My Sketchbook

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Working, Working, Working...

Don't forget to check out the deals at my shop! I'm offering a 20% off section (about 37 items), with prices already marked down, plus free shipping for any item in my shop. This sale runs through Friday.

Friday, October 22, 2010

EtsyMetal 4th Year Anniversary Celebration

The EtsyMetal  Team was founded in 2006 and has grown rapidly since then. We are a group of metalsmiths who share ideas, experience, techniques and knowledge, and who support each other by advice, feedback, and encouragement. We meet daily at our forum and chat just about anything. We've been through good and rough times, but we always pull through because we care too much about what we do, and respect each other deeply. Being a metalsmith, or a craftperson, means many hours working alone at a workbench, without too much social life. This team has helped me to make this journey a not so lonely one, even if it is a virtual one.

This month is EtsyMetal's 4th year anniversary, and to celebrate this occasion we have decided to give away 4 $50 gift certificates the last 4 Fridays of October. You will have 4 chances to enter into the giveaways, but you only have to do any one of these:

#1 Sign up for our new email list! It is really easy - see that big button at the top of  EtsyMetal's blog that says "Subscribe for our Newsletter" - click there!

#2 Blog about it! Write a blog post and leave a comment on EtsyMetal's Blog with a link to your post.

#3 Tweet about our anniversary linking to Etsymetal's blog post - then comment on this blog post with a link to your tweet or twitter acct to let us know!

#4 Facebook it! Post a link to EtsyMetal's blogpost on your facebook page and let us know by leaving a comment on this blog post.

Go to EtsyMetal's blog to subscribe for our Newsletter here, and to find out who is having a sale. I am having a 20% off  section in my shop and free shipping on all items. This offer is good for one week only: from today, October 22 till the 29.

Sterling ilver 2" enEdless Hoops
3" Oxidized Copper Hoops
Organic Circles Copper Earrings
Friday Oct 22nd (giveaway)
1. Kathleen Bostick (will have a 20% off sale section)
2. Rachael Sudlow (will do a sale section)
3. Kira Ferrer (15% off, refunded through paypal)
4. mark kaplan (will do a sale section)
5. Iacua (20% off whole store)
6. LSueSzabo (20% off the whole store, refunded through paypal)
7. NinaGibsonDesigns (sale section & possibly free shipping)
8. Meg Auth (simplymega)
9. Cynthia Del Giudice (20% off Sale section and free shipping for any item)
10. Gecko J (will do a 20% off the whole shop)
11. Hartleystudio (15% off the shop, 10% off wedding bands, free shipping for FB fans)
12. Rebekah Meddles - Lunasa Designs (don't know terms yet - probably different every day/sale section?)
13. Quercus Silver - Sale Section
14. Danielle Miller (20% off, plus free shipping through FB)
15. Shannon (rubygirl) - sale section + 20% regularly priced items (refunded through Paypal)
16. Inbar Bareket - Sale section
17. Maria Goti - mariagotijoyas - 20% off refunded through paypal.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Food for Thought

Today's EtsyMetal blog carnival topic is about food.

Well this could be a very long post, but I promise to keep it as short as I can. I love food, and love to cook. I feel very fortunate to live in the country, where we grow most of our food. We have an organic vegetable garden, a dairy cow, chickens, and bees. I live in Argentina, the world's leading beef consumer, so we do eat a lot of red meat, but since we've had more time to work on our vegetable garden we have been making it bigger and bigger each season we are slowly weaning out of meat, and we feel great. I love to do stir fries and one pot dishes. I don't like deep frying anything, and I find it difficult and boring to follow step-by-step recipes. I usually look at recipe pictures and get inspired with my own ingredients, flavors, and tastes. I rarely measure anything. My cooking is very creative and I am usually very resourceful.

But today I want to talk about our latest project: an adobe oven. These ovens are very old, and part of our tradition. Gauchos have been making and cooking on these ovens for centuries. This construction was inspired by a native bird we have in the pampas called the "Oven Bird", of course. These birds construct their nests out of mud and grass, because that is what was available before Europeans brought trees to the grasslands. 

Oven Bird Nest where the gauchos got the idea.
Using the string to measure the distance

As the wall gets taller, the string pulls the walls closer forming a dome
Mud is placed between half bricks.

Peter mixing the mud, straw and horse manure for stuccoing

There are different ways of constructing these, but in our case, my son, Peter was the architect and constructor. He decided to build it with bricks, mud, horse manure, and straw. He first bilt a wooden structure with wire mesh, to which he added the straw and mud. He then broke about 40 wine bottles to place on the bottom of the oven for better insulation. A brick floor was placed on top of the broken glass and a string was secured in the middle of this floor. The string was used during the laying of the briks to make it into a dome. As the oven got taller, it also got narrower. The bricks were layed with the mud, straw and manure mixture instead of mortar or cement. An old iron door and a vent (he used a clay pot with its bottom sawed off) was placed in the process. After the last brick was layed he smoothed out and gave it a little more volume to the walls with more of the mixture. The oven was left to dry for about a week, and then my husband cooked some homemade bread.
Before final stucco

Heating the oven with a fire
All fire must be extinguished, but bright coals must be hot.
Last week I made a homegrown pumpkin with a roast, potatoes and sweet potatoes. It was delicious!

