laurieopal: opal (Default)
I've been working on the saguro cactus design - lots of detail on the cactus itself.  I've figured out the perspective. The cactus is huge and I have mountains in the distance.

I'm going to see the eclipse and then hopefully to collect some obsidian and some lava pieces. Maybe some photos. (I am very lucky in my cat sitter. George adores her.)

The pendant below is one I made along time ago and photographed when I was on the east coast. It's sterling silver with beautiful opals about 2.25 inches high. The matching opals were collected over several years. From the collection of Bayla Fine.

I'll be writing more when I get back.
laurieopal: opal (Default)

The wax of the bird with opals is finished. That feels great. I'm going to photograph the wax and then the finished design and put them both up together.

I'm working on several designs right now, including a complex pendant landscape of Saguro cactus against a mountainous background. It's going to be set with lovely emeralds that I got on my last trip to New York.

And I have a group of new designs polished and ready for setting.

This a a Cheshire Cat pendant from "Alice in Wonderland" that I made along time ago for Bayla Fine. I shot it when I was in New England in June.

It's sterling silver and black opal.
laurieopal: opal (Default)

Stone is exceptionally beautiful fossilized coral. The design is a prehistoric snake with feet. It seemed appropriate for the stone. And the pendant, as you can see is reversible. It's in sterlins. Actual size about1.5". From the collection of Marsha Jones

I photographed this pendant just before a trip. Photo is only OK but I think it gives a sense of the work. I'm working on my challenging shore bird with opals tonight. Actually as soon as I post this. Good night.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I've working on an amazing fordite, large and interestingly shaped, that is progressing beautifully. And on several other pieces including a grackle style bird with an opal beak.

My cat George is very persistently trying to keep me from posting, bur he now seems to have given up. I was just out having dinner with my daughter Shayin and he is probably feeling neglected. 3ê (his mark)

The pendant below has two stones that were cut by Lloyd Eshbach many years ago.

The stones are an exquisite quality carnelian and a beautiful plume agate.  The design is in sterling and the size is about 4". I took this photo in a hurry before I left for the East Coast.  Since I was fitting it after I got there it lacks a chain. It's from the collection of Bayla Fine

laurieopal: opal (Default)
I've been putting the next to final work in carving  two designs. One is beautiful gem quality chrisophrase that I got years ago from Lloyd Eshbach. Its also set with a lovely small emerald that I got on my last trip to New York. The color of the emerald is perfect for the chrisophrase.
The other is a stunning stick agate. The material it was cut from comes from Turkey. They are very different designs - conceived to both reflect and contrast with the stones.

And I have other pieces in various state of development.  As I've said before, sometimes I like to take a lot of working time and reflection when I'm designing.

And George, my cat, is being very good about only contemplating my work while staying an appropriate distance away.
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I've been back working for about a week after a wonderful but exhausting trip to New York City.

Just got some new and beautiful stones - I'm clearly helpless before stones. I'll put up some photos of them soon.

This photo is of earrings that I've made for Cynthia Gonsalves (and Emma Humphries).

The stones are garnets and particularly lovely peridots. They are sterling and about 1.5" The scalloped shapes at the top are large post clip backs.  I only get to do earring commissions occasionally and these were both a  lot of fine carving work and a joy.

laurieopal: opal (Default)
I'm back from Wiscon and more or less in the world. The Memory Landscapes panel ("Art, Writing and Resistance") was not only fascinating it was inspiring for my work.

And now I'm getting ready for a trip to New York. Life is a little too intense. I'm lucky my cat adores my car sitter.

Nancy Cobb commissioned the pendant below. She saw the shattuckite in my stone collection and it looked like Van Gogh's "Starry Night" to her. I agreed and made the design below reflecting my feeling about the concept as jewelry. I've never had interpreting a painting come up as an idea before and it was really exciting. I grew up in the MOMA in NYC and probably first saw the painting when I was 5. It's part of my essential visual bones.


Stones are shattuckite and yellow sapphires. Sapphires are more vivid in life then in the photograph. Size is about 3.5 inches.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I’m almost ready. Most things are packed and tonight and tomorrow I’ll be finishing up.

I finished my guest of honor pendant for this Wiscon. It’s a steam punk prosthetic hand from Nisi Shawl's remarkable novel "Everfair". It's in dark bronze and unfortunately doesn't photograph well, but people can see it there. I'm really happy with it. I did an experiment with gears that worked!

I've made one each year since I first decided to do it. Pendants so far are from the work of Ursula LeGuin, Lois Bujold, Vonda MacIntyre and now Nisi Shawl.

