Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Recent Custom Orders

These are a few (of many) custom orders that I completed during the holiday rush. One of the really neat things about custom work is that customers often ask for certain details or color combos that wouldn't have occurred to me. The end result is usually just stunning. For instance, the third photo is a pair of open-backed adjustable wire rings based off of the exact bow-tie design I used for a wire cuff in my Yule update. :)







I'll leave you with a quick heads-up: new work based on Norse Myths will hit my shop in early January! I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Miss Lorelei

Earlier this week I spent my morning sharpening 120 Prismacolor pencils. The colors, objects, symbols, and flowers all represent some aspect of my daughter Miss Lorelei, the month she was born in, or the Virgo sign.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blue Moon...You Saw Me Standing Alone

Lysithea made it into this stunning Etsy Treasury, which was part of a non-team Treasury challenge.

Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own




Click here to visit the Treasury. Comments and clicks on the Treasury are welcomed!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Website!

My new website is finally live!



My portfolio website has gone through seven different incarnations in the past nine years. Out of curiosity, I browsed through some of the old designs. Holy contact embarrassment! My design skills have come a long way over the years. ;)

I am doubly thrilled with the outcome of this new website design because I gave myself a crash course on HTML5/CSS (with a side of APIs) in order to create it. This is a dynamic leap away from the old school, table-based static pages of old. Stepping up to learn layers and div tags well enough to create this site has been very empowering.

An interesting note:

The deep red background was created with coffee splatters on parchment, scanned, and colorized in Photoshop. Yes, I am still finding coffee splatters in strange places where coffee doesn't belong. ;)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things I've Been Working On

I've been a busy little bee, and even though I am still packing orders and finishing up custom work, I do see an end in sight—just in time for the holidays!

I have begun to sneak in some time for a few things that I've been wanting to do for months. Here are two of them:

1. 22K gold overlaid onto fine silver! I'm also conducting experiments into silver accents on bronze and copper metal clay. I've shown a cropped teaser of a gilded silver piece.



2. This new blog design, which is another teaser of sorts. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Nutcracker

This year, I found myself doing not one but three different Nutcracker projects. I was already reinterpreting some of last winter's Nutcracker-themed jewelry when the other two projects landed in my lap.

The first one was the poster design for Western Ballet's 35th season of The Nutcracker. If you are local to the San Francisco Bay area, I highly recommend attending a performance this weekend.


Friday, Dec. 3, 2010 @ 7 PM
Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 @ 1 PM & 7 PM
Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010 @ 1 PM & 6:30 PM

Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts



The other project involved creating the illustrations and label designs for nineteen Limited Edition Nutcracker perfume oil blends by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.




Klara's scent is: Honey dusting powder, mandarin, iris, ylang ylang, tea rose, and carnation.


The Rat King: The Nine-Headed nemesis of the Nutcracker Prince. Dust, wood and feral musk with a fang-sharp undertone.

Here are some additional favorites of mine from the set:




I am not without my own history of The Nutcracker. I'll leave you with this fifteen-year-old photo of me as Clara in The Kosan Youth Ballet's version of The Nutcracker, which drew from the Vaganova (Russian) tradition of ballet and used Baryshnikov's famous choreography.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Stragglers

I just released my final jewelry collection of 2010!

These twenty items were slated for the Yule release but I couldn't quite fit them in due to time constraints. Over the past few weeks I have been finishing these up in the background. I like to call them my Winter Stragglers. :)







Each order placed in December will receive a FREE blank note card with either the Winter Solstice or Wheel of the Year artwork! As we approach holiday shipping deadlines, I will be giving out Priority Mail upgrades at my cost.

USPS states that the final safe date for international shipping deadlines (save for Express and Overnight) is December 13. The final safe date for domestic shipping deadlines (save for Express and Overnight) is December 20. I will hustle to get your orders out but cannot guarantee the timely arrival of your purchases after those dates.

Happy Holidays and warm wishes! Live well, love deeply, and be happy! Thank you all so much for such an amazing year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sneak Peek!

This is Themisto, based off of Crommelin, another in the moons of Jupiter series that I have slowly built based off of Gail Kops' gorgeous moon focals! This, among others, will hit my shop later this week!





And this one's mine. Gail named it Epimetheus and it stuck, so the name remains! :)



Both settings are from the same sketch, as was this summer's design of Seawater Relic. I'm so happy to have finally been able to release it in the way I intended; those XL moon focals are hard to get but they are so worth it! Thank you, Gail!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday and Custom Orders

Today is the last day to use the code YULE10 to receive 20% off your Elements & Artifacts order!

This Wednesday, December 1, is the final day that I will accept custom orders for the holidays. I have space for only a couple more at this point, but I will resume custom work on January 1, 2011!

