Avant Garde Photo Shoot

In my experience, a true artist is one that is not only a master of his or her craft but also someone who has a grand vision, the ability to encompass a complete story and incorporate it in a relevant way into their finished product. (Yes, I went to art school- can't you tell!?)

I was asked to participate in a photo shoot (independent of Luscious Metals) and had the total pleasure of working with 3 such artists a few weeks ago and I was really impressed. These women knew what they were doing and the end results are lovely.

Sally Walker of Alchemy Mineral Blends is part fine artist part make artist- and pure entertainment. She has some of the most amusing stories you'll ever hear and the best part is that they're all true.


Jamie Radford of Twig Salon and Spa put ten million tangles in my hair and I'd let her do it again anytime!


When she was finished painting me (it took over 2 hours), Sally told me not to smile or laugh because it was going to mess up the make up but as soon as I showed up to the shoot and met Beth Sanders, not smiling proved to be next to impossible. Not only a phenomenal photographer, she's hysterical.

We worked with a bunch of different costumes and backgrounds, and shot both indoors and out. These are just a few of the finished shots. I mostly wanted to highlight the artists themselves. I also need to thank my loyal assistant Ms. Bethy-Boo Walker for helping me out with the details (procuring chai with a straw, taking prep photos, arriving with rice crackers just in the nick of time- couldn't live with out you Babe...) The production as a whole was a blast~ Thanks for the opportunity ladies!

My assistant

So I have this assistant and to be perfectly honest, she's not much help. At all.


She messes with my tools and drops gemstones on the floor and inevitably ends up hurting herself. Every time I try and fire her though, she cries.

On the flip side, she IS really cute and she DOES make me laugh and she will ALWAYS dance with me when a good song comes on Pandora. So. I guess I'll keep her on for a while longer...

Happy Mothers Day!

Mothers Day 2010

So you want to know what to get her for Mothers Day? Jewelry. I mean, of course were going to say that but seriously...it's the way to go. Custom jewels inscribed with the names of your kids is a win win. Can't go wrong. May we recommend:
Our ever popular Sweetheart Necklace?


Or Perhaps a charm to add to her current Sweetheart necklace?


Perhaps one of our special designs, made especially for Mothers Day
(and on sale too for only $60) The Simple Slice, available exclusively in our Etsy shop.

As a matter of fact- we're giving away one of these lovely little Simple Slice necklaces on Mothers Day! Simple become a "follower" of our blog (see that button over to the right? Click it) and you'll be entered to win. Easy. (current followers will also be entered)

We also want to thank Melissa Chapman for a great write up on lovingyou.com- thanks Melissa!

Spring Fling

We got into the Spring Fling campaign at Wickedly Chic~ How exciting!

There are so many beautiful handmade goods also presenting in the gift guide so be sure to check it out. Some of my favorites include:

Flying Needle Gallery

and Samara Botane Aromatic Apothecary

I would also like to thank Dee at Cocktails with Mom blog for the Luscious Metals mention!

Sunday Afternoon Bike Ride

I took these today on a bike ride. They are the kinds of images that you would find stunning(technicolor included)if you borrowed my brain for a day. Of course if you borrowed my brain, you'd have all the visual pleasure but you'd have to endure the millions of boring details floating around in there too-- like knowing that the floor wasn't going to mop itself, yet still avoiding it or wondering how 2 remote controls have managed to disappear for 2 months...seriously. Gone. Never to be seen or heard from again.

This is my bike. Her name is Bamboo. I've missed spending quality time with her all winter.

The Virgin fascinates me. And I'm not even Catholic.

The winters are way too cold here and when it gets going, the wind will whip all the good will straight out of your heart but otherwise...I love it here. I mean- this is our view.

Hmmm let's see. I feel about birds of prey, the way Narcissus felt about his reflection. I could stare at them all day.

