What Are the Prices?

I want each piece that I make to be viewed in the context of a well crafted object of art.   Picasso famously remarked that a work of art is not complete until it is purchased.   I though it would be helpful if I offered prices with some of the pieces that I have been developing, since last May, for the Bayou City Art Festival

$128

$128

40mm Austrian Crystal ball will throw hundreds of rainbows. 40 mm is about the size of a cue ball.

$28 with tapered scroll.  

$28 with tapered scroll.  

Clean crystal and window with Windex or Glass Plus for best results.  I snapped this 20mm octagon on account of the next two images.

Rainbow pattern here is 4 inches across

Rainbow pattern here is 4 inches across

Please forgive rudimentary techniques employed in painting of bio-engineered Agave Parking Lot Illuminator

Please forgive rudimentary techniques employed in painting of bio-engineered Agave Parking Lot Illuminator

A Single 20mm octagon, smaller than a nickel, larger than a dime, makes all these rainbows.  This is important to understand when looking at mobiles displayed elsewhere.

$28 Moon Lander

$28 Moon Lander

This is one of a collection of three variations priced in the $24-$28 range.  The 16mm octagon will throw rainbows about 8-10 feet.  We saw the 20mm octagon in action above.  The ball throwns hundreds of rainbows.

$24 16mm Arora Borealis Crystals

$24 16mm Arora Borealis Crystals

I do not just favor the Aurora Borealis glaze on the crystals because I grew up on Aurora Street in the Sunset Heights addition of Houston.

$24-$28

$24-$28

On the right day, either piece is utterly dazzling, the bigger the crystal, the bigger the rainbow.  The mobile on the right, $28, has the 20mm octagon featured in the rainbow samples above.  

$95 with Sterling Chain

$95 with Sterling Chain

I pulled one of these stunning cut amethyst specimens from my collection for the Bayou City Arts Fair. .   

$95

$95

The interior is flame painted.  The exterior is hand polished, showing two aspects of the bronze.  

Bronze reflects interior chasing

Bronze reflects interior chasing

As I have mentioned in another blog entry,  if a bowl is all you are interested in--and I understand this--they can be had from Goodwill for as little a $3.  The $95 price tag does not reflect the full cost of this piece. I have always wanted to make vessels.  The only way to do it is to do it.  It takes about 100 to achieve the level to which I aim.  In the meantime, this one is signed and cool and someone may appreciate it.  I gave one to a family member who would appreciate it last year

$98 with Sterling Chain

$98 with Sterling Chain

Chased Argentium Silver on Copper.  Half the things I made in August look like hurricanes.  Why?

$48 with chain

$48 with chain

Copper, trying out new chasing tools

$48

$48

Herkimer diamond is a quartz found almost exclusively in a single vein in Herkimer New York.  This one is wrapped in Argentium Silver.

$65 - Argentium

$65 - Argentium

I have a lot of spiral-themed work.

$125

$125

Chase and Repoussé.  40mm Aurora Borealis Crystal will throw rainbows 50 feet from the window,  makes big rainbows.

$98

$98

This is ruby glass under a chased copper pendant, on a 14kt gold filled chain.

 

$65 on chain

$65 on chain

Chase and repousse, Argentium-copper-argentium on sterling chain, a cubist work. 

$158

$158

Hammer forged leaves, alcohol ink color, 40mm Octagon

$65 with chain

$65 with chain

A free-hand chased scenarios, a bit like plain air painting, a bit abstract expressionism.

$65 - Rubelite Tourmaline wrapped in Argentium

$65 - Rubelite Tourmaline wrapped in Argentium

This is a rare and valuable stone, priced with chain. 

Bronze Rose Bowl

A show director asks me, do those things sell?

Bottom of Bronze Bowl

Bottom of Bronze Bowl

I had just explained, when Im in the studio and I need a Bowl, I just hammer one out of flat sheet metal  

Flame Patina Interior

Flame Patina Interior

I find vessels handy to put stuff in. When it comes time to pack up for the show, I pick up all bowls and bring them along

Rose  

Rose  

This particular vessel has a rose chased into the bottom using a recently acquired set of tools. I make bowls because I make bowls.   I don’t mean to be tautological.  The object is the end in itself. I find it convenient to use them as vessels for small stuff.

