Ink & Clay Exhibition, CalPoly Pomona

“Ink & Clay” Exhibition

It’s weird but cool to be the only jewelry maker in an exhibition at the CalPoly Pomona Kellogg Gallery. The exhibition, “Ink & Clay,” is celebrating its 45th year with the theme Art of Type. I was intrigued by the pairing of ink and clay. Works could be either ink on paper or some other medium, or clay, or a combination of the two. Some pieces have a narrative or social/political theme, while others are purely aesthetic. You can see award winners here. Read more

Chicago Botanic Garden

The Prettiest Show Venue

I closed out the 2022 show season with the American Craft Expo (ACE), held at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Unfortunately, the committee announced that this would be the final ACE show, so I feel lucky to have squeezed in under the wire as a first-time participant.

Incidentally, Glencoe, IL, where the garden is located, is where I spent a summer waiting tables and living at a nearby country club during college. I had just finished my second year at Indiana University. My parents divorced (on the east coast) and my mother moved. I had nowhere to go for summer break until a friend told me about this job. It felt a bit surreal to be back there after…gulp…37 years. Read more

Trash to Treasure

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

Bird prints in snow. Jane Pellicciotto

Briefest Beauties: Uncertainty & Impermanence

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

Maker’s Studio Holiday Pop-Up

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

Arches Brooch. Polymer clay, ink toner. Jane Pellicciotto

A Brooch of Then and Now

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

Polymer clay workshop. Jane Pellicciotto

July Workshop: Polymer Clay & Surface Play

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 ››

Presto Change-O Gemmy Ring. Polymer clay, magnets. Jane Pellicciotto

Battle of the Rings 2021

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

American Craft Council Baltimore Craft Week banner image

Upcoming Virtual Event: ACC Baltimore

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.

Read more

Peggy, the packaging genius

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.


The Year that Was and Wasn’t

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, 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