Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Enameling Workshop!

As a result of purchasing my enameling kiln, I decided I'd like to brush up on some techniques that I've learned. I started doing some research on classes and workshops available in my area. I thought I'd find a handful of options offered throughout the year.  Instead, I found one. One workshop in western New York for the entire year. And it's THIS weekend.

At first I thought it would be impossible to attend with no money saved up. And then I contacted the coordinator of the event. She was able to work with me on the price, along with allowing me to make several installments to pay for the weekend.

The workshop is three days long, and will be offered by the Oatka School of Glass in Batavia, New York.  It will be taught by enamelist Katharine S. Wood. Her work is published in the book "The Art of Fine Enameling". She has been working with enamels for over 20 years. She does all types of enameling, however, she specializes in the technique called champleve'. This combines acid etching and enameling. Both are my current focus.

I cant wait! I am certain that this workshop will help me to improve my skills, expand my knowledge of enameling, and give me great inspiration and motivation to move forward with my work!

Monday, January 11, 2010


He's a little dog with a stubby tail,
And a moth eaten coat of tan.
And his legs are short, of the wobbly sort;
I doubt if they ever ran;
And he howls at night, while in broad daylight
He sleeps like a bloomin' log,
And he likes the food of the gutter breed;
He's a most irregular dog.

I call him Bum, and in total sum
He's all that his name implies,
For he's just a tramp with a highway stamp
That culture cannot disguise;
And his friends, I've found, in the streets abound,
Be they urchins or dogs or men;
Yet he sticks to me with fiendish glee;
It is truly beyond my ken.

I talk to him when I am lonesome - like,
And I'm sure he understands
When he looks at me so attentively
And gently licks my hands;
Then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes,
But I never say naught there at,
For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes,
But never a friend like that!

By W. Dayton Wedgefarth 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

2010 Craft Show Schedule Advice Needed

I'm planning out my 2010 show schedule. I work at my "real job" four days a week and will be taking one class (3 hrs twice a week).   My class runs from the end of January to the beginning of May. I am starting to wonder, how many shows should I do?

 I will have approximately two-three days/ week to work on jewelry (plus evenings, but I shouldn't depend on them). If I stretch my show season from May to November- what would be a reasonable amount of shows to do?   I'm thinking two shows a month will keep me very busy, yet still allow me to enjoy my summer a bit.

How many shows do you do a year?  What kind of schedule do you have as far as studio time goes?  And how much inventory do you plan to have for each show?

Friday, January 8, 2010


It's 1:00 AM and I'm still awake.  My kiln came today!  As excited as I am, I'm terrified to set it up.  I'm not good with directions, and a kiln is something I should really know how to use before I use it. Right?  So I decided to get up in the middle of the night to read through the packet that accompanied the beast.  I feel better.

Now I realize that I'm missing some essential tools that I need to actually do the enameling.  A firing fork, a trivet stand, spatula, sifters that work (my homemade ones are really inefficient.)  So instead of easing my mind back to sleep, I now have to do a search for the missing puzzle pieces.   I've gone this far, I can't procrastinate now because I'm missing some odds and ends. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 Accomplishments

A fellow blogger, Margaux Lang makes a list at the beginning of each year recapping all of things she had accomplished during the previous year.  I thought this was a great idea and so I'm going to make a list of all mine.  2009 was a unique year and many things happened that were life changing.  I hope this list inspires you to think about all of the things you have accomplished in the past year.  And let it inspire you to make goals for the next year!

  1. I got accepted into the Lark Books publication "30 Minute Earrings"
  2. built an indoor show booth
  3. built an outdoor show booth
  4. showed in 100 American Craftsmen (one of the most prestigious shows in our my very first show!)
  5. showed in the Roycroft Summer Festival
  6. showed at the Corn Hill Summer Festival
  7. Got Married!
  8. made the jewelry for my bridesmaids
  9. showed at the Fisher Price Craft Show
  10. showed at the Shorewood country club
  11. showed at my first home jewelry party
  12. managed the jewelry store solo.
  13. produced work for Moonstruck Design
  14. added work to my Etsy shop
  15. held my first giveaway
  16. finally finished a beautiful pendant for my dear Grandmother that had been in the works for over a year.
  17. made some larger pieces of jewelry in my spare time
  18. collaborated with my sister-in-law on a large necklace
  19. regularly kept an online journal of my jewelry progress
  20. decided to go back to school!

Rhino CAD

I am going back to school!  I finally have the gumption to finish my degree.  I'm so excited and ready to tie up my loose ends! 

This semester I enrolled in a 3D design course in Rhino CAD.  This program will allow me to design and create 3 dimentional images on my computer.  I am a little intimidated by the whole concept, but also very confident that it will help me with my rendering skills.  Even if I don't use the program after the course I believe it will allow me to visualize my jewelry sketches in 3D better.

It's also that time of year when applications for summer craft festivals are due.  I'm knee deep in forms and paperwork.  I'm getting my schedule organized for the year and I'm very excited about what this year will hold.

I have both an indoor and outdoor booth now, and so this year all I've got to worry about is inventory!  With my enameling kiln in the mail and a heap of metal waiting to be transformed, I'm ready to get started!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back In Action!

Has it really been over a month and a half since I last blogged?!  I guess so!

Well, if anyone has been wondering what I've been up to, this is it.

My sister-in-law and I did two holiday shows together.  The first one was pretty uneventful for both of us, but the second one was wonderful!  We did a private jewelry party for a friend and it ended up being very successful for us.  On top of that, it was a lot of fun!

After the shows, I tried to focus on my full time job and life at home.  It was my first married Christmas with my husband!  We enjoyed a lazy holiday break together and got around to cleaning out some more of our cluttered basement.  We've got a long way to go, but made great progress.

I cleaned out my studio, got a small amount of work done....and then I did it.  I finally ordered an enameling kiln!  I'm so excited to start experimenting with it!  I took an enameling class in college, and fell in love with it.  I hope I get plenty of use out of this investment!  The image below is the model I ordered.