Sometimes things start simply, then just keep growing .... this piece actually started life as a patterning sample. I liked it so much I started messing with it - cut a circle, domed it, did some chasing detail in the center. Soon I had ... a lid! Hmm, what next. Tried a few different simple bases, trying to finish it without it taking over my life, but you know it told me it needed a substantial base, not just a simple quick thing. Three billets, many hours, and quite a few ounces of silver later, this tea container with a secret was born.
Creating matching mokume patterns isn't easy - I used three different billets to create all of the silver/copper mokume you see here. It's all chisel and drill patterned. Patterning was done first, then the sheet cut and curved, soldered and fabricated just as if it were one metal - except great care must be taken not to overheat the mokume. The silver sections are 1mm thick sterling silver, some of it with a heavy cross-hatch texture to complement the mokume pattern. I do a lot of modeling in paper first, to test out different proportions, understand how much mokume I'll need and how the patterns will match up, etc. It is patinated with rokusho, the most traditional Japanese patina for mokume. It is easy to use, really quite functional. Pictured with a lovely gunpowder green tea (not included). There is also a secret (shh!) compartment accessed from underneath, great for hiding special things. Does include the matching tea scoop. I am considering making additional tea scoops for sale, let me know if you're interested.
See below for many photos of the piece in progress - enjoy! And please feel free to comment with any questions about the process, I'm happy to share.
I know I've been pretty quiet online lately - no classes since October, not many social media posts. Well, that is because I've been deeply involved in a new project -- buying a house! It pretty much ate up 6 months and was quite an odyssey. After selling the old house in September, Ame and I lived in Airbnbs while researching cities and towns all over the west coast. We weren't sure if we wanted or would be able to buy in San Diego. Well, long story short - after much soul-searching and almost moving to inland Oregon (where it snows! omg what were we thinking), we found the perfect house here in San Diego. It is just 2 miles east of our old house, but in a more affordable neighborhood - which we are already starting to love. (Azalea Park, for those familiar with San Diego.) Photo shows the house being tented for termites (common practice when buying/selling here in Southern California) - tent came off December 20, so technically we unwrapped that present just a bit early!
It is a small house at 792 sq feet, but an upgrade for us with a fancier kitchen than we've ever had, a spare room for Ame's atelier, and a converted garage for my home studio! I'll still have my Liberty Station studio for making rings, meeting clients and possibly holding small workshops, but my home studio will be my place to do the larger vessel work. Art will be made here! Our first night in the new house was December 21, Winter Solstice. We already love the place, especially Mochi. She was getting pretty tired of the monthly, weekly, or even daily packing up and moving.
I know a lot of you have been asking when/where my next classes/workshops will be. If you're one of those, thanks so much for reading all this. And now I hope you understand why the silence on that front. I'm still getting unpacked and settled, but I plan to get my act in gear very soon about teaching. I know I'll be doing some online classes, and organizing some workshops around the US too. Farthest away still is any return of classes at Liberty Station - first I'll need to clean and re-organize, figure out what is feasible. Honestly I don't think I'll ever do ongoing classes or classes not related to mokume. Most likely it'll be small mokume workshops every few months. I love teaching, and remain committed to spending some of my time and energy passing along my love of mokume. More soon on that front - right now I've got some boxes to unpack...
Looking back at my photos and remembering what a great workshop we all had in October in Long Beach at Diane Weimer's studio. October 22-24, 2021. This was a 3-day general mokume gane patterning class ("The Art of Mokume Gane"), the first in-person class I'd taught since Covid. What great students! Serious learners with talent, and fun to hang out with, too. Many were complete mokume beginners, and I was thrilled with the quality of patterns and finished pieces they were able to produce. On day one I shared a patterning technique I've been developing but hadn't ever taught before - it went great; students were able to follow and reproduce the steps, but everyone's patterns were unique. On day two I showed the classic twist patterning method, the exact one I use to make my rings, but we made bracelets out of copper and brass. On the third day students were free to finish up in-progress samples, create finished work, or start new projects with the available (for purchase) silver-bearing mokume. It was a blast to be back in the thick of teaching - 12 students, each working on something different, my job to respond and help as needed. Teachers know what a fun atmosphere that is - such energy, intensity, and creativity. The day went so quickly, soon it was time for the raffle. Many of the folks asked for a return visit, so I'll see what I can do to make it up there in 2022.
Thanks so much to Diane for hosting!
I'm so pleased to announce I'll be speaking about mokume gane and doing patterning demonstrations at SNAG's fall virtual symposium "Tides & Waves: 2021, Eastern Asia" on October 22, 2021.
