Monthly Archives: December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from my family to yours. I hope you all had a wonderful day. I have had a fun and busy day with my family. We started off by opening presents, and get this, my kids let us sleep in until 9:00 am. I wouldn’t have dreamed to allow my parents to sleep that late. I am really surprised that my 8 year old allowed us to. Such great children I have been blessed with.

My wonderful parents got me a belt sander for Christmas. I was so excited. That means I can refinish some of my tools, plus I use it to help taper wires when I am not in the mood to hand forge them all. Yes, I do cheat from time to time. One of my good friends gave me the most amazing chainmaille bracelet she had made. Am so lucky to have such good friends.   We were showered with great family games, movies and yummy snacks. Of course, I have to drop about 45 pounds in the next 6 months so I will look good for all the pictures I am going to be in when I visit a friend in Indonesia. YAY! I am bound and determined to go swimming with the turtles and other exotic fish, stuff my face with fabulous foods not found in the US and just have an all around good time. So I will have to share all the yummy snacks. Anyone want to come over and help me out?

After a late breakfast, one of my friends and the owner of Beads ‘N More, came over and we played with jewelry making for a little bit. We were working on a few projects that we will be teaching this next month. I have a couple of others still in the works in my studio and will hopefully have them finished this week so I can post pictures of them. I did happen to finish a couple of the projects and here they are.

intro to soldering
Valentines pendant

The first piece is for the introduction to soldering. This will be held on January 13th in the Norton Studio and on January 22nd at Beads ‘N More. It is very affordable and you will get to try your hand at a simple soldering project. It doesn’t have to be exactly like the one pictured, but we will be focusing on the tear drop shape and talking about how to shape it so it looks good every time.

The second pendant is one that we will be doing on February 7th at Beads ‘N More. I wish the picture looked as good at the actual piece. The actual piece is shiny and just plain pretty. You will learn all about coiling, joining multiple pieces together with wire and adding various beading embellishments. This opens the door to so many things. They will both be fun classes.

I also had the opportunity to toss around a couple of ideas with
Estelle about a fabulous class I am going to offer. I will offer it at
the Norton Location for sure and I am almost positive we will offer it
at her place as well. I am going to hold a design master class. It will
be at least one night and one full day. I still need to work out the
particulars on that. But the first night we will discuss design
elements, go over some different techniques and then you will be given
a challenging project to make. I will provide more information about
this soon.

Another thing I have been thinking about is starting a Metalsmiths Guild here in Ohio. I have not been successful in locating one and I think it would be great to have one. I would keep it pretty informal, as I would just be doing this by myself. If you are interested in joining this, please let me know and I will get in touch with you soon about the particulars. If you have any ideas, I would also love to hear about them. I am thinking right now we would meet at least once a month, share a technique or two, give a demo and have time for networking. I would like to get this up and going by February.

Oh, I was looking at a few things on the web tonight and came across this post on the Art Jewelry Website. It is so much fun to find myself in places like this. I found this post about how to ball up the ends of your wire using a torch. They used a blurb from my article and even one of my pictures. The picture, by the way, was taken by my good friend Ellen Hamburg. Thanks Ellen!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and may your new year be a blessed one. Thank you all for making my year a wonderful one. I love to read the comments you leave me. I try to respond to them all. Just click on the comments link under any of the posts and you will be able to read my response to you. It really  keeps me going to know that people do actually read my blog. It makes it so much more fun to know that when I post, it will actually be seen and read by other people. I even have 35 subscribers to my blog. I know there are more than that that actually read it, but it is still kind of neat to know that at least 35 of you find my blog worthy enough to actually follow. Thanks so much for that! I do appreciate it!

I will probably have another post to make before the end of the year, but if not, Have a great New Year Everyone!

January 2009 Schedule and an Angel

Happy Holidays

It is already the end of December. How is it possible that the entire year has gone by already? There have been so many big events this year. I am the proud owner of a new home and even more so, a DREAM STUDIO! I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet so many new people. I have made some of the most wonderful friends. Just today a friend invited us to spend the day with them on Christmas. I must admit, I really miss my family and am getting tired of the lonely holidays. This year my husband is working on Christmas eve and day so it will be nice to have a place to go and hang out with some friends.

