Saturday, December 13, 2008

And Then There Are Those Who Do Good.

This morning I was thinking about the busy week I was just about to complete, and everything that had happened in it. In my mind I was recapping the last post I wrote, about how brazen some people can be. And then I remembered Thursday.

Thursday when I got home from work, I made my way to the living room to find my boyfriend sitting on the couch with his boxed up Christmas present. (It's no surprise to him because he helped me pick it out, but I got him his own laptop so he'd quit snagging mine.)

I thought that it was strange to have UPS come after 5:30- because he typically comes around 2. This package needed to be signed for. Well, Mike proceeded to explain that the UPS man delivered the pricey package to the wrong address. A good hearted woman several blocks away signed for my package to ensure it's proper delivery. She stopped at the house while Mike was home to make sure it ended up in the right hands.

I am thankful to her, and will be delivering a note, along with a handmade silver something for her honesty.

Ultimately- we should be grateful for our family, friends and health. There are so many things that can make the holiday season stressful. But it warms me to know that during the whirlwind of December- someone was selfless, and took the time and opportunity to be kind to a stranger.

Thank you to the woman at the other 44. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Some People Are Made Of Crud.

Today I went to check on my work at the gallery, and some lousy person stole my butterfly jasper ring. Well, there's nothing anyone can do about it, but it's very disappointing that there are dishonest people in this world. I just have to be thankful that the people I choose to surround myself with are good. Hopefully my honesty and theirs will rub off on those who's morals are lacking.

All chins up though, I've done pretty well so far at the gallery. Rings are rings, and people are people. All different. Nobody got mugged or roughed up in the event. And if I ever come across the scummy jerk that stole my ring I'll give them a shoe wedgie and a piece of my mind. The End.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Day At A Time

Tomorrow marks two weeks before Christmas. I have to admit, I've been a stranger from the studio since I set up for my show a little over two weeks ago. I had to take some time to re-coupe. I did a little cleaning, some relaxing, watched the new Indiana Jones movie ( I don't get to sit down and watch movies all that often, and by the way, my Dad looks EXACTLY like Harrison Ford.)

I finished my Christmas shopping, and I placed my final order for jewelry supplies at the beginning of the week. I've got a few Christmas gifts to finish up, and two custom pieces to make with the deadline of December 24th. I'm ready to be done with these projects, and have really been thinking about what I can get into after the holidays.

If you can believe it- I've got a whole week off of work between Christmas and New Years. (That never happens.) I'm so excited to have that much time to do whatever my little heart desires. I have high hopes to do major organizing in the house and studio. Chances are, Mike will get me out fishing, and we'll lounge around like logs instead. I hope to be productive, but some lounging couldn't hurt either.

Anyway, I'm getting excited for the holidays, I'm looking forward to have my deadlines met, and can't wait to enjoy a peaceful after-season. And then back to rock the studio- with pictures to follow!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bed Time Story

I'd like to start a new good habit. Now that I have high speed internet and a laptop, I'm constantly...almost obsessively looking for new metalsmiths, tips, treasures, tools- whatever. But for some reason, I forget about the ever growing metropolis called Youtube.

Last night I decided that I would watch a short how-to video before bed every night. I searched chasing and reppousse' and found a great video that got me thinking all day today. It's a way to take my current knowledge and skills and get motivated, inspired. It may also help reduce the intimidation that sometimes develops towards exploring unfamiliar territory. Maybe tonight I'll watch a video on reticulation, or granulation, or patina's, or fold forming...maybe enameling? The possibilities are endless- and I have a feeling, the search results will be too.

If you decide to watch a bed time story- and something worth blogging about pops up- let me know. I'm always looking to catch a bite of some good info.

Good Night! Don't let the bed bugs bite!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Opening Reception!

Ahhh! Tonight was the opening reception for the holiday sale at the Neighborhood Collective. I had my table filled with goodies and saw some pieces find good homes! I got prime real estate for the show, right by the front door, and cashier.

I love to see how people react to my jewelry. I had a man-who had a bit too much to drink, fumbling around with one of my etched pieces. I told him how I made it and he said he really liked it... however, he blatantly told me he didn't care too much for the "jiggly wart pendant" that was displayed on the neck pad. For some reason, I really got a kick out of that. Honesty is a characteristic that I appreciate when it comes to my work. Most people really responded well to that piece, and I sold a smaller version later on!

