Wednesday, January 8, 2020

All in or all out

This is a hard post to write. When I retired from the art show circuit in July 2018 I thought I would spend the next year working on the other aspects of my art business.  I would set up a soldering station and play with metal, explore wire work and setting stones, and develop new techniques and new designs. However, I found that without the constant need to replenish my stock for upcoming shows there was nothing driving me to crank out work and new designs. Other interests drew me in different directions. Things like my garden, remodeling projects, travel, and chairing the master gardener plant sale. 

So in December when my friend Hayden Starbuck said to me “you are either all in or all out”, it really resonated with me. It gave me the incentive to look at how I was conducting (or in this case not conducting) my art business. It gave me the encouragement I needed to say it's OK if it's time to be all out. It is still a very hard decision to let go of something you built and invested so much of yourself into. I keep second guessing myself. But I remind myself of those words, all in or all out.

This month I have set up appointments to pull my inventory from my consignment accounts. My existing inventory will remain in my online store for a bit and I may post some of the items I am bringing back from consignment. I will keep my online presence and if I create new work I'll be sure and post it on Facebook and Instagram and let you know. And if I feel inspired to do a studio show or garden art party you will all be invited. 

If you have old work of mine that needs refurbishing please feel free to contact me. I am not dismantling my studio or getting rid of tools or materials. You never know when I will get the urge to  dive in to a box of beads or stones.  

I have much gratitude towards all of you for the support you have shown me during the last 10 years as I took my part time business full time in order to make a living. I couldn't have done it without your support and feedback. Thanks so much! 


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

My Two Favorite Things

Last week I combined 2 of my favorite things, gardening and jewelry! I took a fun class out at Old Goat Farm Nursery on using plant parts to create molds that get filled with PMC (polymer metal clay) to create jewelry components.

PMC was created in Japan in the 1990's. The material consists of microscopic particles of metal (copper, bronze, silver or gold) and a water-soluble, non-toxic, organic binder that burns off during firing.

For our class we used sterling silver clay. I was surprised at the weight of the finished pieces. For molds we used sheets of polymer clay that had been created by imprinting various leaves. We evenly pressed our small rounds of PMC onto the molds. Then we carefully removed them from the molds.

The playing card was so that we could transfer our pendants to the drying area.  I used an imprint of  a cedar frond for one side.

They were all laid to dry on a warming tray. At home the artist uses an old toaster oven.

Drying is important. If there is still moisture in the piece then it can explode during the firing process.  Once dry they all go into the kiln, at about 1650 degrees!

After firing they are cooled in water. Then we brushed off the burs with a brass brush. Next step was to apply patina with liver of sulphur.  Surplus patina is removed with a baking soda scrub and a brass brush. Patina is removed from detail areas with steel wool. The last step is to tumble and polish.   

My completed piece.  Not the best design, but when I take a class I focus on learning technique rather than the outcome!

While we waited between steps we had lunch in the garden and toured the nursery. We met the rescue goats, peacocks, donkey and other birds. A very nice way to spend a day. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Back to the Studio

This spring I have been putting my creative energies into my garden and home. It is time to start getting back into the studio! I find I can not just step back in and expect to be creative. I have to be in the right frame of mind to be creative. 

Recently I wandered into the studio and started to straighten up. I ran across a bag of old necklaces and parts that a friend had given me to repair and remake. It is rewarding to see how well worn some these older designs were. I appreciated getting the chance to improve upon my older work with better materials and techniques. 

 The original necklace circa 2007. The wire was likely 7-11 strand. It had become brittle and broke.
 For the remake I upgraded the wire (I use a 49 strand steel wire now) and restrung all of the beads. I redid the end where the strands and leather come together, making it more secure. The added a small piece of amber to the golden chalcedony. She had lost one of the matching earrings so I was able to find similar beads and remake those.

Circa 2002. I could not find a before of this one. I restrung the glass beads, crystals and pearls with the better/stronger wire, gave it a new dragonfly clasp and gave it a good cleaning. 

The turquoise earrings were circa 2002. My friend had lost one. I no longer had the original large sterling bead, but I found something similar. The other 2 earrings are not my designs, but I was able to remake them using similar materials.

 Thanks to my friend for providing me with a good exercise to ease me back into my studio.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Featured Artist: Side Door Pottery

Side Door Pottery is another of the great artists you will meet at my Fall Art Bash. If you have been to one of my studio sales in recent years you would have seen her work. 

Side Door Pottery is whimsical painted porcelain that is functional for everyday but elegant enough for special gifts. It is all hand painted in exquisite detail and one of a kind. 


Plates, bowls, cups, serving pieces and pitchers. Tiles and sculptures. Garden art. There is something for every taste. 

You can view many more of Linda's creations on her website and Facebook page

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Featured Artist: Eastern Wind Glass

Another artisan you will meet at my Fall Art Bash is Dixie with Eastern Wind Glass.


One of Dixie's first creative endeavors was studying fashion design. From there she went into retail management. She took her love of color and texture from fabrics to glass. She has been working with stained glass for more than 20 years and fused glass almost as long. She opened her shop in 2008 to share her knowledge of glass and provide a place for other glass makers to find supplies and take classes.

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Eastern Wind Glass is located in downtown Bremerton near the corner of Callow on Burwell.There you will find an assortment of supplies for glass art making, both stained glass and fused glass. Have a stained glass piece that needs repair? Contact the shop to discuss your needs. Or perhaps you have an idea for a custom piece in mind. They also have glass art from several glass artists for sale. And they offer a wide variety of classes.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and indoorThere are classes in both stained and fused glass for kids and adults. They provide all the tools.  Classes include beginner and advanced classes. See the full schedule on her website. For those who already have the skills studio and kiln time can be purchased.  Classes also are posted on their Facebook page. Check the website for the store hours and be sure to stop in the next time you are in Bremerton.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Snakeskin Jasper

Last month I used up the last of these pretty snakeskin jasper teardrops. Some of these stones have such intricate patterns.  

One on right is sold.

Snakeskin jasper is a stone of protection and invisibility. 
Always makes me think of Harry Potters cloak!

It guards against negative attitudes and actions. 
Its energy is useful in moving energy and can be helpful during massage. 

It can also be helpful during meditation, bringing one peace of mind. Snakeskin jasper is also thought to bring productivity and abundance to our minds and bodies. 

One on left is sold.

(Note this information is for curiosity only and is not meant to be medical advice.)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Featured Artist: Shannon Hull Photography

My next featured artist is new to my studio shows. Meet Shannon Hull, a landscape and wildlife photographer based in Seabeck, Washington. She creates wall art, greeting cards, calendars and keepsakes of photos taken in Washington and other areas she has traveled.
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Professionally she has worked as videographer and editor for the past 18 years. Her career has given her the opportunity to travel all over the world. Shannon says "I have always been in awe of its beauty and of the amazing animals we share it with.  I almost always have a camera near by to capture it."

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In the past few years,she has started picking up her still camera more than her video camera. Shannon appreciates the stories she can tell in a single frame as well as the thousands she shoots in a video. She started Shannon Hull Photography to showcase these photos. Come see Shannon's work in person to experience the world through her eyes.
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Visit her website and Facebook pages to get a peek at more of her amazing work than I can feature here.  

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