I recently completed a 6-week course with Bronwen Gwillim, a lovely Welsh jewelry maker who calls her work plasticsmithing. She runs her workshops multiple times through the year if you’re interested. I have not made a big foray into working with my waste plastic yet but am eager to get started.
I’ve always been a collector of bits and bobs, especially what I find on beaches. I like the design challenge of incorporating found objects into my work. You can cede control and let the material do the deciding, much like writers often say their characters write themselves. And who doesn’t love the thrill of the hunt? Getting out in fresh air? Read more
I’m stepping gently into the new year, not unlike the bird that left these prints in the fresh snow. The crossing paths seem like a metaphor about uncertainty, something that, by now, if we haven’t embraced, we might might be in for a bumpy ride.
I’m trying to see these uncertain times as if they’re a teacher. How do you forge ahead knowing that everything might come grinding to a halt? How do you stay focused on your path, and at the same time stay responsibly informed about various unfolding crises? Read more
Buying handmade local items is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only do you have a product infused with more soul and love than something made in a factory in distant lands, but you become part of a web of local goodness. You help keep dollars circulating where you live.
There are so many holiday pop-ups in the area, but here’s one you can visit over and over and find something new each time. Read more
You might have seen my black and white letterform collages on polymer clay using an image transfer technique. These abstract letterforms highlight not just the shapes of the letters but their negative spaces as well. What’s not there is often more interesting than what is there. When I was a graphic design instructor, I’d assign a project similar to these pieces to my typography students. It taught them to become intimate with the shapes of letters without the distraction of meaning.
So I was happy to come across a call for entry for an exhibition with typography as the subject matter. The only problem was that the deadline was right around the corner. There wasn’t much time to create entirely new pieces. Read more
Whenever I sit down to work with polymer clay, I have a craving to make handmade pasta or bread. It’s one of the reasons I took up this chameleon-like medium a little over a year ago. I knew its malleability would be a satisfying change from metal, which I still love, but being a tactile person, I need that experience of exploring different mediums.
In July, I’ll be teaching a 2-day, 2-hour/day workshop called Polymer Clay & Surface Play through Pocosin Arts School of Fine Craft. The main focus will be black and white image transfer, which can add an exciting dimension to your clay work, especially for those of you who love drawing, black and white line art, photography, vintage graphics and more.
I’ll also offer up a variety of surface treatments, which will barely scratch the surface (no pun intended) of what you can do with polymer clay. But this will get you off to a good start.
I’ll also sprinkle a lot of tips and best practices throughout the workshop, such as mixing colors, proper curing (baking), finishing your work, adding findings, and a review of tools.
You can also wait till after the first class before buying any materials so you can see what you really need. I’ll probably set up a private Facebook group for to share your work, questions and more. Join me! Register here ››
Seattle’s Danaca Design Studio is at it again with their second Battle of the Rings. This is an elimination-style competition pitting 64 juried rings against one another in a public voting extravaganza via Instagram.
As luck would have it, my Presto Change-O Gemmy Ring made it into the competition. I can’t decide if it’s more like a children’s toy block ring or a sideways double layer cake. Either way, the faceted “gemstone” shapes connect via magnets. You can wear just the gray central piece, add a little green or go for the gusto and wear them all. The perfect cocktail ring conversation piece. Read more
Meet and shop from artists in Baltimore and across the country, and celebrate its regional craft scene
Normally I travel back east for this 600+-artist show. Though I’ll miss seeing my Maryland friends and all the artists I’ve come to know, I’m quite happy to be an armchair traveler…and seller this year.
One of today’s highlights (okay, it was a slow day) was this Twitter post image with the caption, “This note that arrived with an Etsy order is… the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. WTF Peggy.”
A few astute readers wanted to know how the note ended up in the package if Peggy’s daughter-in-law did the packaging. One person theorized, but it’s anyone’s guess. Inquiring minds (this one) want to know just what the purchaser ordered. If I’d scrolled any further down in the Twitter comments, I would probably have landed on the answer, but I didn’t want to ruin the fun.
I can’t quite picture an exquisite handmade item accompanying such a delightfully crass note as this. Hidden away in Peggy’s seemingly rude note is someone who really gives a damn about quality packaging. You gotta love her for it.
And much as I’d like to write notes that, you can count on pretty pleasant packaging from me. But Peggy, you do you.
Here’s the original thread.
Did time seem to expand and contract in 2020? It did to me. Some days I had surges of positivity and energy, emboldened by a studio full of art supplies, the promise of a new creation, only to settle in and binge watch a Neflix series.
When the pandemic started, I subscribed to MasterClass.com, a website where you can take courses from famous chefs, writers and directors. I was determined to become a genius in something by the end of the year. I made it part way through a writing course with David Sedaris, sort of learned to make a few cocktails, and I now know how to make an Italian-inspired hamburger so long as I can find wild boar somewhere. Read more
I’ve been trying to cull stories of what I call Creative Coping—businesses or people using creative solutions or workarounds during the pandemic. Sometimes they’re business strategies, often they’re just ways of adding delight in a dark time. In my pandemic fog, I often forget to write them down when one crosses my path.
Here are just a few. Read more
December 12, 5 pm PST
Curators of color. Designers of delight. Purveyors of play.
Join 3 colorful makers for an evening of show and tell, a peek in the studio, Q&A the artists, and toast a new, and hopefully, better year. We make modern, playful, smart, handmade objects to brighten your life and make you think.
GAIL HEYMANN / Modern ceramics that are functional, sculptural, political
Visit Gail’s Etsy shop
Follow Gail on Instagram
KAORU SANZEZ / Modern, colorful, fun everyday items with original textile designs.
Visit Kaoru Sanchez website
Follow Kaoru Sanchez on Instagram
JANE PELLICCIOTTO / Contemporary jewelry for design lovers
Follow me on Instagram
The pop-up will run approximately 30-40 minutes. Registration is via Zoom. Click on “register” below.
Want to join in with a colorful red, blue and green drinks.
Have your drink ready and we’ll do a jewel-toned toast at the end with all participants.
cocktail/mocktail? Here are some recipe inspirations for
Plan to shop after? All the artists offer free shipping.
I wrote this a few days before the election, then headed off to a fellow jeweler friend’s for a little distraction. My intention was to post this before the election but realized soon enough that the delivery date didn’t matter. It didn’t matter who won the election. It just matters that you follow where the path leads and make lemonade from lemons.
Four years ago, a few days after the election, I got shingles. I won’t say where.
I also started a monotype printing class the day after election day. I recall walking through the parking lot, my brain in a fog, and, admittedly, hungover. I felt a lot of things, but creative was not one of them. Read more