The show had a great turnout. There were 30 local artists who had work displayed. It was fun to see all of their beautiful work.

It's Getting There!

I just finished pricing the last of my Christmas merchandise! I'll be sending it off tomorrow to the final gallery that will display my work for the holiday season. After getting all the production work done- now all I have to think about are Christmas gifts, and then fun stuff.

The fun stuff for me- are the larger, more challenging pieces. Above is a polka dot jasper necklace. The centerpiece has been carefully fabricated, and the links were cast (finally- after my waxes kept blowing up in the kiln!) I tried a different casting company-with much better results.

The tube setting above the cabochon will be set with amber. Each pin that attaches the links to one another will also be capped with an amber cab. The jasper is a cream white with brown with a slight amber color. The added amber cabs will help make the jasper pop.

It will be a little while until this piece is done, but until then- I can't wait!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I thought I'd post some of the things I am thankful for- there are so many.

*I'm thankful for Mike, and his encouragement and support for my interests. Also, his patience and love...and sense of humor.

*I'm thankful for my family and friends- both two and four legged.

*I'm thankful for good health.

*I'm thankful for my job and a wonderful boss.

*I'm thankful for my other job-metalsmithing, which is also my passion. And the motivation to create- and the thirst to learn as much as I can about it.

*I'm thankful for a welcoming home(and thankful that it happens to be clean right now!)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all have much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Grumbly Ramblings

I finished a beautiful pendant that I had been working on in between some production pieces. It was one of those pieces that brought excitement at every new stage.
Well, I finished everything and all was well. Then I went to set the giant plume jasper in the bezel. I gave the bezel a final go-around with the prong pusher and felt a slight wiggle. A wiggle that brought me back to when I was a kid and starting to loose my baby teeth. Slight at first, and then you couldn't keep your darn finger off it, and then bam! The dang thing just came loose.
Ugh. This pendant will be re-thought, and re-made. Waaaahhhh- But I thought it was done. Woe is me. But I'm glad woe was me and not a buyer who found out I had done a not so perfect job on a seemingly perfect pendant. Back to the bench. Perfection is my middle name- along with Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Smiley, Happy, Gassy and Doc.

Monday, November 24, 2008

5th Annual JEMKohl Memorial Fishing Tournament

The JEMKohl memorial fishing tournament is a day that Mike sets aside each year to go fishing in remembrance of his mother. This year he wanted to go fishing in the lower Niagara river with me, and our good friend Sue. He booked a charter with Captain Frank Campbell, one of the most praised captains on the river.
Here are the results:

Katie "The Spanker" Miess
1st Place with 24 points
Steelhead x 3 = 3
Smallmouth Bass x 1 = 1
Lake Trout x 5 = 10
Brown Trout x 1 = 3
* Most Fish (10) Bonus = 3
* Most Species (4) Bonus = 4

Sue "Barfy" Rusch
2nd Place with 13 points
Steelhead x 2 = 2
Lake Trout x 3 = 6
* Largest Fish (12lbs 4 oz) Bonus = 5

Mike "Camera Man" Kohlhagen
3rd Place with 8 points
Lake Trout x 3 = 6
* First Fish Bonus = 2
Frank took us up to Devil's hole to start our tournament. We traveled up river between the Canadian and US power plants, to where the rapids from Niagara Falls, and the Whirlpool are still very evident.
We fished from devil's hole down to Art Park, and then made our way to the opening of Lake Ontario to fish the ledge where the fish hang out. We got to see some beautiful houses facing the river, along with Fort Niagara, which is a pretty impressive sight.
Mike, Sue and I had a great time. We love going fishing with Captain Frank. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and we can razz him while he teases us right back. The day will be a great memory for all of us, and Mike's Mom would have been proud of all our beautiful fish.
Sue and I posed with our Captain Frank as the winners of the tournament

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have a little bio, along with a photo of my jewelry in this weeks edition of Artvoice. A free publication in Buffalo that lists all of the local upcoming events. Yeay for me! Here it is in a nutshell:

Katherine Miess of KM Jewelry Studio comes from a family that is rich in artistic interests, from music to creative writing to painting. It was not a surprise, then, when Katherine became involved in making jewelry. She attended Buffalo State College, where she fell in love with metal work and learned the many techniques used in her craft. Katherine works from her home studio creating handmade silver jewelry, and thrives on finding new ways to manipulate precious metals to create beautiful pieces of wearable art. She has a passion for exploring innovative and challenging methods from the limitless processes available in her medium. As a result, her designs continue to grow and evolve, keeping her creations fresh and exciting.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fly Fishing With My Mike.

