It's been a while since any updates, but I'm happy to have some news on the polygon front. Just over a year ago is when the whole club idea came into fruition. I'd like to think of last year as a prototype on how to run an open call. This year we can go all into it with the added experience and continue to grow.
A general idea of rules, updates, and how this will run for 2016:
-The basic- I send you polygon cabs, you put them to work, we share.
-This is an open call to any crafters out there! Whether you are a student, night time-amateur, or professional jeweler, anyone can apply. It is set up for jewelry, but if anyone can use stone cabochons in another type of craft, they may also apply.
-Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with up to 8 photos or a link (instagram, etsy, website) to apply, please show your best work, not all entries will be accepted!
-Open call to join will officially run January 1st through March 31st. Anyone that previously submitted work last year can automatically join and skip the jury process. Please email me to let me know interest and to add you to the 2016 list. These people also have the opportunity to make specific requests regarding new cabs. This could be material request, or size request. So please contact me to join the new list and keep in the loop.
-As far as #polygonclub 2016 contest photo submissions go, this will change slightly from last year. With dropbox's new team folder, I can add you via email to the polygon club team. You can then submit and upload photos of your work right there for the contest/competition. Everyone on the team can also view the other projects. This is a great way for everyone to interact and see the other projects as they come in. Anyone that has experience here, please share with me to help it run smoother!
-All photo submissions will be due April 30th! This deadline is very firm, no excuses! The sooner you apply, the more time you have to work.
-All social media posting should include the hashtag #polygonclub to keep the group online. This thing can grow and grow if everyone helps share either production shots or finished work. I'm using my instagram account (@heart_ons) for the most part, but feel free to share any other way. Some pics that are tagged may be repost to share.
-The jewelry is yours to do what you'd like with when completed! We are sharing online only right now, but potentially there could be an actual show in real life as well.
-Each artist/crafter will be sent 2 random stone cabochons (selected based on the work sent in), shipping will be your responsibility- $3 USPS domestic, $8 USPS international. Upon approval, you will be sent an invoice via heartonsleevejewelry.com to cover the cost.
-All cabs will be polygons! Strictly freeform polygons, no circles, ovals, matched pairs, or calibrated shapes. This does not necessarily fit everyone's idea or aesthetic, but I want to see how you guys can think on your feet. A big part of the challenge is to work outside of your norm, and to show everyone how you can build something around a cab unseen.
-If you receive a cab that just absolutely doesn't work with you, send me a message and one or both can be swapped out for something different.
-If you receive cabs and decide you want to opt out for any reason, all I ask is you please send the cabs back so they can be shared with others in the club. Any ones left over from last year can also be used.
-People local to Rochester, or Upstate NY do have the option of stopping in the studio and selecting two in person. Let me know and we can make arrangements.
-Not all materials will be offered for free cabochons. Certain things that come from more expensive rough such as opal, fire agate, turquoise, etc, will not be sent out as free cabs. However, these could be ordered and purchased as custom polygons. These can still be used for the contest. People that want to buy custom polygons may submit extra projects with them.
-Prizes will be TBD at this point, but likely a similar parcel of cabs: Gold-opal, Silver-Fire agate, Bronze-labradorite.
-All entries will be juried by myself, as well as the three winners from last year: Audrey Messinger, Hannah Treber, Chris Rackley.
-Winners will be announced May 15th 2016!
About the #polygonclub...
In the year of 2014 began the birth of many polygons. The making of the free-formed polygon shape came as a rejection to traditional boundaries of calibrated size or standard shape. Carving stone plugs and body jewelry requires a tight tolerance for size and shape. It's hard to stay on a strict limit, while still being expressive in the media of stone. Sometimes it's necessary to cut loose from that, and just have fun. I've been cutting free-formed cabs in between orders to maintain a healthy balance of the strict and the loose.
At some point in the end of 2014, they really started to accumulate. I could take the time to photograph and list them individually, but that would take a lot of time. People like free stuff, so I decided to start giving them out on the condition that people make projects with them. This whole idea kind of snowballed from here and worked itself into the club.
The polygonclub from there morphed into a worldwide open call for jewelry artists. In order to apply, entries were juried by myself to pick qualified makers. Over forty makers of all skill levels were given the chance to participate. These makers were given 2-3 polygon cabochons to work with and a time limit to create a piece or pieces of jewelry. Using the hashtag #polygonclub across social media, the club was cross promoted by myself as well as the makers.
In order to keep people motivated, I put together a few prize packages (more cabs!) for a gold, silver, and bronze winner. I enlisted my colleagues from RIT Erica Bello, and Jake Martin to jury the show and keep it unbiased. Also included is 13 honorable mentions.
