Saturday, October 22, 2011

On a Personal Note...

Tarabino Inn, Trinidad, Colorado
One of our favorite places on this planet is Trinidad, Colorado, just as the leaves of autumn begin to show on the mountain slopes. In this historical mining town, we gather each year with three other couples that we knew in the springtime of our lives. Before we went our separate ways we all lived in Wiley, Colorado, a sleepy little village of 400 or so farmers, ranchers, and migrant workers (that would be US, as we have all long since moved on to other climes and endeavors.)
     Our reunions have moved well beyond the endless reminiscing about the past. We are not any kind of sequel to “The Big Chill” or “The Four Seasons.” Instead, we savor the moment, and the earthy, lush, piedmont of Trinidad. We simply enjoy one another as we spend a weekend yard saleing, antiqueing, and boutiqueing. Or sampling the home made breads, goat cheeses, and locally grown produce at the farmer’s market.
     The consensus of our group is that Rino’s Italian Restaurant, located in a magnificent old Methodist Church, is Colorado’s only 5 ½ star restaurant. The half star is awarded to the owner, Frank Cordoba, for the live musical entertainment ranging from Elvis to Italian arias. (Reservations highly recommended.)
     We plan ahead each year and select interesting accommodations, which have ranged from a former bordello above Blackjack’s saloon, to the historic Tarabino House, now a bed and breakfast. The three story mansion, built by Italian immigrants cum retail magnates, lends its own story of elegant fragility as we renew relationships that would tarnish if neglected.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Music of Metals...

Enameled Copper Breastplate by OxOriginalArtJewelry

Every material I have ever worked with seems to have its own way of expressing its inner beauty, much the same way every individual on earth has inner beauty waiting to be discovered. Or the way sounds can be transformed into music, with patience and experimentation.

As I became more familiar with pure copper in my jewelry work, shining it to reveal its inner brilliance, treating or aging it in solutions, heating with a torch or firing it in the kiln, I began to listen to its music. Each piece reveals itself in a rainbow of color as it oxidates and self-patinates throughout the jewelry making process.

So I decided to allow one piece to sing its own melody entirely with its own voice. For this experiment I created a specimen in the shape of a breastplate, or bib, with lots of open surface, devoid of texture or embellishment, to allow the copper ample space for self-expression. I shined it to its natural glossy state, then applied a coat of protective transparent vitreous enamel to the edge, like a frame, and fired it to seal and preserve that edge. The results were stunning: the copper actually glowed beneath its protective glass blanket.

Each time I fired with subsequent coatings of transparent enamel, the unprotected areas oxidized, aged, and revealed their own patterns and characteristics. It painted itself. It expressed itself. It found its own voice, created its own music.

How often do we forget to listen for the harmony in the materials we work with?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jewelry Giveaway

Aquariann, who blogs at "Art and Tree Chatter of Aquariann", is a talented colored-pencil artist who creates bookmarks, buttons, magnets and prints in fantasy motifs.  Her Etsy shop is full of unicorns, pirates, mermaids and fanciful winged creatures.  She posts beautiful photographs for Wordless Wednesdays and informative articles about subjects covering both art and the business of art. Aquariann also features great giveaways to promote the work of others that she lists in her extensive file of favorites.

Today aquariann is hosting a giveaway of a pair of my enameled leaf earrings!  If you'd like a chance to win, go to her blog (link below), look around and follow instructions.

Ox Original Art Jewelry Handmade Giveaway
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