Category Archives: Year of Jewelry

Progress and feeling great

I want to tell you all thank you so much for all your love and encouragement over the past little while. The last couple of years have been so hard for me with the moves and trials we have had. I really suffered emotionally and it is crazy. The kicker for me was when my blog had to move and I lost all my subscribers, photos and had to redo them all. That was so frustrating that I just had to stop even visiting my blog because it just made me so mad. But, The fog has lifted. I am creating again. I feel great again. I have ideas again. I am ready to go and moving quickly. Thank you.

This past week my friend and jewelry artist, Mary Govaars, came and worked with me for 7 solid days. What did we do? We got my book organized. She helped me identify ALL of the projects. She also helped me to see that I have at least two books that I will be writing. There is just too much for one. That is a good problem to have, right? We laid out the sections and flow of the projects. All of the projects and steps have been written and are currently being edited and verified. The book progresses beautifully from beginner projects all the way to advanced. There are more beginner to intermediate projects than advanced, but the second book will pick up where this one leaves off and readers will continue to grow their skills. I am so revved up and excited, I am almost like a kid in the candy store and can hardly wait for my kids to leave for school so I can get in to the studio and play. I haven’t felt that for such a long time. It is wonderful.

Fold and Hydraulic Formed Pendant - Melissa Muir

Fold and Hydraulic Formed Pendant – Melissa Muir

This pendant is one that I started working on when my friend Francesca Watson came to visit in October. It actually had several melt downs and went through a fair amount of silver trying to make the bail. However, I changed it up, finally bought my acetylene tank and got my torch set back up, and there were very loud squeals of delight and celebration coming from my studio when everything worked and I didn’t melt it again. If you were within about 30 miles, I am sure you heard the squeals. I floated on clouds for the next two days knowing that I finally got this project done. It feels so good to be back.

Talkin’ Tools

If you enjoy Tool Time Tuesday, then I would like to introduce you to my friend Kathleen Krucoff.  She offers a feature on her blog Mystical Mytical Metalwork called Talkin’ Tools. In her first installment, in a long time anyway, she talks about chasing hammers. Her work has evolved and right now she is really into chasing and Repouse’, and she shares her favorite tools for the different techniques she is trying. it is always good to hear about tools from a number of people. Everyone has their opinions and way of doing things. So take a few minutes and check it out. You might find another blog you love to read and is full of great information and resources.

Speaking of Tool Time Tuesday, I will be back tomorrow with another installment. So I will see you all again tomorrow!

Finally Making Some New Pieces

As you know, I have really struggled lately (like for the past 4 years) to get back into the groove of things. Between having a baby (now 4 years old) and moving across the country a couple of times, setting up a new house and trying to figure out what I want to do, it has been awful. But This year…. This year is going to be different. We are now in a  routine. The house still has a LOT of projects and I need to figure out how to get organized, but I am finding I finally have some time to myself. I have set many new goals. Utah isn’t the easiest place to have a jewelry making business. The people here are just different and value things a bit differently. Let me just say, there is a reason why I can do what I do. I grew up here. I knew the mentality of Utah when it comes to being creative and “crafty.”

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I have been approached by several online places to offer my workshops and videos. For a while now I have wanted to have my own video subscription service on my website with projects and such. This year, all of that is going to happen. Dates  have already been set for multiple national teaching opportunities. I will be teaching in Tucson at the Gem show next month. In March I will be teaching in the San Antonio/Austin area. Then in July, I will be teaching in Las Vegas. I am so thrilled to be “getting back to it.”

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The other day my husband came home from work and I left the kids in his charge and retreated to the studio. He came in and asked what I was doing. I told him that I was tired of not creating and listening to the awful enemies in my head. So I figured that if I just came in the studio and forced myself to create something, then perhaps my creative muse would awaken and I could get back to “me.” The Me that used to sit and just pull out a stone or two and create. When I was that “ME” things just came together. That is where I am going to get back to. I am excited to get back to ME. This should be a fun year. Want to see what I have done so far? They aren’t perfect but I am sure pleased with them. It is a fabulous start.

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I am also really excited that this week a good friend of mine is coming in from California to help me get the layout of my book going. I am  hoping to have the first volume of my book out in just the next couple of months. We will see how it all goes. I may be even further behind than I think. Then again, I may be further ahead than I think. Cross your fingers that things go well. 🙂

 

 

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Next week I may be a bit quiet as we get our nose to the grind stone and really push to get everything going.

I have been going through my studio and found that I have a lot of things I don’t use. This includes tools and beads and such. So in an effort to raise money for the costs associated with  publishing my book, and hopefully getting a few things in Tucson, I will be holding a destash. I haven’t figured out how I am going to run it yet, but I need to get some things cleared out. I just don’t use some of this stuff and it might as well go to someone who can use it.

