Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stream of Stars

You guys, I have been excited about this collection for months. This new collection, titled Stream of Stars, is a reinterpretation of the Constellations and the Night Sky collection that was released in early January 2011.

I generally wait longer than a year before revisiting a non-seasonal theme, but I was beside myself with excitement when I discovered this summer that I can turn my artwork into textures for imprinting onto metal. Constellations, I thought.

The seed of inspiration for these constellation-based series came from my childhood, my dad's telescope, and a road trip. I have always been fascinated by stars and space, constellations and planets, wishes and mysteries. Then, in the spring of 2010 I was on a long middle-of-the-night road trip from LA. The sky was clear and crystalline, the stars so low and bright that the Big Dipper, normally up in the sky, had nearly slipped into the horizon. It was absolutely breathtaking.

This time I offer Cassiopeia, Orion, Hercules, Perseus, Pegasus, The Southern Cross, The Seven Sisters, The Big Dipper, Draco, star clusters, and the Milky Way in addition to the twelve Zodiac Asterisms, two Moons of Jupiter, a nebula, and an array of showcase pieces. Enjoy!

In darkness, the stars shine forever...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Persephone's Choice

So much can be said about the myth of Persephone and the symbols contained within. Like many others, I have been fascinated by the story of Persephone for a very long time. As I grow and change, so do the symbols and meanings that I find within the myth.

This art piece is one that percolated for a couple of years, but the specifics of the illustration recently hit me over the head while I was sitting in traffic of all places. This piece is layered with meaning and personal significance. It draws from my experiences with the Eleusinian Mysteries via ritual theatre, "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell, "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell, "Persephone Unveiled" by Charles Stein, "The Labyrinth" by Catherine M. Valente, my role as a parent and mother, and the constant change and evolution within my personal life and creative work.

Since my creative work so often centers on myths and the ebb and flow of the year, the following quote from The Hero with a Thousand Faces sticks in the forefront of my mind. The author delves into the reasons that people revisit, retell, and add their own creative voice to the myths:

"...while all stories have already been told, this is not a bad thing, since the retelling is still necessary. And while our own life's journey must always be ended alone, the travel is undertaken in the company not only of immediate loved ones and primal passion, but of the heroes and heroines—and myth-cycles—that have preceded us."

At the start of this piece I decided to show it as a work in progress; as such the photos below range from pencil sketch, to ink line, to shaded ink, to french gray shadows, to the final colored piece. It was created on smooth bristol with ink and Prismacolors.

Blank note cards featuring Persephone's Choice will be available tomorrow at Elements & Artifacts! A limited number of 10x13 poster prints on premium paper stock will also be available!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stream of Stars Sneak Peek

Coming later this week, a reworking of the Constellations and the Night Sky series!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Madness Sale 2011!

It wouldn't be right if I didn't follow tradition and offer a Holiday Madness Sale at Elements & Artifacts!

From now through Monday, November 28th, you may take 20% OFF your order with the code YULE20. Even better, if your order total before shipping is $100 or higher, you may take 25% OFF with the code YULE25. 

Please note that custom orders are not eligible for these discounts. 

Please 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.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Custom Orders Closed

At this time my custom order queue has grown long enough that I am closing off further custom orders so that I can complete the listings that have gone up in the shop. THANK YOU for the amazing response to this! If I didn't get to you, please hold your ideas until next time!

Thank you again for your understanding this year while I worked on a new set-up for custom orders. Opening them for intervals still allows me to take on your custom requests while keeping my workload in check during the times that custom orders are closed. I will continue to leave windows of time open, when possible, for future custom order periods!

I wish you all a warm and cozy Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Solo Exhibit on Etsy Stalker

Elements & Artifacts was given a Solo Exhibit on Etsy Stalker! Click through to read my interview and learn how to enter the necklace giveaway! :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Custom Orders

Custom Orders have been the big thing on everyone's mind ever since I made the decision to close custom work for an interval of time. I have been humbled, and at times overwhelmed, by the sheer number of inquiries I have received in the time since custom orders were closed. It is actually quite astounding. I wish I could say that I have all the time in the world to take every request year-round, but I have been short on both the time and the creative energy it takes to properly complete custom orders on top of my usual workload. This won't last indefinitely!

However, I am very excited to announce that custom orders will temporarily open starting today, Wednesday, November 16th!!! They will remain open through the end of the month or until I need to divert my time and energy back to other projects. I promise to do my best to accept as many requests as possible during this time period without sacrificing the quality of each custom order. Unfortunately, I may not be able to work through every request during this open custom order time period; I hope if you find yourself in that group that you will hold your ideas until the next time around.

There is a slight change to the custom order setup so that I can give each custom piece the attention it deserves and manage my workflow in ways that allow me to batch like items. Please read carefully:

1. Submit your custom order request via Etsy convo only. In that convo please include as many details as possible to summarize your idea for the custom order. Include such details as the metal type, colors/gemstones, and any other special requests you may have. It is extra helpful if you include url links to examples of my past work if your custom idea happens to draw upon designs that have been in my shop at some time or another.

