My piece for week 1 of the new FSOJ Wednesday, Sep 27 2006 

Fused sterling silver pendant with glass beadThis pendant was inspired by some pictures of natural silver specimens that I saw in an old Lapidary Journal this weekend. Although rare, occasionally suclptural, organic-looking specimens of silver are found in nature, and they are really incredible! (At least I think they are…)

I’ve been making organic-looking fused pendants for a while, off and on, but seeing those natural sculptures really made me want to explore this technique more, and see if I could create pieces that actually do look like natural formations. I didn’t quite succeed, as a google search for ‘silver specimens’ will show you, but I’m really happy with this piece anyway. It needed something to make it jewelry, rather than sculpture, so I added the little green glass bead. I didn’t put a bail on it because I think I actually prefer this one as a pin – but I would need to design a pin back that doesn’t detract from it, and I didn’t have any brilliant ideas for that last night when I was finishing up, so it’s a pendant, at least for now.

A few more September pendants Monday, Sep 25 2006 

three stone disc pendantsHere are a few more pendants I made this month. I really like this photograph. The pendants are based on the stone disc pendant from my website, which sold a few months ago. A simple design, but I think it showcases these stones really well, and doesn’t hide too much of the interesting patterns on them.

I spend much of the afternoon  Sunday flipping between baseball (Oakland A’s, who still haven’t clinched their playoff spot) and football (49ers, looking better than last year but not necessarily great) and making bead and wire pendants. I need to photograph them, and then I’ll post my favorites.

Saturday I spent some time with my torch at the studio, but it was one of those days where the ideas I had almost worked but not quite – so I have some interesting fused silver pieces to work with, but nothing that really feels finished. I’ll be spending some time at the studio tonight, *hopefully* making some jewelry that I want to show off while listening to the A’s win a baseball game & possibly clinch the playoff spot (if the LA Angels lose to Texas).

Pictures from September Tuesday, Sep 12 2006 

pendants from SeptemberFused Pendant Here are some of the pendants I’ve made the past week or so while practicing to get in the habit of creating every day. Obviously, the one on the right took a lot more time and creativity than the simple ones on the left. I’ve also managed to squeeze in a few that fall somewhere in the middle, in terms of time spent, but I can’t post those pictures yet since they were created for a customer who will be giving them as surprise gifts.

I haven’t had any major creative breakthroughs in the approximately 10 days I’ve been working on getting in the habit of creating every day, but I have convinced myself that it actually isn’t that crazy to think I could make a pendant every day. I’ve been doing the bead-on-a-headpin variety every morning while having my coffee, and on days when I have time to spend at my studio, I’ve either done more intricately designed pendants or worked on other jewelry projects.

What might end up being tricky for me is posting more often. Although I am online nearly every day (let’s say six days a week on average), I tend not to photograph my work more than about once a week. So the hard part is definitely going to be the photographing and posting. I don’t plan on always posting my pendant of the day on the day it was made, but I do think that saving up a week’s worth could get overwhelming sometimes, so I’m going to work on taking and posting photos more frequently.

So far, so good Thursday, Sep 7 2006 

3 practice pendants

So far, since I decided to use the rest of September as a practice month, I’ve made a pendant every day. I think that’s five days in a row so far…here are three of the very simple ones made from my pendant-a-day kit. From left to right: pendant with sterling headpin, agate, carnelian chip, and smoky quartz colored glass bead, pendant with sterling headpin, carnelian faceted teardops, round amethyst, pendant with faceted goldstone nugget.

My pendant-a-day kit isn’t quite complete – so far it contains two baggies of beads, and some manufactured sterling silver and gold filled head pins, along with basic pliers. I plan to add to the kit gradually, but for now I can make these kinds of cute charms while sitting on my couch at home.

A few of my more labor-intensive (also more creative) pendants from this week can be seen at my yahoo blog. There’s a new fused piece (bad picture though) and a couple of new resin pendants.

I’m feeling good about the project, now that I’ve gone almost a full week making something every day, and it’s actually been pretty easy. It helps that I enjoy making jewelry, of course, but it’s really my kit that is going to make the project work. Even on days when I don’t get online, I’ll be able to make something unless some unforseen disaster strikes. Even simple pendants like those shown here are cute, and they look great worn a few at a time on a chain or neckwire.

I’m not using any pink beads until October, since it will be hard enough to come up with 31 different pink designs. So it looks like I’m doing lots of fall colors – coincidentally appropriate for September.

Preparing to start Sunday, Sep 3 2006 

This past week I’ve been thinking about ways I can make it easier for me to actually make a pendant every day. Because my studio is separate from my home, I don’t currently go there every day. This is probably the biggest obstacle for me – driving there every day no matter what could easily make the project a failure almost before it gets started.

So yesterday, I thought of a solution. I’m making a portable pendant kit. The contents of the kit will be: handmade headpins in a variety of gauges, pre-cut and pre-filed lengths of wire in the gauges and lengths I generally use for freeform wirework, a coil of 24 or 26 gauge wire for weaving/attaching findings, my ‘back-up’ set of pliers, including round nose, chain nose, and cutters, and a small zip-lock baggie with assorted beads. This way I’ll have everything I need to make either charm-style pendants (bead on a head pin) or freeform sculpted pendants on hand, and it should fit in a small bag that I can keep at home, take with me on vacations, etc.

Today I’m going to the studio to make my kit, as well as work on some resin pendants I have in progress. For the rest of  September, I’m going to try to get in the habit of a pendant a day, and I’ll officially start my project on October first. Since I’m also working on a collaborative project that is raising money for breast cancer research, and October is breast cancer awareness month according to just about every women’s magazine I’ve ever read, I’m going to do a pink theme for October and donate 10% of the selling price of the October pendants to breast cancer research. I figure having a cause will also make it easier to stick to my goal, and after the first month I should be pretty much in the habit of doing a pendant every day.