Sunday, May 5, 2013

My ETSY store!

Just a quick note here, before I do some long-overdue serious updating of my blog.  I regret not having made it easier for you all to purchase my items that are for sale or commission!  Sorry about that.  To remedy the situation, I intend to add links to PayPal for purchasing items.  You don't have to have a PayPal account to use them, and it allows you to use a credit card if you like. In the meantime, come see my selections in my Etsy Store!

My shop name is StewartArt1 ... here is a miniature version of my banner:

My most popular items so far have been my Raven rings, in both black:
...and my White Spirit Raven:

I will definitely be adding new items to my store there that will be available for purchase of Made to Order.  Please stop by and see what I have anytime, and feel free to call me at the studio if you have any requests or questions!  (505) 296-1400


Friday, March 4, 2011

Jewelry Art: Japanese Flying Crane Bracelet

 The flying crane has long been one of my favorite themes in Japanese Art.  This bracelet was carved with the crane in flight as its main image:  the crane's wingspread wraps around the bracelet as the bird rises from the water, surrounded by chrysanthemums and bamboo.

The large central stone is an inlaid mosaic composed of African sugilite, onyx and lab-grown opal.  Mounted on top is a rainbow moonstone set in a gold bezel, which is actually pegged to the stone to make it secure.

The stone in the body of the crane is a faceted amethyst, cut in a triangular shape, which creates beautiful patterns within the stone.  I think the Trillion shape is one of my favorites.

Completing the composition, carved Chrysanthemums spring up around the crane.  I set two of them with rainbow moonstones, and the third is set with a smaller amethyst.

At the feet of the crane, I carved water with a single lilly pad. On the other side of the bracelet is a carved cluster of silver bamboo.

This is a fairly heavy bracelet, with a lot of silver.  It weighs approximately 150 grams, close to five ounces!  It will fit a wrist about 6½ inches in circumference.  Every wrist is a different shape, but if you wrap a strip of paper around your wrist and mark it where the ends intersect, it will give you a good idea of your circumference.  This bracelet cannot be altered, but I can make one specifically for you!

I have sold a few of these bracelets at the current price of $3800, but with the price of silver going up, that price may have to be adjusted.  The one pictured above is SOLD, and I currently have another one in the works on order.  If you would like me to make one for you in a different size, measure the circumference of your wrist, and call me at the studio directly at (505) 296-1400 - I'll be happy to accommodate you personally.  We'll discuss your preferences for stone colors, and I'll make one just for you.  Or if you'd prefer, drop me an email at David (at) StewartArt (dot) com, and I'll get back to you right away!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Raven Jewelry - New Pendant!

What is it about Ravens and Crows I find so captivating?  To tell the truth, I didn't even realize how many of my designs were based upon the Raven until a customer pointed it out to me at an art fair!  I had Raven paintings, Raven sculptures, and Raven jewelry all around me!  Okay.  So I like them.  Something about their group intellect appeals to me - it's fascinating!

 My Raven Ring has been so well-received, that I was inspired to adapt the design to a pendant, presented to you here.  I strung this one on a very simple black leather cord, with an adjustable knot that allows you to change the length it hangs, although many chains & neckwires will fit through the sculpted bail on the back.
 Raven Pendant - approx 43 mm long

As with the Raven Ring, this pendant is crafted in sterling silver, with black onyx eyes.  The price of silver has been climbing steadily, but currently this piece sells for $225.  Call me personally at the studio to place an order for one: (505) 296-1400  ~OR~ email me at David (at)  (Don't include your credit card numbers in the email ... it's not safe!)   I'll start on yours right away!


Friday, May 21, 2010

Painting: Buffalo Spirit

This is actually a painting I did many, many years ago. I'm not usually prone to hang on to paintings I complete - They only serve their purpose when they are in the hands of a collector, where they can be seen out in public. But this one marked a turn in a new direction for me, in a theme that still inspires me ... so I've hung on to it! Now I'm ready to progress in the medium of painting again, instead of just limiting myself to jewelry and sculpture, and so I think it appropriate to find this piece a new home.

UPDATE:  This piece now has a new home!

Buffalo Spirit - 24" X 48"
I played around a bit with negative space turning into positive space - illustrating the concept that current reality, that which we can see and hear, is only an illusion created from whole-cloth imagination. The space, stars and planets represent the void from which we create ourselves, and the "gate" below hinting at a different reality.

