I am busy creating a new web site, complete with a store and a shopping cart. It is up and running, so please check it out and leave comments or ask questions using the contact link found in the navigation bar. Lots to learn yet, and much inventory to be added as I work on it… so it is definitely a work in progress

Studio With a View

The studio pictured above was new a couple of years ago. It was formally a large, empty shed at the bottom of the back yard that I built my studio within. This view of it is from the kitchen window and includes the Monterey Bay in the background.

This is the workbench where much of the designing and making happens. It is just one corner of the room and there are numerous other areas where additional processes take place. I’ll share a more extensive studio tour later.

New Photo Set-up

I purchaced this lighting kit after a friend shared it on Facebook. I’ve been searching for a system that would work with my iPhone for quick product shots for the new website shop. Kit includes two 16” soft boxes, two sturdy tripods, and two daylight balanced bulbs. All fits perfectly on the multi-purpose table in my jewelry studio. Best of all, under $50!

In addition to the lighting kit, the set-up also includes these items purchased separately: a GorillaPod flexible tripod, a clamp for the phone… each with a ball head… and a bluetooth shutter release.

Photographing on white and on black

I photographed the recently created “Bird” cuff on a white background and on a black glass background as a test to see what works best for the piece. Both seem OK to my eye… just very different. The black is dramatic, the white seems more contemporary.  If I were to list this in my Etsy shop, I might also photograph it with some props from the garden. A leafy branch or two for instance. Plus I need a photo that shows the out-side of the ends as an alternate view.

The brass sheet was originally photo etched to use as a plate for roll printing onto silver, however, I decided it would work better used directly for jewelry. I am now wearing the cuff to see how the polished surface might change over time. The dark background is a heat patina that developed naturally when I annealed the metal for forming.

bird cuff photo etched
Bird cuff 1

Bird Cuff - Carol Holaday
Bird cuff 1 on black

What I am working on now

Documenting a process. I am slowly working on describing the steps I use in creating original artwork for the photo-etching technique I use to produce pattern on sheet metal.

fern photo 5
color photo of fern

I find that starting with my own photos gives me a way to create unique patterns that express my interests. These patterns can be applied in many different ways… ending with a great variety of “results” depending on the choices made along the way. Just three of the many possible results are featured in this post as examples. Only three cuffs for now, but I also have ring bands and pendants from the same photo.

Cuff bracelet
Cuff bracelet with fern print
Cuff above was first colored with heat and then a chemical patina was applied.

fern cuff with LOS
Fern Cuff with LOS only
Cuff above has a simple LOS patina only.

Fern Cuff with Guilder's paste
Fern Cuff with Guilder’s paste and LOS
Cuff above was first colored with both gold and silver Gilder’s paste, and then with LOS.

Edit May 5, 2013 – I keep starting and stopping with this “tutorial” project because I am not sure I have anything new, or sufficiently different, to add to what is already available on the subject. Just do a Google search for “how to etch metal at home” and you will be overwhelmed by the results. Or an image search for “etched copper jewelry” and many of the results will take you to instructions. This is a VERY popular technique with lots of variations for every part of the process… start to finish. Plus, how useful would instructions for preparing an image from a photo be for someone who doesn’t have Photoshop for transforming the photos? Will Photoshop Elements work? How about the free photo editing programs? One large tutorial or many smaller ones for each step? Lots to think about. Meanwhile, I think I’ll simply report on what is working for me as a way of sharing.

Image Guidelines for submitting photos to MBMAG

This is a test to see if I can upload and attach PDFs.

As a member of the Monterey Metal Arts Guild (MBMAG) who is participating in the upcoming exhibit at the Pacific Grove Art Center, it is my job to collect photos from the other participating members and then pass these on to the persons in charge of publicity and postcard design.

The Photo Guidelines and instructions for how to insure images meet these guidelines are specifically for MBMAG members who are already signed up to participate. Click on live links below to open PDFs.

Photo Guidelines v-7-17

How to check file size of photos

Digital images for publication in print

link to page on Guild site for more information related to photography

The photo I took of Dorothy Rick’s silver cuff bracelet is an example of an image that meets the required guidelines for print media.

Dorothy Rick's Cuff Bracelet
Dorothy Rick – Plan C


Sanctuary ring for peaceful meditation

This is the ring I created for the Monterey Metal Arts Guild   exhibit currently showing at the Pacific Grove Art Center in Pacific Grove, Ca. The title/theme of the show is “Sanctuary” and this seemed a good title for the ring as well.

The unusual piece of abalone shell was selected because it reminds me of the look of the dawn light on the ocean surface on a peaceful morning. Living within sight of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary is a blessing and a daily reminder of how lucky I am to be near such beauty. In fact,  from my bedroom window I can watch the dawn arrive and see how the color reflected on the bay changes from moment to moment. Morning is my favorite time of day!

The silver bezel and ring band were roller printed using a texture plate I created by photo etching an image of seaweed I took at Asilomar Beach.

keum-boo sample

keum-boo sample
light to dark - dark to light

This is a sample that I created for the keum-boo class I am teaching at Monterey Peninsula College. It has inspired all sorts of variations and could become a new “line” given enough time.

The keum-boo techniques offers so many graphic possibilities… I want to try them ALL!

Students were very enthusiastic and inspired after the first class… it will be interesing to see what they come up with by the end of the second (and final) day.

Photo taken with my newest DSLR. I love it! but have lots to learn yet. So many choices and not easy to remember which ones are the “best” ones to make in any given situation.