Back in the Studio, and Everything is New.

Its been a while since I’ve blogged, and of course a ton of stuff has happened!!!

I had 3 print ads up around town at Chicago’s CTA stops.  The model in the ads is my gorgeous little sister, Colleen.  The photos were all taken by local fashion photographer, Rachel Hanel, with makeup by the very talented Colleen O’Sullivan.

Ad featuring my tubelet fungi ring and necklace to go up at the Belmont stop.

Print ad featuring my silver Original Anatomical Heart Locket, to go up at the Fullerton stop.

Ad featuring my silver anatomical brain ring and fluorite and diamond tentacle ring.

In addition to the print ads, I partnered up with the Professor Blastoff podcast.  Its a comedy podcast (free  for download on i-tunes, or listen on their website) in which three of my all-time favorite comedians; Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan and David Huntsberger talk about science and philosophy.  What could be better?! Nothing.  I spent the whole month in Italy listening to PBO while I learned hand-engraving and trying to devise a way to justify collaborating with them.   The ads aired in episodes from the beginning of December-mid-January.  I wrote the “ad copy” myself, a totally new exercise for me. The plugs I wrote featured two of Kyles amazing impressions- Donald Trump and “Al Gay-ore,” urging you to go to my website.  To write the copy I listened to Kyle’s impressions for inspiration, then watched a whole bunch of videos of Al Gore and Donald Trump speaking, making notes of the funniest, most persuasive things they said.   The plugs turned out amazing, and I’m honored that the blastronauts kept a few samples of my work… My understanding is that Sarah Silverman (Kyle’s special lady friend) now owns the lung locket, and that Tig gave her girlfriend my anatomical heart locket- which made me pretty darn proud.  Peggy Skemp: jeweler to the stars!

After that, in February I went with some awesome lady jeweler friends to Tucson for the gem show.  It was incredibly fun, and now I’ve got some really interesting stones for the one of a kind work I hope will be finished and ready to show by mid-April……  Probably the coolest are a parcel of petrolated quartz, which has inclusions of yellow petroleum, and inside the petroleum, water bubbles!  These inclusions are very tiny, but in some of them, you can see the bubbles move with your naked eye.  Its very rare and interesting. Here’s a sneak peak of the hoard!

ammonites, opals, agates, sapphires, sphene for use in the up-coming collections.

ammonites, opals, agates, sapphires, sphene for use in the up-coming collections.

Petrolated quarts, opal, agate, sphene

Petrolated quarts, opal, agate, sphene

Fire agate, opal for new designs.

Fire agate, opal for new designs.

Venadinite druzy

Venadinite druzy

When I got back from Tucson, I immediately moved out of my crumby old place into a beautiful new place in the North Center neighborhood of Chicago.  Its a really inspiring spot.  The first thing I did was hang my favorite pieces of artwork.  Then a trip to Wisconsin to pick up the workbench my Amish friend John Henry Kemp made.  We designed it together, and it is spectacular!  Here are a few photos of the new space.

Living Room: Amy Casey's original "Hive" painting and my loom.

Living Room: Amy Casey’s original “Hive” painting and my loom.

The workbench John Henry made.

The workbench John Henry made.

Breakfast nook.

Breakfast nook.

Dining room, where i do most of the design work.

Dining room, where i do most of the design work.

Welcome: my charmingly crooked door and a Graham Franciose original drawing.

Welcome: my charmingly crooked door