Friday, May 11, 2012

Soldering Process, Part 2

In order for solder to adhere to the perimeter of an object, it must be covered with copper foil and burnished.

Copper foil is available in different  widths to accommodate various thicknesses of objects.  The blue foil dispenser on the table below contains several rolls making it easy to dispense. 

Susan's Foiling and Burnishing Area

Copper soldering foil has adhesive on one side allowing it to stick to an object. For the most secure adhesion, clean the object with an alcohol wipe, let it dry and then add the foil.

Foil is placed on an object as if wrapping a present. You miter the corners making it as neat as possible and burnish or rub the foil until smooth to remove air pockets.

Completed copper foiled and burnished pieces
Visit my website to see the completed soldered pieces above and others.

Click to read: Soldering Process, Step 1.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Soldering Process, Part 1

Thought I'd share some of the steps involved in creating my handmade soldered china pendants on my website at

Below is my portable cutting and grinding station.

Portable Cutting and Grinding Station
To create it, I dismantled a lamp shade and draped heavy vinyl over it.  I pull the drape over and work inside the area cutting and grinding pieces to be soldered.  It's not 100% tight but it is pretty good.  I wear a long sleeved shirt, gloves, apron, safety glasses, ear muffs and a dust mask while working.  The system is simple. Clean up is a snap.

Winking Woman
"Winking Woman", 1 x 1-3/4", $28 (includes shipping and a 30" adjustable ball chain) is available for purchase on my website at

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Soldered Pendant

Every day is Earth Day.  Yippee!  To celebrate, I created some flora soldered pendants.

Single Leaf Soldered Pendant Necklace
There are several way we can make a difference this Earth Day.  Recycling and upcycling come to mind:

Upcycling refers to reusing a product in a new way without degrading the material it is made from as opposed to recycling which generally involves breaking down the original material and making it into something else, using more energy.

My handmade soldered pendants are created using pieces of broken china dinnerware.  I solder and add a jump ring to create a necklace.  I think this is a cool way to reuse.  These flora pendants would also make a nice gift for Mother's Day.  Check out all my designs.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Geometric Design Soldered Pendant

At the request of a few of my male customers, I've soldered up some manly-man looking pendants.
Colorful Geometric Pendant
Even though I'm a gal, I'd wear this one too.  It's bright colors and abstract design would coordinate well with many different colored shirts, especially on a solid blue shirt, like the blue color in the pendant.  The pendant would go POP, POP, POP and be noticed instantly.  Heck, you might be the life of the party wearing this pendant.  LOL!

Additional details about this piece and more pendants are available on my website.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

SALE - Painted Hearts Soldered Pendants

Due to my paint being discontinued at the local store, I have placed my hearts painted on broken china soldered pendant necklaces on SALE for $20 each.  Price INCLUDES shipping to the 48 United States.

There is only one of each piece in stock.  First come, first serve.

Visit my website to see additional designs and purchase your pendant.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Steven Pressfield Online

Here is an interesting blog post regarding artists and creativity written by Steven Pressfield.

I can relate saying "been there, done that".  As I've matured, I've learned to show some teeth like Zelda pictured below, to fight the fight and move forward.

"Zelda", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved

Friday, March 9, 2012

250+ Fans on Facebook

Last week, my Facebook Fan Page tallied a total count of 250 fans.  Wow!!!

You, my fans, are AmaZinG!  Thank you all so much for placing your faith in my creative abilities.  I sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness and hope my art continues to entertain you.

"Archetta", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Susan Calvert's Etsy Shop of Imaginary Friends

I'm am reopening my Etsy Store to sell art from my Imaginary Friends series.  Here is the banner I created for my stop.  Hope you like it.

"Imaginary Friends" art series banner for my Etsy shop

Friday, February 17, 2012

Recycled T-Shirts

Hubs was parting with some old white t-shirts.  I asked for them to wear to work.  We artists tend to be a bit messy.  Okay, a lot messy!

This morning, I drew "collars" on them with a Sharpie to quickly differentiate his from mine when they are washed.  Guaranteed, he'll never wear them again.•*¨*•.¸¸♥

Susan's recycled work shirt

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Art Studio

I totally enjoy seeing artist's studios.  It makes me feel connected that we, artists, are the same type of beings with "stuff" (as hubby calls it) laying about.  Plus, I am always looking for creative storage solutions for my supplies and such.

Here's a photo of my studio after painting "Drusilla" and "Emmerson".  There are two other paintings in this photo that have been started.  Can you locate them?

Art Studio of Susan Calvert
Last month, I only completed 4 paintings.  Ugh!  Where did time go?  Oh yeah, I worked on my website.

