laurieopal: opal (Default)
I’m finishing the miniature of the Irish setter puppy. It’s very detailed and I keep doing a little more work.

And I’m also doing more work on an opal pendant/sculpture that I thought was done but now I want to put a few last touches on it.

The photo is of the opal for that pendant/sculpture. It’s 2 inches high and simply stunning.  I’ll put of a photo of the finished design.

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I’ve been working on a very painterly piece of Fordite that’s going to be a large tack (pin). I’m doing very subtle patterns in the wax that will set off the vivid colors in silver.

And I’ve finished the next to final version of a  7-section abstract asymmetrical silver and diamond necklace. Now I need to let it sit for a while before I make the final changes.

And I'm working on a major pendant/sculpture with a stunning opal.

The photograph is of a pendant set with rock crystal that has goethite inclusions. Only goethite would have the red flashes. (The white in the photo is a lamp reflection.) It’s about 1 inch high and the design is in silver.

Goethite (FeO(OH)), (pronunciation: /ˈɡɜːrtaɪt/ gur-tite) named after the German polymath and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), an iron bearing hydroxide mineral of the diaspore group, is found in soil and other low-temperature environments. Goethite has been well known since ancient times for its use as a pigment (brown ochre). Evidence has been found of its use in paint pigment samples taken from the caves of Lascaux in France. It was first described in 1806 based on samples found in the Hollertszug Mine.

This is from Wikepedia. I had no idea that the stone was named after Goethe.

I love the red flashes.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
(cross posted on livejournal)

Since all my major books and projects have been portraiture, I was especially pleased to have my portrait of Fumiko Nahamura in the exhibition "Portraiture" at the PH21 Gallery in Budapest (November 24 – December 13, 2016).

Portraiture emerged as one of the most prominent genres of depictive media early in the history of the visual arts, and the tacit or explicit rules, conventions and cultural expectations have always influenced the ways by which artists approached the genre. Photography is no exception; numerous different and characteristic styles of portraiture emerged throughout the history of the medium. Today we live in an exciting new era for portraiture. There has never been a time in human history when so many portraits were produced day after day as in the era of digital technologies. Photographers have responded to the cultural, social and technological changes by reinterpreting the age-old genre of portraiture, and it is always an exciting and rewarding task to organize an exhibition for some of the recent achievements in the field.
PH21 Gallery.
Nahamura Fumiko


I met Fumiko Nakamura through Okinawa Women Act Against [US] Military Violence. In my Women of Japan suite. She was filmmaker and peace activist who retired after 40 years as a school teacher to found non-profit Ichi Feet to document the horrors of the battle of Okinawa and the subsequent suffering.

The photos in the exhibition are exceptional both in the variety of the images and the very different concepts of portraiture. The choice between them was really impossible. I really like the images below and would strongly recommend that you see the whole show.


Post No Bills - Ruben Natal-San Miguel


Joyful Vision Mara Zaslove from series “Lifecycle


Sunday,14 February - South Harlem, New York City from series “Just One More” Jonathan David Smyth


Me and Myself Elena Santucci
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I've been busy carving waxes in my studio and should be back to journaling regularly from now on.

The series of photos below are a necklace that I made for Brenda Clough from exquisite jade that her grandparents brought here when they came from China. Working with jade of this quality is always a joy.

Photo of the necklace  - pearls in butterflies are natural pearls.

Close up - carving on the wings are lovely.

Brenda wearing the necklace at World Fantasy.

I'm currently working on several new designs including a necklace of asymmetrical textured silver pieces set with diamonds.  i just finished a pair of garnet and peridot earrings in wax. I'm feeling very energized around my work.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I really made a lot of new rings for World Fantasy. I just set and packed the final ring - really lovely mosaic opal.

My boxes with my velvet and displays are also on their way to being packed. I'll be putting chains on the last few pendants, including my "Gorey" cat in silver.

I've been playing with patinas in bronze and just finished a double dragon bronze pendant as well.

I'm brings a jade butterfly necklace commission to World Fantasy and also a water sprite with jade and sapphire. I'll be able to put up the photos when I return. I'm pretty happy with the photos.

I'm really looking forward to seeing folks I know there and catching up.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
Still working on designs for World Fantasy Con. I just finished a jet and pearl lacework pendant with roses, and a dragon with pearl, antique Chinese glass and crystal.

