30 March 2011

a brief history

Working on these last two jeweled crosses got me to thinking about my other jeweled crosses so, I thought I'd share some images of past work ... and of course share images of the newest treasures all bright and shiny and ready to find new and loving homes.

Well, these first two aren't crosses, but are my first bejeweled pieces.  The images are not so great - just scans, but I still love the pieces ... 
I call them Vestiges of Byzantium ...the earrings
and the pendant

Then there was this cross I made for a friend in PT.  I cut a cross out of thick mica, wrapped it in pmc, drilled a hole in the center, then more pmc with a wash of 22k pmc in the center.  A total experiment, but a pretty successful one ... at least I thought so.

Then the crosses started getting more fancy.  
I gave this one to my sister to accompany her breast cancer journey.
White topaz in the center, peridot trillions, sapphire and moonstone cabs with a 22k pmc wash in the recesses.

From last year ... peridot and raw diamonds, a sapphire at the crest, hanging from a braid of dark blue silk and tiny faceted gems.

Another one from the same time.  A yellow sapphire in the center surrounded by a lot of raw diamonds, with a tiny ruby at the top, hanging from a braid of plum silk and tiny gems.

And my most recent creations ... the raw ruby cross on multi-strand leather.  I love the ragged edges around the rubies and the color of the stones is just wonderful.

And then there's my pièce de résistance.  Dave says this may be one of the most beautiful pieces I've ever made ... and that's saying something!  He's seen it all - the very bad and 
the truly extraordinary.   I call it Starry Night ...  
 And I don't know what it is, but it really does feel like a very special piece.  Do you ever feel that way about your work?  Something will seem very normal during the creation process and then, upon completion, you realize something has transpired and the work has been transformed, transcended ... it's become more than the sum of it's parts.  
Here's a different angle. 

I'm not sure where this one is going.  I sent off a bunch of work to Artisans on TaylorArtFest is next week and I always try to stock them up with my most interesting pieces.  For some reason, Starry Night, didn't want to go to PT.  Not sure where it wants to go...

But for now, I do know where I want to go!  Dave and I are heading down to St. Augustine, FL for a long weekend.  Warmth, sun and sand!  I am so in need of a salt water fix and they've got lots - hard to say which I love more, the salt marshes or the ocean.  
But I won't have to choose.

Hope you enjoyed the show!   Have a lovely weekend.

blessings - kvk

26 March 2011

I couldn't help myself

So I really was working on an order and I finished the components and I had one more package of PMC sitting there and just over my shoulder was my cigar box full of new jewels calling out to me ..."use me, use me", so what's a girl to do?  I had an itch and I just had to scratch, what is it with me and this itching thing lately.
Anyway, this was my inspiration ...
side one of my brother's cross
 and side two of the same cross
He found this cross in an old junk store on Malta in the late 60's.  There's an amazing story about it, but that's not my tale to tell.  But, I have been absolutely fascinated by this object for all these years.  I showed it to a psychic once and she was kind of bowled over by the power she got just from scanned images.  We don't know anything specific of its origins, but guess it to have been made around 700a.d. ... maybe.  It's old, very old.

So yesterday afternoon, I decided to use the shape of this amazing object as inspiration for a couple of jeweled crosses.  I do love jeweled crosses.  It's that whole medieval obsession of mine ... jewel encrusted objects especially.  They still need to be fired, but here's what came of the inspiration ...

The one on the left has faceted white topaz and tanzanite and dark blue raw sapphires and, before firing is about 2 1/2" x 1 3/4".  The one on the right is all raw rubies and is about 1 3/4" x 1 1/2".  The kiln is currently cooling from firing the work I'm supposed to be doing.  I'm mere moments away from loading these lovelies and firing them up.  Can't wait to see the results!

