July 30, 2020
So, I bought a vintage nickel band flute at an antique market in Boston several years ago. I was enamored with the keys and textures of it.
It was virtually black with tarnish. I sawed the flute into pieces, and boiled them in distilled vinegar (really!) to loosen the tarnish then went at it with steel wool.
I started on the wall hanging a few weeks ago--here's where I am so far, but everything is subject to change. I'll post a photo of the pieces when it's finished.
The music in the video is from Lizzo, a classically trained flutist is now a top rock performer.
June 24, 2020
My first custom piece! With keys as the theme, I worked with the individual on colors that fit their style and we collaborated on placement of the accents pieces.
Email me if you have ideas for a custom piece of your own.
May 1, 2020
The Japanese master artist Hokusai has a lot to teach us.
Here are some lessons I learned at a recent exhibit of his work at the Freer Gallery in DC. Find art here.
April 16, 2020
Here you can see me assemble a wall hanging of vintage drawer pulls. I clean, polish and paint or seal the pieces. Then I drill holes in them to attached metal jump rings. I use pliers to separate the rings and attach the piece. It takes me weeks to decide placement and I am always adjusting as I go along. See more art. pieces.
March 31, 2020
When I saw these vintage brass escutcheons (fancy face plates to surround key holes), I immediately saw them in a classic design with high gloss black and white accents.
The "batwing" or "chippendale" style reminded me of an opera mask.
The uniform structure of the hanging, something I don't usually do, comforts me.
I hope you find some solace in this unsettling time. See all art.
March 23, 2020
In the midst of the overwhelming pain of the global pandemic, I take refuge in my art.
This wall hanging started when a small bottle of blue enamel paint winked at me in the art supply store. I was hooked...
I cleaned, polished and sealed or painted the vintage drawer pulls. I "sewed" them together with steel jump rings and suspended the blue pulls on chain to float among them.
It hangs on my living room wall while I wait for it to tell me what tweaks need to be made.
I am grateful for the respite that my art work provides to me.
I hope you find some comfort in it too.
January 14, 2020
This year, I have resolved to concentrate on art pieces. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree... I will work with vintage metal pieces and focus on quilt like wall hangings. But I'm introducing new collections--vintage metal toy cars and detailed drawer pulls. I'm excited (and a little nervous!) to move into new media, but I'll try to channel my trepidation into creative energy.
November 14, 2019
I love asymmetrical pieces. I used these belt buckles to frame contrasting bead designs, and I added a brooch pin to the back of the buckle to be sure it stays in place.
I'll be adding these new pieces to the site soon!
October 5, 2019
Thank you, Art on the Avenue! Great weather, great attendance, and great sales.
As an artist my work is very personal, and I welcome the opportunity to connect with others through it.
Your support frees me to fly.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
September 20, 2019
I'm finishing work on new wall hangings--small quilt like pieces that reflect my West Virginia roots. I have designed and am building maple wood displays for these celebrations of things that enchant me: brass keys, raw metal belt buckles and delicate watch parts.
I'll be at Art on the Avenue on October 5--hope you can join us!
September 12, 2019
I've started staging my display for the October 5 Art on the Avenue festival. I only have a 10 X 10 foot space to display all my work, so space is very critical.
I'm using an olive color fabric and bamboo accents. I made the table coverings, using the sewing skills I learned in my junior high home economics classes.
I wrapped empty boxes in the fabric to add height to the display and pasted cork board inside bamboo trays to pin up my pieces.
I'm excited to debut some of my new work, like jewelry made with bicycle tire innertubes and small wall hangings that I am still finishing up--more on that later!
Hope to see you on October 5!
September 1, 2019
I always knew that some day I would be ready to expand my work beyond jewelry. And, I'm happy to say that day has come!
I am introducing new art pieces in the form of small wall hangings--quilt-like pieces that were inspired by my West Virginia roots.
