Sunday, September 4, 2016


Hi Everyone!

We were doing process posts and I thought I'd show you how I decide on a pattern for a symmetrical stamped piece of work.  The previous ones were somewhat asymmetrical. 

Firstly, there are a lot of places to get stamps now days.  My first ones came from either Rio Grande Jewelers Supply (which was very limited 20 years ago), and Indian Jewelers Supply.  You could get letter stamps from Harbor Freight or some very tiny ones from Otto Frei.  After that, Beaducation jumped on board and you got all of the fonts you could ever want and lots of designs that up until that time were unavailable.  Lately though it's been back to my roots - I had started with a variety of Native American Stamps.  Today, it's handmade stamps from House of Stamps.  They are strictly Navajo handmade stamps and they ROCK!

Now, it's not to say there aren't other stamp makers.  ImpressArt makes some great stamps but I've never used them.  There are other handmade stamp makers but there is nothing like a stamp made by someone with generational experience.  You can just type in "stamps for metal" in Google and check it out.   So, if I've missed your favorite stamp store, I apologize.  But I'm only going to talk about what I know and I've been using metal stamps for a long long time and have a very extensive collection from all kinds of companies. 

So lets talk about my favorites.  Those are from Lyndon Tsosie and the family at House of Stamps.  Lyndon is an Navajo artist.  His work is "to die for" exquisite.  So, not only do Lyndon and his family run a business to sell original and handmade Navajo stamps by the "makers" Lyndon disseminates major amounts of tutorial information on the stamp facebook page.  If you have not joined yet - do so!!  House of Stamps (this is the Facebook page).  I can't tell you what a relief it is not to have someone forcing at me a pay for it tutorial so I can understand how best to use their product.  And it's the aim of Lyndon to see to it that our questions are answered and that we can use those stamps to the best of our ability.  He, and his family, are the best cheerleaders for original stamp working I have ever met.  And, on top of that they are great people.  What a joy to work with them.  I have never been disappointed in my stamps or in the way they conduct business. 

Go and join their Facebook page.  They "kind of " BIN out the stamps on both their Facebook page and their Web site.  See for yourself.  You'll meet lots of great people, get good tips, and maybe even purchase a stamp or two.  Tell them I sent you.  I don't get anything out of asking you to mention me.  You know how I am about passing along good info and these people and their operation are good people.  I just want them know I'm shouting them out.

Now, on that process to decide on what I'm going to stamp - and how....

These are a fist full of the stamps I've been accumulating.  When I get a stamp I stamp it in my drawing tablet for a quick reference since my studio is downstairs.  I keep my HOS stamps in the boxes you see in the pictures.  All of my stamps have boxes or containers.  It's just plain easier to find them. 
Here you see what I do.  I pick a stone (that came from HOS too) - draw around it.  I give myself a little room for a bezel, move the stone, and start stamping.  Trials are to the left.  You can see the line of stampings I did.  When I find something I think is perfect I begin.  I didn't like the star pattern I added last (too visually light for what was going on).  But there it was, in permanent ink!  When I feel like I've got it down why do it over.  I just stamped various "other" possibilities on an index card and cut them out.  One by one I moved them over the star until I decided which option to use. 
After the holiday is over maybe I can get this stamped out.  I still need a stump.  I used to have a good one but left it back in Michigan.  That wasn't the best plan.  We are hoping today to cut one from a tree the neighbor cut down.
Have a great Labor Day and I hope you enjoyed the links!  

Sunday, July 31, 2016


I said I'd show you what I've been up to - - actually I think I had already begun that before the Op Ed post.  These are what I call process photos.  I will often take photos of what I'm doing so I can go back over them in the evening (if I think about it). 

Have you ever taken a photo of some work and all of a sudden there is this glaring mistake you didn't know what there?  Boy oh boy have I.  All of a sudden you will see there was a hairline fracture in stone, a solder seam that you could have improved on earlier in the process - you know. 

While settling in here to NC I've been looking around to improve my skill set - and make some new friends.  I have to say I am a tad concerned about that one, the new friends part.  It was easier to meet people when I was thirtyish.  Now that I am sixtyish it seems that people already have their "friends" groups.  I sure hope I can begin to include myself in a few of them.  So while looking around for classes, although I think I already knew, I've found the Asheville area is a wealth of artistic riches.  Penland north, Arrowmont in TN, John C Campbell, William Holland, Haywood College, and everything in between.  Be still my heart!!

