Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweetheart Collection in time for Valentine's Day!

I've been busy all weekend making heart jewelry. OK, I know, how stereotypical is hearts for Valentine's day? But I have 2 local shows before the 14Th, and I never have shows around Valentines day. Making hearts in wire is fun, so I have the perfect excuse to do something I love to do anyway! All the pieces are made using Sterling silver wire.

Top Picture shows a heart pendant using a wonderful rose vintage crystal in 20 GA and matching earrings in 21 GA.
Here's another shot of the heart earrings, I've made just a few pairs, some using more red w/ pink as the accent, and some the other way around. Another version of Sweethearts in Wire, another pendant using 20 GA but with a completely different flavor! Last

is Wire heart earrings with American made Art glass hearts floating on them. These are so much fun to wear, lots of movement!

I can't wait for these shows, both sound like so much fun! First is on Feb 6Th is a Craft/Art market at a local coffee shop: The Living Room Coffee House in Valley Junction. It runs 10-4pm. I know some of the fellow vendors there, so I think it will be a good time... good food (and Coffee, if you are into that! LOL) good friends and lots of kewl handmade items like oh, say, JEWELRY!, fiber items, and paintings. Probably lots more, so if you are in the Des Moines Area drop by for a fancy coffee and Iowa Art!!

My 2ND show is Feb 9Th at Panera Bread located at
4150 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines. They have this great program promoting local Iowa artists, called "Artists on the Rise" . Every Tues night 6-8pm they have a guest artist set up and demonstrate their craft. I'm delighted they have accepted me for this program!

Actually being an artist in Iowa seems more exciting the last 6 months than ever before.. there is so much going on if you keep your eyes and ears open. The Market Street Media Foundry shows ( which start up again in May!) the Art shows at the Art Store in West Des Moines, the Central Iowa Artist Coop Gallery in Merle Hay Mall... I'm just so grateful for all the opportunities I've had last year and this year is shaping up to be even better!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Some random pictures of my glass shop....

My glass shop is actually my 2nd bench in my studio, where I normally cut, torch and pound metals. Right now it's messy with lovely glass stuff, and I've got a couple of other orders on the way. (wooo hoo! more lovely, sparkly, fun glass to melt!) Right now my desk is full of COE 96. The Second photo is showing a few cabs set up for firing. I can fire 10-12 at a time depending on size. Third photo is a bunch of glass cabs in various stages. Most of the cabs I make are fire at least 2 times, sometimes up to 4. Each firing I add design elements such as more dichro or clear for spark and depth. The final run is a fire-polish and annealing.
No don't think I'm ignoring my other jewelry making passions, such as wire work! I have a 2ND bench/desk in my studio, which I try very hard to keep clean enough to actually make things on it. Right now I've been concentrating on making pendants and working on my challenge piece for 2010... more on that soon!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

200th post, wow! And pics of the gallery Demo

When I logged into my blog I saw that this is my 200th posting! Wow! Here's to another 200 + !
Anyway, someone emailed me and asked what I made at my demonstrations last weekend. Well, here is a group shot for you. Item one ( and I am posting a close up) is one of my fused glass pieces that I wire wrapped in 20 GA sterling wire. Next is a crystal wirewrapped , a wire heart frame with a dangle of blue cat's eye and sterling bead ( which BTW 3 very cute little girls helped me pic out what to dangle on the heart.. thanks gals! ) A nice herringbone bracelet made with Japanese glass seed beads. Last is a pair of earrings made with Titanium and fresh water pearls. I also made a ring but it sold! I had a great deal of fun doing the demo's and maybe the Coop will allow me to demo again in the future...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sat-Sun I'll be demonstrating at the Coop!

Great news! This weekend at Merle Hay Mall is the side walk sale. Not only can you get great bargains, but the Coop (Central IA Artist Gallery Cooperative ) will feature great art and weekend long demonstrations by me! Wooo hoo!! Hey, anytime I get to hammer in a public place is a good time! I plan to set up Sat approx noon to 6pm on Saturday, and noon to 5pm Sunday. I'll be bringing in extra jewelry to sell also, but I'm mostly there to show folks how I make some of my creations from start to finish. There is a chance that other artists will demonstrate or be there in person to sell also. If you are in the Des Moines Area, stop by and see great art on the walls, maybe meet a few artists in person (or at least me, Monika a wonderful painter, and Sanjin a great photographer)

for more info on the Coop, here is the facebook page:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

pictures of my new baby!

OK, I don't mean a baby baby. I mean my Kiln. Isn't it beautiful?? It's a Caldera made by Paragon. It's a small kiln by industry standards, but it's perfect for me to fuse glass, anneal beads, and play with PMC.

The weekend before Christmas my wonderful husband and his dad put this new bench together specially for the kiln. Total bonus, I finally got my rolling mill mounted properly. It's now bolted to the table and ready to squash metal at my slightest whim!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Before and After firing bronze clay

1st pic is before firing, 2nd is after firing but before cleaning. You can't really tell from the pics, but the fired piece is about 15 % smaller. I"ll have to try this sometime with a dime or something so you can get a sense of scale.
My husband wants me to make him bronze game pieces for a game called Indonesia. Since jewelry really isn't his thing, I am please to make him something he wants. I have made him a few "manly" pieces of jewelry over the years, but I'm not sure he wanted them (LOL) I'll get pics up soon... firing will be challenging because the pieces are so very much thicker. I'm researching a fire schedule now for thicker pieces.

I've got a very busy couple of weeks. I have a home jewelry party next week, and Jan 16-17 I'll be demonstrating jewelry techniques at Merle Hay Mall in front of the Coop Gallery. One of the local bead stores has her annual "Bead Garage Sale" where you can bring things into the shop and sell.. I'm getting things priced for that. Honestly I enjoy the shopping at that more than the selling, you always find something interesting there. I have a Show in early February. More on that later!

Today I am home enjoying a vacation day, while my daughter is home from school on a snow day. It's been a very companionable day. We have both done things apart and together, bonding and getting things done. Days like these are rare and a treasure, and a great start to the year!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A famous Iowa Artist... and the show search for 2010 is on.

realized that all the really good ideas I’d ever
had, came to me while milking a cow.
So I went back to Iowa.

~ Grant Wood ~

I love this quote! I love being an artist, I love been an Iowan, so when I tripped over this quote while looking up shows for 2010, it made me smile and laugh.

If you don't know who Grant Wood is, here is a couple of websites:

his most famous painting is "American Gothic" and it's probably one of the most parodied American pieces of art.

here's the original:

I think you could make a pretty good case that Grant Woods is one of the most famous American Artists. And he's from Iowa. Kewl.

Back to show research!