Saturday, September 17, 2011

1218 photos later...

Nov 2011 - Over one thousand process shots later (edited down to 336 photos) and my first book is done!

Spotlight on Wire, being published by Kalmbach Publishing next year, was sent to the publisher last week and I took a big sigh of relief...and then promptly got sick. I'm suprised Pam and Corinna didn't get sick as well as they spent many late nights in my basement shooting photos...but their projects are gorgeous, I can't wait for you to see them! It never ceases to amaze me how our bodies know when we can't be sick. Its as if your body is saying, "I'm gonna let you slide by this time, but when you relax, I'm getting payback." Well, payback has hit our household and all of us spent the weekend being sick. But Gwen did enjoy having her first sick day home from school. And loves me both for having my groceries delivered and for all the online shopping I did from bed.

Among the items I purchased...Foldforming by Charles Lewton-Brian. My second book from Kalmbach, Metal Garden, is slated to publish in 2012 and I look forward to playing with foldforming techniques and perhaps use them to create new flowers for this book. Other jewelry-related items I have been enjoying...Tim McCreights new Metalsmith Suite app for the iphone. I refer to it often as I am working. It has great conversion charts and other references that make your bench work easier. Its available in the App Store, check it out! Finally, I had the pleasure of listening to Tim talk about the new PMC Pro on Craftcast. I'm curious about this new product. It is only 90% silver, so there is much debate on whether this devalues the work that is made with it. But I tend to disagree. Most people recognize the passion and inspiration that goes into handcrafted items, and appreciate those items for their uniqueness...I can't imagine someone thinking..."well, if it only had 2.5% more silver in it, THEN I'd buy it." And if you do ever hear that, please don't tell me. I may lose faith in humanity at that point! But the take-away - its the strongest silver clay out there, it can be combined with PMC3 and PMC+, and while it may not be for everyone, when a design calls for the type of strength it offers, we now have that resource available...and afterall, isn't that what it's all about...the availability of materials to combine as we like.

Speaking of materials...since I closed the shop, my work has taken a dramatic shift. My past students know me for my designs using metal, especially strip wires and discs. But these days, I am obsessed withFaux Bone. This material is similar to PVC, but has a different formula that makes it non-toxic when heated...and why would I heat it? Well, that's the beauty of Faux Bone. Using a simple heat gun you can shape this material into whatever your heart desires. I've been cutting strips of it and have learned ways to tangle it into beads and vines. Combined with methods for texturing and coloring it, you can really create...well...just about anything. I guess you can say I like the control...and its inexpensive...and its strong...and...and...! I will teach four of my Faux Flora designs at the Bead and Button Show next year and have placed photos in the catalog on my website. One of my newer designs, untitled at this point, is posted here. I'm eager to start teaching these classes locally and will email you when I have something scheduled.

Finally, a big congratulations to beadclub former staff member Sheri Caruso who will have one of her projects featured in Beadwork next year! She will be teaching a class at Fusion Beads in the new year. If you haven't taken a class from her, well, you've missed out. She is, sincerely, one of the most patient, talented instructors I know. Her bead stitches are impeccable and she has such a wealth of knowledge to share with her students. Be sure to check her out. I'll be at The Ranch this month teaching the Rippled Bangle and Metal Flowers. I taught my first class there last week, and boy, did I forget just how much I love teaching! Check the dates for my next classes in the catalog...I'd love to catch up with some familiar faces.

Next time...reckless creation...I have a theory...

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