Monday, August 30, 2010

Newz, Part Deux

Remember last Wedneday when I said that I had filled out my profile on ApprenticeMentor? I posted it here and on Facebook. And didn't expect much of anything. But one of my students was watching, posted her profile too and then asked me if we could team up! This is a perfect example of asking the universe for something - and having it answer. I just didn't think it would be at the speed of light.
Meet Dawn Miller. Dawn took a one day class from me about a year or so ago and then signed up for my 8 week workshop at Otis. She liked it so much she signed up again. She's a very talented metal clayer, precise (which I really appreciate), inventive and committed.

And the world just keeps getting smaller... Turns out that Dawn and I attended the same elementary school (Collier St.); junior high (Portola); and high school (Taft). And grew up just blocks away from each other to boot. Dawn is a couple of years younger than I am, but our school days overlapped for a year. Imagine that! She was even able to confirm a very misty memory (that I had convinced myself was completely imagined) of LaToya Jackson (yes, that one) sitting on a bench at Portola.

Add that her birthday is 13 days before mine and I think this relationship is what one might consider Kismet! Dawn will be in my Level One certification class in two weeks. As a student, not yet an apprentice. Wanna meet her? Why don't you join us? ;D


Now turn your memory card way back to the beginning of the year. I decided to take part in a Flickr project called Ring A Day. Got it? Well, I only kept it up for about three months. Then I realized I was spending too much time on the challenge and not enough on my own work and dropped out. Flash forward to a couple of weeks ago when I got an e-mail from an editor at Lark Books. Miss Marthe LeVan (who was also making rings) had decided to make a book featuring 500 photos of the Flickr challenge. And they wanted permission to use 13 of my images!!! Umm... hmmm... Gee, let me think about it for a minute... Hell yeah! Not all of the images will be used, but they wanted more than enough from each artist so they could put together a beautiful assortment. There will be metal rings and conceptual rings and just plain silly rings. How thrilled am I do you think? Thanks Miss Marthe and the entire team at Lark. Can't wait to see it.

I know there was something else I wanted to tell you, but I guess I'm just too over excited about these two tidbits for my hippocampus to cooperate. So there might be a Part Trois at some point. Maybe. Unless the hippo goes off campus for an extended stay.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekend Eye Candy - Chain Edition

Chains! Love the really intricate ones. Hate to make 'em though. Which is why the Lords and Masters of the metal clay Master's Registry probably decided that a hand made soldered chain should be included as one of the projects.

Soldering is a basic skill that every jewelry maker should know and try to master. And after making an entire chain, I know I'll have the stamina to try anything. I mean, I *do* do a bit of soldering now. I solder earring posts all the time. And have made some bezels for cabochons.

But, believe it or not, soldering jump rings is tricky. I melt more than I solder correctly the first time; sometimes I leave the heat on so long that I fuse 3 or 4 rings together (which makes the chain hang and swing funny), and setting everything up so that the soldering process is easier is a skill in and of itself. [Look at picture #3 row 3]

I'm thinking that making the chain will be a breeze for me. And that attitude is exactly what's going to get me into trouble.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Well. I seem to have taken the summer off from my blog haven't I? It was completely unintentional believe me. But I have to say - I've enjoyed my time away.

I've had quite an active life during my cyber hibernation. Let's see. The June show was really fun. I made out okay although it was a reallly slow show. Some of the textile people (fabulous clothes) did amazingly well, but most of the others had time on their hands.

My booth looked good, but I think I need a little re design.

In time for the November show.


As you know I was asked to be a juror for the PMC Guild Annual. It was such an honor and quite an insight into the jury process. Can't wait till October to see the book in print.

I was also asked to become the Artistic Advisor to the PMCC Senior Instructors. Talk about an honor! I'm still trying to figure out exactly what that means and how I'll try to implement it, but the journey will be so exciting.

The conference at Purdue was great as usual. Too many seminars, demos and talks to choose from of course. I really wish Hermione would loan me her Time Turner. Possibly the best event was the Rio cocktail party. There was a nice little jazz combo playing, yummy finger food and most of all I got to meet the charming (and very tall) Carmen Maria Theresa Consuela Chiquita Botswana Banana! (One of Donna Penoyer's alters)

Here she is dancing with Bill Struve

(you have to roll your r's when you say it)

At the end of the conference, a few of us were having a last lunch in the cute little town that surrounds the Purdue campus and didn't Jeannette LeBlanc ask me (and the others) to be the Board of Advisors for Metal Clay Artist Magazine! She also asked me to write an article for the last page in the magazine. It's not due till October (although I've already written it), so I'm not sure when it will go to print - but I'm looking forward to that too.

I guess the Universe likes me! It really likes me! Remind me of that fact the next time I'm feeling "less than".

I've also decided to join a Master Mind group. A Master Mind is a support system, a brainstorming community and a visionary workshop space taken to the nth degree. I've been feeling a little ungrounded and foggy lately about where I want my life in metal clay to take me - so my goal for the next 6 months is to gain clarity and focus. I'm really lucky to have been asked to become a member of this particular group. All the members are artists in different disciplines. Not that a Master Mind group has to be made up of creatives. But this one is. The organizer was a student of mine in an Intro class earlier this summer. I overheard her talking about starting the group and piped up to say I'd be interested. Thank goodness I'm an inveterate eavesdropper. We've only had one meeting so far (only once a month in person, more on line), but I'm really inspired already. Tia has written a post that outlines how you might start your own MM group. Check it out.

And last but not least I've signed up to be a mentor on ApprenticeMentor. Watch out world...

So summer is winding down and and it's time to start ratcheting up production for fall and winter. What will you be working on this season?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekend Eye Candy - Tool Edition

I love tools. Any kind. metal, ceramic, carpenters... And the older the better. There's something beautifully seductive about a well worn tool. I just got a new Knew Concepts saw a few weeks ago. Beautifully designed, bright red and oh so fun to use. What's your favorite tool?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Weekend Eye Candy - Found Object Edition

You know I've been loving the found object beauty of my Specimen Containers. Found objects have always fascinated me. I love the wear, the hidden history, the possibilities. Len Cowgill's work (third photo) is so amazing. His pieces hold entire lifetimes in the flotsom and jetsom of the worlds refuse.

What stories do these objects whisper to your imagination?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Weekend Eye Candy - Mark Making Edition

People have been making their marks on the world from the dawn of time. We do it every day. From the cave paintings at Lascaux to Egypt's hieroglyphics to the tempera hand print turkeys we all made at Thanksgiving to the hit and run "vandalism" created by graffiti artists. We seem to have a deep seated need to tell our fellow (wo)man that "I was here".

Lately I've been really intrigued with Amy Tavern's jewelry and Diana Fayt's ceramics. Of course I'm drawn (no pun intended) to the charming birds, bees, whales and rabbits that populate Diana's wonderful tableware, but it's the dots, lines, circles and other beautifully chaotic scritches and scratches that I adore.

Likewise, the rough cut silhouettes and "quick bend" tab's were what first attracted me to Amy's sterling silver jewels, but the coarsely filed, abraded and distressed paint treatments sealed the deal for me.

Recently Amy took an enamel class at Penland (where she is a resident artist) that "collect[ed] a range of marks found in the Penland landscape. These will be used as the basis for an exploration of nontraditional enameling processes." Oh, how I wish I could have ben there too! There's a similar class being offered in Seattle later in August, but of course, I'm already booked to teach. Sigh.

But if two are offered, perhaps there will be another. That I'll hopefully find out about in time. Until then, I'm searching Google and the world outside for more inspiration and doodling in my little book to develop a range of marks that will tell my corner of the world that "Lora was here" too.