Sunday, December 12, 2010

recent reading


There is a lot to think about
and a lot to get done, but
to be efficient does not mean to be hurried, and
to be unhurried does not mean to sit in a lawn chair.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's Better Than Nothing

Could there be a better reason than this postcard to check out the ART JEWELRY FORUM?

Their website is currently, right this very moment, in the midst of a wicked slideshow of juicy, stark, contemporary jewelry. That is right: our favorite type of eye candy, brought to you direct, by those advocates for studio jewelry we love and know as AJF.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

books & hammers

I think that when your books, as well as your hammers, have a home in the new studio, that you can take this as a sign that things are going quite swimmingly. I also am finally able to reach my killer tool drawers to go set that is perfectly made to house my hand files and needle files (love those felt-lined drawers!). In my last studio it was just a bit too far from my bench, and never got fully utilized.

It is vintage, and metal, and heavy, and I love it. You have to be a buff metalsmith like myself to carry it at all, but the idea is that you can bring your handtools with you just about anywhere with this portable drawer set. It made the trip from San Francisco to Oakland with me, at the very least. Certainly I am showing my lack of expertise by not knowing the proper term for this wonderful cabinet, as we jewelers do like to be precise about everything, and makers of all types do love their tools. Ah, well.

I also know that I am settling in quite nicely because I have begun to put my wire clotheslines up on the walls. In my last space, where putting holes in the wall was seen as criminal activity, this solved a basic lease-related problem, but I have enjoyed doing this for some years now. It is a good way to keep samples and ideas and postcards and those little pretty pieces of paper I can't recycle near to me while I sketch and draw and stare at the wall (oh, and work.)

Here is to September, everyone...get out and enjoy your Labor Day, or stay in and do the same.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

working away

Despite being a bit wiped out from moving shop (and home) across the San Francisco Bay to North Oakland, I have nothing to complain about. I am just home from ten marvelous days in Tuscany, Italy, where I visited my sweetheart, ate the very best artichoke ravioli I have ever had, and yes, it is true....worked in the studio!!
I threw my bag of gold over my shoulder and got on the plane for my first vacation this year. I will have some images before long, but the general summary is that it was an amazing time. I was lucky enough to be a guest artist for the University of Georgia at Athens study abroad program in Cortona, and joined the students happily working away in the very warm, and well equipped, studio up on the top of the hills of this beautiful walled town.

Upon arrival back home, I jumped into preparations for the Renegade Handmade SF summer craft fair at lovely Fort Mason. It takes place from 11am to 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday next week-end (July 31- Aug 1), and I hope to see you there!

Monday, May 31, 2010

moving shop

Have been quiet here online for the last month, as we tie things up with moving shop across the San Francisco bay to North Oakland. The studio is officially in transit, and is awaiting the grand unpack in the new space.
Much more to come as the month progresses, and I get the shop back up and running in the next weeks. Here is to new beginnings!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Go For Gold: Start to Finish

I am very excited about my upcoming class at the Mendocino Art Center! I spent the morning on the coast in the misty North Bay, and I am can't wait to look out the studio window at the Art Center and watch waves hitting the cliffs over the headlands.

If you have never made a trip to the North Coast, go. Now.

April 16 - 18th we will be doing what I love best, which is melting down gold, making myself a small ingot, and getting to work! The process is as satisfying as the results. The remaking of old, broken, or underloved gold jewelry into new work is an integral part of my studio practice, and my dedication to using only 100% recycled fine metals in my work.

I love to be a part of the refining process, in my low-impact, no-frills approach to having a small studio.

See the description of the class online at the MAC's website, and learn more about classes at the Art Center.

gates flyaway ring 2007
23K, 100% recycled sterling + 14K

cluster strand 2005
sterling, 18K bimetal, rubber

23K waiting to be melted down

favorite hammer

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cartier and America

Cartier emerald diamond necklace

Cartier crocodile necklace/double bracelets made for Maria Felix

San Francisco is buzzing with jewelry and metalwork this spring, and I am excited to be able to take advantage of the bounty. This Sunday I joined about twenty Metal Arts Guild members on a private tour of the Cartier and America exhibit at the Legion of Honor , which was fantastic.

The Legion is up on a hill in the northwestern wilds of San Francisco, and the building and view from its grounds are always spectacular. Any place you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay, Marin, and the Transamerica building from the same spot is alright with me!

