Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Wonder Wedding tiara

Its been a while since I created a tiara. The ones I have for sale on Etsy are all a few years old. But now the snow suddenly arrived here in Denmark, I felt inspired to created a new tiara for the winter bride. As always, I worked with sterling silver, in this case only wire, but added for the first time cubic zirconias and white rabbit fur.

First I cut some lengths of 1,5 mm thick wire and run up the ends of two of them (always detail I prefer to just cutting it up. It provides the last elegant ending to any whiplash line). Then I bent them into shape and forged some sections in order to obtain the whiplash flow:

Here I’m halfway through assembly. The challenge with a structure like this is to move through all harnesses of solder in order not to unsolder previous joints. This version however, wasn’t that hard.

Details are important, even on the backside. Hence I filed and sanded the large join smooth, even though I knew it would be covered by fur later.

And here we are –in a very bad lightning: the finished piece, set with the zirconias, but still unclad.

That happened here and I must say, I love it.

It came out pretty much as I initially drew it. That is very satisfactionary, though I sometimes am happy I changed the design as I went along…

The fur transforms a very pretty tiara to something exceptional and very fairytale-ish. This is the tiara to wear for that daring woman who braves cold and darkness and says yes to her man in the light of their love instead of the sun. I am very pleased with this tiara and will create another one soon again! Want to see more pictures of the finished piece? Take a look here

However: I’m off to Finland for Christmas.

Happy yuletide from Copenhagen :-D

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Climate and the big honchos

Wow... it has been snowing overnight. Yesterday afternoon it started, but was just this wet and cold stuff that melts immediately. Nothing to take very seriously. But this morning everything is looking white, soft and clean. How christmasy can you get? Of cause some parts of the country are in trouble: cars get stuck etc. Still, selfish as I am, I rejoice like a kid :-) I'm stuck inside though because I managed to get a cold and am writing in the much used presence of Kleenex *snief*. But at least I can look out at the beauty:

And its just very, very cozy inside! With snow on the windows and my favorite christmas decoration:

And what a timing for the snow to arrive! Right now, the big honchos are pouring into Copenhagen for the COP15 meeting. The leaders of over 100 countries are meeting in an effort to reduce the CO2 emission and act a lot more sustainable in general. Never have this many leaders met at once and that itself is awe-inspiring. Question is: will they actually achieve a result that will change something for real? It would be embarrassing if they didn’t after all this effort and I AM a hopeless optimist. Still I fear a less good result…

However, a lot of attention to the issue has of cause been stirred and if nothing else, that is positive and will hopefully lead everyone to be more aware and act accordingly. This attention is also driven by the many (cultural) activities taking place here in Copenhagen. Last Sunday, my parents, my daughter and I took a walk through the city. We started at Rådhuspladsen (the town hall square), where we had the incredible luck of witnessing Desmond Tutu (yes, the very one!) speak. Now he really IS a phenomena and very entertaining, that old man.

Afterwards (and after some hot cocoa in a café) we joined a lecture on a plant-trees-project in Sudan, which sounded really good. It took place in a Mongolian yurte and what a fascinating structure!

We also passed a lot of other exhibitions on our way through the city. Here a bronze cast of a life-size ice bear skeleton has been clad with ice to mimic fur and flesh. As you can see, a lot of it has already molten away. What a great way to symbolize the trouble the ice bears are in due to the melting ice! And what a beautiful and interactive sculpture.

The city is brimming with different languages and ethnic looks –far more than usual and I love it. However, many of them seem very cold and no wonder: They only wear very thin jackets. But then again: What is the likelihood to be able to acquire a winter jacket in Sudan for instance? Hence an acquaintance of mine started a quick gathering of used winter jackets to donate to our freezing guest. Now that is hospitality for you!

A very large grop of our guests have come to demonstrate -some in a very violent way. Here is a YouTube video atempting (and clearly succeeding) to enroll the angry young people of the world:

Its very efficiant. I am absolutely against those riots, but its still a very catchy video. Unfortunately... basically I think they are right. Capitalism (paired wth general human nature) has gotten us where we are now climate-wise. But I completely disagree with the means to protest! Police has of cause taken its precautions, erected temporary prisons in cages within sports facilities and enrolled forces from all over the country (remember: we are only 5.000.000). Companies like Shell and 7-11 have prepared too:

Soon its all over. I so hope the result of the COP15 will link Copenhagen to something positive unlike Kyoto. So pray to whatever force or diety you believe in that they will succeed!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Art nouveau butterflies

Noone who has seen my work can be in doubt about my style-preference: I just adore the soft, biomorph whiplash lines of art nouveau. especially the french version like my absolute hero Lalique

So of cause I delve into one of the most cherished motifs of art nouveau: the butterfly. here is a brooch I made some time ago:

It has, as most of my brooches, an interesting backside:

It's Danish (of cause) and means "or am I awake?" Obviously intending the sentence "Am I dreaming?" in front of it. See more pics here

Recently I created these lovely earrings, a somewhat more contemporary take at the art nouveau butterfly, but still very nice I think:

More pics here
I have fallen in love with the combination of soft curves and a coarse structure, set off with precious stones. This one I'll explore a bit more I think -perhaps experiemnt with the ken boo guilding on the front? And definately other stones too - I have some lovely amethysts that would be stunning!

Butterflies FTW!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My top-professional photo studio

I have been frustrated for long.

I create great jewelry, but the pictures I make of it just doesn't do it justice! My x husband, who is a very gifted amateur photographer used to take the pictures and they were great. Look at this one!

But even though he's the best, I still don't want to beg him to take pictures every other day. So, I needed to come up with a solution that I could handle myself.

I have followed the advice of taking pictures in daylight, but honestly: winter in Denmark is VERY dark, even at noon. The result was dull pictures :-( By accident (while browsing on Flicr) I stumbeled on an instruction in taking great pictures of jewelry and from there how to create the right setup. Next thing I knew, I was buying the following:

1 cardboard-box (foldable)
1 roll of gaffa tape
1 white pillow-case
1 500 W halogen work lamp
1 sheet of white cardboard

Sounds utterly professional, right?

Well, I cut out the sides of the cardboard box, covered them with the white fabric from the pillow case (using the gaffa tape), put in the white cardboard and set up the lamp outside of it. Adding an additional and smaller halogen lamp in front of the open box, I all of a sudden had created an environment with light enough to take a lot better pictures! Here is what it looks like:

And a close-up on the "stage":

So what's the big difference?
Lots of light which creates this dreamy and sumptuous ambience. Take a look at these two before and after pictures and you'll know what I'm talking about.



Obviously it also helps to try o push your camera to perform its best (still haven't tweaked everything possible with mine I think) but I'm afraid that I'll have to invest in a better camera some day. Thing is, I have a pocket camera. A very decent one from Canon, granted, but still - it just can't handle a few things and it's impossible to entirely circumvent the auto functions. Especially focusing on shiny objects is seemingly tough -fairly annoying when the item to be photographed is shiny jewelry.

But no matter what: I love my new setup and truly believe that my pictures have increased in quality - and hence also convey the quality of the jewelry. Now it's "just" taking all those pictures, cutting them in Photoshop and re-uploading them instead of the old ones. That will take some time. Oh well... :-D