Tuesday, September 29, 2009

a must see show

I'm forever grateful to be a part of such a wonderful group of artists. Come to the opening night Friday, Oct. 2 at 5:30 - 8:00 at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center, for a bit of laughter, some snacks and a collection of creations that will not disappoint.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

and the winners' are...

Thanks to everyone that played along with me with my Charmed, I'm sure contest. And the rave reviews were a added bonus! And without further ado, the winners...
Sara Jane
and Sue!!
yay! Congratulations, I'll get these done shortly and get them to you. Please email me with your addresses. And hopefully will have some in my etsy shop soon.

I've been working quite diligently lately. It seems my October is a bit busier than I realized. I'm teaching bronzeclay next Saturday, the 26th.
And then, the Collage Sisthars Show, Alphabet Soup Show at the Fine Line. Opening night is October 2. This group is extremely talented, it's a must see exhibit.
Another PMC class (PMC put it together!) Oct 3 and 10 and then Uncommon Threads Show! October 18. Wow, I'd better get busy.

Isn't this photo perfect, it's royalty free from The Graphics Fairy

Friday, September 18, 2009

a whirl wind in chicago

I'm in complete awe and humbled by my experience the last two days. Attending the CUSP Conference was a remarkable roller coaster ride of emotion, inspiration and absolutely intense. The creative talent and ideas of speakers was so diverse, but seemed to be speaking the same language. Conversations of a better future by hard work, perseverance, confidence, compassion and design. It was inspirational, spiritual, political, challenging, admiration and intriguing. In the words of Greg Samata (one of the curators of the event) "I love smart people... I wish I was one". All this higher level thinking has indeed made my head swirl with possibility and promise. I'm so thankful to Sharon, that I was able to attend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

a charmed life - the process

Here's a little sneak peak at my process for the charms I highlighted in my previous post. You might be a lucky recipient of your own personal charm, just comment on this post.

To start I formed 14 gauge wire into a square, added the circle with solder, pulled it and hammered it into a shaped that's a bit off.(shown on the lower right). Now to create the bezel, I used two part molding compound RTV and made a mold (the green blob shown top). With fresh bronze clay I formed small squarish balls, I did this to try to keep them about the same weight. I pressed the clay into the mold and smoothed out the back. I sign (or stamp if I'm doing that) while it's in the mold, so the charm is not distorted.
The one thing I really love about bronze clay versus silver clay, is the way it carves. After being in a dehydrator to leather hard state, with an exacto and some carving blades, I finished off the sides, digging out the center for the jump ring and cleaning up the bezel. I did some light sanding where needed. Then when completely dry, I loaded them in a kiln. A stainless steel container with an inch of charcoal between the 3 layers. I put the container on posts, so the air will be able to heat the whole container evenly. The one main challenge in bronzeclay is it's unpredictable nature. It needs to ramp up slowly and hold temp for a long time, but I've had success with the following: on my Paragon Kiln, I set my program to ramp up 250 degrees per hour, holding at 1565 for 3 hours.
beautiful, right out of the kiln, see how different each of the charms are, all from the same firing. Like I said, unpredictable, but lovely none-the-less.
with a little buffing (I used a scotch pad for a matte look) the patina in the inside really starts to show.
I was almost tempted to leave the inside as is, loved the coloring.
next I placed little mixed media pieces in each one: scissors, tweezers, pva (acid free archival glue) and a lot of time and patience for each colorful creation.

Here is the first layer of resin to seal the mixed media art. I use Envirotext which mixes 50/50. But I know there are a lot of other jewelers' grade resin, including Susan Lenart-Kazmer's ICE Resin.

For the final touch, after letting the resin set-up for two hours, I added the words. I prefer them to blend into the background a bit, so I placed them right on the resin. But if you would like it to be brighter, apply PVA to seal the words before pouring the last bit of resin. I placed a jump ring (I used solder-free Snapeez jump rings from Via Murano through the hole and they are ready to attach to a bracelet or string on a cord.
Now don't you want to enter the little contest and win your very own?
Hope you enjoyed the process.

charmed, i'm sure

The EtsyMetalClay team held a charm swap. Here is my contribution, doesn't it look like a tapestry of goodness? These are made from BronzClay, mixed-media collage and resin. I love this type of collaboration, I'm so lucky to be involved with such a talented group of people and I'm anticipating the lovely pieces of art to arrive next week. Today, was the due date! Finally received my jumprings, so Teresa, they are in the mail.

What I especially love, is the team all agreed to make one extra charm that will be used to create a charm bracelet that will be donated to a charity. The Andruzzi Foundation is the charity we chose. They have a live auction to raise money and the proceeds to use towards cancer research, which is dear many hearts in the group.

But I also wanted to thank all you that read my posts and have encouraged me along the way. So I would like to give a similar charm to a few lucky readers as a token of my appreciation.

Here are the Giveaway rules:
1} Please post one comment to this blog, that includes a word that describes your personality, outlook on life or any other word that is meaningful to you. Just be aware that it needs to be pretty short to fit on the half inch charm.
2} give me a color combination and I'll try my best to fit it into the mixed media piece. (ie. cool tones, warm tones, blues, tuscan, neutral) Your charm will have a jump ring so it can be easily added to a charm bracelet or strung on a cord for a necklace.
3} After a week, so next Thursday, I'll will announce the 3 winners. (update: I've been away at a conference, so I'll take entries until Friday at midnight and I'll announce the winners Saturday, September 19)
} One entry per person please ;)
if you are having technical challenges posting, I will except an email note)
Thanks again to everyone. This weekend I'll post the process on how these charms are made. Good luck.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

artistic exploration and relaxation

Just home from a wonderful weekend by the lake – relaxation, artistic exploration and perfect weather. Starting off with the welcoming smile of a Debbie from Circle of Life Studio. As I drove in, before I even got out of the car, I felt the warmth of a invited kindred spirit. I was lucky enough to spend the morning at her paper making workshop. I felt like a kid in the candy store flittering about in an artistic frenzy without care of space or time. I sure was busy, my handmade paper, shown above, proves it. Pure bliss.

Here is Debbie showing us how to release a perfect piece of pulp from the screen. Loved all the natural light coming through the studio windows. Her workshop was so informative (kinda wish I took notes), inviting and inspiring.

And here are a few of the dimensional handmade paper creations, I plan on using in some mixed media work in the near future. I picked up my dried, pressed paper on Sunday and she graciously showed me her Studio with beautiful pieces for sale. There is the Northwoods Gallery Tour Oct 2-4, I would highly recommend visiting some of the artists, especially Debbie(#23). I loved spending sometime in her shop chatting and it was great to see the grounds which are as inviting and creative as she is. Thank you!

I spent a bit of time finishing a few jewelry pieces and photographing some new pieces for my shop. Here is a sneak preview of one of them. I hope to find time to refresh the pieces online soon.

And one of my favorite things, spending time with my niece and spirited daughter, a little "Tween-Toddler" friendly artistic time of creating. They created hand-painted stationery card and envelope sets. Using acrylic paint and a scrape off technique. Didn't these turn out great!? Not sure if it will inspire any actual writing, rather than texting - but none-the-less it was great messy, creative fun. Hope your weekend was chock full of goodness.
And be sure to check out my blog little later this week. I'm sure you'll be "charmed" by my give-away!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

weather man says...

SUN!! Looking forward to getting away this weekend. Taking the trek UpNorth with plenty of inspiration to read, journals to draw in and supplies to create with. Especially looking forward to spending sometime with Debra in her studio. I hope to have some pics so show when I get back. Oh, and the little secret I talked about last post, also. Hope everyone have a relaxing labor day weekend.