Bats Day Holiday Black Market

Posted by on Nov 3, 2012 in hands, head, heart | Comments Off on Bats Day Holiday Black Market

We’ll be there!

The Bats Day Holiday Black Market
Location: Doubletree Guest Suites Anaheim Resort/Convention Center | 2085 S. Harbor Boulevard | Anaheim, CA 92802

Looking for that extra-spooky thing for that spooky thing in your life? Over 50 vendors will help you find what you are looking for. From clothing, music, artwork, books, collectibles, and toys, to other original items.

VIP Shopping $5; 1pm-2pm. (pay at the door), which includes 1 raffle ticket and limited edition artwork while supplies last.
General Admission $1; 2pm – 9pm. (pay at the door)
Children under 10 Free with an adult or guardian.

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Spring 2012 Recap

Posted by on Jun 7, 2012 in Blog, hands, head, heart | Comments Off on Spring 2012 Recap

“Be humble, for you are made of Earth.  Be noble, for you are made of Stars.”  ~Serbian Proverb

Saturday, May 19th, was my second time vending at the Bats Day Black Market.  This time was slightly different than the Holiday Black Market, as people come from all over the country for the Big Day at Disneyland, and wow, what an amazing time we had!

First and foremost, my eternal gratitude to Lady Elizabeth of Stir The Embers, my muse-with-a-switch.  She keeps me pointed in the right direction, which is forward.  She also prevents me from committing murder, but that’s a story for another time. Second, my hearty thanks to Noah K who is the man who makes things happen.  Seriously, in my half year of going to shows as a vendor, and my years of attending cons as a patron, Bats Day has again proven to be the least painful, most successful event, and I think that’s in no short part due to the team who puts it together.  There were so many amazing vendors this time.  Let me list a few of my favourites.  (I apologise for not having pictures.  Next time, I’ll do better.)

Abbybelle – Fantastic, whimsical paper clay sculptures that brought me right back to my Nightmare Before Christmas days, all handmade and all adorable.

MiyuDecay – When it comes to exquisitely rendered works of craftsmanship and design, this artist sets the bar.  Also, so delightfully and elegantly creepy.

Sleek And Destroy – Talk about eye-catching.  The dinosaur skeleton inspired jewelry is only a few of their simple, bold designs.  But if you’re looking for something fun, definitely check them out.

Confounding Confections – “Boiled Sweets for Singers of Shanties and Perusers of Tomes” — Geeky and absolutely inspired handmade, gourmet hard candies.

And finally, one of my absolute favourites (and genuinely good, kind, awesome people:  Pillbox Designs – Dark & Whimsical cut vinyl art.  People, I give you TENTACLES.  Wall tentacles.  Bookmark it for the Lovecraftian in your life.

All in all, it was a fantastic event.  Easy in, easy out.  Fantastic shoppers, and so many interesting people.  I can’t wait to go back in November.


May and June also brought me a unique opportunity to participate in The Shadow Project, a month-long gallery event sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.  The show had 10,000 square feet of donated retail space to fill, so they decided to do an experiment.  Two jurors were each invited to select art from the submitted works, and each had cash prizes to award.  But the show decided to hang every piece that was submitted to the show.  Now, I am humbled to admit that I was accepted by neither juror for their show.  But with 435 pieces to choose from, I am not at all surprised.  There were some stunning pieces in the show, from oils and acrylics, to bronzes and hand-turned woodwork.  There were even fiber pieces, including a card-woven piece, and a juror selected shawl.

The good news is actually something much smaller and more important, to me at least.  Of the 435 pieces that were displayed, only 29 sold.  And mine was one of those 29.  (And in the last five minutes of the show, believe it or not.)  I was beyond thrilled.

Now the pragmatist part of my brain says, “That didn’t even cover your gas money for that event, much less your entry fees.”  But I don’t give a damn.  I showed up, and someone was glad that I did.  I’m counting that as a WIN.


Next up on the list of interesting happenings, I’m going to be checking out the local goth/steampunk venue, Saturday, May 9th, at Pangaea in Ventura, CA.  And June 15-17th, I’m teaching two classes (Intro to Galvanic Etched Copper & Intro to Copper Fold Forming) at the Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Retreat.  It’s oblique to copper, but fiber arts will always hold a special place in my heart.  They taught me a great many things, including focus and the will to screw something up beyond recognition in order to get what’s in your head into your hands.  If you’re interested in attending, there may still be day tripper slots available.  Check the website for more information.

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Everyone survive the holidays?

Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in Blog, hands, heart | Comments Off on Everyone survive the holidays?

I’m still not sure if I did or not.  Do zombies know they’re zombies?  You’d tell me, right?  Right?

Anyway, I have new stuff to show you.  First and foremost, my sign!


Post Etch

Strange Patinas


Completed sign

The Booth at HRM Steam Symposium, on the Queen Mary

I’m so pleased with this technique, I’m already starting another mosaic project.

The Flying Fish (La Poisson Volant) 1887

And this piece has a secret story to tell.  Can you guess what it is?

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From Prototype To Working Model

Posted by on Oct 6, 2011 in Blog, hands | Comments Off on From Prototype To Working Model

Someone told me they liked process shots.  So, here you go.  Sometimes I get ideas.