Copper  

Copper  

Sometimes I’m really in a hurry.  The bronze loops pictured above are connectors for my mobiles. I punched the vessel out then threw the o-rings in there to keep them handy. I will keep working on the vessel until it’s ‘finished.’  It’s finished when someone buys it.  

Martini - Not A Bowl - a celebration when someone buys one. 

Martini - Not A Bowl - a celebration when someone buys one. 

I have been making and selling vessels for years.  Sometimes they take years to complete.  

The Coloration Station

The Coloration Station

Currently I have one at the coloring station that has been on and off the display for two years. it will be ready in two weeks for the Bayou City Art Festival in Downtown Houston.  

Bowl of Menudo from Joe’s Bakery in Austin, Texas.  

Bowl of Menudo from Joe’s Bakery in Austin, Texas.  

My vessels are currently priced anywhere from $45 to $215.  I used to use little salt bowls for stuff. You can get a large bowl of stainless steel at HEB for about $6.  These are good for popcorn.  The vessels which I make are better for diamonds, hearing aid batteries or caugh drops. I find them useful for storing coins. Coins add up.  Get one of my bowls, fill it up with coins three times and it will have paid for itself. 

Random Report

Some things come in dreams: 

The bronze was raised and then chased into shape with metal stakes

Apparently channeling hurricanes in August, this piece was completed after Hurricane Harvey flooded my home town of Houston  

Chased Argentium Silver and Bronze

We did a show in Houston, the First Saturday Arts Market, two weeks after the hurricane resulted in sales 21% above average for September at that show. 

Our Houston intern, Zeinab, photographs the table top layout so she will know how it's supposed to go

I was strolling through the show and happened upon the display of painter, Janice Jackson. She favors dock side, sailing themes among others. But there hanging on her wall was a painting that included a representation of my booth. AWESOME!  She wasn't trying to sell it to me, she just found it appealing as a subject,  like a sailboat or a pelican. THe German shepherd often appears in her workAWESOME!  Of course I had to have it. 

I made an alter for it with a stirred martini and one of my bowls. 

Finally, my current project is a hand made chain using Argentium Sterling for its property of fusing together without solder. What I am attempting is to perfect the construction of complex pieces with a propane torch rather than a standard jewelers torch.  

Scroll work.  I will show this when its clean and complete at the Bayou City Arts Fair

Atmospheric Perturbance

From the Post-Apacolyptic Primitive Collection- A Perturbance

Tropical Perturbance in Argentium

Tropical Perturbance in Argentium

When working this series I let the chasing stakes, or chisels cut their own path guided by my presence, of course, since they were in my hand.  I was thinking maelstrom and Spiral Nebulae. By the time this piece was being pierced (sawn) and polished Hurricane Harvey was dumping on Houston.  The whole collection was made to be introduced at the Bayou City Arts Festival at the Houston City Hall.  I supposed I was channeling that storm.

Weekend Design Summary

A flood of activity in designing for a major National Show. The show I am preparing is the Bayou City Arts Festival. I use the word "flood" because I am quite anxious about my friends and the community in  Houston.  

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Winged Transporter, number 1 of a series began on Friday night as the storm was approaching shore.

 

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Post Apocalyptic Primitive design, in the listening of the eye of the storm, caught in a vortex below Interstate 10, in the heart of Stephen F. Austin's country.

 

Assorted Parts  

Assorted Parts

 

I've been working on the copper fold-form collection for several weeks

Random Array of Copper fold/form, chisel textured componants

Random Array of Copper fold/form, chisel textured componants

Argentium Collection 

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These pieces are coming along,  They originated in a single 6x6 piece of Argentium silver

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This one pulled off the display so as to upgrade the bail.  

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Fold form completed on Sunday  

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And finally. Wing 02, the Wing of Hope, will have a bright crystal designed to produce rainbows for my friends in Houston.  The next step is to file the edges, making them smooth.

