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We invite you to imagine…

There were ages when things were crafted with timeless elegance…
…when people honored masterful artisan workmanship…
…when dedicated craftsmen would hone their abilities for years, and find ways to integrate their skills with emerging social needs and innovative new technologies.

These were times that did not embrace the culture of fast, cheap, disposable. These were cultures that had a high regard for those who spent their days not in passive entertainment, but in the relentless pursuit of excellence.

What if we could bring a little bit of that back?

There were ages when things were crafted with timeless elegance

Odyssey Craftworks, LLC. is a daring venture that seeks to reclaim that ideal. Under this banner, several aspects are expanding under the direction of Chris and Liv Moore:

 

Mithros Designs (launching June 2013) features jewelry items inspired by history, designed for wearability, and rich in symbolism and meaning.

Underhill Alchemy, LLC is a passion that has been many years in the making. Intoxicating fragrances for the skin, the bath, the home, and the altar.

Liv has closed Carey Moore Art (formerly CareyOxler.com) in order to focus on these new businesses. If you would like prints or greeting cards with her art, they are available through DeviantArt.

And there are other projects in the works… We go where the Muses lead us!

Fly my pretties! Fly!

Greetings fellow adventurers! We hope the week has treated you well. We’ve been hard at work getting our new pewter sales up and running, and now you begin to see the fruit of our labor! (Don’t go thinking that’s all there is, though. There​ is much, much more to come!) 

Our triple moon design was the first mold that we poured, and they’ve been turning out beautifully. Now’s the perfect opportunity to get one of these gorgeous pieces at an affordable price! Don’t wait too long; we anticipate that they’ll be flying off​ the shelves! 😉

Eight medallions, three moonphases, and a whole lot of gravitational pull!

There’s still a lot of surprises left in store though! If you have a chance to come see us in person, either at this weekend’s Renaissance Festival of Nebraska or next week’s Beltania in Colorado, you’ll be able to check out all of our new delights in person! Come see what all the fuss is about and get an exclusive peek at things to come for our Etsy store! Better yet, you can snag one of these treasures for yourself and have an excellent time at the event to boot! (Seriously, come check out the Renaissance festival. There are PEACOCKS on the grounds!)

Hopefully we’ll see you there, but if not, we hope that in the meantime your own flights be safe and filled with fancy. Keep on dreaming, adventurers. Blessings!

The Saga Continues

Greetings fellow adventurers! We hope the road has been easy on you.  We’ve just gotten back from another jaunt, this time travelling to Wichita Kansas for the Great Plains Renaissance Festival.  We had a fantastic time while there, reconnecting with old friends and meeting a whole slew of amazing new people.  Our booth was set up right next to the jousting field, and listening to the tourneys was a delight! While we weren’t able to get out of our booth much to watch, having so many people through our booth that we didn’t have a chance to was a happy exchange. Still, the falconers were about the stalls with birds of prey on arm so we were able to admire.

Caduceus
Our Caduceus was the star of the show, with several winging on their way to be gifted to beloved nurses

 

Now that we’re back we’ve set to restocking supplies once more. We have a spot of time before our next event and several wax trees prepared, so we’ll have plenty of treasures available for people to choose from! treeAside from our normal jewelry processes, the saga of the pewter centrifuge goes on. We’re awaiting the arrival of a new solenoid, an electrical component which should resolve our ongoing problems and result in a fully functioning machine! We will continue to update as we can. pewter

Until next time, may your own adventure be fruitful and filled with joy. The path may occasionally throw boulders at you, but that is only your opportunity to continue climbing. Be well, and Blessings!

Inspiration Divine

Good Day everyone! We hope that your week’s been fruitful! Things around here are busy as ever, tending constantly to the development of new products, learning of new skills, and laying the practical groundwork for the next level our crafts take us to. It’s a practice that is forever progressing, challenging our skill and moving forward, and so must be constantly tended with new creations to fuel the fire.

Rest assured, the arrival of a repair kit for the pneumatic system of our pewter machine has fueled that fire considerably! We’ve been working for some time to expand our horizon, and now we’ve got a whole new heap of material to play around with — 25 pounds of lead-free pewter! After all of the new creative things we learned from our time at War, the ideas have been firing non-stop! I can’t reveal too much at this time–we’re still in the drafting phase after all, and it would spoil the surprise. However I can give you one small hint on what wondrous possibilities you might expect to see from us in the coming months:

hint

We have so many brilliant new designs that we can’t wait to share with you!! Still, all things in good time….

walnut inkSpeaking of new and creative things, we have something up in our shop that may be just the ticket for the artists and calligraphers out there. I don’t suppose anyone has been wanting to work with ink? This was quite a hit among the calligraphers and illuminators at Estrella and Gulf Wars.

