29 September 2011

holding pattern + radar sightings

I'm waiting for the kiln to fire ... again.  And I'll be waiting through today and tomorrow as well.  I love the idea of steel metal clay, I really do.  But the reality of it's limitations pretty much assures this will be a very rare component in my work.  Yesterday I tried Hadar's speedier firing technique which, I'm pleased to say, worked.  Considering I've got 100 grams of steel metal clay components to be fired ...

And this is all I can fire at one time ...

... it's going to take me a while.  If you've read Hadar's instructions for loading the fire box, you'll notice I'm taking some liberties.  I'm basing my quantity decision on two things - the dimensions of my kiln, which is fairly deep, and the shape of my fire box, which mirrors the shape of the kiln and can be situated well within the heating elements.  It worked yesterday ... really hoping it works again today.

So while I'm waiting, I'm doing a bit of multi-tasking.  Yesterday I washed all the windows and screens in my house - never done that before.  Pretty amazing this morning with the sun streaming through relatively streak free clean windows ... clean windows, what a concept.  I've also been collecting some new finds to share when I had some time ... got some time, so here's my recent radar sightings.

What I'm listening to right now ... Peter Gabriel's always a good choice for a creative boost.  That man just exudes creativity, plus I always love what he wears - this suit really reminds of of Studio Rundholz.

An image that's inspiring me, from Volga Linen.  I love the way these coverings are stitched ... raw edges, heavy thread, long stitches, plus the colors are gorgeous ...

We're big David Byrne fans.  Dave's in charge of keeping up with his new projects and this one looks pretty dern cool.  Ahhhh, David Byrne , always a good one for challenging one's perspective.
We have this DVD otw ...

I could totally rock this look by Sula Clothing ...

And if I could be in Woodstock, NY on October 15th, I'd be at Galerie BMG for sure to meet up with one of our favorite artists, Kamil Vojnar.  We met Kamil in Saint Remy de Provence last year and purchased one of his smaller pieces.  His work is photo collage - minimal, somewhat haunting yet exquisite.

Okay, I think that's it for now.  Back to ... I don't know ... back to waiting.  I'll keep you posted.

l i g a - kvk

27 September 2011

uncertainty and the evolution of a new collection

These last days have been something of a roller coaster ride.  I've been alternating between wonderful creative bursts during the day and nights that have bordered on "dark night of the soul" depression.

I go from feeling terribly uncertain about where I'm headed, what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, wandering around the house trying to do something productive, to sitting back down at my worktable, pulling out components, remembering bits and tucked away fragments, assembling prototypes and experiments, seeing potential and direction and focus and then realizing I've come around to something that feels like hope.

Here's where I am right now ...

As I sit here trying not to get lost in my feelings of uncertainty and inner confusion, trying to stay positive and know that it always works out, one thing I'm really looking forward to is the release of Jonathan Fields new book, UNCERTAINTY, Turning Fear & Doubt Into Fuel For Brilliance.  Here's the exceptionally well done and really inspiring trailer.

Could the timing be any more perfect ... I don't think so.  I had an advance digital copy that I only got part of the way through, so I know what's in store and I'm excited.  The timing is, well ... timely.

So while I'm still wafting around in my own uncertainty, I have been making some headway in putting together the new jewelry collection.  I thought I'd share some of my process and the unfolding evolution of this collection ...

You may remember, the gathering of inspiration started with the purchase of Cara May's sweater from Niche.  While chatting with the artist, ideas for jewelry started to flow fast and furious.  I got to thinking about that bag of fossilized bone I'd been hoarding and decided I needed more!  That led to putting in a request to my in-laws to see if they'd like to part with some of their stash.  Here's my massive haul of fossilized treasure.  The starting place for my new jewelry collection ...

The sweater is knitted in part with wool coated steel wire from Habu Textiles.  That led me to ordering Hadar's steel metal clay.  Okay, so the jury's still out on steel metal clay.  It's a total pain to fire and, while almost everything has survived, it's not a for sure guarantee that everything will fire properly.  Just when I was ready to hate it and chalk my $50 investment up to experience, I decided I actually like the look of the pieces.  I'm still figuring it all out and it's a pain, but I'm going to use the 150 grams I bought, turning it into a very limited collection.

The progression so far ...

One thing I had read but forgot, the steel tends to warp and curl, a very nice thing in my book.  Only thing, these pieces curled the wrong way.  So I wet them down and put some card stock over them to flatten them back out.  I really do love this shape - long, thin, curved and slightly textured.

This is my first batch of components ready to fire.  I've got some experiments happening here.  I've embedded raw rubies and sapphires in a couple of pieces and wrapped a bit of the clay around a couple of forged bailing wiring rings  ... all of which should survive the 1700 degree firing.  The pain part of the firing is that you have to fire in two stages, one to burn out the binder and the higher, sintering phase and then you can only fire a few pieces at a time ... these pieces took two firings.

