Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alternative Materials

You know, with metals prices being what they are I have been experimenting with alternative materials- for one, they keep my prices affordable - (I don't believe that only wealthy people should have access to handmade craft) and also, I get to freely explore ideas without getting too hung up on the price of materials.

One of the things I started trying last spring was aluminum. I've been having a lot of fun with these pieces- roller printing (it's really squishy!) and stamping is incredibly satisfying- the tools act as if they were on steroids! then- blaspheme! I paint them.

oooh, I know, next thing you know I'll be stripped of my credentials as a professional metalsmith!
well, it's been fun while it lasted! :-) don't think I'm going to stop now!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

strap bracelet secrets

I love making these pieces- they are a collection of diverse components made with differing techniques- I work on them in a peculiar way...

first of all, the shapes are almost always soft organic forms- the idea came from looking at stone walls and how they are constructed...

then I play with different techniques...roller printing, chasing, repousse, filigree, cloisonne, wax carving, inlay, mokume, hollow construction, etching, wire work...I tell people that I "binge on techniques" I play with them until I've scratched the itch of curiosity in my mind.

After I have completed and am satisfied with the quantity of components I sit down and compose a line of approximately 10-12 components, thinking about the way they will wrap around the wrist.

I have made a belt buckle by carving it in hard wax and then taking a mold of it so that I can produce it when I need it- I have a casting company make my buckles for me- but they are my own design, the original made by my hands, and cast exclusively by my order for my work only.

The buckle is set on the leather strap by a tube rivet (my design also)
and the components are then "strung" on the bracelet and locked in place.

By using this process of sampling techniques and composing after the pieces are complete I keep my work fresh and interesting- and, more important- UNIQUE! each bracelet therefore is one of a kind - I could make them all the same, but what's the fun in that?!!

I'm hoping to find some time this month to put together a few more bracelets- they do take a long time to complete, so this may be a challenge! Currently this piece is the only bracelet I have in stock- I will be happy to take special orders, and holiday requests. (send your honey this link so they can get a gift giving hint)

OK- I'm off to the studio- metals await! Have a great week- stay tuned, and please send me comments! (I love to read your responses!)
ciao!- Maureen BZ

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dream squashers

Right now Tucson AZ is floating a proposition that would eliminate most of our Parks in Rec department in order to conform to a mandate to increase the numbers of new hires at the police department....

(Here is an explanation of the proposed initiative from Blog for Arizona)

Here is why I am strongly against that mandate-
I don't believe that more police = more security. I have nothing against our law enforcement- I believe that they are necessary to the safety of the people and perform duties that I appreciate and acknowledge as essential to the tranquility of our city life.

I don't think that enforcing laws is the only solution to public security and development-
I believe strongly that Personal Self Worth is our first quality that needs support and care for the development of a peaceful and strong community. And developing this personal Self Worth is an essential part of our community's positive future.

Tucson Underpass and Basket Bridge
(made possible by creative thinking....)

We need to keep the doors to the arts and sport open to all of our community- we need to give a CHANCE to the kids who yearn for something MORE in life...a road that could lead to their dream of being who they dream to be.

Once we shut the door on programs that create possibility we essentially shut out thousands of dreams that will never get a chance to flourish. We shut out possibility for people who are searching for something more out of life than eating sleeping and watching TV....We pull the plug on hope. and I KNOW that is NOT what I voted for!

the classes that are held at Tucson P+R are highly successful-They are filled with people from 6 months to 100 years old- from all walks of life with all sorts of stories. There is no entrance requirement, no grades or expectations, the classes are simply there to offer enrichment to the lives of it's students.

They are also a great entrance to teaching experience- young college students often get valuable training for teaching by assisting in Parks and Rec classes.

Many people start a hobby there that soon turns into a lifelong passion- enriching their lives and creating a much needed oasis of creative thought that most of our lives are lacking.

Many parents bring their children to Parks and Rec classes as an affordable way to introduce the arts and sport to their kid's lives. It is a great way to let your children "sample" new possibilities and meet new friends.

It would be a huge loss to the city if these classes were discontinued due to city mismanagement of money! Can we really live in a city with no regard for the creative spirit? Do we accept the fact that without these programs many children would not have access to quality affordable arts enrichment or introduction to sport?

hell no!
what do we do?
get out the word....
VOTE NO on Prop 200.

thank you- rant over :-)

Monday, September 21, 2009

relic of the future1

sometimes you stumble upon something that just seems right.........
in my continuing research into pewter techniques I have created my new line, "Relics of the Future!"
these are cast fragments of larger designs; they echo the experimentation of my work and also remind me to work freely.
the piece in this photo here has now been sold to a gallery- I will be listing new fragments soon on my etsy shop- so stay tuned!
Have a great week everyone- I'm so happy that it is the last day of summer! that means in a month or so it will cool down to below 90 here in southern AZ!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

pewter memory boxes

My newest project is creating hand fabricated pewter memory boxes. They are intended as urns or memorial pieces for beloved pets who have crossed "the rainbow bridge".

This particular box I created for the "Dia de los Muertos" show at Obsidian gallery, Tucson AZ. It is a bed-like structure with a headboard that resembles the arch of the virgin of Guadalupe (which is so prevalent here in the southwest) there is a lotus flower as a candle holder (candle representing eternal flame/soul) and the top section comes off, revealing a small compartment below, to store a small amount of ashes/photos/id tags/kibble/notes and wishes for the departed animal companion.

ganoksin

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