Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Back to Seminario

I am by no means finished with birdies--I'm compelled to make the frigate magnificent, and you haven't even met the blue footed boobies yet-- but I promised you a drawing of a Seminario inspired jewelry piece.  I'm giving you my complete thought process, including two designs that I rejected.  One cause it was a section taken directly out of a Seminario sculpture (see Seminario post).  That, and, in my mind's eye--it doesn't work for jewelry.  The second was just a bad idea!


I didn't draw it this way, but I'm thinking dimensional--the bail piece, probably a half lentil.  The bottom piece I think will probably have to have some curve to it, too...I don't know quite how, yet!  I see coordinating earrings, too!  Looking at the pendant, again, the bottom piece bothers me...needs more work!  I'm thinking metal clay for these pieces.  Silver or maybe silver and copper together.  Right now I have a lot of white bronze on hand, so I'm going to start playing with that. 


Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's My Blog...and I'll Jump If I Want To!

Yes, I'm jumping ahead again!  Today I want to make a frigate bird in glass.  These exquisite birds of the galapagos are a thrill to see in flight over the pacific.  My bead model is all puffed up in full mating ritual glory!  I'm starting with a flat bead.  If that goes well, I'll try in 3D!

This is the first time I've ever designed a glass bead on paper before I made it.  We'll see how it goes!

Resting on our ship!

                                         ...and my first frigate:  (I never promised realism)

                                 (it's flipped cause this side came out better--the other's not bad,  
                                    but it's missing the black on its body.)

                    Thank you to Jennifer Geldard,  for your great tutorial!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Well--I Blew It!

Well--tomorrow's the last day of class and I've given up--for the time being on finishing my Egyptian inlay.  I promise I'll finish the two Egyptian pieces that I've started.  The second one may have a glass focal.  I would like to retry the inlay, but have to get away from it for awhile.

I think I'll spend next week working in glass!

My first inspiration from the Peru trip was our visit to the home/studio of Pablo Seminario.  What a fascinating place!  We had the priviledge to meet the artist himself and he spoke about his work.  I'm thinking metal or, probably metal clay for this/these pieces.

Drawings will follow soon.

I'm thinking the feel of this piece, much smaller, in metal clay.  Pendants, earrings?  Maybe try out the new sterling silver clay.

I wish I had this piece of equipment.  Cards just don't cut it for rolling even thicknesses.  Granted, this roller would take a LOT of metal clay!

 The magnificent grounds and sculptures!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Park of Love

No visit to Lima would be complete without a visit to "The Park of Love".  The park is the home of a large, somewhat interesting, somewhat tacky sculpture of two lovers embraced.  The park is set on a cliff overlooking the Pacific.

I'm using my husband, Bob as a scale figure!

I''ve enlarged the view of the back pocket on the sculpture.  I found the monogram on the back pocket to be interesting....VD?

...and its magnificent surroundings:              

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm back...

In case anybody's missed me--I'm back from yet another adventure.  This time to Peru and Ecuador--Machupicchu, the Galapagos and much, much more.  What a surprising and exhausting trip.  I'd thought the islands would be a "day at the beach" and it was--along with many large rocks to climb.

I've been listening to my "fans" and hearing that you want more "travel" in my blog, so I'm getting ready to give you some.  That also takes some pressure off me  to produce so much jewelry every week!

I am thinking jewelry, though.  May skip Tanzania for now and jump right into South America.  I'm thinking lots of birds and glass!  I do have some work still to do on Egypt, though, especially my inlay piece which is due on Saturday and will, doubtfully, be finished!

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Well, I was hoping to have a progress report and some new photos today, but I'm not making the progress that I'd wished.  Have had some setbacks and have had to change my design a bit.  It's not pretty now...but it will be...soon.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Final Project

I have my first disc cut out and my second mostly cut out.  Now I'm going to roll out my 25% shibuichi and cut out its shape.  If my sterling is here, I hope to get that rolled out and cut, too.  May have left it in my workbench at school, though--and probably won't go over there to get it!

Pictures next time!

This may be turning into a how to!

