Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Smooshing it all into one post...

So this could probably be about 4 blog posts, but since I'm so busy trying to keep up (is that still, or again?), I'm gonna smoosh 'em all into one... (for my students - yes, that's a reference to my favorite "smooshy" tool*).

I got a little grief from friends for not blogging about my recent article in November's Art Jewelry Magazine (I admit I'm not very good about self-promotion). The article is about inlaying BRONZclay and COPPRclay. It was fun to write and I hope people enjoy trying the technique. AJ did a great job laying it out - there was a lot of info and many pictures to fit into the layout. I couldn't believe it was 7 pages!

Zipping around the state... the weekend before last, I had the opportunity to teach two workshops for the Columbus, OH Chapter of the PMC Guild. One day was on water etching (my favorite technique and the subject of my previous Art Jewelry article), and the other was on the inlay process from the current article. What fun - and such a great group!

My blog post "Showing up and playing..." has touched several people who appreciated the encouragement and who have shared their stories about facing rejection. I was recently contacted about reprinting it, so I'm pleased to be able to share the post with a wider audience. I had the happy experience of seeing that advice in action this past week... someone whose piece had been rejected from a book just submitted the very same piece to a juried show and was accepted. Congratulations!

I recently listened to a couple of interviews. One was with Michael David Sturlin and the other with Tim McCreight. Definitely worth a listen. Both are talented metalsmiths, excellent teachers, and thoughtful about process and art-making. Both had many interesting experiences to share. I liked Tim's suggestion for metalsmiths to consider using metal clay as a design tool. Many of them are hesitant about (or averse to) the possibilities of metal clay. It doesn't have to replace traditional techniques, but might prove to be the right material for a certain design. And Michael said something that resonated with my philosophy of jewelry making - about how we get to make things that bring happiness to people - be it the gift giver, recipient/wearer, or the viewer. He said "we're pretty much in the happiness business." I think that's true of the teaching part as well... and from what Michael said in the interview, I suspect he'd agree.

COPPRclay and enamel update... because I don't have enough other things to do, I'm teaming up on some research with COPPRclay and enamel that will be presented at a later date. For now, I decided to put the other enamel data I was working on aside, as this new study should produce new and up-to-date information. More on this as I am able to share it.

I'd better get back to "the happiness business" - making some jewelry for upcoming shows and gallery events... I don't know how some of you who blog regularly manage to do it along with everything else you do, but I'm very impressed!

*a "smooshy tool" is known to some as a Colour Shaper =) and despite the Urban Dictionary's definition of "smooshy" as crappy and messy (and worse), WE use a "smooshy tool" to make things neater and better...

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