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New smaller “petal” pearls

Opening night reception at the Foothills Art Center is tonight from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.  It’s free and open to the public, there are handmade gifts for all!  The Foothills HART is an amazing collection of gifts for the holidays.  I am one of the jewelers who will have their work for sale.  The market continues through December and closes on the 30th, just in case you receive cash from Santa and want to spend it there.

This Sunday is Sami’s Home Show.  Turn in to her neighborhood off Hampden at Poplar, then head south to Kenyon and go east.  We’ll be there from 11am – 4pm.  Stop in to nosh & shop!

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CopprClay batch, drill press & engraver

The festival is in full swing and the weather couldn’t be more perfect.  There were great crowds today, lots of friends stopped in to see my new work & say hello.  I finished quite a few new pearl vessels, large and small.  I set a handful of “petal” pearls and they turned out fabulous!  They are petite and perfect to wear casually or not.  I also had a new batch of Copprclay come out of the kiln to make more earrings.  In the photo you can see my drill press to make consistent holes in the dried clay and an engraver to sign my pieces in the leather hard state.

I will be gearing up for another one day festival next Sunday, in Littleton on the campus of the Arapahoe Community College campus.  There is an admission charge,  you can print out a coupon for $1.00 off the admission of $5.00.  Or stop by my booth, I have a few flyers with a coupon attached.  The proceeds benefit the scholarship fund.  And at this show, all merchandise will be priced under $100.00.

Lastly, my week was full of emotions, as we took our youngest son to college.  It was a happy sad moment and we look forward to many new adventures ahead.

Copper necklace with hand applied patina

August 18 & 19th is the weekend of the Golden Fine Arts Festival in historic downtown Golden.  The festival runs from 10am until 5pm both days.  I’m in booth number 19.  There is no admission fee, there will be music to entertain, and a Kids Art Zone.  It’s a great festival–worth the trip to Golden.  And if you want to shop for clothing & jewelry, stop in to Baby Doe’s Clothing, Artisan Jewelry & Fine Craft at 1116 Washington Ave.  From 12pm – 3pm there will be a painting demonstration and Creative Cooking for Kids demo.

I’m also gearing up for the Affordable Arts Festival, its first year taking place on the Arapahoe Community College campus on South Santa Fe Drive.  There’s lots of parking on the grounds, and the festival runs from 10am – 5pm.  There is a $5.00 admission fee, which supports the ACC Foundation Scholarship Program.

And while down there–please check out Willow, an artisan’s market in downtown Littleton, 2400 West Main Street.  I have a collection of jewelry there now.  They were recently picked in the 5280 magazine, Top of the Town.

Well–I tried to make a blog post from my iPhone, but apparently it didn’t post, it was saved as a draft–so sorry to post this after the weekend!

Here was the post…

If you happen to be in Winter Park area enjoying the Jazz Festival stop in to see me and all my new work. I’ve been so busy this summer and have been remiss about my blog. I did a major upgrade on my desktop Mac and have been suffering ever since!! I now need to upgrade Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.,  in the mean time I’m using my ancient laptop.  And trying to use the amazing iPhone.

I hope to be blogging more soon and getting back to normal. I have lots to share as I attended last PMC conference in June and have been playing with a new group of friends in the “Bronze Club” in Boulder.

I have two more outdoor shows this summer–the always fun Golden Fine Art Festival August 18 & 19.  And a new show this year that will be really fun–the Affordable Art Festival Sunday August 26.  Stop in and say hello if you are out and about.

freshly fired BronzClay

This batch of bronze has amazing colors.  I keep the charcoal in the laundry room, atop the dryer–could that be the reason for all the colors?  Of course and there are the dull green-blues–but, okay, I’ll take the purples, pinks, etc.  This batch had no cracking either.  The Yahoo Metal Clay discussion group has been talking a lot about BronzClay cracking.  I made sure this batch was really dry.  I have a “dehydrate” function on the oven, so placed the pieces on a plastic screen in there.  I also dry out in the sun for quite awhile.  Lastly, I stacked a bunch of pieces on my cup warmer.  I had a tiny bit of warping in the drying process, will try and straighten them out.  Back to work, must highlight & polish up!

reconstituting dried metal clay

I was so excited to see an article written by Lisa Cain in the recent Metalclay Artist  Magazine, Vol. 2 Issue #2 called, Reconstituting Silver Metal Clay.  I have 11 years worth of scraps I’ve saved –I know–do I throw anything away?  I gathered it all in one shoe box and started my first batch, and I was amazed, like is like a package of new clay.  So far, I’ve made three batches.  You need to grind it, sift it, add water, roll it out and then let it sit overnight.  With the price of silver going up (and down) and all these leftover scraps, it makes sense.  My next mission is to take all my fired reject silver scraps to a metal recycler.  I have the name of a company in Denver that you can take your scraps, they melt it down while you wait, pull a plug out and then tell you the percentage of metal and apparently give you a fair price.

Don’t forget to purchase a subscription to the first magazine dedicated to Metal Clay!