Monday, November 7, 2011


This is not travel related, but, please visit my goulash Designs Facebook page for details and enter my contest.  Ten jewelry prizes will be awarded.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Going back in time...again

As for my scarab--the first metal one.  It didn't etch, and, as I'd thought, it is too small.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sorry--No Pyramid!

I've finally come up with a design for my final (for class) Egyptian themed piece.  Sorry, no pyramids!  I'm going with lotuses all the way.  One on the front of the lentil and, hopefully, if time allows, on two glass beads.  Also, depending on the time, it will also be reversible with the eye of Horus on the back.

This will be my most involved metalwork to date, as I will be using 5 different metals.  I'm thinking bronze, sterling silver, copper and both 5% and 25% shibuichi.  The 5% shibuichi, hopefully, will appear as black and the 25% will appear somewhat darker than the silver.

What do you think?


Monday, October 31, 2011

As much as I hate to keep jumping around...

...I am on a deadline.  I'm taking a class in metal inlays and I have a deadline looming.  I have to finish my second inlay piece--not a favorite of my instructor--and get to work on my final, Egyptian themed piece.  And...on top of everything else I have (what else!) a vacation planned right before my final is due, so I really have to hustle!  If interested, my other inlay pieces will be on my Goulash Designs Facebook page soon.  One still needs some spiffin up and the other, hopefully, will be finished this week.  I'll let you know when they're up and there will be a contest involving the latest one--beware--it's R-rated!

Friday, October 28, 2011

2nd Post for Today

It did etch.  Good enough to see how the size will be once it's domed.

OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!! (And no pictures...) first scarab is hardly etched...but that's the least of my problems!  I remember the first time I etched with Ferric chloride, it was in a class at C.O.D.  I remember Marge telling me she was going to try it at home.  I told her that I'd stick with using it at school.

I should've taken my own advice!  First, my scarab hardly etched, then I'd remembered that I'd thought that I mixed up the lids on my acid container and my neutralizing container one time.  I took what I thought was my acid container and poured baking soda in to neutralize.  It started to foam up (remember the movie, "The Blob"?...)  then, I picked it up and set it on top of MY KILN!!!!!  It continued to grow as I rushed it out the backdoor--fortunately the back door is the back wall of my studio.  It continued to foam onto my back porch.  I picked it all up into a plastic garbage bag and tried to rinse off the porch, so as not to kill my birdies.  (I should invite the squirrels to lunch...)

I hope that I'm really not screwed next time I turn on my kiln, and...
back to the drawing board on my scarab...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Scarab and a Ramble...

I've got my bronze scarab cut out and ready to go into the etchant.  The black and grey that you see on it is the resist--the bronze lines are the ones that should be etched, the black and grey raised.  Enlarged you can see the results of my shaky hand.  I may have to have somebody else put the resist on for me.  I've also not done much etching.  The last etching that I did was on nickel silver, which, either is harder to etch, or my solution was too weak.  I am going to try this in the same solution and see how it goes. I think that I read that, as it sits it gets stronger, but I'll check that out before I proceed.  Cut out, the oval also looks smaller than it should in relation to my glass one--remember, it still has to be domed.  Now we put it in solution...and wait.


I've also been thinking more about this blog and realized that I should talk more about my trips and, specifically about the inspiration for my pieces.  On some I will, but some, like this piece specifically, have no more inspiration than Egypt and my idea for a scarab piece.

Many have asked what my favorite trip has been.  For a long while it was China, but all have been amazing!  China always comes back to me because, for what we saw and did it was an incredibly inexpensive trip.  Still much less expensive than many countries to visit.  I was a bit leary about going to China, especially from about two weeks prior to our departure when my husband sent me some stuff from Yahoo which spoke about "squatty potties" and pages and pages of rambles of travellers who described the difficulties (for us women!) and further described the levels of cleanliness of the stalls, their snot-covered walls and so on and so forth.  Turned out to be not so bad.  Maybe because we were there right before the Beijing Olympics but the toilets were clean and rather Americanized.

Now, I sound like a two year old--potty obsessed and all but, in my observation--restrooms the world over were pristine compared to ladies rooms that I've visited in the good old U.S.A.  Except maybe in Tanzania--but that's a third, third world country.  The most unpleasant potty prospect there, for me was the day we went into an area of the Serengetti that's only ladies facility was in the brush, behind a large rock.  Fortunately my bashful bladder was cooperative and I managed to make it back to our tent without having to leave my scent in the jungle.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm so excited.....