The necklace below is from the collection of Tracy Schmidt. it's sterling silver and diamonds with silver fresh water pearls. The stones came from a number of traditional pieces she inherited, all of them quite small jewelry with stones of varied sizes.

The necklace was challenging because each piece was designed both to stand along and to work with the other necklace components in a way the complimented all of them. It was complicated and I loved making it.

Photo is by Mano Marks.

I'm looking forward to Wiscon and seeing so many people i like!
laurieopal: opal (Default)

I just finished this necklace for Wiscon. The coral beads are white with pink flecks. They're carved roses and are vintage from the 60's. Pearls are fresh water. the "patchwork" chain has both new and vintage sections.


Pendant in close up.

I set the last group of stones for Wiscon in the new work today. Still have some more metal work to do but it's going well.

My cat has been complaining that he isn't getting the attention he so clearly deserves because I'm working too much,

laurieopal: opal (Default)

I'm working really hard getting ready for Wiscon and looking forward to it. I've been working on my new guest of honor pendant. It's being a little complicated so I'm not ready to write about it yet. I'm polishing this evening. And i just set some ring stones.

This is a magnetite and bronze necklace that I made for Beth Zipser. (She took the photo.)

The pendant is about 2". I really liked designing  this reflective bronze with this stone.

laurieopal: opal (Default)

I met Tory Ferrey last summer at the Kansas City Worldcon. She was there with her father Jon Arfstrom’s art. He did fantasy and science fiction art and some of his work is remarkable. I bought a print from her that is hanging in my studio. It’s brilliant piece of art and evokes for me, a sense of my grandmother, who taught me her art.

She bought a sheep pendant from me. It’s a very detailed 17th century archaic sheep that’s from “The Ram Rebellion” by Eric Flint and Virginia DeMarce. It is, in part, about a people’s resistance movement with the ram, “Brillo”, as the symbol. (Virginia was good enough to point me at exactly the right sheep for the model.)/

This all feels particularly appropriate right now.

She herself does beautiful felted work.Tory was familiar with the variety of sheep and appreciated the care and detail that has gone into my work. She told me she had done these sheep in felt and later sent me a photo of them.

This has me thinking about art and symbols of resistance - fictional 17th century and very real 21st.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
Cross posted from Body Impolitic

Bob Guter

I am especially delighted that my portrait of Bob Guter from Familiar Men is included in the “Ryan Gander -These wings aren’t for flying’’ exhibition opening today at the National Museum of Art, Osaka. I admire the complexity and uniqueness and diversity of Gander's work and the way disability consciousness is woven and not woven into it.

His work is so diverse that there is no way that only four choices give a sense of his scope

This solo exhibition will present approximately 60 important and new works by Gander, who is now regarded as a standard-bearer of new conceptual art. As the mysterious title suggests, the exhibition promises to escort us to an unknown world.

At the same time, Gander will curate an exhibit made up of works from the museum collection. Using the instinctive human ability to think in terms of comparisons as a premise, Gander will present the works in numerous pairs. Though based on a physical resemblance, the fact that the pieces are derived from different genres and eras will inspire a host of fresh perspectives. And the exhibition, held throughout the entire museum, will allow us to experience the limitless potential of the visual arts. - from the Museum description

He describes this: "It is a self-portrait in the worst possible position".

His work is formally diverse and has included, "a chess set, a new word, a children's book, jewellery, customised sportswear, glass orb paperweights and maps," as well as photography, films, and drawings. Considering Gander’s work, "Appendix", art critic Mark Beasley said: "It’s an unwieldy yet fascinatingly open account, somewhat like lucid dreaming, which shows the artist at his most arch, open and revealing ... an attempt to discuss practice in a form sympathetic to the work in discussion."
… most of Gander's art is completely removed from the hand of the artist and carried out by a team of technical specialists. He is often physically incapable of carrying out the making of the work himself. Wikipedia

I’m fascinated and impatient to see what art work my portrait will be paired with. I’ll be writing more about this after the exhibition is up. Meanwhile I’m excited.
laurieopal: opal (Default)

I'm working on finishing work for people from Fogcon.

And I've been carving waxes including a botroidal plume agate set with what will be bronze bubbles in a design that's also Victorian influenced. I'm really enjoying the combination in my work.

Life was disrupted for a bit when my cat (who very fortunately came back) was lost.

Photo is of a glorious bug from Lois Bujold's "A Civil Campaign"

And this is a photo of Eva Folsom wearing her glorious bug.


