Feed Your Muse!

MusesApollo

My muse is mysterious and wonton in her ways.  Do not ask me her name.  I do not know it.  She is elusive, fickle and quite severe on some days, cracking her glorious whip – driving me forward without regard for my need for sleep, nutrition, fresh air, etc.   My back aches from leaning over the bench, my wrist from an injury less than a year ago still fresh on my mind, my eyes cross due to sleep deprivation and still she drives me.
I do not direct my Muse.  She directs me.  It is my job to follow, to be slave to her whims and master her desires.  My muse takes me down rabbit holes, where bright ideas are born in the ‘moments’ fire.  Wonderful accidents lead me in a whole different direction than I set out intending to take.  That leads to breakthroughs.  My success is all to her credit.  I am just the vessel that she fills.

So how exactly does one find their muse?  I recently found this article on finding your muse by Alisha Burk and realized that I couldn’t say it any better.  Check it out and let me know if it helps you find your muse. Here is a small excerpt to whet your appetite:

There’s no doubt that the Muse can speak to us through others. But what makes your work original is knowing which influences to use and which to tune out. It’s an interesting life these days: TV (yay!), internet, IPhones, US Weekly (double yay!), check your email, check your texts, voicemail, multi-tasking (boo!), news, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, “Like”, “Unlike”, post, delete, upload, download . . . . .repeat! This constant snowstorm of information clouds my brain. I wake up in the middle of the night wondering about my inbox (I know, it’s totally obsessive!) Where does it end?! Is there an end?

In the middle if this madness, where does our Muse get a chance to speak to us? Can our inspiration sing if its voice is drowned out by all of these digital voices and influences? I mean, it’s great, this new communication, but every blessing brings its own kind of curse! How do we manage this flood without drowning in it? …”

To read the rest of this inspiring article, follow this link : http://findingyourmuseonlineclass.blogspot.com/

And by all means, if you are a jewelry artist looking for inspiration, be sure to catch my 50% off sale on all of my tutorials in my Etsy shop. Today is the last day of the sale! Remember to use coupon code Happy2014 at checkout for the discount! https://www.etsy.com/shop/TutorialShop

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Copyrights and Inspiration by: Mary Tucker

Mary Tucker recently added a very thoughtful post to her blog, The Angsty Artist, regarding giving credit when it is due but also knowing when to take credit for your own work.

Excerpt:
…. I have made a design that is 100% the same as Sharilyn Miller without ever seeing that design until years later. Sometimes the matter comes down to whether or not you believe what someone tells you. I have actually felt pressure to LIE and say I was inspired by someone else even when I wasn’t. Just so that I would not look bad. Maybe you have also felt that pressure.

Though I believe in honoring our inspirations and teachers, I don’t believe we should be enslaved by them. I don’t believe it is empowering to set down every jot and tittle of their influences on each piece we make. …

READ THE FULL BLOG POST HERE:   http://theangstyartist.blogspot.com/2010/08/copyrights-and-inspiration.html#links

New Earrings

Lastnight I was fiddling in my wire scraps while watching television with my other half, Jay. My fingers just mindlessly meandered through my wire scrap, doodling here and there. At one point I looked down and found that one of these circles with the pattern of 4 coils, a space, and 4 coils again had resulted from my wire doodling. I liked it so much I decided that I wanted to do something else with it. I had already told myself that I needed to make more earrings for my spring shows so I decided to take it in that direction. I very quickly finished off three pair. One with blue quartz briolettes and Icondolite Swarovski Crystal, one in deep Siam red Swarovski Crystal and one in Topaz and Copper Swarovski beads. I oxidized them all, of course!

You should click on the photo for a detailed view … it makes it easier to see the coiling on the earrings.

I think they are very simple and yet very attractive. Just a few ‘simple’ details really make these earrings for me.

Spring is coming ….

The gallery recently asked all of the 2D artist to change thier tagging system to add more information. The tag had to be large enough to include my full name, my inventory code, the materials, the price and the ring size. I was just getting ready to put some rings in the gallery and found myself thinking that this was going to be problematic for me. I could not imagine how I could add a tag big enough for all of THAT to a ring without it looking … just … tacky. I had to put some thought into it and I am glad to say that in the end I manged to find a soloution that made for a charming presentation. Beautiful little leaf tags! Click on the pictures to get a detailed view.

All of the required information fits perfectly on the back side of the leaf. Customers can still try on the ring without having to worry about tearing the tag because it is quality cardstock. I just love the look of the leaf tags … and now I’m changing all of my other tags out to match – even changing my earring cards out to match!

Abandoned Projects Found Again

Walking into my studio space is like a tour of a mad scientists labratory. It’s easy to see with just a glance around the room that I enjoy experimenting. I have little unfinished ‘experiments’ all over the place. I recently ran across two that were great fun in the moment and that both showed potential but that still lie in wait for me to turn my attentions to them once again.

The little face was going to be my Picasso pin. I used an old cab that I didn’t care much for as support for the weaving. I had lips sewn in place but decided that I didn’t care too much for them and wanted to redo them so I pulled them out and put the remake on my to do list. Haven’t touched him since, except to photograph him for this entry. Maybe I’ll get around to that sometime soon.

The bracelet … now that’s a different story. I ran out of the bars…. didn’t make enough at the time. I wanted to make a full cuff bracelet but I ran out of propane for my torch. I have since made more bar pins and I need to take this one apart and redo it all together. I do like the general idea that I was working with here but I think my remake will be a bit neater as this was just a mad experiment on the fly. 🙂

This is only two, of what amounts to at least 50 or more experiments that lie about waiting to be remembered.