This walnut ink was handmade by some very dear friends of ours. It was brewed with intent upon the night of a full moon eclipse, and would be appropriate for use in artistic offerings and sigilwork, as well as the more mundane creative pursuits.

 

The color upon paper is true sepia, a rich earthy tone that would suit a wide variety of work. Alivanna wasted no time testing it out once it was finished!  This is the creation that the ink inspired for her: “Muse”muse

It is our hope that with this ink your own muse will whisper inspirations to you, and birth new marvels and beauties into the world. Wherever the coming week takes you, we hope that it is filled with adventure and inspiration. Perhaps it will even bring you our way; if you’re near Springdale, Arkansas stop on by and have fun at the Renaissance Faire of the Ozarks. We’d love to see you there!  Blessings!

 

As the World Turns

Our world has settled in to the crafting grind once more, finishing fresh casts of favorite designs to be the resupply for our customer’s demand. After such a short break between events the last time it seems that now we actually have a moment to stretch out and get comfortable, though the Renaissance Faire of the Ozarks looms on the Horizon. I don’t suppose that anyone here is near Springdale, Arkansas? If so come on out and have a grand time at the faire, and stop by our booth! We love fantastic conversation and people, and there are far more wares in person than has made it into the online shop just yet so there are plenty of new delights to surprise.

In the meantime however we have had a number of (mis)adventures–no doubt intended by some puckish spirit as a means to prevent life from slipping into boredom. Mission accomplished– with all the ins and outs and ups and downs life is far from boring! After a marvelous boomer of a thunderstorm we were treated to nearly a full day without power–rather off-putting when one’s tools of the trade require electricity. Still, the day wasn’t a complete wash; later in the afternoon we were pleased to discover a most anticipated arrival: our new pewter molds are here!!!

Pewter mold unboxing
The cats were insistent on helping too

Some may remember when we spoke several weeks back on getting our pewter jewelry line off the ground? We have the machine. We now have the molds. We have the poweeeeeeeer!
–well, almost.
There are still some tweaks and and adjustments to the machine before we can get the pneumatic portion to function properly. In the meantime let us explain how this portion of the process is (supposed to) function.Flexible rubber molds

These bendy rubber sides are pressed together so that the steel bolts are aligned, and placed within the machine so that the half with the hole in the center is oriented upward. The machine then puts the mold under pressure and spins it rapidly; at this time molten pewter is poured in through the center. Unlike our bronze and silver casting, where the metal is suctioned down into the shape with a powerful vacuum, the pewter is distributed throughout the mold thanks to centrifugal force.

Centrifuge for pewter casting
Rightey-tightey, Leftie-loosey…

We are so excited to be bringing these to you! We have several designs, some of which are old favorites that are already known and loved. At last, we’ll have more wares available for those who are on a tighter budget! As pewter is rather a more fragile (and inexpensive!) metal, for this round we’ve stuck to our favorite designs that are already of a heavier make. We’ll be tweaking some of our other designs to withstand pewter incarnations, as well as coming up with new creations suited to a pewter medium! The possibilities are endless!

Speaking affordable possibilities, we have an exciting announcement! For anyone who’s had a piece of ours on their Favorites list, this may be your chance to secure it. We are delighted that spring has sprung, and we want to share that joy with everyone here.  From now through May 5th you can enter the discount code SPRING417 during checkout on our Etsy shop and get 10% off of orders that are $20 or more. Discount expires May 6th.

Wherever the season finds you, we hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful spring to its fullest and that your adventures are those of the enjoyable type.  Blessings!

There and back again

It’s been a small epic of a week! Hardly a week’s warning and we were off running again, gearing up for Gulf Wars down in Mississippi. In that spot of time somehow we managed to create several new bracelets to premier at the event. These were quite a hit and received several compliments. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks; we’ve still got quite a few items set to debut on our Etsy shop! 

The new bracelets feature our Celtic Cross design as a centerpiece

We traveled all through the night and arrived in the wee hours of the morning. After a couple hours of sleep and several more of waiting in the groggy cameraderie of the early-morning line, we were shown our location and set right to work establishing our booth. Although it’s only the second event under our belt for this year we seem to have the routine down to an art. Shop, kitchen, bedroom– our home for the week settled, we fell gratefully to sleep.

