Art Bliss weekend. The third time & charms!

This past weekend was the third annual Art Bliss art and mixed media retreat, just outside DC in Northern Va. I have made it to all three – I wouldnt miss it for the world! Planned and organized by the dynamic duo of Cindy Wimmer and Jeanette Blix – this is my favorite event of its type. Its hosted on a smaller scale, resulting in a more friendly, personable atmosphere than you get at the Beadfest/convention type events. Friendships are made and renewed every year. A very supportive sharing group that I am honored to call friends. 

Art Bliss

The welcoming mascot? Can a mannequin be a mascot? 

We have a winner!

Multi faceted and extremely energetic Dawn Gallup with her door prize win. 

Book signings!

Friday night’s Meet & Greet event was complete with book signings. Erin Siegel, co-author of  “Bohemian Inspired Jewelry” chatting at her table. 

Bead Soup book signing!

Lori Anderson, the creative genius behind “Bead Soup” with Sandi Volpe. 

Kerry Bogert and me...

Uber talented Kerry Bogert of Kab’s Creative Concepts – with me… and her new book “Rustic Wrappings”. 

Kerry's beads and cabs!

Kerry’s work  – colorful and fun. 

The party has started...

Reunion time! ( Me with Sandi Volpe and Jen Judd!)

Sally Russick and I are Birthday Twins. (But she IS younger…)

ArtBliss swag bags!

Sway Bags! The Art Bliss lunch tote and the collaged art of Dawn Gallup adorning our charm swap bag!

The 3rd annual charm swap!

The charm swap! Every year, just for fun, a few of us create and swap hand crafted charms. This year’s theme was “Fall into Bliss”. Its a very cohesive offering, great minds and all that…with copper, polymer, clay and beady beauties. 

The weekend is chock full of goodness and creativity,energy and laughter;  the coffee is on at all times, it is an absolute blast. I can only speak for myself – but I am refreshed and restored when I spend time with my fellow jewelry designers and artists. So often we are alone in our studios, and while I am thankful for the connectedness that the Interwebs provides – nothing beats the real thing. I hope art retreats NEVER go out of fashion!

Oh! Classes – yes! I took two and they were great! Let me get those pictures for you, come back tomorrow!

Up next – POLYMER!

Art Bliss.Pure and simply – art bliss! DC 2011.

Art Bliss 2011

The second annual ArtBLISS retreat was held in Dulles VA on September 23-25th. Our hosts Jeannette Blix and Cindy Wimmer created another magical weekend of creativity and camaraderie. In some ways its hard to write about… I find as an artist that I need times away from all of the life/human/house/pet responsibilities when everything is attended too and I can simple create. And be inspired, experiment, share ideas, and recharge. I work alone in the studio most days, with dogs at my feet. Although I do talk to them, they are not so well versed in critique and composition…

So this retreat weekend is very valuable to me. I made some good friends last year, and it has been a pleasure to see them on Facebook and the like. I anticipated more of that relationship building and networking. Add to that that my best friend Jen was coming! Hurrah! We met in college, in drawing class… but I will save that for a follow up ArtBliss post… 

Jen and I took “Rings and Things” a class with Robert Dancik to work with his material Faux Bone. I had worked with it on my own, and liked it, but wanted to go straight to the source as it were. Here is my workspace early into class – and a ring in progress. 

FB begins 

The material is a plastic, and it is incredibly durable and versatile. Saw it, file it, sand it. It sculpts on a belt sander like soft clay! Its non toxic, and takes color…The ring below was sculpted out of 1/2″ thick material and designed to showcase that antique button. 

FB rings

But I decided it needed to have another focal, and so this button is interchangeable! So sweet. Never would have imagined. But I had never used the myriad forms of microbolts before either…. Each button has a microbolt epoxied to the back where the shank was – and that is what connects to the ring shank itself. Ingenious!

Fb ring 2

Glad I finally got to work with Robert – it was a great class. 

Davies and Dancik

Saturday night – a trunk show of my ceramic beads and charms. Thats Jen there sketching in the room. It was such a party! Thanks to everyone who came and made it a success! I hope to see your creations here on the Interwebs in the future! I got to meet so many beaders/designers/artists whose blogs I read, whose work I follow. A pleasure! 

JKM and trunk show

On the second day… there were watches. “Watch this” with Richard Salley to be exact. I have know Richard for a few years, having met and worked with him at the Shepherdess in San Deigo. I have a huge stash of watches, and was seeking inspiration. Here is the day’s breakdown: 

Salley class1

Setting up: coffee, clean table, sketchbook. (Isnt the pen bandolier the best? Cleverhands on Etsy) 

Salley class2

In progress/sketching: I wanted to use the antique cigarette card of Athena – so I wanted to take the time to plan and thing things through. How to create tabs? Where to rivet? What embellishments? To do her justice and not mess up the only one I have…

Salley class 3

Working: tools strewn around, notes, seltzer…

watches WIP

This was the end of the day. The Strongbow cider lid/watch needs Faux bone for the backing. The Athena watch awaits resin. I will post pix when they are done!

watch crew

The crew – thanks for a great class, and being a part of a great weekend. I wish I had taken more pictures! The Meet and Greet, the charm swap… The whole experience is so rich – I will come back another day. Stay tuned. But for now – back to the studio, and a heartfelt thanks to the teachers, the organizers, my fellow attendees…It really is aptly named “art bliss” 

 

 

 

Art Bliss in DC

Do you know that feeling when you have experienced something fabulous and you want to share, yet at the same time you want to hold the magic in, keep it close and personal and precious? 

