Google+ The Daily Jewel: 8/3/08 - 8/10/08


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gordon Uyehara at HonuDream!

Gordon Uyehara


Gordon Uyehara has to be one of the most sharing, gentle spirits on the planet. Several years ago I was “checking out PMC” and joined several forums and Yahoo! Groups...from that experience I discovered this man’s work. His patience with newbies and willingness to share his knowledge in this relatively new medium impressed me. I have since moved on to other media but have always remembered Gordon’s example and have tried to model my journey after his...

From Traditional...

Sun Garden Sanctuary 2 - Why "2"? This second piece was created while writing a step-by-step article for Art Jewelry Magazine (Sept. 2005) based upon the original Sun Garden Sanctuary medallion. My intention was to make the vines more robust but as I became more adept at making coils, I inadvertantly made them more delicate. The original was traveling, so I worked from memory. At least they are no doubt more refined. NFS.

Gordon K. Uyehara was born and raised in Hawaii. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After thirteen years in the information technology field, he decided to take some time off for artistic exploration. It was then that he made the thrilling discovery of silver clay in a local workshop. Still residing in Honolulu, Gordon is a freelance artist/designer and an Art Clay Silver Senior Instructor. Working with silver clay led him to reconnect with an attraction to small scale design and wearable art. His motivation is to create pieces that are familiar and yet interestingly seductive and to explore the outer design limits of this relatively new art form. He is gradually incorporating traditional jewelry making techniques into his work as he learns them. Inspiration for his creations arrives from nature and from the visual and performance artists he admires. Gordon actively participates in local, national, and international juried exhibitions. This Honudream Web site, displays my current creations and some older works. The turtle and world on its back logo is based on a Native American creation myth. It surfaced in my consciousness one morning before I learned of the story.

As an artist, the best thing you can do is wake up dreaming.-GKU Child-like...

Castles in the Sand - The Castles in the Sand pendant is pure silver (kiln-fired silver clay). The main shape is a textured sea shell that encompasses a beach scene. The central sun with polished center rises above sand castles, shovel, waves, and a shiny starfish. Guarding over everything is an audacious little crab. The pendant is treated with a patina to bring out the detail.Castles in the Sand was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2003 Silver Accessories Contest (Japan) and is featured on the January 2004 cover of Lapidary Journal magazine. Show piece only, not for sale.

When you visit his website ( – and you finally take a breath – between the glorious fine silver and his modern take on traditional Oriental art - you notice the quotes...I could visit this site for motivation daily...

"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see."- Degas Fantasy...

Ancient Life - is a silver clay creation with eight arms (or legs) and a 6mm amber eye. It is a stylized version of something that might have existed but not necessarily anatomically correct. Along for the ride is a stylized sea scorpion and some stylized trilobites. A spiral pendulum hangs beneath. Ancient Life was awarded second place in the 2005 Saul Bell Design Award Competition (PMC Category). Political and Environmental Statements....

The Last Forest Spirit - This prototype is being developed into a step-by-step project. The body is pure silver created with kiln-fired silver clay. Sterling brooch findings are soldered onto the back. As the forest loses its many spirits to human arrogance and ignorance, it begins to die.

"A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence."- Bruce Lee

Workshop Schedule:
Yes - you can take a workshop with Gordon – he will be on the mainland for several visits this year!

August 15, 2008, 7pm Metal Clay Lecture Art Clay Society of Orange County, CA Contact Brea Bead Works for more info.

August 16-17, 2008 Cosmic Honu Pendant and Mini-Spoon Contact Brea Bead Works to register! Student Supply List

September 12-14, 2008 Cosmic Honu Pendant and Nature Capture Art Clay World EU Conference West Dean College, UK

November 15, 16, 2008 Workshop with Louise Duhamel Art Clay Society of Orange County and Brea Bead Works Details coming soon!

HonuDreams -

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Jessica Dow of Different Seasons Jewelry

For the Complete Interview with Jessica see my Jewelry and Gem Artisans Blog at:

Jessica Dow with
Different Seasons Jewelry

If you have picked up the new ArtJewelry magazine you will see there is a new type of feature – the cover pendant accounts for three different techniques and step by step instructions in this issue! This is a great idea as it allows the issue to cover more beginning techniques like bezels while also offering the advanced artists a tutorial on engraving!

