Permission to Play: Christi Friesen at The Palette and the Page

What a week this has been! I’ve neglected the blog already this year when I had mentally recommitted to weekly posts. Let me catch up a bit over the next week!

I am in full production mode for the “Bead Binge” show sponsored by the South Jersey Bead Society. AND Bead Fest Spring. But nothing was going to keep me from the Palette and the Page this past Wednesday. Because Christi Friesen was stopping by for a class after her weekend at the ACC Craft Show in Baltimore. (See my ACC post over at Art Jewelry Elements)

the incomparable Christie

Christi is a polymer maven, a master of the clay. She is a creative and generous teacher, and a consumate professional, full of character and charisma. If you ever get a chance – take her class – any class. I always learn fabulous things that I can apply to polymer the way I work, in my style. The class I attended was going to include some free form more unconventional techniques: painterly swirls and impasto. 

working collage

That leafy squiggle up there? I have finally met a cane I like – free, loose, organic…  

permission to play

I love this picture! Christi teaching, and Lynn and Patti (2 of the 4 gallery co-owners) diving in. Lynn is a polymer person, as am I – Patti is not. She had permission to play and thoroughly enjoyed herself! As we all did… 

my workspace

This was my workspace. These swirls are so me… The purple/grey/white piece at the top left may end up with a goddess on it… Christi – in her incomparable style called it a “vortex of lovliness”! Too fun. 

new techniques

This was my experimental piece. Squiggly canes, swirls… and spirals – because spirals! I think I may mount it in an old wooden drawer, floating – and then hang it on the wall. It will serve to remind me of this class, and the “collision course with excitement” we were on… But it also remends me of the value of sharing, of exploring, and the sense of community that can blossom from a shared love of art, expression, and polymer. 

Collision course with excitement

 Thanks to Christi and The Palette and the Page for a great evening! Here’s to following your Muse! 

 

Hacienda Mosaico! (metal, magic, mexico)

Hacienda Mosaico

It was on my bucket list. <laughs> But now its on my list again. Its the kind of experience you want to have again, and again. 

Last Spring? Summer? my BFF Cooky Schock (of Shepherdess fame) and I decided we were going to attend a weeklong class taught by Jane and Richard Salley. In Puerto Vallarta Mexico. In January. Its already a win-win. It didnt even seem real, until like… Christmas when we really had to discuss packing, tools, etc. 

Here’s a little photo essay for your viewing pleasure: 

travel adventure begins

1 & 2. New Years Day flight. Talk about an auspicious start to the new year. 

3. San Diego sunset. I flew to SD so Cooky and I could go together… 

4. Delays in San Diego. Never a dull moment. 

Hacienda Mosaico

The Hacienda is gorgeous. Owned and opperated by Sandra “Sam” Leonard, it is a colorful inspired, inspiring oasis of creativity. It’s feast for the senses- from the lush greenery, the friendly pups, the glittering mosaics, the colors and textures dazzle. I am  working on an art journal sketchbook from the trip that is filled with color and pattern and designs all inspired by the Hacienda itself. 

Bar and pool

Classes include breakfast and lunch, served poolside. Yes, it sounds great already and then you see the place! And the chef Jorge? Delicious, fresh food, variety, and tropical treats to this Mid Atlantic winter palette! Imaging this: Waking to the sound of tropical birds calling, maybe a hammer tapping if an early riser was at work in the studio. Stroll through leaves, filled with dew, under the arches to the pool where coffee was ready early. Yes, coffee. The path to my heart. Then a shower, or a quick swim? journaling or work time before breakfast at 9 and class starting at 10. It became a joyous routine. I’d run into Tom at coffee, Pat was knitting by the pool… Sigh. 

Classroom

Class was the complete immersion experience I was looking for… I have had the pleasure of knowing Richard for over 10 years and taking classes with him along the way. Jane, a well recognized jewelry artist in her own right, assisted and contributed greatly to the class environment. The projects seemed so complex and daunting – but broken down were very manageable. It was great to attempt, to DO, to succeed, to commiserate, to share, to encourage, and to create with a group of like minded people from all over the US. 