2. I will confirm receipt of your request and will ask follow-up questions if needed. Please note that your request is not a guarantee that I can take on your project, but if your project comes up in the queue while I am accepting custom orders, I will contact you to confirm that you're still committed. Price quotes, turnaround times, and custom listings will be discussed from that point forward.

3. I will take five custom projects at a time for the duration of my open custom order period. As each custom order is finished I will rotate a new custom order into the queue.

4. My turnaround time will vary per project, depending on communication, supplies, and the complexity of the project. Some will take only two business days, others could stretch into a few weeks especially if supplies must be ordered.

Thank you for all of your patience over the past year while I sought to keep my work schedule in check!

Ready, set, go! :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yule 2011

I am excited to present my Yule 2011 collection which holds over 100 new items! I have woven in new concepts and designs to go with old favorites. There are also revamped pieces which are better executed now that I have a firmer grasp on certain techniques and materials.

One slight change in my offerings includes a move toward more petite pendants and focal pieces. The larger statement piece still have their place, but I have been drawn toward smaller, more delicate pieces that can more easily be worn on a day-to-day basis. The first photo below is a smaller version of the solstice sun mandalas from past years.

I have sought to offer items at nearly every price point and there is also a Stocking Stuffer sub-series with a healthy selection of handblown glass globe earrings, both old and new. The earrings are presented with new Yule-Frost Orb handblown glass foil pendants in both warm and cool winter themes.

This collection plays off of the duality and tension between the cold/wintry and warm/festive aspects of the holidays and winter season. I hope you love it!

Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for three big announcements! You won't want to miss them! :)

Don't forget those secret coupon codes that went out in your Halloween orders! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's Coming...

Tomorrow is the day! Until then, here is another preview from the Yule/Winter collection.

I am extremely excited to revisit the filigree snowflakes which were part of my grand reveal of ornate wire wrapping exactly two years ago! However, in order to revisit them I wanted to move from the original tutorial that was used into something of my own design.

Here is the past Danagonia version:

The new version is one that took a few sketches and a great deal of thought in order to work out the logistics of the armatures, as well as how to connect them in the most elegant way possible. It is also much more petite, minus about an inch in diameter from the former. I also wanted my version to have a movement and flow; as such, the spirals came into the picture. Here is the end result:

And here are previews for Decembris, The Ice Storm, Winter Rose, and Snow Flurries:

I aim to release everything mid-morning tomorrow, November 2nd. It's just a few days earlier than it was last year, but there are very good reasons for this. You'll see. ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Early Previews!

I posted this snowflake preview on my Facebook Page last week, but today I added a second preview.

I've gone petite! A handful of items in the next collection are just a bit more delicate in size. This is a fine silver gallery bezel with black agate druzy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Username

Etsy finally rolled out the ability to change usernames! As such, I have changed mine from to to more closely reflect my business name. The old URL will redirect to the new one, so your bookmarks should continue to work even if you don't update them. The URL continues to direct to my shop as well.

You'll want to keep an eye out for new work once we're past Halloween. Until then, spooky wishes! :)

Etsy Stalker!

My Pumpkin Keeper locket was featured on a cute site called Etsy Stalker as part of a post titled A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch. Check it out; there are a lot of cute things in there! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Giveaway Winner!

Thank you so much to everyone who helped me celebrate the E&A anniversary last month! As promised, I am announcing the winner of the September giveaway. Every order placed in September was entered and chose the winning number for me.

Congratulations to GleanerGirl, who has won an exclusive 50% off coupon code which can be applied to any one order (excluding custom work) through the end of 2011.

Thank you once again for your excitement, word-of-mouth referrals, feedback, comments, and support over the years. <3

Friday, September 16, 2011

E&A Sugar Skulls!

THEY'RE UP! There are 15 new E&A Sugar Skulls in the shop. If you contacted me to reserve a skull, please visit the shop to find your listing! There are extra unreserved skulls available as well. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Elements & Artifacts Halloween & Anniversary Celebration!

I am very excited to present my Halloween 2011 collection, not only because this is one of my favorite times of year, but also because I've decided to once again mark the anniversary of Elements & Artifacts with a celebration.

Elements & Artifacts is officially "three" this month and I have been selling on Etsy for almost six years! When I unveiled Elements & Artifacts, I had no idea it would grow and evolve in so many amazing ways. Thank you all for your excitement, word-of-mouth referrals, feedback, comments, and support over the years. Every single thing, big or small, means the world to me.

To celebrate, I am offering the following celebrations which are valid now through September 30, 2011:

1. EVERY order will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an exclusive 50% off coupon code, good on any one order (excluding custom work) through the end of 2011. The winner will be announced on October 1, 2010.

2. While supplies last, EVERY order will receive an unreleased Masquerade blank note card. It was created using a never-before-printed ink drawing from my archives.

ETA on 9/12: I have run out of Masquerade note cards at this point in time, but every order will still receive a free note card during September!

