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Helga's Blog

dutch jewellery designer la leipsig

 

Stories from the daily live of an active metalsmith who tracks down
her muse with camera and sketchbook.

Four times a year I make a seasonal round-up of my activities here from my blog. By subscribing  you get this letter automatically delivered to your mailbox.

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Cheers,
Helga

 

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A Book for a Book

A silver miniature book pendant.

Sometimes people come to me for a special commission. Often it is a request for work that is not related to my collections. I have to consider whether I can take on that particular job. Sometimes I refer to a fellow goldsmith, because I feel that the job is in better hands at their place.

But when I got the request from Toon to make a miniature book pendant, I didn't hesitate. I wanted to make the pendant. As a booklover and owner of a Little Library it was a commission I loved to make.

During the interview we came to a rough shape. An opened booklet with text on the pages, processed into a pendant. The text was written by Toon himself for his beloved Maria. How do I proceed from there? First I let the intent of the contract and the rough sketches act awhile for me. Eventually I get moving. The creative process involved the following steps:

  • How was I going to put the text in the silver? A handwriting was absolutely the best. There were many tests needed to find the right size!
  • What format would the book get, and in what proportions?
  • I had to make a special polymer mould on which the silverclay would dry.
  • Forming the silverclay, soldering the eyes on the back.
  • Then the finishing; gold on the sides and oxidising the words with sulfur, to make them black.

This gives an impression of my creative process. It was a great project to work on.
When the pendant was collected, Toon brought a book with him.
While he gave it to me he said "A book for a book" ...

The process of making a silver book pendant.

 

A present for my Soul

Fools earrings kim noguieraWhen I laid my eyes on The Fool  earrings from Kim Nogueira, I knew they were mine.

Since my 22th birthday I have a deck of tarot cards given to me by a dear friend. This May I will have the deck for 28 year and they are very precious to me, I've used them a lot.

I work with the cards as a vehicle for introspection (never for future prediction!), connecting me to the wonderful world of subconsciousness.

It made me read Jung and other related work that helped develop myself in various ways. My Inner Star series is inspired by a quote from Jan Ton, I read it in one of the many books I have about Tarot.

The fool is my soul card. I will wear these often and when I won't, they will be hanging visible in my studio. It will be reminders of my inner growth.

Thank you Kim, for making these precious jewels, we are forever connected now.
And yes, I wished you could have delivered them in person.

Picture from the earrings by Kim.
Kim is one of the many talented artists taking part at Gallery Pôle Bijou in 
METAL CLAY - The EXHIBIT. 
From 16th January until 11th June 2017 - Baccarat - France.
www.kimnogueira.com

This is my bruised and battered deck of Rider-Waite cards. The 8th of pentakels is also a favorite card. I associate it with me being a metalsmith. The other two are the Star and Magician.

fool deck tarot cards

 

Looking for an Indian Summer: A journey to New England.

Seeing the fall colors was the inspiration my sister and I had for travelling to the beautiful states of New Hampshire and Vermont. It was a full packed journey with meeting lots of friends along the way.

We visited Anne and John in Seekonk, Massachusetts, who took us, among other things, to Providence for a short and sweet history tour and on a gorgeous sunset boat tour on the Narragansett Bay seeing all ten-lighthouses.

In Maine while visiting the Acadian National park we met with Bruce and Barbera. Barb is part of my Quantity sketching group and also a talented Metal Clay artist. We went lobster fishing to catch our diner and in the morning Barb and I played in her studio. 

Islesford maine

 

Later we met at Lake Sunapee NH a part of the Greater Boston Metal Clay Chapter. Playing with felt and Metal Clay, inspired discussions and a competition in a hilarious card game. So grateful that they planned their retreat around our visiting time.

While we visited Boston to learn from the colonist history by walking the history Trail we met Lori in a cocktail bar. For a full fun packed hour Lori, my sister and I had a wonderful conversation.

Boston metal clay

 

Then a day on Cape Cod; from the manmade Canal to Provincetown. Some history about the Pilgrims first encounter with America and looking at the Atlantic waves. We could see at Juliette's place that Cape Cod must be a delightful place to spent the holidays.

To fully understand the colonist period we visited Plimoth Pilgrim Plantation and the Mayflower. It must have been a hell of a job to try making a living of the land for those first colonists coming from England. Lucky for them that the native Americans taught them a few things. Like how to grow mais and make food out of it. It was fun talking to the re-enactors living in the village. They even spoke a little bit of old Dutch!

In two state parks we spent a lot of time: The White Mountains in New Hampshire and the Adirondack Mountains in New York. Here Nature was our friend. Sparkling waterfalls, mountains covered with trees dressed in fall colors and mystic misty lakes with shores we could relax on.

And yes, we did find the fall colors. What a delightful inspiration for the next months!

Adirondack Mountains in fall

 

Dragonplay 2016

For over a year I have been living, together with hundreds of other volunteers, towards The Dragonplay.

Now we are right in the middle. The first show has been and we can see the result of all our hard work.

We can be proud!
15.000 tickets have been sold over 6 performances with as final a historic parade through our village Beesel.

My part has been the organisation of making the props of the play. With a group of 6 people we did a lot of work.
The Dragonplay is only once in 7 years, it is a big time investment in the village. We are doing it all together!

But now it is about time I get working on my own creations again. 

The Dragon from the dragonplay in Beesel.

 

A Silver Hydrangea Pendant

One of the most beautiful flowers in my garden are the Hydrangea's. They blossom in pure white, soft pink and deep blue. Each one with their own personality. My favorite is the blue variety. I never get tired at watching this particular color. It has been often subject of my photografic sessions.

hortensia blauw zilver

When I got a commision for making a pendant inspired by a Hydrangea I didn't hesitate. Working from pictures and the real flowers I designed a few pieces. 

On the pictures you see a part of the building proces.

 hortensia silver making off

  

hortensia zilveren hanger

 

About La Leipsig

The jewellery which is sold under the brand name La Leipsig Jewels is based on Helga van Leipsig's observations of the nature in Limburg, a province in the south of The Netherlands.

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