Diana Shawl!

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We ran a special mystery knit (MKAL) on our enVision group at the fiber forum, Ravelry, in August. It featured my latest shawl design, Diana, along with Dye Diana Dye yarns specially dyed for this MKAL by my good friend, Diana, as an exclusive Celestial Kit. Now that the MKAL is over, the Celestial colorways – Sol, Luna, Venus, and Mars, and the Diana shawl pattern, are available as individual sales.

Moreover, I am able share pictures of Diana!

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Diana in Dye Diana Dye PurBamboo Heavy Lace, Sol Edgy
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Diana in Dye Diana Dye TussaLin Heavy Lace, Venus Edgy

 

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Thomas Mann Workshop

I had the opportunity to take one of Thomas Mann‘s workshop at the Mendocino Art Center this summer (after visiting his gallery and studio in New Orleans the month before!) and it was fantastic. Tom was a very generous teacher and shared with us all the different facets of his trade. We did various exercises – some basic, others thought provoking.

His book, Metal Artist Workbench, is an excellent resource for those who are interested, as well as experienced, in metalsmithing.

During this four-day class, we learned the mechanic of sawing and did a quick exercise (left). We learned and practiced soldering and did two skill-building exercises. The first was to solder a piece of six-gauge twisted copper wire seamlessly (right) – this was my second try and still was not done perfectly.

A more complicated project was Wire World – not only did we learn how to solder well, we did it in the most timely manner thus understanding how it was in the “real production world.”

img_1745_wireworldWe learned various cold connection techniques using rivets, machine screws, nuts, tubes, and “stitching” with wire.

After two and half days of demonstrations and exercises, Tom gathered a plethora of found beach debris and rocks down the nearby cliff and challenged the class to create a jewelry object utilizing the techniques learned using some of these found objects.

I picked a piece of broken shell that was etched by the ocean. While I was sawing it lengthwise, one of the halves cracked leading to a pair of asymmetrical earring using the shell pieces, sterling silver, brass screws and nuts, and base-metal findings.

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NEW! Enchantment Series…

 

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Enchantment Series

Hoping to have our first online bench sale next month, figure it should coincide with a new series so I have been working hard to creating something … ummmm… enchanting! 😉

These tiny worlds of shimmering swirls, bubbles, crevices, sparkles, millifiori, dichroic,mesh, etc., all encapsulated in a glass sphere, will hopefully be both enticing and mesmerizing! Some feel like an underwater oasis, others like hidden treasures… let your imagination take you into these tiny orbs and be lost in their mystical depths.

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Enchantment Series
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Enchantment Series

If you are not on our email list  and are interested in joining us for the first online bench sale, sign up on our website! We send about four email blasts a year and never share our list.

The Best New Bakery in America

On 10 August, bon appétit named Arsicault its Bakery of the Year. For 10 days, no matter what time of the day we drove by Arsicault, there was a long, long line out its door and down the street. So on Tuesday after our early workout (what better way to enjoy buttery baked goods guilt free?), we decided to check it out. We got there 15 minutes after it opened at 7am, waited 30 minutes (the line was actually short by comparison, others have waited upward to two hours!), and got our maximum allowance – one type per person, four items total (limit varies from day to day) – a plain croissant, a chocolate, an almond and chocolate with powder sugar on top, and a savory ham and cheese each for $18.50 (about the going rate for high-end baked goods in San Francisco).

The verdict? Let me simply quote bon appétit:

What does it take to stand out in a city of sourdough savants? One, and only one, thing: a croissant that’s simultaneously so preposterously flaky it leaves you covered in crumbs, so impossibly tender and buttery on the inside that it tastes like brioche, and so deeply golden that the underside is nearly caramelized.

And yes, it’s worth the hype. Most croissants this buttery and flaky get very greasy, theirs don’t. Have them fresh and enjoy a slice of nirvana!

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Clockwise from top left: plain, chocolate, almond and chocolate, ham and cheese

Explore the Magic of Double Helix Silver Glass Presentation

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Reducing Silver Glass

I had the honor to present at the annual International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) Gathering conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, last month. The topic, of-course, was on working with silver glass. When I presented five years ago at the ISGB Gathering conference in Louisville, Kentucky, I did it on one of my signature series at that time: Abyss and Torrent. This time, I thought a basic presentation on how to work the silver glasses – striking, reducing, and combination (both striking and reducing) – is more valuable to the attendees.

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Striking and Reducing Silver Glass

Such an invaluable resource is worthless stuck as a PowerPoint presentation on my computer hard drive however. Thus I took a little time and put the presentation in its entirety, including three video demonstrations, on my website!

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Striking Silver Glass

I have also included a Donate button for the ISGB. To all my glassy friends: if you find the presentation helpful, please consider giving a small donation to the ISGB for without its conference, I’d never have put this together in the first place!

Please note that there is no sound – only the PowerPoint presentation reformatted and the video demonstrations – for the original presentation was not taped.

 

Latest Shawls

Between designing my own original lace shawl patterns and adapting German doily designer, Herbert Niebling’s, I enjoy knitting patterns from other designers – especially those whose creativity is also an inspiration for my own work. I also love learning new stitches and constructions.

Here are two shawls I just completed. The first is The Doodler by Stephen West. The construction of this shawl is interesting and fun to knit! I also had a fabulous time coming up with the right color combination of three different yarns – variegated silk/camel Seda de Desierto Grande by Dibadu, dark blue all-silk Robynn, and bronze silk/merino Virginia by Posh Yarn –  and am very pleased with the result.

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This is Tru Wuv by Jane Araújo. It was also my first time knitting with Dye Diana Dye‘s fabulous FlaxenSilk lace in Fresh Mint – a gift from a dear friend. I normally don’t knit with fine lace-weight yarns preferring to stick with heavy lace and fingering weights. But the linen in the FlaxenSilk lace really gives it a stiffer feel making it a joy to knit! Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the pattern as much. I am happy with the result but many of the lace patterns didn’t align “logically” making it not as intuitive and impossible to memorize the pattern making it a much slower knit.

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I am currently working on Anne-Lise Maigaard‘s Mystery Knit Along, Green Gables. Anne-Lise is my favorite shawl designer and I can’t wait to be able to share pictures … soon!

First Shawl Pin Prototypes

After learning the foldforming technique and created a bowl in my metalsmithing class – blog entry on 29 February 2015, and designed a bracelet – blog entry on 1 March 2015, the idea of incorporating the technique for shawl pins lingered until I finally brought it to reality.

Here are two prototypes of the same foldformed shawl pin design direction, in copper with liver-of-sulphur patina:

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Here are pictures of how they are used on a shawl. These are about 4″/10cm long. Next prototypes will besome refinement and shorter versions!

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