Thursday, February 16, 2012

Paying it forward

I am going to diverge away from my studio work for just a moment to help out an amazing woman who is working towards a goal to help support her farm and family.
I have been a long time reader of Suzanne McMinn's blog: Chickens in the Road. To give you the short version, Suzanne is a writer. A really great writer. She is also a farmer. She writes about all of the daily goings on at her Sassafras Farm in West Virginia. Including the good: 95% of farm life, the bad: sometimes farm life is tough and the ugly: she is afraid of her tractor.

I urge you to visit her blog and read some of her recent posts. Then read some of her past posts. I am pretty sure that is all it will take to hook you. I look forward to sitting down with my first cup of coffee every morning and reading her latest entry. She is funny, self-sufficient and honest.

Right now Suzanne is working towards a big goal. She wants to convert a building she calls the Studio on her farm to a health department-approved kitchen for on-farm cooking/cheesemaking workshops and other events. This project, when complete, will help her maintain her farm and keep a roof over her family's head. It will also bring people together to learn new skills, make new friends and maybe even create some new farmers!

You can read all about her project by clicking on the link below and visiting her Kickstarter page and placing your pledge to help get the Studio ready for workshops.

If you don't know what Kickstarter is, start ----->here<----- on Suzanne's blog. She talks about launching her Kickstarter project and what exactly that means.
As of today, she is 78% to her goal. The days are ticking by and I really want to help her meet that goal. And I hope you will be a part of it!

Friday, February 10, 2012

EtsyMetal Charm Swap progress

Being a member of the EtsyMetal team certainly comes with lots of perks. Being able to talk to other artists who work with metal on a daily basis has given my creative side a real boost. Learning from the other members never stops. You can pretty much count on finding an answer about a technique or process from one or many of the members. I am really lucky to be a part of such an amazing and creative group.

One other perk is getting to participate in the EtsyMetal challenges and swaps. Over the last few months I have been co-curating the EtsyMetal Charm Swap 9. I write a nearly weekly blog update with progress photos from the swap participants. It has been really awesome watching everyone's work come to life.

Finally today, after catching up with my Valentine's orders that stacked up at the beginning of this week I was able to sit down and get to work on my own charms. With just about a month and a half left until the due date, I thought it might be a good idea to get to work. I have 22 charms to make. I really don't want to wait until the extreme last minute...

I have been a little bit wishy-washy on my design. Some ideas were way too complicated especially since I would need to do 22 pieces. Some ideas were way too basic. I decided this morning to just get to my bench and start playing around with some basic design elements. I wanted to incorporate torch fired enamels to bring some color to my charms and I opted to use copper as my overall metal due to the sky-rocketing price of silver. However, I did bring a bit of sterling into the design. I love to use casting grain to add details to my work.

Here is what I came up with for my charm prototype:

Basic elements coming together:

Final result:

Back of the charm:

To follow the progress of all of the EtsyMetal Charm Swap Nine participants, be sure to visit the EtsyMetal blog. I post the charm swap progress on Thursdays. To view past progress updates, search "charm swap" without quotes in the blog search box.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Winter Tree Haiku

Bare branches gain strength
Winter sun casting shadows
Tiny buds waiting

On the back:

$57.00 plus shipping
Uploaded February 9, 2012