Pat Accorinti Jewelry Design

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!

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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!

Silicon Valley Open Studios

Posted in Artists, Shows by paccorinti on May 7, 2009

Our Silicon Valley Open Studios weekend is May 9 & 10, Mother’s Day weekend. Things are shaping up for great weather and most of my pieces are coming together.

I’ll be showing at the home of my friend, Veronica Gross, who does wonderful watercolors. She’s been recovering from surgery for a torn rotator cuff. I must say that even her paintings done with her left hand look great. Four more artists are showing with us this year. Janet Trenchard does assemblages and paintings. She taught art at Independence High School with Veronica and me over ten years ago. Patty Seaborn will be showing her awesome ceramics. Marilynn Host is new to our group this year. She makes whimsical animal sculptures from gourds and paper maché. Both she and Patty have been showing their work at the ACC Craft Show for years. Marilynn is also the organizer of the Christmas in the Studio show that I did last November. And last, but not least, Karen Schroeder will be showing her paintings. She does portraits and figures.

Zinnias in a Jar

Zinnias in a Jar by Veronica Gross

janet

Janet Trenchard

vessel-with-handles

Jar with Handles by Patty Seaborn

Out of our Gourd

Out of our Gourd by Marilynn Host

karen

Woman in a Red Dress by Karen Schroeder

If you are out and about this weekend, Open Studios is a fun way to spend a Saturday or Sunday looking at art. Mapguides can be found at University Arts stores and many local coffee shops and libraries. Our studio is located at 200 Kimble Ave., Los Gatos 95032. Come enjoy the wonderful weather, Veronica’s gorgeous garden, our art and company! We’ll be glad to see you.