Okay, bye for now - I really am going to get some work done - really.
Except for there is this one annoying thing today ... I use Thunderbird email and went into it this morning and all of my messages - inbox and trash (which I was actually sort of saving), well anything that hadn't been saved into a specific folder, which was most everything ... gone, disappeared, poof - vanished!  So if anyone was waiting for a reply from me, please write again.  As we speak, that is right now I'm trying to export my address book to Outlook and be done with T-Bird, which is taking forever and I'm a wee bit concerned.  So very very frustrating.  Pish posh - dern computers!

ah well, have a lovely rest of your weekend
blessings - kvk

oh, yes ... don't forget!  One more day in my Etsy sale.  After that, I'm pulling everything off and packing it up to send to WA.

25 March 2011


 ... that's the word that came to me during this morning's mediation and my word for the day.  So I'm rolling it over in my mind, looking up the definition, seeing how it feels.
au-da-cious / [aw-dey-shuhs] / adjective
1.extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless
2.extremely original; without restriction to prior ideas; highly inventive
3.recklessly bold in defiance of convention, propriety, law, or the like; insolent; brazen
4.lively; unrestrained
I'm rather liking #2 and #4.  Audacious, maybe it should be my word for awhile, maybe I should make it my mantra.  
I have enormous admiration for people and work that I consider audacious, what I perceive to be the underlying confidence and strength.  There's that Geothe quote ...   "Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." ... that I should staple to my forehead.  It's so much easier to be tentative, cautious, safe.  Suffice it to say, I do not consider myself audacious ... not yet.  For years I've said what I want to be when I grow up is eccentric.  Now I'm thinking that being audaciously eccentric would be even more better ... or is that redundant?  I don't know, whatever it is, it's not plain, it's not safe, it's not the status quo.
I've always been one to ease into the cold water,  tiptoe out to the end of the diving board and peek over.  Daily, I'm pushing myself towards the precipice for I know deep down ('cause I've experienced it many times), that when I leap the net will indeed appear ... it always has and it always will.  This is my grail quest but it's not a fairy tale or a purely abstract concept.  It's quite real ... I can almost touch it, very nearly taste it.  It's that itchy skin thing again.  My skin's been feeling very small lately.  Surely it's the force of nature, spring growth and rebirth, renewal and upward momentum.
The bud bursts forth in an explosion of audacious color and texture.  Actually, that should be about me ... my new work burst forth in an explosion of audacious color and texture.  Oohh, I rather like that as well.
As for new work, I've just bisque fired some prototypes of the vessels that will accompany the Talismans For Fellow Travelers Elements series.  The texture is very much there, color will come as a wash of mason stains (I haven't taken the time to mix up clay and stain for the inlays).  These little cylinders were built with clay thrown on the concrete slab in my yard - I think these stained will be lovely.  The front cylinder is about 2" across and 1 1/4" deep.  Not sure what I'll be lashing through the holes, maybe a leather cover, maybe decorative doodahs, maybe ... oh I'll just have to see what hits me.
And the full assortment of test pieces.  I just can't resist little pinch pot bowls - the largest is about 3" across.  They're quite thin and very light.  Next will be taller and more slender cylinders that will have stoppers - to hold the finished Talismans.

But it's time to get back to the wholesale orders and put experimentation aside for a couple of days.  This will be me, the audacious and delightfully eccentric artist going back to work. 

blessings - kvk

p.s.  blogger is doing something annoying with my spacing.  I did not write one huge paragraph - it wasn't me, really, it's the bloody program.
Ah well, not the end of the world, just accept my apologies for the block o'text.  I'll try to fix it later.

p.p.s.  so I centered the text ... maybe that's not so hard on the eyes ... sheesh

20 March 2011

quiet thoughts and the multitudes

Quiet thoughts.

Quiet day.

Conversation difficult.  Unable to focus on work or being productive, spent the afternoon finishing my fluffy novel - delicious and absorbing.  Three nights in a row up past midnight unable (unwilling) to stop reading.  On this overcast and chilly first spring evening, hoping for an early night and a better night's sleep.

But wispy thoughts have been playing in the background.  It's so difficult to turn my designing mind off. 

