Monday, June 8, 2009

The newest piece, and how it all transpired

The following sequence of images will bring you on a tour through the making of my newest neckpiece, entitled "REPETITION / CHANGE." The beauty shots of the piece will be posted on my website in the coming day or two. Hope you enjoy.

The object of my affection: Angering classic cars buffs the world over, I prepare to gut an early 20th-century automobile radiator gauge

The double-sided glass bezels are hard to resist

The thermometer, lodged firmly in place by century-old ossified rubber

Intact - phew - and put aside to be used some other day

As it's quite a heavy hunk of metal, I give it some consideration, trying to see what it can live without

Testing out the new cordless Sawz-All (Pocket Review: It rocks)

Sawn, and

on to the interior...

Sawing out needless weight

Tough work.

Too tough. No worries, panic averted as I realize the piece will be held together with screws on both sides, remember?

Nut, shaped and tightened, so I can hang an element from below

Miles & Audrey on the studio steps, making sure dad's doing it right

Beautiful Victorian key, ready to be sacrificed for Art

Keys soldered square brass wire

Balling up some copper wire

Copper wires run through the brass and


then folded down into hooks, small brass wire being threaded through

finishing the wire outer structure

and the main housing ready to be occupied.

Money well-spent in Port Gamble, Washington

Beheading the subject - a steel-point engraving from 1845

Mid-bling: tiny silver balls dropped into the starfish legs, to be finished with a tiny opal in the mouth

Starfish set, and the resin being colored

Beautiful little seed 'cups' scavenged in Hall's Gap, Victoria

Filled with pearls

and placed.

As is often the case when trying to seal chambers full of resin, airbibbles appear the next day after it semi-sets. Time to inject resin into the bubbles. Luckily there is a tiny gap between the glass crystal and the metal, or I'd have been out of luck.

Had to make a custom hypodermic out of an insulin syringe and some stainless tubing (the original syringe was too tiny to suck up the viscous resin)


Couldn't resist adding some sailor's touches...

The copper elements of a swivel-connection to go between the pendant and the cord

The assembly riveted to the key and patinated

Choosing lovely little keys to hang the piece from

Riveting key to cord

A lovely old wooden dresser knob to hang underneath

Tapping a thread into the knob

Voiding the warranty on said knob

Drilled out

Sanded and painted.

A miscast glass pebble becomes the best of the bunch for me

The pebble ground down to fit

A beautiful symbol from a 16th-century book to be refracted behind the glass pebble

The chamber gets a resin assembly

The piece is signed (KL •9•), waxed, and readied for



  1. What a wonderful journey that was! I have photographed a process somewhat step by step and it is a lot of work. Many thanks for sharing this with us. Beautiful! I must sign up for another class soon. Almost every day something that was taught in Precious Little enters my mind and helps with decisions on how to go about a certain part of the piece I am working on. And I never walk anywhere without looking down to see what I might be missing.

  2. Pure magic! Thank you, Keith, for all the extra effort to document this wonderment. It is a peek into the world of a jewelry legend!

  3. brilliant & beautiful!!!!!!!Cant wait to see it on your website...curious what the .9. is?! Port Gamble..I love that little town!!

    Did you hear the news?! ARt & Soul in Vegas Feb 2010!!

  4. Love it Keith ! I enjoy the step by step. The transformation is wonderful ! Daris

  5. If anyone didn't have complete and utter respect for your attention to detail and going the extra mile they will after looking at this step by step! You are a visionary.

  6. Keith,
    Thank you for sharing your artistic process.
    As always, your work is amazing! I love how you think.
    On a side note, I can not believe how grown up Miles and Audrey are!!
    Thank you for sharing.
    Cindy in Chicago~USA

  7. Yep to all the above. Love the little ones on the threshold. I didn't realize they were that young. You really have to be quick on your feet...and probably not getting much sleep!

  8. Thanks for taking the time to photograph the various steps for us. Much appreciated! This is a gorgeous piece and makes me wish I could take another class with you. (I was lucky enough to attend Precious Little at ArtFest 08 and your joint class with deMeng in Portland. Too/two much fun.) Have you considered filming another creation as you did for "Within and Without"? Or how about an instructional video? We want more Keith!

  9. Thank you for demonstrating how you created this wonderful piece! Oh I so wish I could travel. : (..coming to Mass. any time? I about another video?

  10. Stunning. speachless, just stunning.

    Regards ~Dave~

  11. All I can say is AWESOME Keith.

  12. WOW!!! This is amazing!!! I love how you documented the step-by-step process in pictures. Sorry I missed you this year at Valley Ridge...hopefully I'll be there next year.

  13. Wonderful. I love seeing the steps.

  14. In full agreement with everyone, another brilliant piece, a grand BRAVO! Thank you for taking all that extra effort in photographing the steps, please know we are extremely grateful, it is so helpful in trying to put ideas together. Had a grand time in all your classes at the Artist Nook this year, can't wait for next year! Wish I could have made it to Italy, it would have been a blast, next year?! All those fabulous flea markets! Those kidlets of yours are growing fast...isn't that the way.

  15. WOW this is wonderful to see how your pieces come to life alot of work there Mr Lobueeh,
    Gosh the boys look like you

  16. I so enjoyed the journey Keith! And oh how I loved that photo of your children watching daddy work :)

  17. your piece here is truely fantastic. The loving care that goes into every step is mind boggling, and is evident in every pictures here. What a lovely idea, to use a wooden doorknob in that way! You really must have some fantastic tools to work the way you do. Great, great stuff!

  18. Keith you are f'n blowing me away with this one! Hey have you located our alternating stories? Send 'em already! Take care my friend.

  19. Absolutely Stunning! TFS the amazing journey!

    Linda Cain