Buffaloes (actually, bison to be technically correct) have always been a favorite subject. One of my customers once told me that they had heard of them referred to as "Whales of the Earth", because of their size and power. I liked that. It communicates to me.

It's 2 feet by 4 feet, a size and shape I like a lot, and it's acrylic on canvas. Here's a secret about this piece: When I painted it, I was a poor, skinny starving artist - so I repainted over an existing painting I wasn't really happy with. The other painting, "Sorcerer's Apprentice", was a bit too comic-bookish and hokey compared to the vision for this piece, Buffalo Spirit. Having no money for canvas, I painted over the first painting. I had previously photographed the original painting, so here it is for you to see:

Buffalo Spirit now belongs to my son, but if you'd like to see more of my paintings, keep an eye out for future posts to this blog! Call me at the studio at (505) 296-1400 if you'd like to see any of my available works currently available in the studio. You can also email me for more details: David (at)


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Painting: Raven Matrix

My primary medium, art jewelry, has often given me pause when working with the beautiful stones at my disposal. I love the matrix patterns found in turquoise stones, and have often wondered what they would look like in a larger scale. This gave rise to the bright idea of doing large paintings that would look like huge stones to grace your living spaces, just as the small gems grace your body. This is the first painting done in this theme: Raven Matrix

Actual size, 20" X 24"
I modeled the color and matrix patterns after one of my favorite stones: Carico Lake Turquoise from Lander County, Nevada. As I was sketching some guidelines to paint the matrix, I noticed a pattern that looked a lot like a raven in flight ... so, I pursued that theme and enhanced it! I like ravens.

To enhance the idea that it was a large cut gemstone, I did the painting on a Convexo canvas, one that is stretched over rounded stretcher bars, so the edges would be beveled like a cabochon-cut stone. I also limited the gloss varnish to the turquoise-colored areas, because the softer matrix stone seldom takes a polish like turquoise itself.

The painting is 20" X 24", and is ready to hang - no frame needed. The asking price is $1200, and you can have me ship it to you by calling me here at the studio: (505) 296 -1400. I haven't figured out how to do giclee reproduction prints yet, because of the beveled edges, so this one is it! It's also the first one in the series, so let me know if you have something else in mind - I'll be glad to work with you. Watch this space for other stones, too!



The USS ALBUQUERQUE (SSN 706) is the second United States Warship to be named after Albuquerque, New Mexico. The first was USCGS ALBUQUERQUE (PF-7), a patrol frigate commissioned in December 1943.
The current USS ALBUQUERQUE (SSN 706), a nuclear powered fast attack submarine of the LOS ANGELES class, was constructed at Electric Boat Shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on March 13, 1982, and commissioned on May 21, 1983. ALBUQUERQUE is the nineteenth ship in the class and carries a complement of 127 (12 officers, 115 enlisted), all highly trained professionals in their respective fields.

On the occasion of her commissioning, the Mayor of Albuquerque at the time, the Hon. Harry Kinney, wanted to give a meaningful gift to the crew of the city's namesake. The idea was to create custom-made bronze belt buckles for every crew member.

I was lucky enough to win the bid to design and make the buckles for each of the crew, bearing a banner proclaiming his status as a "Plank Owner"--i.e., one of the original crew serving on the boat when she was commissioned. The idea is that eventually, when the boat is finally decommissioned, each of those crew members would be entitled to a plank from her deck.

"PLANK OWNER" version
Mayor Kinney evidently had quite a sense of humor. At the ship's commissioning on May 21, 1983, the Mayor also presented a set of keys for a new Rolls Royce to the Commanding Officer. The first skipper to pilot the submarine up the Rio Grande to Albuquerque for a port visit will win this prize! At each Change of Command these keys are turned over to the new Commanding Officer by the Mayor or his representative.

The City also asked me to make a version without the banner, that they could buy and distribute to dignitaries, VIP's and the family and friends of the crew members, as well as for some subsequent crew members who would serve in the future. I still make these buckles, and you can order one directly from me here in Albuquerque.

Actual size = about 3 1/4" long
The wearing of Dolphins is a longstanding naval tradition. Earning Dolphins is a significant event in a submariner's career; a special high point that instills tremendous personal pride and a sense of accomplishment. Just as wings signify an aviator, the dolphins signify a submariner who has earned them through a rigorous qualification process; hence, my design idea was to flank the ship's crest with dolphins, and frame the buckle with the ship's name and number.