It's times like these when my thoughts seem strange and foreign and my skin feels tingly and too small and I move around my workroom making hurried notes and sketches, trying to capture that fleeting image or idea.

It's times like these that I feel like someone else ... or maybe it's that I feel like more than one person ... a multitude of beings thrust into my head clamoring to be noticed, to speak first and loudest and not be missed.

It's times like these that I cherish, feeling so alive, creative energy barely contained and then I realize I'm holding it in, trying to control it and not be overwhelmed by the force.

One day, I will let go.  One day soon.

blessings - kvk

19 March 2011

anniversary sale update

I got to thinking ... it's much too nice a weekend to be parked in front of a computer shopping on Etsy, so I'm going to extend my sale through the week.  Look for the coupon code at the top of my Etsy shop for 20% off through March 27th.

Happy Anniversary to Me!
Happy Equinox!
Happy Super Full Moon!

with enormous gratitude and light filled blessings - kvk

18 March 2011


Hey!  I just realized it's my 3rd Anniversary on Etsy ... so let's celebrate!  I'm offering 20% off your purchases through the weekend ... Happy Anniversary to me, Happy Spring, Happy Shopping!  See my Etsy Shop for details.

new bag of tricks + spring!

I would say I've got a couple of tricks up my sleeve, but today I don't have any ... sleeves!  Sweet relief - zorries and no sleeves and linen, all the windows open and puttering in the front flower bed.  I know I'm probably pressing my luck and it's probably way too early to be doing this, but I couldn't help myself.
Yesterdays project - 15 bucks at the nursery and a couple of hours later ...

Notice my shadow?  Yep, that's from this thing called the sun that's very warm and very bright.
And then I cleared out the insulating layer of leaves in the front beds and discovered the bee balm has been very busy.  This little corner is going to be amazing and me and the hummingbirds will be in heaven.

It's such a relief when the flowering quince starts to bloom and, when leaving the windows open at night I can hear the spring peepers.  Do you love peepers?  I love peepers.  How could anyone not love peepers?

Ah, yes, but that aforementioned bag of tricks ... what might that be, what would be hiding up my sleeve if I was wearing sleeves?

Well, the plan is, I'll be combining these bags ...

with this lovely and ginormous slab of concrete in my yard ...

... throwing small slabs of white earthenware on the concrete to make small vessels and shallow pots then inlay colored clay designs accented with metal clay slip - no glaze.  The intention for this work - vessels to hold components from the forthcoming Talismans For Fellow Travelers - Elements.  I have been thinking about the concept of building your own talismans for months and I'm very much in the middle of figuring it all out, but it feels like the missing pieces are finally falling into place.  So, I'll be keeping you posted as the concept progresses.

But right this very second, I am so excited to get my hands into this fresh bag of earthenware clay ... pinch pots and slab pots ... did you know you could 'throw' slabs of clay ... probably one of my favorite things to do with clay.  This is where the slab of concrete comes in.  Way back when, in the amazing little pottery studio at Whatcom Community College on Bellingham Bay, Washington - we'd 'throw' slabs on the concrete floors.  It's very meditative and enormously satisfying and the slabs have a beautiful organic quality - so much better than chucking them onto the big ol' boring slab roller.  And, yep, it was Elephant Ceramics that got me all inspired and I can't wait to see what happens.

Okay, must play with clay now.
with much gratitude and great joy ...
blessings - kvk

15 March 2011

further inspiration

where I've been drawn .......

Ages and ages since I've visited here, but it still captivates.  Ashes and Snow ... ethereal grace and beauty. 
And from the film with Lisa Gerrard vocals ...

And similar (well at least to me), but decidedly different visual references and ever so fun ...

okay, bye ... I really do need to get some word done.
blessings - kvk

bursting with light and joy ...

 ... it started last night and has carried over into this morning and that's what I'm feeling right now.
Swirling energy, light and love - kind of like this ......

