Rochester Rocks! 

So last weekend I had the pleasure of a business trip to Rochester NY. I was headed up to teach at Let’s Bead, have a trunk show, and visit with Art Elements team member Diana Ptaszynski! 

What a wonderful weekend! First off – a short visit to a local park and Lake Ontario. A bit angry after storms and winter run off…. But gorgeous – and the driftwood!

Let’s Bead is a FANTASTIC bead store. Large, open, welcoming space. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Very well stocked in gems, finding, seed beads and Czech glass! There were Czech glass beauties I had never seen anywhere else!

Saturday was an all day class: my “Word Mojo” pendant as a necklace. (Do you remember when it was a COM?) Mold making, polymer, collage, wire wrap… a little something for everyone. And the results were so diverse! Sunday we created Luna pendants – the same style that was featured in Step by Step Wire magazine!  The classes were pretty full and totally fun! A huge shout out to all the creative women who came to take a class, try something new, and create with camaraderie! I appreciate your trust in me. Take a look:


Saturday afternoon – wire wrapping!

Diana and Colin are great hosts! I got to see the highlights of the city, sample some fine brewed libations, see the Canal and my first Great Lake… and then this happened:


Reunion of bead sister! Kerry, Diana, Anne, and me! 

And there were cats: ( Mr Elliot declined to be featured on the blog.)

Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible! Made it a success! Made it so much fun! I hope to go back! 

Oh and stay tuned – Diana and I did some antiquing/ treasure hunting. I’ll do a “loot” post tomorrow!

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. 


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!  

Clay Camp

When I taught full time – weekends and summers were my own. Now as a freelance artist and educator my schedule is quite the opposite. I teach a two week intensive Ceramics camp every summer – two sessions in fact. There is wheel throwing, sculpting, hi fire reduction and more for the “teens” ( the 10 and up crowd). For the little ones ( ages 6-9) there is a variety of hand building – both sculptural and functional pieces. Whatever I dream up for any given summer… Currently in week 2 – glazing week,  I though I would show you what we had been up too…

fresh off the wheels

Freshly cut from the wheel…

pots: keepers and recycle

Symetry and asymetry are equally welcomed. Recycle in the back. 

Throwing Porcelain.

Emma is my oldest student this year, and she has graduated to porcelain. She is loving it!

Emma's first porcelain

Plethora of pots

Trimmed, carved, embellished… drying now. 

Plethora of pots continued

All of those pots – 8 students, 4 days. (Class is 1.5 hrs each day.) I am pleased!



We have a winner!

Well, I counted. And I counted again to be sure. There were 234 pendants on that plate! And that was from 1 firing. I am itching to get back into the studio to make more! When what I should be doing is settling in for a long Etsy listing session. 

The closest guess: Jennifer Boni Ayres guessed 218. Congrats Jen!

pick a winner


And our random winner: Heather Moose!I find it ironic, yet fitting – that both winners are my former students! Isnt that the joy of social networking; that you can keep up with people that otherwise you would have lost? These two were both Ceramics students – now married, successful… Maybe I have pictures of their work somewhere? I will look… I can clearly remember projects they did: Jen’s Emily Dickenson bowl, Heather’s Homage to Keith Haring…

On to the prizes: Here are the more detailed pictures of colors. If my winners would select a color – I will surprise them with the rest. 

1. Grey


2. Celadon


3. Cobalt blue


4. Olive green


5. Bamboo ( Hey that’s what it’s called…)


6. Clear – with underglazes. These are from assorted stamps: Medusa, bat, Tarot cards…


This was rather fun. Perhaps I will do another give away and contest over the summer! Stay tuned…

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. 


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

Dia de Los Muertos


When I lived in San Diego I was thrilled to see Dia de los Muertos altars and decorations everywhere. As it is a festival to acknowledge death, and honor and remember the dead: the city was bedecked with skulls and calaveras (skeletons) There were sugar skull decorating activities for kids. Today I am going to do the same – early I know… But if my students make ceramic skulls which have to dry and be bisque fired before glazing… it is time to get to work. 

Class went well- had one adorable seven year old boy from Mexico who was excited to share his stories… Pix to follow of their projects. How do you celebrate the season? 

Update: The students glazed today. Love them! They will be even better once I add the glossy glaze and fire them!

kids muertos