26 June 2011

pattern recognition

Much of my work is based on the repetition of form - my stitched coins, stacks of discs, cairns, pickets.  Which is only natural as it's a long held obsession of mine - collecting objects, both natural and man made, that embrace my passion for repetition.  I've been thinking about this for awhile and thought I'd take a short break from my Etsy work and share some of my collection and thoughts.

It seems so much of my collection is in the form of shells.  
I love that there is great precision in patterns placed by the creator.

Exquisite perfection ...

But equally compelling are the random more chaotic patterns created in the decay ...

Within the precise creation pattern exists the chaotic decaying pattern ...

And of course we humans are ever driven to emulate nature's perfection and chaos ...

Here, I've laid down relatively precise dots of pmc slip on a thin black clay slab.  The metal clay is over fired and starts to curl into mercury like balls of fine silver ... the section with the broad brush strokes has reverted back to it's preferred pattern of chaos.

Chaos leads to form to repetition to pattern recognition to decay and back to chaos ... perfection.

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  paper and fiber artwork by Lynne
p.p.s.  one of my favorite books is all about repetition of pattern - the Elements of Design

24 June 2011

oooohhhh .... ahhhhhh ..... pretties

In the midst of everything that I've been supposed to be doing and actually have been doing ... wholesale orders are out the door, but the scary pile of debit receipts and the checkbook balancing and housecleaning will have to wait for another day or so... I managed to squeeze in some extracurricular projects.  I mean, I was in production mode and I did have to fire the kiln several times, so why not throw in a few fun things.

Like reworking some pieces for Etsy.  I added the l i g a blessing to the Starry Night Cross, really just needed it, I changed the green garnet in one piece from that same post to a lovely translucent green amethyst, I've made several of the listed components into finished pieces, just had to do it and put together a few more pieces with components that I've had for a while and I finished this absolutely gorgeous piece.  I really really love this necklace.  It's 36" long and uses four lengths of tiny rolo chain with green amethyst and moss aquamarine.

The Sea Goddess necklace .........

Here's a closeup of the silver shell pieces - these are sterling silver pmc and very thin ....

I'll be listing and re-listing a bunch of stuff and updating Etsy this weekend.  Here's a preview ....

And then for something completely different ... I had some pieces of beach glass that I had drilled ages ago.  They've been sitting in one of my bowls of rocks and glass and I just had to make pendants out of them.
The really great thing is plain old white glass like this .......

...... gets fumed by the silver and changes color - like this ..........

After tumbling and oxidizing, they are absolutely transformed ........

More often than not, you have no idea what the source glass is, so it's always a surprise as to how the glass will change color.  This batch was especially exciting - I got two pieces that turned kind of a peach color.  White has always gone amber, so the peachy color was a nifty surprise.  Amazing, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone else doing this - pmc wrapped beach glass - can't imagine why.  The finished pieces are just so bloody cool!

Okay, time to get dinner on the table ... taco Friday with anasazi beans that have been cooking all afternoon!  yummmm!

l i g a - kvk

23 June 2011

last week at Artisans on Taylor

Just a quick reminder ... If anyone happens to be in Port Townsend, WA before June 30th, sashay into Artisans on Taylor and snag some KVK jewels before they head back east and make good use of our "Au revoir PT" 20% discount.  Here's the original post and some lovelies that may or may not still be there.  Or if you don't happen to be in PT, here's my artist's page for some on-line shopping.

This is all part of my big shift, creating a new business model and creative paradigm.  Embracing chaos and disorder and discomfort with a deep knowing the answers are within.

l i g a - kvk

crushing realization

I've got a slew of pictures and new work to share and lots and lots going on.  But what's been niggling my brain is a follow-up post to Hiro's challenge.  Through the day and every night when my head hits the pillow, I've been considering and composing.  So this morning, the tumblers have an hour to go and I figured I needed to get this out of my head and onto the page, well the virtual page.

Here's my original post.  My follow-up ...
So much to consider … knowing the shift has begun.  Looking at what has come before, pondering what is ahead.  Coming to the realization that my entire model for business is based on what I’ve been told is the “proper and accepted” way to do things, this is the best formula for pricing your work, this is how you interact with your clientele, this is where you sell your work, this is how it’s done.  

With minor exceptions, everything about how I’ve run my business has come from outside of me, from the experts, the respected elite.  It’s no wonder I am feeling a big disconnect.   My throat is closing and tears are welling as I write this, but what I now know is … I am not the ruler of my business.   I’m not sure I ever have been.  That’s a crushing realization.  