Computers were not yet in common use back in 1983! I carved the original at twice-size, and reduced it with a complicated 3-dimensional pantograph machine, followed by meticulous detailing under a microscope by hand. The buckles are cast by the lost-wax process in a jewelers' bronze alloy, which resists tarnishing and has a remarkably rich golden color. I finish each buckle by a series of hand processes, rather than the mass-finishing techniques employed by mass-producers, so the finished result is almost sculpture-to-wear.

Soon, the buckles will be featured along with many others on my sister website, Masterpiece Buckles dot com. It's not active yet, so in the meantime, you can order them by calling me here at the studio: (505) 296-1400. The price is $125., plus $11 priority mail shipping & handling. Give me a few weeks to fill your order, as each buckle is handcrafted to order.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sculpture: Ancestral Stories

This sculpture was inspired by the many fascinating petroglyphs that can be found not just here in Albuquerque, but around the world. Before cyberspace, before paper, there was the process of recording one's vision, one's concepts, one's ideas ... in stone. Designs and symbols were meticulously chipped out of solid stone, exposing lighter layers below the oxidized surface, communicating... what? There are many theories about the content these petroglyphs were meant to communicate, but they could well have been, as this sculpture suggests, stories - Ancestral stories.
This mixed media Shamanic sculpture , created in 1995, stands 34 3/4" tall, including the walnut base. I started with a plank of wood, and carved it to look like stone formations - perhaps those that may be seen in a cliff or mountainside. When I felt the shapes were about right, I painted the wood with a combination of gesso mixed with sand, to give it more of the texture of stone. This was followed by many layers and washes of acrylic artists' color to stain and color and glaze the surface to look more like oxidized stone.

I then proceeded to engrave petroglyphs of my own design (no attempt to be historically accurate here - they are a composite of the many shapes I have studied) into the surface of the "stone".
The endcaps that contain the top & bottom ends of that monolithic section are hand hammered brass, with triangular accents in copper, brass and gold soldered in place to form a pattern on the surface. The arms and legs of the piece are ebonized birch, and the hands are handcrafted in bronze. The face is composed of turquoise mosaic, hand-cut and pieced together over a carved stone face, ground smooth and polished as one stone. the staff is wood, with bronze and copper accents. Additional bezel-set turquoise stones have been added as accents - one in the approximate location of the heart, and another on the walnut base. The artist's signature plate and title plate complete the base.

This piece sold to one of my good collectors in the Eastern U.S. The price of that one was about $4800 back in '95, but a similar piece - a variation on the theme - can be made for a higher price today. Contact me for details at (505) 296-1400, or Email me at: David (at) StewartArt (dot) com.


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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jewelry Art: Symbol Ring

This is a ring I just finished for one of my best collectors and good friend. The ring is made in 14K gold, and is set with a dark blue Topaz, accented with 3 diamonds.
The shape is one of my favorite - a long teardrop. The symbols you see on the outside were carved as a decorative element (no significance, other than their decorative properties). The concept was to have the decorative symbols be flush with the surface and highly polished, while the background would be carved away, and textured.

I also wanted the background to be a different color of gold. Originally, I thought of gold-plating the background, but eventually came to the opinion that it might look richer if it were "depletion-gilded", an ancient process where the piece is heated to red-hot and quenched in acid repeatedly. This piece went under the torch at least 40 times to buld up the gold on the surface of the background, giving it a nice contrast to the polished surface.

This same design can also be done in silver, with different stones featured in the center. A large amethyst would be striking! It will be very dramatic also with an oxidized, dark patina in the background.

If you think you'd like to have a piece similar to this one, or a variation of it, please give me a call at the studio directly at (505) 296-1400 - I'll be happy to accommodate you personally. Or if you'd prefer, drop me an email at David (at) StewartArt (dot) com, and I'll get back to you right away!


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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jewelry Art: Moon Castle

This is actually an illustration of a piece I proposed to make. I made a close approximation of it many years ago, and titled it Fortress of the Heart. It was sold to a wonderful lady named Lilly Lawrence, world renowned beauty and Malibu philanthropist. Lilly was dubbed "The People's Princess" by New York Newsday and the "Rose of Shiraz" by the New York Times.