Today, I'm cleaning up my studio, getting rid of the used palettes, water containers, etc. and starting afresh!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Emmerson", Part 3: Anatomy of a Painting

"Emmerson" (drawing & under painting), © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
"Emmerson" (eye details), © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
"Sage", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
"Emmerson" (3/4" black painted gallery wrapped edges), © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
"Emmerson", 8x10", Acrylic on Canvas, $100 (includes s&h). Available for purchase on my website.  Contact me at with questions.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Emmerson", Part 2

Last week, I took a poll, which ended yesterday, asking you what day of this week (Tues, Wed or Thurs) you would like to see my latest painting entitled "Emmerson".  The results have been tallied and the date for release is (drum roll please):

Tuesday!  Yes, that's tomorrow, January 24, 2012!!!  I know you can hardly wait to see the painting  Until then, here is another hint of "Emmerson":

(A close-up hint of) "Emmerson", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
Thank you to all who participated in the poll. It was fun seeing your votes and reading your comments on Facebook.

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Emmerson", Part 1

Hi Folks!

Next week, I'll be releasing my acrylic painting in my Imaginary Friends series entitled "Emmerson". Which day, Tuesday (1/24), Wednesday (1/25) or Thursday (1/26), would you like to see it? (Cast your vote by placing the day in the comments section at the end of this post or by placing it on my Facebook Fan Page.) The day with the most votes will be the day "Emmerson" is released. (Voting closes Sunday , 1/22, 11:59pm.)

Here is a hint of Emmerson to tickle your imagination:

(The eyes of) "Emmerson", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
Thank you very much for your participation!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Art Collection Arrangement Ideas

A client contacted me regarding the placement of a collection of my art together to hang on the walls of her home.   Her favorite paintings in my Imaginary Friends series are:  Archetta, Bartholomew, Basil, Blanche, Cornelius and Sage.  Here are some possible arrangements for her decor:

(l - r) "Basil", "Bartholomew", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved

(l - r) "Sage", "Cornelius", "Blanche", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved

(l - r) "Basil", "Archetta", "Bartholomew", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved

(l - r) "Cornelius", "Archetta", "Blanche", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved

Please note: It was not a good day for photography--cloudy & rainy. The top of the photos have too much light on them washing out the images. The resolution is downsized. The individual images are much clearer in person.

Monday, January 16, 2012

"Drusilla", Acrylics on Canvas

I was speaking with artist, Jill Kettles, from Scribbles Studio about framing my Imaginary Friends art series.  She mentioned not to frame them but instead to paint the edges, thinking they were on canvas instead of paper.  Jill's mention of canvas got me thinking....

For a change, I painted my first acrylic painting, "Drusilla", in my Imaginary Friends series on canvas.  Oh my, a big change, indeed, going from watercolor to acrylic painting!

"Drusilla" (drawing), © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
"Drusilla" (under painting), © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
Still the same quirky drawing style.  However, an entirely different look from my watercolors in this series.
"Lenora", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
Drusilla is more beautiful, brighter and shinier in person.  (Low resolution pics for web.)
"Drusilla" (3/4" black painted gallery wrapped edges), © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved
I selected her name upon hearing it in a clue on the game show, Jeopardy.  "Drusilla" is an English female given name derived from the Roman Drusus, in turn from the Greek drosos (dew). It has the meaning fruitful or dewy-eyed.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy 2012

Happy New Year!  Thanks for ringing in the new year with me.

2012 is going to be a great year for my art.  I'm releasing this series, Imaginary Friends, in affordable 4x6" signed and titled prints.  I'm also working on securing some art shows for later in the year.  I will keep you posted as to my whereabouts so you can stop by to introduce yourself and view my colorful world. 
"Lenora", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Arts in the Small Community: A National Plan

"Edgar", © Susan Calvert, all rights reserved

If you try, what may you expect?
First a community
Welded through art to a new consciousness of self:
A new being, perhaps a new appearance –
A people proud
Of achievements which lift them through the creative
Above the ordinary –
A new opportunity for children
To find exciting experiences in art
And to carry this excitement on
Throughout their lives –
A mixing of peoples and backgrounds
Through art; a new view
Of hope for mankind and an elevation
Of man – not degradation.
New values for individual and community
Life, and a sense
That here, in our place
We are contributing to the maturity
Of a great nation.
If you try, you can indeed
Alter the face and the heart
Of America.

-Robert E Gard, Ralph Kohlhoff and Michael Warlum
The Arts in the Small Community: A National Plan
Office of Community Arts Development
University of Wisconsin-Madison

 Enjoy the Arts! Support Artists! Change your world!