Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pin Swap

finished pin groups3
Originally uploaded by cosmosmoonjewelry
Well, I'm done for this year at least!
Here is a pic of my pins I made for this year's pin swap at the Yuma Symposium- They were really fun to make- a great way to free up some of my design ideas...I know some of the things I discovered while working on these will influence my future works- I actually would love to have these pieces done in a more permanent (less epoxied) manner-
stay tuned! :-)
I will be taking notes about the symposium and posting pics and blog next week, when I get home. I've made the decision to leave my computer home...and give my hands a break!
ciao for now- Maureen

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

gift horse

Here's an artifact from my past
and the time I spent in Italy-
a horse tooth. I found this horse tooth in the pasture where my polish warmblood mare Schilla spent her summers.

I've always cherished this find and look back on that time in my life with mixed emotions. Bittersweet - as it was the last period of time when I was able to spend hours at the stable every day.

My daily riding came to an end 
In 1998, after a dramatic bout with a burst appendix (and a close touch by my mortality)
With a week long stay in an Italian hospital (one where Da Vinci did his anatomy explorations) and many weeks of recovery at home I had time to take a constructive look at my life. I had to decide which direction I wanted to take it. I had to make a decision between art and horses.

After much drama, (including a shouting match with a fascist farmer).. I chose art.

I drove away from the barn that day with all of my tack and horse gear. I still remember in vivid detail the day when I settled my saddles on the saddle rack in our storage area -in a loft storage space at our Florence home...  they remain still- waiting for me to come back and re-claim their use. Last month, my husband came back from a short trip in Italy (for business) and he brought back one of my bridles. It hangs in my studio today. I didn't clean it before I packed it up all those years ago- so if I look real hard, I can still see some remainders of my sweet mare on the leather.

this is a picture I took of Schilla one warm summer day,
lolling around in the pasture of olive trees and wildflowers

I look forward to the day when I will be able to welcome horses back into my life and find the balance between my two passions. I think it is going to be soon.
ciao- MBZ

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pins for Yuma

One of the projects that you will find many metalsmiths in Arizona doing right now is making pins for the Yuma Symposium pin swap.

I just thought I'd share a couple of images of the pin making I'm doing-

I have a hard time deciding what is "enough" or "too much" when working on these pins- last year I underestimated, and felt silly with my scrawny offerings- so this year I'm working on making up for last year's attempt :-) hopefully I'll hit the right cord!

BTW, if you have never heard of the Yuma Symposium, please click on the link- it's a really amazingly fun and inspiring event- this will be my 4th year there- (it's the 31st year for the YS). I hope to see lots of old friends and perhaps make a few new ones too!
ciao- MBZ

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Finishing those odds and ends

Here's an example of one of my new rings I've made for the ring a day project- Made of oxidized sterling silver and 18k yellow gold.

Yes, it is a complex piece- something that I really love to do, work in a dense manner- I made it in stages........

the tubes I rolled and put together as a collection a few years ago-(I went on a big tube making kick) and the ring I finished in a day-

This is the story with many of my ring a day pieces....I am simply "Finishing" work that I have set know, those pieces that you just can't seem to make work, and you don't want to send them to refining....

So I guess you could say this ring a day project has me re-purposing some of my work- I must admit, it's pretty satisfying to find homes for these odds and ends!

nuff said- I'm off to the studio now for a FULL DAY of studio work- Yippee! ciao- Maureen

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tucson In February

Whew! February in Tucson is an exciting and busy time- we are now in our second week of Gem show frenzy- Lots of cars on the roads from out of state, no parking downtown...and our favorite eateries? Booked solid! :-) We love it though- because in exchange, Tucson gets to host 40+ of the most wonderful gem shows you ever have opened your wallet for!

Last week was the most active week for me- The Agta show is in the Convention center, all the tents are up at Holidome and Tep. That first official week of the shows (not including the "pre-show" shows the weekend before) that first week is chock full of activities- many seminars to choose from (most are free!) and of course, party after party after opening to attend.

This year, I hosted a small gathering at my studio for members of Metalsmiths Unite who were in town for the shows- Luckily, the weather was in our favor and we had a cool, dry evening to enjoy a bit of outdoors and a warm bonfire (I even toasted a couple of marshmalows....then gave up when I found that I needed a longer stick- ouch!)

OK- to those who could not make it to the meet up- sorry, I know how hard it is to juggle all the demands of the Gem show- I hope that you can find more time next year to come to this fun and relaxing gathering- And I hope that you had a good time if you got to the shows- made lots of contacts and found gems and tools galore!

I'm now setting my sights on the next fun February event- The Yuma Symposium! I'll be going there in a few weeks with a couple of my friends- it's going to be my 4th time attending the event, and I anticipate a Hugely entertaining and creative weekend- (I'll be blogging about it for sure!)

Have a great week everyone- remember to post your events/workshops/pics on the Metalsmiths Unite! wall- let us know what you are up to- Have fun in your studios! be safe-
Metalsmiths, Unite!
ciao- Maureen


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