War dawned with the next day.

Have you ever been told to “Have a good War?” The phrase at first may take some getting used to, but it applies perfectly. People come together from all over the country to learn and practice all manner of things from antiquity. About pre-17th-century life, cooking and construction, combat, arts and sciences and so much more, from every culture and early era. There’s lecture and demonstration and hands-on aplenty, certainly any skill to tempt your palate. Want to vent life’s frustrations and test your prowess through the field of combat? There’s a place for that. Want to come together with like-minded intellectuals to learn a new craft? There’s a place for that too. Want to party late into the night dancing about the bonfire to the beat of a drum, or chatting around a brazier as mintrels perform in the tavern? There are in fact very many places for that. 

Alivanna’s new work garb of Roman splendor

Leathra’s new work garb with a beautiful sideless surcoat
Not that we had much stamina for partying; With a dizzying array of classes to attend and patrons through our shop of every stripe and color, we had more than enough to keep us happily busy from sunup to well past sundown. 

Midnight Madness along the Street of Gold
Minstrels and street performers roamed by our booth delighting the ears, and mouth-watering aromas from the bakery across the way maddened the senses until we found ourselves within by some strange compulsion. But when you cap the day with a cold cider, a bacon potato pasty and a berry pie, it’s the sort of satisfaction that denies any notion of “roughing it.” 

So rough 😉

It was a wonderfully fun and thought-filled week, with new crafts and new acquaintances. We worked hard and laughed harder, making the most of our time at war. 

Wherever life finds you, may it be your own rich adventure full of learning and new experiences. Until next time, Slainte!


Hurly-burly

What a whirlwind!! No sooner had last week’s blog post hit than we received a surprising email–we’re going to Gulf War!  We had been on the waiting list, but that often means little for such a well-attended event. Yet lo and behold a vendor dropped at the last minute and we’ve had precious little warning, so we’re making every moment count! We’ve spent full days cooking, repairing garb, and fixing the gaps in our camping needs. That doesn’t even cover all of the jewelry we’ve been making to restock our wares! We wouldn’t change it for the world; we’re absolutely ecstatic to be going! 

A scenic day-long jaunt later and we’ll be ready to settle in for another week of war, with new sights and classes and sales! We listened to our patrons at Estrella and have prepared several new bracelets–if you’re going to be at Gulf you should definitely stop by! There are several treasures available at live events you’ll not find on our Etsy shop, although we’ve been working hard to close that gap. We’ve gotten a whole slew of new items in our Etsy shop recently; now you too can drool over the very same Boar Medallion that had so very many at our last event enraptured:

Soon enough we’ll be back again, preparing for the next event. Still there is some curiosity as to what we’ll find when we get back. It has been unseasonably warm for so early in the year and the pear trees are already blooming. It will be an adventure to find out! 

Whatever the case, may your own adventures bring you happiness and new things of interest. Until next time! 

Estrella War, and the Struggle for the Crown Prince’s Soul

So was the premise for Estrella War XXXIII as nobles, knights, and newcomers journeyed from miles around to gather in Arizona at the charming Schnepf Farms, raising pavilions in the shadow of arid desert mountains and settling in for a week of battle.

Sunset over Estrella War

We worked into the night to have our gear set, and opened bright and early the next morn prepared to cater to all sorts of lords and ladies.

Andross standing in front of our pavilion
What an elegant crown! I don’t suppose you’re looking for some jewels to match?
For those who’ve not been to an SCA War before, as I had not, allow me to entertain with the sights and sounds we experienced. The town criers would begin their rounds at eight in the morning, dispensing news for the day all about the campground. This announcement was never met with much enthusiasm–the herald’s work is a thankless lot at war, it seems, for it is often met with grumbles from the carousers of the night before.

From that point the camp would slowly stir to life, with shopkeeps lifting the sides of their tents ready to vend their wares and townsfolk beginning to wander through in increasing numbers. The proper sport of the day began at nine with a panoply of events to choose from. If one favors the bow or crossbow, archery tourneys are held all war long. The same can be said for the rapier, and of course one cannot miss the grand melee where fully armored combatants test their might.

