Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Overflowing!

It's been almost a year since I've had more to say than I could fit in an Instagram or Facebook post. Today, however, I have participated successfully in my first big arts festival, and I am overflowing with words. The ones that I want to shout from the rooftop are these:



To the Columbus Idea Foundry folks: Kate, JD, JD, Will, Devon, Carissa, Zach, Terry and everyone I forgot to mention - for photos, mentoring, encouragement, and support in every way imaginable.

To the GCAC folks: Erin, Patty, Lance, Carrie, Jami, Scott and the volunteers whose names I never knew - for getting us all up to speed, providing unimaginable media coverage, and amazing support before and during the festival.

To my fellow emerging artists - especially Megs and Lucie - for traveling this amazing road with me (and providing some wonderful pieces of art!)

To the Columbus Handmade folks - Toni and Jamie in particular - for all the amazing workshops and displays - and a lot more besides.

To the Polymer Clay Guilds - Beth, Carissa, Lynda, Jeanne, Sue and everyone - for "scut work are us" and company in the studio.

To Bobby, who is the closest thing we have to family in Columbus - for display stands designed to fit my stuff.

To the lovely people from City Scene and Good Day Columbus.

To the Tinderbox in Easton for cigar boxes - multiple times, and always with a smile.

And finally - to my amazing family who pulled together and spent vacation time to make sure it all happened.

Thank you.

Pay no attention to the child behind the curtain...

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Joys of Collaboration

One of the first things I did when I quit my job was to join the Columbus Idea Foundry. It's the country's largest maker space, and it's right here in Columbus. I didn't really know what to do with my new membership, so I went down with my toys one day and started playing. It's a friendly kind of place, and people came over to talk about what I was doing, to learn a little about polymer, ask questions, and make suggestions.

In the month since I've done that:

  • I taught a couple of people how to silkscreen polymer, and they brainstormed amazing ideas for using the resulting sheets. 
  • The blacksmith and I collaborated on new hooks for my work - letting me make larger ornaments and hang my existing garden ornaments more effectively in pots. Our first series of owls sold out when we displayed next to each other at a garden festival.  
  • A developer who does 3D printing is working on custom cutters for me to cut the production time on a series of ornaments I make every year.
  • A metal artist is collaborating with me on a workshop where people can make polymer cabochons and carve molds for matching bezels - which he will then pour in pewter.
  • A glass artist is showing me how to cut bottles so that I can use them as forms for the clay - in return, I'll show her how to cover them with clay.
  • I showed the man who manages the Foundry's shopify site how to use my photo booth, and he is going to photograph and list some of my work.
  • I've had a chance to demo/sell my work at two events - with a third scheduled
  • Artists from other media have reviewed a workshop I want to teach and have provided great input for improving it - and I've been able to sign up to teach it at the Foundry.

I love this place! I am learning so much - and spending time with great people. Collaboration is a joy. And I have an idea for a new tool made using the laser.....



Sunday, June 7, 2015

New Beginnings

Spring is always a time for new beginnings - but this particular spring is impressive. After 30-odd years working in information systems, I decided that I had had enough, and I walked away - it's not retirement, and it's not the last job I'll ever have, but all of a sudden my professional life is a blank page.

My plan is to just unwind for a couple of months, and then start figuring out what I want to do. The problem is that I don't know how to unwind! I've been putting as much pressure on myself to "do stuff" as I did when I was working. I think I knew that a lot of the pressure in my job was internal, but that fact is out of hiding and sitting in plain sight right now, and I am examining it from every angle.

While I examine, I'm also finding some time for clay, and poking a toe into social media. More on all of this later - I will leave you with a picture of some polymer boxes that I tweeted earlier in the week.




Perhaps next week I will have figured something out. Perhaps not. The lovely thing is that, at least for now, it will be OK either way.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Beaux Hearts

Yesterday afternoon, a couple of people from the Beaux Arts group at the Columbus Museum of Art came by to discover a little bit about polymer. I showed them how to make a polymer heart, and they took it from there! We had beautifully finished hearts, freeform objects, and beads....


 And a BUNNY! He definitely stole my heart.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Well, Happy New Year!

2015 is only a couple of weeks old, but it's been a pretty good year so far. In an act of absolute insanity, I signed up for a Facebook jewelry challenge - 2015 one-earring-a-day. Yep - you read it right; all the participants are making a single earring every day, and listing it on Etsy. I didn't start until January 3, but I already notice some lovely by-products... an earring is small enough so that I really can produce one a day. The discipline is invaluable - I'm getting used to documenting each piece as I make it, and posting it to Etsy and Facebook at least mostly on time. And I'm developing a fun library of ideas. There are a lot of enamelers and metal workers in the group, and their projects are inspiring, so every day is a little feast. I don't know what will happen when I go on vacation, but frankly, I'm not worrying about it!

Here are my entries to date - days 3-14, with a catch-up earring for January 2.













There's no great art here, but they sure are fun!

And to top it all off, Polyform featured my work last Friday (January 9) on their fan Friday bit on Facebook.

It's gonna be a great year!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ornament time already?

Why does the holiday season always catch me unaware? It happens every year - one day it's the end of summer, and the very next seems to be a deadline for getting ornaments somewhere or other.

This year, I'm making ornaments out of large, hollow lentil beads, as well as the Mary Jane slippers and some new winged and belled shoes.

I am just loving Polyform's hollow bead form and compatible silkscreen medallions, and have been using them heavily. I wasn't quite sure what to do with the edges - the polymer ropes are OK, but not stellar.

When I ordered ornament hooks from Nunn Design (recommended to be by the lovely folks at Creative Journey Studios), I stumbled across a Wooly Wire giveaway - I've never tried Wooly Wire before, but it looks like it would make a great alternative to polymer rope on the lentils, and to tiny ribbon on the shoes.

Wish me luck!



Monday, March 10, 2014

Education

My head is spinning...

This weekend I took three classes at Wholly Craft, and I'm still trying to process the information. Of course, being me, I completely forgot I had classes this weekend, and if it hadn't been for Heather being kind enough to call me, I would have missed them all. Wholly Craft had my back though, and I only missed part of one class.

I learned so much that my head hurt by the time I came home on Sunday night. I think it was exploding...  who knew, for example, that there was an iPhone version of Photoshop? Or why an Etsy shop can be a good idea even if you don't sell anything? What about all the differences between consignment and wholesale - and that you can actually have both kinds of agreements with the same vendor?

I'm only halfway done with my series of bloom week classes - but I can't wait for next weekend. Maybe I'll actually get some kind of order to my plan for selling my work.... if I don't, it's not because I haven't found the tools in these workshops.