When I found out about the opportunity to present, I could not believe it happened to fall on the first day of a mokume gane workshop I'm teaching in Long Beach! Why do all the good things happen at once?! Thankfully we figured out a way - I'll be joining SNAG from Diane Weimer's studio. After presenting I'll go straight into my workshop there.
I'll start with some historical background (lots of juicy mokume gane images), then show both simple and complex patterning techniques. The demos will be short and to the point; chock-full of real info on how to try the techniques yourself. There will be a short Q&A time after the demo too.
The rest of the symposium looks great - the keynote speaker is Bifei Cao, who I met 10 years ago at a workshop with Helen Shirk at Haystack. He impressed me then with his encyclopedic knowledge of the metals world, from trends and galleries to teachers and schools. Since then, he's been doing amazing things - I can't wait to hear his talk!
If you'd like to attend my talk/demo and of course the rest of the 2-day symposium too, the cost is very reasonable ($55-75) and includes access to recordings. I know I'll be checking out the recordings after my workshop is over. Hope to see you there! Register.
From November 2018 to March 2020, San Diego Jewelry Lab was known as Anneville Jewelry Lab because it was a brick & mortar jewelry metal arts school and co-work space located next to Anne Wolf's studio in Liberty Station - a part of the NTC Arts District. We offered multi-week classes, independent study and 1-5 day workshops. Topics covered a wide range of the jewelry/metals field, from absolute beginner basics taught by Jessica Andersen and Julie Monroe to advanced specialty techniques such as Japanese metalsmithing taught by Ford Hallam, stone setting by Alexandra Hart, keum boo taught by Bette Barnett and mokume gane taught by Anne Wolf. Many of our students took classes multiple times to perfect their techniques and gain inspiration from each other. Our workshops drew students from around the U.S. and internationally. In addition to classes we had Open Lab time where jewelry metal arts makers worked together, enjoyed our little "Broken Sawblade Cafe" (which became the Peg and Pickle Pub after hours) and shopped for tools and supplies in our small General Store. We also hosted a monthly First Friday Open Studio where makers and the public nibbled tasty snacks, watched live demos and shopped our Gallery Case featuring work by our teachers and students. All of that changed on March 19th, 2020.
As we ended the year and the news of the new and more contagious covid variant came out, we really started to feel like we were in a crazy video game so, here we share with you our 2020 Game Recap.
Congratulations, it looks like you’ve made it with us to Level 12 of this awful Game of 2020. We’d give it no stars if possible; at this point all we can do is hold on to a sense of humor and keep going. Level 1 began well, we had a year of trips planned and classes scheduled for our Jewelry Lab business. The worst demon in our land, Orange Windbag, was slashed with the Sword of Impeachment and things were looking good! But then the Land of Koalas caught fire and rumors surfaced of a mysterious new foe in a distant land. Nevertheless, by Level 2 Ame had saved up enough Coin for a trip to visit her father, Vance of La Playa, in the Land of Mariachis and Anne made a foray to the nearby Land of Saguaro to learn patina alchemy.
At our online Holiday Party we looked back at some 2020 highlights (we did find some!) and shared our plans for 2021. The recipe exchange was a hoot with concoctions for tasty treats as well as Mokume Goo from Earl, DIY Solder from Sky and Niello from Anne (note: don't eat!). We also had fun enjoying everyone's home decor and festive apparel. The winners of our holiday cheer prize drawing were Patty (congrats on the agate burnisher!) and Joanne (edible gemstones!). After that we heard from several people about their own 2020 - good and bad - along with hopes and dreams for 2021. We capped it all off with our Holiday Raffle. Many thanks to everyone who decorated, dressed up and shared goodies. Read on to download the recipes and get some cool free coloring pages and a handy circle divider tool.
Cyberweek 2020 sale! I've got 26 listings on sale - 25% off, one week only - Nov 30-Dec 7! These are all in-stock items, ready to ship in time for the holidays - there are even a few gold mokume rings. Treat yourself to the best quality custom mokume gane rings available on etsy. I use only precious metals, so my rings are built to last a lifetime. I fuse my own mokume gane billets and create my rings from scratch at my San Diego studio (customer visits welcomed by appointment). Please enjoy browsing the bracelets, earrings, cufflinks, pendants, boxes and RINGS! Feel free to contact me (619) 488-7540 with any questions. Shop my Etsy sale.
Thursday, December 17th from 5-6pm Pacific Time
Meet & Greet starts at 4:45pm.
Online via Zoom - link on our home page.
Join us online for an hour of glad tidings and merriment. We'll take a look back at some 2020 highlights (you know Ame, she'll find something good) and share our plans for 2021, hold our recipe exchange (be sure to send in your favorite recipes for brownies, cookies, patinas, billet stacks, etc.), see who has the most festive decor and apparel (winner gets an agate burnisher!) AND we'll raffle off some goodies including a couple of great jewelry books and some GOLD (seriously!!). Totally free, just tune in by clicking the link on our home page. Save the date and don't forget to decorate your space, don some gay apparel and send in your recipe.