 

Anvil Shine Time

The brighter the shine on the anvils, hammers and stakes, the brighter the jewelry made.  

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After 40 minutes with 80 grit paper, a lot of the nicks are polished out.  

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Rainbow Studies

Lots of morning rainbows 

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from a single 28mm Octagon 

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the above design, by the way, is the Paseo Del Rio, named after the San Antonio Riverwalk where the breeze makes constant ripples on the surface of the water 

Little Scenes

I wrote an article earlier about preparing a copper plate to be cut down for jewelry pieces.  Here I have done the same in Argentium Silver,

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I combined the fold form technique with free-form chasing using Aquafresca chisels.

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I build a nmuber of scenarios wihtin the folds

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Cut them out

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Hee is one that I like. Inspired by this one I will attempt more little landscapes in the future.

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I backed two of the triangles wiht copper to make earings

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Assembled, I noticed in the picture a few days later that I have made a design decision whgich I wangsd to corect.

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Here are pieces mainly from the copper collection

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The little scenario got a contrasting copper frame with a silver backing.

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Polishing Tools at Creative Side Academ

We start with and 80lb (per foot) railroad anvil.

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It's in pretty bad shape

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After 12 minutes of sanding with an 80 grit belt sander, we have begun to make some progress. 

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Here is the rig

 

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The first course is complete

 

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Use aluminum oxide sand paper.  We couldn't find the palm sander for the 320 and 600 grit courses, so I will finish this another day. This is as good as the day it arrived by the way. 

The next course will be my ball peen hammer. This is the first tool of the metal smith.  

 

 

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I use this hammer daily.  

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Two Nights Before the Show

2017 White Linen Night in the Heights

Fold forms, chasing and repousse are processes represented in the pieces which I have prepared recently for the 13th annual White Linen Night in the Heights.

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The red rubellite tourmaline is wrapped in square sterling wire which I have hammered into a round shape giving the metal a ruggedness tocompliment the ruggedness of the natural, raw crystal.  I filed the tip to a tapered point lending fluidity to the design.

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I originally introduced this piece in Juneat the Discovery Green after taking a masters class in the technique of chasing and repousee with Fabrizio Aquafresqua.

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I picked up this shell n the beach on Padre Isle

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This is the very best rose I've ever made.  Its signed.

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Sterling silver wood-grained cuff bracelet for men or for womenn.  I wear them, myself.

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I set the display of 25 pieces up in my studio and leave it up for three weeks before an event like the White Linen Night so that I can tweak it to perfection by building new pieces which will stand out.

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Building a Fall Collection

I'm playing with fold-forming techniques invented by Brian Lewton-Brain, who coincidentally is in Austin this week to give a 30 hour masters Clsss at the Creative Side Academy. 

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The strategy is to prepare a pallet  in copper and one in Silver to cut into smaller pieces to fashion into the Fall Post-Apocalyptic Primitative 'collection.'

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Flip it over and outline the forms.  

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I cut out the enscribed pieces and there was plenty of left over copper.  So I fashioned it into pieces. There are 15. 

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Design is  beginning to take place by riffing on the pieces.   Some readers will recognize this as a jazz idiom. To riff is to explore freely upon a theme. This series is guided by a little known piano player from the 59's and 60's named Elmo Hope.  If I may say, a little Elmo Hope sauce is needed right now, not only in this design, but in the wider world as well. 

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Process shown in Silver  

Making Chains

I'm at a place where I have acquired the tools and the space to spend more time on individual pieces.  The commercial flat link sterling chain is perfect for the sparkly $28 Swarovski pendant of a nice little pink tourmaline in a silver swirl wire wrap, but it does not support a large chased copper piece that has taken me several days--not working on it constantly of course--to complete.     Increasingly I have a need for handmade chains to go with the pieces. 

Argentium Silver jump rings

Argentium Silver jump rings

Today I am experimenting with fusing Argentium silver.  One of its properties is that it can be heated to a point where the molecules will flow and mingle together and fuse.

