The Distracted Jewelry Maker

I have this thing I do when I have a deadline that is looming over me. I go down rabbit holes that lead me in directions I shouldn’t be going. Take for example, the moment that I realized I didn’t have enough little fused glass gems to make part of my Witching Hour Collection. I’d used a bunch of them up during the experimentation phase.

I had enough left for three pair of earrings, or dangles for six bracelets or necklaces. I needed quite a bit more than that. So, what did I do instead of planning how many I I’d actually need? I decided that I wanted to make a lot more than I needed because, you know, it’s more efficient to make 100 of something all at the same time than to make 10. But I didn’t stop there.

This is what they look like when they come out of the kiln. The thing is, only SOME of those could be used for the collection I was working on as they weren’t all the same color. As I was setting them up to go into the kiln I rationalized that I’d have a stash, and I’d use them at some point, even if it’s five years from now. It’s always good to have stuff on hand, right?

And, they sure are pretty, aren’t they? So I had to make more. I put in more hours, creating more little orange niblets. Hours that should have been spent actually making the pieces for the launch of the collection.

It was at this point that I realized that I’d been using up my favorite little melamine dishes, and that I needed to add another pack to my shopping list. I use them to keep all the little bits and pieces on my jewelry bench organized. I think I have a little ramekin addiction. These are not the only stacks I have of little bowls like this.

So, I finally got enough cabochons made to get some earring pairs out of the bunch. And I was really excited about those bullseye looking nuggets

But, alas, the soft glass gods were not kind to me AGAIN, when it came to orange glass. The picture below shows some cracking that occurred. This is mainly because orange glass, in the type of glass that I use, doesn’t always play nice with other kinds of glass, and these rods have orange, clear, and white glass that are incompatible in this kiln fusing technique.

They would have made some really cool pieces. The one good thing about glass that cracks is that it can’t leave the studio. When it is particularly scrumptious to look at I get to keep them. So, these are now attached to my wall with a little museum putty, just hangin’ out for my viewing enjoyment.

I did get The Witching Hour Collection completed on time, and it launched August 20. It will be live until the end of October, or until the inventory sells out.

 

 

 

 

Back in the Jewelry Studio

It has been almost a year since I published my last coloring book. In true form, I’m on to the next thing. Or should I say, back to an old thing? This foray finds me back in the jewelry studio. I thought it would be fun to show you the process for one of the bracelet styles I’m making using scrap soft glass and silver fabrication.

First, I pull out some old scrap glass rods, stringer, and murrine cane, and chop it all up.
Then I line a steel tube with kiln paper and throw it all in.
After a 16 or so hour fuse in the kiln i have a nice puck of colorful glass with which to work.

These pucks get sliced into disks to reveal the designs hidden within.

I then slice them up into funky shapes.

Sometimes I use the scrap from this step.

And configure for another, shorter, fuse in the kiln.

Then comes the polishing. Sometimes I stop at a matte finish.

And sometimes I take them through six different grits of grinding and polishing wheels to achieve a higher shine.

Here is where it all starts to come together. Setting them in silver. I create a silver bezel to frame the little masterpieces.

And then cut out more silver to give them a nice backing.

From there, I solder the bezel to the backing and file the edges to a nice smooth finish.

And add some type of decorative element to make the back just as fun as the front.

If it’s a pendant, with a larger cabochon I am starting to get a little more creative with the setting, for more visual interest without being too busy against the design in the glass.

With the bracelets, the chain links that I solder between the pieces are just enough to pull it all together.

It feels really good to be back in the jewelry studio. Thanks for following along throughout the years!

If you’d like to see more of my process shots in almost-real-time you can follow me on Instagram or my facebook page.

You might also want to check out  my new web site to see all of the other pieces I’ve been creating this year at www.lorigreenbergjewelry.com.

This Adult Coloring Thing

I think I’m starting to get it, and realizing that coloring can be viewed as an art form in itself. All of you purists out there, don’t balk. And I’m not digging into the art vs. craft argument either, but as usual, when I’m working at something that allows me to go into the zone, awarenesses happen.

Without trying it, I didn’t understand the interest in coloring someone else’s designs. I’m excited to get my books published so I can color in them, but even coloring on my home-printed copy of the images, I’m finding an artistic outlet.

Mandala Adult Coloring Image

Yesterday I started coloring this image from soon-to-be Meditative Mandalas Volume 1. I used flat markers and took my time going at it. As I got closer to finishing the main design elements I found myself antsy to be able to get on to the background and shading.

I pulled out my Prismacolor pencils and started, then did basic shadows. I found myself wanting to layer more color for more depth and then thinking, “This is a piece of printer paper, not even good quality, what am I doing spending so much time on this???” It reminded me that art is in the eye of the beholder, or something like that. It’s not about what it is, but how it makes you feel.

I felt relaxed, letting my mind drift while streaming my favorite Chicago radio station. I felt accomplished, filling in all those little areas so precisely. I felt artistic, pulling out shading techniques. It reminded me also that I need more time to just sit and do something that isn’t work. Something that has no tangible purpose, something that will keep me in the present moment.

It doesn’t matter what the outcome is. It matters what you’re doing and how it makes you feel in the moment. It’s a weird thing, presence. When you’re fully present you feel like a master. You feel in tune. Nothing else matters. It’s when we start thinking, that we start to feel bad about what we’re doing, or how it’s going. It’s hard to stay in the present moment but I have a feeling that this coloring thing might have the same effect as meditation. The more you do it and the more you achieve that state of just being with it, the more it will spill over into the rest of your life. I bet if I’d read all of the articles that have been floating around about the adult coloring craze that it would say the same thing. I don’t have time for that…I’m busy coloring!

I get it.