And it was fabulous to work side by side with Cooky, as we hadnt gotten to do that for a few years! 

students and work

1 &2.Tom and Diana at work

3.Cheri’s adaptation of Richard’s Ketoh bracelet incorporating her beadwork

4. class work. 

Maybe I have a pang of regret for not seeing more of Puerto Vallarta. Maybe I dont. The week was realxing and invigorating. Exhausting and energizing. Inspiring and overwhelming. And I loved every. second.  I have great new friends. Reunions are being discussed. Jane and Richard agreed to be interviewed for Art Jewelry Elements blog, so that is in progress. I have pieces I am working on already and pages of sketches for when my RIO order arrives. 

My work/WIP

Above: my pieces completed and WIP from the week. I am a little obsessed with stone on stone. I have great ideas for stone on porcelain, using my ceramic pieces….  

This was such a great experience! And timely for me as well. While I do not intend to stop creating ceramic sculptures, jewelry making has been moving into the fore over the last few years. I feel I have now reclaimed my metal smithing skills and expereinces from art school. They were lost in the haze of the teaching years. And learned new and exciting things!I am excited to add those skills to my repertoire and see where my muse takes me. 

Until next time… 

(I’d love to read a comment! Are you really out there reading? LOL)

 

Word Mojo Mixed Media Mayhem at Bead Fest Spring!

 Heaven! What a whirlwind. I am firmly entrenched in “catch-up-week” followed immediately with show-prep” fortnight. LOL. But I wanted to share the fun and success that was my mixed media “Word Mojo” class at Bead Fest Spring. 

Set up space

Set up the night before. Not only is 8:30 an early start time, I need to know its all ready so I can relax and get some sleep. 

student work space

I wanted the spots for students to be organized, and welcoming. I know I’d be thrilled to walk in to a spot already made ready for me… 

class samples

This is what we did – my samples. The original “Word Mojo” focals debuted on AJE in January 2014. From then til now, I have been refining the process and was thrilled it was accepted as a class. We were making molds and altering them at times, from antique (copyright free!) found objects. 

working!

Molds, polymer, paint, Oh MY! One student kept giggling spontaneously. She was having a blast! 

student work!

Some of the student work! (Sorry the picture is so off color. Wish I had taken more… )

There were shallow pieces with glaze and deeper pieces with resin: 

and now we wait.

 All in all – they were pleased and inspired. I’d call that a success!  

Whirlwind of beads. AKA Beadfest 2014

 Bead Fest was two weeks ago?! Where has the time gone? Don’t answer that – I know: packing, unpacking, sorting. Sleeping, fondling beads, visiting with friends, art camp, field trips… More on the latter soon.  

So here are the hightlights, and the loot. 

 

1. Bead Fest is social!  Hanging out with Staci and Linda on Wednesday, the annual AJE dinner! So much fun! 

BF14 social!

2. Bead Fest is colorful and diverse. My display is for sure! I always bring a few tiles as they run parallel to my Mythic Nature pendants. Sold a few too!

BF my display

3. Bead Fest is preparation – for me! So much to pack and remember for display, class, swaps…  This was my class room still life from set up. Even though it was early Sunday morning – it went so well! And everyone had a great time, it seems. 

BF class prep

4. Bead Fest is learning. Teaching. Creativity. Exploration.  I was thrilled to teach at my first Bead Fest. I taught a mixed media class that incorporated quite a few techniques – that I am confident the students will apply in their work moving forwards. Here you see student work-in-progress, my concentration face, and class samples below. 

BF class WIP

 

Beadfest is shopping. Art beads. Glass, clay, metal, polymer, gems…

BF loot1

(Diana/Suburban Girl, Anne Gardanne, SueBeads, Jen/Glass Addiction, Humblebeads, HMB Studios)

BF loot2

(Sue beads, Caroline/Blueberri beads, Karen/Starry Road, Kristen Stevens, Melissa Meman, Diane Hawkey, Staci Smith, Lesley/THEA designs)

BF loot3

(Caroline/BlueBerri Beads, Mary/White Clover Kiln, Basha Beads, Kristi Bowman, Staci Smith, Green Girl Studios)

Hope you enjoyed that whirlwind recap! Now off to the studio to make more stuff! Fall shows are around the corner… 

Mixed Media Amulets – my Beadfest class draws near…

 Or – how an idea evolves and grows!