But in the meantime, I am so excited to be back. Thanks everyone for the encouragement and support.MelissaMuir-YOJ2015-Week1

 

Catching up – 30 Days of Art

WOW! I am so far behind. I was doing really well too. Then of course, it is that time of year and the sickies hit our house. Luckily, it was a short lived one, but it got us all the same. It is amazing to me how just one or two days can throw everything off for weeks. So let’s get caught up shall we?

Day 6:

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Day 7: A pendant made for my daughter Kate.

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Day 8: Sterling textured earrings

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Day 9: Copper and Sterling pendant

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Day_9_SwirlPendant_back
Day 10: Textured Copper Cuff
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Day 11: Ever have an idea in your head that looks really neat? Then you
make it and it isn’t so neat? Yeah? Well, that is this piece. And then
the picture magnifies all of its super UN-GLORIOUSNESS and makes it even worse. LOL.

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Day 12: Beautiful Happiness, at least those are what they said on the stamps.

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Day 13: Sterling and Copper

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Day 14: More copper… imagine that.

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Day 15: Textured Copper and Forged Sterling Silver

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Day 16: Rainy days. Sterling, copper, acrylic and glass (Front and back)

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Day 17: Copper and Carnelian

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Day 18: Copper and carnelian

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Day 19: Shooting Stars

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Day 20: Ring – Copper and Sterling

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Okay, so I am still about 4 days behind, but at least I am finally much closer than I was.

See you soon!

Oh So Riveting

I have been playing in the studio again today trying to get some more sample pieces done for when I teach my riveting class tomorrow. We will be doing three types of rivets; wire rivets, tube rivets, and telescoping rivets (a type of tube rivet.) I actually have one opening in my class tomorrow night if anyone is interested.

Also, the Tube Setting classes are so popular, I have changed the schedule for the 27th and we will be doing tube rivets one more time. I have at least one opening in that class. Class will go from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Here is what I did today. The beautiful beads are by my really good friend Laura Crtichfield of Chestnut Ridge Designs .

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The cord is made with the finest Greek Leather. Metals used are sterling silver and copper. The necklace measures 19″ long.

Busy Night in the Studio

It seems that I have not been in the studio to make jewelry for the sake of making jewelry. I love the Tool Time Tuesday posts because I knew they would make me post on my blog and get into the studio at least once a week. I am glad that people are enjoying them as well. My readership has increased about 25% too, so that is great. Thank you to those that have subscribed and regularly visit and feel that what I have to say is worth reading.

Last night and again tonight I was able to get into the studio to play with some new components and tools. Yes, I have even more new tools. I think I have an illness. I wonder if there is a 12 step program for tool-a-holics.

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This is a picture of the piece I featured on my Tool Time Tuesday post . Copper, sterling silver and 6mm cz.

1943
This bracelet is made with etch pieces that I did tonight using my new Electro-Etching kit by Sherri Haab. I will be writing a Tool Time Tuesday post on this coming up pretty quickly.

1979
These earrings have been textured with my Raw Silk hammer and the sterling swirls have been forged. I hand made all the ear wires.

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Again, textured with my Raw Silk hammer and forged silver.

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This is probably my favorite pair. I call them English Ivy. The leaves have been textured with Raw Silk, forged swirls and stamped circles.

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I used one of my texture hammers on this pair of earrings.

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This is a fun little pendant I thought I would offer as mother’s pendants. The ring, is actually pretty small. I made this one for Kate, and Riley will be helping me to make hers later this week.

I have come into a great deal of copper lately, so you can expect to see a LOT of copper and mixed metal pieces from me pretty soon. I have begun to populate my Etsy shop once again and will be adding things to my website as well.

Thank you to those of you that have purchased my Angel Tutorial. I would love to hear any feedback (good or bad) that you might have to help me make future tutorials even better.

Also, I thought it would be kind of fun to do a give away. I now have over 100 blog subscribers. Once I hit 150 I will do a give away of some sort. Not sure what I will give away yet. It could be a piece of jewelry, a tool, or tutorial, but it will be pretty cool whatever the prize. So spread the word.

Paisleys & Wire

I was teaching my wire wrapped heart class earlier this week. I figured I had enough hearts and really wanted to make another paisley, so I worked on both a heart and a paisley at the same time. It is great because I was able to show the techniques but come up with two very different pieces at the same time. Here are the two pieces that I worked on while I was teaching the class.

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Earlier in the week I also made another paisley pendant. Both of the paisley pendants use a beautifully faceted Brazilian Amethyst Briolette. The one above has already been sold. I also taught a wire wrapped pendant where I made this little blue pendant. The stone is a dichroic cabochon.

