Tuesday, December 6, 2011

December Blog Roll... Handmade Holidays!!

December Project Blogroll – Handmade Holidays
Each month the Aspiring Metals team chooses a topic and each participant writes about that topic on their blog.

This month is all about the holidays which will be here in no time at all and so we are each writing about our ideas for making this a Handmade Holiday.

See all the great ideas by visiting the blogs below:

Mary Anne Karren - silverpearlmetalworks.wordpress.com/
Jessica @ Abella Blue - www.abellablue.com/blog
Stacy - formandfunktionaccessories.blogspot.com
Elizabeth Brown – resurrectionsilver.blogspot.com
Lilian Genebra - www.girllovesglitter.blogspot.com/
Pennee- All Wired Up Jewelry Designs - allwiredupjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/
Claire English - brightstar109.blogspot.com/
Gayle - thisartistsjourney.blogspot.com
Nancy - nancysjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com/
Autumn Bradley - www.autumnbradley.blogspot.com
Amy Estelle - amyestellemetalworks.blogspot.com/2011/12/handmade-holidays.html

Monday, November 28, 2011


I thought long and hard about this challenge. Things like making houses, a vegetable, fruit, etc. etc.  But these just didn't seem to cling to me.  I hope everyone finds this challenge interesting!  Okay here it is:


Here are some suggestions  on how or what to use:  Prisma Color pencils, enamel, paint, flame, but no LOS.  

Okay, on the mark, get set and GO!!


So, the due date for all entries will be Jan. 5, 2012 ( just take into account the holidays).  Have fun!

Remember to mark your photos, December ASM Challenge, in our flickr site.
 Thank you all for this opportunity to present a challenge!
Here's a link to our team flickr stream!!! just upload your entries there and make sure to TAG them with December Challenge!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

And the winner is........

The winner of the October Holiday Decorations contest is.....
Gloria of Hemlock Hollow!!!!   She took the grand prize with 11 votes...

And it was a nail bitter folks....second place was just behind by one vote....
Congrats for putting up a heck of a race...and a beautiful fold formed masterpiece ResurrectionSilver!!

Coming in third this month is Metal Adornments with her personalized snowflake ornament.

Thanks to everyone who entered and voted....this was a fun one!!  Keep your eyes peeled for the next challenge....Gloria will be throwing down the gauntlet in the next few days!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Holiday Decoration Challenge Voting!!!!!

So last month we were challenged to make a holiday decoration....any holiday...even a made up one. Seems the winter ones caught our imaginations though. Check out the wonderful entries and make sure to vote. The voting is on the right side of your screen!!!

Our first entry is from ResurrectionSilver. This one just blew me away. It's huge, it's beautiful and it makes me want some turkey...NOW!
"My challenge piece for October is a Copper Cornucopia. I love cornucopias as centerpieces for Thanksgiving, so here is my version. Challenges this piece presented me with were seaming together two large pieces of copper sheet and fold forming on a large scale. There is probably more metal in this piece than I've worked with in my short career combined. I also did some light flame coloring on this piece, a first for me as well. This piece measures 18.5" long and about 6.5" diameter at the opening."

Our second entry is for Hanukiyah...a lovely stained glass Menorah. Hemlock Hollow did a wonderful job on this one....I can picture it sparkling every night as the candles are lit. And it makes me want some challa, NOW!

"Made from beveled glass and lead strips. All soldered and cemented.This is used for the holiday of Hannukah!"

Our next entry is from Wabi Brook Studio. She admits, it is a bit of a recycle....but then again, it's Peace on Earth something we could all use???

"Created from scrap copper, scrounged craft wire and crochet cotton. Hand cut and flame coloured copper. Not particularly challenging, (except for writing in wire - not my forte!), but something fun and meaningful for the Aspiring Metalsmiths challenge, and to sell at an upcoming Christmas Market."

Our fourth entry is from LadySmythMetals. She's been getting to play with bronze clay and made this tree ornament. I think it's worth rejoicing to see the new-ish metal clays come out so beautifully.

Metalworks Jewelry brings us this pertty copper bell to ring in the New Year. It would look great on a dark green tree....or maybe just hanging in your window!
"3-D Copper Bell Ornament
Since this was my challenge idea, I needed to get something done! I cut the bell from copper sheet and stamped along the lower edge. I've never done anything truly 3D before, so cutting the slits properly was a challenge. I need to go back and file off the excess solder, but I'm happy with the look overall."
Metal Adornments took a poll on Facebook to decide what to make.....I think everyone picked a wonderful one!! A pretty personalized snowflake!!

