Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Love Story

"Fingerlings" 22x23" oil pastel, Kathleen Faulkner

Salmon and trees just seem to go together.  It's been that way since the beginning.  

We all want and need protection from the elements, enough food to eat, clean air,  a respite from the rigors of life.  Trees provide that for salmon.
The forest environment on the banks of rivers and streams is called Riparian vegetation.  This dies and ends up in the streams. It includes dead wood, underbrush.. generally, 'compost' of the forest and, in the fall, dead salmon. It is a food source and oxygen for salmon and other water citizens.
It is the smallest percentage of forest environment in northwest Washington yet has an effect on 80% of the wildlife population.  All the living, dining, nesting, resting and hiding goes on here.

We must protect and speak for all natural communities as they have  no voice.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How to Make Overlay Jewelry

Bracelet, sterling silver overlay;  Kathleen Faulkner

                            How to Make Overlay Jewelry

  1.   Come up with a design.
  2.   Draw a pattern from the design, cut it out and paste (elmer's glue is good) onto two sheets of 24 gauge silver that have been glued together.  Super glue works well for this.  I use 24 gauge for earrings, link bracelets (such as the one above) and some brooches.  That is two layers of 24 gauge.  Sometimes I use 22 gauge for the cut out to create a deeper cut,  Large cuff bracelets, rings and  belt buckles will require a larger gauge.
  3.   Drill holes in all the areas to be cut out.
  4.   Put the blade of the jeweler's saw through the drilled holes then saw.
  5.   Sand the edges of the cut-outs.
  6.   Saw out the bottom piece from the double sheet.
Bamboo bead Necklace
sterling silver overlay
Kathleen Faulkner
  7.   Torch the pieces so that the glue will burn up and they will come apart.  You will then have two top pieces and two bottom pieces.  I do this especially for earrings so that the design is the same on both tops. It would also be helpful for bracelets such as the one above.
  8.   Rinse and Dry.
  9.   Stamp name and s.s. hallmark on the back of the bottom pieces.
10.   Sand all surfaces on all pieces of silver.
11.   Clean the surfaces that were just sanded.
12.   Paint both surfaces with flux then place solder on the bottom side of the cut out surface.
13.   After the flux is dried, place the surface with the solder onto the bottom piece of solid silver.
14.   Solder the two surfaces together then drop into pickle, let sit while you do other things... maybe take a break..
15.   Take the piece out of the pickle, wash with soap and water then dry.
16.   Sand the surface to check for firescale.  Overlay has a tendency for this. If found, sand until it's gone.
17.   File the edges.
18.   If the piece requires components such as pin backs, ear posts, bails, etc., solder those now.
19.   Check again for firescale.  See #16.
20.   Buff the piece to the desired finish.
21.   Clean in ultrasonic solution.
22.   Wash again, with soap and water.  Dry with a soft cloth.
23.   Paint oxidation in the recessed areas on the top surface.
24.   Rinse, dry, wipe brow.
25.   Buff with a buffing stick and jewelry compound.
26.   Add whatever findings to be used with the piece: pin stems, ear nuts or wires, chains, etc.
27.   Type up a price list of the work going to wherever it's going.
28.   Pack up and then deliver.
29.   Hope the gallery loves it.
30.   Come home and take a nap.

Gun and Holster Brooch, sterling silver
overlay, found pottery shard;
Kathleen Faulkner

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why Craft?

*"This and That" Neckpiece  18" Kathleen Faulkner

I started out as a painter who majored in sculpture.  All my schooling got me a job on a little ferry in my town.  The frustration of being an artist working at a regular job finally came to a climax one day.  The local jeweler, who, at the time lived on Guemes, was coming home on the ferry and, without conscious intention, I approached her and said, "I think you need an apprentice."  Then she said, "Why yes I do.  Can you start Monday?"  That began my journey into the craft world.  My life as I knew it would never be the same.  
As I learned and worked with her, I came to the realization that this is what I was meant to do.  I like to make things.  It is a different process for me, unlike painting.  Painters tend to enter another state when painting, time evaporates and it can be a type of meditation.  Jewelry, on the other hand is a struggle and I have to work very hard at it.  I have to pay attention, I have to be precise.  Time passes but in a very different way.  I never lose track of time when making jewelry.  To me it feels very different.

I make jewelry because I can,  it makes me happy, it is fulfilling.  I paint for the very same reasons.  Different processes same result. 

                         "The Art is long, 
                           Life short, 
                          Opportunity fleeting ,
                          Experiment dangerous, 
                          Judgement difficult"

                                          from Hippocrates

*materials: sterling and fine silver, beads, river rocks, enamel, copper

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The pitch

"The Ayes Have It" 30x1.5" colored pencil, mica, sterling silver,  Kathleen Faulkner

I enjoy donating to causes I believe in.  I feel that it is my opportunity to show gratitude for being able to work in a field that I love.  Dues, as some would say..
This piece is now owned by the Museum of Northwest Art.  I made it specifically for the auction which will occur on Saturday, June 19th.  I hope it does well for the Museum.

There are different opinions regarding donating artwork to auctions. Some feel that it is a hardship.  There is no doubt artists struggle and are constantly asked to donate.  January, I was asked to donate to six different organizations.  The only deduction an artist can take on their donation is for materials only.  It is a bum deal.

But,  if we think of it as something we can do towards the betterment/future/existence of the quality of our lives, isn't that worth it?   If we don't step up, who will?

The Museum of Northwest Art is an exceptional addition to our area here on the Salish.  We should take good care of it.  I am honored to be able to do my part.


     Northwest Arts Blog                          
     Museum of Northwest Art Auction 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"April has Turned Cold"

"Early Morning: Cranberry Lake" 17x17" oil pastel, Kathleen Faulkner

There was a tragedy in my little town this week.  It was very large and very sad and it has put a bit of a damper on things.  
It seems to be a volatile time around here in general, lately.   Cranky people, crazy weather, accidents and a little something off in the air.

When things get a bit overwhelming, I generally go somewhere.  A good place for me is Deception Pass.  It's best, in my view, in the early morning or early evening, less people depending on the season.

Hearing the surf while walking among the trees is incredibly soothing and the best part is that it is just minutes from my home.  I always come away with a renewed sense of wonder.

April has Turned Cold

April has turned cold.
                                 The evening light fades through the clouds.
             A string of geese calls me out
             to sing a farewell, and
                                I wish them luck as they go from Ish River
       away out over the ocean,
                    long long sweeps of rippling wings
       bound for Siberia.
                        Their wild song they take with them,
               and leave some behind.
 They leave enough so
                          I don't have to leave home any more.  

 Robert Sund
                                                                         from "Shack Medicine"