Oregon Sunshine Copyright 2012 Bruce Couch
So much has been happening in the ol’ studio. I appreciate the patience of those who have not given up on ever hearing from me again while I pursued some ideas and designs. As it turned out, I found a ton of inspiration in my husband’s photography. For the past few months, I have been tinkering with some of his flower macros and his photos of his camera collection. Looking at some of these lovely images, it struck me how novel it would be to “wear” a flower center, or adorn my ears with steampunk cameras, or embellish tiny vignettes of the gorgeous area where I live, Portland, Oregon.
I spent the greater part of three months simply prototyping the design of these, focusing on reproducibility and strength. The images are already amazing, so I knew they would be beautiful. I settled upon earrings to start, because photos on earrings are so unexpected and I like that.
My first roll-out is of plant macros, but I plan to have more designs in weeks to come. For the findings and embellishments, I wanted to only use sterling silver and natural beads of shell, semi-precious, or other natural materials. Hopefully, the quality and care are reflected in these. All are handmade by me, with love and are available in my Etsy store. I’d love to know what you think.
Update: I have been informed by someone wiser in these matters than I that the flower depicted above is called Oregon Sunshine. I could not have given it a better name myself.
It seems like it was last year, but no. It was only earlier this year that I was asked by a friend and fellow crafty-person, Leah of Lulla Jewelry to design a logo or something that would lend itself well to a design on a mini moo card. Leah makes incredible bookmarks which she sells in her Etsy shop. Me, being completely undisciplined (STILL) as an artist, I am frankly stunned that I was able to start it within a reasonable amount of time after being asked, but something about the task which was more of formal commission than I have experience with spurred me on with excitement! Leah’s request was only slightly more certain than any of my ideas. But the information she was able to give me told me a lot! She knew she liked the fish I drew a couple of years ago. And she knew she liked jewel tones. I roughed out some drafts with koi which, by nature, had an Asian feel. But in the end, I decided to launch into uncharted territory and attempt two drawing elements that terrify me: Drawing human (or human-like) forms. And steampunk. But here’s the thing: Leah loves steampunk. In the end, I knew I had to tailor my drawing to suit what I knew about Leah’s taste and her aesthetic. I appreciated that she liked my Asian-feeling fish and the boxes that she wanted to send her bookmarks to her customers in were also very Asian. But in the end, I went with what I felt was a better fit. In jewel tones.
I think I was right!
And moo cards:
Etsy shop banner:
Leah’s bookmarks make lovely gifts for the reader or book lover on your holiday gift list. I just love mine!
I have been wanting to share the following gift…no, make that wonderful “experience” I received for my birthday from my sweet husband. I know you will love this as much as I do.
This little curious envelope from Japan arrived one day last month, addressed to my husband. Okay, I won’t lie and say I didn’t know what it was. My husband is good, but he’s not telepathic about gifts (even with my dropping major hints on Twitter). The envelope contained the little porcelain ceramic octopus pincushion that I had been eying on Etsy by Alleluja (aka Sawako Hayakawa). The unwrapping process was so beautiful, it felt almost ceremonial. I won’t spoil it by showing it all here, because I really hope you will be so enchanted and buy one for yourself! (You deserve it!) I truly felt like I just received a treasure…
Inside was a lovely note written to my husband from Sawako in which she hoped it made us happy.
(Pincusion with it’s accompanying pin along with some common millinery items for scale)
So she hoped it made me happy. I am ECSTATIC! Just look!
Here are some more (and frankly much better) photos from her Flickr photostream.
and she has other very lovely designs…
I simply adore these bobbin spools:
I also ran across this interview of Sawako on Lou Lou & Oscar, a beautiful blog. I enjoyed reading about how she named her shop and her love of movies.
(Thank you Sawako for allowing me to mention your beautiful and very original work here. Yes, you certainly made me happy.)