Sunday, November 29, 2009

Done with Shows, now I'm teaching.....

My last show for the year went very well, but I'm glad I'm done for awhile! I spend the day cleaning and putting things away in my studio. Boy, did it need it! I get so busy when I'm doing shows back to back, I never seem to put things away right. I tripped over some projects I didn't have time to work on, I'm researching kilns ( and hoping to own one by the end of the year!) and looking forward to brushing off my lampworking and metalsmithing skills. I've got ideas dancing around in my head, and I can't wait to get them.

I'm not completely foot loose and fancy free however, I'm going to be teaching a class at a local bead shop, my original design of wreath and earrings for Christmas! If you are in central Iowa check it out, here is the class link.. my class is on December 8th. It will be loads of fun!

I'll be working on my website and networking as well. Look for new sale items coming soon!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy ThanksGiving! and no deer hitting......

Just Wanted to wish everyone a Happy ThanksGiving! OR Turkey Day, or Paid Holiday, or simply Thursday, however you choose to celebrate today! I'm very please to report no deer hitting on the way home from my Aunt's house this year, so I'm very Thankful for that! I'm also thankful for my family and friends, a good job, more or less healthy, and mad wire skills. Hope to see everyone at Black Friday at the Market ... see yesterday's post!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving and Fridays Art Show....

We are doing our more or less Thanksgiving tradition of the last several years... going to visit my Great Aunt in Missouri. I think we will go without the optional but exciting hitting of the deer on the way home... once was enough! We need to head back early though because I have such an fun sounding show on Friday, Black Friday Market!! here is the blurb from them:

Market Day: Black Friday.
November 27 from 10am-4pm.
Buy Local, Start Here.

We want you to make a commitment. We want you to buy locally – truly locally – for all of your holiday gifts this year. Buy vintage. Buy handmade. Buy upcycled. Buy creative. Hell, buy a sewing pattern or some art supplies and make all your gifts yourself. Just don’t throw your money down a benefits crushing, out of state tax sheltered, sweatshop-made-stocking black hole of a big box store.

There’s a lot of ways to Buy Local. A gift certificate to a great local salon. A basket of wine and cheese from an organic, local grocery. Hip and funny shirts that only a fellow Iowan would understand. Cool, one-of-a-kind handmade art bought directly from an artist – story included, no extra charge.

We want you to Start Here, at Market Day. We’ll have over 30 local vendors selling cool handmade stuff, vintage finds, and original art. There’s something for everyone, and that’s not just hot air – baby clothes, furniture, prints, coloring books, hair pieces, beautiful jewelry, paintings – all kinds of cool stuff. We’ll also have a food vendor, goodies from local businesses, and some activities to keep the kids (big or little) busy while you sneak some gift items out to the trunk.

Hope you can make it out. Buy Local, Start Here. And today on the market's facebook page they posted free paper arts at the show: . Very cute!

So if you are in Central Iowa, and in a shopping mood, stop by the Market and get the prefect, made in Iowa by Iowans Christmas gift! I'll be there with bells on, and art jewelry on my table!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I want a KILN! reasons why

As an artist, you grow and evolve. If you don't, you are not an artist. You can't make art without wondering what is beyond the next brushstroke, the next technique you want to learn. You are always thinking, "what if"....... what if I do this in a different color? What if I do this with wire, or cut out metal? Each piece of art is the sum of all the choices the artist decided on. Once choice could completely change the piece's character, the meaning. The more the artist learns in techniques and in life in general, the larger the set of possible choices grow. The more tools and materials kept handy, the larger the pool of choices. I think that's a good thing, the more choices you have, the more decisions to make, the better the art will be.

I started making jewelry using only seed beads and purchased findings. As I grew skilled making seed bead jewelry, I took that next step.. I asked what if I used some bigger beads to make something? I added stringing to my palette of skills. Then wire working. I tried lampworking alittle. I took a class on PMC earlier this year, fantastic stuff! I added basic metalsmithing skills, and I"m learning more techniques all the time.

Three months ago I started to fuse glass using this very cute kiln with a usable area of about 2 inches. I find that is limiting. I want to do larger pieces.. I want to be able to do more than 1 or 2 pieces a night.

Choices = good. Limits = BAD. I don't think there is a worse feeling as an artist than being stymied in the choices I can make. If I cannot translate what's in my head due to my lack of ability, fine, I'll deal with it either by becoming more proficient or changing the design to something more workable. BUT to be limited artificially by lack of tools is just not right!

