Saturday, April 4, 2015

Whats On My Bench

Hello and welcome to another What's On My Bench! This week JET Team member Denise of LoveStoneArts shares a fortnight in the life of one of her “Practice Pieces” ...


"Here is the life of a “Practice Pieces” that I started during the week of March 15th. So many ideas, never enough time! My silver working mentor taught us that it is best to have several silver projects in the works - so, how lucky to have a flurry of orders at the same time I was taking progress photos, right?!

On my most recent trip to Arizona I saw some asymmetrical contemporary Southwest designs that appealed to me. They inspired a few sketches on a note pad and, once I returned home, I transferred them to the journal where design ideas (and good mushroom hunting spots) are kept! For the focal of the design I chose a Mexican Cantera opal in matrix, from my Tucson gem show kaboodle, and a tiny fire opal as an accent. Here is some of what crossed my bench that week...

Day 1: To start with, I lay out the stones and silver elements according to my design. Then it's time to light up (the torch, that is) and start soldering...





Editors Note: Love, Love, Love the beads on your eyewear, Denise!



Day 2: Sure enough, a couple of ring orders have come in. Perfect, I can have something in the pickle while I’m cutting or soldering the next piece! The silver worker’s mantra: "pickle, pickle, pickle, flux, flux, flux!"









Days 3 and 4: By the middle of the week I’m tweaking the design a little. Tweaking is very time consuming. By the way, you are my lucky charm - we just got an order for opal earrings and another ring! I’m happily working away on all this silver, whilst dishes pile higher and higher in the sink.







Days 5 and 6: In the home stretch, hooray! The practice pendant is oxidized and will tumble overnight with yet another ring. Honestly, I’m not sure that our shop has ever seen this much action, but thank you very much!





Day 7 through 14: We are remodelling, and I have seriously lost focus. All that remains is to set the stones and do a final polish. Done! And here it is again, in all its imperfect glory.



Sigh. This is an addition to my personal collection of “Practice Pieces”. Someday I’ll have a “Scratch and Dent Sale”, but for now I know just how I want to improve this design. Mission accomplished! Denise


Thank you so much for sharing your “Practice Piece” with us this week, Denise.
I'm now taking a break from blogging for a little while, so until next time!
Donna
DonnasArtisanDesigns

25 comments :

Erika Price said...

Awesome practice piece, Denise! And your specs are totally groovy! Rather disappointed there was no photo of the dishes piling up in your sink, though :)

Jet Central said...

Fascinating blog post, it's great to see how your pieces progress on your bench, Denise, and we really love the photo of you at work!

And thank you to Donna for bringing us this truly insightful series xoxo

Michele said...

Amazing post, seeing the steps come to life into making a gorgeous pendant!!!

Urban Pearl Studio said...

How fun to see Denise in action! I agree, the dishes in the sink would have been so 'realistic' as we ALL understand how easy it is to get thoroughly captivated by a design.

Denise's designs and skills are pure perfection and my admiration runs a mile deep.

Jean Sandell said...

So fun to see the progression (and the distractions. . . ;)

jemsbyjb said...

Wow that is quite the process! Thanks for sharing your space and your techniques with us.

Nancy Russell said...

Wow! Love seeing this process! Thanks for sharing, Denise, and thank you, Donna, for putting all these blog posts together.

Val Swanson said...

Beautiful pieces Denise. I wish I had your patience.

Gloria Flynn - EarthEnergyGemstones said...

I'm a very lucky owner of a pair of Denise's gorgeous opal earrings, and I can vouch for the beauty and craftsmanship of her designs! These "What's On My Bench" articles are always my favorite posts!

capitalcitycrafts said...

Cool pendant! I'm happy to know I'm not alone with dishes in the sink and projects piled on the bench!

Donna Arena said...

Denise I wanted to thank you personally for all the time and expertise you put into bringing this blog post to us.
I've always admired your work and it's both an honor and a privilege to have been a part of it!!! So glad this "brought you good luck" on the other orders!
Donna

Cher said...

Loved seeing what's on your bench, Denise! Cute pooch too ;) Now I want to know what was in the glass and who's getting pickled besides jewelry? LOL

LoveStoneArts said...

Thanks for all of your sweet and supportive comments. Donna, what a marvelous job you have done on all of your posts. I'm honored to be the subject of this week's installment. We will miss you but your hiatus from the blog is well deserved. Yes sir-ee, the mountain of dishes was a sight to behold!

Beadsme said...

What a great post with loads of info. Love how the family sit and watch (furbaby).

Keystring said...

Love seeing your amazing work Denise!

mjsee said...

Wonderful to see the process documented.

Well done.

Lori Taggart said...

Great post! Love seeing your process and your cute assistant! Beautiful pendant!

WanderingJewel said...

Beautiful piece Denise! Thank you for sharing your process.

Mollie Ann said...

Denise, I so enjoyed your step-by-step progress report! And, oh those opals!!! In this instance, "imperfect" is absolutely perfect!

Heather Morgan said...

These blog posts are always my absolute favorite! As a fledgling metalsmith I am always just fascinated by what other artists do and as Denise is my inspiration I especially loved this article. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your fabulous and creative world. :)

Gemstones on My Mind said...

Wonderful post from the sketches to finished product. Denise is a true artist!

Tracy said...

I really enjoyed this post! I love seeing how an artist goes about their work. Everyone is so unique!

Bev Feldman said...

Very cool to see the process unfold!

cooljewelrydesign said...

I especially love to see these type projects unfold b/c I don't work with metal and it's quite a story. LOVE the finished piece/s and thanks for opening your home and process to everyone. Big fan of your work.

Cheri said...

This is an awesome jewelry blog! I love the story and all the pictures! It makes me feel like I am right there beside you!

Amazing work!