SCA melee combat
Lay on!
For the Warriors that traveled with their valiant steeds equestrian courses were held throughout the week, as was hound coursing for those who came with their faithful companions. I half expected an event for falconers, and found myself disappointed when it was conspicuously lacking in the program. Ah well…can’t have it all I suppose.

Yet this was simply the martial aspect of war; in the SCA War is a time to cultivate the mind just as much as the body. The Collegium of Arts and Sciences convened at 9am sharp on a daily basis, providing a number of lessons from cordials to fletching to period costuming. There was even a workshop involving the history and polishing of amber; Alivanna brought back useful shop knowledge along with her gorgeous specimen!

Raw amber with a single side polishedGradually the days would turn to nights and parties would spring up like the fires they lit all about us. Yet truly it was the warmth of the merchant stalls against the cool starlit sky that drew me. Live instruments and music, swords, leatherwork, garb, fiber for spinning and weaving…not to mention fine silver jewelry, of course ;)…It was enough to keep one’s head spinning around to the next gorgeous sight.

Midnight shopping madness at Estrella WarWe met a great number of characters throughout the week, stopping by to check out our wares and chat. Together we laughed over personal comedies, discovered the perfect pieces to compliment regalia, and discussed the widespread use of the Pentacle in medieval European churches. A number of our pieces received compliments, and patrons were thrilled to find we do custom work. I anticipate a request or two for laurel medallions in our future. 😉

Antler Pendant with PeridotEventually the week came to a close–as we had not competed in any events, martial or mental, we were not obliged to attend court and so were free to catch up on some desperately needed sleep, drifting off before the proceedings had even reached their conclusion. 

As we bundled up and set our sights for home, the thank-you gift for vending at the event–a viking-styled rubber duckie–took the helm and faithfully steered our course. Two days later and we’re back home recovering from all the fun.

Viking duckie is my copilotWe hope your own adventures have been rewarding. As for our part we’ll take a bit of time to regain our strength and then get ready for a rollout of new gems! Until next week, take care!

Gear up! 

Hither and thither and to and fro, 

Hustling and bustling away we go;

With journey ahead,  we hearty and hale

shall tender our wares o’er hill and dale! 

Greetings fellow adventurers! I trust the week has treated you well? Hopefully the time has passed less busily for you than it has for us! The first event of the year, my first SCA event and first full vending event–it’s a slew of firsts! 

We here at Odyssey Craftworks have been hard at work preparing to bring forth all sorts of new delights for our latest venue. Soon enough we’ll be heading out to Estrella War near Phoenix, Arizona! This is an altogether new event for us (except for Andross, who hasn’t been there in… *cough13yearscough* some time). Alivanna has been yearning to go for ages and it will be my first SCA event, and we couldn’t be more excited! 

Garb is being sorted and laundered, meals planned and cooked to be frozen then reheated for the event. It will be interesting to be at an event in garb and persona for such an extended time–one is obliged to be fully immersed to the point that even your dishes and lighting are period. Thus we’ve secured platters and bread bowls and wooden bowls and clay mugs and…well, you get the idea. 

I find the concept thrilling, but it’s certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. If it is yours however, you should definitely consider giving such an event a shot! You may even find us there. 😉 

Of course such an event benefits from the wear of a cloak, and such a cloak must have a suitable clasp to bear it’s weight. Fortunately we have recently expanded our wares in that regard; feel free to check them out! That’s all for now; we’ll check back in later with tales of our exploits. Until then,  happy adventuring! 

Oh we would drive five hundred miles…

…And we would drive five hundred more!
Just to score those gems with our bargaining wiles

And deliver them to your door!

Okay,  so maybe our round trip was closer to 2,392 miles, but that didn’t fit in the song nearly so well. 😉

Hello everyone! Hopefully life has been treating you well. Happy Imbolc to those who celebrate it; this is always our best time of year for our Brigid’s Cross. Spring is quickening! A quick note for the aspiring romantic however,  all orders intended to arrive by February 14th must be ordered by tomorrow, Friday 10th.

For our part we’ve been on one adventure after another, our most notable being the annual trek to Tucson, Arizona to restock the shop with breathtaking jewels. 
We left on a Thursday morning heading toward the land of cacti, mountains, and glorious sunsets. Andross took the wheel and steered our course through snowcapped mountains and dusty desert, stopping as necessary then doggedly heading on. Our aim was to make it to Tucson from Kansas City in two days to arrive for three days of gorging ourselves on a panoply of gemstones–a gathering of Gem and Mineral shows from all over the world at one time, in one place. The idea is dazzling; the reality overwhelming.