I’ve been in business for 15 years but, in many ways, I feel I’m just beginning.  The learning curve feels horribly steep, the rules have changed.  I’m pretty sure there aren’t any rules.  So here I sit, trying to get to that quiet place in my heart, trying to get out of my Type A head where I’ve always been able to ‘figure it out’.  Not feeling so joyous about my grand leap, just feeling overwhelmed and confused and kind of sad.  It feels like more of a slog through the mud than a leap.

But the light, the spark, the desire to move forward is not diminished.  I know I’m on the right path; it’s time to ascend to my throne.

Okay, the tumblers should be done ... back to work for this little peep.
Onward ........
l i g a - kvk

13 June 2011

in the studio

Woke up feeling a bit out of sorts and have been struggling to get things done.  I've made tea and showered and got the tumbler going and fired a new batch of sterling pmc and picked flowers for a couple of small arrangements and downloaded some new tunes and checked email and checked a couple of blogs and switched tumblers from steel to finishing and made some more tea and then took a few photos to chronicle my scattered thoughts.  Looks like maybe I have been getting things done, just not in any order.

So here I am doing a blog post, like that's really on my official to-do list ... trust me, it's not.  But I'm going to make a serious effort to hunker down after I finish here and there's a couple of things I was pretty excited about and I'll be better able to focus when I'm done ... really.

I just plunked these new sterling pmc components into the tumbler.  It was tempting to leave them as is, but the Angel Wing is a special order, so traditional finishing it will be.  It's about 4" long and I tucked in a tiny raw white sapphire at the top - not sure why, it just seemed like the thing to do.  It kind of takes my breath away ..........

And I've been thinking about this shape for weeks.  Inspired by another shell I picked up on the beach in St Augustine.  They're about 3" long and quite narrow.  Also, sterling pmc allows me to work very thin - really loving that.  Can't wait to see where they'll go .............

In my morning's agitated state, I couldn't decide what I wanted to listen to.  A favorite song popped up on one of my Pandora stations and I realized that was it.  So of course, I had to download what I could find and have had this song on repeat for the last couple of hours ... Ulrich Schnauss, Stars.

You can get more of an idea about my widespread focus (or lack thereof) by my current stack of reading material...

I'm a huge fan of Sibella Court and have been dying to get my hands on her new book, The Stylists Guide to NYC.  To order from Sibella from Australia, it was going to cost a small fortune.  There was one or two from Amazon sellers for even more astronomical sums.  Then I happened to check one day and there was one in the UK for $28 - I snagged it.  Of course if I'd waited 6 weeks there's a bunch of US Amazon sellers that have them for $24.  Oh well, I'm still a happy camper aside from the fact I really haven't had time to do a thorough perusal.  It's a great format, designed and set up for use ...

... and the pages are dark and lush and full of tantalizing little details - ABC Carpet and Home, one of my top five places to hit next time we're in NY ...

So what I'm really supposed to be doing is this ...

... a nice big wholesale order.  If I don't get my distracted self to work pretty soon, I may be working nights for the next couple of days.

Okay, I'm better now ... so back to it for this little peep. 

l i g a - kvk

09 June 2011

really really sidetracked

It started off simply enough.  Do a bit of dusting on my worktable, you know spruce things up a bit before sitting back down to work. Let's just say I got kind of carried away ... 

Thing is, I had so much stuff on this big ol' table.  Bowls and bowls and rows and rows of stuff.  Bowls of pearls and partially dismantled jewelry, bowls of rocks, more bowls of rocks, rows of rocks and more rows of rocks and ... well you get the idea. 

See, I've got a lot of stuff!  Thing is, to get to all that dust, I needed to move all that stuff.  And while I was at it, maybe I should practice some of my own preaching and get rid of some stuff.

I think it was right around this point where I was also getting things going on the stove.  I was doing the quick soak thing for black beans, I set the timer so I'd check back before they started boiling and well, with the fans going and me completely distracted by moving all this stuff ...

I ended up with a righteous mess - this was one of my best boilovers yet.  Sheesh, set pan aside to cool down and do that one hour soak and then come back later after the burner cools down to clean up the thick crust of black bean goo.

