19 July 2009


Happy Sunday, everyone!
And so the week begins!

We've had a lovely, sunny-sky, scorching-heat,
barefoot and bare-chested (well, the boys anyhow)
kind of a Sunday.

It's a color explosion down south.
The flowers are taking over.

Even the fence posts are festooning themselves.

{{These pics were actually taken a couple weeks ago, but everything is still blooming strong,
and I didn't have time to re-photograph today.}}

I wanted to touch on a few things regarding the upcoming week.

First, Morsel Monday will be posted late,
either tomorrow evening or on Tuesday.
I am actually teaching my first little metals class tomorrow (just two students)
and that will take up the majority of my day.
(Oooh, nervous!)

Secondly . . .
this is Clara Dale, my mom's mother.
This portrait was painted when my mother was about Mason's age.
I suppose sometime in the late fifties.
I photographed the painting quite some time ago,
and wanted to give you a face to put with the name.
She doesn't let you photograph her anymore.
So I have nothing current to show you.

The 1912 painting I shared with you three weeks ago featuring the marine birds,
was (for those of you new to my blog) painted my Clara Dale's mother,
Grace Warren, my great-grandmother.

That bird painting has now been preserved and placed under glass.
I will be picking it up Tuesday from the framer's,
so I'll have the revival pictures to show you later this week.

Thirdly . . . on an unrelated note.
I am excited because I have decided to start shopping for some of my own slabs.
I've always purchased my cabs already cut and polished.
They play a huge role in my designs; I start with the finished stone and build out.
I think, however, that by my purchasing my own slabs,
I will gain a greater appreciation for the transformation that the stone goes through.
It is after all not just MY work you are getting when you buy a piece of my jewelry . . .
you are getting the work of the man who cuts my stones for me.
And he is amazing.

I also love the idea of seeing the project through from start to finish.
I think it would be lovely to be able to purchase and photograph the rough stone,
post the pictures for you to see the real "beginning,"
send it off to be cut and polished,
post pictures again once it arrives back in my hands so that you have the "middle,"
and then once the entire piece is completely designed and finished,
do my usual posting and upload it in the shop . . . an ultimate "end."
You then, will be able to see the full history of how this piece evolved.

Also by choosing my own slab and sending it off to be cut,
I can request the size and shape of the finished cabs.
This will hopefully allow me to get more creative,
and also design more "customized" custom pieces.

You'll say: I want a 26.5mm x 41.7mm oval turquoise cab that is 5.5mm thick.
And I'll say: Sure.

This probably won't become a regular thing I do with all my pieces;
but I at least want to give it a shot with a few and see how it goes.

Finally . . .
I am posting new pieces this week.
Several rings, all with smaller stones and settings and not so crazy huge and crazy costly.
(But, of course, still fabulous.)
And some necklaces as well.
I am up to my chin in custom orders so I won't be taking any more of those until August.

I . . . think that's about it . . .

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday.
If I don't get the Morsels post up tomorrow, it will be first thing Eastern Time on Tuesday.

Wishing you well,


  1. Good evening JJ,
    Such lovely flowers..luscious!
    Good luck on your class tomorrow, I wish I were taking a class like that, just for fun of course.
    Clara Dale is very elegant, and so delicate; obviously very talented, and I am sure very strong and fair. Seems like women in the older days were more that way...we changed somehow, sometimes for better and other times for worse.
    Monday Morsel on Tuesday would be just fine for me, something to look forward to.
    Cabs from slabs, nice concept..I love stones in the rough and always amazed at how they transform.
    And look forward to your new creations...
    Well, I said too much. Have a great great week!

  2. Such gorgeous flowers.
    What a beautiful picture of your great grandmother. I miss all of my grandparents.
    So excited to see your creative work!
    Happy Monday!

  3. Wow.. those floral pics just pop! They are so vibrant, bright and happy.
    Lovely painting of your grandmother as well... what a great heirloom to have.

  4. Such pretty photos..seems Keith is not the only photographer in the family! I can see the resemblance between you and your lovely grandmother. After so many years I still miss my grandparents. I'm so excited about the earrings Jess...can't wait! Have a lovely Monday xo. Sandy

  5. Wish I could come take a class with you. Enjoy your week.

  6. Your great grandmother was a beauty! Hope your class goes well, wish I was a bit closer to dash over & have you teach me ;)

  7. The class was splendid! My ladies left with some sweet little hollowform pendants. Lots of fun and very HOT! Thank you all for the well wishings; I think I did okay . . . didn't burn down the studio and they seemed to have a good time!

  8. My first night in metalsmithing class one of my classmates started a small fire when she accidentally ignited some paper towels- sounds like your's was a success. We didn't get around to doing hollowform- I would love to take some more classes. Take care.