The end of a season

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Can you believe September starts this week? I sure can’t. This has been an exciting whirlwind of a summer, culminating in a totally new plan than what I had laid out at the beginning of the summer. Since then, I’ve moved back to beautiful Montana and started a new day job, which means setting some new rhythms in place. Now that I’ve finished up my first week at the new job, I’m starting to find more consistent time to work on the Littlest Friend endeavors, and I’m excited to finally add some new items to the shop this week.

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A few weeks back, I got to go with my dad to one of the coolest metalsmithing classes in Denver, Colorado. The class was taught by master artist Valentin Yotkov, and if you’re not familiar with his work, you should probably stop reading this and go take a look at his art on the interwebs. Nothing short of amazing, right? I was able to spend the week with a group of talented, kind-hearted jewelry makers and metalsmiths, learning the art of chasing and repousse. In case you’re not familiar, it’s basically the art of carving and raising designs on metal. Valentin is one of the best art teachers I’ve ever had, and I cannot wait to take another course with him someday.

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His assistant, Sharon, also helped teach the course and she is a skilled jewelry maker and a rock hunter. She had some great stories to share, and has inspired me to think more about the material in my work– learning more about metals and gemstones themselves, as well as trying to incorporate new things in the jewelry I make. Sharon gave me these beautiful pearl beads, and my dad gifted me with these gorgeous crystals… guess it’s time to take a stone-setting course!

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Spending time with Valentin, Sharon, and my other classmates sparked all sorts of inspiration, and I finally made time to put some pairs of earrings together this weekend. I’ll be working on posting them in the shop over the next few days, so be sure to stop on by…

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I’ve also got an artistic experiment in progress, which involves some acrylic paint and antler beads… we’ll see how this idea goes down…

I hope you’re having a restful Sunday! xo

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