Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Okay... so let's catch up on what I'm working on...

Swirly Wedding Bands: The platinum woman's band is still at the casters. Unfortunately, the palladium man's band didn't cast well, so I had a mold made out of the casting, then spent a couple of hours cleaning it up to send it back to the casters.

Noguchi Wedding Bands: The palladium woman's band is still at the casters but the men's 18K palladium white gold band is on my bench to clean up. These will be done in about a week and a half.

Swirly Platinum and Diamond Pendant: On hold till June.

Ganesha Pendant: At the casters.

Pomegranate Ring: In the contract phase.

Tiara: Been Canceled! Yup... there will be no tiara. I know, I know, it's sad, but that's the way the cookie crumbles! Some day I will be able to make a tiara!

Now, there is a job that I spoke about a while ago that I didn't mention the progress of it... and it's because I don't want to jinx it. It's a long story, and I hope to share it soon!!!

There are a bunch of other fun jobs in the pipe line... a few sets of wedding bands, an engagement ring or two, some more swirly jewelry (bracelet maybe?), black star sapphire rings, and a few other things! I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

new carving...

This weekend Sal is at a conference, so I decided to work.

I had been working on some sketches of Ganesha for a pendant, and I decided it was time to carve a wax of it. So here it is...

... if you didn't notice, there is currently no eye. That is because I was going to do a simple curve to show where the eye should be located, but Sal had another idea. He recommended that I take the art from the Mughal period into consideration when it came to the eye. The portraits of that time period were mainly profiles, and the style of the eye was very distinctive.

So, now I'm waiting for the client to decide what the eye would look like... and make sure she likes the pendant in general.

The final piece will be in 18K White Gold with a diamond at the end of the trunk.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Bumble Rumble!

We have had such a beautiful week here in New England... haven't we? I'm being completely serious... not just my normal sarcastic self.

Well, I'm just a big 'ol plant! I need lots sun to thrive! So, when it's beautiful like this, I like to enjoy my lunch on the back deck. But when I walked out the door, I had a big fat bee dive bombing me! It looked like a big fat bumble bee... but it seemed very territorial and awfully aggressive. I thought it was a mud wasp or a killer bee... but it just seemed way too fat.

I tried a bunch of different techniques to get rid of it... but I never managed to scare it away. The bee just keeps flying back and forth on my deck... never landing... it just flies away every minute or so and is back in about 15 seconds.

There has been many news stories about how bees have been dying off in record numbers... and different theories about how cell phone towers are messing up their radar, etc... and I'm wondering if my fat little bee can't figure out where to go or what to do. Because I don't want to contribute to the decreasing numbers bees, I decided to make a deal with my fat little bee, he doesn't sting me and his demise will not be caused by a rolled up news paper... it seems to be working! So, we hang out. I talk to him as I'm hanging out my laundry and he just buzzes around me. BUT I did realize that he's guarding the deck, because whenever any other insect comes by, he takes 'em down!

I tried to get a few photos of him, so you can see just how HUGE this guy is (he's a fatty) but he is a little camera shy! Here's a blurry one...

This is such an insane neighborhood... first the angry squirrel then the bizarre bee... what's next?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ganesha Pendant

So, I'm working on a Ganesha Pendant. The client wanted something different... so we came up with this (the one with the red arrow pointing at it.)

The trunk will curl up holding a bezel set diamond in the center. The total pendant will be around an inch long and in 18K White Gold.

And to quote my client "It is really cute (not sure that's an appropriate term when referring to god!)" But I agree... it's going to be adorable!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Avocado Tree... part 2

I wanted to share how wonderfully my avocado tree has been doing since I told you about my mad science experiment...

Sal and I started this avocado pit (seed) last November, and it's just about ready for planting. Look at that root ball... it's beautiful!

So, in February we decided to start a couple new pits. I was just about to toss them out, thinking that they were duds... but one surprised me and sprouted a root this week! Yay!

