We have been collaborating artists our entire married lives. Our work is always evolving. The experiences we share, or individually participate in, become a part of what we create. Bruce photographs and throws pots and I paint and create jewelry and other objects from precious metals. Bruce's photos are sometimes the inspiration or reference for my paintings and often times I sculpt and carve into his pottery. The results from our combined knowledge and skills becomes something beautiful that we enjoy sharing. Enjoy.

May 24, 2016

Shell Series

Well, I've prepared four more 4x5s for painting. I love oils but I'm feeling a bit cramped by the
smallness of the surface. Also I'm finding shells to be rather static. My love for color wants to
play! I think I shall read more Carole Marine and try to get more inspired!!!

May 22, 2016

May 20, 2016

Taking care of last minute travel details. So happy my art supplies have arrived and that I'll be able to begin as soon as I arrive! Making chicken soup today and working on a "little" of shells. I'm trying to
do daily painting before I leave.

May 15, 2016

Lake Michigan

Well, my dear friends from Wisconsin were here last night and brought me a wonderful gift from the beaches of Lake Michigan! A big beautiful bag of stones!!! A few years back, Bruce and I visited them at their lovely home and walked the shore near their house finding stones of all colors and shapes. I found myself becoming more and more obsessed with them! When we returned home that year I began designing jewelry, using these wonderful gifts from mother nature. I think one of the reasons I was so amazed, was because of the perfect spheres and ovals that the ocean-like lake created from years and years of tossing them around. Anyway, I included a ring I made back then in the picture of my new batch of stones. I feel a new burst of energy with all these little beauties at my finger tips. Stay tuned

May 14, 2016

Golden Gray Rainbow Mabe Pearl and Vintage Spoon Pendent on handmade chain

I am finally done!!! I think it came out quite well. I'm posting images of the process so that you can
see the visual steps to the finish line! Let me know your thoughts. As soon as I finished I tried it on and ran next door to my neighbor's (thank goodness she's used to my over excited outbursts!!) to show her and took her picture with it on!!! I'm thinking it would look lovely with a red dress. Formal or Casual this pendent works either way.
Deciding on the pattern to use for my chain

Adding the "raven fresh water pearls" and my hand made "S" closure

Etched back with "CAT" and "925"(the sterling silver hallmark)

My hand held etcher

Setting the Mabe with the bezel pusher. Final step.


May 13, 2016


I'm not a chainmaille artist but I do enjoy making my own chains for one of a kind pendents. It somehow feels right not to use commercial chains on a piece that is clearly "special". I'm hoping to get this Mabe Pearl Pendent and chain done this week.

May 11, 2016

Well, here I am again! Began my day with some great reading from a book by Carol Marine on Daily Painting. My artist friend, Gabby, gave it to me because we both share a love for her work. I am inspired and ready to get back on the painting train. I have one more metal piece to finish first. It's a Mabe Pearl. The following description of a Mabe Pearl came from a site on the internet called Kari Pearls and she describes it very well:

"Mabes are basically cultured blister pearls that have grown attached to the shell of the mollusk. The mollusks most commonly used to culture mabes are the Pinctada Maxima, Pteria penguin, or Pteria sterna.
For growing mabes a flat bottomed, plastic nucleus is glued inside the shell beneath the mantle tissue. This differs from spherical pearls in that most nuclei used for them are made from shells, although experiments with different nuclei have been and are being conducted.
Several different shapes can be used for the plastic nuclei. You may see rounds, as in these photos, drops, ovals, or hearts. I've even seen company logos coated with nacre and centuries ago the Chinese would glue on metal Buddhas which were then coated with nacre. The possibilities are almost endless.
After the plastic bead has been glued and the mollusk returned to the water, the mollusk then begins coating the nuclei with lustrous nacre, layer after layer of brilliant shine. After between eight and twelve months the mollusk is harvested. This amount of time has allowed about 1mm of nacre to coat the nuclei.
The blister pearl is cut off the shell, sometimes with a hollow drill, the plastic nuclei is removed and the hollow space filled with colored resin and sometimes a bead for added strength. The back is then covered with a mother of pearl backing."

                  Below are the parts of the pendent I will be putting together. I've cut a beautiful vintage spoon handle and soldered two large jump rings to attach a chainmaille (last thing to do) to and I measured, made the bezel for the pearl, and soldered it to the spoon. I actually used the underneath of the spoon, rather than the top. The top was curved and not as detailed as I liked so the backside seemed to be a better choice. To finish I will set the pearl and make the chain. The two small pearls will be part of the chain close to the pendent. I'll post the finished product in a few days.

May 10, 2016

Interested in anything you see on our blog?

  I'm not always sure about blogging and what is correct and what isn't but other than checking with my son, I just do it!!! If there is any piece here you are interested in on our blog, please let us know. We have the ability to take credit cards, pay pal, and of course checks. Email me at Forest@ntcnet.com or Face Book me (Cathy Thomas) and of course I have an Etsy shop as you can see, here. Love to read your comments as well if you'd like to ask or suggest, just click on "comment" below the image. I'll be checking in daily. Thank you to those of you taking time from your day to follow our blog.

Bruce's latest pottery


Well, its been awhile and I really want to begin to stay current with my blogging so here we go!
Tuscany. Yup, I'm going to Europe. The entire process to prepare has been a little overwhelming but I'm starting to get excited. I shipped my painting supplies there and intend to do at least one painting every couple of days. We'll see!!! I'm planning to share my trip with you so check in from time to time during your busy life and I hope I don't disappoint.