The featured artist(s) are Different Seasons Jewelry better known as Jessica Dow and Mark Anderson!!

I have known Jessica for a couple years now and in that time I seen her go from an insecure talent to a confident artist that, through her new partnership, will be a force to be reckoned with!

What type of training have you had? how did you get your start and the progression that got you where you are today.

I started making jewelry after attending a couple of basic classes taught by Joe Hesselgrave at the Parks and Rec center in Tucson Arizona. After learning the bare bones of soldering I opted out of the class and started working by myself at home. At the time I was a single mother of a special needs child and leaving home to attend classes was difficult. I found some used equipment and tools through Kent's Tools in Tucson. I also bought some books such as The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight and Decorative Techniques for Craftsmen by Oppi Untracht. I believe I spent under $200.00 setting up the entire workshop. I was almost immediately drawn to the art of piercing. I love sketching and piercing allowed me to draw my own templates and bring those drawings to life in metal. Piercing has continued to be my favorite fabrication technique.

A year ago I moved to Wisconsin and joined forces with my fiancé Mark Anderson. Mark has been working with lapidary arts and jewelry design for about 8 years. He is one of the most talented artists I have ever worked with.

I started out doing my own lapidary work - cabbing my own material expanded my design abilities and enabled me to work with gems that were previously out of my price range. I rarely cut cabs anymore. Mark handles that aspect of our business which allows me the benefit of custom cut gems to fit my designs as well as more time to devote towards jewelry. It's hard to do it all yourself... working with Mark and my mother Martha has allowed me to focus on the aspects of jewelry making that I love most. I am currently training with Mark in the art of lost wax casting. I have been carving my first wax models and have been observing Mark during every step of the casting process. We have also gotten the tools and materials needed to begin adding enameling to our jewelry.... we're both very excited to begin experimenting with various enameling techniques! Mark is also teaching me advanced gem setting techniques such as channel setting and flush setting. I am excited to watch my work transform and progress as I learn new techniques. I feel I am merely at the beginning of an exciting journey.

Give the one piece of advice you wish you had gotten as a jewelry artist just starting out.
When learning a technique, take the time to learn it the correct way! Once I started working with Mark I discovered I had developed some bad habits with a couple of techniques. I not only had to learn the technique again the correct way but I also found it took me much longer due to having to break my old bad habits. If you are not in the position to get professional instruction, be sure you're learning from a good book by authors such as Tim McCreight or Oppi Untracht.

I remember your first posts to the Yahoo Groups that we were both on - talk about the journey from fabricating your early designs to the commission work you do today - how did you get your name out?

I had been making jewelry for just over a year when I sent a photo of one of my pierced opal pendants to Lapidary Journal's Jewelry Artists magazine along with the photos I had taken during the fabrication process. I never expected anything to actually come of it.... I had assumed only an experienced jeweler with a solid reputation could get into a magazine the likes of Lapidary Journal. Lapidary Journal had been one of my biggest sources of inspiration when I first started making jewelry & cutting gems. I had dreams of getting my work within its pages someday. I literally nearly fell off my computer chair from shock when I opened up my e-mail and saw a message from one of the magazine's editors. She told me she wanted to print an article with one of my pierced opal pendants! I was thrilled and intimidated at the same time. It ended up being more work than I had anticipated but it was one of the best learning experiences I've had within this business thus far. That first article was just the beginning... since then Mark and I have had four full length step-by-step articles published, two gallery features, our recent cover with Art Jewelry magazine and we have another article coming out sometime this fall or winter.

Our "Sunstone Waves" article in Jewelry Artist was actually more of an assignment than a submission. The magazine had an issue coming out with a focus on Sunstone. We were asked to carve and set a sunstone gem in a sterling silver pendant. Mark did an amazing job with the carving and I designed and fabricated a pendant to compliment the gem carving. It was a fun project.

Follow Jessica on:
DeviantArt -
MetalChasers -
MySpace -
Facebook -
Xanga -


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