24 March 2009

Back to Work

The vacation is over and it's back to making jewelry. Time to take the earring out of the thermoform plastic shellac and finish it.

The thermoform plastic shellac hardens when cooled or at room temperature, and softens when immersed in hot water. The material becomes clear and pliable. To remove the earring, I heated up a container of hot water, immersed the whole assembly and removed the earring from it's plastic shellac jig.

When cooled back down again, the plastic shellac starts turning back white, and becoming firm. To re-use it again, simply immerse it in hot water, insert the piece to be worked on, and cool it back down again.

22 March 2009

Humpback Whales: Breaching and Singing

The picture of a humpback whale breaching was taken on a recent trip to a dive site. The underwater video from on one of our dives allows you hear the whale singing.

We were underwater when this underwater earthquake hit. The quake was very loud underwater and reverberated unlike anything we'd heard and felt before. Which makes sense, since it's the first time we've been underwater near an underwater earthquake! We were confused, because we'd been listening to the whale the whole time and it suddenly sounded very different. :) The sound made sense the next day when our dive master told us there had been an earthquake. One of her dive
master friends had also been underwater to hear it and figured it out when the quake was mentioned on the evening news and the times matched.

What does all this underwater stuff have to do with my artwork? The article I wrote for a zine explains.

20 March 2009

Time Management

What does one do when waiting for a plane? Relaxing on the beach after a long snorkeling session seems like a great way to spend the time.

17 March 2009

Textures from the Sea

One person's candle decoration is another person's source of textures.

Look for some of these textures to be incorporated in my work. The urchin shell texture will be especially nice when shrunk 30%; it'll be nice and crisp.

15 March 2009


When I visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium I always enjoy watching the jellies.

On my recent trip I took the above photo and also picked up some 2009
Seafood Watch and Sushi Watch cards to keep in my wallet for friends who eat fish. I noticed that the aquarium has developed a "new iPhone application [which] brings the latest Seafood Watch recommendations directly to your iPhone or iPod touch."

I ran into an old friend who now works at the aquarium full time. That was a great way to top off a great visit.

09 March 2009

Green Jewelry

On Saturday I attended the Green Jewelry class at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in SF. The day was full of interesting information that ranged from how metals, diamonds and gemstones are mined to what we can do to help with the environmental and social issues due to mining. We learned tips about rethinking our studio practices in order to help the environment. And, we were treated to three live demonstrations and were shown images of work created with found objects.

The instructors were very enthusiastic about the topics, very knowledgeable and very friendly. Jennifer Horning is one of the original founders of Ethical Metalsmiths and has experience in mining law. She also creates jewelry. Christine Dhein is the Assistant Director at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, incorporates found objects in her metal work, and authors articles and DVDs on a wide range of metalsmithing topics. Christine Dhein authors the Green Jewelry newsletter, which you can subscribe to by emailing her.

If you have an opportunity to take this class, or to listen to a shorter lecture by Ethical Metalsmiths, I highly recommend it. The Metal Arts Association of Silicon Valley is working with Ethical Metalsmiths to arrange a lecture in the fall of this year. Keep an eye on the Metal Arts Association of Silicon Valley's website for more details, or sign up to be on their mailing list using the link on their home page.

Below is a photo I took on the way to the Green Jewelry class. As you can see, it was a beautiful clear day in the city.


Christine Dhein is thinking about creating a blog where we can access her past newsletter articles. In the meantime, here are a few more ecologically oriented art blogs for those who are interested (there are some different ones listed in my blog links at the right):