Still have some pieces left to polish.

  • Turkish Colla wood, sterling and turquoise and cinnamon diamonds. Approximtely 2.25". From the collection of Bayla Fine

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I'm a little shorthanded for help setting up at World Fantasy Con in Columbus. I haven;t been told officially but I"m assuming that set up will be Wednesday and early Thursday.

If you're coming to World Fantasy and would like to help me with setting up, I'dd appreciate your getting in touch.

Really looking forward to being there
laurieopal: opal (Default)

My daughter, the choreographer Cid Pearlman, made 2016 her Year of Free. As a way to make more art accessible to more people they are all free to audiences.The last group of performances are coming soon in October. I’m really proud that she’s doing this.

Economies of Effort: 1 is a stunning dance of world building and power. It knocked me at when it opened in 2015.

Cid says:
The set begins as a box – part Ikea, part Home Depot, part museum installation – out of which the dancers  build their own world.  Performed in the round, EoE: 1 features a set designed by visual artist Robbie Schoen and music by composer Albert Mathias.

For me, the piece is fundamentally about what it means to be a maker, and I am particularly interested in the frictions that exist between creating something with bodies (theoretically intangible) and building something that has a solid shape (with the illusion of permanence). In radical acts of self-sufficiency, self-containment, and sustainability, the dancers control all of the technical aspects of the production from the set to the sound and lighting.

I've been working with an amazing group of dancers on this project (Julia Daniel, Molly Katzman, Collette Kollewe, Lyndia McGauhey, Chelsea Renfree, Cynthia Strauss), and we've reworked the material from a quintet to a sextet. Economies of Effort: 1 premiered in 2015 at Joe Goode Annex.

Looking Left is an annual dance festival in Santa Cruz the features original dance by a variety of companies. The outdoor site specific setting is wonderful.

Cid Says:
Stripped down, streamlined and succinct, Looking Left is a somewhat annual dance and performance festival in Santa Cruz.  This year ten dance artists will present site-specific works in and around the grounds of Santa Cruz’s historic City Hall. Choreographers include Molly Katzman, Damara Vita Ganley, Katie Griffin, Cynthia Ling Lee, David King, Cid Pearlman, Cynthia Strauss & Matthew Shyka, and Collette Kollewe & Erin Reynolds. This year’s festival features three youth companies – Motion Pacific Teen Co./Artists in Motion (AIM), the Kirby Dance Company, and Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center’s Teen Company.

And to repeat all of this remarkable work is free. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, October 12, 7:30pm, FREE
Economies of Effort: 1 (2015)
An evening length dance exploring the virtues of self-reliance and the creative impulse.
Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
705 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Friday & Saturday, October 14-15, 7:30pm, FREE
Looking Left/Dance in Unlikely Places
An evening of site specific performance.
Santa Cruz City Hall
809 Center Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Wednesday, October 19, 8:00pm, FREE
Economies of Effort: 1 (2015)
An evening length dance exploring the virtues of self-reliance and the creative impulse.
Joe Goode Annex
401 Alabama Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

laurieopal: opal (Default)
I'm mostly getting ready for World Fantasy Con in Columbus. Working on some new rings among other things.

I wanted to put up both an image of the copper ore cabochon pendant I wrote about earlier and what it looked like on the woman who bought it at the Kansas City Worldcon. I had a lot of trouble getting both the highlights on the metal and the vivid color of the stone, but the light at Worldcon worked.

Copper Ore Cabochon Set In Bronze


Photograph of Cheryl Brin, who purchased the design at Worldcon.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
I'm back for my marvelous downtime and have been doing the usual intense catching that happens after vacation. (At least to me.)

I'm happily back doing the art I love. And working on a necklace made with beautiful antique jade pieces and natural pearl for Brenda Clough. I particularly love working with fine old jade.

Also working on a bronze design of floating bubbles.

It's late but I wanted to star posting again now that I'm back in the world.

laurieopal: opal (Default)
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.
laurieopal: opal (Default)

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.

window 1_1146

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.
laurieopal: opal (Default)

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

laurieopal: opal (Default)
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.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
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.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
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.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
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.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
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.
laurieopal: opal (Default)
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.

laurieopal: opal (Default)
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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