a l i s o n . a j a r e e . a r t

2014 – Year of Creativity

Although my life has been busy, I’ve been making more time for art.  After a crazy 2013, I decided to start off the new year by incorporating more art into my free time to help me stay sane.

I started taking Jewelry classes earlier this year at LMU with the talented Sue Dorman as my teacher, and I’m already finishing up my second session.  I learned how to carve wax models, cast, solder, and make rubber molds so far.  I have yet to learn stone setting, which would take care of all the basics, so once I’ve practiced and perfected my basic skills, I’ll be ready to start producing my own line of jewelry!  My most difficult project to date was this little sea otter:

May 2014 - Sea Otter - Sterling Silver (hand-carved wax mold, casted in sterling silver)

May 2014 – Sea Otter – 0.25″ x 1″ – 925 Sterling Silver (hand-carved wax mold, casted in sterling silver)

This little guy took me many hours to complete!  The facial features were the most difficult to carve out of wax.  All I had to work with was a very sharp dental instrument, a sewing needle, and a candle to melt wax if I messed up.  My eyes got tired after a while, but it was very therapeutic to really get in the zone and focus on carving for hours on end.

My dad actually gave me this project to complete for one of his customers.  He has owned his wholesale jewelry store in Downtown LA since the year I was born, and he finally convinced me to take a jewelry class.  I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy it so much!  He’s already started giving me a whole list of wax mold projects to work on, but after working so hard on this little charm pendant, I told him not to give me such difficult projects until I’ve practiced all my other basic skills and made the most of my classes.

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I also finished a painting I was working on for a while.  After seeing the giraffe I painted, my friends Kim and Esteban commissioned me to paint them something for their baby wall too.  They wanted a painting of a family of elephants.  So I went to work on it, on weekends or whenever I had free time to spare.  I lost some momentum for a while but my boyfriend motivated me to get it done.  I’m pretty pleased with the results:

April 2014 - Family of Elephants - Acrylic on Canvas

April 2014 – Family of Elephants – 36″ x 72″ – Acrylic on Canvas

This isn’t the best photo because there’s a little bit of a yellow shade on the right half of it, but at least you can see the detail of the elephants.  I found a photo online for inspiration and changed it a little to make their trunks go up for good luck!  The clouds were a lot of fun to paint after meticulously painting the details of the elephants and the grass.

I’m glad my friends really like it.  They ended up putting it in their dining room instead of the baby room!

Now, I’m going to take a break from painting for a while or until someone else commissions me again.  I’ll just be working on the weekends in the jewelry studio in the meantime and hopefully I’ll start getting stuff onto my Etsy shop soon!  Stay tuned!

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