SO....there they are folks....pick your favorite and vote. While you're trying to make up your mind (cuz it's going to take a bit I think) check out our contestants' shops by clicking on their names!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Team Captain List

Hi all, it's Clarity here. As many of you know, my life has been in a rather dramatic state of upheaval for the last couple of months and I need to step down as the team captain at this time. I have compiled a rotating list of leaders who are willing to assume the captain's position for a month at a time, then switch it over to the next leader at the end of the month. Responsibilities are relatively minimal but involve starting each month's chat thread, responding to situations such as this, and interacting with admin should the need arise. There's no money in it of course, but you get the dubious prestige of wearing the spiffy Captains hat and get to feel extra special every day.

 So with that being said, I leave our team in the capable hands of the following friends who have graciously agreed to serve a term as Captain for a month at a time. I put them in some sort of general order by when people responded and/or said they could be available, not by any kind of importance or formal chain of command. This list is not set in stone and can be changed at any time as the group's needs change.

Sylvia Anderson
Lisa/Sandy Toes

Thank you all SO MUCH for all your incredible kindness and understanding during what has been a very difficult time in my life. It's been a pure pleasure to know each one of you and I count you all as my very good friends. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns or if there's anything else I can do to help this team continue to grow.

Monday, October 24, 2011

October Project Blogroll - Share your Packaging

Each month the Aspiring Metals team chooses a topic and each write about that topic on their blog.

This month inspired by the gift giving season coming up, we want to see your packaging, or your ideas for packaging.

See all the great packaging and ideas by visiting the blogs below:

Beatriz Fortes - http://cjbf.blogspot.com/
ArtistiKat - http://artistikat-scratchingpost.blogspot.com/
Claire English - http://brightstar109.blogspot.com/view/classic
Mary Anne Karren - http://silverpearlmetalworks.wordpress.com/
Lisa - http://glenshire-shop.blogspot.com/
Stacy - http://www.formandfunktionaccessories.blogspot.com
Amy Estelle - http://www.amyestellemetalworks.blogspot.com/
Morgan MetalAdornments -http://www.metaladornments.blogspot.com   
Jason - http://happytortoisedesigns.blogspot.com/
Jessica @ Abella Blue - http://www.abellablue.com/blog
Gifted Designs -

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Aspiring Metalsmiths October Challenge- Holiday Decorations

Decorate for the Holidays
Thank you for the votes! I, too, wanted to see lots of entries, so this is what I came up with……
Make a holiday decoration, for any holiday. Think Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day. Any holiday! It can be an ornament for a tree, a table decoration, something you hang on a door, whatever you create. If you have time, try a new technique, a new metal or a new patina. Maybe even recycle an object from the recycling bin. Just make something other than jewelry.
Make sure that you tell us how you challenged yourself and what you made it from so that we can vote accordingly! Add your entry to the Flickr pool tagged 'AspMet October challenge'. Photos of finished items are due November 4th by Midnight!!
I’ve included a few photos to get the wheels turning……
For Halloween

For Thanksgiving

For Christmas

Instructions: You must add your entry to the Flickr pool by midnight November 4th (it's a Friday night) Remember to tag your photos with "AspMet October Challenge", so we don't miss it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Time to vote!! September's Animal Challenge

Last month Esme gave us the challenge of making "animal" themed items. She claimed this would be an easy challenge.....and for some it seems it was. Here is the rundown or the amazing entries. Check them out, vote for your favorite (*the poll is on the right side of this post*)....it's going to be hard to pick! And of course, if you really like the work, check out their Etsy shops too!!  Good Luck everyone!!!

From AbellaBlue we have a rocking dog tag, for the rocking little Ollie!!

From Chrissi Lynn we have this pendant. His collar will end up being black onyx.               "Cute little Scottie Dog made entirely of Sterling Silver. :) Accent stones will be added soon and then the final polish and chain. :)"

From MetalworksJewelry we have this wonderful set...earrings and keychain.  "
When I saw the "Animal Challenge" I knew it would be created by and for Maya, one of my Siberian huskies. In July she was diagnosed with a broken leg due to bone cancer. She fought bravely, but lost her fight on September 17, 2011, just 10 weeks after breaking her leg. This set, earrings for me and a key chain for my husband, was the most emotionally challenging work I have ever done. A lot of tears were shed in the making of this set.
Thanks to Sam of Copper Sunsets and Miracle Grow, I was able to give her blue eyes, and I plan to go back and add a blue collar someday."

From SilverBlueberry we have a cute little bear. And I mean LITTLE...he's half as big as your thumb nail.
"Copper clay bear carved from a dry piece of copper clay. It is meant to walk on a ring so it is tiny! I wanted to try more carving and this is my first attempt. "

From BeatrizFortes we have a wonderful key chain. This was an exercize in sketching and sawwork for Beatriz.
"A sweet kitty, all rolled up for a nap. This piece was inspired by Catê, my step cat."

