Key to the Town: Green Box Arts Festival

This is a project that I worked in collaboration with silversmith and jewelry designer, Matagi Sorensen. I drew up the designs for the key and helped polish and hammer the final product. Each one of these is actually a small bronze sculpture! They turned out beautifully, and I learned A LOT about metals.

sorensen silver fine art

keytotownKey to the Town: Green Box Arts Festival

It’s getting to be that time of year for the Green Box Arts Festival held in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado.

In 2012, I was asked to create keys to the city of Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, to be presented to honored artists at the Green Box Arts Festival. Wildfires shut down the festival last year, but this year all systems are go. Christian Keesee, founder and promoter of the event, talks about this year’s festival in the Denver Post.

I worked with artist Holly Troy to design the keys and we created this unique art piece. The keys are cast in bronze and then are hand-hammered and highly polished, giving each key a unique surface texture. They come with a bronze chain and a medallion naming the recipient of the key and the year. The keys are approximately nine inches long…

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Upcycled Gems – Ethereal meets Earthy

Matagi Sorensen recently finished a wedding ring commission which I photographed. It was so difficult to choose which photos were my favorite for his website.

Normally I am not into diamonds, but as I was looking at the photos I found myself completely mesmerized by this gem. This diamond has an ethereal quality that is almost hypnotic. It doesn’t seem like it could be solid!

The stone was originally from the bride’s grandmother’s engagement ring. A closer look under the microscope revealed a color and clarity from diamonds mined from the 1890s to the 1920s that were regularly used in jewelry from Germany.

The ring has two sapphires and a diamond and was originally in a classic setting. Matagi’s magic turned it into something completely modern and completely original.

Check it out – Something Old, Something New . . . 



Pretty soon I’ll be leaving Phoenix, so I won’t be taking photo’s of Matagi’s work anymore. What a piece to end on.

Metals and Stones

Photos of some of Matagi’s jewelry that I took on my cell phone today. Matagi went up to Flagstaff to meet some friends and clients. These might be gone by the end of the weekend.

These new pieces are intense.

Matagi has no earth in his astrological chart. It makes sense that he works with metals and stones. Balance.

I love the hollow forms that are hammered. This one is Lapis and Brushed Silver.

Brushed Silver and Amethyst Bead Pendant

Hand-formed Mokume and Brushed Silver Shadowbox Pendant – Mokume is made of copper, silver, and brass – as the piece ages the color of the mokume changes.

Reticulated Silver and Garnet Hollow Form Pendant

with bones or without?

This morning I awoke from a dream in which I was making a soup.

The soup is a yellow broth, like Matzo ball soup, with carrots and noodles. I am in my grandmother’s kitchen, the sunlight coming through the window passes through the broth in the clear bowl. I have a bag of silver minnows. I take two live fish and place them in the soup. They are darting about in my soup, their eyes watching me.

I leave them to cool and go for a walk. It’s not autumn yet, but I can smell cold in the air. Last year’s leaves crunch beneath my feet. I want apples. I imagine apples straight off the tree, the crunch of their crisp sweetness, their juice, some of it dripping down my chin.

I imagine the little fish in my soup squirming in my mouth, the crunch of their bones, their bodies sliding down my throat. I run back to the house. I look in my soup. One of the fish is gone. I fish the remaining one out – and drop it in a bowl of water. It’s little mouth is gasping. I saved it! – I think. No, I killed it – I think – it is alive but now partially cooked.

I wake up. I think about sushi. I think of a post from a couple of weeks ago by Amanda Palmer in which she writes about a time she stepped on a dying bird to put it out of its misery. It is the back story of her song The Killing Type. I guess that post haunted me. You can check her post here.