I'm still trying to figure out the finishing of the components.  The pieces emerge black and crusty.  Here's the contrast between straight out of the kiln and sanded with polishing paper.  The rubies survived but the piece broke in half; I'm thinking I'll still be able to use the pieces. 

I tumbled everything in various ways ... steel shot for several hours gets rid of the crusty look, but my usual abrasive media is just not abrasive enough.  My 400 grit polishing paper seems to be the best follow-up to the steel shot, but I really want to try a steel brush and coarser sanding paper.  I've also put a coating of Renaissance Wax on everything ... just in case.

Now I've got the core components - steel and fossils ... what next?  That's been the big question and a contributing factor to my mood swings and ponderous navel gazing.  So I've been taking a few breaks to let the ideas rest, the juices mingle and stew.  Yesterday, after a short burst of cleaning and some de-cluttering, I headed back to my worktable.

I'm thinking it started with pulling out those luscious teal glass beads I bought in July.  Then drilling a big chunk of bone and remembering those other big Ghana glass beads I had stashed here and there and oh man, what about those vintage Venetian glass beads I've had for 15 years and can you believe it, they've got that same teal in them and oh yeah, don't forget those big chunks of Roman glass and doesn't this all look just amazing with the ochre of my sweater and lo and behold ... I have my color palette.

teal Ghana glass and bronze metal clay spacers

vintage Venetian glass, Ghana glass, fossils
Roman glass and ochre, rust and ruby bead drawers

figuring out how it's all going to go together ... flourite, Roman glass, fossils, steel

some prototypes against my sweater ... a very promising start

So that's where I am right now. 
Goodness, this has taken a really long time to put together and those beautiful components are calling me back to the worktable.  Plus I want to use up the other 100 grams of steel clay, 'cause it's going to take a couple of days to get it all fired ... still not happy about that, but I'm just going with it for now.

Let me know what you think!
l i g a - kvk

21 September 2011

... and the winner is !!!!!!!

LeAnn from Summers Studio!

Congratulations, LeAnn!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to check out my new website and leave a comment.  I am honored and so very pleased with your feedback and praise.  It really does mean the world to me ... really.

It's such a challenge to create worthwhile, inspiring content for the internet and you all make me feel like I'm succeeding.  I definitely think I've got a good platform to launch into the next, albeit currently unknown, phase of my business.

Many blessings and deeply heartfelt thank yous!
And, once again ... Congratulations LeAnn!

l i g a - kvk

14 September 2011

new website + my 1st ever giveaway!

Hallelujah!!!  I am ever so thrilled and very very pleased to announce my new website is up and running!  Here's the home page ...

I'm really quite pleased with the look ... it's clean, very very clean ... plus I've added a couple of fancy schmansie details (well fancy for me).  With the very patient help of my beloved, we figured out how to add my KVK favicon to the header and from that I figured out how to link my PDF price list to the site.  Plus I cleaned up all the old site pages that had been lurking around since 2008!  Such a relief!

I'm not going to put the shopping cart feature on there for now and I don't have my Talismans on there.  The Talismans need something special and different and I want to spend some more time figuring that out.  I'm pretty cross-eyed right now and have been tweaking it for the last two days.  I'd love it if anyone has the time, give it a good perusal and let me know if you find any typos or non-functioning links or glitches or whatever.

As a bit of incentive and to celebrate my big accomplishment, leave a comment about the new website or any feedback and I'll throw the names into a hat for a chance to win a pair of Pinched Donut earrings (worth over $100) ... my first ever drawing for a freebie!  I'll draw the winner a week from today, Wednesday the 21st.

So let me know what you think!

l i g a - kvk

13 September 2011

the dreamtime

I had the most amazing dream and I needed to write it down so I thought I'd share it here. 

You know how dreams are ... wafting around in all sorts of things until one scene stands out and I remember it when I wake up.  The main thing here was being in a room with 2 or 3 women, one that I thought was a psychologist.  I thought I was undergoing some kind of personality test, but the woman came forward with a ... hmmmm, I'm thinking it was a crystal wand.  She taps me on my forehead and I stand there.  She taps me again and I bounce up a bit.  She taps me again and again.  Each time I bounce higher and higher until I almost hit the very high ceiling.  From that high vantage point, I notice that the room is very ornate, sort of French baroque.  As I settle back to the ground, one more tap and I'm set free.  I begin to soar into an astral realm, flying over what looks to be a cloud or blanket of intense color and light.  It's a short flight and I'm somewhat disappointed when I come back to earth.  But I realize I can now go back whenever I set my intention.

When I return to the baroque room, the women are there smiling and joyous and I realize they are something other than what I first thought.  They are healers and are exclaiming, "she's one of us, she's one of us!"  I realized they were balancing my chakras and when all was aligned is when I was set free. 

I looked for an astral plane image that had the feeling of the dream and came to this site and this image. 

