Archive for August, 2011

Featured this week – Lonni Hopkins Studio Jewelry

Featured Profile of the Week

Aloha again, welcome to this week’s Featured Prof- what’s that you say? You haven’t seen a Featured Profile of the Week in… how long? Over a month?! That’s odd, I could have sworn I said I’d keep up wi-… abandoning the site? Never! Vacation time and a broken computer will slow you down. Now pipe down, time for the show!

I may be a little biased here, but my mom makes some stunningly original and gorgeous jewelry. Did I just destroy my credibility for these Featured Profiles by featuring my mom? Nah. I profile artists, small business owners, and the like; she happens to qualify under a few categories.

  • three handmade silver rings
  • Lemon Quartz Pendant with 14k gold
  • Pyrite & Silver Bracelet
  • Green Amethyst Necklace & Earrings
Jewelry photos by the masterful Robert Dimante

Lonni Hopkins profile photo Lonni has lived a life of art: bouncing from lithography to photography, quilting, watercolor, sculpture, and so many mediums in between; her endeavor into metalsmithing kicked off circa ’96. Jewelry seemed a natural progression, pulling from past experiences and artistic expressions, culminating with the acute skill and careful workmanship metalsmithing demands.

“How light dances across the surface of the metal is an important consideration in the designs.” – Lonni Hopkins

A new metal has recently entered the field, which Lonni has adopted, more pure than traditional sterling silver, called argentium. It’s a modern sterling silver alloy which modifies the traditional alloy (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper) by replacing some of the copper with the metalloid germanium¹, yielding purities from 930 to 960. In terms that I can understand, it’s a brand new DSLR that has a buffer like an abyss, shoots at 300 megapixels, and downloads 64 gigabytes of data to your computer in 5 seconds. See, I’m already losing readers. In simpler words, it’s a game changer. Another metal new to Lonni’s jewelry designs is 18 karat gold. I suggested titling her ring collection ‘Bling Bling Ring Rings’ for younger crowd appeal but I don’t think she’s going for it. The gems and stones picked for pieces bear names nearly as beautiful as their appearance – aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, peridot, aventurine, and sapphire are just a few. Almost makes me want to start a gem collection. Almost.

Lonni working on a piece at her home studio

Hold on, got a call coming in. It’s my mom, gotta take this. Tune in later for more profiles, posts, and pictures; in the meantime, get more sleep and eat your veggies (says mom).


¹ Argentium Sterling Silver on Wikipedia.

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    Photographer Confessions

    Confess your photographic sins, my son…

    Well, Ansel, I got started in the wedding business at 19 years of age, shooting video for a great company down in Tampa. Then, a friend of the video company, employed me to second shoot still photos for quite a few weddings. Oh, this is so embarrassing… that whole time I worked for both companies I didn’t know what f/stop was, what it did, or how to manipulate it. It’s not that I knew about f/stop and didn’t take initiative to school myself on its importance, it’s simply that I didn’t even know the term. Naive. Wow. I don’t know if I’ve ever told anyone that before. Now, I did know what shutter speed was and how to change it to achieve certain effects. Also, I knew how to roll on the ground and climb up stuff to get interesting angles. This helped provide variety to the main photog since he got straight forward shots.

    » Continue reading “Photographer Confessions”

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      Album of the Year 2011 & New Music in General

      No good music made any more? Are you kidding!? When people say there is no good music coming out any more, I feel sorry for them. What are they listening to, or not listening to, to make this statement? Because I’ve witnessed this comment enough times that it has stuck and I feel the need to defend. Now, there is a lot of mediocre to bad music played on Top 40 stations, but I imagine radio play has always been like this. Think of how much music has been produced in the past and the narrow selection still played on the radio. People who think good music production has ceased are missing out on enjoying massive amounts of great, new releases.

      I’ve been on a new music rampage recently! Side note: when I was younger, for one reason or another, I’d never listen to a whole album, only the singles I knew and liked. Why? Nervous I wouldn’t like the remainder of the songs, perhaps. Luckily, I’ve learned the err of my ways and changed my behavior over the past couple years. Today, my audible journey took me through new albums by CSS, Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields), and Fool’s Gold, each one issuing a unique and dynamic sound! The dance-y, upbeat grooves helped the workday pass quickly. Ahh… the feeling of listening to a through-and-through solid album all the way is spellbinding, sends a chill down the spine. Hearing Merritt’s baritone voice crawl out of my speakers threw me back to my dorm daze, where the Magnetic Fields were a big part of my freshmen playlist. It was very comforting to recall those memories and think of all that has happened in my life since. See what music can do – now I’m getting all nostalgic.


      Bon Iver - Bon IverFool's Gold - Leave No TraceCults - CultsDale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - It's A Corporate WorldFoster the People - TorchesWashed Out - Within and Without» Continue reading “Album of the Year 2011 & New Music in General”

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