Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekend Eye Candy - Twig Edition

This weekend I'm teaching a class at the Visual Arts Center in Richmond. I'll show my students how to use a silicone mold material to make replicas of twigs and leaves.

These are all such beautiful examples of how natures jewels make the best models. Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekend Eye Candy - Thanksgiving 2012 Edition

Thank you so much for your friendship, your readership, your support, and the honor of blogging for you.

May you all survive the post Thanksgiving feast with health, enter the new year with joy, and celebrate your gifts every day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sneak Peek

"French" style earwires are
soldered to the back of the
focal in this basic example.
The wonderful Senior Instructors of PMC Connection are hard at work re imagining the Level 2 projects. Level 1 was updated last spring and Level 3 is not far away.

With only two projects, this certification workshop will inspire artists to inject their own personality and creative voice into a pair of earrings and a pendant. The bonus is that the time allowed for each design will enable the student to work at a much more comfortable pace than in the past.

A more complex design
may include multiple jump
rings and post earring backs.
Each Sr. Instructor is making samples, taking notes on their construction, and sharing their findings. We'll work and re work the criteria until we think the techniques taught in each project will cover a variety of new skills that will inspire our students to produce uniquely personal, and professional looking jewelry.

First up (for me) - Burr set gemstone, pierced earrings with original textures. This project involved designing and creating an original texture sheet, setting faceted stones in unfired clay using a gem setting burr, and soldering. In addition you'll learn how to measure stones and roll clay to the corresponding thickness, use some traditional metal working tools, and perhaps work with a flexible shaft machine.

Students who have previous experience in any of the techniques taught will have a free hand to make more complicated designs, include more solder joins, use hollow construction or doming techniques, or customize their designs in any way. If the class will be your first introduction to these skills, you'll be encouraged to 'Keep it Simple Sweetheart'.

Tomorrow I'm going  back into the studio to start on the twice fired, bezel set, cabochon pendant exemplars. We're hoping to roll out the new edition of the Level 2 program very early next year. I can't wait!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Studio V2.0

After settling in to my lovely new studio space, an opportunity arose in the same artist's co-op to move into new digs that would include use of a common teaching area. Of course I had to jump on it! I had almost finished setting up when it was time to tear it all apart again and re locate into two (of 7) smaller studios that are clustered around an 8 person work table. Actually the move wasn't all that horrendous. I piled the contents of a shelving unit onto a rolling cart, rolled said cart a few hundred feet to the new space, downloaded the supplies onto the common table, moved the shelving unit, re stocked the shelves, and repeated about 10 times until everything was re-situated.

Original space

Now I have a separate room for supplies and teaching equipment, and another for clay work and soldering. And I just love it. It feels so much cozier in the smaller unit, and I can just roll my chair around to move from station to station. This studio is very different from the one in my tiny apartment in LA. There I had to keep almost all of my tools and supplies in drawers because there wasn't enough room to spread them around and let them lay. And I didn't want my living space to look too messy. Here I have an entire 'bench' (Ikea table) to dedicate to sawing, soldering, and use of the Foredom. I get to keep my vise and bench pin clamped to the table, instead of putting them away after each use and never have to worry about tiny pumice stones jumping out of the lazy-susan pan and ending up in a kitty's tummy.

1. The conference table points directly to my window. 2. My clay/computer desk
is situated in front of the window. 3. The soldering and metal work bench is located
against the back wall. The kiln *may* move to the storage room, and the 20 drawer
unit was found on Craigslist for 20 bucks! 4. My storage studio has room for a couple
more tables, perhaps for the kiln, a soon to be purchased belt sander, and definitely
the very loud vibe tumbler. The wall was already painted when I took custody.
The only possible negatives to this arrangement are that: 1. There's no way to vent fumes to the outside in this internal, cinder block, room so I'm going to get a small venting fan from Rio for when I'm soldering and I'll run the kiln as I leave for the day so the nastiness can dissipate during the night. 2. The common table is available to other folks, for instance the three lovely people who have been having an actual conference while I've been typing this, or the kids ceramic class that meets here 2 Saturdays a month. But I can schedule as many days with the table as I like and most of the time it's pretty quiet around here. And I'm right next to the cafe (nom nom)! I can deal with the tiny inconveniences for a set up like this.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Weekend Eye Candy - Clasp Edition

I can't believe it's Friday already! All week I've been working on changing studios (yes, again); making samples for the new PMCC Level Two certification projects; and trying to keep warm. Hopefully there will be pictures and a post next week.

Have a good one y'all!