Mike took me out fishing today at Eighteen Mile creek with fishing guide, Mike Augat. We woke up at 4:30 am to get to the creek just before dawn. The morning temperature was about 28 degrees, with a dusting of snow. We bundled up accordingly.

Mike had prepared us for our day the night before by filling up our vests with our fly fishing accessories. I got to pick out the flies I would use, and loaded up my little foam box with the most beautiful works of art. The flies come in all shapes and sizes. Each handmade from all types of materials to accurately resemble the natural prey trout feed upon. Mike strung our rods, and I couldn't believe the tiny hooks that we would be using to catch our trout! We fished using the pea sized "blood dots" in the top row of the picture above. They mimic a salmon or trout egg.

We also used the small nymphs shown in the top left of the picture above. These "bugs" are about the size of a slim tic tac, with a minuscule hook. If these don't spark a jeweler's interest, I don't know what will!

Mike and I kept pretty warm in all of our layers. We fished in the brisk creek between the beautiful snow powdered cliffs. We both caught a great amount of fish within four hours. It was the most success we've had trout fishing together. The steelhead (or rainbow trout) displayed colors from bright silver to a beautiful plum and brown. Fly fishing is my favorite type of fishing. It is amazing to stand in the middle of a creek, and see the large shadows hovering in the currents.

The first fish I caught was 4.5 lb, and Mike's biggest fish was about 10 lbs. All caught on a hook about 1/4" long and 20 gauge thick. Now that's pretty amazing!

That's a big fish!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This is Fox.

Mike has four Devon Rex cats. Yup-four. Then I came along with my little doggy, and now there are two humans, and five beasties. That makes...24 legs, 5 tails, and some pretty darn good entertainment.

This is Fox. He's the most rambunctious of the animals. He's very independent compared to the rest of the clan. But he loves being scratched and scrubbed the most (besides Milo, that is).

I had to post these pictures. This little guy is so sleek and trim, but here he looks like a bar bum who's had just a little too much to drink. Good thing he's safe on the couch, and not on a bar stool, 'cause it doesn't look like he'd land on his feet if he fell. I love this guy!

Come on! Big Money, Big Money!

Yesterday I set up for the Christmas show I'm doing at the Annie Adams gallery. My table is in prime location.... first table as you walk in the shop, and right near the cashier. Couldn't have asked for a better spot!

I forgot to take a picture, but I have a festive, but subtle table cloth and runner. All of my goods filled the table! I can't believe how much stuff I've made in the past two months! The director of the show thought my display was really nice. I'm so proud. I had some very good help getting last minute things together. And I'm very very appreciative that I had an extra hand to get this bonanza done!

I'm so happy my table is lets make some money to pay for all that silver!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you..."

So, I've been tagged by Copperheart

Here's how this works:THE RULES:*

*Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
*Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
* Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as links to their blog.
* Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I don 't have a favorite color. I like them all.

2. I love mountain/folk and bluegrass music and play the banjo claw hammer style.

3. I grew up in an old farm house with a school bus in the back yard --which my father turned into a chicken coop- complete with electricity.

4. My entire family is artistic in some way or well as obsessive compulsive. (but I think those go hand in hand, right?)

5. I would be happiest if I could make music and metal stuffs for the rest of my life.

6. I have a menagerie of animals... 4 Devon Rex cats, and my Milo pup. They teach me patience, and give me much to be thankful for.

7. I have a weakness for musicals. Rogers and Hammerstein just tickles my fancy. I'll sing to you if you want. I know them all. Really, I do.

Soooo, now I have to choose 7 people to complete this little survey... I choo choo chooose you... (simpsons reference). Bloggy if you desire, don't if you don't. With love, Katie.

Catherine Chandler
Valerie A. Heck
Moonstruck Design
Chris Parry
Kristen Skiles
Hans Meevis

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas Show!

Click the image to enlarge.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yeay Dennis!

