Thursday, April 29, 2010

Interview with Veronica Russek

This is the first of many interviews with all of our up and coming, metal-loving jewelry artists!

Veronica Russek from Monterrey, Mexico -- VeronicaRStudio

I love the modern femininity of Veronica's jewelry! She combines delicate pearls and gemstones with clean, modern lines to create pieces that are princess-worthy!

How did you get interested in metalsmithing
I have had a fascination with jewelry since I was a baby. I started buying pieces for myself ever since I had an allowance. Then I discovered beading and found that I could so pieces to wear myself, and started making pieces to sell. Then, I decided I needed to go to the next step, metalsmithing, and here I am, trying to learn something new every day.

Do you get more excited about the design or technical aspects of jewelry?
Design. I am amazed at conceptual jewelry, and I love every single aspect. A beautiful shank on a ring, a finished back, and how everything works together. Iconic designs that trascend the test of time awe me constantly, like a Peretti open heart, or a Cartier panther.

Do you find the process of experimentation frustrating or inspiring?
Frustrating. I like to experiment, but I need to see a clear finish line at the end of the tunnel.

What part of your work do you most enjoy?
I love the manual aspect, sawing, filing, giving it shape.

What part of your work do you find the hardest?
I still have a hard time with soldering and find finishing a little bit tedious.

What technique do you wish you knew or want to learn?
Flush setting. I love the look of burnished stones in metal!

Where do you get/find your inspiration?
Everywhere, nature, art, fashion trends, looking at people.

What are your favorite items in your store right now?
I love this pearl necklace and will keep it if it doesn't sell. Three Strand Pearls.  And I think this one is really cool! Bubbles

Name a metalsmith whose work you admire?
I love and admire the work of these Etsy sellers

What is the best advice you have received?
Stay true to yourself and always imprint your own DNA in every piece you make.

Give Veronica some love. We're all here to learn and grow and all input is welcomed! Visit her Etsy shop: VeronicaRStudio

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

May Challenge- Under the Sea

Our next challenge is brought to us by the lovely Brenda of The Millcreek Collection and it's inspired by the Little Mermaid!


1). Any metals or combination thereof

2). Create at least 4 different textures

3). No stamps or rolling mills since many of us don't have such fanciness

4). Think outside of your safty zone! Example - fold forming, reticulating, hammering, chasing, etc.

5). Have Fun!

Post your entry in the Flickr pool when you're done and make sure to tag them with "May Challenge". Deadline is Midnight on Friday, May 28th.

Good luck, I can't wait to see what you create!

And the Winner IS.....

A tie, lol. How's THAT for suspense?

Brenda of Millcreek tied Asa for the win with this stunning Carnelian pin/pendant:

Congratulations Brenda, it's well deserved!

Asa's gorgeous architecture-inspired necklace also got 10 votes:

Ocean Bay
is our second place winner with this incredibly detailed Sterling Silver sheet and wire bracelet:

Congrats to all our competitors and especially our winners, I hope you had a blast!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Art Deco Challenge Entries- Get your vote on!

Asa's Art Deco themed challenge was truly a stretch of our imaginations and our skills, and we have some incredible entries. So without further ado here are the entries to the third official Aspiring Metalsmiths Team Challenge!!

Ocean Bay
entered this incredibly detailed Sterling Silver sheet and wire bracelet:

Lovestruck Metals
made several stunning creations and entered this totally unique pendant into the challenge:

As always Deb of Aweshop managed to create something beautiful that fits the challenge perfectly while still being exclusively her own:

Clarity struggled tremendously but eventually found something true to both her vision and the theme of the challenge:

Asa of course nailed it effortlessly as usual:

FutureTribe entered this detailed and original design:

created this lovely bracelet:

Michief by Loki
made this droolworthy pair of earrings:

outdid herself with this gorgeous pendant:

Elizabeth of Elizabeth's Exclusives created her entry with PMC:

Millcreek made this lovely Carnelian pin/pendant:

I HOPE I've gotten all the entries but as always if I've missed you, called you by the wrong name, or otherwise embarrassed myself please let me know!

I'm making a slight change to the voting since so many of us are busy over the weekends. Voting will run from now until Monday night and we'll announce the winner Tuesday morning. Gorgeous work everyone, best of luck to all of you!!

Edited to add: I missed someone (hangs head). Lisa of Sandy Toes Jewelry entered this lovely pendant and somehow I didn't catch it when searching the Flickr pool. My apologies, blame it on lack of coffee!! I can't add her name to the poll on the left because I can't modify it once voting has started, so if you'd like to cast your vote for her gorgeous Deco pendant please leave it in the comments and I'll tally them up at the end. So sorry Lisa!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Show Me Your Sketches!

We were talking in the forums today about sketching and how interesting it would be to see people's sketches and compare them to their finished products. I'm a DREADFUL pencil and paper artist so I know you guys will be amused to see just how kindergarten-ish my concept drawings are, and I am looking forward to taking a peek into your creative process as well.

If you'd like to play, just upload a couple of recent sketches to your Flickr photostream as a set, then post your favorite sketch in the group Flickr pool here. We'll check out the rest on your photostream.

Mine are there already and I can't wait to see what you come up with!