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Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

Jewelry Porn, originally uploaded by antigenre.

Jewelers and metalsmiths, admit it – you’ve drooled over these books! I discovered this series in my jewelry class at the 92nd Street Y and went right out and bought the lot of them. FYI, they’re much cheaper on Amazon than they are at the Marketfair Barnes & Noble. They are great sources of inspiration and, along with my class itself, have forced me to think a bit about the direction my work should be going in. It is definitely time to start getting some advanced training, refining my style, and developing a cohesive body of work.

Levi and I will be leaving New Jersey toward the end of the summer (this I have some mixed feelings about), and I will no longer have access to all the resources of NYC (this, I’m NOT happy about at all!). We’re headed to South Carolina, so I’ve spent a bit of time looking around for schools and other institutions in the area that offer training in metals and jewelry. Oddly enough, the Carolinas seem to be full of crafty types, and there are a number of respectable schools within a few hours drive of where I’ll be living. One in particular is the Penland School of Crafts, which offers eight-week workshops in a number of fields. Haywood Community College of Professional Crafts is another nearby option. So I have some decisions to make and some money to save up, but these are very exciting possibilities.

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The Olympics are Here!!!, originally uploaded by antigenre.

I’m more than a little excited that the 2008 Olympics – the best sporting event ever – have finally started! I sat through the whole opening ceremony last night. It was reaaallly long, and I was sort of annoyed that the overwhelming majority of the performers were men, but I loved Zhang Yimou’s creations and was happy to see Shen Wei’s choreography. It’s too bad that there is a 12-hour time difference between New Jersey and China – I think I’ll either do a lot of taping the events I want to see or a lot of staying up way too late.

I decided to commemorate the opening of the Olympics with this set of five sterling silver rings, available now in my shop!

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Night Treasury, originally uploaded by antigenre.

I heard an old Marillion song the other day that I heard many, many times when I was living in Malta about 15 years ago. The song, That Time of the Night, will forever be associated with the first few weeks I spent there. It was February, and I was living alone in a huge apartment with excessively high ceilings, almost monastic furnishings and a barely functioning pay phone. It was rather chilly (the limestone building had no insulation) and very lonely. Things got better, though, once I made some friends and it got warm enough to go to the beaches.

I made this treasury with that song and that time in mind. Click here to see it before it expires Saturday morning!

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Earrings, originally uploaded by antigenre.

I don’t have a name for these earrings yet, but they are part of a series of items that I’ve been playing around with. They will most likely appear at my first big craft show this weekend in Highland Park, NJ. I’ll see what the reaction to them is and make some more pairs of them to sell online. I liked the name ‘buckshot’ because of the random pattern of holes I drilled into the silver disc. It reminded me of stop signs on rural roads that have been shot up by bored teenagers with hunting rifles. I’ve also got some funky torpedo-shaped brass findings that I might use to sort of expand on the theme.

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Desert Earrings, originally uploaded by antigenre.

I spent about 20 noisy minutes the other day just banging different sized discs out of a sheet of 24 gauge copper, trying to come up with new ideas and looking for inspiration.   When I was done, I just sort of spread all the discs around on the table and played for a while with different shapes and configurations.  I decided to do something less complicated in structure, but interesting in shape and texture.  These earrings were among the results and are now available in my shop!

In other news, I applied to participate in the Bust Spring Fling Craftacular in Brooklyn, and I’ll find out if I got in or not tomorrow.  Here’s hoping!

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Details, Details…

Details, Details…, originally uploaded by antigenre.

I just happened upon a treasury on Etsy the other day. I wasn’t expecting it at all, but the little box at the bottom of the page suddenly opened up and said “Create a tresury!” OK, fine, I will, if you insist. So I named the treasury “Ok, Fine…” in response to the demand that I create one. It was only after looking through my favorites, wondering what to fill the twelve little boxes with, that I realized that a lot of my favorite items have similar characteristics: fine lines and lots of little details.

I love repeated patterns, and the smaller the better when it comes to details and embellishments. These great artists and creators capture those qualities – click the link below to check out their work before this treasury expires on Tuesday!

http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=35431

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Satellite Necklace, originally uploaded by antigenre.

I’m a fan of Danny Boyle’s movies, especially 28 Days Later and now Sunshine, a refreshingly hard-science-based, alien-free, space-travel sci-fi film. This necklace reminds me of, and was sort of inspired by, a small scene in which the crew of the Icarus pauses to watch as Mercury passes in front of the dying sun. Kind of a neat moment.

The necklace is also my first project using my new Foredom (weeee!), and I’m now convinced that I need to buy disc cutters.

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I’ve recently found a fantastic source of these amazing brass findings!  I have no idea what they are supposed to be used for, or where they were made, but I love them.  They come in a great variety of evocative shapes and sizes – just looking at the rows and rows of bins starts my head spinning with all kinds of ideas. 

The earrings pictured are my Coriolis Earrings – lightweight, sexy, sophisticated!

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A Hint of Color

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Yesterday as I was out and about, I saw a huge flock of robins pecking through the snow to find food.  I also saw some crocuses peaking up through the slushy, muddy ground, and earlier in the week I noticed some plum trees starting to bloom.  Today, the sun is shining.  Finally, the weight of winter is starting to lift.  

I worked on a few pieces this weekend that sort of hint at the start of spring.  I discovered a new gemstone (new to me, probably not everyone else, though) called Prehnite that has a beautiful, sort of cloudy green color.  I also just purchased some lovely apricot-colored candy jade.  I think they work very nicely with the more seasonal pieces I’m creating.

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I’ve gotten into bangles recently. Not ‘The Bangles’, for anyone hoping for Susannah Hoffs pics.  Just bangles.  I’ve started to make some and I’m really liking how they’re turning out.  They’re fun to bang on with a hammer, and I know I’ll never be able to make two alike, so I’m not even bothering to try!

I take the 8:47 train out of Princeton Junction, NJ, every Saturday to get to my class in the city.  (The ‘city’ being New York, if you’re wondering.  You are just supposed to know which city.  I mean, come on, is there any other city, really?)

The view from the train window along the way is stunning.  As in, how the hell did it end up like this?  It is an amazing study in urban decay and rural abandon.  Scrap yards; abandoned construction (and de-construction) sites; crumbling buildings with not a single window intact; wildly colorful grafitti in places only those with nothing to lose would dare attempt to reach with a can of spray-paint; a whole stretch of power lines crumpled and half-submerged in the marsh.  

It’s called the Northeast Corridor passenger rail line, and it is the busiest in the nation, ferrying hundreds of commuters daily between some of the wealthiest communities in the country.  I don’t know if other passengers are aware of what is outside the window of the train, but it often seems like nobody notices. 

Despite what it stands for, I think there is something of an inherent beauty in the scenery along this line.  I love the repeating patterns of bricks and support beams in the old buildings, the rich red rust color of the heaps of scrap metal, the brightly colored rows of junked cars.  I need to find a way to get some good pictures. 

In the meantime, I’m trying to capture some of mess that is the NEC line in my jewelry. 

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