This hanging is made from brass keys with recognizable American companies: American Lock, Schlage, and Master. I love the detailing and I know that someday soon, we will use only our voice to open doors or start our cars. Future generations may never know the feel and sounds of a key opening a wooden door.
After I finished this piece, I wanted to give it a proper display, so I designed and built a simple stand with straight lines to contrast with the movement of the hanging. The stand is made with wood with dowels to strengthen the pieces.
I'll have this for Key Quilt for sale at Art on the Avenue on Saturday, October 5, from 10 am to 6 pm, along Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria, Va. Details on the festival can be found here.
See you there!
April 22, 2019
Biker alert! These pieces are made with recycled bicycle tire inner tubes.
Just about a year ago, I posted a photo of materials I would use in future designs (see my May 3, 2018 entry below),
I wanted to do some abstract designs and to pair the pliable black rubber inner tubes with pearls and gemstones. It's the first new collection I've made this year.
Take a ride through the ReCycle Chic designs and pack a few pieces for your favorite biker....
March 11, 2019
I'm sure you've always wanted to know how to make a bowl out of steel belt buckles. (OK, maybe you haven't ever thought about it, but it's challenges like this that keep me up at night!) I just finished my metal welding class, and I am happy to report that, yes, you can make a bowl of buckles. Here's how:
First, I welded down the the buckle prongs. This was not easy, as the high temperature of the torch will melt the buckle if you keep the flame on it too long.
After securing the prongs, I welded the buckles together inside a 1/4 inch solid steel sphere to shape the buckles.
I welded rows of the buckles together until I reached reached a good height.
March 10, 2019
Back in January, I smashed the glass out of vintage watches and cleaned, polished and sealed the metal rims. After weeks of trial and error (mostly error!) I created a series of necklaces using the watch rims to frame gemstones. You can see more of these designs on the Best Face Forward page. While you're there, check out the redesigned watch face necklaces.
I'm spending the cold winter months huddled in my studio--design inspiration keeps me warm, so check back soon for more creations!
January 29, 2019
Yesterday in my Metal Sculpture class, we cut steel with a chop saw--lots of sparks as the blade sliced through the metal. Then we used a metal grinder to strip the burs from the cut edges. After that, we welded the sides and bottom to make a steel container.
I plan to put a plastic insert in it and use it as a vase.
Next week we start our individual projects. I'm making a bowl from steel belt buckles. Stay tuned....
January 21, 2019
I just started a Metal Sculpture class and am learning the basics of gas welding. I love working with metal and am thrilled to be learning a whole new avenue for metal creations.
Best of all, I am surrounded by other offbeat (I mean creative!) types.
Me: "I want to make a bowl with metal belt buckles."
Teacher: "Hmmm. Let me think about that."
Man next to me in class: "I've got some old auto parts and a copper fire extinguisher that I want to work with."
Yep, this is my kind of crowd! Thank you for sharing this adventure with me.
I spent this morning smashing the glass out of vintage watches (yes, it's fun!) to see what I would uncover in their thick metal rims.
I cleaned and polished the rims, then cleaned and polished them again, and was rewarded with surprising details--beading and metal waves and elegant etching.
I was stumped with the moveable numbered dial on one of the watch rims. A quick google search revealed that this is a diver's watch used to measure depth of a dive (who knew?)
And, under a tarnished silver coating was my favorite find: a solid copper rim with delicate beading. I've got big plans for these metal medals--stayed tuned.
I wish you a New Year with lots of unexpected treasure revelations!
December 8, 2018
Krakow, Poland is a city with fairy-tale qualities. A trumpeter heralds each hour from a tower above the medieval town square. A castle guards the city.
All four of my grandparents came to America from Poland, entering through Ellis Island. I was raised in a Polish-American household with Polish food and traditions. I traveled to Krakow recently and was awash with its beauty. I look for artistic inspiration everywhere, and I found an abundance of it in Krakow.
