Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Metals Addict

Started a new blog for all metalsmithing addicts at www.metalsaddict.com.  It will feature free video tutorials, process pictures, technique descriptions and a lot of other metalsmithing related stuff.  Please check it out if you get a chance and share it!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mom's xmas present

ok, here's my most recent piece.  I wanted to make something special for my mother for xmas, since she's done so much for me.  She's been completely supportive of my love for making jewelry, which I'm totally grateful for.  This necklace is sterling with orange sapphires and yellow and orange citrine stones.  Hope she likes it!  



Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some New Work




My friend Juliette, (her blog is here) introduced me to etching copper and I've been having a lot of fun with that lately.  Because of the high cost of silver, I've been using much more copper in my work and etching is a great way to give the copper a unique design. 

Slovenia











It's been a long time since my last post. I've been busy moving in, setting up my room, making jewelry and taking care of my two dogs.  I have not posted any new jewelry on etsy in a while, but I have been making a lot of new work and sending them to shops.

The pace in Novo Mesto, Slovenia is a lot slower than that of the bay area, california, but I really like it.  The city is very green and surrounded by lush forests.  Every day I walk the dogs by the river Krka and just enjoy the beauty of nature.   I enjoy watching the ducks swim up and down the river, and sometimes follow us on our walks.  They guard the river bank and protect their young.  The ducklings duck under water and swim a few yards under the river's surface when they feel threatened.  There are cats everywhere and Toto has started chasing them up trees as a game.  The river changes color almost daily, from a deep blue to grey, green and brown.  Sometimes its covered in a thin mist, which gives it an almost mystical appearance and reminds me of medieval tales of mermaids and swam monsters. 

The people of Novo Mesto are very warm and welcoming.  Most of the younger people speak almost perfect english, which makes living here much easier, as communication isn't a problem. 

The house I'm staying in is in the city center.  It is huge and has a bar and stage for concerts, a gallery for art exhibitions, 2 music studios and a few artists studios.  There are 2 painters, a few ceramics artists and myself, along with 3 bands that use the music studio's to practice.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Moving...

For those of you who don't know, I'll be moving to Slovenia the first week of september.  Why slovenia?  Well it's a beautiful country that just joined the eu, and I have friends there who have a sort of communal artists house and they've allowed me to come and stay.  I'm an eu citizen so living there will be no problem, legally.  Also I really love the idea of living in a community of people with common interests.  We can be inspired by each others creative energy.  So I'm very excited, but also stressed because of all the stuff I need to do before the move.  I've put all my etsy shops on sale for now because soon I'll be putting them all on vacation mode.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/jstones
http://www.etsy.com/shop/jewelstutorials
http://www.etsy.com/shop/jamauerer

Obviously there is internet in Slovenia and otherwise nothing will change.  I'll keep making jewelry and cutting stones and keep in contact with the online jewelry community.  I'm just changing location.  For those of you who know me well, this is no surprise because I move every 2 years or so anyway.  I wish I could stay in one place, but somehow it just doesnt suit me and I'm always on the move again before I can settle down.


Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm a Halstead Grant Copper Finalist!

Every year Halstead holds a grant competition for jewelry making entrepreneurs. They are an amazing organization and very supportive of jewelry artists.  Their grant application focuses on both the design and business part of jewelry making.  Writing the grant application really helped me figure out what I need to focus on business wise, so I'm really appreciative of that.  Also, I'm honored to be mentioned alongside such amazing artists. 

2011 The Halstead Grant Copper Finalist

Monday, July 25, 2011

Aspiring Metalsmiths Project Blogroll for July

 Its a lazy monday for me and pretty much the only day I really take off from working on jewelry.  But I dont completely take the day off, on mondays I like to do little jewelry experiments.  Today I thought I would try to use the kiln to melt solder on copper.  Copper oxidizes so quickly and larger pieces can be hard to solder because the piece will oxidize before the solder flows.  I though if I could get the kiln up to the solder melting point and put in the copper, the solder would flow before it oxidized. 

Here are the fluxed pieces before putting them in the kiln:


And here's the metal after taking it out of the kiln.  The temp had gone down a bit when the door opened, so that might explain why the solder didn't flow, but it still oxidized like crazy!!  This will take ages to pickle and I think the experiment totally failed.  


While the kiln was hot, I let it get to 1450 and put in some copper disks covered with enamel. 



This was the result.  I think maybe they should have stayed in a bit longer, but I was worried they'd overheat so I didn't want to risk it. 



Then to experiment some more, I torch fired (from below) one of the disks and the enamel melted a bit more and the finish became more even. 


So that was what I've been working on today.  Just some fun stuff to give my mind a break.  Actually since the photos took so long to load, I went back into the studio and did some real work for another hour or so and made some copper flowers.   So overall its been a pretty productive day. 

Check out the awesome artists below and see what they are working on.