It will take quite some time to catch up to our tree... but in a year or so, nobody will be able to tell the difference.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

swirly wedding bands

You know the swirly engagement ring...

So, I got back in the shop today and finished the waxes for the wedding bands. Her band will be an extension of the engagement ring...

But his band has a more subtle pattern, so it is masculine. This is what I came up with...

... the pattern was carved in lightly and runs off the edges and flanked by 2 plain thin bands.

See... I'm working again!

Monday, April 14, 2008

back in rotation...

I just wanted to say thank you very very much for all of your patience this past week. Even tho the death of my grandmother was after a lengthy illness and somewhat of a blessing, it still hit me fairly hard. I'm not sure if it's because grandpa just passed a few months back, or that she was my favorite... but I've just had that 'lost puppy' feeling all week. I just feel rather melancholy... and every couple of hours, when I have a few minutes of quiet, my eyes start to well up. But that will all pass with time.

I'm slightly horrified at the moment tho, because I had to do a reading at the funeral and screwed up. I was raised Catholic, but haven't gone to church in years. Well, I had to do a reading called 'The Prayers of the Faithful.' Well, it was coming up to my time to do the reading... the priest was just finishing the Homily and he speaks with a very thick accent... and I couldn't understand what he was saying. Well, when he was done, he sat down... and nothing was happening... so I thought it was my turn. Well, it wasn't. But I got up there and did my reading anyway. I had no clue... I couldn't figure out why he was just sitting there!

Well, I didn't notice... but apparently my family is getting a very good laugh out of it. But my response to that has been 'Well, he lost his turn when he sat down.'

I'm just glad that is over. And I'm going to get back to work. Tomorrow I need to deal with my accountant (finalize tax stuff on the last day possible) and then back to a full shop day on Wednesday.

This past week made me completely fall behind... but I'll do my best to catch up. And long hours in the shop always helps to clear my head. I know, sounds nuts, but sometimes being insanely busy helps out.

And hours of having my ass kicked in yoga doesn't hurt either!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ode to Angie

My Grammy Angie (Jelly) passed away this morning. If any of you remember, my Grampy Lino passed this fall, and I posted what some of what we found in his wallet. Well, Angie did not carry a purse anymore, so I cannot do the same tribute. But I have so many fun stories... and I thought I'd share a few.

When I was a little kid at the Williams Middle School in Bridgewater, I was feeling (faking?) sick and asked the nurse to send me home. My mother was at work, so my Grammy Angie walked to the school to pick me up (she lived right down the street.) I loved sick days at Angie's house... mostly because I had her all to myself. She would make me chicken noodle soup with saltine crackers... and would stir the fizz out of my ginger ale... and lots of hugs and kisses. We would look at pictures, she would tell me stories... we would watch soap operas while she brushed my hair.

But this particular sick day was different. I'm not sure if she had something else to do or if I was possibly driving her crazy... or she just thought I would feel better if I slept... but she decided that we would sample the different flavored brandy's from the deco slat front liquor cabinet. I can remember her pouring just a little smidgen of each one into the different stemmed pony glasses. Coffee flavored brandy, Ginger flavored brandy, Black berry flavored... and I'm sure there were more. But needless to say, I slept well till my mother came to pick me up.

When I moved home from Italy, I spent a day with Angie to show pictures and tell her everything. She asked me if I had learned any 'bad words' in Italian... of course I did! Isn't that the first thing you learn in any new language? So, one of the words was 'stronza' which is loosely translated to 'little shit' or 'turd.' And Angie just started laughing... because she always thought that was a little pet name from her grandmother, because she was called that all the time! Apparently great grandmother Catherine was not a nice grandmother... but she's a story for another day.

But more recently, a couple of years ago, I was taking Angie for a little walk (she was in a wheel chair.) It was at the point when she was starting to fail... she didn't really didn't speak much anymore. As I was rambling on about something or other... and she just pointed up to a tree. I asked her what she was pointing at and she simply replied 'Do you see faces in trees? I always see faces in trees.' So, I decided that her happy insanity must be where I get my creativity from.

