Friday, January 6, 2012

say hello to Alma and Ben, earrings

antique assemblage earrings
I'm not sure what I will call this pair, maybe Alma & Ben. They were described as love tokens in the auction I won, but they look more like they were cut from some other existing piece of silver, since there is cutwork on the backs. At any rate, they're silver. And the coral bits are coral, originally from an antique necklace that belonged to my grandmother. The string disintegrated, so I've had this box of coral pieces with drilled holes, thinking I'd eventually use them for something, and lo and behold: Alma & Ben.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

my new light box has a cathedral ceiling

Yesterday I made a light box. I used thin dowels and thinner dowels and tape and tissue paper. It looked like a box kite gone horribly wrong. It is now sitting in the fireplace waiting to be a box-light bonfire and also waiting for the weather to not perversely be 85 degrees in winter.
Today I went to the hardware store, then to the office store. I bought stuff to make a larger, studier light box (see instructions below and pics taken in the light box below that).

4 large dowels
8 pieces douglas fir
1 deluxe white shower curtain with a tiny allover pattern of reflective satin-stitching
4 full-spectrum bulbs, 75 to 125 watts
1 sheet polyviny core board
2 sheets white poster board

use items found in garage:
32 1.5-inch finishing nails
wood glue
8 2-inch wood screws
10 screw-in hooks
clip-on lights

Nail together 4 pieces of fir in a square and repeat so that you have 2 frames. Route holes to hold dowels in all 8 corners of frames. Drill holes into each end of 4 large dowels and drill holes though the center of each routed hole in corners of frames. Screw dowels to frames. Cut shower curtain in half horizontally and cut half of that (the half with the grommets) in half lengthwise. Screw hooks along top of box. Hang shower curtain from hooks by grommets. Use other piece to drape over top. Cut polyvinyl core board to fit bottom frame and cut notches in corners to fit around dowels. Hang poster board from top back to bottom front. Clip lights--with full-spectrum bulbs--onto sides and top of box.


A delicately enameled gold crescent moon curls around a flower whose center is a pearl. This piece had a broken pin and was in a box of a relative's that had been stored in a closet. I've had it for years thinking I'd love to do something with it. I'm not sure if it's gold or if that's a real pearl, but it's very finely made and hasn't been polished yet retains its gold luster. The enamel has worn off in two places, barely noticeable since the piece is 7/8 inch. Two hand-carved, not-exactly-the-same-size mother of pearl beads accent the double chain, one length of which is an engraved fetter-link or trombone chain that sets off the intricate enamelwork of the focal. It clasps at the neck with a small, nicely made antique dog clip that looks like gold or rolled gold.


part 6 of Mary Oliver's "Little Sister Pond" from her book "American Primitive," 1978


And somewhere the blue damselfly
sleeps in the reeds
it flew back to when it left my wrist,
its tiny lungs
inhaling, exhaling, its eyes
staring east where the summer moon
is rising,
brushing over the dark pond,
for all of us, the white flower
of dreams.