Welcome to the home of Holly Gonnella Handcrafted………..Browse my Etsy Jewelry shop!

Helpful drawing missing it’s eyes – but it’s all for the good

drawing of head for the purpose of modeling earrings

Ideally I would have a  real-live human model  hang out in my studio all day waiting to try on my next creation.

Since this is never going to happen, I  thought a vector drawing would be the next best thing.

Problem was, the eyes I drew were like Children of the Corn eyes (terrifying) – I became hypnotized and felt as if in a trance.

Although pleasant enough, this was taking away from the whole point – to demonstrate the size of the earrings!

The no-eyes drawing can be found on most of my Etsy listings, modeling my earrings with a kind of youthful yet alien flare.

I hope this clears things up. Kindly, Holly

 

 

Making Cat Bowls in the Studio

Basically, if you’re going to be a potter, you will eventually have to make some pottery. After spending the whole year making and selling jewelry, it is time to hunker down and make some pots. Luckily it is just like riding a bike.

I decided to start out with cat bowls, since they are funny and lack seriousness.

Jewelry is not so funny in my studio. I like funny everything…so I have no idea why my jewelry lacks all humor. But pottery, that is another story. The first teapot I  made in college was used as the butt of a joke in my first ever critique.  It still burns me a bit. I mean, why on earth would the instructor take someone’s teapot and zoom it through the air, claiming it to be a flying saucer?  I turned green from horror…like the alien who made it.

But, since then, I have learned to laugh at the pottery.  Making bowls for cats….fairly good joke….because it feels like I am throwing my life and talent away….haha!

Yesterday,  I came up with a two-bowl set; “The Evil One”, and, “The Good One”. Pretty good, huh? Also, just plain old….. “Evil”.

I will add these to my “Crazy Cat Bowl Lady”, of The Queens Cat Bowl Society International Collection.

My all time most popular cat bowl is still, “The Queen” and “You Know You Love Me”, that last one is so your cat.

I am hoping to offer these to more than just the lucky folks of Southern Oregon someday. Please sign-up for my email list so that you can be alerted to this possibility…..Cat Bowls World Wide…..that’s my motto.

Some hand thrown pots in Holly Gonnella's Pottery Studio

Hand made cat bowls in Holly Gonnella's Pottery Studio

Peace, I mean, Meeow……Holly

 

Putting Handles on Mugs

Well, I thought I would finally get around to making some pottery that weighs more than 4 grams. It seems like all the pottery that I have made this year has been beads. Hundreds of them. But Christmas is coming and it’s time to fire up the old pottery wheel. The most beloved pottery item ever (in my booth) is the simple and useful mug.

We all love our favorite mug…the one we use first when we unload the dishwasher. I strive to make that mug. Does anyone recall that Sienfield episode about his t-shirt that he calls “blue boy”?  This is his favorite shirt, and he always wears it first out of the laundry. I think blue-boy goes missing in that episode.

Here are a few pictures showing my process for getting the handles on my mugs.

Drying pulled handles for mugs by Holly Gonnella

I always pull my handles from clay that has set up a bit. I pull them, and then let them set up in the “handle” shape that I want. The mugs will already be rather stiff, having been thrown earlier in the day. When you attach two different clay parts, it sure helps if they are close to the same water content.

Attached wet pottery handle by Holly Gonnella

I admit to skipping ahead here. I “slipped and scored” as we call it, and got it stuck on the pot. Notice that the bottom of the handle is off to the left. This is because the pot unwinds, in the opposite direction than it’s thrown.  It is hard to believe, but this handle will be straight in the end. I don’t even have to think about getting the handle angle just right anymore…it is body memory at this point. The longer the handle, the more crooked it needs to go on. The pots are moving around in the firings…aaahhh! Luckily for all potters, they are shrinking at the same time…this beautiful little fact is what saves all the pottery from being stuck together and ruined. Well, a lot gets ruined anyway but not for that reason.

Attaching handles on mugs by holly gonnella

I will clean this up a bit with a sponge. This is the most simple kind of handle to attach. I always take my finger and refine the inside curve. I want it just a bit lovely.

Rack of drying pottery by Holly Gonnellla

I love it when their done and drying on the shelf.  I take care of them like babies, by covering them the first night with plastic sheet. Porcelain will tend to crack if it dries too fast. These handles look way too fat, but this clay body shrinks a lot. In the end they will still be a little bit thick…but they will be functional and feel good in the hand. Someday when they break, it is probably not going to be the handle.

Thanks so much for visiting, Holly

Forged Copper Jewelry – New in my Studio

I recently started exploring forged copper in my jewelry making.

At the beginning of my copper project, I thought that my goals were to finally work big and make prototypes for my silver jewelry. I had no idea that I was going to love working with copper!

The large pieces ended up being more suited to copper than silver because silver seemed too cold and flashy for these organic shapes.

I created interesting and bold shapes to contrast with other textures, such as leather, 14k gold filled wire and handmade ceramic beads.

These works are from the earth, and adorn the human form in a rustic and comforting fashion.

