Monday, September 5, 2011

New Adventure in Tatting

Its been an extremely creative day.  I'm always trying to come up with new and creative ways of using my tatting, first it was tatting in silver wire, which was a big hit.  Then I combined tatting with chainmail and my finished pieces got me to the finals in an international Jewelry competition.  Today, I finally figured out a way to combine my silver tatting with wire wrap jewelry designs.  I tatted Tatman's shuttle pattern in silver wire, added a swarovski crystal to the center and then set it into a sterling silver bracelet (which I made from 20 gauge square wire).  Next project is designing a pendant combining tatting and wire wrap.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Final results from Fire Mountain and some new creations

After months and months of waiting, I finally heard back from Fire Mountain. I made it as a Finalist and made it on their website. But unfortunately that's as far as I got in the competition. They were amazed at the detail work but my work was lacking any color. Oh well, there is always next year.

Now that I am no longer on the 25 motif challenge, I decided to share some of my other projects. My tatting, especially in silver, is still my main addiction but I've started to expand into other areas of making jewelry. My side interests include chainmail jewelry and more recently, I've started to make wire wrapped jewelry. I hope y'all like the pictures.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm a Finalist!!!

I finally heard back from Fire Mountain Gems about my contest entries. The wait was driving me up the wall (patience is not one of my strong suits), so I called the person in charge of the competition and was told that 2 of my 3 pieces made it into the finals. And wouldn't you know it that when my wife checked the mail later that day, the letter was waiting for me in the box.
The next step is sending my pieces (the two chainmail and tatting pieces shown in my previous post) in to be professionally photographed by Fire Mountain and then I should hear back within a month about where I end up in the final judging. All finalists' work will be shown on their website and the best will be featured in the different magazines they advertise in.

Keeping my fingers crossed and praying a lot. Also, floating about two feet off the ground with excitement, the next wait may be worst than the last.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Entering My First Jewelry Contest

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just busy, I hope everyone had a great Christmas, I know I had an interesting one. The week before Christmas the water heater in the apartment above ours burst flooding our apartment, shorting out our water heater and heat for a week, We still had a great if rather chilly holiday.
To catch everyone up on my health, my liver disease is still stable and we're approaching the six year mark since they told my wife and I to plan my funeral, I had two months to live. Fortunately, God knows better than doctors. My leg wound is finally almost healed after 13 months (PTL). And most importantly I am still married to the love of my life, something I am grateful for each and every day.
As far as my tatting goes I've bitten the bullet and entered Fire Mountain Gems contest in the wire and metal category. Two of my pieces combine a chain mail center with a silver wire tatted edging, the third piece is pure tatting. I should hear some feedback in about a month and the winners will be announced officially in about three months. The winners will be awarded a gift certificate from the Fire Mountain site and will be featured in several publications. Wish me luck and say a prayer, its going to be a long wait.
Here are some of the pictures:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lapis and Silver Flower Necklace and Earrings motif#18

Sorry for not posting in so long, but I was learning an important lesson the hard way. Basalmic Vinegar and Olive Oil go great together on salads but NOT on the keyboard of a laptop. It was an expensive lesson to learn. The bright side is that I really love my new laptop and Windows 7 :-)

I am still tatting in silver wire and one of my latest projects is this necklace and earrings. Lapis Lazuli goes great with silver and I have had several friends and relatives hint at what they want for their birthday or christmas.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bridal Necklace and a brief venting #15

I've had a request lately for some bridal pieces, this the first one. It is fine silver wire, freshwater pearls and a sterling silver chain. I've, also made some matching earrings. I haven't named it yet, so if anyone has a suggestion, let me know. I love making the pieces but I hate coming up with names for them.

Now for the venting:
One of the Jewelry stores that carry my work had a visit from 2 people that are part of a local tatters group. They were very interested in my silver work and had the nerve to state in front of the store clerk, how expensive my work is and they could do the same for a lot less. Fortunately, the clerks attitude was "yeah sure", she was polite but frustrated with them too. Needless to say, they didn't buy anything. The aggravating part is that I know these people and their work, which is mostly just mediocre. I've won awards from both national and state organizations. I have 2 of my framed thread pieces on display at the Mississippi State Arts Commission Gallery and have my silver work at 3 different local Jewelry stores as well as the gift shop of the Mississippi Museum of Art.
I'm not bragging, there are tons of tatters out there in cyberspace with many years of experience and are much better and more talented than I am. But I do work hard at my craft, especially when working in silver wire. I just really irks me to have someone with very limited skills make these kind of comments in front of one of my vendors. Even if they could do it better and cheaper, its still very tacky.

P.S. My staph infection is finally under control leaving a 4 1/2 inch wound behind. If all goes well they will start using Apligraf on the wound to speed the healing. Thanks for your prayers we're finally seeing results

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Pendant Courtesy Of Totusmel, #14

I've admired the design of Pamela's (aka TotusMel) Victoriana pendant for quite a while. And with Pamela's permission, I've tatted it in silver wire. It may not seem very exciting, but it represents a my first time using encapsulation in my wire tatting. I tried tatting it in heavier wire but it lost that delicate lace look, so I re-tatted it with a heavier wire as the core thread and my usual fine wire on the outside. I ended up with a much stronger piece without compromising design.

Please keep me in your prayers, I'm still fighting the staph infection, but I'm no longer on IV meds, we're trying oral antibiotics and hopefully I'll be able to work this weekend. The Mississippi Craftsman Guild is hosting a Heritage Day this weekend, with blacksmiths, sheep shearing, spinning, weaving and Native American basket making as well as stick ball lessons. Fortunately, my booth will be indoors where its air conditioned, we've been having 96 - 97 degree temperatures. Wish me luck.