Monday, August 17, 2009

the beach rocks garden art..."beach stacks" hose guards

the beach rocks garden art..."beach stacks"...these are the hose guards that we make to keep the garden hose out of your plantings when you move the hose from place to place. They make the cutest little squeak when they spin. I will be posting more about how these are made as well as additional images in a few days. The “beach stacks” are our little tributes to those cairns that you often see people building at the beach. But, in this case we have drilled a hole through the middle of each rock so it will spin on a long secure stake when the hose touches it. This causes the hose to glide by, accompanied by a chorus of squeaks and avoid the garden. We have topped each stack with what we call an “improbable”. That’s because it is very improbable that you could get a rock to stand like this without some serious help. As always, the beach rocks are collected from various places on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.
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Sunday, August 9, 2009

"and water cuts rock"


This Saturday’s Port Townsend Market was of particular interest to me. I was able to introduce a piece I call “and water cuts rock”. It is a bit of a play on words as many of my titles are these days. It recalls the old game of “paper, rock, scissors” but it is a tribute to the fact that given enough time…a river of water will cut through a mountain of rock. This simple geological fact still fascinates me.

The argentium sterling silver in these pieces has a texture called coining. The highlights from this texture remind me of the shimmer of sunlight on the surface of rapids. The beach rocks have been cut in to two pieces then tilted and separated by a wedged shaped space. The pieces are reassembled using the “post and pad” method. This means that both side of the beach rock has been drilled to receive a post of argentium and it is also attached on a pad. This is the preferred method for securely attaching fine pearls to findings and it seems appropriate here as well.

I found it gratifying that about 25% of the visitors went to these pieces first. Both pieces are on they way to a new home in Tacoma, Washington. I have several other beach rocks already prepared for this same treatment, one of which is a turtle back rock. I can hardly wait to see how they turn out.

Monday, August 3, 2009

"the beach rocks" Argentium sterling silver rings


I have started making a line of straight forward “the beach rocks” rings. They all have a round wire shank and a fully closed back made of argentium sterling silver. The bezel is made of fine silver. I have gone to great effort to make the finish on the pieces as fine as possible. The result is that people that handle them often use the word “buttery” to describe them. These rings feature beach rocks found along the Olympic Peninsula here in Washington State. The backs of these beach rocks have been ground flat to make them much more stable in the mounting. But other than that, they are just the way the ocean offered them up on the shore.

The ring in the middle of the above photograph is set with what the people on the “West End” of the peninsula call a “turtle back jade”. It is a relatively rare find to see one this size, as they are usually found much larger. It is well to note that this beach rock has little to do with the gemstone “jade” apart from the color.

the beach rocks

the beach rocks
Although I have been lucky enough to receive many accolades and awards during my professional career as a jewelry designer, I was nearly always fulfilling a commission and therefore the aesthetical concerns of my client. Now that I have relocated to the great NorthWest I am pursuing my own images for the first time since graduate school…and loving my craft with a renewed spirit.

deep currents

deep currents
This was inspired by the way the river's currents swirl around the rocks that sit on the bed of the river.

in the kelp bed

in the kelp bed
At times I let my mind wander to what is happening below...in the depths of the kelp beds. I image how the cold waters waft and drift along. I like to think about the serenity of life in the kelp beds.

two six rings

two six rings
We called these rings "six ring" because when you see then from the side...in profile...they reminded us of the number six.