laurieopal: opal (Default)

Some beautiful stones have arrived from my lapidary for Fogcon. Here are photos of just 2 of them.  (There are lots.)

Stone is embedded crinoid fossils. (Crinoids are plant like marine animals that make up the class Crinoidea of the echinoderms from the Paleozoic.) Their stems were originally calcium. I love the patterns. Slight white on the side is lighting flash. Stone is about 1.5" 

Chalcopyrite from the Volga river valley in Russia. Stone is about 1".

I'm still getting ready but I'm getting close.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I've been soldering posts for studs and polishing the last of the pendants for Fogcon. And putting a chain and a handmade extender on the Monet waterlily pendant with the kyanite flecked with ruby and 2 small faceted rubies. There will be a photo.

The pendant below is about 2.5 "in sterling silver  with a vivid Ethiopian opal and a gorgeous red quartz druze crystal stone. I made it as an astronomical. I have another druze pendant that's grey and clear crystal but unfortunately it didn't photograph well.

I'm waiting for the stones from my two lapidaries that I'll be bringing with me. Excited to see them. If there's time I'll put up a couple of stone photos.

Looking forward to Fogcon!
laurieopal: opal (Default)

My photograph of Debbie Notkin and Tracy Blackstone from Women En Large is in "Bridging the Gap," a show sponsored by the National Women’s Caucus for Art at the A.I.R. Gallery in NYC. (Feb 8 - Mar 10, 2019, 155 Plymouth St, Brooklyn, NY)

The National Board of the Women’s Caucus for Art will be presenting a member’s perspective postcard exhibition at A.I.R.. The exhibition will function as a regional roadmap with juried works from each Chapter. Bridging the Gap: Postcards of All the Nation of Art is the complex diversity that is the Art in America today. - A.I.R. Gallery
laurieopal: opal (Default)

I’m looking forward to being at Fogcon in 2 weeks. I’ll get to see many people who are local to where I live, that I don’t see often enough. I have a collection for Fogcon that I’m really happy with. And should also have some stunning stones from my lapidaries.

The photo is of vivid yellow art deco spinels (synthetic) with a vintage cut that is typical of the period. They originally belonged to  a jeweler in the thirties and were never set.

I had been using them very sparingly up to here. But these are now going into a necklace that has been a somewhat long term project.

I’m working on a tanzanite ring today that has one large and three small brilliant stones that will be set in leaf and vine setting that will (I think) be backed by a pieced surface. It’s a somewhat different direction for me and, of course, that makes me happy.

The quince in my garden is in steady flower bloom that I love. It lasts a couple of months. It usually blooms in February and our unseasonable cold hasn't discouraged it. I've made lots of plum blossoms over the years. (They also bloom in my garden.)  And I've made cherry blossoms but never quince. I think i need to make something with them given how much i love them.

The spinels below are a far more vivid yellow than the photograph. The large ones are about 1" wide and the little ones 3/16". The necklace will be rather spectacular.

laurieopal: opal (Default)

I just finished the wax carving of the phoenix I've been writing about. I'm really happy with it. The tail feathers are set with 2 purple sapphires and a diamond in the center feather. It's a Chinese phoenix.

And the opal below is being set in a Japanese landscape setting with a waterfall, I've been has been developing for quite a while. It's a magnificent stone.

Opal is about 1.5"

I had a good day.

But last week I had the first casting failure in about 5 years on a carving with one of the silver pearls. (I put up their photo a while ago.) It was very disappointing but it was a design I was working on for my collection rather then a commission. And casting is an art not a science - so once in 5 years is really good.

Tomorrow I'll mostly be polishing.

laurieopal: opal (Default)
I'm sorry that I won't be at Boskone this weekend but I really need the time for my work. Will miss folks, but look forward to seeing them next year. Hope it's a great convention!

George, of course is thrilled I'll be home.

Busy Days

Feb. 9th, 2019 05:14 pm
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I've been too caught up in work and didn't realize how long it's been since I posted. I'll do better from here.

I'm doing some very nuanced polishing on two pendant before the stones are set. Sometimes polishing is very straightforward and most of the art is really in the carving. But sometimes the polishing and it's nuances are central to the art. It can be very delicate.

I've mostly finished a wax of a Chinese phoenix. Most often after consideration and time, the image in my head is fundamentally how the final carving looks. But sometimes it develops in a different direction as it's being carved. The phoenix is close to done, but I need it to rest for a little while, so I come back to it very clear and then I'll finish it both aesthetically and technically.