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I will be working pretty hard in the studio tonight and tomorrow to finish up some custom orders. So I should have some pretty good things to show this week before I leave for Utah.

More hearts – can’t get a way from them

I am on my way out the door just now to go and teach a class in Rocky River. I figured I would give myself 2 hours since we got so much snow last night. We ended up with 9 inches here at  my house. That is nothing compared to some of my friends. But it is still a lot. It sure makes me glad that we bought that big old snow blower. My husband is the greatest too, he probably did 4 or 5 houses of our neighbors and the side walks from our house down to the entrance of the neighborhood (about 10 houses.) What a good guy! I love that man!

Anyway, I made another one of the forged hearts last night to show as an example for the class.

HeartPendant

Then I decided this morning that I simply must have a pair of heart earrings to wear as I am all decked out in hearts. So I came up with these really quickly. Now, I had made the structure of these prior to this morning, but I stamped and patinaed these this morning.

heartswirldrops

This last piece is a very special piece and will remain in my personal collection until I die, and then I might just ask that they bury me with it. It is one of a set of two. I have a very special friend that was literally with Garth and I all through the pregnancy, birth and death of our second daughter Kelsi. Through that experience our family has gained such a special eternal friend. Lou was such a strength to me before and after Kelsi died. Kelsi held Lou’s hand before I even got to see her. He said it was that touch of hers that bonded our families together forever.

For Lou

I don’t have his piece finished yet. I still need to get the pin back for his. He asked me back in July if I would come up with something for the both of us. I wanted it to be a really unique piece of jewelry. If people don’t know the story behind the piece, it will just be a pretty abstract piece. But when they know the meaning, it takes on a whole new level of understanding. I didn’t want people to misunderstand our relationship, because, while it is one of the deepest relationships, there is nothing romantic or anything like that.

So here is what I have come up with.

  • The diamond shape represents our relationship.
  • The line down the middle divides the piece into two, one side for him, the other for me
  • The angel wings represent Kelsi
  • The little line that stretches out from the middle one is like us holding our hands out to one another
  • The hearts represent the love that we have for each other
  • The opal has a couple of different things. First the shape: It is tear dropped, which represents the grief we had, but also reminds me of a maternal form.
  • I tried so many different stones in this piece, and none of them fit until I tried the opal. Even then I tried different shapes, but it was the tear drop that was chosen. But the color in this opal has a white background which is quite celestial and heavenly to me. The sparkles make me think of happiness. I know that we are all happy that we had Kelsi to bring so much understanding and love into our lives.

I can’t wait until I get his done and can send it off to him.

Okay, so that is all for now. Pray for good roads as I head to Rocky River for my class now! Hope everyone stays safe, dry and warm today.

 

Valentine Earrings

Since I will only be around for the first couple of weeks in February, what better time to do Valentine jewelry. So I came up with a couple more quick projects to teach. I have already shown you the ring and pendant, now enjoy two pairs of earrings. The first is a set of post back earrings. Right now the are made in copper as they are my prototypes, but I will certainly make these in sterling as well.

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This next pair is based on the same design only they are hanging from french ear wires. Again, just in copper for now, but I will make some in Sterling.

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Valentine Ring

First of all, I do apologize for all the extra little test emails. For whatever reason my blog is misbehaving and has us all scratching our heads. It has decided to stop emailing updates. Actually, that isn’t true. I did finally get some of them…. about 24 hours later. There may be a few more test posts coming through as we continue to troubleshoot this issue, but hope to have it resolved soon. I was on the phone with my host last night for nearly an hour and we had to pass it on to the advanced troubleshooting team. Just be patient and be sure to check in for any updates until we get it all resolved.

I am getting way behind in my jewelry making. Tonight I have been working on a few different projects. One of which I am presenting to a shop where I teach locally, to see if they would like to offer this along with my heart pendant. It is another project that will take only an hour and be minimal in terms of cost. I have showed two finishes. One is a bright copper and the other is after it has had a little bath in the Liver of Sulfur. This would have been great to show as an example of LOS with small wires.

I tried to get a picture of this on my finger as it is really cool looking, but the picture didn’t turn out very well, so you will just have to imagine it on my short stubby little hands. Any comments, questions or suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated.

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Simple Heart Pendant

This is a piece that I have come up with for a simple 1 hour workshop that will be offered at Embellish in Rocky River on Saturday, February 6th. It is made with 12 gauge copper and 20 gauge sterling silver. The crystals and drops are additional to the class fee, but there will be plenty of stones and crystals to choose from. I will be making more of these to show different variations. We will talk about forming larger gauges of wire and forging the wire to give it a different feel and strength.

HeartSwirl