I've signed up for a few for the Fall.  In the meantime I've taken two and updated a strong skill set. 

Currently I'm continuing to metalsmith and working with glass and found object.  This is one of several pieces using sea glass.  I love the stuff found on beaches and roads.  Fingering through Grandma's button boxes and my own cigar boxes of cracker jacks goodies cemented that forever in my aesthetics.   Let alone the fact that I grew up in Detroit - the epicenter of assemblages of parts. 

Here is one of the current pieces.  I hope you like where I'm going.  And again, if you have a question, ASK.  I love talking process.

Here is the drawing of the piece.  I do typically take whatever object I'm going to bezel and draw around it in my sketch book.  From there I work out around it.  There are often variations on a theme and many designs and as I post about what I'm doing you are often going to see photos with a star and maybe some highlighter.  The highlighter is so I can find them in the sketch book.  They're the ones I've decided are worth exploring more.

What are you currently doing that works for you?

Everything is all soldered up fitted. I've out the piece of glass in several times to make sure it fits. And I've made some design adjustments. I liked the holes on the original drawing but thought the lacier look of loops would balance better on the left side final piece. Now to clean out the solder globs on the inside of that bezel.  The last thing I want to do is to crack that glass when I set it. 

The next photo shows this piece with all of the bells and whistles added.  The stone (glass) is fitted and now it only needs to be oxidized and finished up. 

At the bottom is one piece I've completed.  It contains a malachite cab that was given out as a bonus when I purchased some Navajo stamps.  I thought it would look great in this piece. Just need to get that final photograph ready for Etsy.  I'm switching my regular Etsy (Right Turn ArtWerks) over to finished jewelry.  A new site, Right Turn Part Werks will eventually contain all of goodies I so love to create to add to my pieces.

Now for the finish!
This one is complete.  Sorry the photo isn't as "crisp" as I would like.  It's just one of my "process" photos.  Not the dazzler I should have to list it for sale.  (Smile!).

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Good Grief, It's an Op-Ed

I would post the offensive video but it and the original comments were removed from Facebook - I only have a Facebook post I will show you was all that was left.  But if anyone has the original stuff - add it to comments.

Oh My!  Tonight I saw this video link posted by Leslie Villarreal.  It was of some kids, obviously gang bangers.  And how would I know this? - worked with those kind of kids for a long time.  What they were doing was horrific.  They were video taping and a member was attacking what appeared to be another member of a disenfranchised group....maybe homeless, maybe addicts, I don't know what the mix of adults was.  But one lady who confronted the young man was hit (perhaps knocked out). 

It was hard to watch - and trust me, as someone who worked in the business for a long time it was even very difficult to listen to when these kids had to recount their crimes.

What surprised me was the number of people who said (because of Leslie's posting) that had they been there they would have shot the kid or done something.  Really?  Now, I will fully admit what happened was awful, there is no excuse for it.  But, there were over a dozen adults there as the young man carried out his mayhem.  So many people, not all, but many who posted implied they would have done something, if only they'd been there.  Really? 

I noticed that Leslie herself hadn't said what she would have done - although she was the one who reposted the heinous video.  So, I asked her - what would she have done.  She said she would have shot him in the balls, not killed him - just shot him in the balls. 

Oh my.  I wondered whether anyone had taken a really good look at what they were watching. and I stated that.  There was a kid (accomplice I called him) video taping the event - and at least one or two others visible, also in hoodies.  There were also many others in the background and to the left just off of the screen.  Where their alliances  stand within this video'd group I could not say.  But, what I did was to reply to the "shot off their balls" comment.  You can not draw a gun in a group of people and shoot someone when it is not your life in danger.  That is for a policeman, whether you are registered to carry or not.  Should she have drawn a weapon in this situation she would have been arrested, or worse yet killed. 

The broad conviction that you could and should shoot their balls off seemed very much like vigilantism.  Yes, what happened was gruesome but we can not just shoot someone.  We can, and should call the police.  I suggested that picking up a gun to shoot someone because we are shocked by what they have done is of no difference than the vigilantes who took up guns against the police because they too were disturbed by other videos.  When does this stop?