Created in 1993, Unearthed from the vaults in 2011
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.
Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth. —Oscar Wilde

3. EVERY order will receive a secret coupon code tucked inside the order package, which can be used anytime throughout the end of the year.

4. Domestic orders of $50 or more will automatically be upgraded from First Class to Priority Mail at no extra cost.

Enjoy your September, welcome Autumn, and bring on Halloween! :D

Monday, September 5, 2011

Behind the Scenes

Most of the time I don't think to take photos of my processes, but this time I did remember! I began gilding last month after many weeks of anticipation. The bonus of this sneak-peek? You can see some of my other Halloween-related wire pendants in progress. This was before they gained their patina, polish, and necklace chains. Yes, this really is quite a production at times. ;)

1. The matte white pieces in the foreground are un-burnished fine silver as it appears when pulled straight from the kiln. The surface is microscopically porous due to the organic binders that burn off in the kiln; the pieces must be smoothed out before they will shine.

2. Shiny! These are the same pieces after being hand burnished with agate. Mirror finish, baby! You can actually see the tip of the wood handle for my bezel pusher, and the little baggies with stones in them are the cabochons which will later be set into the bezels that I formed via soldering.

3. Ah, the stinky bag of gilder's paste! I bought this stuff the very millisecond that I learned of it, and then discovered that my production schedule was so busy that I'd have to wait several weeks to try it. I was dying with impatience. I have several colors that I am saving for use in the winter collections. Mwah ha ha.

4. The surface of this test piece was primed. Since it was a test piece, I went ahead and tried a handful of colors to test their glide and opacity. I immediately fell in love with gilding.

5. This one is called Queen of the Demonweb Pits with antiqued fine silver gilded with antique gold. You can see one of the fleur de lis pendants up in the corner; I released those the moment they were finished because I could not wait any longer.

There are many gilded pendants in my Halloween collection, releasing tomorrow (Tuesday)!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Then and Now

With my coming Halloween collection, I chose to create a subseries of Psychopomps and included a few items associated with the Hades-Persephone myth. The new design for Persephone's Descent to the Underworld is actually a revisit of my own design from over four years ago, long before I had gained my grasp on both wire wrapping and photography.

Here is Persephone then, and now:

There will be a few more sneak previews to come, including a behind-the-scenes series of photos of the gilding process.

The Halloween update will happen early next week and it is 120 items huge! The details for the Elements & Artifacts anniversary celebration/swag giveaway will be posted here as soon as I have them ready. It's going to be BIG!

PS. There are a handful of sneak previews over on my Facebook Fan Page...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Signal Boost!

I'm going to interrupt my usual progression of art projects to call attention to another artist in a different medium, classical ballet. I've spent the better part of the past sixteen years in a smattering of ballet schools with a smattering of teachers and this man is a truly gifted teacher.

Eric's classes are positive and energetic, with just the right amount of humor woven into the hard work. He offers practical theory to help dancers understand the mechanics behind a step, breaks them down into simpler movements, explains which muscles are used and why, and gives real-life examples or mental imagery to help things click. This multi-layered aspect to Eric's teaching helps new dancers feel less overwhelmed, and helps experienced dancers reach new levels of execution or artistry.

I think Eric is the only ballet teacher I have come across that I would unconditionally recommend to beginners through professionals of every age, and every dancer in between. His approach to teaching is perfect for both the serious dancer and those who want to dip their toe into the water to try ballet for the first time. He is accessible, knowledgable, experienced, kind, and patient. He has a great way of making new students and new dancers feel at ease while adding in extra challenges for experienced dancers to improve their strength and technique. His classes are hard work, but oh so rewarding and fun.

Please check out his new website, Eric Bourman Adult Ballet Classes and his Facebook Fan Page. He has just announced that he will be teaching at Pacific Ballet Academy in the South San Francisco Bay Area in Mountain View, CA.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Down in New Orleans

I went ahead and published the ten listings for the Down in New Orleans subseries. I love gilding so much that I definitely plan to keep it.

Happy Monday, everyone. It's not my favorite day of the week, but it's still a day. Now, there's coffee to be had. :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Down in New Orleans! These (and others) will soon be listed in the shop, marking the official release of gilding in my work! I've been excited from the moment I ordered the gilding supplies many weeks ago. I have more plans for this stuff. Oh yes. *steeples hands*

Friday, August 5, 2011

Rise from the Ashes

PurplePeacockFeather created a lovely Phoenix-inspired Treasury including my Illumine Phoenix pendant. Click here to view the details.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Autumn 2011 and Mystic Forest

At Lughnasadh, the first harvest, there is a shift from summer growing time to harvest time. Although summer temperatures may still be high, the mood and sensation of the year is decidedly different as the changes in the light from the waning sun become more evident. Those of us who love autumn may feel a spark of excitement.

At this first harvest I chose to present a Mystic Forest sub-series to mark the balanced transition between summer and autumn. Twining leaves and vines are paired with stunning gemstone cabochons in an all-metal-clay collection.

Autumn enters just after Mystic Forest. It's a huge collection with more surprises to come as we approach the actual Autumnal Equinox.