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Everything Is Beautiful From Far Away...Or Is It?

I'm getting all up there with my new Olloclip.
It just clips on to my iPhone 5S.  I think that is an adapter for the skinnier version of the phone.  I wanted something easier to carry around other then the massive camera to take real close ups.
Here's what I've done so far.

I'm still learning about the clip but for the most part pretty satisfied.  It's good for those close ups in the studio.  Here's me drawing down wire.  This is when I feel like a true metalsmith.  HAHAHAHA!!!
The clip is also good for your morning walks to get those beautiful close ups of nature.
You see...not everything is beautiful from far away.  Sometimes you have to lean in to see the beauty in the macro world.
Have a great Friday!

Namaste
Kalaya
Recent posts

Sugar Skulls Get A Face-lift

Sugar skulls just got a makeover.  I cannot seem to get away with making these.  My favorite color is the white sugar enamel.
I use the torch because it gives me more control over the sugar stage of the enamel.  Sometimes I use a mantra while firing and it goes something like this (after pulling the torch away).  Stop...stop...stop...STOP!!!
A lot of people seem to think they are just for Halloween but I wear my sugar skulls year round.  It is like a momento mori. me·men·to mo·ri məˈmenˌtō ˈmôrē/Submit noun noun: memento mori; plural noun: memento mori an object serving as a warning or reminder of death, such as a skull.
I am constantly thinking about my own mortality.  I guess this is why I make skulls.   What about you?   Are you afraid of skulls? Just today my mom requested a necklace to accompany her earrings.  I am totally on it mom!
Oh just so you can compare.  These are how the earlier style looked. The new style can be found in my shop.
Have a great Wednesday!
Namaste Kalaya

A Love Note To My Readers

Dear Friends,
My gallery has decided to move and it saddens me to say that I will not be going with them.  I have broken away from the herd.
So what now?
This is what I ask myself and to be honest I do not know.  
I turn to you.
The ones who come back to read...to listen to my failures, successes, and my angst.  I am grateful that you are still here.

The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) was here in New Orleans.  I was so thrilled.  I made new friends and visited with old friends and we had a blast!

Halstead held an exhibition along with SNAG at RHINO Contemporary Gallery.  200 kits went out and 30 pieces were selected for the Halstead Design Challenge.  My piece, What's Her Story? was selected to be among one of the 30.  I was so honored.
_/\_
Inspired by the women of Storyville and Bellocq's photography this brooch is the first in its series.
The story behind the story.
Every woman has a story, especially the women of Storyville (red-light district of New Orleans from 1897-19…

Shedding My Skin...Again

Curiosity guides my heart stronger then ever these days. Pivoting once again and shedding my old skin for new.  I'm still exploring with my enamel mandalas but am now incorporating my photography.
The most difficult part is allowing the decal to dry overnight but since I don't do that it's not so hard.  LOL!!!
The base is white and I fire at 1450 Fahrenheit. Same as above but this has more of a burned negative effect.  One can get some fabulous effects by being impatient.  The cracks is probably due to the coefficient of expansion in the enamel.  Still have lots to learn about this dark magic of vitreous enamel!
I also have a new studio mate. Pema (Lotus in Tibetan) is a rescue and is fighting off some serious heart worms.  Regardless of her past and not feeling well, she still manages to give lots of love to whomever she encounters.  Pema really knows how to be at ease in muddy water just like the lotus and this is why she received the name Pema.  I have lots to learn from her. …

Mandalas

Mandalas have been on my mind a lot lately.  Struggling to find my truth.  I find making these in the studio calms me.
Even though I knew that hard solder melts at 1450 degrees I still had to try enameling the copper.  In theory the solder should not have run.  If I only took it out of the kiln a minute sooner this may not have happened. A total melt down but I love that color!  :) My intention for the above mandala was a ring.  The challenge was difficult but I managed to make it. I feel myself pivoting once again and feeling the need to create amulets and talismans but in sculpture form.

Each person's life is like a mandala - vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life...everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening.

~Pema Chodron

Namaste Kalaya

Steeping In The Mud

the lotus flower blooms  most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.

Namaste Kalaya

Production...Duction What's Your Function?

Every now and then a little elf steps into the studio while I am working and starts asking these annoying questions.

What are you doing?
Why are you wasting your time working on that?
PRODUCTION WORK?!!!
WTH?!!!

He (yep the little bugger is a "he"), I shall name him Doubt, infects my mind from time to time.  
This all happened last Friday while making some of my New Orleans'  Token pendants.

So I reached down deep inside me to think about the "why".  I thought about it because I was running towards something else and resisting the moment.

As I sat there at my bench working on this particular token pendant here is what came to me.
These particular tokens were minted in 1947 and 1970.  They differ only on what is said on the back (1947 - "One Base Fare" and 1970 - "One Cash Fare") .
 The ones I use for my pendants are minted in 1947.  

I do not clean them up.  Instead I examine them, hold them, turn them over in my hand, and then begin my work.  
I do not…