After a very successful year, I decided that a recap is in order. Going through the year, each month has a couple of my personal favorites selected. Be it something I enjoyed working on, or something that made a nice picture. It was hard to narrow it down, but here's the best of the best. January: Rutilated quartz, obsidian set with synthetic opal inlay
February Synthetic opal inlay and overlay, labraorite inlayed in black jade labret and set in brass in ebony plugs, brass Pod setting formed rings
March Fine silver formed hooks with detachable quartz weights, Fine silver fabricated labret with removable cap
April Ocean jasper set in brass set in tiger ebony ovals, limb cast agate labret
May Stone production: Pre-APP, Smoky rutilated quartz set
July Rose quartz set in copper set in pink ivory, Mint chrysoprase inlayed in black agate
August Labradorite hearts inlayed in katalox, carved Wyoming nephrite jade, high action rutilated quartz
September Tiffany stone, turquoise double concaves, Montana dendric agate
October Montana agate double concave set, tourmalated quartz with cz inlay and cz set in silver prong head
November Ocean Jasper with quartz crystal face, Chiapas green amber set
December High grade rainbow banded fluorite, multicolored rutilated quartz set, fine silver labret with amethyst front
That's a whole lot of awesome. Looking forward to another year of mixing media.
Today I'm packing my goods to leave for Vegas tomorrow evening! Very excited for this opportunity to share my goods and meet new people. As I am away, I'll have limited access to internet and answering questions/quotes etc. I'll try and respond as I can, but will only have my phone (and may try and relax a little!). I return late on 6/15, and will begin working on the back log of orders the following day. On the note of the backlog, yes new orders are being accepted. At this point, I am telling people that turnaround time is around 4-6 weeks. Please be patient while waiting, but feel free to ask questions in the meantime. There is a lot of work on my plate and only myself to take care of it. Things coming up upon arrival: pics of some of the things I'm working on for APP, depending on what's leftover some of that stock will be added to the website, as well as new made to order items added to the website (wood, metal and stone designs), and soon a monthly newsletter. Real into the newsletter idea as a way to keep you guys in the loop about new designs, new materials, and anything else HOS related in real time. Keep an eye out! I'll leave you with a new design to soon be added to the site. Pave set homegirl hoops, in sterling silver, nu gold, and cubic zirconia.
Yes, I've done some shopping for gems and minerals. I've done some online searching. I also went to our local gem and mineral show. These are some of the finer ones I've picked up recently, as well as some pieces already cut up to make plugs with. Let's start with turquoise.
The large block up top is set up for me to easily make plugs with. I can go up to about 1 inch round or larger in teardrops. The top right piece is a slab of the same material for cabs. I may actually use most of it for a large belt buckle cab. The smaller guys will make nice labrets or small gauge plugs. This material is very pricey, and will have a premium rate for all projects. It's so nice I couldn't help myself.
Brazilian chrysoprase. The color on these is amazing! These will work nicely for small plugs or labrets. The longer piece in the middle looks to be high gem quality. This is a premium material.
Andean opal, quite pink. More vivid than the picture looks. I'm thinking 0 gauge plugs, or slightly larger oval fronts. I may be willing to separate them for small labrets.
Variegated red tigers eye. High quality material. This slab is thick enough for plugs and quite large (about 9-10 inches across). I can cut this to whatever size up to 38 mm, in round or teardrop shapes.
I'm interested to see how this one looks polished up. I can cut this to whatever size up to 38 mm, in round or teardrop shapes.
Imperial wave jasper (above), 1 inch tears or below. Nice bands of color going through with a book-matched presentation. Brazilian amazonite below. Looks like about a 19 mm round or below.
assorted matched pairs[/caption] Up top, banded calcite. Rounds maybe up to 22 mm, although I do have a LOT more of this material available. Half and half obsidian, perfect size for 16 mm tears or smaller. The bottom is some Arizona rainbow petrified wood. Extremely hard material with a rainbow of colors going through. This material is getting particularly scarce. I'd really like to make an oval set with these, but tears would work as well. Up to about 28 mm for a longer tear shape.
Clear quartz and amethyst. The quartz looks like it may work in a 16-13 mm tear, and the amethyst up to about 19 mm. The amethyst is quite nicely transparent and book matched. I generally keep both quartz and amethyst around in smaller sizes as well.
Blue apatite is the top pair. These will turn out to 16 mm or smaller double flared plugs. When it's polished, it looks much nicer than it appears up there. The lower pieces are blue cubic zirconia. High quality man-made gems. These will make your ears glow!
I have a few pieces of this. I can make up to about 19 mm round and larger in teardrops. This particular piece is all flash on the front, and should make some nice projects.
