Entries by tag: gem stones

Carving Waxes - the Stars Change
(crossed posted as laurieopal on LiveJournal)

I've been carving waxes in a particularly focused way this week. It feels so good to have my wrists back to normal! Work includes opal earrings and a peacock obsidian pendant, both with small colored diamonds.

Actually I got a lovely intense small blue diamond today.

And I've been designing and carving a pendant for quite a while that's the city from "The Stars Change", MaryAnne Mohanraj's novel (I loved the book). I'm making it for her. and it's being very complex. Her city includes a mathematical eyrie, a hugh Mughal palace (historians), a tower of art "a frothy creation of violet spun-steel" and other university buildings. I've been looking at lots of images of Mughal palaces.

There's a lot more to it and I'll be writing about it as I do the work.

Home Show in San Francisco
My friend Tracy has been trying to talk me into doing a home show at her house for a few years.  She's leaving for Zurich the end of the October for a year and a half.  That made me decide to say yes.

It's the first time I've ever done a home show in San Francisco.  And it's probably the only time I'll ever do this. I will be showing _all_ my work.  I expect I'll be spending the better part of the day before the show putting my work out.

I'm going to give a talk on gemstones and will show some exceptionally beautiful ones as part of the talk.  And Tracy says,  "I'll be pouring the best wine from my cellar, too - it's time to bring out the really good stuff! "  I'm getting excited about doing it.

It's Sunday, October 13th between 1 and 5 PM in Potrero Hill in San Francisco.

So if you're interested in coming, email me at lte@laurietobyedison.com

Pendant is silver with blue faceted obsidian, blue zircon and larimar.  It's from the collection of Bayla Fine. The undersea elements include an octopus, a star fish and a sea sponge. The larimar is more fully blue and more intense. Design is approximately 2.5"

Work For Worldcon and Designs for Antique Chains
I've been working on three necklaces that incluide lava beads I got in Iceland with long textured pearls.  Right now I love working with lava.  I will have them at Worldcon.

I finished the two gold pendants for antique Russian gold chains for the collection of Wendy Czarnecki.  They took a really long time to make and it was very well worth it.

Photos are below. It was both challenging and rather marvelous to create designs that would flow into the pendants in an enhancing way while being striking in themselves. Both chains are exquisite handmade filigree.

I took the photos quickly at her house and they worked out surprisingly well.

The stone is plume agate

The stone is a finely detailed lace agate.

New Designs for Wiscon!
I haven't been posting as much as I like this month because I've been so focused on finishing my new work for Wiscon.
When I make a lot of new work my time for everything else tends to shrink.

I've been working on this collection for along time.  I didn't realize how many new one of a kind pendants, I'd made until I had them all layed out together today when I was packing the jewelry.

The work includes:

A fossilized opal clam shell from when Australia was a sea, designed with coral silver branches and set  a ruby and an emerald.  I've had the shell in my collection for years and finally decided that I wanted to work with it in a design.  It's stunning.

A large Ethiopian mountain opal that's deep brown shot with green and vivid red.  The pendant design includes cinnamon diamonds.

A brilliant striped opal in a silver design that reflects it's inner patterns.

An astronomical with a Mexican opal as the planet and a cinnamon opal as its rotating body.  The opal matrix is brownish with a vivid center.

A fossilized coral that is black with leaf like golden patters in a silver coral setting with hematite with pyrite lodged in the coral.

A 19th century Venetian glass cabochon designed with a rose tourmaline and a pearl.   I've also had the antique Venetian glass cabuchon for a long time before designing for it.

A vivid orange and green Volga river chalcapyrite designed in black silver

A lace patterned lapis and azurite in a silver lace design.

And more.   I've really been working hard.

Finally Back Again And Writing
After Norwescon I spent a few days in Seattle seeing friends and as I said, loving their spring. 

When I came home I _too_ instantly got intensely busy doing the very delicate final work on some waxes I'd been working on for a long time.  And doing the metal work for folks from Norwescon  (ring sizings, chains etc.).  The waxes are done and in silver. Most of the Norwescon work is either out or should be out in the mail this coming week.  I feel like I'm only now coming up for air and writing here again.

New works include a  large brilliant patterned ammonite that I've set as the base of a leafless tree that reflects the pattern in the stone.  The branches have orange sapphire fruit.  I made a woven setting for a stunning black jade with magnesium flowers, different then any black jade I've seen before.

And I've cast two designs for opals.  One is is a textured ribbon setting with three blue opals, the other is a brilliant oval opal set in very asymmetrical lace.  All of the work is in silver. 

I'm still in the process of stone setting. There will be photos, but not until the folks who commissioned them see the jewelry.

I just finished the waxes for five new rings for Wiscon. It's hard to believe I'll be leaving in two and a half weeks.  The stones are golden quartz, a lapis shot with gold, a Peruvian opal, a pearl, and an orange cats eye sunstone.

