New Brooches 10.2

Winding things up here in my studio as final details for the Paradise City Arts Festival come together. Photos for you show an overview of work laid out for the Open Studio Party. Then brooches I haven’t posted here yet. Enjoy, and come by the show this weekend. Booth 207, PCAF, Northampton Mass. See you soon!

Kailash 6 Brooch, polymer, acrylic Tory Hughes©2012    6.25″ x 1″ x .5″
SeaCliff 50 Brooch/Pendant    polymer, acrylic, gold Tory Hughes©2012     3.25″ x 2.5″ x .25
SeaCliff 51 Brooch  polymer, acrylic Tory Hughes©2012   2.5″ x 1.25″ x .25″
Svalbard 1  Brooch   polymer, acrylic, gold  Tory Hughes©2012  2.25″x2″x.5″
And part of my display table at the Open Studio this past Sunday.

Best to all, and see you soon!

New Work, 9.15

Fall has arrived in northern New Mexico. Nights are cold, and the fragrance of piñon and cedar smoke waft through the evening air. Days begin crisp, and warm up later – but with a forecast for heavy snowpack this winter and the aspens just beginning to turn on the mountains, we are ummer has finally relented and wandered off to the south.
Meanwhile, the Paradise City show coming up in three weeks has been consuming my waking moments. Having done so many shows earlier in my career, it’s a treat to get back in the groove of working for a show. Delightfully so. The Brooch Form possesses me at the moment. Here are a few current favorites-

Kailash 5 Brooch,  polymer, acrylic,  gold  2012        5.25″ x 1.” x .25″
Cygnii 5 Brooch,  polymer, acrylic,  gold  2012        1.5″ x 1.5″ x .25″
Cygnii 7 Brooch,  polymer, acrylic,  gold, crystal   2012        3.25″ x 1.25″ x .5″
SeaCliff 33  Brooch,  polymer, acrylic,  silver, crystal   2012        2.5″ x 2.25″ x .5″
Trio of Kilauea Brooches,  polymer, acrylic  2012        approx. 3″ x 1.25″ x .25″
Cygnii 10,  polymer, acrylic, gold, silver  2012        approx. 3.25″ x 1.” x .5″
Rigel 1,  polymer, acrylic, gold  2012        approx. 5.25″ x 1.25″ x .5″

Back to the studio. If you are in Santa Fe Sept. 30, please drop my my Open Studio Party to celebrate this body of work. Sorry, no sales, I need the work for the show the next weekend.

Lumeria: New Work, Summer 2012

As Santa Fe’s high season continues, and the blessed monsoons have come to cool and moisten the high desert, I’ve been getting deep into the creative process as I get work together for the Paradise City show in October.

Cygnii 1 Brooch,   polymer, acrylic, glass    2012         3.25″ x 1 x .25″

The Aquarelle Collection is now named ‘Lumeria” and includes three new series of brooches and necklaces. New brooches from the series Cygnii, Kailash, and Kaulea are shown here.

Cygnii 2 Brooch,  polymer, acrylic,  gold  2012        1.5″ x 1.5″ x .25″

Cygnii is a series exploring light and iridescence directly. The name comes from a star.

Cygnii 3 Brooch,   polymer, acrylic,   2012     1.5″ x 2″ x .25″mmmmmmmmmm
Cygnii 4 Brooch     polymer, acrylic, gold   2012    3″ x 1″ x .25″
Kilauea 1 Brooch     polymer, acrylic, gold     2012   2″ x 1.5″ x .25″
Kilauea 2  Brooch   polymer, acrylic, gold   2012   2.25″ x 1.25″ x .25″

Kilauea is on the north shore of Kauai, Hawaii. Translucent depth and intention are my goal with these, and they are remarkably hard to photograph well. As are the Cygnii pieces.

Kilauea 3 Brooch,   polymer, acrylic, silver    2012         3.25″ x 1 x .25″
Kilauea 4 Brooch,   polymer, acrylic, gold, glass    2012         3.25″ x 1 x .25″

The last new series Is Kailash. A sense of potency, enigma, and pure form are what interests me in these. There are other references, feel free to add any guesses or comments below.