My New Bio

Realizing that my bio needed a good bit of revising and knowing that I am certainly no word smith, I turned to the best word smith that I know, Jay Moody.  I asked him to write a bio for me and I have to say that when he was done I was even impressed with myself!  He really did a fabulous job.   I decided to publish it here on my blog to show everyone what a fantastic job he did (and what a great bio I now have!). 

********Delia Stone’s Bio by: Jay Moody********


            Delia Stone is one of Pensacola, Florida’s top jewelry artists.  Winner of multiple awards and published six times in the national jewelry maker’s magazine Step by Step Wire, Delia’s techniques are adapted from the styles developed in ancient Egypt, Phoenicia, and Peru.  Delia explains that contrary to popular misconception, wire work is indeed an art.  It has just been a lost art for thousands of years and is finally re-emerging to take its place amongst the world’s aesthetics once again. 

 Along with the ancient and timeless techniques of history’s greatest civilizations, Delia’s signature Victorian era Needle-lace work, which she helped popularize amongst today’s jewelry artists, is characteristic of her great attention to detail.  Her Green Corn stitch, inspired by her experiences in a traditional Muskogee Creek Stomp Dance society is especially popular amongst Native American style artists.  Delia likes to work with precious and semi-precious stones; labradorite, ammonite fossils and carved bone.  He work is bound exclusively with precious metals by cold-connection techniques, without glue or solder.  These diverse influences and natural flowing techniques give Delia Stone’s work a timeless character that is both classical and modern.

 A lover of nature, Delia first began making wire jewelry in 1991 by wrapping polished stones for friends and family.  Initially she made her pieces to give away as gifts as she developed her unique style.  Knowledge of her work grew and Delia subsequently began receiving orders from people eager to commission and purchase her work.  Being self-taught, Delia had to seek out and conceptually deconstruct the many styles and techniques she has since made a natural part of her art.  As her talents developed she quickly began receiving requests for hands on jewelry lessons which inspired a line of Delia Stone original tutorials and a series of formal classes.  She looks forward to teaching others what she struggled on her own to learn, giving her students something she never had; a professional foundation and instruction on basic to advanced techniques, encouraging the continuance of her craft for the future.  She has taught wire-wrap jewelry classes all over the Southeast, and currently resides in Pensacola, Florida where she offers group classes and individual instruction by appointment.  Delia firmly believes that to become a professional artist, one only need take their work seriously and understand the value of bringing a vision to life.

 Awards:  Current as of November 2010
Troyfest 2004 – Merit Award
Troyfest 2005 – Merit Award
Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival Heritage Arts  2008 – Award of Excellence
Festival on the Green 2010 – Third Place
Troyfest 2010 – Seven Purchase Awards
Williams Stations Day 2010 – Merit Award and two Purchase Awards
Great Gulf Coast Arts Festival Heritage Arts 2010 – Award of Excellence

 Publications:  Current as of November 2010
Step by Step Wire Magazine 2005 – Wire Works Gallery Pages
Step by Step Wire Magazine 2007 – Wire Works Gallery Pages
Step by Step Wire Jewelry 2008 (Summer Issue) – Featured Tutorial: Needlelace Caged Pendant
Step by Step Wire Jewelry 2010 (Spring Issue) – Wire Works Gallery Pages
Step by Step Wire Jewelry 2010 (Summer Issue)- Wire Works Gallery Pages
Step by Step Wire Jewelry’s special issue: Best of Wire 2010 Featured Tutorial:  Needlelace Caged Pendant

Black Friday Creative Retreat …

I hope that everyone had as great a Thanksgiving as me and mine had.   The in-laws went to Breckenridge for the holiday and so we opted for a nice quiet family Thanksgiving at home.  We really had a great time.  Jay set the mood with music and holiday scented candles and we worked together as a family to make dinner.  Nonnie enjoyed helping with the green bean casserole and shucking corn.  She is such a good helper.  I will enjoy that while it lasts. 🙂

We sipped on spiked cider, sang holiday songs, and  had some wholesome quality time together as a family.  There was a feeling of love and peace in the air all day.   It was a Thanksgiving that I think I will always be thankful for.  Let there be no doubt what I am most thankful for in my life …

Dakota, Nonnie and Hailey. 🙂  They are the three greatest treasures I have ever known in my life.

I braved the traffic on Black Friday to do a bit of Christmas shopping.  It was stressful of course, but I returned home safely and retreated to the comfort of the studio.  While I sawed and filed on the product of my first etched metal experiments (quite fun, btw) Jay was researching the various ways that people around the world celebrate Christmas, or the likeness thereof.   Here are some pics of my metal etchings, along with a cup of spirited cider in the background.  Yum!  I decided to make a test sheet with random stuff on it and my sheet metal wasn’t big enough to make full cuffs, so I made half cuffs.  I have the basic ‘eveyone’s gotta try it’ spiral pattern, a grove of trees and a piece that I was trying to make look somewhat modernized – but my kids insist that it looks like a building because the squares make them think of windows.   You’ll also notice that I was playing around with the idea of creating signature tags to include on pieces that I would like to sign.  The idea is worth some merit and I will continue to experiment with it.

My charming other half made us some MORE hot spiced cider with a little MORE  bourbon.  Gotta love him! 🙂  We then broke out the Christmas Tree and had fun decorating the tree.  This is the first Christmas tree that Hailey has really ‘been aware’ of and of course her first priority was to taste test the ornaments. 

After the fun of decorating the tree was over everyone went off into their little corners to do their own thing.  The girls went to play with their dolls, Dakota went to the game room to play video games, Jay broke out his favorite computer games and I returned to the studio to drill my etched pieces to make bracelets out of them. I decided to make them half cuffs with wire and bead backs with the simplest of clasps.  Nothing too fancy, but a lot of fun to make.  While I was taking photos of the etched metal, I got some photos of  some other bracelets I made recently.

All in all it was a good holiday weekend.