Finally

Follow lusciousmetals on Twitter

I finally gave in and joined twitter. Kicking and screaming mind you. Luscious is now all a-twitter. At this point we look like the unpopular kid at school with so few followers, so please, Follow us here (or above) in the interest of helping us look cool.

In perusing the site I found something cool that I wanted to share. One of my dearest girlfriends, Shannon Sunderland of Hot Mama Designs fame is also twittering. Tweeting? Whatever. Anyway, when I became her follower lookie here at what I found- Awww. So sweet. That's a picture of yous truly with sweet Evabella. I love that picture. And I love you Shannon.

Meet the Pickle

Welcome to the third installment of our Meet the Studio Series. This is our "bench". It looks like utter chaos but believe it or not-, I know where everything is (sort of). Right behind the soldering block, you can see our "pickle pot". We use a very high tech and expensive piece of equipment to clean our metal post-fire. It's called a crock pot. This particular crock pot was purchased at a thrift store about 7 years ago for about $5. It's had a hard life boiling acid (well technically, you aren't supposed to boil the acid but sometimes I get distracted...) Anyway, it's not pretty but our little pickle pot has done a good job for us all these years and we love it.

When we put a flame to metal it causes a chemical reaction called oxidation. Oxidation causes a skin on the metal that we refer to as "fire scale".

By soaking the metal in heated acid, we remove a good bit of the fire scale. We need the fire scale gone for two reasons- we need the metal clean in order to solder again and we also need it clean so that we can polish it and get the lovely finish that one expects from a lovely piece of jewelry.

After the metal soaks in the pickle for 15 minutes or so, we neutralize it by dipping it in a baking soda solution.

The very first teacher I had for metal smithing never told me about acid neutralization, so for the first year of working with metal I kept getting tiny holes in my pants from dripping acid on them! That's one of the interesting things about this craft, there are a million different ways to do one thing and the technique you are taught sometimes makes the difference between easy or difficult mastery of said technique.

TV Time

A few months ago, Sari Padorr, a freelance writer from The Denver Post featured my work in the Saturday Section of the Post, in an article about Colorado metal artists. Well Sari came through for me again and connected me with the producers of The Everyday Show on Fox 31 News in Denver. I was interviewed by Libby Weaver on a segment with 2 other local women to talk about Valentine Jewelry. It was a total blast! Watch the segment here.

It was very cool to be behind the scenes, see the sets, the camera people, watch how they cut for breaks and count down to live air time. The producers were so friendly and Libby Weaver and Natalie Tysdal, the anchors we spoke to, were so sparkly and approachable- and pretty- wow!

I presented both Natalie and Libby, as well as the producers of the show (and Sari too- thanks again Sari!) with their very own Sweetheart Necklace (with charms from the new line) inscribed with the names of their kiddos and they were all so pleased. Look for them being worn on air- both said they would. And they loved their pieces!

Luscious Photo Shoot


Erin, Natha and Bree

Our new website is about ready to be launched and we are really excited! New collections, expanded Sweetheart line, new photos and more. We're looking at early March most likely. In the meantime I wanted to post a few of my favorite shots from the photo shoot we did recently with Julia Vandenoever.

Bree in the ever popular cherry Necklace

Julia is an amazing photographer and was so fun to work with! Sally Walker of Alchemy did the makeup and the models were Bree O. and Erin M. Gorgeous ladies if I do say so myself, I'm really pleased with the shots and the jewelry looks great too which really, is the main point right?

Erin in earrings from the Sewn collection (available in March)

Intention Ring

Every once in a while, I actually create jewelry for myself, and here is my newest piece, the Intention Ring. I originally heard of this concept on Oprah where she spoke about something called wish boards (or dream, spirit or intention boards). I then took a workshop with one of my mentors Gretchen Reid of Motherhood Transitions and we actually made our own boards. We cut out pictures and words that resonated with us and our goals. I thought I could easily translate that same idea into a ring with the theme being centered around the year 2010 and the qualities I wished to manifest for myself in this new year and new decade. I used quartz crystal because this particular gem just grabbed me at the gem show and also because of the intense energetic qualities quartz crystal brings to it's wearer. It is the stone of "clarity" and that is the word I inscribed in the center, looking through the facets of the stone causes the word to diffract in a most lovely and poignant way.

