Tuesday, October 27, 2009
So, I searched around for ivory, and finally found some old ivory piano keys for sale. I learned in my research that you can tell if a piano has real ivory by looking for two pieces on top of the keys. There's a strip next to the black keys and then a separate one for where you place your fingers. Fake ivory (plastic) covers the entire key top in an "L".
Once I received my piano keys, I ended up shelving them due to lack of time to piddle with them. I recently pulled them out and wondered what to do. I was afraid to do anything for fear of damaging, thus wasting the ivory. My husband, Chris, told me to go ahead and sacrifice a piece; play with it with the intention of "killing" it. That broke my stalemate and allowed me to work with it.
The most obvious thing was to attempt Scrimshaw. Knowing almost zilch about it, I did what I always do, dove into research. I found out all sorts of interesting things about Scrimshaw, too. Did you know that is one of the very few indigenous American crafts? Practiced for centuries by the Inuit and other native groups along the Northwest Coast, it was adopted by the Yankee whalemen of the early 1800's. The name Scrimshaw roughly means "idle time". That's evidently what sailors had a lot of on the ships, and used what they also had a lot of ... Whale bone. They scratched images onto the bone and then applied ink into the scratches to bring out the image. I found that Scrimshaw became popular because President John F. Kennedy was an avid collector. There are all sorts of interesting things to know. Here is a good source to read more about Scrimshaw's history.
I learned that you can use a pin or an old compass to start, and that's just what I did. It turned out that I even had an ancient bottle of ink buried in a box of art supplies. Of course, the first image I'd attempt would be a horse. The end result is TINY as you can see in the photo below. The sacrifice piece was one of the very narrow strips of the piano ivory; one of the key tops that ran next to the black key (which was probably made of Ebony).
Once I make some more pieces, I'll post the photos here. Hopefully, I'll get some things incorporated in to some jewelry to sell on Etsy.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I also belong to the WHOA Team, which is a group of Equestrian Artists, each of which does some sort of artwork/jewelry that's specifically HORSE related. I'll have to do a blog on that group sometime.
Not long ago, the SATeam decided to come up with a Christmas/Holiday promotion, and asked anyone interested to contribute a charm for a bracelet they would assemble and GIVE AWAY!! I contributed two charms.
One of which is shown in the photo above, front and center! That sterling Christmas tree right in the middle, is one I made! I can't believe that one of my charms made the center of one of the promo shots... I also made a cute little gingerbread fella, but I don't know where he got to. Probably on the other side of the bracelet...
Every time you purchase an item from one of the participating stores, the participating shop owner will put your name into the draw to win this stunner.
- Beadles and Stones
- Accent Yourself
- Erika Price Designs
- Luna Cat Jewels
- MC Stoneworks
- Angie's Jewelry Design
- Beaded Spirit Designs
- Studio DTQ
- Jewlie Beads
- Antoinette Design
- Pixe's Treasure Chest
- Milena's Supply Shop
- Two Silver Moons
- Heavenly Flower
- Dancing Wind Designs
- The Family Jewels
- Elegance and Sparkles
- Jewelry Tales
- Bead Origami
- Rock n Wow
- Nicole Hill
- Jenni Leigh Creations
- The FamiLee Jewels
- LA Valley Girly
- Meredith Hilt Designs
- N Valentine Studio
- Wirestorm Creations
- Two Belles & a Bead
- Feathered Gems Jewelry
- Northern Girl Jewelry
- Artisan Handmade Jewellery
- Willow Branch Musings
- dianne karg baron
- Bead Sire
- Mary's Garden
- BEB Designs
- Cat's Wire
- This n That Creative Arts
- Shiny Adornments
- Beads by Melissa Vess
So, avoid the stores and the last minute rush – you KNOW that online shopping is now the best way to organise your Christmas list. Get organised early and visit http://www.starvingartiststeam.blogspot.com/ you won't be disappointed and as an added bonus, with each purchase, you go into a drawing to win this stunning bracelet.Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Etsy Starving Artists Jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This was a really nice HEAVY piece of copper that worked perfectly for doing demonstrations of annealing and shaping metal. I kept bending it, re-firing it and just playing with it. All of a sudden the design just sort of formed on it's own!
