Tag Archives: jewelry

BUZZ Generated on Swedish Blue Bracelet due to Etsy!

I am now a member of Esty, “Your place to buy & sell all things handmade.” It was so easy to place a few pictures of my work on the site and get started as a member. I have had several hits, but most interesting are connections made and BUZZ over the Swedish blue slag used in my Swedish blue slag cuff bracelet I call “Deep Blue Sweden “.

Deep Blue Sweden - Rare 500-year old Swedish blue slag gives it's name to this unique handmade piece
Deep Blue Sweden – Rare 500-year old Swedish blue slag gives it’s name to this unique handmade piece

The blue slag is actually 500-year old glass from Sweden that was obtained at a gem & mineral show in Indianapolis last year. I purchased five of these pieces at the time, just because they were so different a such a lovely shade of blue. Eventually, the largest piece found it’s home in Deep Blue Sweden, the bracelet was posted here and on Etsy, and a connection was made to another artist who used a piece of this glass in a creation of her own on “Jewelry Lessons by eni oken & friends”.

One comment read:

“The ‘stone’ is very beautiful, and a wonder in recycling, since that is exactly what is going on with it! Just to add a little bit to the historical aspect, It is no accident that many metal and glass works were located near one another at that time – the skilled labor used in both was somewhat interchangeable, and the glass makers of the time needed some of the ore to make the beautiful clear glass so popular among the nobility for their homes and churches.
Iron ore is usually found near quartz. ‘Slag’ from the smelting and refining process of iron is largely composed of silica, and other imperfections. Silica is the main ingredient in glass. Purified, it creates imperceptibly colored glass – The addition of other minerals gives it color, and interestingly, removes color, in certain applications. This slag must have had small amounts of cobalt, too. Cobalt is what is used to achieve a glorious blue color even today.
The 15th century (1400-1500)is the time frame that Murano and all of the Venetian glass makers first came to the fore. Pure, clear, evenly toned clear and colored glass-making was an artform then in Europe. They would not have prized this glass that formed from the refining process – due to the quick cooling, it had the striations in color, and an unusable form.

How interesting that it has lain in this state since practically moments after it was removed from the refinery – just covered over with soil and the remains of buildings. How wonderful that we prize this glass for its antiquity and accidental beauty.
Perri, http://www.shaktipajdesigns.etsy.com/”

I couldn’t have said it better, or more interestingly. What fun!

P.S. Contact me or visit my Etsy site if you are interested in owning this beautiful piece. Thanks!

Nancy Lee Featured on Bliss Tree’s Jewelry and Beading Blogspot

Loopy Pearl Earrings
Loopy Pearl Earrings

There are a lot of great people out there in the world who really like to help out artists. I received an e-mail from Connie Mettler, host of an art blog I subscribe to called Art Fair Insiders. Art Fair Insiders is a social networking site for – you guessed it – artists. Info on best craft shows and call for entries nationwide can be found there.

The e-mail, from Cyndi Lavin,  was to inform artists who use organic materials in their work of an opportunity to be featured on the Bliss Tree site, under the Jewelry and Beading blog. Artists were to send in images and a brief description of their work.

I’m happy to say that I got in!

What is even more satisfying is knowing that there are people out there in the world, like Connie Mettler and Cyndi Lavin, who help get the word out in so many ways and help artists to not starve. My hat, and I do wear many, is off to women like these, who put themselves out there every day to help artists. Thank you, Connie and Cyndi!

News from Boxes and Lockets Workshop at Arrowmont

This has been a mind-spinning week of wonderfulness, and it’s only Wednesday. Whoops, it’s Thursday now! The hours keep dripping away. I’ve been in class or in open studio for, oh, I guess about 45 hours so this week. Yeah. And you know what? I couldn’t be happier. I am learning from a master – John Cogswell – here at the Arrowmont School in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Mr. Cogswell is a consummate jewelry and metal artist, instructor, illustrator, author, and showman. His perpetually sold-out classes are extremely well organized, rich with information, and just plain fun. He teaches at State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz,  and is taking his spring break by doing what, what’s that? Yep, teaching again – at Arrowmont.

Class is a real treat for me and about 13 other lucky participants. We are learning how to make boxes and lockets – a set of difficult techniques for any jewelry maker or metalsmith.  Each morning begins with John standing on a chair in front of a huge chalkboard, writing copious notes peppered with brilliant technical illustrations. We students groan as we get our pencils sharpened for another lengthy note taking and illustration-copying session – no handouts allowed!

But it’s all in good fun, and the fun is just beginning. Every day brings literally dozens of new techniques to learn, interspersed with tall tales, jokes, and sweet family memories. Learning how to score a perfectly straight and true line on a slippery smooth sheet of metal is just as hard as it sounds. Metal must be scored several times just to make a basic fold for the wall of a metal box. That is only one technique of many, and an easy-ish one at that. But John’s instructions are patient and thorough, and he imbues the space with possibility. Each student is infected with the desire to do their best. For John and also for themselves. This is the hallmark of a truly gifted teacher.

Lest I overwhelm you with additional technical box-building details, I shall post a few pics instead.  They are taken as the work sits atop my workbench. You can see a portion of my notes and sketches from those morning note-taking marathons. At this point, I’m a little behind on my box but am hoping to make up some time tomorrow. The possibility for wonderfulness exists there. Or maybe tomorrow is today….

Nancy's Benchtop
Benchtop Photo
Benchtop Photo #2
Benchtop Photo #2
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