I used a sparkling faceted chunk of quartz, set in sterling with words such as "trust" and "mystery" inscribed on the band and bezel, and added 14k gold accents, partly for color and partly because gold metal in and of itself has so much value and longevity. All in all, I am thrilled with how it came out and I really haven't taken it off since. Please contact me if you have a vision for your very own 2010 intention ring, I would love to do custom orders on this one.

Holiday show announcement


I am only doing one show this holiday season because I'm just too busy to commit to any more (this is a good thing) but this one promises to be a lovely show all around. It's put on by Boulder Open Studios and 29th St.Mall. It has been organized in part by superwoman Kristin Fitzgerrell, whom I want to be more like when I grow up. It's a juried show and will include 40 really amazing local artists. Clothing, photography, jewelry, paintings, mixed media and more.

When: First 2 weekends in December (4-5-6 and 11-12-13)
Time :Fridays and Saturdays 10am to 9pm and Sundays 11am to 6pm
Where: 29th St. Shopping District, in the NAU store front (just east of Peet's coffee)

hope to see yo there!

New Collections sneak peek

Okay so I usually release new collections in the spring but because of the general studio craziness that we've had this year (thanks to the Sweetheart Necklace) the new pieces never got released. I have a ton of new stuff though and I hired a new photographer, Stacy Ziegler who's work I LOVE LOVE LOVE. So here is a sneak peek at the new photography style and a few of the pieces that will be online for purchase very soon. I promise...

"Sewn Jewel Earrings"

Silver and Golden Butterflies

Fairy Rings

Meet the Roller Mill


As part of a new series of blog posts, I want to introduce you to some of the equipment that I use in creation of my pieces. This is the Roller Mill. It is by far the most expensive piece of equipment I have and it's also one that I use in almost all of my pieces. I use it to create texture in relief. Using incredible pressure, the two steel rollers can press texture right into metal.

One of my favorite ways to use it is to make copper plates (shown above) and roll them through with a piece of sterling,which makes a lovely reverse imprint. I also use the mill to create a leathery texture on silver and copper by rolling the metal through with tissue paper.

I rolled a copper plate through with this piece of vintage lace (above) to show you how easy it is to emboss (another name for what the roller mill does)

Here is the finished imprint on the copper, can you see the flower? I am also including a ring that I did that has tiny shooting stars embossed (using a copper plate stamped with stars) in the concave part of the ring, along with little diamonds.

Vain


In my next life I want to be a rocker chick covered in tattoos which is exactly how the sexy women who work at Vain Salon in Denver rock it. Vain is a great salon but they are also a "unique mix of hair, culture and art" showcasing collections from some really amazing artists. Once a month they throw an extravaganza/ art opening to celebrate each new artist.

We brought one of my favorite collections to Vain in Denver last week. The collection came to fruition after meeting with owner Tina Mckeever, who told me that she liked the Hearts and Wings and Flames Oh My! collection and wanted me to create one along those lines, lots of flames and daggers and maybe a pistol. So...Viola! Ask and you shall receive right? Tina inspired me to make some of my favorite pieces to date.

This is beautiful Sally Walker, who has a mineral makeup line, Alchemy Mineral Blends that she and her partner Breanna Ortola sell through Vain.

Daggers, pistols, flaming heart wings set with scarlet pearls, flush set tourmaline and zircon. Inscriptions reading "Devotion", "Ridin Dirty" and "Forever". An 8 sided star set with a fuchsia vintage rivoli crystal, a juicy silver cherry and many more pieces...Sigh... who could ask for anything more in a collection really?