Pat Accorinti Jewelry Design

An Update

Posted in Business of Art, My Work, Uncategorized by paccorinti on September 19, 2014

Wow, when I retired over a year ago, I thought I would spend much more time writing blog posts but little did I know that I would be busier than ever! I’ve got to travel, learned new skills, attended a great conference and spend more time with my family. This summer has been busier as we are doing a complete update to our backyard and pool. I think I might have to go back to work to get some rest!

As of March, I have been showing my jewelry in the Viewpoints Gallery in Los Altos, CA. It’s a co-op gallery with 13 painters, a ceramic artist and me. I work in the gallery 2 days each month which has been really fun. I have met so many new people and acquired new customers. If you are in town, stop by and check out all the wonderful art.

Viewpoints Gallery

Viewpoints Gallery

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The Viewpoints Gallery located in Los Altos, CA

New Work

Posted in Lampwork, My Work by paccorinti on October 30, 2013

One of the things I wanted to do when I retired was to learn lamp work glass bead making. In early summer I took a class from the wonder Jelveh  Jaferian at Graceful Customs Studio in Gilroy with some of my friends. It was a beginning class, just a couple of hours, but it was crammed full of information. I left that day with my head spinning. The studio holds open torch time on Mondays, so I made a commitment to come back whenever I could to practice what we learned.

Box with glass beads

As you can see, I have made a few beads but I have a lot to learn. I remember that centering a lump of clay was one of the hardest things I had ever done. Well, making a round bead is just about as hard! And making a group of beads that are all the same size, well, that’s another learning curve I’m struggling with. But I am having so much fun. Maybe it will come to me some day!

The Tauregs

Posted in Artists, Jewelry by paccorinti on August 9, 2013

I’m running a few weeks behind here.  A couple of weeks ago, my friend Sherry and I got to attend a demonstration and sale of Taureg jewelry by Elhadji Koumama.  Elhadji comes from the country of Niger in Africa and is part of a family of silversmiths that trace their jewelry making history back twenty-five generations.  He is now working with Terri Hendrix from Watsonville to bring his family’s work to the US for sale. As part of this effort, Elhadji tours the US with Terri, demonstrating the method he uses to cast his  work. The San Francisco Bay Metal Arts Guild sponsored a visit and sale in San Francisco at Adam Clark’s sculpture studio.

Elhadji uses a “lost wax” method to create his jewelry. They used charcoal briquets to simulate the charcoal fire they use for burning out the wax and to melt the fine silver they use for casting.

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Elhadji is breaking up dried clay which he will reconstitute to make the mold. His beeswax model of a desert fox figure is sitting on the anvil and the charcoal fire is just started in the back.

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This is a mold ready to go into the fire. You can see the beeswax peeking out of the sprue hole.

The mold and the crucible containing the fine silver have been buried under the  charcoal. Elhadji uses a bellows made of goatskin to bring the fire's temperature up.

The mold and the crucible containing the fine silver have been buried under the charcoal. Elhadji uses a bellows made of goatskin to bring the fire’s temperature up.

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Both mold and crucible with melting silver are near the temperature they need to be for a successful casting.

Once the silver was completely melted in the crucible, Elhadji used tongs to pour the silver into the hot mold. The mold was allowed to cool for a few seconds before he plunged it into cool water and broke the clay away from the casting.  He then finishes the piece by forging and filing until the desired shape is acquired.

Elhadji is the patriarch of a large family. Many of the men in his family are also jewelers.  By coming to the US and selling his jewelry here, he is able to support his  entire family and is very proud that he has been able to give money to his village to drill a well that will bring water much closer to the village. I loved seeing him work with his simple tools to create wonderful things. Here’s a link to a short video that shows Elhadji in Niger. http://youtu.be/LcehaHLwL1Y. He also has a Facebook page that you can check to see his schedule when he comes back next year.

This is Elhadji with me and Sherry. Sherry is wearing some beautiful earrings she bought from Elhadji last year!

This is Elhadji with me and Sherry. Sherry is wearing some beautiful earrings she bought from Elhadji last year!

Wanaree Tanner Workshop

Posted in Artists, Jewelry by paccorinti on August 2, 2013

I had the pleasure hosting a workshop for using the Silhouette Cameo with metal clay taught by Wanaree Tanner. Wannaree is the 2013 Saul Bell winner for Metal Clay. She has developed a method for using the Silhouette to cut intricate bezels and templates to be used with metal clay. I have been following her work for a number of years and have been so inspired by her creativity that when I met her last year at the last PMC Conference, I asked if she would like to come out to do a workshop for our metal clay guild. It just so happened that she was planning to come to California to do a couple of workshops at Brea Bead Works in southern California in late June and was willing to to come up to the Bay Area for a 2 day Silhouette workshop in July.

Wanaree arrived a day early so we spent a day playing tourist in San Francisco.