In just over two weeks I will be setting up to exhibit at my third Beadfest Philadelphia. But this year will be my first year teaching, and I couldn’t be happier! (Details are here!) The idea for my mixed media amulet class started with a ceramic cab I made – and a piece I designed for Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month… The theme was a labyrinth – and I dove onto the meanings of the symbol. To me it represents journeys – both inner and outer. My journey to teach at Beadfest has been both. 

BF class samples

From top left: class sample with porcelain cab, necklace with polymer cab, the original CoM piece with labyrinth. 

I have been making, and making and preparing inventory for Beadfest, or course. But I have paid extra attention to the cabochons my students will receive in their “kit”. I have made many designs, in different clay bodies. I look forward to making a few more sample pieces – all in the nature of preparing to teach… 

^10 kiln loading

There were app. 300+ cabs in this firing of the gas kiln at the “work” studio. We fired to ^10 reduction – app 2400 degreed F.  

class cabs 2

Knotwork, triskeles, labyrinths… and a few pairs for the seed bead people!

 class cabs1

Athena’s owl, cobalt on porcelain, butterflies… 

face cabs BF

Faces – porcelain, stoneware, and glazed… 

I am grateful for the support of my teamates at the Art Jewelry Elements blog! I even have three of them enrolled in class! There are spots available – although some sawing experience is needed. Perhaps I will see you there? My class is Sunday morning – on August 24th. Here’s the link: mixed media amulet class. 

Oh – and an admission coupon for those of you planning to come and shop! Enjoy! 

BF coupon #461

Sharing the love – my resin workshop

I love the resin. ( I use ICE resin by Susan Lenart Kazmer. I have tried others, and I do like ICE the best.) I love the clarity after it has cured. I love the silky, slightly sexy texture. I like what it does to antique paper. I like embedding things into it. I like its strength. And I haven’t even tried casting it or coloring it…

Last Thursday I taught a resin workshop at my Art Studio. It was an interesting mix of people: potters, beaders, a porcelain pendant maker, a photographer…all willing to give it a go. I don’t think any one had ever done resin prior to class, although many knew of it, and were intrigued. 

my demo

I did not realize Marsha was taking this picture – I had started the demo, and if you have ever met me you know I talk with my hands…Quickly it would seem. 

Patience

I was making a point on being patient. And posing, for the camera…

student work1

The students started with closed bezels. ( I really like the Patera findings from Nunn Design.) We had National Geographic magazines, decorative origami paper, and the like – but the vintage postage stamps may have been the best! Such clear, colorful images at just the right scale. 

student work 2

student work 3

student work 4

The last picture shows you a few of our open back bezels. I love the transparency of resined paper when it is not sealed. Charms, shells, micro beads – a plethora of inclusions, including a dear departed canine best friend’s teeth. We had one or two leaks on the open bezels, but the resin all came out perfectly! Some of the women were showing off their creations in the ceramics studio today. I was so proud! We are already talking about having another session in the fall. Join us if you can!

 

Sailor’s Valentines

Valentine’s Day in Blog Land: I have seen vintage candy boxes, hearts made of wire and gemstones, hand-stitched sentiments, steam punk hearts, Tarot cards… and many more. I confess, I am an avid blog reader…

So my entry into the eclectic mix for Valentine’s Day – Sailor’s Valentines.

Sailors valentine 2 part

Sailors valentine

From my ever faithful love Wikipedia: 

sailor’s valentine is a type of antique souvenir, or sentimental gift, originally brought home from a sailor’s voyage at sea for his loved one between 1830 and 1890.[1]Sailor valentines are typically octagonal, glass fronted, hinged wooden boxes ranging from 8″ to 15″ in width, displaying intricate symmetrical designs composed entirely of small sea shells of various colors glued onto a backing. Patterns often feature a centerpiece such as a compass rose or a heart design, hence the name, and in some cases the small shells are used to spell out a sentimental message.

So today I was teaching a class at the Brandywine Hundred library – what better to thing do than be inspired by these gorgeos pieces! Here are the students Valentines – completed and ready to take home…

SV 1 SV 2

SV 3 SV 4

SV 5