From Ressurection Silver we have a hip little necklace!                                                              "My family has always been a cat family, in fact my first word was "kitty". This piece reminds me of my very first cat "Whiskers" who was a big stripey orange tabby."

From SilverSister we have some pretty earrings.
" Save the Dolphins. For my September Challenge I think this is a very appropriate pair of earrings...They are such loving and peaceful animals. Who can help but love them?"

From E5Jewelry we have this regal entry:

"Hand carved lion pendant made from Copper Metal Clay
Theme: "Animals"
This was a challenge for me as I am new to working with copper clay. This is the first piece that made it out of the kiln ok after firing.
The male lion is my favorite animal
The lion has many symbolisms; strength, royalty, justice, the subconscious, power, courage, the breath of Christ and it is the 5th sign in the zodiac.
I love their incredible beauty, silence, strength and roar! :)"

Reindeer for Aspiring Metalsmiths Animal Challenge

From Wabi Brook Studio a "peace-ful" little reindeer!

"I've been very busy in the studio, and didn't think I'd be able to participate in this month's challenge, but I carved out some play time and made this fun little reindeer.
I'm thinking a little herd of them, each with different antlers would look cute on a shelf or table."

Friday, September 23, 2011

September Project Blogroll - Finding Your Muse

Each month the Aspiring Metals team chooses a topic and each write about that topic on their blog. This month we want to know what inspires you, and where do you look for inspiration?

See what we have to say by visiting the blogs below:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Aspiring Metalsmiths September Challenge - Animals

Thank you all who voted for me! I had a hard time coming up with a theme - I wanted something that I was sure would inspire a lot of people. You could say this is an easy theme, a lot of us make animals and have made animals in the past. Which of course means that a lot of people should be able to make something for the challenge. So if you have little time, you make something within your comfort zone. If you have the time, try to think outside the box, try a new technique, or make a jewelry item you dread making. Make sure that you mention how you thought and how you challenged yourself so we can vote accordingly! Add your entry to the Flickr pool tagged 'AspMet September challenge' no later than midnight (EST) September 30st.

Now for some inspiration:

Make yourself something that will always remind you of a dear pet..

Make something in honor of an animal you would like to save..

Celebrate nature's diversity by picking a weird animal...

Or design something for your favorite dog..

I hope that with these inspirational pictures the wheels will start turning and great creations will be made!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Let the voting begin for Self Portraits!!!

So in July Jess gave us this challenge.....

" The challenge for July is to make a self portrait! Artists have been creating self portraits for who knows how long, and now it is your turn. A self portrait is defined as a representation of the artist created by the artist. Now don't cringe, this does not have to be a literal representation of your face, but it could be! Be creative and make a piece that you think represents you. This will give you an opportunity to stretch your creative muscles and come up with something fantastic."

Well, I'm afraid many of us did cringe! There was talk of using reticulated silver to show the wrinkles. There was talk of not much liking what was in the mirro. And since it is summer, there was talk of being too busy to come up with much of anything. Personally, I couldn't seem to come up with a darn thing.....I sat at my bench and stared at the supplies for hours.

So it makes me very proud to show off the work that did get done by our more brave (creative and productive) members!!

Resurrectionsilver gives us this beauty:

"Ripple In the Water. Sterling Silver and Lapis Lazuli Pendant. This is my interpretation of myself. I believe that every choice I make, every action I do has a ripple effect. It can be negative or positive. I try to focus my life toward doing what I was created to do to make this world a better place, by shining the light of the Creator and being that ripple in the water that spreads light and love and peace. I made this pendant to try to capture that essence. The pendant consists of concentric organic circles or ripples around a lapis pebble. The pendant can slide freely on the jump ring bail representing the movement and flexibility necessary for harmony."

You can see more of Ressurectionsilver's work in her Etsy shop!

Esme of SilverBlueberry entered this amazing set:

"Aspiring Metalsmiths July challenge entry. The challenge was to make a self-portrait. I used my name stone, emerald, for that. I had been wanting to make something with emerald for ages. The commercial precious gemstone jewelry out there is not that appealing to me so I wanted something completely different. The silver is textured with local granite from my garden."

You can see more of Esme's work in her Etsy shop!
SpiceOfLifeDesigns brings us this lovely necklace and earring set.....

"Asymmetrical and irregular ovals radiate from the center of this handcrafted sterling silver necklace. Given even more visual appeal by the grungy hammer texture, the concept for this pendant was developed as a self portrait - I am constantly spinning in circles, my life and the lives of my children are carefully connected and we've gotten battered about by the events in our lives this past year. Resembling a tide pool or the ripples created when a stone is tossed in the water, this pendant is natural and organic in design."
You can see more of Spice Of Life Designs work here in her Etsy shop!!

