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I wanted to put this beautiful opal pendant before I take some post Worldcon down time. Kansas City  was wonderful and exhausting.

The opal is even more stunning in life.  Metal is 14kt.  Design was very interesting to develop and I'm very happy with the way it works with the stone.


From the collection of Rebecca Burgess

Ill be putting up some jewelry mages from Worldcon after my down time.  Bye for now.
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Laurie says:

This is a group of shadow pictures that I’m considering for my major work in progress, Memory Landscapes. The gallery is here and a description of the project is here. Since I'm in the process of creating a complex aesthetic of memory and memoir, the description of the project is also a work in progress.

I'm putting them up much larger than usual to give a sense of what they'll look like as iPad art.

shadow 22nd intense_1136

I posted about some of the shadow images earlier this year. I’ve been working on the photos and the associative memory chains but haven’t been writing about them nearly enough. The shadow pictures represent a place where you space out and “your brain goes to Brooklyn”, so to speak.

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We remember vividly, with intervals of presence without definite thought or focus. (This is not the optimal description but I’m working on it.)

I have a newer “in progress” version of the associative memory chains that includes some spoken word pieces and shadow photos that I’ll be linking to and writing more about pretty soon. Here is the present version I have up. Check it out if you’re not familiar with the project.


I’ve been somewhat obsessed with these shadow images in recent months. I’ve also been working on some shadow video that I’ll be posting about as well.


I’m taking some down time so I probably won’t be posting for a few weeks. Then I'll be putting up a major photo from Memory Landscapes.
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I'm one day's work away from being done and I have one day left before I leave. So it's good!

Really looking forward to Worldcon and seeing lots of people I like and don't see often enough.

Photo is of a pendant I just finished for Worldcon. It's a dragon with a kyanite crystal wing. When I got the stone I realized it needed to be a wing. And when I started carving I knew it needed to be a dragon.

Actual size is about 2.5 inches but I wanted to show the detail in the crystal

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This turtle pendant is a design I've made before, but at Wiscon Kenzie commissioned it with malachite. Previously I'd made it only with pearls and they looked delicate and lovely.

But I love the way the malachite feels like a turtle shell. I've just made another one for Worldcon. (This one is hers.)

And my car George, who thinks every think is a cat toy, found it irresistible when I was photographing it.


Back to work on final settings for Worldcon.
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Counting down for Worldcon. I have a few last designs to do work on but jewelry is almost finished.

Photos are of a necklace with carved Thai agate beads, antique Chinese jade beads, antique Chinese chalcedony beads, and a vintage art nouveau chain. The bronze beads are my designs. The antique Chinese beads are the last of a small number I've had forever.

Close up includes carved agate, jade beads and my handmade bronze beads. From the collection of Tracy Schmidt

Back to work.
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I've been working on the jewelry for Worldcon - of course. Polishing more pendants, setting rings etc.
Did a lot of sawing today and quite enjoyed it. So far it looks like things will be ready a touch more sanely then usual but I get to find out.

Just set a group of new rings that I'm bringing with me, including these two.

Silver and pearl ring. I love the baby pearl.

This rose stone was cut by Lloyd Eshbach. It's part of my collection of his stones. He was a brilliant lapidary. I've never seen any other stones like it.

Back to work now.
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Just finished polishing one group of designs. This includes the dark bronze pendant with the gorgeous shot with copper stone. I'll put up a photo as soon as it's set.

And a tear drop shaped silver pendant with my last watermelon tourmaline stone that's blue and pink rather then green and pink. It's unusual and still called watermelon.

Also worked on a set of dragons of various sizes and some open lace work pendants.

I've designed a pair of deadly nightshade earrings that I'm looking forward to finishing.

The turtle woven with malachite beads is finished and going in the mail tomorrow. They look remarkably turtle shell like. This one was a special but I think I'm going to make one for Worldcon. I really like it!

Not quite quitting for the night but soon.
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I just finished an abstract wax for a turquoise and brown Turkish collawood cabochon that also will be set with a few turquoise and cinnamon diamonds.

And a somewhat lacy patterned silver design with a small lovely watermelon tourmaline is cast, and now I need to polish it.

For a necklace with antique Chinese beads among other elements, I've just finished polishing some dark bronze beads (with a little iridescence) with a papyrus pattern. This is the second time I've created this iridescence in bronze so I'm a little more confident of being able to duplicate it.

I'm also finishing a wax for a brilliant stone with big flashes of copper ore that will have a dark bronze setting. It's a large very flamboyant looking design.

I'm workiing very hard getting work ready for Worldcon.

Photo is of a sterling pendant set with fordite and an art deco pink synthetic spinel. These spinels are the only time I have made an exception for synthtics. They came from someones grandfather who had been a jeweler in the 1930's and are very special.

Size is about 2.5 inches.  From the collection of Nancy Cobb.
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cross-posted from Body Impolitic

(there's a great video of how other creatures see at the bottom of the post. There's a space between that and my last photo that I can't get rid of - be sure to check it out.)

I'm exploring color for the first time as a photographer in my Memory Landscape project. This made the BBC article quoted below particularly interesting. It's called Color And Vision:Through The Eyes of Nature.