If I have a kiln I can make many pieces at once, which increases my ability to test out ideas. I'll get more practice in a smaller time period, which increases my skills. If I have a kiln I can make something larger than 2 inches. I have several ideas bouncing around in my head and sketch book that would end up being just over 2 inches long, and I CAN'T MAKE THEM. I want to experiment with molds, which are larger than the kiln I have. (2 little ity bitty inches. blah!)

A kiln would open the door on making PMC pieces in my studio. I could experiment with PMC bronze and copper, which sound so exciting and I'm chomping at the bit to try!

I could try lampworking again. One of the limits on it is I can't sell beads I make until they are properly kiln annealed. Once in a while I get a friend to do a batch for me, but that makes the process so disjointed. Now I could do it myself.

I could try enameling on silver or copper, something I've been wanting to try for years.

And back to fusing, I really love working with glass in this fashion. I feel the urge to maybe try larger non jewelry pieces. A small bowl maybe.

I want a kiln. OK, done whining now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Today Des Moines, Tomorrow Waterloo....

Today had a show at a local venue, and while traffic was slower than I would have liked, I had a thoroughly pleasant day. I had a great space, it allowed me to put up most of my normal displays and my special Christmas display, and I had a nice little space to demo. Most art shows I have a back table where I'll make adjustments, but since it was a low traffic type of setup, I put my table in front. I made 4 pendants and 1 pr of earrings while chatting w/ fellow vendors and customers, and generally having a great day. Sooo.. while oodles of money is great, having a nice, laid-back type of show has it's benefits. Tomorrow I'll be at Waterloo Holiday Arts, from 9-4pm. I've been at this show in the past and it's a great variety if you are in the area. They always have lovely food and baked goods, which is part of fun-raiser, so you know if you by cookies for charity, they have no calories.. a little known fact!

I'll try to have pictures next time, blogger is being fusing right now. Hope to see you in Waterloo!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things to be Thankful for.......

On facebook, the following message is floating around:

"In honor of Thanksgiving, a friend had this idea....I like it. Every day this month until Thanksgiving, think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status."Today I am thankful for..." The longer you do it, the harder it gets! Now if you think you can do it then repost this message as your status to invite others to take the challenge, then post what YOU are thankful for today.... "

So I dutifully copied it and then posted how thankful I am that I"m not sick anymore. I hate being sick, course who likes it??

But I've been thinking about it all day at work now, what am I really thankful for?

What I am thankful for --if I really drill down to it, is the people in my life. My daughter, the single most important person in my life. My husband, the very close second, and partially responsible for the 1st.

My family... Mom and Dad who gave me life and a sense of humor. My sister Gretchen - who can drive me crazy, but would sunder the earth in halves for me if I asked. My brothers Kim, Kirk, and Kit. My Great Aunt Poss who will be 90 this year... the toughest old bird I've ever met!

Friends... Sue & Cathie from South Dakota, who have from time to time saved my sanity. Kelly who has shown so much courage and compassion despite having a crappy year. Tammy just for being who she is, one of the nicest people on earth. Angela, for being my newest friend. All my beady/jewelry friends, who I won't list because I'll forget someone (not because they are not important, but because my brain doesn't always work and I'm doing this on my lunch break) Friends at work, who make the workday that more pleasant by the cheery hello in the morning and the helping hand on tough orders.

I really seriously could go on, but the point is that people in your life make your world go round. I have heard people quote the famous line from Jean-Paul Sartre, "Hell is other people" I'm not sure I would say "heaven is other people" but life on earth sure would suck without them.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Earrings to go with the bracelet....

These earrings go with the bracelet from my last post. I'm hoping to have pictures soon of some of the Christmas items I"m working on... My first November show is Saturday, so I've been working as hard as one of Santa's Elf!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

OK, it's not all Pendants....

I've been working on bracelets also.... and Christmas items, but I'll show those later! This is a "charm" style bracelet made with sterling silver wire formed into "s" shaped links ( I used 18GA) then joined by my special split rings.. it's hard to see in the picture but I make little spirals on the ends instead of just cutting them. they keep things from sliding off and they look great to boot! The charms are all different styles using fancy jasper stone beads. I made matching earrings, I'll post this tonight. Enjoy!