What do you think--my dap looks perfect with my glass scarab!  I'm thinking, the one that looks exactly the same size will look a bit smaller when domed, and should be just what I need...or I'll try the next smaller one.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, October 21, 2011

OK--So I procrastinate! And--previews of coming attractions.

OK, now you're going to learn two, not so flattering things about me.

1.  I procrastinate.  Not that I haven't been working.  I'm working on my second lentil bead for class, so that I can finish it and get to my final project--my next Egyptian themed major piece.  I told you I may spend a lot of time in Egypt!  As far as progress on my scarab necklace--first, I have to decide if I'm happy with my glass scarab.  I will probably determine that after I get my oval dapping form and see how the size and shape is with the ovals on the block.  I promise that I will order that today!  Also--I bought a cheap rolling mill, so I'll roll my bezel for it tomorrow in class.  Even if I don't use the first glass scarab on the big piece--you may find a single scarab pendant in my Copious Shop!

I have a very rudimentary drawing of my Egyptian inlay piece, although the main, inlaid piece isn't designed yet, any further than it will probably be in a pyramid shape.  Maybe even dimensional.  It will be flanked by two hand painted glass beads--hopefully I'll be able to make those--decorated with lotus blossoms and, finally, will be finished up with faceted blue lapis beads--which I bought some time ago.

2.  The second thing I was going to confess--and I swear that I forgot what it was, until I saw this drawing--was that I have a shaky hand, which is my excuse for many shaky drawings to come!

Then, we're going to leave Egypt and head for Tanzania and a Maasai village, which is really a bit of a whacked out culture!  This also gives you a look at, perhaps, the neatest section in my studio--part of my Inspiration wall.

My version of this will be made of probably sterling silver wire, spaced with rectangular strips of sterling, which separate handmade glass beads strung on the wire.  I'm envisioning this all suspended from a chunky handmade chain. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Egypt--Blue Scarab

Well,  it was easier than I thought.  I made my lapis blue scarab.  I finally, after four or five years feel that I am really getting control of the glass!  Another glitch, though.  I wanted the glass beetle to be slightly larger than the metal ones.  The bronze clay is supposed to shrink by 20%, but it didn't, so, if I continue with the clay, I'll have to make another mold, just a bit smaller.  I think, today, I'll order the oval dap!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Still in Egypt

Continuing with my Scarab Necklace I am posting photos of--in order of the photos:

1.  First scarab mold carved from polymer clay.  I used this as a preliminary mold from which to make:

2.  Scarab mold out of bronze clay.  This will be used to stamp hot glass into a scarab.  A major design flaw of this stamp was making the handle out of the same bronze clay--which conducts heat--quickly!!  Ouch!!  Problem was solved by holding this with a clamp.  Fortunately, the handle that I put on this mold (not shown) was long enough to allow me to do this.

3.  Scarab flexible mold made from two part modelling compound, in which I molded the white bronze scarabs--one of which I will show in the fired state.  The other one I dropped and it broke into many pieces!  Hence, my consideration of switching to sheet metal.

4.  My surviving white bronze scarab.

My glass blobs have been, so far, not big enough to fill the mold and make the scarab in the size that I want.  I'll be back on the torch tomorrow and will try again!


Monday, September 26, 2011


I'm warning you--I could spend a LOT of time on Egypt.  I have always loved Egyptian art and my visit to Egypt almost a year ago was a dream come true for me.  I have some simpler Egyptian themed pieces completed, with some more complex pieces, hopefully to come.  My scarab necklace has proven to be more difficult than I'd first imagined.  I haven't even sketched it out yet, but will, today and post it to this blog so that you can get somewhat of an idea of where I'm trying to go with it.  One of my major problems with it is that I had planned to make one scarab of lapis colored glass--I've got that one covered--but I was also planning on scarabs of bronze and white bronze clays.  I made molds and have made a few hollow scarab forms of white bronze clay--which I love the idea of, but have had too many technichal difficulties with it to persue.  The main being that, even in a fired state it is very brittle.  Much more so than even glass.  The finish on it is unpredictable, too.  Sometimes it looks shiny and much like silver, sometimes whitish with a very interesting, but matte finish which I have used and liked in other projects and sometimes it looks very much like bronze clay.

