Saturday, October 31, 2009

Yesterday Was A Busy Day!!!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of assisting Thomas Mann again in teaching his "Found Object Sandwich" workshop. He was the keynote speaker at the National Art Education Association Conference, which was held at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He held a special workshop on the last day of the conference for 20 art teachers who came from all different areas of the state. It was a busy day. The workshop started at 8:00 a.m., and we worked straight through until 5:00 p.m. Usually this is a 2-day workshop, but everyone really worked hard, and many even completed their projects. Myself, along with Sarah Mann (no relation) were there to answer questions, assist anyone who needed help, and give help with design and layout problems anyone had. I also gave a step-by-step demonstration on how to etch metal. I'm really honored that Tom asks me to assist him whenever he is in the area. He's going to be having a booth at the "Bead and Button Show" in Milwaukee, Wisconsin again next year on June 6-13, 2010, and he is also going to be teaching several workshops there during the event. He has already asked me to assist him with his workshops, so I'm looking forward to going there again.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Tis The Season For Workshops!!!

"I wish to be of service
to the artists of our own day,
by showing them
how a small beginning
leads to the highest elevation..."
- Giorgio Vasari

I am finally beginning to get back in the groove again with my art. I'm still going to physical therapy several times a week for my shoulder, but I am now beginning to work with wire and sawing metal again - in moderation.

I had registered for quite a few workshops this Fall. These are some that I recently took...

(Myself with Susan...she's a great instructor and a lot of fun to be with!)

I went to Valley Ridge Art Studio in Muscoda, Wisconsin on October 14th for two workshops with Susan Lenart Kasmer. I had never taken any workshops with her before, so it was a real treat to finally get to work with her in person!

The first workshop was all about working with resin, and discovering all the different ways you can use it. I made a lot of resin paper using pages from an antique German Bible, and also filled a lot of bezels for future jewelry projects.

(A bezel I filled using flowers from my father's funeral)

(My workspace - this is a typical sight at workshops)

See what utter chaos my workspace is??? Well...this is how everyone's area looks when you go to art workshops. You pack anything and everything you think you might use for your project. Even if the odds are slim that you'll need it, you pack it anyhow - just in case.

(This is a sampling of some of my stash that I brought along)

The second workshop focused on metalsmithing. Susan showed us a lot of different techniques for making charms, rings, and pendants. She even showed us how to do enameling on copper, using a torch. I really enjoyed that...I've always wanted to try enameling.

(These are some charms I made)

Just a few days later, I attended RaeVn's Nest Art Retreat in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, to take three workshops from Richard Salley. He's another artist that I have never taken any workshops from, and I love his jewelry. I think I'm particularly drawn to his work because he works with iron wire like I do.

(Myself with Richard Salley)

These are the pieces that I made in his workshops. It was so kewl to start working with wire again, but after each workshop, my shoulder was absolutely killing me! I went home each night and put an icepack on it.

(Pendant I made in the Friday Workshop)

(The interior of the pendant - Yep, the roman numerals are upside-down, but that way I can find my way around when I'm wearing it, 'cause there's a compass in the middle!)

(The faux bone bracelet I was working on Friday nite -I still need to finish it.)

(The pendant I made in Saturday's Workshop. I plan on adding some found-
object dangles to the bottom curved wire.)

(The Interior of the Pendant - the round plate began as a large washer, and
I cut the center hole into a heart shape.)