The exhibit is a must-see, and drips with diamonds, platinum, and the almost textile-like articulated movement of thousands of tiny linked elements that Cartier did so well. The patrons of the famous jewelry are a part of the exhibit, and the early 'new rich' in America clearly loved their tiaras, necklaces, and body adornment. The historical pieces range from 1899 to the 1970s, with most of my favorites being the earlier work. None of the pieces are done justice by the images available online, so I have included only a few here.

The show has been extended until May 9, and the museum's well-attended free day is the 1st Tuesday of the month. The $10 special exhibit surcharge is well worth your hard-earned money.

Elizabeth Taylor wearing Cartier

Mexican film superstar Maria Felix wearing Cartier

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Metalsmiths' Week-end, San Francisco

Amulet (open)

We are lucky enough in my household this week to have friend and metalsmith Rob Jackson staying with us, all the way from Athens, GA.


He is here doing a seminar for City College SF's Metal Arts classes, while in town for his opening at everyone's favorite art jewelry and metalwork gallery, Velvet da Vinci.

Three Ruby Ring

His show, The Eloquent Nail, will be up until April 18th, along with Chased and Repousse, curated by Nancy Megan Corwin.

The opening on Friday was delightful. Corwin's talk, regarding her show in which contemporary examples reaffirm and push what the techniques of Chasing and Repousse can do, was stellar. More on the work shown there by Yuyen Chang, Keith Lewis, and my wife, Suzanne Pugh, among others, in the next post.

We were also lucky enough to have metalsmith Amy Tavern in town, for her own opening! Rare Device on Market Street showcased her in their four person show, FAULT LINES.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010


...marching ahead on the custom piece for a soon-to-be-betrothed friend. Tomorrow, I will add the opals and pearls to their cozy bezel cups.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I am so happy to be melting, forging, stretching, shaping, and filing some 23 & 22K gold that a friend's mother sent me, to rework into a wedding pendant. Shown are some bezel cups for the project.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shows from 2009 part one

Long Crossbuck: pendant on sterling chain

side view of Crossbuck necklace
100% recycled paper and sterling

detail of Crossbuck necklace

This month, the show Via Penland is coming to a close at REBUS WORKS gallery in Raleigh, NC. The Crossbuck necklaces pictured above were included in this year's show. They are made of 100% reclaimed artist's board, 100% recycled sterling frames, and hang on long oxidized sterling chains.

Rebus Works does a wonderful job of exhibiting contemporary craft and art, and were lovely enough to give me a two person show in the summer of 2008. Shonna and her staff showcase craftspeople really beautifully at the gallery, and I recommend checking out their site. This year's Via Penland show featured two woodworkers with a past connection to Penland School of Crafts, and my pal Sylvie Rosenthal was one of them.

Sylvie Rosenthal

Coming soon: more highlights of my recent shows.

Eye Candy III

Kristen Beeler
That's your opinion

Kristin Beeler
fine silver studies

Today, some images from Kristin Beeler, who has a site that you can travel to for more images and information.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Eye Candy II

Klaus Bürgel
Untitled (brooch, detail) | 2000 | Gold, aquamarine, pearls

Eye candy, continued.
In honor of the holiday of love: some lovely jewelry to feast upon.

Klaus Bürgel
Untitled (ring) | 2000 | Gold 750, malachite

Klaus Bürgel
Brooch | 2000 | Gold 750, Pyrite

Polly Wales
Rings | Swarvoski crystal, sterling

Ramon Puig Cuyas
Tempora Si Fuerint Nibula Pendant
(from the series, Imago Mundi)

Ramon Puig Cuyas

Eye Candy

Sharon Massey,
bursting brooch
steel, cotton muslin, silver, 14k gold, freshwater pearls, beeswax

Well, I have never had much of a sweet tooth, preferring to take in the majority of my candy through the eyes. So, in honor of national eat-whimsically-shaped-molded-candy-chocolates-day on the 14th, I will be posting images of jewelry that I love to look at, so that you, too, can get your fill of sweet, sweet studio jewelry.

The pieces are all made by contemporary jewelers worldwide: artists who I know, wish I knew, have heard of, or have found in the interspace. I'll try to include 2 images minimum of each mouth-watering artist's work. Today seems to be about the lovely color white.


Sharon Massey,
pearl necklace
iron wire, cotton muslin, wax, pearls

Karen Gilbert
nest neckpiece (detail)
sterling silver, silk, pyrex, aquamarine 2007

Karen Gilbert

Arthur Hash,
Cast polyurethane

Arthur Hash,
copper, paint

Check back for more this week!