Wanaree in SF

The workshop over the next two days was filled with new and exciting information. We learned how to size our templates for the cabochon stones we had chosen to make bezel settings for and to create a unique and original texture design for the back plates and bales from Scratchfoam. We then learned how to use the Silhouette Cameo to cut a delicate bezel from PMC silver clay sheet and attach it to our backplates. After refining our designs and attaching a bail, we fired our pieces and learned how to set the cabochon stones.

Workshop

We had 10 people around the dining room table.

Designing and cutting bezel wire on the Cameo.

A piece ready to go into the kiln.

My finished piece.

My finished piece.

It was a great workshop. I highly recommend that if you ever have the chance to take a workshop from Wanaree, you should do it. She is a giving and thorough teacher, and lots of fun, too. I know I learned lots of things that I will be able to incorporate into my metal clay jewelry. Wanaree will be teaching at Metal Clay Mojo in September. Her blog is http://artwarebywanaree.blogspot.com   for more information.

This short YouTube video briefly shows how to use the Silhouette Cameo to cut a beze wire using Art Clay Copper.
http://youtu.be/5d-33oaVN7k

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Summer!

Posted in Artists, Lampwork by paccorinti on June 19, 2013

School’s out and it’s time to learn new things. I have wanted to learn lampworking for ages and my friend, Maureen, found a wonderful teacher in nearby Gilroy. Jelveh Jaferian has been a lampwork artist for thirteen years. Her work is amazing! Maureen, two other friends and I signed up for a 5 hour beginning class and learned the basics of lampwork bead making. We had so much fun. Jelveh is a hoot! She showed us so much in that 5 hours that we left with our heads swimming with so much information. We returned on Monday to pick up our beads and to spend a couple more hours at the torch. It is definitely my new “addiction”!

Jelveh at the torch.

Jelveh at the torch.

 
I will take some pictures of my beads when I get a few more done and post them. This is definitely one skill that will take lots of practice to become proficient.

Working With BronzClay

Posted in Uncategorized by paccorinti on June 19, 2013

I have been teaching a metal clay class through Los Gatos Saratoga Recreation for the last year and this session we have been experimenting with bronze and copper. I have fired quite a bit of bronze clay in my Paragon SC2 kiln but I bought a new Paragon kiln, one with a brick interior and exposed elements. I wanted this kiln because bronze and copper take higher temperatures and longer firing time. What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was the difference in the firing schedules. After some initial failures, I have gone back to the SC2 to fire my student’s work, to get more consistent firing results.

I fired my first samples in the new kiln using the temperature suggested in the BronzClay package. Things came out blistered and lots of cracks and broken pieces. I was able to mend a couple of things but most went into the “recycle” bag.

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I then did some research and found some information on the Cool Tools website about firing schedules.
I adjusted the firing schedule by slowing the ramp and lowering the temperature by almost 50 degrees. I still had problems with cracking. It seemed like the metal was sintered because the test strips of metal could be bent to 90 degrees. At that point I decided to go back to my SC2. I fired the bronze clay with the schedule I had previously used with success,

I still had some cracking with the open work pieces but these were easily repairable. Now I just need to see if I can figure out how the two kilns heat and hold temperature differently to see if I can fire successfully in the brick kiln.

Experience Metal!

Posted in Jewelry, Museums, My Work, Shows by paccorinti on August 11, 2012

Are you interested in making jewelry or working with metals? Next weekend, August 17, 18 & 19, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History is having a fantastic program with exhibits, demos and hands-on workshops. I’ll be there on Saturday, teaching 2 basic silver clay workshops for beginners. I’m going to show the participants how to texture, shape and fire fine silver metal clay to make earrings, pendants or charms in just 2 hours. If you are interested, check out the SCMAH’s website.

Flyer for Experience Metal!

Catching Up

Posted in Artists, Jewelry, Shows by paccorinti on July 31, 2012

We arrived home just in time to go to the Clay and Glass Show in Palo Alto. It’s always a great show with tons of wonderful ceramics, glass and a little metal clay. I bought a ring from my friend, Susan Shahinian. She makes the tops from glass and embeds a nut that screws on to a stainless steal ring. How cool is that?

Glass Bead Ring by Susan Shahinian

August!

Posted in Uncategorized by paccorinti on July 31, 2012

Can’t believe that August is almost here. This summer has been so hectic with all the travel. The conference was wonderful, really energizing, but we left for vacation so soon after I got home that I didn’t get to funnel that energy into anything creative. Of course, we saw lots of wonderful art in Europe but I was exhausted when we got home. I have finally gotten some work done. I’m doing a beginning metal clay workshop  for the Santa Cruz Museum on the 18th so I have been working on some samples and also some new textures for the participants to use. I’ll post pictures when I have something done.

This is the side entrance to the Sagrada Famila by Antoni Gaudi. It’s scheduled to be finished in 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death. I just had to include something from our vacation.

A test pictures

Posted in technology by paccorinti on June 29, 2012

A test picture.

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Celie doing a demo for the class.