16 August 2009


The inspiration behind the "Swirling Schools" earring, pendant, and necklace designs

13 May 2009

New location

Look for new posts on the blog attached to my website: sherrycordova.com/blog

24 April 2009

Drips, Drools and Underpainting at the San Jose Museum of Art

A favorite piece in the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art is a 3D fiberglass S form with parts of a face shown in a looping video.

After visiting the
Jun Kaneko ceramic's exhibit (huge pieces!), Doris Fischer-Colbrie, Kathleen Gordon and myself took seats at the Prints of Andy Warhol audience participation table. The exercise was designed to teach underpainting. We'd seen the San Francisco school of abstract expressionism exhibit upstairs, which has also been unkindly referred to as the Drips and Drools school. You'll see some of that influence in the works below.

The work of Doris Fischer-Colbrie:

From Sherry Cordova Jewelry

The work of Kathleen Gordon:
From Sherry Cordova Jewelry

The work of Sherry Cordova:
From Sherry Cordova Jewelry

We also enjoyed the Women's Work printmakers exhibit, especially two prints from Louise Bourgeois. Below is a photo I took of a Bourgeois sculpture at Fundacio Pilar i Joan Miro in Mallorca.

22 April 2009

Advanced Filigree DVD

Yehuda Tassa filling a flower component of a filigree pendant

Filling a flower component of a filigree pendant

Friend, filigree mentor, and filigree master Yehuda Tassa is about to release his second filigree how-to DVD. While reviewing the DVD for Yehuda in order to give him feedback before the final version is cut, I took some screenshots.

Yehuda Tassa, Yemenite Filigree Master, as seen in excerpt from his second DVD to be released in 2009

Yehuda Tassa, Yemenite Filigree Master seen in excerpt from his second DVD to be released in 2009

Back in the first few sessions of filigree workshops, Yehuda used to teach the flower project first. Once us intermediate students convinced him, he started teaching an easier project to the new students, and this is now a second project in his workshops.

Below are the first three things I ever created in filigree, years ago. The filler patterns that Yehuda is teaching are different than those in my pendant/pins. And, you'll notice I went for a prong setting in all three of my pieces; the DVD teaches a bezel set stone on a pendant. If the picture of my pieces looks familiar, perhaps you've seen the photo before in "The Art and Craft of Making Jewelry: A Complete Guide to Essential Techniques" by Joanna Gollberg, Lark Books.

"Fraternal Triplets" filigree pendant/pins by Sherry Cordova

"Fraternal Triplets"
Sterling and fine silver, amethyst, garnet, and peridot

21 April 2009

Organizing the Workshop

After many many months, the hydraulic press is in it's final home and bolted down. Now it looks like a very tall person with a white shirt on; the white shirt is the fancy dust cover. Yes, I'll need a foot stool to place items on the press; luckily there's one out there because the cabinets are also too tall for me to reach past the first shelf!

Without the cover, the hydraulic press looks like this (in it's old location taking up workbench space.)

The vacuum caster is also in it's permanent location. All that's needed is a mirror so I can see the oil level while it's running.

20 April 2009

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Creatures in residence at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Wolf Eel

Octopus emphasizing the "no flash" policy for photographers

Powerful and graceful hammer head in the Outer Bay exhibit


I tried to take photos of the Leafy Sea Dragons; either the creatures moved too much, or the tank distorted the image. Here's a link to a nice image. And, did you know there's a festival for the Leafy Sea Dragons?

19 April 2009

Vacuum Caster Modifications

The used vacuum caster I purchased started leaking oil after I turned it on the first time. So before turning it on again a revamp was required. The newer models are now built for servicability and for easy access to the oil input port. My older model required some modifications in order to make adding oil easier.

A trip to the hardware store seemed in order, and these are the parts from the plumbing and irrigation aisles that we thought would work.

Here are the parts installed, and below is a closeup of the modification to the oil input port.

Once the mods were made and oil was added, we ran the pump. If the pressure is low enough, water will turn to ice.

The pressure reached the max for this unit, and the water was very cold. Need a more powerful pump to make ice!