Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bronze clay and Words to Live By

New Bronze earrings! These came out of the kiln just like this - did not do anything to the surface. They have a beautiful satin sheen. The bronze is so warm.

Here is another gem: "It is what it is."
Words to live by.....
happy winter!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rings, Bangles, Shakespeare.

Here is one from a fairly reliable source:
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." ~Shakespeare

I have been busy expanding my line of sterling and fine silver pieces. I love them for many reasons, but from a jewelry wearers (is that a word?) they are so great because they are classic, versatile and always lovely.

While I am working or dreaming up new designs, I find myself consistently drawn to basic forms and organic textures. Maybe to remind myself that life exists in simple moments, and nowhere else.

The final pieces are always informed by the medium. Hammer blows show purposefully on the silver. The precious metal clay (PMC) like to crease and wrinkle while it is formed and I leave those marks in the clay. It is a two-way process. I respect the way the silver responds to my input, and I leave the marks to show what happened in the process of making. In that simplicity, almost paradoxically, every detail is essential.

Check out some of the newer designs above!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bangles, Earrings, and Moomintrolls

Reading Moominsummer Maddness these days. We laugh at little My. Did you know the Moomintrolls are fuzzy all over? I didn't! How delightful!

Well, off to make many pairs of earwires now. And then fill an order for my '3 beautiful sisters' bangle trio.

I reworked the satin tab earrings -- I like them with a ring soldered onto the back. I'll post this updated version soon on my Etsy store.

Night night. Chickens all tucked in too.


Monday, July 5, 2010


Happily, sales are trucking along, even as I have ramped back my marketing efforts for summer. Life is hurtling along. But it is fun and I am settling into summer with the kids. Chickens now have a new roosting box inside the shed. No more carrying them morning and evening from and to their roosting box inside my old studio. Though I love to carry them and hold their silky little chicken bodies twice a day, I don't miss trying to dodge (occassionally)poopy chicken feet. I feel better that they are behind four solid walls of wood every night. Many animals lurk at the edge of the woods - nature spares none, and chickens taste so good...apparently.

A new bracelet design on the way - I have made two for me, one for mom and another for my friend. Hers is complete with finger print charms of each of her four children that I made w/ pmc. Awesome! I love it. Features red coral, turquoise, lampwork bead(s), my handmade silver beads etc on leather cord.

Promised myself to be in bed by 10:00.
See below: Perhaps I should start working in gold? I think Tut and I could have been friends.....
Good Night! xo Kristen

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jewelry Classes at K. M. Brown Studio

Adult and kids jewelry classes now running at K. M. Brown Studio. Please email me at for a pdf of class list. Adult classes are Monday nights 6:30 - 8:00; kids classes are Friday evenings from 6:00 - 7:15. See you there!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Great Quote

I have just finished reading the BEST book I have read in ages!! "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It is an amazing, poignant, heartfelt, and brialliantly human account of life during the German Occupation of the Guernsey Islands during World War II. If I were any kind of writer I would attempt to convey how wonderful it is. Alas, the adjectives above will have to suffice. My best advice: read it!

A lovely quote from the author Ms. Shaffer follows: "....[my belief]...that love of art - be it poetry, storytelling, painting, sculpture, or music - enables people to transcend any barrier man has yet devised."

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The finished piece

Here is the finished piece! Now I like it - it works on the shorter chain, but it could be on a very long one too. The bail is large enough so that it can be slid off and on any chain. Definitely more of these to come. I have one with a smaller piece to set in the works. Now I need to go make some pieces for Gwyneth - she has been waiting so patiently over there in London....under an ash cloud.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Happenings in and around the studio...