Mixed metal piece

How time flies, and I’m realizing my last post was so long ago!  I have been busy, really!  I’ve been working on photographs to apply to summer shows, restocking the galleries I have my jewelry featured in, and making some ceramic pieces for our Colorado Potters Spring Show & Sale, which was last weekend!  I managed to make 40 or so olive dishes, a few birdhouses, and some bowls.  That means throwing clay in my basement where you are not sure if the sun is shining or not.  I’ve also been working on some mixed metal pieces, with steel, bronze clay & silver clay.  I found a very cool class online, by CRAFTCAST, Alison Lee hosts different artists who give online classes.  You can watch it live, or later download it.  She features different artists, and podcasts a you can listen to as well.

In my personal life sadly, I lost a cousin due to alcoholism, and in March went back to Milwaukee for a very sad funeral.  He had been in rehab after falling while very drunk & hitting his head over the holidays.  Unfortunately, the brain injury facility did not keep him very long, and after 30 days in an alcohol rehab, he got out & continued to drink.  It hit me hard, as I grew up with his family of nine kids.  I’m now realizing that alcohol can kill, and is very addictive.  And the addictive brain is a strong beast.  And 52 is way too young to leave this world.

Photographer

Booth Designer

Wow-the new year is here, I’ve done 117 posts since I created my blog, and I was thinking…….how many jobs do I do?  My new years resolution for 2011 is to streamline my jewelry business by farming out some of the jobs I do.  So I started making a list….. and here goes:

Photographer: taking shots for my Etsy shop, jurying into shows, my web & blog site

Booth Designer: marketing my work at fine art festivals, working on presentation of my work, signage

Accounting: keeping track of expenses, paying sales tax, income taxes

Web and Blog:  I do have a web designer, but I write my own blog, and try, try to update it as much as I can

Marketing/Branding:  I was a graphic designer, so know Photoshop & Illustrator, and do my own marketing

Sales Manager: I sell my work at shows, I have work at galleries on consignment, I keep track of what has sold, what inventory needs to be re-stocked

Buyer:  scoping out new items at the local gem shows, hunting through Tucson for unusual items to include in my work

Yikes, I’m tired!  Does anyone else feel like a whirlwind all of the time?  After thinking about streamlining my jewelry business, I began to think about how many art things do I do?

Jewelry Designer:  metal clay & silversmithing, maker of the Craig Hospital broken man charm

Ceramist: work with earthenware clay and am a member of the Colorado Potters Guild

Lampwork Artist:  work with soft glass when my garagio studio is not too cold….member of the Bead Cluster

Teacher:  I teach kids art camps: jewelry making, clay & cooking

On the up-side, I am never bored.  I feel blessed I’m able to work & do the things I love.  I’ve met great people and made great friends through the art world I’m involved in.  I love creating, teaching, taking classes, exploring new mediums.  So in 2011, I’ll work on giving up some of these jobs–anyone know a good bookkeeper to start?

new pearl for Jeanne

I’ve been constructing some new pearls, and this one had a different shape, so I made this form for it.  An old friend bought it, and not being a necklace person really, she loves wearing it.  I asked if I could photograph it, and lo and behold, this spot kept appearing on my photos.  I cleaned, and cleaned some more.  The glass was spotless, the lenses were spotless, so I called the camera shop.  “There’s something on your sensor” was the response.  We have to send your camera away for cleaning.  Odd, I’d never heard of that.  He said it happens when you change lenses.  So, in 10 days I hope to have a fresh newly cleaned camera.

It’s always something–especially when you are dealing with technology!  As I write this, I have no back up drive.  It has died, I assume.  I’ve had other back-up drives and they have not failed, but this one is failing!  It has been less than a year, so I’ll see what the store has to say when I take it in.  It’s kind of scary though, not backing up my data.  I had a hard drive fail last year on my trusty “vintage” laptop, PowerBook G4.  I lost lots of e-mails addresses, and some music, but had most of the files backed up.  It’s a must if you have a business and your life involves around a computer.  My newer desktop iMac is now the main machine, and I’m living on a thin thread without a back-up drive!

Tim McCreight demo

I can’t believe it is August already!  I just returned from the PMC Conference in West Lafayette, Indiana, at Purdue University.   It was a great conference, and I learned a ton, and I was inspired by all the amazing folks there.  It was my fifth conference, beginning in Wooster, Ohio in 2002.   This photo was taken when Tim McCreight gave a demo of the new clay Mitsubishi is about to release, PMC Pro.  It’s amazing, and we’ll see in the fall when it is introduced.  Stay tuned for more info!

I posted a quite a few photos on my Facebook page of the fun at the conference.  Are we Facebook friends yet?

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My 2013 Schedule so far…

Denver Potters Assoc. Holiday Show
6th Avenue United Church
3250 E 6th Ave
Dec 5, 6, 7, & 8
www.castleclayartists.net

Arvada Center Fine Art Market
Dec 12 - 22

My Home Holiday Show
December 13 & 14

Gallery of my Work

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