I do hope that whatever holiday you are celebrating this time of year, it is a wonderful one. I know times are really hard for most everyone this year. It is certainly a scary time in our economy and in the world really. May you each find peace, even if only for a couple of hours.

I made an angel earlier this week. I love this one. She is made with a tear drop carnelian bead. She is a bit larger, but still very pretty.
Melissa Muir Jewelry

January 2009 Jewelry Making Class Schedule

have also published my January 2009 Jewelry Making Class Schedule. I will post it below, but you can see some of the class examples and descriptions at my website: http://www.melissamuir.com/classes.htm

January 2009 Schedule
Location Date Time Class Cost
Embellish
1/6
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Intro to Wire Wrapped Jewelry
$30
Norton
1/8
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Intro to Jewelry – Bracelet
$25
Norton
1/9
12:00 – 4:00 pm
Open Studio**
$60
Norton
1/9
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Wrapped Beads – Bracelet
$25
Norton
1/13
6:00 – 9:00
Intro to Soldering – Pendant
$35
Norton
1/14
6:00 – 8:30 pm
Victorian Earrings
$45
Beads’N More
1/15
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Cold Connections – Metal Beads
$45
Embellish
1/16
6:30 – 8:30 pm
Intro to Wire Wrapped Jewelry
$30
Embellish
1/19
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Wire Wrapped Pendants
$65
Beads’N More
1/22
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Intro to Soldering – Pendant
$35
Norton
1/23
12:00 – 4:00 pm
Open Studio**
$60
Norton
1/23
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Intro to Forging – Bracelet & Leaf
$55
Norton
1/24
10:30 – 4:30 pm
Mixed Media Necklace $85
Norton
1/28
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Wire Wrapped Pendants
$65
Norton
1/29
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Intro to Wire Rings
$25
Norton
1/30
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Crochet Fine Silver Floating Necklace**
$65
Beads’N More
1/31
10:30 – 4:30 pm
Basic Soldering
$105

** Some materials not included. Please see the class description for details.

Payment
must be received in full to guarantee your space. All materials and use
of tools are included in the class fee, unless otherwise noted.

Custom classes available by request. Contact me at: jewelry@melissamuir.com

Stay warm everyone. Merry Christmas and have a wonderful New Year! I hope it is a good one for all of us.

 

What my daughter thinks of me

I visited Riley’s school today as she was doing a presentation on Brazil in her class. My younger brother spent 2 years there doing missionary work not too long ago and had sent some fun items for the kids to see. After the report, and while Riley was handing out Brazilian candy to the other children the teacher talked with me about some of my jewelry. She also asked if I had seen the little project Riley had just completed and was sent home with. It was a turkey that she had decorated beautifully. She also wrote about “the job for her” when she grows up. I must admit I didn’t look too closely at the turkey and I have learned a huge lesson today. I really need to pay much closer attention to the finer details in Riley’s work.

Riley not only decorated the tail of the turkey beautifully, but she had decked this turkey out to the nines! This turkey is wearing a wonderful necklace, earrings and in her hands are PLIERS!!! The turkey is making another necklace.

I did happen to find the little report they wrote sitting on the kitchen table this morning and read it just after she had gone to school. It is always amazing to me that my children love me as much as they do with all of my shortcomings, including a sometimes short temper. This little report of hers shows me exactly what my precious daughter really thinks of me. I know I have said this before and I cannot say it enough, I truly am the luckiest girl in the world! I have been blessed in so many areas of my life, but the best blessing I could ever have is the man I married and the wonderful children that have been born into my sweet family.

I LOVE YOU RILEY! I always have and I always will, even when we are upset with eachother.

Riley_Turkey

Riley_Report

The small report reads:
When I grow up I want to make jewelry like my mom.
She makes pretty necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings.
I like the jewelry my mom makes.
It is so pretty.
I think that is the job for me!
If I think it is hard, it will get easier the more I do it.
You need to know how to bend, clank, fit-fit and bead to make jewelry.
I enjoy doing this and I want to make beautiful jewelry for people.