Black swirls on tile are relics of a project from earlier this week.

Black swirls on tile are relics of a project from earlier this week.

I studied wire weaving and chain-making for 10 weeks at the Southwest School for Arts in San Antonio some years back.  I have put very little of that training to use. It is probablygood thing that making chains can be addictive.  They do take time and effort.

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The Hoops I have to go through to produce a fine chain include producing a not-fine chain and being fine with that.  Actually, when this one is finished it will look pretty good.  The trick is to not become discouraged.  Things happen. Like that big pile of jump rings made of costly silver depicted in the first picture, above, they do not fit together snugly.  I likely will have to set these aside and start over entirely.

The Practice: Discovery Green Flea By Night

The very first posts of this blog were philosophical in nature.  More recently the entries have focused on nuts and bolts of the day-to-day practice of being a metal artist in the 21st Century.  First of all, there is a subculture of individuals who think process shots are fun. They like looking at videos of art being made as well as gigantic anchor chains being forged in a factory.   It satisfies a certain curiosity.

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Discovery Green by Day.  

I have packed my van and I'm all ready to go to Houston for the July 17, 2017 Discovery Green Flea By Night, with a few minutes to spare.  I want to pause for a moment to meditate on a civilizational shift in  consciousness that happened about 500 years ago.  It did not happen at once.   It did not occur for all people at the same time.  It was a shift from a priori reasoning to empirical reasoning.  I'm not going to belabor this point at the moment, but the blog and my work are a reflection of that shift.

The Fab 40 returns to Discovery Green to perform The Beatles’ recording of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50 years after its earthshaking premiere launched the Summer of Love. Compucycle will be onsite from 11am-3pm. The first 100 people who bring electronics to recycle with be given access to a VIP seating area. Limit one wristband per person. 

Oops! Here I am philosophizing and its time to leave.

 

Learning to Use New Tools

I got a set of Aquafresca Chasing and Repousee tools. Now I'm practicing. Here is a progress report  

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This is the Repousee or 'repositioned' piece. It was hammered from the back.  

 

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This is after the first 'course' of chasing   My question now, is whether to flip it over and push the stem up deeper into the flower. It is possible. 

JURY IMAGES

There are a lot of Studio Jewelers with a lot of training, experience and good ideas.  I get excited when I see other people's work and enjoy sharing their pictures.  This month i have been working on creating pictures for the jurying process of a National Show held in Houston.  Show applications can never be taken for granted.

2017 Jefferson Woodruff Display

This shot took 18 hours, over two days.  I had to set it all up and take it all down twice.  It had to happen on days with nice weather which I was not at a show and the weather was nice,  Then I had to wait for the right light.

Bronze Scallop, Handmade Bronze Curb Chain

The scallop was produced by first using different sized punches to raise the outline and contour.  Then the piece was flipped over and the details chased in using various chisels and a hammer.  I took a 36 hour wire weaving class at the Southwest School for Art in SanAntonio.  Now I have work which is enhanced by the hand-made chain.

Copper Rosette Earrings

The rosettes were forms through the use of chisels and hammer, with Swarovski crystal as a focal point.

Moon Lander, 18"x16" with pleaded crystal countervailing weights.  Bronze and copper cross beams are forged using an assortment of different hammers to achieve the shape

What I'm Working On

The big project all this month is to create a lot of the images that will be used to jury into fall shows.  

First, this little lady, Nora Bea came to visit. My granddaughter.  

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I put everything down when she visits from California. 

 

Now she has gone and I am pulling together a few pieces  

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I worked on this bowl for about 3 months. I think  it's done.  

This us a vessel I started last week. I had a way to go before it's ready for the jury.  

This us a vessel I started last week. I had a way to go before it's ready for the jury.  

A mobile -- these are hard to capture  because they move around.  

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 Working on a new earring design  

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Based on a cool mobile design  

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My customer' s chain is still waiting for a clasp, something that takes all of 2 minutes to makes   

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As a quick update- the above chain is complete and shipped.