Here is how the progress begins on making a bezel set piece with PMC (precious metal clay): Here you see the slab of 'clay' (micro-particles of fine silver mixed with an organic binder that burns off in a kiln at 1500 degreesF, resulting in a pure (99%) silver piece), a fine silver bezel (soldered together) my drawing/template and the lampwork piece that will be set.
And this is the constructed piece. I am feeling it is a bit over-done... I will make another that is simpler. I do like it...but it is more of a "Piece" than I envisioned. I can't wait till it's fired. It totally transforms, and it is always like Christmas, opening the kiln and beginning the polishing/finishing process. The bit of staw is to keep the loop (bail) round as it dries.

And in other News:
The tooth fairy vistited our house! Chicken News: First it is love...

Then, wrangling.

Here are the moons w/ a ring soldered on the back. I put these on lever-backs. Lovely. My new favorites.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Elements of the bezel setting and peeps

Here are the chicks. Aren't they cute?

Here are the elements of the bezel setting I am working on. Picture shows a completed setting with gorgeous bead, and the bail (to be soldered on), the bezel cup, bead to be set, and sheet of sterling from which the bail and backing were cut.
have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Changing the Moon

No, I didn't join a HazMat team. This is my get-up for filing/sanding using my flex shaft. I don't want to be inhaling tiny particles - even if they are silver! I am re-working earrings for Jan in CA. An avid Dalai Lama follower. Jan, are you reading this? So, here is the progress:

Notice how one fine silver disc has a tiny loop above it? I am soldering on tiny jump rings to the back, so these can be attatched to a french earwire. These are my 'Full Moon' earrings. Originally designed w/ an attached earwire, so they didn't move much. I was thinking of changing them so they would dangle from an earwire and the design would have more 'flow.' Then Jan emailed and asked if I would change her Full Moon earrings that she had ordered - she wanted them "...maybe 'free' dangling...?" Yeah! I told her I'd been thinking of changing the design and her request was the motivation I needed to do it. Thanks Jan. There is another example of 'every question is a good question.' They will be on their way tomorrow, pending approval from my in-the-field tester in California. ; )

Here is the original design for the full moons:

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Beginnings

Hope everyone who celebrated/has been celebrating Easter, Passover and the Spring Equinox had good and thoughtful celebrations! It was an incredibly beautiful day here in the North East, after all the rain and flooding. We were in Rhode Island w/ the kids Auntie and cousins and witnessed the devastating flood damage in so many places there. Sending good thoughts for everyone cleaning up from that, and hoping they all had good flood insurance.

New beginnings here. We have 8 new chicks! Adorable and peeping like crazy. I wonder if Buttercup (my remaining Black Giant) will feel motherly toward them or want to eat them? Chickens are ...unpredictable. To me anyway who is still a novice. I'll let her look at them today through their little cage. I'll see if I can read her chicken thoughts

New designs this week too I hope. Studio time is being weedled away already this week b/c of various appointments and obligations. My goal is to get in there and do a bezel set piece in PMC. It looks great w/ my sweatshirt. This is a classic bezel set piece - the new ones will have a surrounding 'field' of silver! Yum!

Off to the feed store. The peeps need food!


Monday, March 22, 2010

spring is springing!
we are down to one chicken. i am getting wiser but unfortunately losing chickens still. I don't have the heart to keep them cooped up! (like I feel all winter). but in feb. and march i think it is necessary, until I build a nice covered run.

many more things to write about and that would explain my long stretches of time without writing. ironically.

found a few more good quotes. recently from the Magic Tree House (Mary Pope Osborne) book I was reading to the kids this weekend. "A life without knots is not really a life at all." I am hanging on to that one and I'll tell you more about that in a future post. But, it has inspired me to create a piece that is, yes, a knot!. I'll make a coil of silver and tie a knot. (K)Not as easy I think as it sounds. But a good reminder. To embrace the knots in our lives. In my knot. I mean, my life.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

William Henry Channing!

I came across this beautiful quote again by William Henry Channing, from his 'Symphony:'
"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common -- this is my symphony."