There is extravagant color in the hand made folk vests, exquisite detailing in the embroidered table linens, and delicate brush strokes in the local pottery. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK) featured the twisted elegance of patinated bronze sculptures by Kryzsztof M. Bednarski.
The beauty is burned into me, and I am so grateful for it opportunity to gather it. How will it manifest in my work? We'll learn that together. Thanks for following my journey.
November 12, 2018
For me, bow ties and cufflinks conjure up images of elegant affairs. I have been collecting vintage cufflinks for years--from brands like Swank and Hickock. I've embellished the deconstructed cuff links and fashioned them into elegant earrings.
So glad these vintage beauties have a second life--I hope you agree. Check out my new collection Off the Cuff.
October 22, 2018
I love taking art classes. It is exhilarating to be in a classroom simply because I want to be there. I'm currently taking a class called "Art Composition." I'm learning about line, shape, color and light and how those elements relate to convey the artist's vision.
Our teacher encourage us to "Start big, then step back." I like that.
The upper image on the left is part of a class exercise to use straight lines and convey movement. I see similarities in that image and the one below that I shot for the redesigned pieces of the Best Face Forward collection. What do you see?
I hope you'll take some time to see my new pieces.
And, thank you for inspiring me.
October 6, 2018
The winner is...watchband earrings!
Yeah, I know it's not a contest, but I can't resist a dramatic flourish! I just finished a three show run at ArtRave Dupont, and watchband earrings were a best seller. In fact, I had sold so many before yesterday's show that I made a bunch of new designs.
I love the detailing of watchbands showcased as earrings. Especially love the extra long stainless steel women's watchband on the right.
What's next? I'll take a little break from shows and work on replenishing and redesigning my collections. I'd like to sell at some holiday shows to finish out 2018, so check back to see where I'll be! And, thanks for your support of my work.
September 29, 2018
Had a great time at Art All Night at ArtRave Dupont! The weather was perfect and the event was well attended.
I introduced my new line of Cufflink Earrings and sold a couple of them. Watchband earrings also sold well, and vintage watch face pieces went quickly.
I'll be back at ArtRave Dupont at P and 15th Streets NW on Saturday, October 6. I hope to see you there!
September 15, 2018
PaintingStones LLC had a great DC debut at ArtRave Dupont, corner of P & 15th Streets NW on September 15. Good weather and an engaged crowd made this a successful day. Thanks to everyone who came by to share their thoughts--so good to be with people who "get" my work!
Missed the event? Catch me at ArtRave Dupont for Art All Night on Saturday, September 29 from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Just a nudge: I'm introducing a new line of earrings that evening!
August 3, 2018
I found these brass face plates at an antique market in Boston. I was taken by their delicate details of scalloped edges and etching, and I could see a crystal pearl suspended in the center.
I've cleaned, polished and sealed the plates and added that pearl. They've got just enough patina to attest to their staying power!
I only have six of these, and I want to do them justice. Check back to see if the new pieces live up to their legacy.
July 6, 2018
My father-in-law was a lovely man, full of life and always ready with a joke. He played dominoes with his brother and friends for most of his life. After he died, I made a necklace of wooden dominoes in his memory. It was the first piece of jewelry I made.
Right now, I'm working on new pieces with vintage wooden dominoes. Old dominoes were embossed with images that help identify their age and maker. The dragon dominoes in the photo on the left were made by the Milton Bradley Co. in the 1980s. The dragon checker was made by Halsam toy manufacturer in the USA in about the 1950s.
I can't wait to drill and assemble these beauties! Check back to see what emerges.
May 3, 2018
Question: What do the three images above have in common?
Answer: They are all inspirations for new pieces I'm working on.
What? When I have an idea (or at least most of the time when I have an idea because I'm always cooking up something!) I build prototypes of the pieces and wear them to see what works.
I'll use this page to show you what I'm up to. Check back here for updates, or send me an email and I'll let you know when I'm launching new pieces.