Skull

Sheet of silver is spoken for with these stones…. The skull I like the best. It is carved bone and really big… Love it for the season we are in! Halloween….

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The picture of my charcoal block is all of the bezels to be soldered together to fit the stones. It really gets you in a groove to do a lot of bezels all at one time. Even if you are not planning on using all the stones make a bezel anyway. Then it’s ready to go if the mood strikes you!

The sheet of silver is 6×4 inches. I order it this way because it fits into my peep tools sheer and I can cut the perfect squares out not wasting any sheet. I don’t make the final shape until the piece is almost finished. At that time it gets sawed out with a jewelers saw.

Also if you are going to hallmark the back of the silver now is the time.

Gotta get to work on all of this. Show you pics of things in progress……


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