Maybe next time we can NOT smile directly into the sun?

Having survived the White Sands Missile Range–the site for the nuclear bomb tests near Almagordo, New Mexico–we arrived safely at our hotel and dove headfirst into a pile of stones. Or maybe just headfirst into bed to sleep like rocks; we’ll never tell. 😉

And so it begins…

We rose bright and early for our first day, entering into a dizzying array of every sort of stone you’ve ever seen, or heard of, or possibly even imagined. Every precious or semi-precious stone one could think of, from tiny cabochons scarcely a millimeter round, to giant raw stones as big as a horse, to lamps crafted of sheer opulence (Opulent lamps, you say? Picture an Amethyst cluster  with the largest point as big as your forearm, set into a small boulder of slightly-tumbled moss agate lit from within. Or one of tumbled amber in every size and shade,  pieced together like a mosaic. The beauty and prices were both jaw-dropping.)

Now, to give an idea for scale; the above picture is one stall of amber beads, in one corner of the amber section, which — while the size of a large store all on it’s own — was but one small corner of a large warehouse, which in itself was one of the smaller gem shows in one corner of a large city. When I say corner of a large city I mean to say that every hotel, warehouse, convention center, and market in that section of the city is taken up with its own gem show. 

One of the shows that we went to had a bathtub carved from sodalite out front, as well as this monster:

Not catching on to this “sun” bit, are we?

Too much for a person to take in in the one week, let alone the three days that we had. Yet the astounding milieu left us entirely exhausted, and we found ourselves all too ready to turn from the land of sunsets and make the steady trek back home. 

All too soon we’ll be turning right back around to head out to Arizona again for our first event of the year, Estrella Wars. Already we are in the thick of preparations with last minute restocking of wares and readying the tent for a whole week outdoors. Anyone else excited? We’ll be happy to meet you there! 

Until next week, intrepid adventurers, may life’s travels treat you well. Keep your heads high and hearts open. Blessings! 

Standing for a Change

Happy Tuesday!
((…wait, it’s Tuesday already?! Wha–how–WE GOTTA GET MOVING!))

Time is suddenly rushing by us here at the shop! Just two days and we LEAVE FOR ARIZONA! A world of delights waits to unfold, and in the meantime we need to get all the things ready before we’re off on our adventure because in just three short weeks we’ll have our first event of the season! Estrella Wars here we come!

Speaking of, we just rolled out several new pieces on our Etsy shop including four additional cloak clasp designs! (I did warn that they would be coming, didn’t I? Expect more! 😉 )  These clasps are quite heavy and appropriate for any thick cloak or robe. I’ve been shooting the waxes for these over the past week or so in preparation, and it’s wonderfully gratifying to hold the finished piece–though it will be more gratifying to sell them! Some of my favorite pieces snuck out with this wave, so be sure to check out our shop and see what else we have to offer!

As busy as things have been for us in the shop of late, things have been busy for the country (and to a degree the whole world) lately. How was everyone’s Saturday? Ours was a sea of pink.
Alivanna and I had been knitting up a storm, and successfully delivered four pussyhats to our local Kansas City march. While not as epic in scale as some of the marches, there was still a highly respectable turnout of all sorts of people coming together for unity. The energy of this large crowd was the best part of all, however–the dominant message was Love. That Together, we can overcome hate. That there is still hope we can make the future better.

Given the current tide we may be heading for rough waters in the coming years. We here at Odyssey Craftworks stand, and will continue to stand, for the sake of equal rights and equal respect. We agree that all races, genders, orientations, spiritualities, and abilities are deserving of respect. Whatever privileges we enjoy should be the birthright of all, and we stand for our present and our future.

Not everyone has the same ability to stand up. Some are afraid, for any number of valid reasons. For those who cannot stand in the open but still stand in their hearts, we will be there for you too.

Our Discreet Devotions ring is custom made to order with a wide range of possible religious symbols to choose from. If you don’t see the symbol you’d want, please contact us and we’ll be happy to work together with you on a custom piece. Elegant and tasteful, this is a beautiful devotional piece for those loyal at heart–even if they can’t openly display it.

Until next week, dear friends, I’m off running again! May your hearts be hopeful and your steps sure, and may any adversity be the impetus for you to shine brighter than ever before.

These are the times we were born for. It’s time to get to work.