I'm not sure what this means.  Do I need to work on my chakras or did they do it in my dream?  I'll have to think about it as I head out into the cool morning air to work in my front flower beds.  Whatever it is, it feels very auspicious ... it feels very good.

l i g a - kvk

12 September 2011


It started here ...

I couldn't help myself.  It was just too perfect in its crazy really un-perfect way.  I found this amazing sweater at Niche here in Asheville.  I was in need of inspiration and was wondering around downtown, just seeing where my feet would take me.  I got a nice boost of juice from a visit to Origami Ink, perusing their selection of fine papers, gorgeous fountain pens, very cool art with everything exquisitely displayed ... I am such a sucker for good display.

Next, on the owner's recommendation I headed across the street to Cafe Ello for an iced coffee.  Side note - we went there Saturday for breakfast and it was really good.  Thinking this will be our new favorite breakfast spot, especially 'cause they open early before all the tourists are out.  So then I wondered over to the Grove Arcade and headed down to Niche.  Hanging across the front windows were these amazing sweaters and I knew I was in trouble or better yet, in for an enormous treat ... yes, that's much better.

The artist who makes these wonderful creations is named Cara May.  She works part time at the shop and was there as I was going bonkers over her treasures.  The owner of the shop, Cara and I chatted for a good long while - nice for me as I really don't get out much.  Here's the back of my fabulous new sweater ...

Turns out, one of the yarns that Cara uses in these sweaters is fiber coated steel from Habu Textiles.  I saw it last year on my silk quest and was very curious.  The steel yarn got me to thinking about Hadar Jacobson's steel metal clay.  Standing there chatting, my mind started going crazy with ideas for designing a whole group of work based on Cara's sweaters.

Then I got to thinking about those big chunks of fossilized bone from my in-laws in FL.  So when I got home, I ordered steel metal clay and emailed my sister-in-law to see if she had any more big chunky fossils she'd be willing to part with.  And look what I got in the mail today!   OMG - a jumbo treasure trove of fossilized booty!

This was six pounds of fossils and she's putting more in the mail today.  I think that big piece in my hand is turtle shell and then there's all kinds of bone chunks and shards.  She's also going to send a little flyer with descriptions for identifying the different fossils from that beach.  Here's a few more pieces ... they are seriously cool.

And I'm not sure if I'll do anything with this or not, but the recycled sari silk I just got for packaging looks pretty wonderful against a backdrop of ancient bones.

I'm working on how I'm going to connect these pieces into jewelry.  What's going to be a good complement to the steel and bone?  It needs to be very durable and abrasion resistant, so I'm thinking about nylon but also about leather.  Then I had this crazy idea about getting rawhide and dyeing it with walnuts.  I've got lots of walnuts in my yard, remains from that tree we had removed.  I don't know, may be kind of crazy ... may be kind of fun.

Only thing slowing me down is the steel metal clay is coming from California.  But I gotta say, I'm feeling a lot of potential here .... lots and lots.  I'll keep you posted!

l i g a - kvk

09 September 2011

for your consideration

Stowe Shockey's a friend of mine and has just launched a fundraiser for her new CD.  She's truly an angel on this earth with a beautiful message to share.  Check out her videos and see what you think.  Plus, she's got great taste in jewelry - she's wearing my Diamond Shard earrings and Medallion Talisman!

bountiful gratitude and blessings......
l i g a - kvk

05 September 2011

low pressure images

Low pressure, planets lined up funny, bio-rhythms off, seasonal shift?  Some images of how I'm feeling today - transitional, pensive, decay and rebirth in shades of ruby, ochre and green ...

be safe, be well ...
l i g a - kvk

02 September 2011

food for thought

I got this list from the September newsletter of Colette Baron-Reid.  Seemed like a good thing to share ....

  • What is the relationship to my service and my beliefs about prosperity?
  • What is sacred to me?
  • Do I trust and believe in what I say?
  • Do my actions reflect my truest motives?
  • In what way do I choose to dim my light rather than face disapproval from others?
  • If I could do anything to change my life what would it be?
  • Do I take responsibility for my part in disagreements?
  • How does fear show up in my life’s expression?
  • What do I love to do in my life?
  • What makes my heart sing?
  • What actions can I do to ensure my well-being? 
After a morning full of appointments and feeling completely distracted, I'd like to accomplish some little something this afternoon.

l i g a - kvk

01 September 2011

well, it's a start ...

As of right now, I've just finished listing 7 pairs of earrings.  I've got three more pairs to photograph, but I think I'll wait and start working on the 18 or 20 necklaces ... holy moly - surprising even my own self with so much work.

Here's a couple of close-ups of what's been listed in my Etsy shop thus far.

Shark fossils with Roman glass and pmc

Forged bailing wire with sparklies and assorted goodies.

Okay, back to it for this little peep!

l i g a - kvk