I'm really happy that Debbie Notkin is a guest of honor at Wiscon.  I've just started getting together a group of photographs of her from Women En Large that will be in the Art Show.  I wanted to do something special for her.

Mood:Coming Up For Air

I've been polishing work for Boston.  Among other things, I may have a collection of black ravens.

This is Beth Zipser's dragonfly pendant, the one that I was writing about. It took a lot of time and thought.  The pendant is black silver and yellow gold, the main stone is an exceptionally beautiful peridot that I found for her and the dragonfly's  head is a black diamond.   The design influence is art nouveau and looking at lots of very different dragon flies.

This is a photo I'm happy with.  Going back to work now.

Mood:Just back from yoga

It's Late
I've been so focused on carving waxes that I didn't realize that I hadn't posted in over a week.

I still have some major designs to do but I'm at  a pause as of tonight.  I'll be working in metal (except for the gold which is still in process) and setting stones etc. for awhile.  and I'll be spruing waxes but not carving right now.

I finished a river otter in wax that is a very precise and delicate carving with just a touch of anatomical incorrectness to make the animal really flow in bas-relief.

By the end of next week lots of work that I've polished will be set and there will be photos. Including the black silver coral reef  and the black lace work piece with a brilliant Ethiopian opal.

Some of the designs I've been working on for Boskone have a rough lace design that is a very different development out of the earlier lace pendants.    I've been working on an opaque amethyst with internal lace like patterns.

And I'm tired but I wanted to post tonight.

Mood:  Done

Light and Stones
I've set abut half of the rings for World Fantasy.  They include a jade with a stream of rock crystal running through it, a vivid chrysocolla with a flare of carnelian, a lapis, and deco spinels.

And I've finished a pearl pendant with an elongated deep nacre white pearl, and a nebula-like pendant with a deep red tourmaline.

I'm taking some time off (mostly here), so I'm working on getting more things done earlier then I would otherwise.

I've also been working on a pendant for my friend Diane's glasses that requires serious technical delicacy as well as design.

And I've had a revelatory experiencing  about light.  I redid my lighting recently (much needed) and was figuring out what kinds of fluorescents to use.  I still work in incandescent light so this was for everything else. 

The shades on the new lamps are Japanese influenced paper rectangles tinted slightly yellow.  I wanted a white light that would be slightly softened by the color of the shades.  Available to me are three kinds of white bulbs (6500 kelvins, 3500 kelvins and 2500 kelvins).  The number indicates how "cold" the light is among other things.  I thought I wanted a daylight bulb but it turned out to be very "cold" (6500).  I ended up with the 3500 kelvin bulb, warm enough with the shades.

I've always thought of daylight as "warm", so I went outside and looked at the light in shade.  It was indeed very cold.  Sunlight is warm and clearly that has been my sense of daylight.  Since I became aware of this, when I am consciously focussed on them, the colors of the shade world  look very different to me then they did previously.  I suspect the importance of this is my heightened sensibility to light and I think it's going to affect my work in the long term.

Cats and Ammonites
I've been working today on rings, mostly a couple of tourmalines in brilliant blues and a deep blue lapis with deep gold flecks.

This is the ammonite fossil pendant that I wrote about when I was making it.

I'm working on the ammonite commission I talked about earlier. The top of the shell is fossilized as it looked 100 million years ago...quite amazing.  It's a rainbow tinted coil.  The back is attractively brown calcified fossil.  The ammonite itself will be dark silver with an emerald eye holding a vivid Ethiopian opal. It looks great in purple carving wax.  It's fairly realistic, but the ends of the tentacle have a balanced harmony of coil that changes it to a simultaneously more stylized design.

It's in the collection of Pierce and David Ludke.

Length of the pendant was approximatley 3.5 inches.  I"m still jazzed about wokring with a 100 million year old fossil.

And on a completely different note, I don't usually take photos of my cat but she arranged herself in such an aesthtic way that this snapshot was irresistible.   I'm going back to my bench now to carve rings.

Hello I Must Be Staying
I'm back from an excellent Worldcon. Saw lots of people I care about, some from far parts of the world.  Heard lovely things from folks who have my work. Got some marvelous comissions and generally had a good time.

The drive over the mountains was breathtaking.  I had forgotten quite how beautiful the Sierras are.  I hung out the window a lot.  And obviously I didn't fly.  It was very relaxing.  And now except for World Fantasy at the end of October, I'll be home til mid February.  And since I'm driving to World Fantasy in San Diego, more beautiful scenery and no airplanes.  It's not that I don't love to fly, it's all of the TSA complications that make it less than fun. (As I have undoubtedly often said before.)

Anyway.  Here is a photo of a comission for Marsha Jones that I brought to her at Worldcon.  It's a plume agate with marcasite (the green-gold tree-like streaks).  The design is heavily influenced by antique chinese carved jade boulders.

Here's a photo of the pendant. (Actual size is about 2.5") Small stones are cinnamon diamonds and faceted marcasites.

You are viewing laurieopal