Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Featured Artisan - Rainadelmagick

Today's Featured Artisan is Raina Woolfolk of rainadelmagick - curiosities of the fae in art and apothecary.

I make one-of-a-kind pieces of precious metal, gemstone and vintage glass jewelry that are influenced by my attraction to the feminine fluidity of the art nouveau period and the whimsical inquisitive nature of the Steampunk movement.
I also design crystal wands, with minerals and crystals that I have field collected in my travels around the globe. Each wand is made with intentionality for use in meditation and ritual work.
I grow organic herbs and mix apothecary concoctions of herbal teas, incense and bath soaks
I make creatures out of recycled components and then write children’s stories that mix geology, science, natural history and fantasy to go along with them in order to provide the folks who adopt them with tales to share with each other.
I have also written two screenplays and a book of twisted, humorous poetry.

I was inspired to design jewelry by my “slight obsession” with crystals and minerals. I have been stuffing them in my pockets since I was a wee lass running away from home to find them in the hills around my house.
I started making crystal wands when the Fae suggested it.

Friends who saw me wearing my own handmade jewelry as a teen would ask for pieces as gifts. They encouraged me to sell my artwork. I started “testing the waters” by selling necklaces and earrings in my mother’s café. As my skills improved I branched out to doing arts and crafts fairs.

There are times when I will come across a phenomenal stone and I just immediately know how it will develop into a piece of jewelry. I experience a sense of wonder when something I’m making just manifests itself into being. At times like that it seems the Muses are guiding my hands and I can feel the energy raising my joy vibration.
I am most excited when pieces I have made inspire my students to create their own treasures and expand upon my ideas while developing their own style.

I divide my time between my work as an animal behaviorist working with animals who are reactive to elements in their environment, an artist and a teacher at UC Berkeley Art Studio. I have been self-employed for nearly 14 years. I don't make much, but enough for what I need. I am a fortunate woman indeed to have the ability to make my living through pleasurable pursuits.

When I’m not working or playing at crafting I can be found tooling around on my penny farthing hi-wheel or my vintage 70lb tricycle. I also spend every free moment hiking with my dogs searching for Faeries and mushrooms. I save every penny in order to have travel adventures and make new friends around the world.
This past year and a half I have enjoyed participating in a supportive community of fellow artisans and crafters, the etsy paganteam. We host chats on etsy about all things magickal. The team is very active and involved, we support each other in our growth as artists. I have developed some very dear friendships and am continually learning through the mentorship of fellow team members.

This is a very small selection of the items Raina has to offer. I encourage you to discover the full range of what she has to offer by visiting her shop. Many of her items are one of a kind (OOAK) so check them out before they are gone!

Shop: rainadelmagick
Items in this post:
1. Color Change Andesine Labradorite Feldspar 1.20 Carat in 14K Gold Pendant OOAK
2. Ancient Alchemy double point Quartz Crystal laser wand OOAK
3. Eye of Sauron Mexican Fire Opal OOAK
4. Fall Into Me wildcrafted organic herbal Incense in wood box

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Featured Artisan

Today's Featured Artisan is Anne of Ever Lasting Leaves
She is one of my teammates from the etsywmi team. Her shop can be found at

My name is Anne and I make concrete leaves ;)

It all started with a leftover bag of mortar and a boring afternoon, then visiting a friends garden I heard 'do you believe the size of those rhubarb?'.
I had always wanted to try making concrete leaves and having just recently lost my job all of a sudden it hit me. . .
‘Hey, I’ve got cement . . . . I’ve got time. . . .I should try this!!!’

Actually the story is just a bit different, I bought the bag of mortar to fix the chimney and before I even got up on the roof I had made several leaves and had to go buy more mortar to do the chimney before I made more leaves. . . . . lots more leaves.
My buddies said they were all gorgeous and suggested I sell them, so I did.....but I really make concrete leaves more for the love of nature and preserving Mother Natures creations via my creations. I love the rustic, rough and hairy leaves with deep veins rather than the smoother leaves.

Each leaf is cast in cement and sand with feet leveled, wire loops imbedded for hanging and cured for 14 days to strengthen the concrete. A mix of acrylic hues are applied in layered washes to highlight the patterns of veining. A hot application of pure beeswax saturates into the surface of the leaf front and back to give the hues depth and tonality as well as protecting the colors and concrete. I was so glad to discover this sealant as I endeavor to avoid using chemical products.

The learning, development and improving of the process is what most intrigued me, being an engineer by nature. Finding that I had created beautiful works of art just floored me having wanted to be an artist as a kid. The creativity of melding artistry and engineering has been extremely satisfying to me in my 50th year of life, an affirmation of my accumulated skills and the satiation of desires long hidden coming to fruition.

