Monday, May 7, 2012

before the wine

three grape leaves and two viburnums
they are imprinted from some of the earliest leaves of spring,
 so, 'before the wine'

these copper leaves are delicately hinged together, and weighted at the bottom, so they hang in a graceful necklace, and fall back into the right place as you move.  the hand-made chain started with plain 14 gage copper wire, pounded into a textured metal plate of my own manufacture.  the copper links are connected with bronze links made from flat textured strips.

i've almost finished with another 5 leaf necklace finished with glass enamel and tiny glass beads.

i love the natural metal, but i am so enjoying experimenting with new ways to add color to my work.

too much fun!

Monday, April 2, 2012

"pocket full of secrets"

pocket full of secrets
3"x 1 1/2"

as the moth and butterfly gather leaves and silk to protect the transformation taking place inside, this little cocoon houses a powerful secret.  the top of the piece slides smoothly upward to reveal a black tourmaline nestled inside.  the stone has been used since ancient times to shield the wearer from the negative influences of others.  

creating this box, i have used the lozenge shape that the ethiopians have crafted for hundreds of years to hold the prayerful blessings of priests and loved ones.  this one is made in that same ancient tradition, fashioned from pure love and pure silver with hints of color from glass enamel.  it is hung on a three-ply black leather cord, caught up at intervals with handmade bronze bands.  from the bottom of the little box is suspended bronze leaf.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

sugar maple

sugar maple
glass enamel on copper
with cubic zirconia

these earrings are about 1 3/4 inches long.  when i coated them with clear glass enamel they oxidized a little, producing a beautiful golden copper color with infusions of sage under the enamel.  the veination of the leaf shows in yet another coppery color.  the white CZ is prong set, and the sterling wires are handmade.

Friday, March 16, 2012

berber girl blue

by the time i got to morrocco i realized that i had been in love with tuareg symbols and jewelry for a very long time.  these are sterling silver and glass made in the ancient fashion, with the glass set into the tiny silver boxes with beeswax.  there are many ways to hide a cross into imaginative symbols that might not look at first like what the are.  many cultures incorporated the christan cross in their designs.  these are an exaggerated adaptation of one of my favorite tuareg cross earrings.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

the missing links

'before the wine....'  is a new necklace with a new hand made  chain!  i've been searching and searching for patterned wire to make a chain for my mixed leaf links.  all of a sudden i said to myself, "leigh, you can make your own patterned wire."  duh!  so...
i just pounded copper wire into a bronze plate with a simple twig design. now i'm figuring out how to make different designs that i can pound into my wire to make different chains.  the connecting links are bronze strips that i made with a lined texture plate.  now i'm off to the races!

Monday, March 12, 2012

painted lady pendant

painted lady
glass enamel on copper, bronze medallion, and copper neckring

i've had so much fun playing with my glass enamels---it's called painting with fire!  and it is!

Monday, February 20, 2012

daughter of the earth, wind and sky

this is a collar necklace created with a heart theme.  this one is in fine silver enameled with blue and green glass.  the mother earth is depicted as a pregnant figure reclining under the roots of the trees, with her arm curling up and around the sky.  the red heart at the base of the image is the incubating baby.  this is a show-stopping piece!

Friday, February 17, 2012

love is as ancient as the gods and the trees

this is a piece close to my heart.  i love the three metals in the same piece.  the body is a bronze model of a  worm-eaten piece of wood  inlaid with copper.  happy hapy february!

Monday, February 13, 2012

wing and a prayer in silver

 i love using pure silver for gifts of love.  it so expresses the purity of the sentiment!   
continuing with my heart theme for february, this was last bebruary's heart that i never posted.  i seem to get a little crazy this time of year while i'm gearing up to have plenty of new work for the annual Stutz Artists Open House, in april.  it makes me get off track, sometimes, forgetting the little things like posting.  this is the second version of a piece i designed for my sister.  it has the serenity prayer on the back...a prayer that has special significance for both of us.  she wears in on a 5mm wide silver neck ring on which it is stunning, if i do say so myself!

the original 'a wing and a prayer' pieces were bronze, and a little smaller.  the heat patina here shows up, here, very well.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

heart of my heart

eacch year in febroary, i make at least one new heart piece. each new piece has been inspired by a gift of love.   this year i continued with the theme of heart defined by angel wings, which, to me have always meant transcendence, combined with the lotus flower, representing the heart chakra, the center, in the body, of joy and love.  after trying several diffferent things, i finally setteled on finishing these with a heat patina.  the copper reacts with heat from my torch with various colors ranging from intense blue through metallic greens, pinks, rose, and eventually black.  the results are sometimes unpredictable, and hard to photograph.  i said i'd keep you posted, here are the finished pieces, titled 'heart of my heart'.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

heart of my heart

here's the heart/wing pendant with the lotus, after contructing it in copper clay and firing it.  the copper finish is lovely, but i have been experimenting in glass enamel finishes, and also heat patina.  glass enamel has proved problematic, i think because the piece is not of consistant thickness, and the design is raised.  i've had some nice results with the enamel, but not what i expected.  soldier on....i'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

new project for the month of love

new project, new month new year!  i'm working on a special project designed for a group of women to give to their yoga teachers.  i am so in love with gifts of love!  especially in february!  this is the design i came up with for them:  wing/heart shape for love and trancensence, and the lotus for the heart chakra.  it will be in copper, and probably enameled, and with a stone in the middle of the flower.  i'll keep you posted!