Opal Studs

Mar. 22nd, 2017 08:47 pm
laurieopal: opal (Default)
This is my last post until I'm back from my down time. Enjoy the spring!

I made these opal studs for Rebecca Burgess to compliment her other stunning opal jewelry. I was
delighted with how beautiful they look.

They are actually small studs but I wanted to show them in detail. I love opals.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
Fogcon was wonderful. I saw lots of people I really like that I hadn't seen in a  long time. The Memory Landscapes panel was amazingly inspiring and helpful for my work. Deb and I wrote about it on Body impolitic "Old Stories Told in New Ways: Memory Landscapes Revisited"

At Fogcon, I brought Brenda Clough a pendant I made for her in sterling with two stunning green jade fish that her parents had brought out of China long time ago. Actual size is a little over 3".

I took a photo of her wearing the pendant.

I'm taking some down time finally in a few days. So mostly I'm getting the last couple of commissions in the mail before I relax (photos will follow) and doing catch up work.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
Almost finished getting ready. Will be able to post photo of jade fish and
lily pads after Brenda Clough comes for it this weekend. Will be doing a Memory Landscapes panel that is also very much going to be a conversation about art and resistance. Something that's very much on my mind.

Looking forward to seeing everyone. And as always, bless my cat sitter.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
Cross posted from Body Impolitic

I'm doing the final work for Fogcon but thought I'd post about this exhibition here.

Thais Gouveia curated a special issue on the female body for the Bravo Digital Gallery based in São Paulo entitled "The Body At All Ages" (click on the link and scroll to the bottom of the web page). She chose photos on the subject portrayed by living women photographers. I thought her choices were thoughtful and illuminating.

The site is in Portuguese, and I copy edited some texts translated through Google. I think that these are basically accurate.

One photograph she chose is my photograph of Queen T'hisha from Women En Large (above).


Portrait 4 by Mona Kuhn from her Bordeaux Series.

Born in 1969 in São Paulo to a family of German origin, Mona Kuhn lives and works in Los Angeles. She moved to the United States in 1992, to study at Ohio State University and the San Francisco Art Institute. Her first book, Photographs, was published in 2004, followed by Evidence (2007) and Native (2010). Her work was exhibited and / or included in the collections of the J.Paul Getty Museum, The George Eastman House, among others. The picture belongs to the Bordeaux Series (2011), a collection of portraits and landscapes. In this series, she photographed relatives and close friends in the same red environment, always in the same chair.



Photo of Maryam, a 50-year-old homeless woman living in the capital, by Tahmineh Monzavi.

Monzavi was born in Tehran in 1988. The photographer and filmmaker graduated from Azad Art & Architecture University of Tehran. In her work, she seeks to show hidden groups in Iran's society, culture and art.



Artist at Work by Elina Brotherus.

Finnish Elina Brotherus lives and works between Helsinki and Avalon in France. Always using herself as a model, she decided to deepen this practice in the series Artists at Work (2009), to which the image ... belongs. "Who's watching who? Who is the artist, who is the model? Who gets the 'last look'? ", she says, while posing for artists Jan Neva and Teemu Korpela.


I recommend looking at all of them - the photographs talk to each other.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I had a commission to make jade earrings with sculpted Irish Setter drops. I decided that given how small they were they needed to be puppies so the head could be large enough for the viewer to immediately see the dog and not just a shape. These took forever and required great detail. I worked from a number of photographs including this one I took when I was visiting the actual puppies. Needless to say the puppies were adorable.   It wasn't good light but I got what I needed. I made younger puppies so the head would be more prominent.

They are a little over half and inch for the silver puppies. But this size photo gives a sense of the detail.

They are from the collection of Wendy Czarnecki.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I'm getting ready for Fogcon and thought I'd post photos of a couple of the designs I'll have with me that are fossils.

Pendant is amber with insect inclusions from 50 - 100 million year ago. Setting is sterling silver.

Close up of bug.

Large opal is a fossilized clam shell.

Both designs are about 2 " wide. I love designing with fossils.

Jade Fish

Feb. 13th, 2017 08:32 pm
laurieopal: opal (Default)
Now that I'm OK, I'm working on several things.

Doing final work on a group of commissions that were delayed in finishing because of the flu.  They are cast in metal and need final metal work and setting.

And I'm also been working on a lily pad pendant with Chinese jade fish.  The fish are antique and a stunning green.

There should be lots of photos as each design is done.

Mostly it just feels good to be making art again.


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