And then while I was waiting for the burner to cool down and the beans to soak, my OCD really kicked in and I decided this would be a good time to re-do my creative engineering hammer storage.  You see, it was all held together with nasty old silver duct tape and packing tape and was kind of embarrassing and I'd seen colored duct tape at the hardware store the other day and if I went to Lowe's I could also get little ceramic thingies to put under my mondo flower pots before we put them back on the newly stained deck.  Yes, an excellent use of my time.  And I was thrilled to discover that Lowe's had white duct tape - even more better!  I do love my little storage gizmo - pvc and duct tape, yeah buddy! 

And now my worktable is all shiny and clean and organized and ready for slackdog me to get my sorry back side to work ... tomorrow.  Okay, there's still a lot of stuff, but most of my little bowls are empty and the stuff that's there is the stuff I use regularly, well except for my rocks - there just weren't any that needed to go away.  Isn't it pretty?

Along the way I also put up some feng shui prosperity measures - a couple of ropes of citrine and Chinese coins.  One more thing though, I think tomorrow before I sit down to work, I'll ring my Nepali bells around the house and disperse any little remaining demons. 

Okay, I'm better now. 

l i g a  - kvk

08 June 2011

sweet blessings and tiny reminders

I've been working on getting to work ... after a couple of days away from the studio it can be such a challenge.  But as I've gone around the house tying up loose ends, doing a bit of cleaning, mailing orders and repairs, I decided the house needed some fresh flowers ... a reward from my all afternoon in the blazing sun efforts of yesterday flushing out my front flower beds.  So I picked out a small vase for the kitchen window and selected a few blooms along with some peppermint which got me to thinking about all the little blessings that surround me on a daily basis ... which led me to this blog post.

The little vase was a gift from a dear friend in Port Townsend, the flowers a gift from my flower beds.

Once on this track, I headed up to my worktable to marvel at some of the treasures that surround me each day while I work.  There's the little Christmas ornament that's a permanent resident, reminding me to never forget whimsy and silly good fun.

There's the gyroscope adorned with some favorite earrings from another PT friend.  The gyroscope reminds me that it is entirely possible to stay centered in the midst of an ever changing world; the earrings remind me of eccentric, joyous creation.

There's the little photo transfer of Archangel Michael from years ago ... I'm never alone.

My collection of hammers, some purchased new, some antiques, one hand forged, and the one I use most often that belonged to Asheville architect and benefactor, Anthony Lord - a gift from a friend ... these keep me aware of the lasting heritage of craft.

A very special treasure, a heart bead from my dear friend Lynne, a soul mate and purveyor of unconditional love.

My worktable is fairly loaded with treasures.  These are the ones that spoke to me today.  Their messages of sweet blessings and tiny reminders ring clear ... I am never alone and have ready access to joy and whimsy, I make work that is lasting and well-loved, I am surrounded by exquisite gifts from beloved friends and from nature - I am enormously blessed.

l i g a - kvk

05 June 2011

new member of the family

Okay, so not a living, breathing member, but an important one.  You see it's like this ...

By far, hands down, without a doubt, the most used small appliance in the kitchen is our beloved juicer.  It was an enormously generous housewarming gift from a very dear friend.  Here's the problem, while I was in Nashville, my ever enthusiastic dear husband decided to make some juice on his own.  I say enthusiastic, because really, it's one of my favorite things about him.  He just goes at everything in a big way and juicing's no different.  So like I said, while I was in Nashville, he mentioned his juice making efforts in our evening conversation and that the chute had gotten kind of clogged up and then the motor sort of made this strange sound and then the digital readout came up with a big "E".  That would be "E" for error, "E" for dead - bummer.  The closest authorized repair place was in NY.  With back and forth shipping, it would cost about $120 - $130 to replace the motor.  Major bummer.  And I was on such a roll - making a gallon of juice at a time ... hmmm, guess that makes me kind of enthusiastic as well.  Turns out, when I was talking to the repair guy in NY, he allowed as how, those juicers aren't made for that volume of juicing - well, that's not what the product info would lead you to believe.  Phooey.

So I ask the repair guy, "what would you get?"  He said, without a doubt he'd get an Acme 6001.  And he would be happy to set me up with one for about $200 including shipping.  "Thanks so much for the info.  I'll be in touch." ... or not.  I just wasn't feeling like this was the right time for a $200 expenditure, but I hated not having my juice!  I decided to do some perusing on-line and see what I could see.  Turns out, I found one on eBay - $45 plus $15 shipping = $60 = a whole lot less than $200.  So, it's used, but the repair guy did say I'll probably die before the motor in one of these gizmos gives out. 