Kailash 2 Brooch,   polymer, acrylic, gold    2012        2″ x 2.5″ x .25″
Kailash 3 Brooch,   polymer, acrylic, gold    2012         3.25″ x .75 x .25″
Kailash 1 Brooch,   polymer, acrylic, gold    2012         3″ x 1.75″ x .25″

I’m having a celebration of new work September 30, Sunday, from 4 – 7, to show those here all the work I will have ready for the show the next weekend. This is not an open studio, no retail will be happening. Rather this is an open house to share this body of work and much more with you. I’m looking forward to teaching you those sumptuous, exotic Trebizond Secrets, but Lumeria techniques will not be taught for quite a while. Come generate your own potent pieces instead. Best wishes to you from under the cottonwoods by the Santa Fe River- Tory

Come visit my Jewelry Open Studio May 26+27

Hello all-
You’re invited to my jewelry trunk show this weekend!
Saturday and Sunday May 26+27, from noon to 5pm

Showing at my studio:
• Stunning, shimmering necklaces that arc and move.
• Luminous contemporary brooches.
• Evocative hinged pendants redolent of ancient cultures.
• Witty, engaging postage-stamp brooches.
• Colorful, playful beaded necklaces.
I’ll also be selling objects, vessels and artists’ books.

Summer’s Day Jewelry Show and Open Studios

Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27, from 12 noon to 5pm

1519 Upper Canyon Road, Santa Fe

Visit our leafy oasis and art complex,
and take time to chat with us and see what inspires us.
Shop for jewelry
and objects
that express your personal style.

Bring your friends and have a day out.
There’ll be cool refreshments and bonbons; please carpool if you can.
Please join us under the cottonwoods for a magical summer day!


SeaCliff Brooches, mid-winter 2012

SeaCliff Brooch 19,   polymer, acrylic, gold    2012         2.25″ x 2.25″ x .25″

Hello from Santa Fe! How’s by you?
Been a productive time in the studio, blurred a bit by a computer crash in mid-January. Communications went awry, but should be sorted out by now. Working in my studio has been very fulfilling: here-

SeaCliff Brooch 20,  polymer, acrylic,    2012        2.5″ x 1.25″ x .25″mmmmmmmmmm

SeaCliff Brooch 15,   polymer, acrylic,   2011     2″ x 2″ x .25″mmmmmmmmmm
SeaCliff Brooch 22   SOLD   polymer, acrylic, 2012    2″ x 1.75″ x .25″ mmmmmmmmmmm
SeaCliff Brooch 17   SOLD   polymer, acrylic, 2012   2.25″ x 1.5″ x .25″ mmmmmmmmmmm
SeaCliff Brooch 21  SOLD   polymer, acrylic, 2012   2.25″ x 1.5″ x .25″


SeaCliff Brooch 17, polymer, acrylic, glass    2012    2.25″ x 1.25″ x .25″


Go here to buy one of these for yourself, or to browse other brooches and necklaces in my gallery shop.
A collector recently commented ‘Your pictures are fine, but these brooches are even more beautiful in person than I’d expected’. Another added ‘They’re so lightweight and delicate- they look much heavier: what a surprise!’

SeaCliff Brooch 18, polymer, acrylic, gold, silver, 2012 2.5″ x 1.25″ x .25″ mmmmmmmmmm

NOT that I have favorites, but these last two, my most recent, are particularly inspiring me.
However, SeaCliff 21, above, and SeaCliff 8 have a persistent hold over me as well. However, they sold quickly – in fact a collector bought SeaCliff 21 as I was finishing it, during her first visit to my studio. Persons of impeccable taste are drawn together, that must be it.

SeaCliff Brooch 23,  polymer, acrylic, silver 2012    2.25″ x 1.5″ x .25″ mmmmmmmmmm

Questions about these, please email or call 505-301-9142
To own these for yourself, please click here.

SeaCliff Brooch 24, polymer, acrylic, gold 2012    2.25″ x 1.5″ x .5″ mmmmmmmmmm

And come over!
Open Studios in early May, so get on my email list for news about that.
Also as always, y
ou’re invited anytime:
1519 Upper Canyon- the New School / Red Sky Studios, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Call or email first, just in case: 505-301-9142

SeaCliff Brooches: New Work, Thanksgiving Day 2011

Lovely week in the studio.
To purchase any of these brooches, please go here to my Gallery Shop, and let my pleasant and efficient store maidens take care of you.
Questions, email or call 505-301-9142
Hope to see you at our big 2011 Holiday Open Studios, Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3+4th,
as twenty-one (21!) artists’ studios open for you: 1519 Upper Canyon- the New School / Red Sky Studios.