There will be new creations in the shop later this week. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Decadence

This is a recently completed custom order to commemorate a lovely December-born lady's 40th birthday. The parameters included a mix of gold and silver, red and green. Here is what I came up with:



I am also in this lovely Black Friday Gift Guide. Oh, winter white! Isn't everything in it just stunning?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday-Cyber Monday

I've chosen to activate my annual Black Friday-Cyber Monday sale early due to my holiday plans.

Enter the coupon code YULE10 during checkout for 20% off your order!
Valid now through 11/29



Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale

It wouldn't be right if I didn't follow tradition and offer a Black Friday Sale at Elements & Artifacts! Not only that, but Etsy has finally rolled out the ability to do coupon codes!

From Friday, November 26th at 12:00am until Monday, November 29th at 11:59pm, you may take 20% OFF your order with the code YULE10. Please make sure to enter the code in the Shop Coupon Code box just below the payment options in your cart. The discount will be automatically calculated for you.

Please note that custom orders are not eligible for the discount.

December 1st is the final day to request custom orders for this holiday season. I have received a greater influx of custom order requests than expected and I would like to make sure that they all receive the time and attention they deserve. If you have already begun the process of requesting a custom order, consider yourself in the queue even if our discussion has not yet ended with a custom listing in the shop.




As promised, a few photos from my day at Event California! Despite a couple of technical glitches it was a great experience, plus I loved meeting a number of my fellow SF Etsy Team members. I also came away with some amazing pumpkin puree truffles and the best kettle corn I have ever tasted. :)








Lastly, I have listed Seawater Relic in my shop! It was offered through TeamBPAL early this past summer and was my first precious metal clay + wire wrapping combo. The wire setting was originally sketched for use with a moon focal but it seemed a perfect fit for the coin pendant I created, so I used it ahead of schedule. Watch for this wire design to make another appearance with a moon focal in the coming weeks!



Seawater Relic
When winds that move not its calm surface sweep
The azure sea, I love the land no more.
(—Moschus)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Event California

I'm excited to announce that Event California is upon us! Please note that my entire inventory will be packed up for this show, which means that if you have your heart set on something, now is the time to purchase or reserve it!

The SF Etsy team is going to be out in force at Event California. This new craft show will be held November 21st at Napredak Hall in San Jose, from 9 am to 3 pm, and there will be lots of local talent—including these SF Etsy team members:

Scottish Lily Jewelry
Nicole Steward Designs
Bella Beads Originals
A Slice of Delight
Rhea Leanne
Royal Redneck
Melinda Mae Handbags
Elements and Artifacts
EvelynX
Leaf and Tendril
The Rows Garden
Studio MME
Mama's Magic Studio



Sunday, November 21st
9am-3pm

Napredak Hall
770 Montague Expressway
San Jose, CA 95131


Free Admission
Free Parking

Monday, November 15, 2010

Treasury Round-Up

I have never found myself in so many gorgeous Treasuries in such a quick succession. I always say that autumn is my favorite season, but winter has its own beauty. There has also been a surge of holiday-related Treasuries going up as we near the holiday shopping season. I'm not quite ready to do my own holiday shopping, but many of these Treasuries are putting me in the mood for it.







Friday, November 12, 2010

Winter Sonata

I think this is probably one of the most stunning Etsy Treasuries I've ever been included in. Behold Winter Sonata by ykonna.

Please visit the Treasury by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yule 2010!

I am very pleased to present my Yule 2010 collection which, because of my tandem preparations for Event California, has inched past 150 new items! This collection plays off of the duality and tension between the cold/wintry and warm/festive aspects of this time of year.





I have woven in a number of new concepts to go along with reinterpretations of old favorites, including a revisit of The Nutcracker, the winter months, Persephone, Aurora Borealis, Stocking Stuffers, blown glass earrings, and many more. There are also many new explorations into the Elements sub-series that seems to be growing within my work.

This collection also sees the one-year mark of the official release of wire work which I picked up with the intent of making it a signature element in my work. Additionally, this collection shows the culmination of this year's work after eight months of soldering and torch work (bezels! ball-ends!), five months of metal clay work (ooh, shiny!), and seven months of tinkering with colored patinas (colorful!). I look forward to further developing my skills with these materials which I love, and I already have goals in sight for next year's work.

Thank you all, so much, for your support. It truly means the world to me.





Please note! I have released my Yule collection before Event California to give you all first crack at everything in it. On November 21, my shop will be put on a two-day hiatus so that I can take my entire inventory to my vending booth at Event California. As always, I am happy to reserve listings in your name if payday is just out of reach and, where possible, I will happily recreate a sold item. I have no idea what Event California has in store for me, so don't let a coveted item get away!

Custom orders are welcomed throughout the holiday season. Please be aware that custom orders take 3-7 business days to complete, or longer if supplies must be ordered for your project. The final safe date for international shipping deadlines (save for Express and Overnight) is December 13. The final safe date for domestic shipping deadlines (save for Express and Overnight) is December 20. Please keep those dates in mind when you order and I will do my best to get everything out in time, gorgeous ribbons and wrapping included, so that it reaches you in time for your holiday of choice. :)

Stay tuned for further details and announcements before the end of the year.