She lived in a castle - the only one in Malibu - called Castle Kashan. Unfortunately, in the fires that swept through Malibu a couple of years ago, she lost everything, including her treasured castle necklace. Luckily, she wasn't hurt, but many wonderful artworks and treasured memories were lost in the flames.

For some reason, I've been unable to locate photos of that original piece, but reconstructed it to the best of my recollection in this proposal. One day soon, I hope to make it for her. In the original, I painted a miniature painting of the courtyard scene tucked away behind the drawbridge ... but in the remake, I think I'll feature a miniature portrait of Lilly in her gown. This was originally made as a variation on the first piece in this small series, titled "Ivory Tower" shown elsewhere in this blog.


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Friday, January 9, 2009

Woodcut Print: Catch of the Day

This is one of my early woodcuts. I believe I was living in Newport, Rhode Island when I did this, although it might have been a bit later. With a Dad in the Navy, I spent a lot of my formative years around water, and even though I love the desert, I miss the ocean!
I have always been fascinated by the relief printing process - the oldest and most direct process for producing multiple prints. I started with a simple pine plank, and carved away everything that was not part of the image. The resulting carved plate is then inked with a rubber roller or "brayer", and paper is applied face down on the block. The back of the paper is burnished to transfer the inked image onto the paper.

The prints produced in this fashion are true "prints" - really multiple originals produced by the artist's hand. In today's world of ink-jet reproductions, artists are fortunate to have such a versatile process for reproducing their work ... but those reproductions are not accurately called "prints", although that term has become commonplace. They are "reproductions", and while there's nothing inherently wrong with them, they should not be confused with prints made by hand in any of the various methods for that. Since the original run of prints from this block only numbered 4, I may decide one day to issue some reproductions of the image by the Giclee process if I see the demand. If you would like to give me some feedback, I'd appreciate your dropping an email to me at David (at) StewartArt (dot) com.... or you can call me anytime at the studio, at (505) 296-1400!
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Painting: Evening Caucus

This painting, titled "Evening Caucus", is done in acrylic on a handmade 24" X 48" linen canvas. The edges are "gallery-wrapped", meaning that there are no staples showing, and it's designed to be hung without a frame.
Just what is it that Ravens discuss in the late hours of the evening before the sun sets? Whatever it is, it's evidently more important than we assume. This heated discussion isn't likely to be resolved before twilight settles in.

The background pattern was achieved by painting the pattern in rather bold colors & contrasts. This field was then glazed with a translucent mixture or pearlescent & color glaze, to lightly cover the pattern and make it more subtle, and a lighter value that would ensure some drama born of the contrast of dark branches against a light sky.

The original has been sold, but I am publishing giclee reproductions, both on gallery-wrapped canvas and on art paper as well. Current offerings on canvas are at full-size and 3/4 size. The giclees are hand-retouched to include some of the luminous pearlescent & metal-leaf accents on each print.

I originally conceived of this painting to be done as a part of a pair of artworks - the painting in the background with a sculpture in the foreground. The Sculpture came first, and was titled, "Ravensong":

The sculpture was crafted in carved wood, with the light background on the body done in the same way as described for the background in the painting: colorful patterns covered with a translucent glaze. The groove in the chest was carved & painted to accent the piece of spiderweb turquoise I used to symbolize the heart of the spirit. The face was carved wood, covered with metal leaf, and accents on the body were handcrafted brass.

Well, as fate would have it, the sculpture sold before I even started the painting! However, I couldn't leave the concept of the painting alone ... the image haunted me, until I finally took the time to finish it.

Before I delivered the painting, I got lots of feedback from people wanting giclee reproductions, so I had it professionally photographed and printed by Bruce Shortz of 10000 Cranes studio. Please contact me with your inquiries about sizes & prices available at my studio: (505) 296-1400, or email me at David (at)


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jewelry art: Collar Choker

I've done quite a few variations on this choker over the years. This one shows three stones - green turquoise, spiderweb chalcosiderite (once called "New Landers"), and blue turquoise - but I've also made it with one large stone, or with a small stone stacked on a larger stone, or with a laminated mosaic stone.
I find asymmetry in design to be much more captivating than symmetry. This one has a unique hanging system as well: Either of the two hooks on the sides will come undone to release the choker, and a small "S" hook in the back can gather up a length of chain to shorten it, making its hanging length adjustable.

If you have a preference for stones, contact me - we'll discuss prices and delivery time! You can reach me at the studio at (505) 296-1400, or email me at David (at) StewartArt (dot) com.