SeaCliff Brooch 1,
polymer, gold, acrylic, 2011

2″ x 2.25″ x .25″


SeaCliff Brooch 3,
polymer, gold, acrylic, 2011

2.25″ x 1.25″ x .25″


SeaCliff Brooch 8,
polymer, silver, gold, acrylic, 2011

2.5″ x 1.25″ x .25″


SeaCliff Brooch 2,
polymer, gold, acrylic, 2011

1.75″ x 2.75″ x .25″


SeaCliff Brooch 5,
polymer, gold, acrylic, 2011

1.75″ x 2″ x .5″



SeaCliff Brooch 6,
polymer, gold, acrylic, 2011

2″ x 1.5″ x .25″


SeaCliff Brooch 9,
polymer, gold, acrylic, 2011

2″ x 1.75″ x .25″


SeaCliff Brooch 7,
polymer, gold, acrylic, 2011

2″ x 1.5″ x .25″


SeaCliff Brooch 10,
polymer, gold, acrylic, 2011

2.75″ x 1.25″ x .25″


SeaCliff Brooch 4,
polymer, gold, acrylic, 2011

6″ x 1.5″ x .25″

Tahitian Flora Sketches and Polymer Mokume Gane

Update – Studio work for my Aug. 1 show:
My theme is souvenirs of places I have visited, in real life or in my imagination. Today:

Papeete, capital of Tahiti: Floral fecundity.

In a grand and intriguing gift from the Universe (thanks!) I went to Tahiti several years ago with a small group of wonderful people.
Someday I’ll tell you the story, it’s pretty remarkable, and goes to show that all of our life experiences are part of the Big YinYang. All are personal perceptions of good and bad, embraced by change. Never a dull moment, as my friend Katrina says.

Back to art: For this necklace, I want to convey the lush, opulent  abundance of the flowers at the Papeete municipal marketplace. I want to make a souvenir for myself, and translate my impressions into a material object.”Flora” is its title until I know if it will be as I intend.

In Tahiti outrageous plantlife abounds everywhere. Hibiscus blossoms the size of dinner plates, bright blue water lilies crowding the canals, thick green fern fronds unfurling six feet tall in dense bamboo groves, enormous ginger and protea, be still my heart.

One of a kind pieces are often like this. We have a good idea and a bunch of faith, and then we plunge in.
Art is a practice, and a damn funny one for all its intensity.

So first things first. Five simple directions:
Intention, check: as above.
Start with what works: I want to use Mokume Gane, for opulent magical patterning with variations and layered color combinations. I’ll try opaque colors with a hint of pearl for this project. Check.
Schedule: heck, I need to get 15 necklaces made in six weeks. You do the math. Let’s go.

Mokume Gane is an prolifically rich and fascinating polymer technique.

1. With a rough idea for the feeling of the piece in mind, I sketched and cut out a selection of possible shapes for mokume gane elements. I make different shapes when I draw then when I work in polymer, enabling a different design approach. This inspires  – and reminds me – that there are many many more ways to do something than what has always worked in the past

2.Gathering them onto my work surface, I brought together polymer clay bodies that felt right: rich light colors, varying translucencies, pearlescents and opaques.

3.  I made a range of sample mokume combinations of colors and impressions. Some I like, some I don’t.  Some will be wonderful for brooches but are not exactly what I want for this necklace. These fragments approach the rich colors I want, but I need lots of volume, and less translucent layering.

4. These fragments were more like what I wanted, so I laid them on a pearlescent lavendar polymer, and made a trial element for Flora. Liked it well enough to proceed.

5. Here’s the pearlescent lavendar I mixed, and the color swatch for the layers of mokume gane  so that I could duplicate the pad and make more of the same patterning for additional elements.

6. The sample single element; I like it, will make the rest of the pieces and will finish the necklace, but it does not look like the feeling of the Papeete flower market, so right now, I’m calling this necklace ‘Flora’ rather than ‘Papeete’ and will continue to experiment with materials and approaches that translate my sensory experience of the  market into a solid object. This isn’t wrong or bad, I like the necklace. Just not quite what I have in my mind.

7. The group of six finished elements. I made a slight cup shape in each one before baking, pressing the back of my knuckle gently into the polymer clay, then baked them cradled in that shallow paper cone you see above.

In future posts, I’ll figure out how to attach these six elements into a durable and wearable necklace, adding beads and construction details. We’re not done yet!

8. Detail of the shallow cup shapes. Rather than have flat cutout shapes like the paper sketches, I wanted more dimensionality and life, since these are referencing blossoms.

9. Mokume gane usually results in supplemental usable fragments. Way cool, a bonus to play around and make new pieces. Here’s a few partially finished elements – fragments laid on curved supports- that will be mokume gane broochesat the gallery shop in the very near future.

That’s it for Flora right now. I’ve got other projects to do and explore while this is percolating along.

10. Next post:

In this post, kinda like a movie trailer, I showed you the Flora progression as a fast and constant flow. However there were detours here and there, when the process was ebbing instead of flowing.
In one of them, I fixed up an early favorite of mine, and in the next post I’ll take you through restringing and rejeuvenating my  ‘Coba’ necklace from 1994. I’ll be putting this in the show as well, because it is one of my favorite translations from “sense of place” to wearable art.

Where have you been that you’d like to translate into a wearable form? Why?

My best wishes for all your creative endeavours!