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Fiber art made from sustainable, local materials.

On studio access

So, I'm a lady of many crafts. I believe this is probably true of most of us who enjoy making things--you follow the twists and turns of one creative avenue until you realize you've been led to a completely different thing, in a completely different area. For my part, my list of crafts about which I'm reasonably serious has grown over the years, and is now, in fact, fairly expansive. I dye, knit, crochet, spin yarn, bead, sew, redo furniture, bind books...Again, I know I'm far from alone in collecting these creative skills and interests.  I really can't wait (time and space and money permitting) to expand on the list. 

But! Metalwork probably represents one of my oldest passions. It's also one of the trickiest for me to engage in, as it requires a lot of tools, an area with good ventilation, and, trickiest of all, a torch. For example: I finished a two year program in metalwork, and then I went traveling, then got a BA--no torch access for over three years. I built a studio, but then I decided to leave for China--no metalwork for another year and a half. You get the picture. I'm obviously super grateful and lucky that I've had these other opportunities, but I do always miss making jewelry when I'm unable to do so.  I cherish time and studio access, both of which I've finally had a bit of since moving to Portland. It's been really, super (really) fun.

I've been taking classes, and attending Open Studio, at the Multnomah Arts Center, which I'd recommend Portlanders check out if they haven't yet. It's a solid resource, and quite a bit less expensive than similar places I've been to in other places.

If you're curious: 

Of course, the eventual goal is to get all my studio equipment from storage on the East Coast, and set up somewhere I can have 24/7 access to it. The dream! Someday.

The MAC metals studio. Those metal things? Ventilation! 
So, anyway.

I'm noticing that I've been making a lot of bold, graphic, almost cartoon-y shapes in my metalwork of late. It's a motif I'm enjoying, so I suspect I'll be playing with it for a while, yet. I've been working on a few more of these layered, collage-style pendants, too.

Copper and silver with black mother of pearl stone; riveted and woven.
The center of the pieces is antiqued copper wire. 

Textured and antiqued copper pendant.
 The center piece is brass and sterling, with a plastic-cabochon set over vintage ribbon.

I'm also quite excited about the direction these big, bold ring styles might go. I like the over the top fancy feeling they give the wearer, though they are made of very simple materials. The dome is hollow, too, so this is actually quite light-weight and easy to wear.

Brass, copper and sterling ring; antiqued. 

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