Overall... I'm just happy to remember my spunky short Grammy with the cotton ball style hairdo and would pinch me in the ass every time she hugged me. She would swing those arms when she walked, stomach sucked in chest out, and take all stairs 2 at a time.

Monday, April 07, 2008

hand starting to work again...

Well... the overall burning sensation of my hand is gone, so I'm doing a light day of work today... emails and sketches! Woo-hoo!

But I did a finalized (I hope) sketch of the pomegranate ring. This is going to be sooo cool! 18K red gold with a platinum liner. The main stone is a family diamond (approximately 1 carat) which I have not seen yet.

But I wanted to share the sketch...

... pretty flipping sweet... huh?

Friday, April 04, 2008

one hell of a day...

Today was just one of those days! I woke up and thought I would be nice to Sal (who flew in last night) and decided to make a frittata for breakfast. Well, if you don't know how to make one, you cook the eggs and filling on the stove top till it starts to firm up, then finish it off in the oven. Well, I put on an oven mitt and pulled the saute pan from the oven and put it on the burner... then I took off the oven mitt to get a plate. Finally, I reached for the saute pan to flip the frittata onto the plate. Wait... what did I forget... oh yeah... AN OVEN MITT!

I picked up a 400 degree metal saute pan with a bare hand. I actually heard a sizzle. Not good. Okay, it's only a minor 1st degree burn (no blisters.) Won't kill me, but it will keep be away from the bench for a couple of days seeing it's my dominant hand.

About an hour later, I had to drive my folks to the airport (they're heading out of town for a wedding and visiting friends.) That means I get my boys back for the week (yay!) Well, my mother forgot to mention that Whoopi hadn't gone, to be blunt, poopies yet today because of the rain. Well, she should have told me BEFORE we left for the airport... because I came back to the apartment with poor Whoopi curled up in a ball and a gift waiting at the door for me. (Sal was on a conference call in his loft, so he had no clue what happened.) It's okay... accidents happen.

So, to make him feel better, I thought we could play for a while. Well, he got so excited that his hard little head slammed into my chin... AND I PUT MY TOOTH THROUGH MY LIP!

Seriously... WHAT THE HELL! I didn't do anything for karma to kick my ass! So, I didn't get any work done (s0rry!) and laid on the couch, trolling Ebay for Deco Tea Pots (I have a dish buying problem) and found this freeking cool Chocolate Pot and cups... it was so going to be mine. Nope... sniped at the last second! Bastards!

All I can say is thank the gods that I kicked Sal's butt in cribbage!

Off to get a good nights sleep and start over again tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

wedding band land

Currently, I'm back in wedding band land. And because of the high price of precious metals, I'm making lots of them in wax to have them cast (less waste that way!) So, I completed one that I feel is pretty damn cool.

Basically, it's always a tough call of whether or not to make a wedding band fit flush up to the engagement ring (which usually means there is some sort of a cut out shape, and cannot be worn alone) or just have the band sit close to it. Well, I think this covers both!

By making this wavy bubble like pattern (which will hold 2.4mm tsavorite) it can sit around the main stone, but yet still works well alone. The wedding band doesn't quite fit flush with the engagement ring... but it matches up well!

Pretty sweet... huh?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

pomegranate ring!

i'm working on a design for an engagement ring... and the client mentioned that he and his girlfriend have bought quite a bit of pomegranate artwork. i love the idea of incorporating a pomegranate into the ring. so, i came up with a few quick sketches on how to translate a pom into a ring.

the rings would be made out of 18k red gold with a with a platinum liner (to represent a slice through a pom.) the ring would taper in thickness from the top to the bottom of the shank, and in width from the top to the bottom of the shank.

this version would have a full crown like bezel on the top, representing the blossom om the pom...

and this is a slightly more contemporary version which would have the bloom at the top be represented with a half bezel...

both would be so much fun to make! i'll keep you posted if this is the direction the client wants to head in.
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