Click images to view larger.
Anne Wolf is our guide this month for a fascinating photo journey into the gorgeous niello work of southeastern Turkey. This time she'll discuss several striking pieces from her collection, all purchased during her trip to the region in 2005. After that, we take a deep dive into a topic many of you have burning questions about... working with torches in your home studio - specifically working with gas. Which type is best? Where do you buy tanks? How do you safely store them? What about insurance? What about oxygen concentrators?!? Read more for resource links and photos!
A friendly group of about 10 of us chit-chatted away while working in our home studios at the November Sawing Circle on the 19th ... actual sawing transpired even! Along with filing, hammering and all sorts of comparing notes and discussing tools, torches, tanks and the finer points of patinas. Our shared project was fold-formed copper leaves and there were some fantastic pieces completed (Go Kathy and Karen!). Anne filmed (and I edited) a a great video tutorial about the project so it was fun to see it put into use. Anne also gave us all a sneak peek of a new mokume pattern she's working on from an ancient Japanese tsuba - the pattern is sakura leaves on water. Wow! We also heard about new projects from Jan (cool essential oil pendants), Earl (mokume billet fusing), and Carol (amazing piercing work). See, these are the cool things that make Sawing Circle fun! For photos and a link to the view click Read More.
Thursday, November 19th 5-6pm PDT : Meet & Greet starts at 4:45pm
Anne Wolf is our guide this month for a fascinating photo journey into the gorgeous niello work of southeastern Turkey - this time she'll discuss a gorgeous silver belt from her collection. After that, we're taking a deep dive into a topic many of you have burning questions about... working with torches in your home studio - specifically working with gas. Which type is best? Where do you buy tanks? How do you safely store them? What about insurance? What about oxygen concentrators?!? Tune in and bring your questions. MAAA is a FREE weekly online metal arts live show. In this fun, interactive gathering we offer demos, share tips & tricks, feature work by artists and students from around the world, go on virtual studio tours, discuss historical metal arts traditions and share resources. You're invited to join in! Send in your questions and ideas for the next Metal Arts Adventure. Need help with a tricky soldering job? Wondering if a tip you saw really works? Submit a question or segment idea any time and we'll follow up. Send it in! Want to give us a tour of your studio? Care to recommend a tool or instructor? Get free feedback from professional metal arts instructors! Join the live Zoom show.
It took a lot of work on the part of our hand medal creators (and a few late nights for us making envelopes and sewing on ribbons) but we did it! Thank you so much to everyone who participated and shared extra pins and ribbons - we used every last bit and finished with 152! The medals will be presented soon and we’ll share any additional details as we get them. Of course Anne had to make a mokume gane one! The diversity of designs, details and ribbons made them all so fun and different! Congratulations to our Hand Medal Project winners too! Karen won the award for “Most Prolific” with 20 medals completed while Nancy won the prize for “Most Intricate” for her addition of a teeny tiny bracelet to all 11 hands she made. Since we started the project in the summer time, their prizes are tiki face masks - going out in the mail today. Thanks again to everyone who participated. Get involved with our next project: we’re making fold-formed copper leaves in November at our free online Sawing Circle. Click Read More to see photos.
While we wait for that other result🗳, we can announce our #HandMedalProject winners! Karen won the award for “Most Prolific” with 20 medals completed 🏆 while Nancy won the prize for “Most Intricate” for her addition of a teeny tiny bracelet to all 11 hands she made🏅. Since we started the project in the summer time, their prizes are tiki face masks😷🦜🍹🗿- going out in the mail today. Thanks again to everyone who participated.
🍁🍂 Get involved with our next project: we’re making fold-formed copper leaves this month at our free online #SawingCircle. See our website for a free video demo and the date & time.
Thursday, November 12th 5-7pm Pacific Time : Meet & Greet starts at 4:45pm
Mark your calendar for our next Sawing Circle on November 12th from 5-7pm Pacific Time. This month's shared project is fold-formed copper leaves! If you're new to leaf making, watch our free video demo by Anne Wolf and then join us from your studio to work in the good conversation and company of like-minded friends. Totally free, no need to RSVP, simply join by clicking the link that will be posted here on our home page. Tell a friend or make one there, either way we hope you'll join us right here on November 12th.
