Thursday, December 23, 2010

#51 (or, Lots of Cool Photos!)

Apparently this is my 51st blog post so I thought I would go all Dave Matthews and title it as such. Just can't resist the subtitle though; had to pull you in somehow! I have several bits and pieces to write about, but most can be expressed best through pictures, so here goes!

I finally finally finally finished my final jewelry project--a hollow form barn. The piece ended up taking somewhere between 35 and 40 hours, but it was worth it. I love the piece! Absolutely love it! And I don't usually feel that way about my pieces. There were several big hurdles toward the end (ahem, my adorable little rooster weather vane broke off in the eleventh hour!), but I pulled it all together by the time the studio closed Sunday evening. Here are some photos:

The back has a selection from a poem I love by Marge Piercy (To Be of Use); it says "The work of the world is common as mud. Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust. But the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident." Very fitting for both the piece and how I feel about my life and work :)

I was able to squeeze in two Christmas gifts-earrings for my sister (sorry, forgot to photograph them before sending off the package) and a mustache necklace for my sister-in-law. I did a brush finish on the front and printed the back with a floral pattern. I then used liver of sulfur to give it an oxidized finish. It's a fun piece that I hope she'll enjoy:

My dear friend, Linn, commissioned me to create four pieces for Christmas gifts. She is meeting three of her best buds for a concert on New Year's Eve and wanted a music-inspired piece to commemorate the event (they are avid concert goers). I came up with a small guitar cut-out that I made in the "window style" I perfected this summer. Each one is a bit different, and I patterned the metal. The backs are all stamped with the date of New Year's. Here they are:

She was pleased with them (yea!), and she got me the most amazing gift-- a portrait of Caesar and Topo! I teared up when I opened it! This is definitely one of the most special gifts I have ever received! Linn is very supportive of my "new ventures" in life (i.e. working less and riding and making jewelry more), and it means a lot to me that she respects and even admires my choices so the painting was all the more meaningful. The artist is a friend of hers and has painted horses for years; she asked her to put Topo into the painting, and I think it's just awesome! Thanks, Linn!

In farm news, the boarders at my barn got together to build jumps as a gift to our barn owner/trainer. It's been a pretty tough year for her with both of her horses having significant (career ending) injuries; she's been horse shopping for months, and just this week found "the one", a Holsteiner/TB eventer that she brought home today. We presented her with the jumps this evening, and she was so happy! I am glad she has a horse with which to jump them! Good things! April, Shannon, Megan and I set up a course with them and did some jumping. I was bareback so I didn't do as much, but we did jump our first skinny panel! Caesar stopped twice (mostly my fault), but I stayed pretty solid in my seat despite being bareback which I was pleased with. We went on to jump it pretty well; lots to work on but a good start!

Here's a photo of the jumps in progress (Shannon and Mike are quite the artists!): Photos of all of them to come soon.

Tomorrow will be dedicated to wrapping presents and cleaning house (hopefully with a hack on Caesar thrown in). I can't believe it's already Christmas (you too?), but it always comes so soon. We'll be spending the day with Mike's family and surely enjoying some really great food. Next week, we are off to Shenandoah, VA, with our good friends, Attia and Phil; just two nights, but two nights that are much needed and deserved :)

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Mike and a newly outfitted (and slightly indignant) Topo say "Merry Christmas"


  1. The farm barn is AMAZING. Congrats to you.

  2. your barn piece is really cool, Shane. lovely. you're such an artist - always have been. :) hope y'all had a great Christmas and New Year celebration. love u.