Here I am, the mad scientist, trying to figure out the best way to etch sterling silver, copper, and brass. Eventually, after using some hazardous chemicals, I settled on a method that involves running electricity through a chemical bath while the piece is suspended in it. At first I used an old car battery charger,
I like big. I like plenty of “canvas,” so to speak, to create my designs. Rings are small. So it’s been a challenge to come up with interesting ring styles that give me a sense of freedom to play as I’m making them. But eventually I created some swirly rings that are fun to craft
One of the joys of my work is seeing how my designs evolve as I make them over and over. I like this soldered and polished version of the phoenix even better than my earlier riveted and textured ones. Stay tuned for one with faceted marquise-shape peridots, coming in January 2015.
Somewhere, inside a volcano on an island in Indonesia, our planet has been busy making its newest stone. It’s called bumblebee jasper, and the intense yellow is caused by arsenic and sulfur. It was recently featured in Lapidary Journal – Jewelry Artist, and someone even mentioned that some of the specimens stink like rotten eggs,
I love to draw henna patterns. In the world of henna designs, there are no mistakes. If I ‘accidentally’ draw something I didn’t plan, it just becomes incorporated into the larger picture. For quite a while, I’ve been yearning for a way to incorporate the freedom and joy I feel when quickly drawing freehand henna
I’m a jewelry artist fraud, and I’m gonna be found out. Do you know that feeling that you’re a fraud in some creative area of your life, like calling yourself “a writer” or “a dancer”? It sounds so – well – audacious. Like who am I to say I’m a jewelry artist? I don’t have
Most belly dancers I know love peacocks and peacock feathers. Drawings of peacocks and their feathers are iconic in henna patterns. A few years ago, I was asked if I would create a pendant based on a photo of a henna design that a client received in India. She had some little sapphires that we
I had an interesting piece of azurite-malachite, the blue and green stone in the photo, that I’d been wondering where it belonged. And I had a pendant design, inspired by henna motifs, that I’d drawn ages ago. One day the two things came together in my mind, and here’s the result. Then as I so
Because I’m a belly dancer, and belly dancers like sparkle and shine, I tend to want to make pieces that are bold and chunky and have some heft to them. But the price of sterling silver can be a challenge, which has nudged me in the direction of working with copper and brass. On this
For this pendant I chose seraphinite, the stone associated with a lovely image of the Spirit of Sophia, (Wisdom), draped in vines, crowned with leaves, and walking through the forest, and white moonstone, radiating strong feminine energy. Then the variations started — seraphinite with garnets:
An iconic flower, the lotus offers so many possibilities for jewelry making. As with so many of my pieces, a client sparked the initial idea. Could I make a larger lotus with a smaller lotus dangling below? Here is that piece, a teardrop-shaped moonstone gracing the upper flower while a blue kyanite forms a petal
These iconic dragon pendants have been so much fun to make that I’ve made lots! Black druzy, pyrite, carnelian, and amethyst. Let me know what kind of stone you want!
Could I make a wolf howling at the moon? Iconic jewelry at its best! I made the first one with, of course, moonstone, and later made a smaller one using white turquoise. True white turquoise is very rare, and only comes from the Buffalo Mine, hence the name.
I belly dance with my soul sisters in the Anam Cara Dance Company. These pendants are based on our logo, designed by our director. I’ve made pendants based on the logos of several other troupes. Please contact me if you’re interested in creating a pendant from your troupe’s logo.
In honor of our Maori sisters and their luscious ‘poi’ dance, you complete your tribal fusion costume with this copper pendant of the triple twist symbol. A while back, I was contacted by a woman who asked about the possibility of a custom design for two matching triple twist symbols. She sent me a photo
At the Denver Gem & Mineral Show, I bought the most amazing piece of sugilite. It was expensive, and I planned on making it into a piece for myself. I looked at it many times, but a design never came to me. Then, I was asked by the belly dance troupe I dance with if
As so often happens, someone saw a photo on my Facebook page of the larger phoenix pendant I had made for a Denver belly dancer who goes by ‘Phoenix,’ and asked if I could make a smaller one. The client chose kyanite for the bird’s body, and the flames are copper and brass on a
I’ve made my signature pieces in dozens of different stones, with a variety of finishes such as brushed, textured, or high polish.
Why dragons? I’m not quite sure. One day I had a craving for dragon images, and started doing some research. I discovered that in some cultures, dragons had been a symbol of the Divine Feminine, at least before they were vilified. This first dragon I made was brass with a kyanite at its core.
As sterling silver continues to rise in price, I’ve been playing with cheaper metals, copper and brass.
There is an amazing belly dancer here in the Denver area who goes by the stage name of Phoenix. She asked me if I could create a phoenix rising from the flames for her, and that request launched me into the making of iconic jewelry: wolves howling at the moon, dragons, medicine wheels, and more.
The process of being asked to make something using stones that someone else picked out, or according to an idea someone else has in their head was quite the learning curve for me. I’ve learned many good lessons about making something my client loves while still staying within the framework of my own artistic tastes
I spend hours and hours sketching henna designs and playing with placing loose stones on them. Over my first year or so of silversmithing, I came up with several more designs to add to my stock of signature designs. For the most part, these designs use standard sizes of oval or round stones, or the
The process of oxidizing sterling silver is fun because it’s pretty hard to control what colors you’re going to get. Will the piece come out a rainbow of blues and purples, or almost orange like copper, or will it instantly turn gunmetal gray? Early on in my exploration, I was still working out of our
Rhodochrosite, Colorado’s state stone, is bands of white and pink or almost red. Some of them look almost like candy. This early piece became one of my signature designs, and I’ve since recreated it in many other stones.
My spirit animal is the tiger, and this piece was inspired by the stripes of a tiger slipping silently through long grasses, stalking her prey. I’d love to make this piece using an orange stone called fire citrine instead of the green peridot. Please contact me if you’re interested.
When I took my first silversmithing class in 2009, the very first night I took those tools in my hands, I felt like I’d been making jewelry all my life. The saw just fit, the drill felt natural, and I was filled with joy. This pendant was the second project in the class, after a
I sell my work at vending events, an art gallery, and also on my Etsy site, www.MagicCarpetDanceArts.etsy.com. The number of items on my Etsy site fluctuates greatly, so for a more complete look at pieces I’ve created, click on the Gallery tab. I can almost always create something similar to one of my past pieces. Contact me if you’re interested!
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can almost always recreate one of my past pieces, and I love custom orders. If you see something on my website that you like, let me know! I’m happy to work with you to find exactly the stone you’re looking for, and many of my designs can be tweaked to be larger, smaller, or to accommodate a stone of a slightly different shape.
Follow me on Facebook at Magic Carpet Dance Arts Journey, where I write about my creative, artistic, and spiritual journey. I hope that as I share my struggles and victories of being a working artist, you’ll be encouraged in your own creative journey.
I am also a creativity coach! Check out my coaching website, Magic Carpet Life Coaching!