I studied jewelry design at Buffalo State College under Assistant Professor Tara Stephenson Nahabetian. She and her husband, Dennis, were very successful with getting the class excited over exploring every aspect of design and technique. Dennis was also extremely involved with teaching us how to promote our work.

Dennis has acquired many awards and honors with his delicate and unique jewelry and sculptures. He is featured in this months issue of Jewelry Artist (Lapidary Journal) magazine. He was interviewed for the Doer's Profile article. Congratulations Dennis! Check out his website here .

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oh Happy Day.

Today is a good day.

Even though I missed my monthly banjo progress report (very bad since I'm only on month 2)... but I've been getting ready for a show next week, and between the long hours in the studio and battered fingertips, I think I have good enough reasons to put it off until things slow down.

I don't have any jewelry photos yet, I've just had my nose to the bench. My tunnel vision can get pretty serious sometimes. Tonight I took a break from the studio. I'm starting to feel the physical effects of the "go go go syndrome" (not the cool go go, like with the boots and all).
I ordered two glass display cases and a folding table for my upcoming shows, and feel pretty good about my display. It's very professional looking. Yippee!

I'll be going to bed shortly, after making a list of things to do for tomorrow- when I'll start pushing again. But for now I'm going to relax a bit, and enjoy the day that has been.
Here are some pictures of my pet dragon named Milo. Just spreading some of my happiness around.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Studio Story.

I had two great studio days in a row! Sunday and Monday were very productive...and enjoyable too. I was hoping to have Saturday evening to make things as well, but my back was kinda spazzy, so I watched the hockey game in bed with the pup and fell fast asleep.

Sunday and Monday, however, I got components galore cut and soldered and ready for the next step. I also finished a necklace that kinda came out of nowhere. I was lining up my bits, and I liked the way they looked on the table, so I decided- instead of a bunch of pendants- I should make a necklace. I'm glad I did.

Then, I thought that the necklace should have a matching bracelet. Why you ask? Because, I said so. And there was much rejoicing. The End.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Finished My Necklace!

After a very busy day of work yesterday I spent the evening in the studio. I almost conked out on the couch after supper, but I convinced myself to get up. I played some tunes on the banjo to get my second wind, and then headed down to finish up my funky necklace.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. It's got some nice contrast with the oxidized segments against the burnished silver.

This piece was a lot of fun to make, and I've got some rings and pendants lined up to work on next. Ah! I love the feeling of accomplishment! Now, if someone could make sure I don't fall asleep tonight after work- maybe I'll have more to show tomorrow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Necklace Layout

I had a great day in the studio today. I got a lot of pieces finished and ready to assemble for a necklace, some pendants and some rings. This necklace is part of my jiggly wart series. I posted a picture of my jiggly wart ring a few months back. I got an order for another ring and a pendant so I started working up some more things based on that design.

I also had my friend Sue over. She was patient enough to let me babble on about how to do the stuff that I do. I made her two rings for her company in the studio. It was fun. I haven't had any inquisitive people besides Mike around my work since college.

Sweet Peas In Mid October?!

Just one more post for the year about my sweet peas. I was so excited watching them sprout this spring, and it seems like they just wont quit! We've had several frosts here in western New York, and these beauties keep blooming. I think it's because they're protected by the house a bit, but it's still very nice to have their fresh smell in the kitchen in October! I plucked them this morning because tomorrow's forecast calls for flurries. I'm not sure if they'll make it through that, so I'll enjoy these very much while they last.
The handsome cat in the photo is Graycliff, one of our devon rex kids.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Report

I had a very nice weekend as I was hoping for. A perfect mix of some fun, relaxation, and progress in the studio. The Sabres lost in a shootout :( , but the Bills won :).

These little silver pieces look really unattractive right now, but I've got big plans for them. I had a few hours to do some sanding and soldering today, and tomorrow I'll be getting much closer to the final product. Oh- how I long to be in my basement every day. Maybe someday...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weekend Plans!

My weekends start at 3pm on Saturdays after work, and today after work, I'll be heading down to mike's sister's house for a little get together. It sounds like a good time. I don't get out too much, so it will be a nice break from the norm.

I'm really looking forward to Sunday though. I'll start my day waking up to the sunshine instead of the alarm clock. Have my morning pup snuggle with Milo, and then at my leisure get into the studio groove. I've got some great motivation stored up to get a chunk of inventory made.

