Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Newpaper Feature

The Tucson newspaper (The Daily Star) ran a feature article on me last Friday-
my studio- draped for summer coolness

I thought I'd share it with you- here is the link http://azstarnet.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/article_242a2442-8105-53f6-9e25-37259c35ecd9.html . There is a good image of my signature strap bracelets and an artsy picture of me working at the bench (yes, I like working in a darkened room)
Thanks for reading- please feel free to share this with your creative friends:-) ciao- Maureen

Thursday, July 14, 2011

the hissing of summer lawns

Well, it's monsoon season again in Southern AZ- last week we had a series of storms every afternoon- it was exactly the thing that us Tucsonans long for at this time of year- Clouds and rain!

I know, it's strange to love clouds and rain- especially if you are from another part of the planet- I remember when I moved here from Boston (almost 20 years ago)that I thought I could never get enough sunshine...and the old timers would shake their heads and give a knowing laugh...
"Oh, just wait , little Yankee Girl..that sun will get you!" And they were right.

It's almost cumulative- those first few years here I think I was still thawing out from my years in New England. I was outside all summer long- be it 100* or more- riding my horse- hanging out with friends by their pool (they were in the shade)...and enduring each drive in my non-air conditioned 66 Plymouth Fury with a sense of adventure. Hey, I was innocent! I had yet to arrive at the crossroads- I was still thawing out.

Around 3 years in- I finally had enough. enough heat, enough HISSSSSS of the cicadas hanging out in the mesquite trees, enough of being burned by my steering wheel. Enough already of the heat! I was ready to move on- go back to New England- and perhaps get a Masters degree. So- I lined everything up- get tickets to fly to Boston to scout out living possibilities-  and you know what happened? Two weeks before I was scheduled to fly, I had a chance meeting with a very handsome Italian Physicist. He worked for the U of A- we were married within a year, and have now have been listening to the Cicada Symphony for 16 years together.

I have to say I still mind the heat- 100+ degrees - even if it is a Dry Heat- is still 100+ degrees. an oven is and oven is an oven. I even "cooked" a kid  in the Tucson summer- Cosmo will turn 9 on July 24.

But there is a certain weird camaraderie between Tucson's summer society. we give each other "knowing" looks as we scan the skies for clouds.
It's a Tucson thing, you may not understand......however.....
You May be from Tucson if.....................
  • You can pronounce”Saguaro”, “javelina”, “San Xavier”, “Ina”, “Tanque Verde”, and “Cholla”
  • from June-October you can fry an egg on the hood of your car
  • Bragging season? October-April
  • Whining season? May- October
  • You think someone driving wearing oven mitts is clever.
  • You think 60 tons of crushed red rock makes a beautiful yard.
  • Vehicles with open windows have the right-of-way in the summer.
  • You no longer associate bridges or rivers with water.
  • You know a swamp cooler is not a happy hour drink.
  • You can hear the weather forecast of 110 degrees without flinching.
  • You can make sun tea instantly.
  • The best parking is determined by shade…..not distance.
  • You know that “Valley Fever” isn’t a disco dance.
  • Hotter water comes from the cold water tap than the hot one.
  • You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
  • Sunscreen is sold year round, kept right at the checkout counter.
  • You put on a hat and fresh sunscreen just to go check the mail box.
:-) ciao ciao- Enjoy the Monsoooooooons- MaureenBZ

Thursday, July 7, 2011

June's Box a Month

Here are a few images of the latest in my "Box a Month" series 2011. 

I have given myself a personal challenge to create a handmade metal box or container every month this year- It is a challenge I created for myself to stretch my metalsmithing and design skills to a different (larger than jewelry) scale. I also am keeping my pewtersmithing skills sharp by re-visiting my pewter bench on a monthly basis. I'm enjoying the challenge of working bigger, and am hoping to continue this project throughout the year. My wish would be to have a show that exhibits my box a month collection at the end of the year.

"Octo Krakken Portal Box" June 2011
It's hand fabricated in pewter with a domed and patinaed copper hinged lid. and resin coated pewter tentacles
This piece has a hidden compartment inside the box (a box within a box) to hold secret treasures/ valuables.
Measurements are 4 1/2"x 5 1/2" round

opening the portal

This container has a hidden "Box within a box" compartment, shown here- I always love to make a little surprise in these pieces- I feel that it adds a special-ness to the object (similar to how cool it was to find a hotwheels car with doors that open...you know that feeling, right?) here are a few images that show the hidden compartment...

Oh, and one more thing about this piece...I developed a latex allergy halfway through completing this box. I found out about it after spending 20 minutes with latex gloves on (while working with the resins on the box's tentacles). I worked those 20 minutes- closed my studio and went to bed- when I woke up the next morning my hands were bright res and blistered! I've heard of allergies "coming out of nowhere"- and now I believe it!

Anyhow- here's a pic of my hands (and the bottom of the box) one week after the initial reaction...Yikes!   I'm happy to say that my hands are now looking much better- 10 days after the fact. I've thrown out my latex gloves, bought some nitril gloves instead, and am looking into allergy websites to get information on what I should now avoid because of this new reaction.

I'm learning something new all the time! All's well that end's well-
ciao for now- Maureen

PS- yes, I will be listing these box a month pieces in my etsy shop soon- I will announce their posting in my Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/cosmosmoon
Come join Cosmo's Moon fans by clicking "like" on the Facebook page, where I reveal sales, open studios, Etsy discounts and coupon codes and introduce "sneak peeks" of my latest designs!


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