And I am working on some other waxes as well. And I cut myself polishing, It happens so rarely that I forget it can happen.

Photo is of a beautiful amber I just received. It's about 1.5" long.

laurieopal: opal (Default)
I've got a lot of commissions and several sculptures to make. Unfortunately i need this time for my work, so I won't be at Boskone this year.

I'm going to miss everyone but I will see you next time. Have a great convention!
laurieopal: opal (Default)

I just finished a wax carving for a gorgeous kyanite with rubies. The setting was influenced by late Monet water lily paintings. I grew up in the Modern Museum in NYC and I love think upon on the paintings I grew up with.

It required a kind of precision and design that was time consuming and a pleasure. (Somehow I think I've said that before.)

I just got two colored sapphires in varied shades of orange/red to be accents on a pendant with a very vivid lightning ridge opal. It's always hard to find small precious stones that work with vivid opal colors really well.

I'm very sorry I'm missing Boskone but I am doing work that is making me very happy.

laurieopal: opal (Default)

I've been working on for a while on a pendant of the tadpole galaxy for an astronomer . I've finished carving the wax and am starting to work on the stone settings which include 2 blue sapphires. It is very challenging to work on an astronomical that is transparent in many places and thinly veiled in others. Figuring out how to represent this has been fascinating. I will put up- a photo after it's finished. The shading in the polishing is going to need to be both subtle and careful.

Interestingly, I was at the Contemporary Jewish Museum yesterday and saw In That Case: Havruta in Contemporary Art  which is, in part, about dark mater. There was a a painting of the exact hubble telescope image that I'm using. (the one above.) image. I had never seen the tadpole galaxy until I received this commission, so seeing on a wall like that was somewhat surreal.


laurieopal: opal (Default)
(Cross posted from Body impolitic)

I started looking at sidewalks and their patterns as art sometime this year. The contrast between the geometric forms of the pavement and the organic designs that can overlay them became a kind of beauty to watch for. Most of my art has a complex subject that is reflected in each image. It's a pleasure to walk through the world and spontaneously come across something that I can make art from.

The pattern in the pavement itself, can be both subtle and beautiful when it's a part of a larger image.












Except for cropping some of the photos, none of them have been Photo-shopped or manipulated. So there is a reality to these reflections of my vision.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I'm back from some very good down time and I'm mostly finished with the catch up work. Although I have a couple of ring sizings from considerate folks at World Fantasy to finish.

I'm looking forward to lots of time working in wax. Completing some very detailed commissions that needed a lot of time and precision and working  with more commissions and some new stone designs.

It's raining heavily here in San Francisco and except for a PO run with some photos for an exhibition that need to go out tomorrow, I am staying in!

California needs rain and I'm happy we're having it, but personally not so much.

Photos below are photos of a new stone and some new pearls.

Pearls are about 1.25". The color has a movement that doesn't photo well. It moves against a silvery grey background. And they are gorgeous - some of the loveliest pearls I've seen in a while. Not at all sure what I want to do with them. There are too many possibilities

Stone is about 2' high. It's called Native Paint and is a jasper from a mine that is not longer available to people. It's new to me and I love the patterns.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

laurieopal: opal (Default)
This is the pendant I designed from the two gorgeous opals I posted a while ago. It's about 3.5" high in sterling. Working out a beautiful juxtaposition between the stones was challenging, and I'm really happy with how it worked out. It's from the collection of Linda Garrett. She sent me the photo below, so I could see how well it looked on her.

My commission work is designed very specifically for the individual person. The pendant was designed for Linda mostly from photographs she texted me and from Facetime conversation. (We did meet a couple of years ago.) I've been really pleased at how well this works in the relatively new world of images. Before that I only designed for people if I could meet with them. I've relatively recently done some  commissions from images of people, their hands, Facetime etc. and they have all worked out really well. It's given me a whole new involving aspect of my work.


laurieopal: opal (Default)
Hurray the good air is back!!

This is a kyanite crystal winged dragon. When I saw the kyanite crystal stone I knew it would be a dragon's wing. I had never seen a stone like it before and I haven't since. It sparkles more then you can see in the photo.

It's sterling and about 3" high. It's from  from the collection of  Cynthia Anne Cofer.