Art Jewelry Magazine – January

Dang, I am so behind with some of my posts. As you may already know I had another piece in the latest Art Jewelry magazine. The January issue hit the stands the first of this month. I am very excited to be featured once again and the editors have done an amazing job with the layout. I love everything they have done. They added some wonderful illustrations to help convey my steps and instructions.

I was even very happy to see that my piece is on the front cover. It isn’t the main piece, but Hey, I can still say that I have a piece on the front cover of Art Jewelry Magazine. Not too many people get to say that.

I have my copies on order and they should be here any day now. If anyone is interested in a copy please let me know.

Here are a couple of pictures from the magazine. Let me know what you think if you happen to get a chance to check it out.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Final Projects

Well, tonight is my last night at the University of Akron. I am kind of happy and kind of sad all at the same time. I have really enjoyed my time there. I have also learned a lot. It has been a very neat experience to be around the amazing talent and creativity that some of the other students have. I have made some really good friends and I really hope that we will keep in touch as they continue their education and begin their careers. It is really too bad that it is so difficult to get good paying jobs in the arts. So much talent and not enough appreciation.

For my final project I wanted to try a few new stone setting techniques. I have recently bought some amazing cut gemstones and am scared to death to use them. So I pulled out some faceted CZ’s and played around with various settings. You have already seen my tube setting techniques, if not, just scroll down to my retreat pictures. I even sold one of the pieces at my open house this past weekend. I will miss the piece, but I am so glad that it went to someone who can appreciate it.

My first piece is a prong or basket setting. It isn’t at all great and fabulous, but it is my first and I am so stinking proud of this piece.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Melissa Muir Jewelry

The next piece is a semi-cold connected piece. The reason I say “semi-cold connected” is because I did solder the bail and I also soldered two stacked rings for the stone to sit in. I didn’t want the point on the bottom of the stone to poke through the back. So I created a little seat for it. It is just sitting in the rings and held in place with the mesh screen. The mesh is sandwiched between the layers of copper and silver and the three have been riveted together. The picture doesn’t show the stone well, but it is kind of fun to look at it and have the little sparkles peak out and flash from time to time.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

The last piece is actually three. I had made these fabulous twisted bracelets in class a few weeks ago. I had tried to solder the ends of them, but my little torches just couldn’t handle it. There was too much metal and it was more frustrating than I could bare. I am so happy to inform you all that I am now the proud owner of an acetylene torch. I am in heaven and it works wonderfully. It is amazing I have been able to do as much as I have without it. I am really hoping that I can now take my work to the level I have desired for a long time.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

 

 

 

Victorian Style Necklace And Art Jewelry Magazine

I made this particular pendant a long time ago. It is one of my rare pieces that was actually sketched out before it was made. It still didn’t turn out quite like the drawing, but I do like this one none the less. It features two black onyx stones in heavily oxidized sterling silver. I had a very hard time coming up with a chain design for this until one of my friends came over and helped me brainstorm a bit. This particular chain is based on the chain by my friend Christine in the November 2008 issue of Art Jewelry magazine. This is the same issue that features my Winter Lily piece.

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Melissa Muir Jewelry

Melissa Muir Jewelry

The January 2009 issue of Art Jewelry has now hit the stands. My beautiful fused fine silver chain is in this issue. I even made it onto the front cover. I will take a picture shortly and post it this weekend. I have ordered a handful of the issue if anyone would like a copy, just let me know.

My open house is this weekend. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. Of course they are now calling for snow this weekend. It NEVER snows this early in the winter. At least it hasn’t since we moved here. We have already had several good snow falls this month and last. It makes us all wonder what the rest of the winter is going to hold for us. I guess I will just get REALLY good at shoveling the snow.

If you are able to brave the snow and live close enough I would love to have you over for the open house. There will be plenty of good company, pretty jewelry to look at, and of course food and best of all…. CHOCOLATE!!!! Shoot me an email if you need my address and directions and we will get you here in short order.

Open house hours are Friday, December 5, 6 – 9pm and Saturday, December 6, 12 noon – 7pm.

I hope you all had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Ours was nice and quaint. We spent the day just hanging around with the girls and watched TV, a rare treat.

I will post more pictures with the magazine this weekend after my open house. Wish me luck!