When I am not making leaves I love to read and research, both online and in the library, as I am insatiably curious. I am an avid water gardener playing with both miniature lillys and filtration systems. I have 2 rescued dogs, 14yo Libby the Aussie and 3yo Rascal the Std. Poodle, and we love to run, walk and ski the trails I cut on my 15 acres of land. I love to try and fix almost anything mechanical having rebuilt my 30yo John Deere Lawn & Garden tractor and fixing just about everything that needs it around the house. I also love to sew, knit and make chocolate candy.....I am a renaissance woman and a tomboygirlforeever :)

This is just a small sample of the designs you can find at Ever Lasting Leaves, please visit Anne's shop to see more of her work!

Pieces in this post:
1. Green Rhubarb Leaf Bird Bath
2. Umber Catalpa Leaf
3. Bright Red Maple Leaf

Friday, January 15, 2010

Síorghrá Custom Ogham Necklaces

These are the first Ogham pendants I have made with gemstones. They were made for a custom request of Ogham necklaces with birthstones.

Both pieces were hand pierced with the Irish Gaelic word "síorghrá" which means eternal love. Piercing is a process where a small saw blade is used to cut a design through the metal. Both of these pendants were made from 18 gauge (.04" thick) sterling silver and measure about 1.692" x 0.525". One has a 5mm AAA grade amethyst (February) cabochon on the bottom and the other has a 5mm garnet (January). Both stones were set using sterling silver handmade bezels.

The bezels for these pendants were made by forming sheet bezel (thin sterling sheet) into rings that fit around the stone. Once the bezel was formed into rings they were sanded to the proper height and soldered onto the Ogham pendants. After cleaning the fire scale from the soldering process off the pieces the stones were set by placing them in the bezels and pushing the metal down around the cabochon stone to hold it in place.

Both pendants were finished off with a soldered jump ring and an 18" sterling boston link chain.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Custom Sonas Ring

This ring is sterling silver with the word 'sonas' (Gaelic for happiness) pierced through the ring in the ancient Ogham alphabet. The band is about 5/16" wide.

It was created as a custom design. This was the first Ogham ring I tried making. I enjoyed making it because the process reminded me of the first rings I made in jewelry class. Were we started with a sheet of metal then cut and formed a ring out of it. Filing the joint so it lines up before soldering.

I am very pleased with how this ring turned out but am not planning on continuing with this style for several reasons. The first being the piercing process would not adapt well to narrower bands. The main reason is a stability factor while sizing the ring. Before I worked on this in sterling silver I did a test run in copper.

I started with the design printed on a piece of paper that I spray mounted to the metal. For balance in this design I added a second drill hole to the end of the word.

The part I wasn't pleased with when making the test ring became apparent when I started to form the ring. Because 'sonas' is cut through the metal it created a weaker point at the top of the O and A causing the letter to spread on one side (shown on right). I was able to avoid that while forming and sizing the sterling ring because I saw it as an issue in the copper test ring. Though I have found that it is possible to avoid the letters spreading as they did, this design will be left as a one of a kind.

The process of testing to see what works and what doesn't is part of what I love about custom work. It gives me a chance to play with designs I may not have thought of otherwise and to push the boundaries of what I can make.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Monday Featured Artisan - Greenwood Creations

Today's featured artisan is Michelle of Greenwood Creations
Her shop can be found at:
She is one of my Pagans of Etsy Street Team teammates. Her work is amazing!

What do you make?
I make crafts from wood. I primarily decorate in pyrography (wood burning), but every now and again I'll use henna paste or acrylic paints.

What drew you to your craft and why did you start selling your items?

I use acrylics because they are an expedient way to get color onto a project. Acrylics are convenient for me.
I work in henna from a love of the complexity of mehndi design, and the complexity of the ritual: sifting the powder, mixing the paste, perfecting the recipe, the process of creating each cone. Henna relaxes me.

Pyrography, now, is a different matter. Someone gave me a pyrography pen when I was very young, and it sat unused until I was in college. Once I picked it up, I didn't want to put it down. The smell of the wood as it burns, the feel of the pen gliding across the grain, the emerging elegance of each line, delighted me. I love to woodburn; pyrography enchants me.

I began selling my work because a few people said to me, "you ought to sell that." Also, my Real Job doesn't pay much, and every little bit helps tremendously!

What is your favorite part of creating your items?
My favorite part is definitely "finalizing" a design. Setting the design down in the chosen medium is a magical moment, whether it's with my henna cone or my pyrography pen. Seeing the lines take form thrills me.

Is your craft a full time endeavor or a hobby?
My craft is a hobby right now. I would like it to be a full time endeavor, but who knows what tomorrow will actually bring?

When you aren't working on your craft what do you enjoy doing?
I love to read. Jane Austen is a perennial favorite of mine; I also enjoy anything by Dan Abnett. I'm also a pretty big geek, and really look forward to our weekly Dungeons and Dragons games.

Is there anything else about your craft or yourself you would like to share?
I have a son who's going to be three this month, a very supportive and loving husband, and two delightfully fat cats.

The photos here are just a small sample of what Michele makes to see more of these amazing creations visit Greenwood Creations
Pieces in this post:
1. Swirls Pentacle
2. Hera Pentacle
3. Mandala Pentacle