This image from here

I stayed on the computer way too long last night and knew that getting to sleep would be difficult.  So I sat down to read a bit from The Physics of Miracles (which I'm really enjoying) and then a late night meditation.  The message I'm getting right now, loud and clear, is to let go and have fun doing it.  This is particularly timely as I put loads of work out in the world to sell.  But rather than being totally driven and obsessed with selling, it's feeling like I'm casting seeds out into the world and sharing my joy of creating.  

You see, I tend to be kind of obsessed with numbers - ooooooohh, I just love Google Analytics.  How many hits, anybody looking, anybody 'heart' my pieces, who's reading the blog, how many and where are they and wouldn't it be nice if I was getting tons of hits and comments and and and .... I get all out of breath and kind of itchy.

So last night it felt like the continuation of a lovely release.  At one point it seemed that light inflated my body like a balloon, my skin felt too small, something deep inside wanted to burst free and I started to giggle. 

Yes, I really am starting to get it.

The trick is to slow down.  Funny thing, it ended up taking forever to fall asleep.  I was so excited and had so many ideas swirling around in my little ol' head ... plans for new jewelry, website links to share, an idea for how I want to make my own line of handbuilt dishes - damn, wish I had a big kiln - the idea's a goodern!  Note to self - make sketches and notes so's not to forget.  And yes, the swirling image is a frequent and pleasant visitor.  Me, a being of bright white light at the center of a vortex,  with every color in the light spectrum swirling around me in a relentless upward motion. 

So, here I am, starting to hyperventilate again.   Calm down, Kathy ... breathe deep breaths, smile and keep on moving ... onward ... joyously becoming ... me. 

blessings - kvk

p.s.  here's another link to share ... All For the Mountain - crazy crazy jewelry from some folks that I think are temporarily visiting from Mars or maybe the Pleiades and working to get back home. 

p.p.s.  Thanks for all the lovely comments about the new components!  Did I mention that I love comments!

14 March 2011

tantalizing morsels

I've spent the better part of the day loading up my Etsy shop with my Cairn Bead components.  I think this is the most I've ever had listed for sale here and I've got even more work to list tomorrow!  I've got more components and two new pairs of earrings.  Check these scrumptious creations ...

The ruby dangles give me chills - they are so over the top - I do love love love them.  And the right hand pair with the citrine nuggets are simple and elegant and just great basic earrings.

But what I'm equally excited to share are some fresh discoveries.  Our exceptional Downtown Books and News  has started carrying more and more Australian publications.  There's a couple that have been tempting me like Dumbo Feather.  I've seen it on-line and it looks really interesting and I've wanted to get my hands on a copy.  But the issue on the shelf was just not grabbing me and then I saw this one - habitus - and I gladly plunked down the $18 to call it mine.

I much prefer looking for jewelry inspiration in non-jewelry places and pretty consistently find wonderful inspiration in home and design magazines.  This one's a peach!  Wouldn't you just love to have this porcelain chandelier hanging in your home?  It's from Bocci.ca - gorgeous.  Golly, you know it kind of looks like jewelry.

And as for actual jewelry, you may recall I'm a big fan of Donna Karan's Urban Zen shop in NY.  On a recent visit to their website I was struck by some extraordinary "savage jewels" ... the creations of By Wanga

And one more wonderful find ...
I can't remember how I came across Elephant Ceramics, but Michele Michael's wonderfully minimal, hand built dishes just warm my little heart.  Thirty years ago, handbuilt pots are what drew me to work in clay and remain a deep seated passion that I will one day return to.  Thing was, at that time, there was little if any appreciation for the forms I was drawn to create.  Thank goodness tastes have changed and here's a beautiful example of a now broadly accepted method.