Please welcome the newest member of our family - our unknown vintage Acme 6001 juicer ...

Actually, I can probably find out how old it is by the serial number.  I was the only bidder on this one and the seller even had a 14 day guarantee.  I'm quite pleased.

The other thing I like is this - I'm pretty sure this is the same kind of juicer my grandfather used back in the early 60's.  Oh man, so many memories - our family of seven was living in one side of my grandparents' duplex - 2 bedrooms for all of us.  And my older brother had his own room!  We had fold out couches in the living room for my sisters, my little brother was still in a crib and, for the life of me, I can't remember where I slept.  I do remember on cold mornings, standing next to the gas radiator behind a chair in the living room to get dressed.

But going next door to my grandparent's side, grampa was always concocting something.  He was either making some nasty juice mix, you know like beets and onions or maybe working on a poultice of fenugreek and golden seal that he'd put in an old white hankie to put on his head - to grow hair.  He actually did get a bit of peach fuzz going.  Grampa was a small, relatively frail man, bald as a bat with not a tooth in his head.  Apparently he'd had some teeth made at some point and would joke about putting them in for a "Christmas trick."  I never did see those teeth.  He'd sit in a kitchen chair trying to convince my full-figure granny to sit in his lap, all the time saying, "Come on Mama, give me a kiss!"  Granny and me would be laughing to high heaven. 

This is my Grampa - photo by my big brother and master photographer, Gene, the one who had his own room.

Oh golly, I could go on.  Funny thing how something so simple as a juicer can bring back so many memories. Looking back, living in that duplex was probably one of the most influential times in my life.   I'm pretty sure there's a book in there somewhere.  One day I'll figure out how I want to write it.

But for now, hope your weekend was grand.       

l i g a  - kvk

03 June 2011

au revoir Port Townsend

Okay, so this has been a very difficult decision.  I've been this close so many times and, well .. it's finally time.  June will be my last month at Artisans on Taylor in Port Townsend.  It's been a great ride and it's still a good source of income, but the bottom line - I really suck at managing consignment inventory.  It's a disservice to everyone - me and the gallery and the customers - the way I struggle with keeping up or more accurately not keeping up with keeping the gallery well stocked.  That's a big clue that I've been ignoring for a long time.

So here's the deal.  I was going to pull everything the end of May and decided to give everyone a month's notice instead.  So Anna and I are going to offer and "au revoir" 20% discount on all my work through the month of June.  There's some pretty special work out there, so it's an opportunity to snag some of my one-of-a-kind pieces with a bit of a discount.  Here's a link to my gallery page.

Please check with the gallery first, but here's a couple of pieces that may still be there ...

It's a strange feeling, but it's time to move on.  I really do know that when one door closes another opens ... still.  Deep breaths.  It's not really an abyss, it's an opportunity.

l i g a - kvk

02 June 2011


Okay, so I got a little sidetracked this morning.  I'm supposed to be taking pictures and listing new work, but I popped over to Hiro Boga's blog and got absorbed in responding to her giveaway,  http://bit.ly/getyourheartsdesire

Here's my contribution:

For 15 years, I’ve been in the business of making ‘stuff’, beautiful and well-crafted stuff, but stuff nonetheless.  2008 saw the beginning of a shift in my work which led to my spiritual coming out party, the debut of my Talismans for Fellow Travelers series.  That spirit infused work has continued but it’s not been the bread and butter work. 

The economic slowdown has given me the time to rethink and refocus my business priorities.  What started as a series of seven themed pendants is now growing into a fully realized body of work.  I’m still making the b.n.b. work, but my heart and mind is consumed with this new direction.  My intention is that a Talisman might start a conversation, create an opportunity to share an intention, a prayer or belief, spreading the love and spirit behind the piece, creating a spiritual chain reaction. 

I make jewelry and I blog with the awareness that one person really can make a difference and to “be the change I wish to see in the world.”  I have three foundation words - congruent, gentle, loving  - which I apply to my marriage, how I interact with friends, family and strangers, how I buy and prepare my food, organize and decorate my home and especially, how I operate my business. 

The blessing I include on each Talisman and the message I want to share is to have faith, you are surrounded by love, infinite grace and abundance.   Expanding the Talismans feels like the missing piece in making my life and business more fully congruent and promises to take my business to unknown and exhilarating heights. 

A joyous leap of faith.     

Okay, I'm better now.  Back to the day's work.
LIGA - kvk