I am ready to share… Art Bliss thoughts and ideas from this past weekend. There are a plethora of art retreats all over the country. I have never attended one. I am spoiled in that I take workshops and work with infinitely talented artists – at the Shepherdess in San Diego, my second home… And while that becomes a retreat in and of itself –  a seperation from the daily grind, chores, etc…I used to work there, and I relish the behind the scenes perspective I have returning there. And Cooky, the owner is one of my best friends…

 The event, the first East coast, Mid Atlantic art retreat; was organized by the multitalented Cindy Wimmer and Jeannette Blix Ryan. Held in a hotel near Dulles airport, all our needs had been tended to by our thoughtful hostesses. Meals catered, classrooms equipped…Time to get to work learning, creating, sharing…

So I departed, with the intention to arrive in Dulles before DC rush hour had fried my brain. Used to live there; know what it is like. Friday night Meet and Greet: wine and nosh, artist instructors and their work, reuniting friends eagerly anticipating the weekend of creativity and inspiration. I was a little adrift, as my friend Jen had to cancel…and I didnt want to monopolize the artist/instructors and come across as a crazy stalker student. ( If you have ever done a retreat or a class, you know exacty what I mean…) Pleasure to meet Melissa ManleyDeryn MentockLesley Venable and her OOAK husband, chief executive cookie baker husband Tom. (Didnt get to meet Kerry Bogert. Oops)  

Saturday – “Hard Candy” enameled beads created from copper, glass, fire… taught by Melissa Manley using tools I already have! Oh I love an applicable skill that doesnt require $$$$ new tools! Just point me in the right direction, and sparks will fly: Hard Candy domes The first attempts. And the finished pieces, including a few extra components…

Hard Candy 

Saturday was a crazy day: dinner, evening class (more on that in a minute) and Trunk Show: Trunk show There were quite a few of my fellow students opening their doors as well, to display their wares. I wish I could have gotten out to see everyone! 

Stay tuned for Part 2 Art Bliss DC…..

Same Bat-time! Same Bat-channel! Until tomorrow… 

 

Packed… and ready to go

Well, packing and getting ready to go…

This Friday my new pendants and connectors and buttons ( Oh my!) make their debut at the Shepherdess in San Diego. I am excited, and a bit nervous – hoping they are well received. And hoping they sell. There is that.

Hi Fire pendants

Those are some of the high fire pendants pieces ( ^10r for you clay people). I also did similar pieces low fire – colorful designs on a white clay body.

And dont forget the originals – the pieces inspired by my tiles, only on a miniature scale:

pendants in tray

And I am taking classes with Keith LoBue – stuffsmith, jeweler… I plan to blog during my trip, and I will definitely post images on my “Art of Jennifer Davies-Reazor” Facebook page. Become a fan! Stay tuned!

(PS – decided not to take the mini laptop. So I hope to blog, but will definitely be posting pictures on my FB “Art of…” page. So tune in!)

One month to go…

…until my trunk show of pendants, buttons, etc. at the Shepherdess in San Diego. I had a batch of stoneware firing in the ^10 gas kiln at the studio yesterday, and started glazing a batch of colorful ^04 white pieces here. Wait til I show you a comparison pix! They are worlds apart, yet the same…For now, a peak into yesterday’s process.  

pendants stage 1All lined up, rainbow of underglazes…

Pendants stage 2The middle. Messy explosions of color, lets get to the beauty shot…

Pendants stage 3OK – not the beauty shot really until after the firing. But the surfaces are wiped free of color, leaving it all in the impressions, thus highlighting the design.

Stay tuned. More soon!

Happy Hour Trunk Show!

pendants in a tray

Although my last post refered to the slow internal clock I have had of late, and the feelings of gradually waking up – one thing I have been working on is new small tiles, aka pendants. The colorful ones, shown above, you may have seen before. They debuted in September of 2009. I have improved upon these, and a few new designs I have scuplted and cast. Just waiting for the plaster molds to dry…

Then there are the new bits – this is the first batch. Fired to ^10 reduction, I wanted to test them, see the shrinkage first hand, etc before launching ahead. I am pleased with the results, yes?

hi fire

They are so different from the former – earthy and rustic, rich warm tones. I love them and cant wait to do the next batch.

These pendants charm and buttons are being created specially for a Trunk Show at the Shepherdess in San Diego. I am fortunate to fly west each spring to see my dear friend Cooky, the proprietor/head shepherdess. And to work with my friend, the ever inspiring Keith LoBue – during his annual workshop cycle here in the US.  

So this year, my trip will be two-fold! (March 19th is my trunk show – if you happen to be in Cali…) Off to the basement ceramics studio, coffee in hand, dog in tow… to make more stuff!