A new exhibition exploring the relationship between colour and vision in the natural world is opening at the Natural History Museum in London

Intense and vibrant natural colours will be displayed in specimens and photographs of insects, animals and plants. The message we hope people will take away from the exhibition is that colour and vision are inextricably interwoven in evolution


The vibrant hues found on the wings and feathers of some birds and insects can be explained by two different types of colour…structural and colour and pigment.

Structural colour is produced by light interacting with microscopic structures on surfaces.

This sort of colour is on some bird feathers and [the] metallic surface of beetles...

Different pigments absorb different wavelengths of light and reflect other wavelengths - this affects what colour we are seeing... Sometimes colour is created by the combination of pigment and structural colour.


Vibrant colours might stand out in the wild, but they can also be a warning to potential predators...Bright colours can mean the animal is saying, 'Don't eat me'.


The close up below of a starling's wing illustrates the underlying scientific principles. And it is simply an exquisite abstract photograph in itself.


This video from the Natural History Museum shows the world through the eyes of dragonflies, dogs, snakes and horses.

The article has a great deal more about color, construction and how the eyes of varied creatures work. All of this gave me a lot to think about color and how humans perceive it. I expect it will show up in my work.

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I've been polishing all day. Working on the first group of rings for Worldcon.
white jade, kyanite, chrysocolla, and a very unusual baroque pearl with a baby pearl attached.

And I'm doing the final polishing on the Fordite commission. It's been a very good day. The designs are looking beautiful as the polishing reveals the textures and I'm looking forward to setting the stones. Even though they are my work and I have a very clear visualization of how they will look, there is still a sense of completion when the stones are set that feels really good.

Photograph is of a sterling pendant set with a stone that combines malachite,chrysocolla and lapis. It was made for Joanna Lowenstein who does exquisite delicate work in wool. I wanted a design that gave a strong sense of her work. It was something new for me to base a design on and I really liked doing it. The work really flowed in the end.

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I have an extra membership for MidAmeriCon II that cost me $150. If you'd like it (or know someone who would) at that price message me. (Current price is $210.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I took some time off after Wiscon and among other things had a really good visit with my daughter Cid in Santa Cruz.

Wiscon was great as always. Saw lots of people I really like, got some fascinating commissions, and got fabulous conversation and advice from the panel and the audience during the Memory Landscape panel.

Right now I'm working on a Fordite pendant design:
Fordite, also known as Detroit agate, is old automobile paint which has hardened sufficiently to be cut and polished. It was formed from the build up of layers of enamel slag on tracks and skids on which cars were hand spray-painted (a now automated process), which have been baked numerous times. In recent times the material has been cut into cabochons for jewelry - Wikipedia

I'm working with a triangular piece that is in reds, blacks and white patterns. the design is abstracting and reflecting the patterns. There will be a photo.

And I'm starting to work on rings for Worldcon. Right now that includes, a pearl with a baby pearl, an Afghan lapis and a larimar.

Photo is of a ring set with brilliants in gold. Working with the stones and the shape was challenging. But I got the delicacy that I wanted and I'm very happy with the completed design. Height is about 1/2".

From the collection of Simran Khalsa
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I’ve developed Memory Landscapes further and added some new elements including some voice and some images that are contemplative rather then directly memory.  Panelists are Nisi Shawl, Debbie Notkin, Emma Humphries and me.  It's on Sunday at 2:30.  I'm  looking forward to hearing people's thoughts.- it really influences my work in progress.

“Photographer Laurie Toby Edison's work-in-progress is “Memory Landscapes", a feminist visual memoir, to be implemented as an iPad art app. Memory is a form of time travel through your own time line. A visual memoir takes you into the artist's time line and lets you choose your paths through their lives. Memories are filtered, by who we are now, who we were then, and what has happened in between. We view our past through layers of memories, and the past is everything that happened except this moment. The panel will look at some of Laurie’s work in progress, and discuss the ways panelists and the audience re-engage with memories of their own lives. Laurie needs people's insights and experiences with memory to inform and inspire her work.”

I'm still finishing up the last bits of work before I go. Hopefully not til really late.
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I've finshed the "Glorious Bug" design from Lois McMasters Bujold's book "A Civil Campaign". It's my guest of honor pendant for Wiscon this year. Next year I’m doing a pendant from Alaya Dawn Johnson’s work. Photo 0f the "Glorious Bug" is below.

I did an experiment that succeeded really well to create the iridescence on the bronze. It varies by the lighting and each one came out a bit differently. Unfortunately I'm not sure I can replicate the conditions so these may be the only iridescent "Glorious Bugs" I can make.  I also have a few other iridescent bronze designs including a dragon.

Life threw me more complications and delays then usual these last 2 weeks but the jewelry and the stones are (finally) finished and packed. So I now get to do everything else I need to do before I leave, including post here.

And I have a group of new designs including an ocean polished Baltic amber design among others.