Here's a few choice pieces I've been saving for labrets. Clockwise from the top: Rose quartz. 16 mm round or below. Smoky quartz, 19 mm round (maybe) or smaller. I believe this to be orange aventurine, or some type of quartz. This will make a nice WIDE oval. I believe this to be green quartzite, but I'm not 100% sure. It's set up for a decent sized oval about 16 mm or so. The black piece is Jet. Petrified coal. Very lightweight. This will make a large gauge oval labret. I do have another smaller piece available as well. Please contact me with a description of what you need, sizes and materials included for any quotes. Not all of these minerals are treated equally, so please take that into consideration. I may work on some of these projects when I get free time, until then they will be available.
New assorted gem set plugs. This is the first batch of plugs I've made with assorted tube settings. Different sizes and shapes accounted for. I've had the idea for a while and figured out the logistics to make them work. Each gem is set in a tube, and set into wood. Full light exposure of all the stones by security of the metal. These are all currently available, some of them are listed on etsy right now. The options here are not by any means limited to different woods, gems, and metals that are options. Please contact me with any questions.
32 mm Bethlahem olivewood inlayed and set 12 mm peridot colored cz, in a brass 8 point square setting, in amboyna burl, in olivewood from Bethlahem.
3/4 pistachio, brass, smoky quartz. 8 mm rose cut naturalsmoky quartz in the star setting. You can see how well it lights up from behind.
1 inch tiger ebony and ruby 12 mm lab created ruby, in brass square setting, in tiger ebony.
1 inch tiger ebony ruby and brass
1 inch amboyna burl bud setting[/caption] I really enjoy these ones. The 4 point copper bud setting is holding a 16 mm checkerboard quartz in place pretty solid. Fully open back looks like a kaleidoscope in your ear. Simple floral motif to compliment the setting carved into the concave face. Both of these settings themselves were made with an old copper pipe fitting, making use of an otherwise ordinary object for ornamental purposes.
I will be playing with more variations of these on all scales. Different sizes, cuts of stone and more similar settings, maybe some silver too. If these inspire any ideas, please do contact me. I really enjoy these types of projects in particular.
I recently made these hearts from rutilated quartz as an experiment. I do like how they came out, and am willing to do more in other materials as well. Right away I got an idea for an inlay project using these. With a lucky recipient willing to try out a new design, I went for it. Basically I made the heart cutout, and set them in, and used brass prongs to secure the cabs in without any adhesive. Here's a few shots of what came out.
I genuinely enjoyed making these, and more so, enjoyed the results. The clear quality of the quartz glows with the light from behind, and the brass is a nice color match to the rutile. When I originally posted the picture of the cabs, I was asked if I could make them in a 00. I went for it, and made these. Again, I really enjoyed the results.
Here's the same plugs shown in sunlight to display the translucency.
And on the note of experimentation, and quartz, I gave a go at some freehand faceting. These were real fun to make, and not as difficult as I expected. These are made with the idea of rings or pendants in mind. Although I'd like to create some nice silver pieces with them, I'll be willing to part with them for the right person. Anyone interested in setting these, please do let me know.
I had a lot of fun with these. I do plan on doing more, as well as making creative settings for them. I am on a huge quartz kick lately. I really feel drawn to it, and can't get enough. It is a such a pleasure to carve. If any of these pictures inspire ideas for other projects, please do let me know.
Happy Easter, HOS style! I just finished these guys up for immediate consumption. 19 mm velvet obsidian. Made with a gentle flare.
I don't think I will have these too long, but at the moment I can sell them for $55. When I bought this, I really didn't know what to expect. The pictures just looked like flat color, which was alright with me, but in reality they have more of a labradorite type effect. Plain black/gray, but they look like a holographic rainbow in light. Both sides have slightly different color variations including blue, yellow, pink, and green. I do also have a 7 mm labret made with the same material (pictures to come later), and I have enough of this material to make another set of plugs around 16-13 mm round.
Amazonite. Such a magical stone to work with. I thoroughly enjoyed making all of these pieces. This was my first attempt at making a full set in stone. The top is a 7 mm oval labret, 10 mm single flares for flats, and the tears are 38 mm. I made these for my friend Suzy at Modify in Adelaide, Australia. Real excited at how well the set came out.
I can't share all of those without also including my first amazonite run.
11 mm septum plug, 10 mm oval labret, 11 mm oval labret. All spoken for, although I do have some smaller bits for other
This set of tear shapes was my first attempt at making stone double flared tears. This picture jasper, was very hard, very solid, and makes great plugs. I love the hint of sky blue that comes through. I am not sure of the region of where this came from, but I do have more for other projects, although it's not as brown as these are. I will be offering stone plugs in single flared or double flared. All sorts of shapes and sizes 5 mm to 38 mm. Please contact me for any questions regarding a particular size or material. I am not adequately set up for production in stone yet, so each pair takes a significant amount of time to make. Please take that into consideration when asking any quotes. As I make more, I will continue to update the blog with new items. Cheers. -Mark