Wednesday, January 25, 2012

gallery February-March show

As it turned out, I got to Oxide with eight pieces (including one set), and I just got the notification that they took them all. If every one of them sells, my share will be about $215; I guess I still need to bump my prices higher. Some of these, especially the persian chain, are real bargains. Of course, if I worked in sterling, higher prices would be no problem. I missed the day, Dec 29, when it went down to $27, grrrr. I was running around trying to get my Jazzfest application pictures done, and didn’t get into town in time to get an order in. Of course silver was still under $30 for a few days after that. But I didn’t really have the money free, and by the time I did, it was getting on up. Resolve-- if it goes under $30 again, act!

After almost three weeks without word from the Festival Foundation, Chery e-mailed, and got a prompt message back apologizing that we hadn’t gotten postcards; we’re all in! Whee! Must make MORE STUFF.

Here’s what goes on display at Oxide for Gallery Night, February 4. I didn’t get the end-pieces done for the DNA lariat, so it turned into a 25” over-the-head endless chain. (Amy came on a last-minute-planned visit for the week, which was TOTALLY delightful, but did delay the making.) I threw in the dark-oxidized persian chain -- thought it could use another viewing, and the jury agreed. The most interesting piece is the copper-wrapped fossil ammonite, but my picture of it is very over-exposed, and much of the detail of the fossil is washed out in glare. A small photo of what it looked like before I wrapped it begins this entry.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

old familiar weaves and new ones

I decided it was time, as the new year began, to learn some new chain weaves. Almost everything I have done recently is persian, one hour less sleep, or byzantine, with a few forays into half-persian (snake chain), möbius flowers, simple 2-in-2 when I’m in a hurry, and of course european 4-in-1 for flat areas.

I started looking for weaves that fit the new aluminum rings I got from The Ring Lord. I tried elf-weave, but it was a mess. I thought I had gotten past the initial falling-apart stage, but it never seemed to develop a pattern, just looked like a heap of rings. Then I tried sweet pea.
The AR 4.1 rings I had (18-gauge swg 3/16” anodized aluminum) were said to be the perfect size for this. But I thought they were a tad too large. The inner rings seemed to have too much play, and not to line up well. So I tried with some of my copper 18-gauge awg 5/32” rings, which are a shade tighter, AR 4. They work. I have to make more rings, but I made a little section of 8 “peas,” and I think it will do.

Still looking for uses for my colorful rings, I looked up DNA chain. Once I got straight in my head how the little rings go on, that worked well. Though I believe my 1/8” green rings could afford to be smaller, 3/32” sized. You can do it with all the small rings closed, and all the large ones open. It’s kind of tedious, closing all those 1/8” 20-gauge rings. But after desultorily working on it for over a week, I have a 24” chain, plus two short bits for earrings.

I am going to make it a lariat, with a stone-weighted end passing through a sterling loop with a hook in it, to be fastened wherever the wearer wishes. I hoped to use one of my new amethyst discs as the stone, but the color just isn’t right, especially in sunlight. So I think it will be a construction of an aventurine zuni-type bear in a silver frame. Got to get the soldering-fu going.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

new chains for Oxide

Several new copper chains have resulted from Chery’s request for one for Jean. I made an 18-gauge 5/32 Byzantine as a trial, and part of a wiggle chain with the same links. However, Chery liked best a several-inch section of 18-gauge 3/16 snake chain (half persian 4-in-1) that I think dated to my trials for Rhonda last spring. Anyway, I finished that one late on New Year’s night, except for the largish, easy-to-grasp S-hook clasp that I made the next day. I have already gotten some mileage out of it by posting on About and on YOJ.

I stopped the wiggle chain at bracelet length, and tried out a little three-loop finding that I think I can use (after soldering) to make a compound three-chain sampler bracelet. So for Oxide, so far, I have the copper Byzantine necklace, part of a three-strand bracelet, the unfinished jasper-and-bronze necklace, and two pairs of jingly scale earrings. If I order the sterling, I will make a graduated persian necklace, and some simple sculptural earrings. A pair of amethyst disc earrings should not take long. And a copper-wrapped ammonite needs making. That’s nine. Deadline is January 21.

And I must stop fudging the prices down, despite lack of confidence that people will pay more. If I have to pay Warren a submission fee, I have to get more return. Hope it works... If I say the Byzantine necklace took four hours (more, really), I have to get $32 plus the ring cost. If Oxide’s going to get 40%, then the math says I have to set the price up at $60, more or less. We’ll try $58.

Reminder - put a tag on pieces, or a card for earrings, so Warren can stick on a number ID for the jury.

Chery and Rhonda and I got our application for Jazzfest put together at last, and I got it to the Post Office Friday afternoon, Dec 30. The clerk said it would go directly to their box and be there Saturday. They promise and answer within two weeks. I sure hope it’s sooner! However, it's been a week now. I really want to know!

Eventually I chose these four images for the application. The table-display from DHS in December was pretty well mandated -- my previous Jazzfest was ages ago, and my pictures from Ponder this spring are nothing to write home about. My picture of beaded ornaments is brighter and more fun than the winter cardinal one, but the cardinal is certainly a more “finished” piece. As for the sculptural wire, I was undecided between the rings and hematite earrings and the oval Russian serpentine pendant, but Rhonda instantly voted for the earrings, and also for the silver leaves chainmaille necklace as more distinctive than the diamond-shaped dragonscale earrings.

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