So--I am going to forget about white bronze scarabs and use either bronze and, hopefully steel metal clays--the steel is still also iffy, or go back to actual metals.  I have recently learned of oval dapping forms which, if I can get in the size that I am thinking of, might change this project to actual metal--probably sterling silver and Nu-gold, which is a brass alloy that somewhat resembles gold.

The necklaces on the top of the page are part of my "Talk Like an Egyptian" series of names in heiroglyphics.  The black one reads "Anne", the yellow is "Jennifer" and the fuzzy green one reads "Shelly/Sherry".  I have two rings in the series too, which I can't find the photos of and are currently (or hopefully sold!) in the gallery.  If interested you can see them on my Goulash Designs Facebook page.

   .....more Egypt coming soon!                                                              

Thursday, September 22, 2011


As you can see from my last post, my "Hungary" series was based on an archway that was in the entry to a restaurant, where we dined after visiting a chateau in Czechoslovakia. My Medusa was from a church in Hungary--really! I'm not going to change the names of the pieces, but will update my descriptions. I'm including a lot of pictures with this:

1. Photo of actual arch 

2. Design drawings

3. Photos of original "Hungary" series--made of copper with a black patina. The wires joining the links of the chain are sterling silver. It didn't really add anything to the necklace but I made it in class with Suzan and she suggested that I wouldn't be able to ball up copper wire. Thinking back on it, it probably would've been easier than the sterling as I found the heat beading of the sterling hard to control.

4. Photo of "Hungary" ring in sterling silver, textured with patina


Oy Vey!!!!!

I was just going through my photos, looking for the archway that inspired my "Hungary" series, and found, based on dates and surrounding photos...that it's in Czechoslovakia!

Monday, September 19, 2011


Sorry! I guess My Medusa wasn't on here in a finished state! (See post of 11/19/2009--was it THAT long ago???) for her in a just fired state. I've been known to carry two part modeling compound on trips with me. I made a mold of a face on a door on a church in Hungary--the guide got a bit perturbed with me for holding up the bus! When I made my first bronze clay piece and took it out of that mold it looked like Medusa to me. Perhaps Sacriligious, but this is from someone who makes Christmas tree garlands of dogs and fire hydrants. I REALLY wish I would've taken the modeling compound with me to Egypt, but, if I had, I'd probably still be a small, cramped cell.

Next post--Hungary--major pieces!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Though one of our first trips, China wasn't the first trip to inspire jewelry. My earrings, "Tinkerbell & Chou" were inspired by some rather unusually dressed people that I just happened upon on our trip. Sorry--I can't find the original picture of "Tinkerbell". Her outfit was complete with a magic wand, which I took artist's license and removed for safety reasons! She was sitting on a wall, I believe outside of the Forbidden City in Beijing. "Chou" I saw walking away from a market in Shanghai. Isn't this the greatest suit you've ever seen? The earrings are made from copies of my photos, laminated onto copper sheet and sealed with epoxy. They are a minor project. for a major China piece I have decided to do something with a dragon, as I was born in the year of the dragon--some say it is fitting! Can't promise it soon, though!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Goulash Blog Reborn!

I've just returned from an amazing trip from Tanzania. While on the trip I had an AHA! moment. My blog hasn't been what I had imagined it to be and has died a slow death. While in Tanzania I decided to change it's direction and make it exclusively about jewelry pieces inspired by my travels. I will include thoughts, drawings--not necessarily good ones!--photos and parts of the journey of some pieces showing how they came to be. They will not be in chronological order of trips. For example--my mind's still in Egypt! I have a few minor pieces done and have a few more major--by my standards-- pieces to come. One, hopefully, will incorporate inlays, as I am taking another class with the unbelievable Suzan I will also not commit to a piece from every country visited--one trip incorporated 6 countries. I am committing--to myself and to my blog that I will spend at least 30 minutes each week working on travel inspired jewelry and posting to "Traveling with Goulash". Hope you enjoy the ride!

If you'd like to hear from me when I've posted, please email me at