Monthly Archives: July 2014

New Pieces Ready for Debut at ACE!

I spent most of June and all of July making new pieces for the ACE show. And now it’s August and I’m still making work at a pace that sometimes surprises me. I’ve made three flip rings so far. These are rings based on ancient Roman and Greek jewelry where the center stone rotates within a stirrup shaped band. I’ve combined red spinels with black spinel, black diamonds with jade from New Zealand and black diamonds with a beautiful Ceylon moonstone.

Devta Earrings_1

I’ve always been excited by crystals especially if the color is really bright. I’ve made two pairs of earrings like this. The first uses red spinel crystals from Burma in a circular pattern and dangles from the ear. It’s enthralling how the light comes through the crystals when they’re being worn.

Devta Earrings

The second pair is also circular and employs super bright diamond crystals. These are sliced off the tip of a diamond crystal called a dodecahedron and if I hadn’t gotten to them first they would have been cut into traditional diamond shapes! They are really bright and sparkly. Both of these earrings are set in 22 karat gold which gives a rich counterpoint to the crystals.

At the Tucson Gem Show last year I was able to find some polished sections of a meteorite that had landed in Russia. I’ve made earrings and rings with this fascinating material. They have a lot of iron in them and this gives a shiny silvery contrast with the darker olivine. It’s crazy to me that these minerals were in a liquid form in outer space and then solidified when they entered the earth’s atmosphere.

At the Tucson Gem Show this year I found some mabe pearls grown in Mexico in the Sea of Cortez. They have a dark grey body color with an iridescent sheen. They look great as earrings and I have one large ring that is stunning.

Devta Ring_1

There are two types of jade: jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is the rarer of the two and comes in a variety of colors including the bright apple green that is so highly prized. Nephrite tends to be a darker green and also can be an appealing black. I grew up in New Zealand and have frequently used the nephrite that is so abundant there. This year, again at the Tucson Gem Show, I found some fine jadeite that is a rich, almost emerald green and have made that into a sweet pair of earrings. I also have two jadeite rings.

Devta Ring_3

I just finished a necklace that uses a variety of ancient beads including turquoise, carnelian, blue chalcedony, coral, rock crystal and jade. The sources range from Tibet to the Near East to South America. The beads range in age from 500-200 years old and together create a wonderfully colorful necklace.

It’s been a very productive time for me and I’m not finished yet! I’m so excited to be doing the ACE show which has always been one of my favorite shows to do.

I hope to see lots of old friends and new ones too August 21-24.

A special thank you to ACE artist Devta Doolan for this guest post.

Purchase Your ACE Tickets Today!

General Admission Tickets
For a limited time, general admission tickets are being offered at a discounted price! From now until August 18, tickets are just $13 for all three days that the show is open to the public:

Friday, August 22, 2014                      10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 23, 2014                 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Sunday, August 24, 2014                    11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

After August 18, general admission tickets will be available for purchase at full price ($15) by calling 224.364.7270 or at the door. Click here to purchase your ticket today!

Benefit Preview Party Tickets
What better way to peruse and purchase one-of-a-kind works of art than at the ACE Benefit Preview Party? Enjoy gourmet appetizers, desserts and cocktails while getting a first glimpse of the show before it opens to the public. The Preview Party takes place Thursday, August 21 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Tickets cost $150 and include admission to the three-day exposition.

Collectors’ Hour Tickets
For those art aficionados looking for an intimate shopping experience, the Collectors’ Hour provides a first look at the incredible items available for purchase at this year’s show. The Collectors’ Hour begins at 5:30 pm on Thursday, August 21 – an hour prior to the Preview Party opening. Tickets cost $200 and include admission to the Benefit Preview Party and the three-day exposition.

Click here to purchase your Benefit Preview Party or Collectors’ Hour tickets!

Friends of ACE Tickets
Looking for a fun and unique outing to take with friends? Come to ACE with a group and take advantage of our “Friends of ACE” promotion. Purchase 4 tickets now for you and your friends and receive each ticket for only $10! Tickets can be purchased here!

Diary of a (Mad) Craft Show Artist

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, officially known as Operation Overlord, but popularly known as D-Day. On June 6th, 1944, the long-awaited offensive began in what may well have been the most meticulously planned and well thought out operation in history. There were, of course, some glitches, mistakes and moments of abject terror; but, in the end, with luck and a lot of prayer added to the supply list, the invasion succeeded.

The ‘D’ in D-Day simply stood for Day, meaning the day of the actual landings. The days leading up to D-Day were numbered in descending order…hence, June 1st was D minus 5. In the decades that have followed, the term “D-Day” has become synonymous with any massive operation including lots of moving parts, logistical challenges, and larger-than-life personalities.

And so, I declare today to be D Minus 42…..42 days until artists from all over the USA invade Evanston, Illinois, creating a barrage of beauty and a hail of fine craftsmanship as they land on the shores of Lake Michigan….or, actually, the parking lot.

ACE Artist Michael Scarborough

ACE Artist Michael Scarborough

Like Gen. Eisenhower, I, for one, can say that I have planned meticulously, thought out and created what I hope are excellent examples of fine craft, and predict that the remaining six weeks before the ACE show will be flawless, with nary a tremor of a nervous hand or a voice raised in frustration. There will be no last minute agita!

Oh……really?

OK…so maybe a little anxiety may creep in. A tad, at most.

Yeah….uh huh.

Fact is, it’s an understatement to say that a lot goes into preparing for, getting to, setting up and existing at a fine craft show for a long weekend. And, if for some reason, things are not going well, the weekend can be excruciatingly long and the trip home, even longer.

For most seasoned show artists, the preparation and set-up for a show are pretty similar from one venue to another. One variable, however, is the method of getting one’s self and one’s art to the event. Depending on the distance from home, the choice is whether to drive or to ship the art work to the show site. As we live in NYC, we usually drive to shows in Philly, Boston, Baltimore and D.C. Packing the tables, lighting, chairs, suitcases, etc., etc., etc., (and, oh yes, the art!), into, and onto, a Subaru is always a challenge which must be undertaken with the greatest care, especially with the items in the car top carrier. And, of course, an artist must pack the top of the car with especial attention to aesthetics. A clean and streamlined silhouette is a must; the Beverly Hillbillies look should be avoided at all costs.

Shipping the art to the show, on the other hand, allows one a comfortable two-week period to relax before a show. That would normally be the most hectic period of preparation, when one wishes one were two. But, if the pieces have been shipped off, they can no longer be worked on, said artist need not run around tearing his hair out (assuming he is not bald already), finding, and re-finding, things that need touching up. It really pays not to be OCD at times like these. Of course, during this fortnight, the term carry-on baggage is oft invoked and, inevitably, a piece that didn’t make it onto the truck headed West, finds itself traveling in the overhead compartment of an airplane, hopefully in an upright and locked position.

So, the clock is ticking, and we have not yet decided if we are driving or shipping to Evanston. It’s a choice between emptying the wallet for shipping, or sitting on the wallet for two days of driving through verdant and bucolic mid-west countryside. (I know which one sounds more aesthetically pleasing.)

Regardless of mode of transport, I can assure you, dear reader, that the time remaining, inspired by Operation Overlord, will be “the most meticulously planned and well thought out operation in history.”

Yeah. Sure.

(Actually, if past show preps are any indication, it will be more like Operation OhMyLord!”)

A special thank you to ACE artist Michael Scarborough for this guest post.