moss and wood

I love to find other artists who like to make things using materials from nature.  Mr. Lentz makes some pretty unique creations, and has an interesting blog as well.

Mr. LentzNatural Weathered Wood and Moss Briefcase, Mr. Lentz

He lives in Colorado, and is a photographer as well as an artist and woodworker. He has an Etsy shop where his art can be viewed and purchased.

Mr. Lentz, pendantAll Natural Wood and Moss Necklace, Mr. Lentz

The moss used in his jewelry has been dried and preserved. The wood is stained with walnut husks – no toxins here, and it is such a beautiful finish. After staining, it is treated with flax seed oil to give it a subtle shine and pleasant smell.

Mr. Lentz, pendantsNatural Materials and Wood, Mr. Lentz

The first pendant is made of rooster feathers.  The second is elk hair.  I don’t so much love the hair thing, but I think maybe it would be cool to have one made with some of your horse’s mane or tail. Or some of your favorite pet’s fur?  I think I’ll have to put this artist on my list of favorites.

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more shopping for artistic things

I found this business card in my stack of visited places & art shows.  If you go to the Of Nature Website, you can see the detailed, copper-clad little nature masterpieces.

ofnatureOak Leaf Pin, 2.25″ $48

Gordon JamesGinko Pendants, 1.25″ for $35

Gordon JamesFern Earrings, 1″ for $30

Each tiny work of art is an actual item from the woods, carefully preserved and coated in copper. A patina (chemical that reacts with copper to change color) is applied to the metal.   Patinas are hand mixed, then layered to achieve the desired result. Ofnature also has an Etsy shop, making it easy to purchase.

shopping on monday

A little bit of shopping this week.  Just for fun.  Imagine you have the money to buy any and all of this wonderful art for sale! Let’s see . . . I’ll start with this:

Etsy:  copper cuffArtist “Febrarose” from Etsy, Continental Divide bracelet, $175

Artist Deb Horvath lives and works in Colorado Springs, and maybe you can tell that her inspiration for this piece is the Rocky Mountains. It was created from two copper cuff bracelets that were formed separately, then cold connected. Applying a heat patine created the lovely colors.

Febrarose from EtsyArtist “Febrarose” from Etsy, Aspen bracelet, $179

Febrarose:  Etsy artistFine Silver, PMC, Leather Dangle Earrings- Studded Ecuadorian, $69

Febrarose has an Etsy shop that can be found here:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/febrarose

hammer and flame

Jane is one of the “regulars” working in the Rowanberry glass studio on Saturdays.  Way back in our stained glass days, we started looking at the other things that could be done with this glorious medium.  First we bought the kiln to try our hand at fusing, then Jane bought a “hot head” torch so that we could try bead making.

Jane McCauley:  lampwork beadsJane McCauley:  lampwork bead bracelet with silver spacers

Creating beads this way is called “lampworking”, because they are formed by melting long, rigid, spaghetti-like strands of glass over an open flame.  Years ago, the flame was from an oil lamp.  Today, the “hot head” attachment screws onto a can of MAPP gas.  There are more extensive set ups, but this is the simplest and least expensive way to begin.

Jane creates a basic bead form, then touches other stringers of glass to the base to create decoration on the bead. In the photo above, she used a type of special paddle to flatten the beads into square forms.

Jane McCauley:  braceletJane McCauley:  lampwork bead bracelet with copper findings

It takes a great deal of regular practice to get a nicely rounded bead — one that isn’t lopsided, or with sides that slide out to create a raindrop shape.  Jane has been the only studio worker to devote the time to this craft, and her bracelets are works of art.

Jane McCauley: jewelry setJane McCauley:  jewelry set with hammered copper

Her latest venture involves a tiny hammer and anvil, used to flatten and shape copper wire.  The jewelry set above is the result. I recently posted more of her work on the Rowanberry website – visit us and see what’s new!

finding frogs and other small metal things

Cindy Cantelon and Marshall Mar are a couple who create their lives together around art. Earthly Creatures is the name of their Etsy shop, and they also own and operate Copper Sky Gallery & Cafe Shop in Madeira Park, British Columbia. Many of their tiny sculptural works are cast in lead free pewter.  This selection consists of pieces that are fabricated as wearable art, brooches to be worn on clothing:

I think the casting process gives their work such a unique look – they beg to be touched. Cindy talks about her love for carving and forming wax, which is how the process for casting metal begins.  They draw inspiration from living close to nature, in the beautiful area of Pender Harbour, a tourist destination famous for spectacular coastal scenery and mild climate, close to Vancouver.

Marshall’s sculptural work with driftwood is beautifully balanced,blending natural materials with metal to create one of a kind art pieces:

In reading their shop biography, I came across many interesting tidbits about these artists.  They practice sustainability in their lives and work, growing an herb garden in the cafe’s back yard, utilizing locally grown food when in season, and serving only locally roasted organic fair trade coffees & teas. They have sold art pieces to Tommy Chong and Bob Dylan.

They sound like interesting people I would personally love to meet, living in an area I would love to visit.  I’m putting that on my list of things to do…