This is one chunky cuff bracelet! It's made out of solid 6 gauge Copper wire giving this cuff some real heft! The copper was soldered together into a sinuous curved design. The bracelet was then patinated and sealed with an archival wax to protect the finish and retard oxidation.
The center focal curves are 2" at the widest point, and the arms of the cuff turn in opposite directions to easily slip on your wrist.
This bracelet is totally adjustable, fitting either a man or a woman. Give me your wrist measurement at purchase and I'll size it accordingly.
Check out my Esty shop for more photos of this and other jewelry items. I'm hoping to keep adding new pieces to my Etsy shop every couple of days...
Monday, October 19, 2009
A good friend of mine had a birthday coming up and I wanted to give him something he'd hopefully like and use. I came up with the idea of a money clip with an equestrian theme. Mike breeds and trains horses, so usually anything horse related is a hit.
I came up with this horse head design, and made it out of sterling silver sheet metal. It's all hand sawn and soldered. I was tickled to finally be able to use my new logo stamp on the back.
I gave the money clip to him this past weekend and I think he liked it!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
It's really starting to get exciting around here. Things seemed pretty glum when RHAC had to move from their old location. The director began to work very hard to come up with a new location. Wow! Did he ever hit pay dirt!
Locally, we have an old apple packing plant that's been housing an eclectic country store, deli and pie shop. Located right on a very major road, the place seems to do a brisk business. The location is fantastic. During the winter months, the store occasionally hosts a farmer's market that also brings a lot of folks in.
It turns out that the country store is using only a tiny portion of the warehouse space. The rest of the building has been sitting idle, just collecting stored junk. The landlord has decided to convert the remaining area into finished retail space along the lines of an upscale mini-mall. In addition to the Art Center, there's talk of space being rented by a vintner, a music shop and our artists' cooperative is working on getting a gallery in there too.
RHAC has signed a lease, and the construction has begun! I got to see the floor plan and then take a tour of the space under construction. The Art Center will be so much better off in the new location. It will have a modern pottery studio, class rooms and space to hold all sorts of events. They think they might even be open in November!!
Our co-op is working hard to get a gallery in there. The Round Hill Arts Center is really supporting our work and hopes that we'll get in there as part of the RHAC organization.
Here is a recent press release, check it out! I was even quoted in the release. Gosh. It almost makes me sound important:
ROUND HILL ARTS CENTER TO RELOCATE TO HILL HIGH ORCHARDS
If all goes according to plan, the Round Hill Arts Center will be established in a new home in the Hill High Orchards building before the holidays.
According to RHAC Executive Director Frank Naylor, the Center has signed a letter of intent for the new space, which will be behind the existing Hill High Country Store. The space will include a brand new state-of-the-art pottery studio, art studios for classes and room for a new gallery.
The Center has grown exponentially since its inception in 2000. Interim Board President Lisa Zimmer-Chu explained that over the summer, the Board of Directors made the decision to move from the Center’s original location in the Old Furniture Factory in Round Hill “in order to pursue a location that would better support the Center’s mission and continued growth.”
“The new location keeps us in Round Hill but with quality space designed to be an art center from the ground up with room to grow,” Naylor said. “It will meet code, be ADA accessible, and be more economical to operate.”
In addition, the Hill High Orchards location is in a high-traffic area, has ample paved parking, outside space with tables and a small lake to facilitate outside events and classes in season, Naylor added. “It is an exciting start,” he said.
The Board envisions and is working toward an artist supported co-operative gallery space that would be staffed by the artists themselves. “This will be the only artists’ co-op in western Loudoun County,” Zimmer-Chu said.
“In talking with other artists who’ve sold and worked with the Center, we’re all really excited about actively supporting and working with the Art Center board in their new location,” said Waterford fiber artist Mary Kenesson.