A handful of hearty souls joined me in our Debate Support Room while a larger group joined Anne in our Debate Escape Room. That's right, we hosted a Zoom session where folks had the choice to watch the debate while working or escape politics for a few blessed hours - all with like-minded friends and it was super fun. I think the verdict is in ... we're all officially over it with this election - LOL! But working together via Zoom has proven to be great fun so mark your calendar for our next Sawing Circle on November 12th from 5-6pm Pacific Time. Totally free, no need to RSVP, simply join by clicking the link that will be posted on our home page. Bring a friend or make one here!
Thursday, October 22nd
6-8pm PST - Online via Zoom
Were you planning to join our Sawing Circle but don't want to miss the debate? Watch it with us in our Debate Support Room! Are you unable to stomach seeing those people any longer? Join our Debate Escape Room. That's right, tomorrow we're hosting a Zoom session where you can watch the debate while you work OR escape politics for a few blessed hours - all with like-minded friends. Ame will be handling the tech and anyone can join in. Work on your medals or whatever you like, the goal is to enjoy the good company that comes with working together.
No need to RSVP, simply join by clicking the button below.
Meeting ID: 267 269 4245 | Passcode: #MetalArts.
No need to RSVP, simply join in via Zoom on Thursday the 22nd between 6-8pm PST.
Because we're horribly behind (LOL!) we've extended the deadline for the Hand Medal Project. Be sure to mail or drop off your medals at Anne's Liberty Station Studio by 6pm on to Friday 10/23/20. We'll make sure they get submitted to our San Diego Hand Medal Project coordinator.
Metal Arts Adventures #19: Special HallowMAA Edition! London Silver Vault | Fold-forming Fall Leaves | Q&A
Whilst lurking about the Thames one dark and misty night, metalsmith & world traveler Claire Ramsey happened upon a mysterious vintage baby rattle (oooh CrEePY!!) which led her to ... the London Silver Vaults - the largest collection of antique silver in the world. Dated from 1882 the vaults were originally used to house the silver of London's wealthy elites. Join us, IF YOU DARE! Next we'll calm our frayed nerves with a demo by Anne on fold-forming fall leaves (ahhhh). But then it's BACK TO TERROR with SafETy LaST in which we'll take a playful look at home studio safety. Think it's too much trouble to put on your safety glasses? Think AGAIN! (It won't be gruesome, promise). As always, we finish up with an open discussion Q&A period so get your metal arts questions ready. Read on for photos and resource links.
About 30 students and friends attended our 2nd Annual Shop & Swap at Liberty Station on Saturday, October 10th. Anne set up tables in a shady spot off the main colonnade and we all had fun dropping off goodies, perusing what others had brought and visiting in between. Wearing masks and social distancing was easy and didn't detract at all from the delight of sharing stories and catching up. Aside from that, we managed to re-home all of the lab leftovers we brought, thereby freeing up room in Anne's home studio for new projects. Likewise, everyone who came seemed to find something useful or fun to take home. We were particularly delighted to re-stock a student who lost her home studio building in the Valley Fire. Read on for photos!
We had so much fun at our Sawing Circle tonight! Everyone arrived right on time and got to work with lots of sawing and filing and discussions of where to stamp the ID numbers (front? back? Around the ribbon?) and how to address the fingernails (to stamp or not to stamp) and even finer points of textures and ribbon wrangling. Like any good gathering of metalsmiths we also got into several tool and patina discussions ... which naturally led to excellent bakeries in San Diego and Santa Cruz. LOL! Great fun. Thanks to those of you who tuned it and if you missed it, we hope to see you at the next one. Happy Sawing!
Join us for a visit to the Arizona Copper Art Museum with metalsmith Janet Ross as our guide. We'll take a tour through the history of copper work and gaze with wonder at some exceptional pieces. We are also delving deeper into jewelry photography with some pointers about how to use focus and lighting to highlight the work while avoiding glare and reflections. Whether you use a smart phone or a SLR, this will be a great show for asking questions. As always, we'll finish up with our usual open discussion Q&A period. Read more for links and resources shared in this episode.
Because we're horribly behind (LOL!) we've extended the deadline for the Hand Medal Project. Be sure to mail or drop off your medals at Anne's Liberty Station Studio by 6pm on to Friday 10/23/20. We'll make sure they get submitted to our San Diego Hand Medal Project coordinator. If you need help me to do the ribbons and envelopes for you, get them to Anne's studio by 10/19 at the latest. Thank you! ~ Ame
Thursdays October on 8th and 22nd
6-8pm PST - Online via Zoom
To help us hit our Hand Medals goal we’re holding TWO extra Sawing Circles in October. Anyone is free to join in. Work on your hand medals or anything you like, the goal is to enjoy the tips, conversation and good company that comes with working together. No need to RSVP, simply join by clicking the link on our Home page that day. See you there!
Educator, metalsmith, jeweler, maker of custom mokume gane jewelry and wedding rings.