It's simply crazy to think this can continue to be perpetuated by even well meaning citizens....and I'm using that term very loosely.  How well meaning is it to stir the pot?

As I said, I have done this for a long time.  Those kids wear hoodies to hide guns, drugs, knives, whatever.  All of the adults sitting around in that video had no reaction to what happened - other than to move a coffee out of the way and scoot over.  To that, I asked her "Why?" I wanted her to think about that.  THEY knew something us "video-bite" observers did not know.  That, these kids were dangerous - that if they intervened they would be in harms way.  They (the people who were standing around) did indeed seem to outnumber the thugs.  I'm guessing they knew damn well it wasn't going to be a fair they stayed out of it.  They might have even bought drugs from these very kids.

Another Facebook poster noted that the thugs had later been arrested.  And, that is the way it should be.  And, no armchair quarterbacks had to be involved.  Hallelujah!

I guess I struck a nerve or two or three.  WOW.  Never did I say I wasn't concerned about the victim - nor did I mention whether I am a conservative or liberal.  Just because I worked a difficult job for the State of Michigan - and a good paying one with exceptional insurance, it doesn't much indicate a whole lot of anything.  I worked with Republications, Conservatives, Democrats, and I dare say a good number of great Christian people who would take Leslie to task on her shooting someone.  Although all of them were hunters.  I never even stated anything any differently than I stated it here - although shorter, for sure.

But, look at what posting arrived on Facebook - just before the entire posted nonsense was deleted from Facebook:

"What really gets me are the people commenting on that videolink Sharon Driscoll- totally unconcerned about the victim but more conerned that one of us conservatives has the courage to defend and protect others by personally taking the liberal down. OMG totally insane thinking, I wish you would all move to Syria an Lybia for a while.. then you might appreciate reality here in America." ,by Leslie Villarreal.

There is no way to take that's too angry and distorted. 

Moving on!  Tomorrow, some great jewelry!  Good to be back.


Monday, October 12, 2015

Tiny Earrings

They're small silver circles.  A fairly popular style with the jewelry community and I figured it was a good place to start with a small collection.  I'll maker some bar earrings next and maybe a few domed styles.  I've already begun to set some rose beveled cabs. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday Off, Cruising....

We took a short ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway today. 
It's the fall color season in the south and it has finally stopped raining.  Wow, everyone was out riding around and picnicking.  Loved it! Aren't the views beautiful?

Monday, October 5, 2015

New Clay

While I continue to work on the heart necklace I've been puttering with some new clay components.  Since I can work with the clay while I'm upstairs it makes a nice break in the studio action.  The necklace is very nearly ready to string up.  There's still a clasp, oxidizing, and some crimp covers to purchase for assembly and I'll be ready to go with the heart/litho necklace.  It seems like forever since the goal was a finished piece of jewelry rather than components.  They are both lofty goals and I've never viewed either as the more vital endeavor.

I guess I look at each little component as its' own complete piece.  I give each such careful consideration while I'm working on it - pumping them out was never a plan so I get to caress each piece, smooth the edges, pick out just the right bail (not to big a bend - not to small - call it a goldilocks obsession).  Instead of stamping them out I form each little clay piece by hand, stamp them, roll the edges and reform it....anyway, you get the idea, LOL. Clay components created by an artist with a perfectionist goldilocks obsession.  That about describes it - and why I'm so slowwww.....

As soon as this clay is glazed I'll be posting these in my new Etsy "PartsWerk" site.  And I say that with great enthusiasm like I actually think that will be tomorrow.  Sharon, you silly dreamer!  I've both lampwork and clay components to get listed.  All finished jewelry pieces will now be in the original RTAW site (the poor empty Etsy site you see here).  Slowly, but surely I'm working towards it.  It may take me a few more months for the unveiling but since I'm a one foot in front of the other kind of gal I'll get there - later than sooner, but I'll get there. (Smiles from ear to ear!). 

Here's a small sampling of the clay pieces waiting to be fired.  One batch has already gone in the kiln and I've bisque to get glazed while I wait for this batch to dry.

