Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tricks Using a Vibrator & Cocktail Stir Stick

Did that get your attention?? I took two classes this past week and both were with the whirlwind instructor, Tonya Davidson, from Whole Lotta Whimsy! Both classes were intensive and stuffed full of great information. One was on enameling and the other was on various textures for precious metal clay. OMG...I can't wait to try and experiment further with all that I learned!!!

Okay. What the heck were we using a vibrator for?? Getting out air bubbles of course......goodness, what were YOU thinking :) Using a vibrator helps get air bubbles out of clay veneer or even resin. I loved this idea but think its rather funny having to purchase a vibrator for art purposes ;)

The cocktail stir stick was used like a pestal...you use the ball end to crush up dried clay.....I don't have a picture of this but I'm sure you get the idea. My pictures from the Enameling class haven't been uploaded yet so I don't have anything to share for now....Tonya really made everything so user friendly and easy that I can't wait for another opportunity to work with her again.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nice Weather Fun

Yesterday, Robert, Peter and I went for a late afternoon bike ride. A fifteen mile bike ride! Boy are my legs tired today! We went along the Genesee River starting in Corn Hill, thru Highland Park and thru Genesse Valley Park. We ended up on the RIT campus and had a coffee & dessert break at the Barnes and Noble Starbucks at the campus center. Highland park was in bloom with flowering trees and early spring flowers...people were taking advantage of walking and relaxing in the beautiful sunny but coolish weather. The conservatory located in Highland park was recently renovated but was unfortunately closed for a private event. Note to self: I need to get back there!!

We also rode thru Mt. Hope Cemetary. I use to love going there, looking at all the old head stones, taking rubbings and looking for famous dead people. Its really a great place loaded with history. This summer we plan on taking a tour & learning more about the cemetary and its history.

Love the big boulder ontop of this one....

We did find Susan B. Anthony's headstone....

Today I'm off to take another class. School is back in session but I'll be in "school" for myself today....enameling...OOOHHHH. Can't wait to see what I'll be learning.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pretty Impressed

My Trunk Show at the Memorial Art Gallery began last night and Today I was there from noon until 4:00. When I entered the Gallery I was amazed to see so many people gathered about wearing name tags...looking rather important. As I headed towards the shop I over heard people speaking French, Italian and other languages........hmmmm, what was going on here??! I was told that there was an international music something or other going on and it was taking place in conjuntion with the Eastman School of Music. Wow. I was pretty impressed with little ole Rochester.....we suddenly seemed so international & chic!!

Here was my first customer of the day...Oh, I do love the wee ones :) This four year old sure knew how to shop...picked the perfect bracelet for her outfit! I had plenty of visitors today and loved meeting with them all. I had a few "glass" friends pop in also....its always nice to have fellow glassworkers/ jewelers supporting one another. My dear friend Nancy will be having her show next week and Jeanne & Brett will follow. Of course I will be there for them during their shows & wishing them the best!

The auction is going great too. I'm kinda tickled to see that my necklace has a bid of 350.00 so far. Puts a smile on my face...Well, I think I'll head out for an ice cream and call it a night. A little reading, a little t.v watching and then tomorrow its off to the Gallery again.

Oh, check out my Necklace page....I finally added a few new items. I'm thinking of adding a "Buy Now" button to my site....what do you think??? Of course that means I must keep up with my updates too

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Beasts of the Sea

Being an art teacher, I have plenty of art images to use with students when discussing various elements of art & principles of design. During a recent talk about organic & geometric shapes, I showed them this image, Beasts of the Sea, by Henri Matisse. While sharing this, I was quickly reminded how much I appreciate his use of shape and just stared at this picture to imagine what he saw in each of the shapes he created.

Later that night I picked up a bead I had recently finished & sketched out a design using Matisse's Beast of the Sea as inspiration. I have dozens of sketchbooks but this sketch ended up on the back side of an envelope. Anyways, the idea started to take shape and I went out to the torch and made 3 additonal beads. I also made an organic "coral" shaped piece out of silver and formed it to be ripply as if it were floating under water.

Although my interpretation of Matisse's work is distinctly different, I hope you can see & feel what I do. Surprisingly, I chose earthy colors rather than my typical choice of the brights........can't really say why, I just felt like it. The central bead is what I began with and then it just grew from there.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Good Reading...