Hammered copper bird with ceramic bead and braided leather by Holly Gonnella

 

Hammered Trillium Leaf Earrings with 14k gold-filled ear wire by Holly Gonnella

Group of hammered copper earrings by Holly Gonnella

 

 

 

Are You Looking For an Awesome Place to Hang Out?

Visitors to the Lithia Artisan's Market in Ashland Oregon

We love it back here on our little alley.

The first time that I visited an outdoor marketplace, with actual craftspeople selling their wares, was at the Portland Saturday Market, back in the 70’s.

The artist’s (hippies) seemed so awesome and brilliant to me….especially the potters.

Oddly there was fewer crochet items back then than there is now.

On one visit, my mom got herself a mirror made from a piece of wood, that looked strangely like an elephant.

In my 70’s soaked brain…..this was an absolute work of genius!

Hammered Sterling men's ring by Holly Gonnella

Recent special order for a men’s wedding ring. I listed this item in my Etsy store.

Years later I sold at that market for about 8 years and met some of the best people of my life.

Now, I live in the southern part of Oregon and sell at the Lithia Artisan’s Market of Ashland.

Ashland is a laid back, deluxe little town, with the longest running Shakespeare festival in the country.

We set up our booths on the majestic Calle Guanajuato, or what we usually say, “you know that alley behind the restaurants? Yeah, were back there”.

Serious tho….it is lovely. We have music, food, booths, a creek, and a seemingly endless parade of dogs and babies. A great people watching location.

We just do this on the weekends. Please check my events page or Facebook to see if I will be set up on your next visit.

See you on the Calle, holly

Taking a few photos with Northern Light

Finally, we are getting good and consistent light to attempt a few photo’s here in Southern Oregon.

These are shots I am taking for the Oregon Country Fair jury committee. This is a rustic show and thought I would show some wood….heck….I am even rocking the woodland creatures.

Porcelain tiles set in Sterling

Hand made porcelain tiles have been set in sterling. The oval shaped pendant is a miniature guache painting with ink, set behind glass. I use a decal, which I made using my printer to create the owl image. The printer uses iron in the toner, I am able to fire this on…it is permanent!

Hand forged rings with porcelain and bronze PMC Clay by Holly Gonnella

These rings were made using fabrication, forging, PMC Bronze and handmade porcelain.

 Jewelry booth set up - Holly Gonnella

Hammered recycled copper tube pendant by Holly Gonnella

This pendant started from a piece of copper tubing, which I cut a cross section from. I hammered it and annealed it a few times, then created the bezel setting.  It is a little dangerous using a thick bezel like this because I have to use various hammers to get it to close around the cabochon.  This cabochon is a small porcelain tile with a fired on sepia toned image.

Mabe Pearls

Mabe pearls set in fine and sterling silver. Handmade by Holly Gonnella

Blue iridescent mabe pearls set in sterling and fine silver.

Last year I was visiting a friend when she suddenly produced a pair of huge Mabe pearls from her jewelry box and seemed to think I was skilled enough to set them for her.

Well, these were the nicest pearls I had ever seen; gigantic and gorgeous. They were decades old, a gift from her friends horde of huge pearls.

I’ve got to tell you, I was scared to set them. But, the pearls did deserve to finally see the light of day and adorn my dear friend.

They turned out fantastic, she wears them all the time – being so perfectly suited to her color and style.

Finally, I did find a source for some really nice Mabe pearls and am offering them in my Etsy shop, Fluxology.

Mabe Pearls set in sterling with gallery wire by Holly Gonnella

Mabe pearls are flat on the back because they are cut from the side of the oyster shell. After they are removed, the back is inlayed with mother of pearl. I put a window on the back so that this does not get covered up.

Mabe pearls set in fine and sterling silver. Hand made by Holly Gonnella

The fancy bezel wire is called Gallery Wire….always looking for any excuse to use this stuff.

 

Mother of Pearl Vintage Button Ring

I love jewelry made from old buttons.

I went on Etsy the other day and purchased a ready-made collection of 30 different buttons. I made this ring from one and put it back on Etsy. It sold in a just a few days (Etsy listing). I was tickled!

What I am planning to do is put my sterling button hole caps on several buttons, so that they are ready to be made into rings, that can then be custom sized.

These will be appearing in a few days.  Thanks for stopping by, Holly

Mother of Pearl button set in sterling by Holly Gonnella

Vintage Mother of Pearl button set in sterling ring. $120.00

Oregon Country Fair July 12-14

Hi, if you have never been to this spectacular and unusual event, I sincerely say….check it out! The Oregon Country Fair is a giant sprawling world of crafts, food, community and entertainment.

It used to be a rather hippy event, but it has a distinctly vauldvillian /steam-punk flavor that has evolved over the years.

I will be in booth L13 this year, which is close to Chela Mela and right next to the Yoga Space. See you there and don’t forget your glitter and horns. Holly

Blue Ladies at Oregon Country Fair Beautiful Country Fair Photo from Riskofchange.com

Mortgages- good or bad?

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