So....that's it....not many to pick from but each one is a totally perfect self-portrait......

Monday, July 25, 2011

July Project Blogroll - What are you working on?

What are you working on?

This months blog topic is to share what you are currently working on. Now is the time to show off some in progress shots or any new pieces you just finished up.

Check out the awesome artists below and see what they are working on.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Aspiring Metalsmiths July Challenge - Self Portraits

Thanks So much for everyone who voted for me, and now I hope you don't change your mind. The challenge for July is to make a self portrait! Artists have been creating self portraits for who knows how long, and now it is your turn. A self portrait is defined as a representation of the artist created by the artist. Now don't cringe, this does not have to be a literal representation of your face, but it could be! Be creative and make a piece that you think represents you. This will give you an opportunity to stretch your creative muscles and come up with something fantastic.

Instructions: You must add your entry to the Flickr pool by midnight August 7th. Remember to tag your photos with "July Challenge 2011", so we don't miss it!

Abella Blue Wins!!!!

Rhythm was our challenge, and Jessica from Abella Blue ran away with the beat!!
Here amazing little finger harp blew away the competition this time. You've got to take another look, and click HERE to see the video of it in action.

We had a tie for second place between Pennee of All Wired Up and Cornelius of Kwant Essentials.
Both of them gave us rhythm in the guise of the natural world......

and Viki of LorieLynn took a very close third place with here wonderful "rhythm and blues" cuff bracelet.

Thanks to all who entered and voted!!!  Jessica from Abella Blue will be adding her challenge for us in the next few days.....then we can all rack our brains to come up with something beautiful and amazing!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Let the voting begin on June's Challenge

"Interpret the Design Principle "Rhythm" in any way which moves you." Was the challenge that Julie gave us last month....here's what we all came up with. Take a look and vote for your favorite on the poll to the left of your screen!!
Viki from LorieLynn brings us this cuff titled "Rhythm and Blues" Awful pretty in a "urban decay" sort of way.
Gloria from HemlockHollow brings us this neat pendant titled "One Note." It was made of PMC, hand set with an amethyst CZ and textured with a seashell.
Jessica of Abella Blue took the challenge very literally.... here's her tiny little finger harp. It makes the prettiest little tink-tink-tink music, and sits comfortably on a chain around your neck. Check out a video of it in action here.
Asa from AsaPDesigns made a cute little brooch. It's all ready to give to your crush, just so they know what effect they have on you. The heart beat is pierced into the stamped and patinated copper.
Pennee from All Wired Up brings us Rubies in Motion. She has this to say about the project: "After researching a bit, I realized there are lots of rhythms and creating something that causes a rhythm is sort of the same thing. This piece was made with a texture plate of wavy lines that reminded me of fading sound waves that draw the eye up and down (or as someone else said- wood grain). To accent the up and down movement following the lines I added vertical ruby czs which should draw the eye from up and down to the left to catch their little twinkle. Therefore- creating a rhythm!"
Deb from E5Jewelry gives us this beautiful and ancient looking little amulet: "~Rhythm~The intertwining ebb and flow of nature. copper, sterling silver, fine silver, natural peridot, quartz crystal"
Esme from SilverBlueberry gives us this adorable little hedgehog ring:"A little hedgehog waddles on and on. Where is he going? Is he going home to his nest? Looking for a new place to live? Looking for food? We don't know, but his journey continues."
Cornelius from KwantEssentials gives us this amazing natural & mathematical rhythm example: FibonacciRhythm is set with 1.14 carats of flush set diamonds!!
Dana of CoilAndFlame gives us this entry:"This is a mixed metal, domed pendant of copper, sterling silver and 14 kt. gold fill. Suspended beneath is a hand wire-wrapped mother-of-pearl coin. I'll leave most of the "Rhythm" interpretation up to the viewer. But for me, this piece has an underwater, flowing into-the-deep theme."

Resurrection Silver's entry is this lovely mixed metal crocheted circle motif bib necklace. She says "Rhythm is represented in every aspect of this necklace from the pattern of each circle to the motion of each stitch to the color and placement of each circle. I love to crochet and this is my first attempt at combining that with my love of jewelry making."

Julie of WabiBrookStudio's entry is this lovely cuff titled "Rhythms of the Land."
She has this to say of it:"Rhythm.Living close to the land in rural Ontario, I am very much in tune with the rhythms of nature: the rolling hills and valleys, moon and sun rising and setting, the sounds and sights of the changing seasons. The cuff is my interpretation of a rhythm I often see- the setting sun to the west lighting up the hills and rising moon to the east." it is created with scrap copper and a vinyl record!!