Since around 2003 I have been tinkering with copper sculpture. My brother introduced me to it and neither one of us has set it down since we started. I must say that, while I know my work is pretty cool, my brother’s is amazing. He is my biggest inspiration!
Ready for a challenge, I set out to create something outside of my comfort zone during the summer of 2013. So I thought, what about fluid-looking legs? That would be something. So this octopus crawled out of my imagination once I poked at it with a stick. I remember sitting on the lawn in the shade, cutting and twisting up wire and thin sheet copper next to the garden during the day. To form the head of the octopus I wrapped sheet copper around an apple that fell off the tree. Never underestimate the objects around you when creating art, I sure don’t! I was able to destroy the apple to get it out, then I pounded the hollow sphere into a more octopus-head-like shape and punctured it to create eyes. In the evening I took it inside the shop and soldered it together.
These are some copper supplies that I commonly work with… hollow copper tube, thin sheet copper and a thicker sheet copper, and various gagues of copper wire.
The octopus was made completely out of copper wire and the thin version of sheet copper that I have. It’s so thin that I need to solder it carefully because if I apply too much heat for too long it will burn through. The following photo was taken while I was making another copper product I love to create – copper orchid pots – and not the octopus.
It’s on my list to take more photos and video while I work on copper creations in the future. You bet that another octopus is on the list. I already have two heads started and I look forward to streamlining the process of creating the legs. Maybe I’ll change their look a bit. Who knows. I don’t even know, I just “shut up” and let my heart and hands do the work.
Sure… “it’s what’s inside that counts”… especially when there is a wedding ring tucked inside a heart shaped cut out inside of a designer journal! This one of a kind custom creation just left my studio.
It is a ring holder hollow book box that I created by hand using a blank Kate Spade journal. It was finished with black velvet, yellow ribbon and loose pages. The customer roamed the internet to find the journal and I did the rest.
The color and high quality feel of this ring holder book is my favorite part. Also, the fact that they can write their own love story in the loose pages!
I upgraded to a Canon T5i DSLR camera. My love for photography has been renewed a bit! I find myself shooting more freely. I look forward to shooting more product and life shots in more detail. I was struggling for the past year at least with my Rebel XTi because it was getting so old and used that the grip wore off, my best lens broke so I was using a zoom lens that lacked clarity and had an old filter stuck on it, and then finally the camera developed some dust spots inside that I could not easily clean out myself and I got really tired of editing dark blobs out of all of my photos. So I moved on and could not be happier with what I got for the money I spent. Did I mention that I can record HD video with it? I’ve already put up a clip demonstrating magnet closure in a hollow book box. I look forward to making more video clips, maybe some how-to videos, other creative video projects and publishing a lot more photos with this handy tool.
Last year, my best friend introduced me to these scissors. http://www.ernestwright.co.uk/
I thought they were really cool….
Then she bought me a pair as a special gift! I proudly own the paper cutting scissors.
They go perfectly with my Etsy shop, as I cut a lot of paper for the bottom stash spot liners in my hollow book boxes, as well as thank you cards and shipping labels. I’m pretty good at keeping things for a long time and I’m for sure aiming to make these scissors be no exception to that. I’m making sure to only cut paper with them!
Over the past few years, I have been making a few hollow book boxes designed to hold wedding engagement rings but this year I really expanded my line. It all started with a green book titled “Circle Of The Day”, but now I’ve added many surrounding the topic of love. And a few cult classics in there!
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – Cut to “The Unbreakable Vow” on Etsy
Making ring books is really fun because I get to search for interesting books to use and do a lot of custom orders. I love to focus on the fine details and deliver something that adds even more to an already astounding moment in other peoples lives. Check out some of my most popular ring holder hollow books, such as Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince which shows off the Unbreakable Vow chapter, or Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows that is cut to The Wedding chapter.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Cut to “The Wedding” on Etsy
The Book Of Love features my handmade heart shaped cut out that is very popular.
The Book Of Love With Heart Shape Cut Out on Etsy
All of my hollow books are handmade by me! I cut them by hand and then detail them until they are smooth, adding multiple layers of clear glue to the inside edge of the stash spot. A free-floating stash spot design is available for some books, otherwise I more often cut the back 1/2 inch or so of a book and glue that down, adding a decorative liner to the bottom of the stash spot. There are many custom options! Different books, cut shapes, loose pages or not left up front, stash spot liner papers, magnets added for secure closure, ribbons to tie rings to and many different colors to choose from.
Can you tell I love making hollow ring books? ‘Cause…. I do.
This coffee from The Organic Coffee Company is my latest favorite! Specifically the single-estate grown whole beans from Panama. I almost always make my coffee in a french press and drink it black, but sometimes I will make ‘bulletproof coffee’ where you combine freshly brewed coffee, organic unsalted butter and MCT oil in your blender and whiz it around on high for awhile, until it gets a bit frothy. Yum.
What’s in your cup?
Portrait of me at the Gooseberry Falls State Park in Minnesota along the North Shore of Lake Superior – Fall 2013.
This summer has been spectacular so far! I can barely keep up with documenting the highlights of life in between all of the events, traveling, family time and working on my shop. Here are a few photos and tidbits I decided I must stop what I’m doing and share…
I love this duo … a nice rain cloud pouring out its contents and part of a rainbow. I have seen at least 6 rainbows and very bright sun dogs this summer since it has been so rainy in Minnesota.
Colorado supplied this lovely, bright sun dog. I love that state more each time I visit – this time I got to check out some southern areas around the San Juan mountains (Durango, Pagosa Springs) and stayed down in Farmington, NM. That mountain desert feeling is awesome.
I buried a pallet and planted lettuces in it – spinach, chard, arugula, romaine, and a few leaf varieties. It worked out well, I’d do it again. A big salad is on the menu tonight.
Shine on, sun. Shine on. Next weekend I’m going to see a huge fireworks show from a boat, on a lake. Boom!
The other year when I was out picking strawberries I got tremendously inspired to make wearable straweberries and vines. It has taken me awhile to get around to actually making any strawberry items, but I’m happy to show you one that I did complete…. a strawberry brooch!
I combined wet felting and needle felting techniques to create it. It is made up of 100% soft merino wool + the pin and some thread that I used to stitch it together. It’s 3D art that can be worn on clothing, on a bag or purse, etc. This item can be found here in my etsy shop.
If you look closely at the top photo, in the upper left hand side you can see the asparagus growing out of the ground. This is in “lake country” Minnesota. I grew up here just like this asparagus 😉 It lives really close to the lake and has some big spears because the plant base is fairly old. I think it’s going to get moved to higher ground this year because the thick grass that likes to grow in the soggy soil is really hard to keep out of the asparagus patch.
I love roasted asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. It works perfectly in a stir fry and I’m really wanting to try and make pickled asparagus this year if I can harvest enough out of this patch.
This was my first cutting of 2014. I’m savoring it.