Some bad news

It’s been two months since I’ve posted on here, or worked on the Mikaproject. Life suddenly became incredibly complicated as work began to pick up and travel season started. In that time, Mika has had a lot of ups and downs. Right now he’s on a downswing, and I’m not sure if he’s going to get any better.

This downturn in his health has been a source of anxiety and depression for me, and I have found it difficult to continue to work on this project. I do want to keep making jewelry inspired by Mika, and I do certainly still need to take care of these vet bills somehow. But instead of creating I’ve been focusing my energy on taking care of him, unsure of what else to do.

This isn’t the most uplifting post, but I wanted to update anyone who might’ve been following me. If he doesn’t pull through (it’s looking bad this week, the tumor on his back is getting worse) I’m not sure how I’ll finish the jewelry line. A tribute, maybe? I would welcome any ideas from a point of view in a better place than my own, and would be very grateful to hear them.

Some progress, mayhap

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted! But I have been working on these guys. I actually changed their colors a few times cause I wasn’t satisfied, but I think they’re approaching completion.

Mika and Galileo are starting to spend more time together in the studio. It’s hilarious watching them try to get along while I’m enameling.

I also went to the Columbus main library last week (purportedly the best in the country) and got these awesome jewelry books. Rene Lalique has been an inspiration to me for awhile… for obvious reasons, his enamels are beautiful. He was helping me out with my colors and techniques. One day, I’ll be as awesome as him.

Color inspiration

Looking at ancient Greek frescoes for color inspiration. I love the pretty faded blues and golds, and the rusted and burnt sunset colors.

Check out the blue flowers… that’s what I’m basing my flower colors off of. The blue pigment in particular is really neat because it was either an Egyptian Blue, which was made by using the residue of patina from copper (similar to my process of enameling!) or a Minoan Blue, which came from a natural residue. Interesting!

leaves are done! and more…

My leaves are finished! This is my first attempt to do model them on myself… the pictures turned out ok, but I realized I needed a full shot. Ah well, next time.

While we were outside doing photoshoots, Mika had a grand old time.

Then, back inside to the studio to do more work on the flower. I got ambitious, and figured hey, I already tried one crazy new thing today, why not another? So I got some video of my process too. Scroll down to the bottom of the images to see the video. Sound is a little loud.

Mika was alternately luxuriously sunbathing from his adventure outside and all up ons my shoulders. It’s two of his favorite places to be. I think he’s feeling a little bit better today.


Mika’s had a rough week. He’s been pretty sleepy and nauseous, so he’s taking the week off from his treatment. With only two more weeks to go, this puts us back a bit. Send him some love!


Are almost done! Here they are in their finished enamel stage, they just need some findings and chains and they’ll be done! I really like this color green, it looks like this neat combination of an ancient worn out color with touches of turquoise. I burnt out the edges to make them look a little old, and have that black come in on the sides.

Mika helped take the pictures.

some progress this evening

This is how we do it. Me and mika and some dos equis lager and massive attack. Awwwwww yea.

He likes to sit by the kiln when its on. As you can see. The leaves have their first layer of enamel on! Still deciding on the flower colors. Productivity!

Me and everyone else

Who am I, you ask? Here’s some pictures of me and the other creatures I share my apartment with in the Italian Village of Columbus, Ohio. This is me in my studio, my husband Travis the Art Historian, Mika who you already know, Faustus the black cat, and Galileo our 5 month old mastiff-mix puppy.

completed etchings and color tests

These are the copper pieces all etched and cleaned. So they’re ready to enamel! I did some color tests today, to see which palettes I wanted to use. I’m thinking greens and blues and yellows.

the etching begins

Put those pieces I cut out into the acid bath this afternoon. There they will sit on my back porch until the acid has cut deep enough into the metal for me to put my enamel into it. Usually takes about 4 hours. The process I’ll be using is Champleve, which basically means filling an etched or recessed area with enamel. It’s an ancient technique, but the name comes from the French.

Mika was a total sunhog today. Lookit that cute face. And then he started rolling around when I wasn’t giving him enough attention. Then, back to sunnapping.

These should be ready for enameling tomorrow! I’ll probably work on these guys and the leaves I cut out at the same time, so I can get some close to finished pieces tomorrow.