Chopsticks & Rubberbands

Rough Finished Easel

It works!

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First Storm of the Season

Posted by on Oct 5, 2011 in hands, heart | Comments Off on First Storm of the Season

Echeveria (Succulent)

The first storm of the season arrived late last night, bringing with it a half inch of rain and a cold wind.  It feels like autumn is here, which is odd, because the garden doesn’t really seem to know that summer is over.  The lemon verbena trees are in full bloom, and the cilantro and Thai basil are about to throw up some colour.  My lavender is still budding, which keeps all sorts of winged creatures happy, monarch butterflies and hummingbirds alike. We have a long growing season here in Ventura, but the garden still goes through cycles.  Cycles are natural, normal things.  The only thing that’s consistent is change.  I try to take my beauty in the moment.


Progress on the work proceeds apace.  Today I started a new set of pendants, and returned to an old favourite, hammered copper.  Fold forming is an interesting technique that I can’t wait to marry with the etching.  I’m experimenting with different resists, one being a nail polish pen.  It remains to be seen whether or not the freehand designs will stick to the metal while it’s in the drink.

I love working copper.  It feels like a living thing in my hands.  I hate to wear gloves while I’m sanding, but if I’m going to do this long term, I need to be cognizant of the health risks, and so, gloves.  But once the piece is polished, from 1000 to 1500 to 2500 grit, I love to feel the finished surface.  It has a warmth and a malleability that seems like magic.  I imagine this is how woodworkers feel when they’re done, and you see them lovingly caressing the surface of the table or cabinet they’ve made.  Kinda creepy, but understandable.

Hammered Copper Discs (click to embiggen)

In the last pic on here, you can see the different stages that these discs are in, from just finished hammering, to half-polished, to high shine. (Click on the image to get a closer look.)  They’re not quite done yet. Patina and sealant to come, and then a setting, which I still haven’t decided on yet.  Here’s hoping the muse is kind tomorrow.

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Don’t Break The Chain

Posted by on Sep 30, 2011 in Blog, hands, heart | Comments Off on Don’t Break The Chain

So I was reading about chains.cc on some motivational site yesterday, and I thought, “Hey.  Two days is a chain, right? Right?”  Hell, yeah, two days is a chain.

So here’s today’s bounty.  Ten antique key necklaces, two pairs of steampunk earrings, and a steampunk necklace to match.  Take that, Mister Chain.

These are all antique, possibly 100+ year old skeleton keys, with their original patina.  Yes, that means rust and dirt.  And for the more beloved among them, that little mystical shine that comes from using a treasured object hundreds, if not thousands of time.  I think one of the reasons the steampunk aesthetic appeals to me is that you will never see someone swooning over the patina of age on a smartphone.  It’s whole design is based on looking someone has never touched it at all.  But these keys, they’re like talismans of a bygone era, a world where chests and cabinets hid all sorts of wonderful secrets.  I have a serious weakness for keys, it’s true.  (These will be listed on the shop in the coming days.)


In that batch of keys, I found a rare thing.  Two keys that matched, and that were small enough they could be used as earrings.  Better yet, they’re shaped like little hearts. Time to get out the beading trays and see what I have that could go with them.   Inspiration is sometimes just that simple.  Available in the shop.


I also played around with some other configurations of these little garnet glass leaves, and came up with another idea.   It can be quite complicated making something look simple.  It took me a few times before I found what I was looking for, with just enough transparency to make those little red leaves look like beetle wings catching the sun.  And again with the bleeding clockwork.  Sounds like I should do a line or something.  Hmm.  ~ponders~ (Also, available in the shop).


A line.  Yeah, a line of…  three.  Yeah, if two days is a chain, then by Gods, three points is a line.  So in amongst the keys I bought at the flea market, I found this one especially wonderful little piece.  It’s brass, but it has this wonderful copper patina to it.  It stands out in amongst the steel and iron keys.  It wants to be noticed.

A little backstory: When I was in college, I spent my summers working for Physical Plant (that’s Maintenance in the rest of the world).  It’s an interesting job, especially when you get free reign of a campus that was built in the 1920’s, and your boss hands you a ring of keys so you can get into any building that has a work order on it.  The summer of 1990, I believe it was, the President’s House stood empty, and in preparation for its next occupant, we were in and out of the place all summer long.  This place was so old, it still had push button switches, and the electrical wiring was the original porcelain and cloth-wrapped copper.  Anyway, I digress.  This place was old enough, the ring of master keys for the place was mostly skeleton keys.  And if my guess is correct, this key is probably for a wardrobe or a bookcase.  It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

I spent the majority of the afternoon working on this one, trying to find the right balance of colour and movement.  It was worth it.  I am very pleased with the result.  (Also, available in the shop.)

Anyway, that was my day today. I added a few more pieces to the shop, not listed here.  More copper etching forthcoming.  I’m still struggling with finding the right lighting and the right angle to photograph the plates.  This problem, it vexes me.  But as I’m going to have Bat’s Day Holiday Black Market traffic here soon, it’s one I really need to find a solution to.

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