What have you been up to?  Fall always make me feel more productive.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happily Working Along

I've been working on one of the litho square pieces and have expanded it to include a heart and hang from a two strand necklace with silver spacers. 

On one of the jewelry sites someone was using these great little tooled ends - my friend sent me the reference and I got some.  Today I pounded out a few designs and decided to make fancy headpins from them.  I needed an interesting one for the heart anyway.

     My friend, Susan asked me how I soldered the wires
     into the backs of the little buggers so I decided I'd post                                                            it here too.  After the designs are hammered in the front
the piece is removed the design steel by hammering a nail setting tool into the back of it.  It also leaves a mighty nice indentation on the back of the molded silver dot.  I push the silver form into a soldering board and use self locking tweezers to hold the wire in place.  I solder with easy solder since you don't need anything stronger.  You aren't going to be adding any other pieces so why use hard solder.  

For the ones in the top picture I had added a silver sheet round to the bottom and it covered up my center hole.  The best way to handle that is to then make your own divot in the sheet.  That divot is easily accomplished with a round burr that is either a cutting or grinding burr.  The burr shown in the picture happens to be a diamond coated grinder. 

           See the larger head pin on the heart?
In this last picture are two of the smaller head pins.  They will be great with bead earrings.  I haven't yet explored all of the possibilities but I'm off to a great start and it's wonderful to be back in the studio again.

Have a

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Newest Petite Litho Gem Necklace.

I've been working on some petite litho steel necklaces as a series.  Three variations are nearly finished.  I really ought to finish one of them at a time but it just never seems to work that way.  I prefer to do the patinas and setting at the same time.  This is the next one.  On the whole they really are on the petite side - see the photo of the folded tin pieces in my hand.  I will need to bend the silver tubing to make this work.  I've a tutorial on how to do that so I'm looking forward to trying it.

And before I got this posted I was working and found the instructions for bending tubing.  Check out: Art Jewelry - September 2015 Issue - Tube Hoop Earrings.   I found a suitable sized tubing in my old stash that I figured would work pretty good.   I bent the steel rod - not an easy task - into a curve I thought would give me what I wanted in the final piece and gave the whole thing a steady yank through the drawplate.  Hallelujah, I got that nice gentle curve I was after and cut my 5/8" piece off for my pendant.


Not quite done yet and I'm debating the merits of the ball on top of the tube but I think I'll go ahead and solder one on there since I think it mimic's the ball I want to add below the bead I've yet to create for the bottom.  The repetition of the round form won't hurt a thing - even on a little piece.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Antique Tobacco Barn

While our son Bob was here visiting after the trip from Michigan we decided to do a little antique shopping.  We only made one stop - The Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville.  It was huge.  Here are a few shots.  I will go back - - - - again, and again, and again.   And, of course, we will go to others in the area - but after a thorough look through this one we were pooped.
What fun stuff - It seems liked miles of it.  I love the glove molds/ white gates/ and so much more.

Look at the wonderful textile bobbins.  A great nod to NC's fiber history.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

I'd say it was a busy month - but when aren't they?

As usual, things have been busy here.  We took a quickie trip back to Michigan to get what is the last major load of household items.  Mostly it was Brian's studio.  All of his tools from woodworking.  From being The Countree Toy Shoppe.  Only the greatest organic, wooden, recycling, toymaker in Michigan and beyond!  And yes, I am definitely prejudiced on that one.

The tools are now safely in his new area in the basement - a beautiful spot to work - even if there never will be a toy business again.  And, the overflow of regular household maintenance stuff (caused by the tools coming down) will move out to the new storage building in the next few months - after it's built.  Won't it be wonderful - a new deck and small building.  I can't wait.  What I can wait for is the bill on all of this - I so wish the house in Michigan would sell.  Fingers and toes crossed./

Below is a new pendant.  Not yet finished - stones need to be set, dangles figured out, and the square piece gets set a lot lower than it's showing here..  It's a variation from the drawings I showed in a previous post.  It's nice to be back to work.

Our oldest son drove his truck down here with a huge trailer.  While he was here we went to the Antique Tobacco Barn in Asheville and did some shopping.  Between there and a couple of thrift stores I scored a bunch more tin to work with.  Now for the cutting and storage - - -