Iridescence bronze, approximately 1.75"

I'm excited about going to Wiscon and looking forward to seeing everyone.</
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I  have 2 extra memberships for Midamericon to sell.  They are $150. (present price is $210).  If you’re interested get in touch.
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(cross-posted on livejournal)

This is a post of two bugs, so to speak. First, a garnet bug on a stunning opal that I made for Bayla Fine. (Photo below the text)

And secondly: This is my third year making a guest of honor pendant for Wiscon. I’ve already made the Heyiya-if, (a holy symbol for the Kesh) from Always Coming home by Ursula LeGuin, and a snake from Dreamsnake by Vonda Macintyre.

The design I’m currently finishing in wax is a “glorious bug” for Lois Bujold’s A Civil Contract. Because the “glorious bug “ is flamboyantly colored. I’m making it in bronze as more reflective of this flamboyant creature than silver. In my new bronze polishing technique they should also vary in coloration. I’m looking forward to polishing them. If I have time after their finished, I'll post a photo.

Next year I’m doing a pendant from Alaya Dawn Johnson’s work.

Here is the photo of the garnet bug and opal (about 1.5 inches) :

There is a beautiful Victorian tradition of insect jewelry that influenced this pendant, although I didn't realize it until the design was finished. And I'm realizing that my "glorius bug"  has late Victorian influence.  I have a lot of art and art history in my head and it sometimes shows in ways that surprise me.

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These were taken at my daughter choreographer Cid Pearlman's environmental dance performance Economies of Effort 3.

The photographs I posted previously in Dance, Light and Shadows were abstractions about movement, light and shadow. The dancers were part of the composition.

This sequence of photos are about the intimate relationship between the dancers, and between the dancers and the audience. The dancers are Cynthia Strauss and Sara Wilbourne.

1 sara duet final crop_0895

2 sara duet final crop_0897

3 sara duet final crop_0899

Making these sequential photographs is something new for me. I always work with the relationship between my images. These particular images are revealed (sometimes only in part) as you scroll down. This can only happen on a screen and creates a different relationship between the viewer and the photo.

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(Cross-posted on livejournal as laurieopal)

I've been working on some very different bronze pendant designs...hope to have them for Wiscon.

And I've been gloating over some leopard skin jasper and rough piece of clear Ethiopian opal that lights up the sky. (Metaphor works for me.)

The pendant is Victoria stone. (And even more beautiful then the photo.) Victoria stone was created by Dr. S. Iimori in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. He was trying to make synthetic jade. It actually resembles leaded glass. It's is extremely beautiful and can vary greatly in color..

When he died he left the formula to his son but a significant detail was missing and no one has been able to replicate it. So all there is in the world in the material he made almost 50 years ago.

I wanted a beautiful design the complemented the shape, and would reflect some of the qualities of the stone.

Design is sterling silver about 1.5" high.  From the collection of Sheila Gilbert
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(Cross posted on Body Impolitic)

The PH21 Gallery in Budapest currently has a show The Cat Show ( a juried international photography exhibition ) that includes 2 my nudes from my book Familiar Men. It runs from from April 14 to May 3. I was really charmed by the idea of a serious exhibition of images of cats.

My photo of Karl Michalak and Emory is the juror's honorable mention. (You really need to click on this photograph.)

Karl Michalak with Emory

And my photograph of Tommi Avicolli Mecca with Pippina and Peaches is in the show as well.

Tommi Avicolli Mecca with Peppina and Peaches..

From Zolt Batori, director at Ph21:

“The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself.”
― William S. Burroughs: The Cat Inside

Some may think that snapshots of cats are only for the fleeting moment, that photographs of cute kitties and lone predators are only taken to bring a quick but passing smile to the face of the viewer. Others may cherish the photos of their pets for sentimental reasons but may not think that those images are of any interest to others. And then there is an army of feline devotees out there who flood every possible outlet with an overwhelming amount of cat photos and videos. Cats rule. So much so that sometimes the sheer quantity of feline imagery may make us forget what lies at the heart of this obsession: the quality that the cat offers by offering itself. The history of photography, however, teaches us that even the greatest masters considered cats a worthy subject for their camera. Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, André Kertész and Edward Weston, just to name a few of them, all had captivating photos of cats. The bar is set high, and contemporary photographers have been keeping the trend alive ever since, exploring new directions and new possibilities in the process.

These are two photographs in The Cat Show that I especially like.



Of Small Things No. 2 - Catherine Tsakona, Triel sur Seine, France


Le Chat Noir - Ekin Küçük, Istanbul, Turkey


The photos in the exhibition are varied in choice and composition and some are quite brilliant. Very well worth seeing

laurieopal: opal (Default)

These earrings are designed to be the poisonous Blue Ringed Octopus from Australia. I always love making something that is both beautiful and dangerous.

The stones are emeralds and even more beautiful then they look in the photo.

They are sterling silver and emeralds (obviously) with black pearls. Length is about 2". From the collection of Bayla Fine.

I just had cast two designs in gold and they came out beautifully. After all the work the waxes take I always hold my breath a bit until they are cast successfully.

I'm working on some new designs in bronze, very different from much of my work, that I'm hoping to have finished for Wiscon.

Think I'll go back to work now.


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