It is always amazing to me when half-formed and felt-but-unarticulated thoughts I have had appear before me in print just when they are needed. It is beautiful isn't it?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I am designing a pair of earrings that my Dad ordered for my Mom...for her 67th birthday that is coming up! I love custom orders. They push me to beyond my comfort zone, and spark my creativity. And of course I especially love designing something for someone I love and know so well! They need to be just 'her' but maybe also with a little edge that may nudge her beyond her comfort zone? I will finish the design today and publish it later in the day so you can see them. More of the design story then. Off to rehearse some Jazzercise routines. I need the exercise and exhilaration of dance to jostle me out of these winter slug feelings....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting in under the wire

It is 11:59 - I am just getting my now self-scheduled weekly blog entry in just in time. Sunday's seem to be the best day. Just part of my re-organization that is happening slowly for the new year. Trying to be reasonable about time spent on the computer and networking and all of that vs. time spent in the studio. There is far too little time spent in the studio.

Last week I realized I am sort of like a pioneer. Or, at best, slightly rustic. Why? Because I heat my liver of sulfur (used to oxidize the silver), and my pickle (the stuff that takes the oxidation off sterling after soldering) on the WOOD STOVE? Very back-to-nature isn't it? Anyway, I like it because it feels a bit greener than plugging something in. Also, I re-heat my tea on there too - love that! I admit, however, that when I am upstairs I do use the microwave to heat up my tea....

But, truly, I am so glad I am not a pioneer. I read and re-read (and now try to re-re-read to my kids) all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I was a kid. Yes, and when I was a teenager I admit! Well, I now realize, excuse me, but how did those mothers change and manage DIAPERS? And did they let the baby crawl on the earthen floor? Maybe...perhaps that is healther than a polyurethaned floor? And how did she clean all those cloth diapers? I lasted about 2 months at best with cloth diapers, and I had a washing machine and running water....and electricity...and a computer...and....

Well, on second thought, heating things up on the wood stove and my morning chores of feeding and watering the chickens and bringing in more wood for the wood box is satifying and pioneer enough for me.

Certainly those homestead wives did not spend their time blogging. Although I am sure some of them spent their evening time making some gorgeous embroidery or other hand crafts....

Good night, it's now officially Monday and I am starting to sport a sore throat to match my kids horrible coughs. Oh dear. (and how did they deal with sickness? ... life was not so romantic on the great prarie I think ...)

night night and xoxo,

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Back from Tucson - Diggin' in for Winter

The Tucson trip was wonderful. There are many highlights, but I have to say that sitting in the sun one afternoon in my tank top with my skin feeling hot and sweat rolling down my belly was one of the Best!! The sun is so healing.

I will be rolling out new designs this week on my Etsy store, so check it out!

Monday, January 11, 2010

New pieces

Things were tumbled, oxidized, polished yesterday. And now there are at least 12 new pieces ready to put together today. Annabel is home 'sick' although she is bustling about. Getting ready to make a necklace with her very own stash of beads.

I am sporting a necklace she found, although she 'didn't make it.' And she would remember something like that. She is the finder of lost things and the memory keeper around here. Here she's got a string, all ready to go! Where did all of those wrinkles on me come from?
ciao for now,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Reality Studio and Real Life Time Management

Here is my surprise at how my time is spent..... And, above, real live shots of the studio... aftermath of holidays...

I am not sure it's actually time management. I need to schedule a date with myself to figure that out; but at present I predict that my actual creative time to maketing/networking/shop upkeep time is about 1:4. That is 1/4 of my time is spent in the studio creating and 3/4 spent marketing, shop upkeep, prep and delivery of work via mail or local boutiques etc (writing blog...). Can this really be true? Requires further research.

Ciao for now,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Styles for the store!

Happy New Year to all of my friends, family and customers!

The sun is setting on this first day of 2010; all is quiet in this house. A very unusual event is happening as I write. BOTH Cailean and Annabel ARE NAPPING! It takes staying up past midnight to ring in the new year to make that happen. Now...I must hope that they'll go to bed at their usual 8PM. Ha ha!
ciao for now,