I'm a reader. I like to learn, be entertained and to better myself. I saw Daniel Pink on a PBS special and was intrigued with what he had to say. For once, I was listening to someone who placed importance on Creative Thinking rather than liner seqential thinking that most educational systems support. I've only just begun reading this but believe it will be interesting. Here is just an snippet of what the book captures: "Pink makes the argument that we all need to incorporate more empathy and play into our lives because it enables one to relax, enjoy life more and engage the unused capacity of one's intellect. He makes a strong argument that our society pigeon holes us into thinking a certain way and approaching life without the tools we really need to enjoy it and get the most out of it. The book is full of useful tips and strategies in addition to a call to action in your own life."

This is just one of the 3 books I'm currently reading.......I'd love to know what good books you like & recommend!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Leather, Metals and Glass

I've eluded to this new path I'm traveling and this is just a little something to show you. Leather, metal, glass......just a few of my "new to me" materials. This bracelet doesn't have any glass however. I wanted to experiment with braiding leather first. Just a prototype of things to come.

Check my website later for an update to my earring page! I'm doing my best to get current but I find it difficult with all the things I need to juggle. I'll also be adding things to my Flickr pages too...

Friday, April 17, 2009

And The Bidding Has Begun!!

It was exciting for me to get the news that once my piece was posted for auction for The Glass Gala that it quickly received a few bids!! I will be watching to see just how much this fun neckpiece will bring in for the gallery.....I hope you will consider placing a bid too :) Check my Glass Gala link to the right to see whats what!

Next week is my Trunk Show at the Gallery and I've got some really NEW things to share. You will see that I have a lot more metal in my work and have begun to incorporate other treasures too. This transformation of mine really began last summer and has simply progressed. I'm really pleased with things and look forward to honing my newer skills to keep my work moving forward.

Part of my pleasure in making jewelry and glass beads is that I do it because it makes me HAPPY rather than HAVING to do it to make a living. I love my day job as an Art Teacher and can't imaging not doing that job! My glass/jewelry work is my theraphy....its how I destress and play. I make what makes me happy....I create my mood......But, I also pay attention to the world around me. News, fashion trends, culture....all play a role in what moves me and I bet you too. I hope to see you next week....I'm anxious to share!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Glass Gala Auction

During the coming Glass Wear exhibit at the Memorial Art Gallery you will be able to bid on some amazing glass jewelry items all created by a number of local artists. This auction helps to support the gallery & their ability to keep great art coming to our area. I hope you will bid on #16....titled Crayon Box by yours truely!

Even out of state people may place a bid. If you click on the link to the right, The Glass Gala image, you will be lead to the page where you may place a bid. I'd love to hear what you think about this and let me know if you've bid!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Put a Smile on Your Face

Just thought I'd share a few recent photos that make me smile. Both were taken on my recent birthday...This first one is of my husband and brother-in-law...These hats were Christmas gifts a few years back and I think they are pretty darn ugly. Both of them however find them to be great and actually wear them in public! I wanted a picture for my birthday of both of them wearing these so I can frame it and put it on my desk at work....just to make me smile...actually laugh!

This one is of my wee kindergarten friends. Just like working with a room full of puppies :) Love them. They make me smile!

What puts a smile on your face? Did you know that it takes more facial muscles to frown than smile?! A smile is a curved line that makes everything right. Sooooo.....SMILE today!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Guess What?

Wow. I'm on a roll here. I've made some updates to my website, added a few things to my Etsy shop AND added a bead to eBay!! I haven't had an eBay listing in sometime and I needed a refresher on how to do it. I plan on adding a few more items there too but I really need to get at the torch. Thanks everyone for checking my listings out and please BID!! Its starting at a bargin price.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Updates on Juggling

I was gently reminded the other day that I hadn't updated my website in a while. Trying to keep all the balls in the air is a challange. I DID update my Whats New page and my Classes page and my Shows & Events....yes, I still have to do more but I've started!

So be patient....I will continue my updating and I hope to have something up on Ebay....yes, Ebay.....later this week or maybe today even :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fast & Furious

Now that the deadline of my Trunk Show is looming, I've really had to put some fire to my heels and start motivating!! I've been busy daily making stuff. Components. Beads. This and that. I don't want to share just yet ....I'm hoping you will stop by the Memorial Art Gallery instead.

Well,Time to get back to work!