Thursday, September 30, 2010

what is this RAD pack anyways??

I thought you'd never ask!
You probably know by now that I am one of a group of artists participating in the "Ring a Day" project.
in this practice of doing a ring a day there is a community of metalsmiths who have committed to making a ring every day this year...and with that you could guess that every once in a while we hit the creativity wall.

it happens like this- you wake up, have your coffee/tea/smoothie, walk into your studio, look around and kind of feel....un-inspired. AAACK! what to do what to do? well, here's where the RAD (ring a day) packs come in...ta daaa! rad pack to the rescue!

LOL, ok, maybe I've had too much coffee this morning...
To explain- the RAD pack is a bag of "mystery items", all wrapped up individually in kraft paper- in these little paper pods are objects donated to the artist from another artist- Items that the donor has perhaps had lying around their studio for a while, or things that they would like to see you respond to.
the rules are simple- NO PEEKING! (which includes fondling , shaking or x-raying the items)
the packet you pick for the day is yours to do with what you will....but it is meant as a source of inspiration. yes, you can smash it, burn it, set it, make fun of it, cover it in plastic, make an image with it...on and's the thing- you are to use it as an inspiration for that day's ring.
basically, it lights a fire under your creative ass.
I've done a few RAD pack rings- yesterday I picked our a beautiful rectangular faceted smokey quartz-
which I immediately groaned and thought..."oh , I really don't want to make a formal setting today"
and then, I thought....Wait a second! I don't have to do anything formal- I just have to do what I want- make it my own- enjoy the hunt, the experience of creation....
as Old Blue Eyes said, "Do>Be>Do>Be>Do"
so...this is what I made....the Smokey Quartz is the rectangular stone- everything else were odds and ends from my studio. I loved the subdued rich color of the quartz, and paired it with a gorgeous little zig zag seashell I picked off the Beach a few years ago on the island of Elba. The jaunty attitude of the stone paired with the pearl, shell, and twisted silver is reminiscent of the fishing boats in the island-

I hope this explains the "RAD packs" - you can find other examples of Ring a day creations at the official ring a day Flickr photostream here:
I'm off to my studio now, to follow the muse
may the flux be with you- ciao- Maureen

Monday, September 27, 2010

sept 27 lil country gal wedding ring3

I love these old fashioned clothespins- they HAVE to be wooden- can't stand the plastic ones...

this piece is another of my free formed rings that I make for the ring a day project. The rings I am making for this project don't necessarily have to be wearable- they don't have to make much sense- they don't have to be anything! And that is what I find so intriguing...

when I go to my studio I have a bunch of things I want to complete for the day- on that list is a ring...can be anything it wants to be- made of anything that calls to me...and can be as fast or slow and detailed as it is.
a zen ring- it IS because I follow the creation- never really knowing if it is gone over the edge, never really sure where it will lead. The creation is in the moment, and it is sheer freedom.

Ring a day a journey that allows me to take risks, and one that has opened a spring of creativity! I know I can't have a winner every time, and giving myself the permission to fail is one of the best gifts an artist can give to themselves.
Keep it real, baby!

Friday, September 24, 2010

New website!

Handcrafted Confections
Cosmo's moon is still active, but I have decided to have my main website be at instead.
After struggling with loading  (on the phone with my website midwife tech support for 1 1/2 hours last night) it magically decided to crown this morning  and it is now a newborn website on our vast internet cosmos.
(see, clever huh, beginning and ending with the word Cosmo....) :-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

confection Sept 20 # 120

Here's a ring that's not a ring- it is, in fact a piece that I did in order to have a good photo representation of my work...and that's the complicated part...

Which work? the production steampunk granola goth work that I sell on Etsy? the whimsical found object stuff I show in galleries? the painted work? the formal jewelry? and let's not forget the pewter...

the story of my career- I am in many places at once- and sometimes it's hard to really pinpoint a category. Even back when I was a "painter" I was a "sculptor" as well- often building up forms in Styrofoam wood and cardboard as I painted..kind of like Frank Stella- but not as gigantic.