Local artist and member of the co-operative committee Meredith Hilt agreed, saying she is “really excited to see the Round Hill Arts Center expand its horizons and be able to offer so many more wonderful opportunities for artists and the community.”
While the Center’s primary focus will be on visual arts classes and the artists’ co-op, Zimmer-Chu said a variety of musical events, in keeping with the Center’s popular Bluegrass Jam Sessions at the Old Furniture Factory building, are being planned for the future.
The Center has already moved out of the Old Furniture Factory and expects to be operational in the Hill High Orchards location within 30-60 days. In the interim, arrangements have been made to hold classes in temporary off-site locations.
“As with all non-profits,” Zimmer-Chu said, “ongoing community support is critical, especially during transition periods.” The Center is encouraging continued community input, attendance at classes, volunteerism and tax-deductible financial donations.
The Round Hill Arts Center is a community-based and community-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit organization devoted to providing opportunities to explore the creative arts through classes, exhibits, musical events, artist meetings and more.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Since The Round Hill Arts Center is still in transition (they are in the process of moving to a new, FANTASTIC location which is not completed as yet), they've had to rent spaces to hold their current class offerings.
I contacted some of the people on my mailing list and there seemed to be a lot of interest. The classes are to start next weekend. I know there have been some sign-ups, but I have no idea how many as yet. I'm not sure what minimums are needed to make it worth renting the facility. So we'll see how this shapes up. Also, I've been told that the economy seems to be hitting the local art centers in the shape of lower class sign-ups. I know another teacher's classes were cancelled due to low enrollment. *glup*
Here's the information on my classes from their web site:
I'll fill you in on how the classes progress. I hope they come to pass! I've already stocked up on supplies for the class. I've ordered sterling and copper wire, various beads and have created tools kits. I guess if worst comes to worst, I'll save them for future classes or else use them myself.
Introduction to Wire Jewelry
with Meredith Hilt
24, November 7, November 21
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.,
Purcellville Community Center
$75 each class (plus materials fee)
Registration discount if taking more than one class
Learn the basic wire jewelry techniques needed to design and create your own beautiful sterling and copper jewelry. These classes are designed for the beginner, or for those who want a refresher, to learn the correct way to tackle the basics. We will spend some time becoming acquainted with jewelry tools and wire. Then move on to making jump rings and links, clasps, wire charms, and various types of chain. Finishing techniques will also be covered. While learning these skills, you'll create several elements in each class resulting in jewelry to proudly wear home or give as gifts. Once you learn these techniques you'll be able to be move on to designing and making your own bracelets, earrings and necklaces!
These individual classes are designed to be progressive. But you can take one or all to advance your skills. Click here to register
Thursday, October 15, 2009
"Meredith Hilt is a Virginia based artist who makes her home in the Blueridge Mountains. Although born in Virginia, Meredith's life has taken her through Europe, the United States and Asia. After graduating from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (PA), she spent years in the trenches of graphic and web design. Meredith now paints, and creates unique jewelry for fun and pleasure. Her speciality is designing fine jewelry of precious metal and wire, using metal-smithing techniques. Her artwork can be found in boutiques and galleries in Virginia and Maryland."
Well, the above blurb is the commonly published Artist's Bio I use. But gosh, it's hard to sum up your life and artistic ambitions up in one paragraph!
In the past, my skilled abilities have mostly been devoted to two dimensional skills. Graphic design and paint are normally limited to canvas or paper, and the Internet to a flat screen. While I love to relax by painting (when I can) I find that my creative juices have been devoted exclusively to jewelry lately. I've discovered a whole new world of fulfillment! Where my artistic Muse was occasionally delinquent in the past, I'm now almost overwhelmed by jewelry ideas on a daily basis! I see possible jewelry pieces while looking at leaves, trivets and even cars! I've taken to carrying a sketch book with me to scratch down ideas as they pop into my head. Now, if I can only find the time to actually be able to produce them all!
I hope, with this blog, to be able to give some insight into my creative world and also to keep you up to date on things. I'll post about what I'm working on, my latest inspirations, my Etsy shop, upcoming classes and how my relationship is progressing with my Muse.