I'm finishing up the post Baltimore work and doing some continuing work on waxes, including  an astronomical and a phoenix. They are both requiring a lot of time and detail. I'm looking forward to some down time followed by an intense period of hard work and creativity.

laurieopal: opal (Default)
I'm back from an excellent World Fantasy Con and more or less recovered.

I now have a good photo of this design thanks to Julie's husband. Sheila Gilbert from DAW press commissioned this pendant (quite a while ago) for Julie. It's from the ongoing story in her two novels, "A Turn of Light" and "A Play of Shadow". The turtles appear to be stepping stones to the protagonists who are fleeing. Then as the turtles rear up in the water, they barely make it across. The books are wonderful in their originality and concepts.

The pendant has the water as the turtle rears up. The eyes are rubies and it's sterling and about 2.5" long.

I'm doing some of my catch up work and coping with our very bad air.  I can't solder or polish til it clears.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
Everything is mostly done for my work and I'm organizing the displays etc for air travel. I'm looking forward to being in Baltimore and seeing lots of people I like!

Photo is of a new design I just finished recently. The stone is a cut and polished copper ore and the setting dark sterling. Photo does not do it justice but I thought it was good enough to post. (My internal photographer and I had a bit of a discussion about this.) Stone is far more brilliant and silver work much more subtly detailed. The white is light reflection and the whole stone is vivid copper. If you're at World Fantasy you'll get to see the difference. It's about an inch and a half high.

Back to packing!

laurieopal: opal (Default)
I've set a number of small stones and set the last two rings. I'm working on the last of my soldering which includes the small dragon and cat studs. I have some unusually vivid and deep orange to red carnelians that look like fire. The larger designs are all finished.

The two opals below are going into a commission for Linda Garrett. They are obviously gorgeous and really talk to each other. The pendant is very close to finished.

I'm really looking forward both to World Fantasy and also to being in Baltimore. I only get there very rarely and i really like it.

The larger opal is about 2". The white in the stone is a light reflection, the colors in the stone are deep blues and greens.

I'm going back to work now.

laurieopal: opal (Default)

Fern sorus, structures producing and containing spores, magnified 10 times
Rogelio Moreno, Panama City, Panama

I am always thrilled by the exquisite images from the small world. The ones we walk through our large world and never see. These photographs from Small World Photomicrography Competition are truly beauty up close. It's really worth looking at all of them. the choices were hard.

From Alan Taylor at In Focus:

Nikon just announced the winners of the 2018 Small World Photomicrography Competition, and it’s shared some of the winning and honored images with us. The contest invites photographers and scientists to submit images of all things visible under a microscope. Nearly 2,500 entries were received from 89 countries in 2018, the 44th year of the competition.

A rotting willow leaf, magnified 3.7 times #
Murat Öztürk, Ankara, Turkey


A mite on an antenna of a May bug, magnified four times #
Emre Can Alagöz, Istanbul, Turkey


Balanus glandula (acorn barnacle), magnified five times #
Charles Krebs, Issaquah, Washington


A portrait of a Sternochetus mangiferae (mango seed weevil), magnified one time
Pia Scanlon, South Perth, Australia

Invisible beauty is all around us, often in very unexpected creatures.
laurieopal: opal (Default)

I’ve been setting some new pieces for World Fantasy including an interestingly shaped fire agate ring with a great rainbow. Did preliminary polishing work work on octopi and a whole group of small silver pendants and earrings.

Have finished two commissions I’ve been working on for along time but need to email the folks they are for before i write about them here. They both came out really beautifully.

I’ve set the copper and silver pendant I was writing about earlier. Will have a photo of that up next time.

And I’ve finished adding emerald eyes to the griffin sculpture. They make a far more intense difference then I anticipated.

The tree pendant is golden agate and sterling. It’s from the collection of Martha Harbison. It’s about 1.5”.

laurieopal: opal (Default)

This a coral reef pendant that I created for Sheila Gilbert.  It was originally supposed to be designed around the early amber but when i found the fish-like pearl I called her and she loved the idea of the pearl. So, I recreated the design (very happily) to incorporate the pearl as a major element.

It's in sterling and about 3.5".

Right now I'm working on finishing the metal work from San Jose. There were a lot of individual designs that needed sizing, special chains etc. I should be emailing folks and sending packages out late this week or early next. (Barring proverbial acts of goddess.)

Among other things I've almost finished a copper stone (very vivid) set in silver for World Fantasy. And some new rings including a stunning hematite shot with ruby. I'll put up photos of them one of these days.


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March 2019

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