I’ve been going about my day: unpacking, photographing new jewelry by Matagi, saying good-bye to Matagi as he goes to visit clients in Flagstaff (just as I’ve arrived from Flagstaff – I miss my man!!), and simultaneously snuggling and fending off my cat (he misses me and gets to be quiet a molester if I don’t watch it) while I work. When I open my computer (which is now overheating – I must take it to be fixed or replaced before it actually burns out) – and there is another post from Amanda Palmer which includes the video of the song behind the story I was thinking about when I woke up.

Here’s the video – there is a viewer discretion:

Something reminds me of Amanda Palmer and then, I get a video by Amanda Palmer. I like when these things happen.

Image of Amanda Palmer from Buzzine.

A good night

Tonight’s photo is of a new piece by Matagi Sorensen. It’s a hollow form pendant of hammered brushed silver and turquoise. It is completely made by hand. I think Matagi is entering a new phase of creativity.

Tonight our new neighbor upstairs had a gathering at her place and then a group of us went over to the Phoenix Arts Center and looked at ceramics and glass and paintings. We met the director and a few teachers. I think I want to take a pinting class just to be in that atmosphere. And do some life drawing. I need to just draw.

Long day. It was a good night!



photography, jewelry and l’amore!

From my other life as a photographer . . .

Matagi Sorensen has made some gorgeous wedding rings for a super sweet couple.

I’ve been taking photos of Matagi’s work for the last couple of years. It’s actually how we had our first date. He asked me how much I’d charge for photographing his jewelry, I said, “How about dinner”.

Bold move—I had no idea how to photograph jewelry, I just liked taking pictures. I can’t even bare to look at the photos I took back then, but, I had to start somewhere.

I am thinking about taking some classes in digital photography . . . something I will do within the year. In the meantime, I’ll keep on going and keep on improving and, I’ll keep on seeing Matagi!

I used to just take photos of his work on stones—I hated the way the pieces looked in photographs when taken on velvet or other fabric. Now I use frosted glass—it creates an ethereal glow and a gently reflects the pieces.

I am really happy with the way the photos came out. It rained for about 45 seconds as I was preparing the glass for the shot. It stayed cloudy, so I didn’t need to diffuse the light—just went out back, found a pebbly patch of grass, laid the glass down on the grass, and voila!

About 12 minutes later Matagi was off to deliver the rings.

He really is a talented metalsmith and jewelry designer! Most of his work is hand-fabricated (that means made by hand and one-of-a-kind). Check out some his work at Sorensen Silver Fine Art.

SNAG Surprise!

Matagi Sorensen is incredibly hard-working and incredibly talented! This last year for us in Tucson has been a struggle—but push on we have.

The ad in South Scottsdale magazine such a nice surprise—I’m so happy to see his work being recognized and displayed so beautifully. Also, I am really proud of him.

sorensen silver fine art

I am so excited! Dana Singer, the Executive Director of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), just informed me that she liked my work so much that she used my gold and silver cocktail bracelet for a full page ad inSouth Scottsdale Magazine for the SNAG Trunk Show that I will be in at the end of May!

The ad is on page 9!

Here is info for the trunk show:
2nd Annual Society of North American Goldsmith’s Trunk Show
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
Scottsdale, AZ
Saturday, May 26, 2012 from 12:30-2:30pm

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Moons and Gemstones!

My man has been on a moon kick lately. I love this amethyst moon! I love photographing his work (and wearing it, too)!

sorensen silver fine art

Amethyst Crescent Moon

The color of the amethyst in this pendant is such a rich purple it practically glows.

Amethyst is traditionally worn to guard the wearer from drunkenness and poison. (Many people in recovery love this stone). Amethyst is also known to bring about pleasant or prophetic dreams. It is aligned with the Crown, or Seventh Chakra, so it may open the wearer to spiritual wisdom.

This hand-carved pendant measures 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Amethyst Crescent Moon

Click here for purchasing info


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Feminine Form in Silver and Stone

Is it me, or is Matagi’s work looking more and more female as time goes on?

I love watching the work evolve.

This is just a sampling of the work he produced last month. The hollow forms must be bringing it out in him!