Warmly,
Alicia

Monday, November 8, 2010

Water Etching

I have been planning for some time to post some photos that show the water etching process that I have adapted as a signature element in my metal clay work. The example I've shown here is called Ice-Fire. I have combined both water etching and a ranged color patina to create a surreal one-of-a-kind pendant with a multi-hued snake chain.

The masking process is slow and painstaking. It takes many coats to build it up:



This is the raw etched version, minus the mask:



After firing, a layer of cool gray patina was added:



Then, the color!



This is the final product. Hello, Ice-Fire. :)





From the description: This pendant shows the clashing of ice and fire with a swirling, time-worn look created out of fine silver. It represents the elements water and fire and continues my line of explorations into the elements. The shaded areas of dark patina have been given a color cast to further exemplify the Ice-Fire concept. It ranges from hints of crimson, to dusky plum, to periwinkle, to dark royal blue.

Ice-Fire is part of my Elements sub-series and will go live with my Yule collection later this week! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sneak Peek: Ice Queen, Reinterpreted

Here is another sneak peek from my upcoming Yule collection! These are both a reinterpretation of the Ice Queen concept I've used in winters past.





Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sneak Preview

As promised, I am posting a sneak preview into my next collection. The first two photos show the way the collection plays off of both the cold & wintry and warm & festive aspects of Yule and winter. This is Decembris 2010 and a reinterpretation of Nutcracker - Clara.

The final photo here shows Light and Dark, which is my first ever torch-based soldered bezel setting. I plan to focus on this until I have mastered it!





*



There will be more sneak previews to come as I finish preparing for a huge November at Elements & Artifacts. I also plan to post some work-in-progress photos and art-related announcements. Don't blink or you might miss something! :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Modern Eden

Did you know that you can now purchase Elements & Artifacts jewelry through Modern Eden's website? Click here to view the current catalog!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Food For Thought and Blessed Samhain

This week I have seen three unconnected discussions fall on the same topic; two were in two separate Etsy teams, and one was related to a forum I moderate. All three discussions dealt with creative fields and issues of copycatting from others in the same field. It was interesting to sit back and watch where the discussions led since almost all involved are creatives themselves.

One positive thing that came out of some of these discussions involved suggestions for how to move past those issues in a positive way that lends inner strength and a source of inspiration. Taking that route is far better than resorting to fear, stalking the work of the artist in question, or attempting to cut them down whether directly or indirectly.

One poster brought up a question that doesn't occur to many who are already feeling defensive or territorial: you have to first ask yourself whether or not the things that are upsetting you are trends, based off of published books or lessons, or are mass produced materials that are in large circulation. Is there still a legitimate issue when ego, pride, and feeling competitive are all taken out of the mix? If two artists are given a rectangular space to create an owl in—both of which will most likely have eyes, a beak, feathers, and wings—how different will the designs be? Which parts are universal versus a personal embellishment?

Having been a part of the creative community for as long as I can remember, I have observed my fair share of both sides of the story. I have seen blatant IP infringement and copying, and I have seen the reputation of innocent artists smeared by others who have been too quick to judge and too sharp with their ego and tongue.

One thing that I shared myself in these discussions is an idea that dominated the creative atmosphere in my art college. Casting a very wide net of shallow exposure to others in your field, rather than a deep but small net of exposure, is key. Otherwise, it is far too likely that, as an artist, one will either intentionally or unintentionally draw too much inspiration from another's work. In the fine art world, this concept is nearly a mantra. In an ideal world, this mantra and understanding would be adopted by all artists, crafters, and companies in the creative field.

Anyway, that's my food for thought since it was percolating in my mind this week.

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween weekend full of fun and mischief! I will leave you with this Blessed Samhain Treasury which features my Halloween note card. In the coming weeks there will be plenty of news and sneak peeks. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Custom Work

I wanted to share an image of a recent custom order that I completed. It is a cross between the wire setting I did for Thebe, and the spectrolite piece I used in Astraia. I never would have thought of that combination had the buyer not requested it, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let's Go Pumpkin Picking!

I'm in this adorable pumpkin treasury! It's one of my favorites of all the pumpkin-themed ones I've seen this season. Click here to view it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Vixen Mask

Halloween is in the air! This is, hands down, my favorite time of year. I can't get enough of the crisp autumn air, the scent of woodsmoke and autumn leaves, or the appearance of pumpkin and spices in my kitchen.

I recently stumbled upon the work of Tom Banwell Designs, and each time I revisit his site I find another mask that I want! If only I had more events to wear them to.

This is his Vixen half mask in violet.



For weeks I have been working double time while I prepare for Event California and the release of my Yule collection. It's going to be amazing! I'll post some work-in-progress photos soon!