Anyhow- I see in this piece a correlation to many different angles of my work- some whimsy, a little goth, a touch of sculpture and painting as well. The piece is a brooch(horizontal and vertical) that can also be worn horizontally as a pendant. It's for an Ad in a magazine, so I'm going to bring it to a pro photographer for a glamor shot... No Hallmark filter please! LOL

It's as if my work has finally started to settle into a groove..and I'm excited to see where this integrated path leads!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

the TAG project

Last year when I went to Haystack I met a remarkable artist named Wendy Maruyama.
She is "an artist and educator from San Diego, California and have been making furniture/art since 1970. My work is often inspired by extended residencies and visits to various countries such as France, England, Japan, Korea and China."
me (disheveled) and Wendy one late night in the Haystack metals studio (her husband Bill is just over my shoulder)

Wendy was the instructor for the wood studio while I was a student in the metals studio. Our paths crossed through her husband, Bill, who -as a non-artist- decided to participate in the metals class while Wendy was teaching in the wood studio. Bill's workbench was directly behind mine, so I was there when Wendy would come visit the space- (And her personality just lit up the room).

I didn't know much about her work until I saw her presentation a few nights in to the session. Now, I've been to hundreds of visiting artists lectures over the years, but never one that moved me so deeply.
Her furniture is beautifully crafted, and also filled with wit and humor- sometimes with embedded videos and imagery.
(you should check out her work online at )

The piece that moved me to tears was her current project , the Tag project (executive order 9066) .
where she has been working on "making all 120,000 tags, for all the Japanese Americans who were sent to all the camps." Wendy states "I feel that the sheer numbers and the scale of these tags will convey to all who view this that the internment was a massive project that was to affect an entire culture of people and their future generations."

Even as a whitebread caucasian girl the the horrors of WW2 has it's fingers in my family history. My husband's father was imprisoned at Mathausen (Austria) at the end of the war- he was only in the camp for 5 months, but left deathly ill, with his health never to recover. On the other side of the world my Brother in law's family was a Japanese American family living in the Columbia river gorge in Oregon. The son (father of my brother in law) was in active service in the US army (in Italy) and the family was forced to leave their family farm to live in a "camp" in California.

I know that somewhere in the bunch of tags are the names of my niece's grandparents and great grandparents. People who did nothing against our country, in fact, were producing fresh delicious healthy fruit. They worked an honest living but were punished for their ethnicity.
(I see this prejudice is echoed today in the way my home state of Arizona, as we expel our migrant (usually Mexican) farm workers...just saying...)

This weekend I am going to spend a few hours brewing coffee and dipping paper tags into the brew in order to age them to appear historic. I imagine a bottle of wine will be uncorked. I'm hoping a few of my friends will come to help. And Wendy, I can't wait to see the result of this tremendous project...

xoxo- M

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alternative Wedding

florette w blu1
Originally uploaded by cosmosmoonjewelry
So, this is my ring for today- it's a new use for an older (flower) design that I carved out of wax about 12 years ago (and had it cast)- A classic design, certainly inspired by Italian artistry, it's really a good example of some of the work that I was doing around the summer of 1999 , while I was living in the center of Florence Italy.

The flower form is beautiful and voluminous, but sometimes hard to get a good image, because of the multiple surfaces. I think I got a pretty decent image this time...

I'm starting to create some jewelry for alternative weddings and indie brides and this is one of the engagement rings. I also make these as post earrings- perfect as a bridesmald gift with a variety of stone choices and metals to choose from.

available online at my etsy shop

Friday, September 10, 2010

Social Media and the arts

 Interviews and podcasts....
Whaley studios is a jewelry and metalsmithing school in San Diego Ca. For a little over a year they have been broadcasting interviews and discussions with metalsmiths, jewelers and leaders in the world of crafts and metalsmithing services.

Yesterday I did my 3rd interview- with Greg Masters, the media guru of Whaley Studios. The subject was social media- and how important it is as a tool for metalsmiths and craftspeople. The sound quality of the podcast is iffy at first, but it improves as the discussion goes along, at around 20 minutes in...
you can download and listen to the archived podcast at:

You can also search the podcast archive for interviews with metalsmithing notables such as
Michael David Sturlin, Charles Lewton Brain, Harriete Estel Berman, Wendy Rosen (of the Rosen group's Niche magazine and shows), Andy Cooperman, S.N.A.G.'s Executive Director Dana Singer...
etc etc...
(I like to upload these podcasts to my ipod and listen to them while I work at my bench)
enjoy the show!


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