Mike has been getting really into the lapidary aspect of jewelry. He comes from a family that has great interest in making jewelry- and I believe with my studio endeavors, he's become quite addicted to cabochons. He and I will be laying out a spot in the basement for him to play around with cabbing. What a man! I really lucked out finding someone so supportive with what I do- and now he's caught the bug!

Oh! and I just signed up for the new Ganoksin blog. I just transferred this blog to their site. It is a site for blogs that focus on jewelry, and a great way to network with other jewelers! My posts from blogger will be duplicated to the Ganoksin blog. (However, the layout on blogger is more visually appealing). We'll see how it goes though. I hope to meet some new jewelers and read about some fantastic jewelry and hopefully techniques!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Ants Go Marching Tube By Tube

The ants go marching tube by tube, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The ants go marching tube by tube, Hurrah! Hurrah!

The ants go marching tube by tube, the little one stops to check his groove, and they all go marching down, to get pound, and then shaped
- into a cool piece of jewelry.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Most Beautiful Time Of The Year!

I look forward to the second weekend in October every year. The colors in Western New York are breathtaking. And this weekend, the weather was perfect for a trip through the hills. I made my annual visit to Pumpkinville, The B & B Buffalo Ranch, and the Griffis Sculpture Park with my boyfriend Mike, and our friends Garrett and Sue.

If I can speak for us all, which I will, we all had a great time. We enjoyed everything fall has to offer. We picked our own gourds, selected pumpkins, got fresh pressed cider and maple flavored cotton candy.

Everyone was happy to see that the buffalo were out at the B & B buffalo ranch after crossing our fingers the whole way. (Sometimes the buffalo hide in the trees).

After arriving at the sculpture park, we played on some of the sculptures (which is allowed) and then got our exercise hiking up the hills to take in the art and view.

After returning home, we promptly passed out on the couch. It was a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Crud! with a capital CRUD!

My flask exploded!

Not the flask that I keep my peppermint schnapps in. Thanks be to God. It was the flask that contained the necklace links from my previous post.

Oh well. Poor Harold seemed real bummed when he called to break the news. No use getting upset- which I'm not- because crud happens. I'll have another set fixed up in no time to re-cast.

In the meantime- I will just make sure to appreciate the contents of the flask that didn't explode. I'm just kidding. I'm a cheap date and that would get me into trouble. "Trouble with a capital T- that rhymes with P- that stands for POOL!" There's a little Meredith Willson for ya.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Today was a very productive day, however, I don't have anything to show for it-yet.

One the upside, I got filters and a spindle ordered for my new polishing motors and dust collector. I ordered all of the supplies I have been in need of from Rio Grande-including abrasive wheels for the polishing motors, drill bits for the quick change hand piece that doesn't fit my old bits, silver sheet and wire (that I really did need-but ordered more than I should have because silver is only $11 big ones an ounce...also on the upside)

On the downside, I really broke the bank.

On the upside- I'll be able to finally start and finish everything at home now.

On the downside, a show that I had applied to was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. It was a Christmas show at a local historical mansion. It would have been a good one.

On the upside, I applied to do the Christmas show at Fisher-Price. I'll be the fanciest shmanciest crafter in the whole darn place.

On the downside, that's just an opinion. It helps my self esteem.

On the upside, I finally figured out what to do for my big necklace piece that I'm working on. I Finished the waxes and delivered them to my casting co. and they'll be done on Thursday!

On the upside, I played my banjo homework perfectly.

On the downside, when I went to record it, I got fumble fingers- and after 50 times of getting halfway through my song I decided to give my poor boyfriend's ears a break.

On the upside, I got in a lot of extra practice for the day.

So, you see- today was a very productive day. I feel very good about what I got done, I also feel panicky, anxious, excited, sick, giddy, and relieved about my big orders. It took a lot of self convincing to swallow my plate of brussel sprouts and invest in the tools and supplies I've been needing. (Of course, now that I broke the bank, I'll gladly take that plate of brussel sprouts without a single complaint. I promise. At least until I pay off the goods. Then you can take your sprouts and scram!)

On the upside, tonight any anxiety, worry, panic, fears, and doubts that I have will be gone when I bury my face in this guy's gigantic buttery soft ears-and go to sleep.