Gots to run and get the evening meal on the table.

blessings - kvk

12 March 2011

components update

Well, best laid plans and all that...........
I really thought I'd get some new pieces up on Etsy today.  Thing is, I started hauling out all my little bins of components and decided to sell a few more than I was first thinking.  Please keep in mind, selling my components is something I rarely do and, having had someone buy my components, have the pieces cast then sell them as copyrighted originals, I always do it very mindfully.  So, that said ... I got a bit carried away culling little treasures to share on Etsy.  There's the pricing, which took awhile, but then I spent the better part of the afternoon playing around with how I want to photograph them.  Finally, I hit on a look that I like, but by then it was too late to really dive in.  So I thought I'd do a quick post to pique your curiosity.  Here's the assortment that I hope to get listed tomorrow .......

And this is a closeup of one of the necklaces I designed for the gemstone stacker beads.  I'm really loving the look of the 1mm leather cord with the brown waxed linen wrap.  I spent at least a couple of days this week trying out different looks for the necklace component.  I still want to use my handcut leather, but need to work on the details.  I've also done a fun closure on the bead chain.  I slid one of my KVK buttons on the chain and wired the end to keep it from sliding off.  Then I wired the other end into a loop.  I think it looks very cool and it seems to function nicely.  You can see it better in the above photo. 

I'm actually going to re-shoot these, but here's a couple of closeups of the gemstone beads.  These are the large rings with sapphires and rubies.  They've got a wonderful heft - no lightweight beads here - and average 12 x 5mm.  They'll sell for $42 each ...

And this is one of the medium size gemstone rings with yellow sapphires.  It's about 10 x 5mm and will be $36.  And, yes, I will be doing these in actual 'ring' sizes with the PMC Pro.  Really looking forward to those.

Okay, that's it for now.  I should be back tomorrow after I get some goodies up on Etsy.

spring blessings and heartfelt prayers for Japan, the earthquake victims and their families.  Having experienced the 7.2 Loma Prieta quake in '89, I can't begin to imagine the force of this one.
- kvk

09 March 2011

new stuff

Gotta say, I'm having fun.  It's pouring rain outside and I don't have to go anywhere or do anything but focus on my work.  Frankincense resin has been burning and my Zero 7 Pandora station is hitting the spot, although I may switch over to the Incredible String Band (60's British folk).   

My first pieces using my haul of gemstone gravel are in the tumbler.  I've been thinking about these for ages and I'm dying for them to be ready to play around with.  The current plan is they'll stack on either leather or ball chain and you can add to them and switch them around, which means I'm planning to sell components on Etsy - sort of, well at least that's what I'm thinking right now ... we'll see.  The stones are rubies and sapphires in assorted seriously yummy colors.

Fueling my creative burst are multiple glasses of a really good batch of fresh veggie juice, toasted almonds and this glorious discovery ...

... an enormous baked purple sweet potato, and I do mean purple.  Not even beet red, but dead on purple.  When I bought it, I had no idea what it would look like inside, so I wanted my first experience to be just the unadulterated sweet potato, well with a little butter.  It was kind of strange - eating it and tasting something familiar, looking at it and seeing something quite strange.  I'm thinking how much fun these will be to put with other things - they are just so beautiful.  Now I'll be keeping my fingers crossed they're still at the grocery store next time.

While I'm waiting for the new jewels in the tumbler, I started working on my stainless steel foil origami box to fire my PMC Pro.  I've got the steel container from firing copper and bronze clay, but in reading about the new PMC Pro at CoolTools, they were talking about steel spalling and making a mess and here was their nifty solution.  So I bought their high fire steel foil.  Of course, me being the pigheaded sort that I am, I said "pish posh" to the recommended gloves and went to work ...

Note to self ... follow the instructions.
So right now I'm waiting for the slice in my knuckle to stop bleeding.  Seemed like a good time to do a quick blogland update.
I'll be back soon ...  when my gemstone stackers are done.
Glorious anticipation.

blessings - kvk

p.s.  someone recently asked me what 'ttfn' was ... ta ta for now!
p.p.s.  here's 7 1/2 minutes of exquisite viewing ... Human Planet slide show ... absolutely stunning