For other food for thought stories, check out these Etsymetal member's blogs: 
nina gibson
victoria takahashi
stacey hansen
thomasin durgin
inbar bareket
lauren anabela beaudoin
maria whetman
beth cyr
ann Hartley
caitlyn davey

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jewellery Scape Exhibition

"Jewelleryscape Exhibition is a web exhibition gathering over 250 works made by goldsmiths and designers coming from all over the world.
Our purpose is to found a place for "jewellery's virtual community" and focus on its heterogeneity. An amazing variety of people, countries and projects.
Jewelleryscape exhibition is curated by Alba Cappellieri, Professor of Jewellery Design at Politecnico of Milan and Laura Santosuosso, Federico Stanzani, Livia Tenuta, Fashion Design' students at Politecnico of Milan.

Jewelleryscape Exhibiton è una mostra on line che raccoglie oltre 250 opere realizzate da orafi e designer provenienti da tutto il mondo.
Lo scopo è quello di dedicare uno spazio alla "comunità virtuale del gioiello" e di valorizzare l'eterogeneità che la caratterizza.

Eterogeneità biografica, geografica e soprattutto progettuale. Jewelleryscape Exhibition è a cura di Alba Cappellieri, professore di Design del Gioiello presso il Politecnico di Milano, e di Laura Santosuosso, Federico Stanzani, Livia Tenuta studenti di Design di Moda presso il Politecnico di Milano"

Quote from Laura Santosuosso from the Plastic section on the exhibit:


"Plastic is everywhere and can be considered a deep-seated element in our everyday life. That's why there is still a lot of scepticism around plastic jewellery. What is that turns such a common material into a precious object, then? Obviously it is the project, which reduces the boundary between ornamentation and technology, decoration and functionality, ordinary and extraordinary. Desing, and most of all Kartell, has taught us how even the poorest and most ordinary material of all, can be transformed into a luxury object.
This tendency can be clearly seen in our Italian compilation of young female designers. In fact, it is evident how these young designers have discharged the materials from their functionality, with a cultural and aesthetic purpose.
Would you ever thought that a reflector could have been so smart, as the one recycled by Francesca Gabrielli? And what about Manuela Gandini using rubber to model her bracelets? Creative intelligence at its best. On the other side, Luisa Bruni chooses plexiglas and takes advantage of its transparency to represent the fall of a water drop.
Concerning new materials, Francesca Canapa finds softness and grace in Corian, a polymer which is traditionally used in architecture and furnishings. American designer Phil Renato deserves a special mention, because of his research which has created some scary shiny jewels, originated by a sense of manipolation and analysis of different shapes. This makes us aware of the vast potential that this material has and how little it has been explored in the goldsmith field.

La plastica è dappertutto. Si è insidiata in maniera così capillare nella nostra quotidianità da far risultare faticoso finanche riconoscere nell'oggetto polimerico lo status di gioiello.
Ed è qui che entra in gioco il progetto. E' in questa terra di confine tra ornamento e tecnologia, tra decorazione e funzione, tra ordinario e straordinario, che il progetto rende preziosa una materia popolare come la plastica.
Il design, e la Kartell soprattutto, ci hanno insegnato che un materiale ordinario, povero e comune puo’ invece liberarsi dai lacci della quotidianità e della funzionalità per diventare straordinario, prezioso e distintivo. Lo dimostrano con evidenza i lavori che presentiamo qui di un piccolo gruppo di giovani donne italiane. Emerge, dal loro lavoro, la volontà di sollevare la materia dalla sua funzionalità mediante un gesto che è al contempo sia estetico che culturale. Avreste mai scommesso sulla potenziale eleganza del catarifrangente? Francesca Gabrielli sì, realizzando un bell'esempio di design del riciclo. E la gomma che Manuela Gandini plasma i volumi audaci dei suoi bracciali?
Pura intelligenza creativa. Luisa Bruni sceglie il plexiglas, ne sfrutta la trasparenza e lo utilizza per immortalare la caduta di una goccia d'acqua. Per quanto riguarda i nuovi materiali, Francesca Canapa ottiene risultati di leggerezza e grazia attraverso il Corian, un polimero tradizionalmente destinato ad architettura e arredo. Una menzione speciale va allo statunitense Phil Renato, la cui ricerca dà vita a gioielli ludici, forse a tratti inquietanti, che invitano alla manipolazione, all'esplorazione delle forme e che fanno riflettere sulle infinite potenzialità di questo materiale ancora poco esplorato in ambito orafo." 
Laura Santosuosso

I found some of my old favorite artists such as Angela Gerhard, Coleen Baran,  Jimena Rios, Francesca Vitali, as well as some new discoveries such as Manuela Gandini, Phil Renato, Catherine Sheddy, Luisa Bruni, Glix Atelier, and Yanli Duan.


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