School's IN for Summer!!!

(hard at work)

The third official Jewelry 101 (hereafter referred to as J101) began this past Tuesday with a practically full class. My students are off to a great start on their first project. I'll have images of the finished pieces soon. Until then enjoy these photos from my last class...

(project #2 - J101 Winter 09)

(project #3 - J101 Winter 09)


Rural Economic Development

Rural Economic Development

Posted using ShareThis

Country Roads...Take Me Home

Monday Lucky and I braved thunderstorms and big gusty winds on I-80 to head back down to Corning, Iowa for a visit. (The above photo is Corning in good weather, not from our actual drive down!)

I was asked to join in on a segment of Iowa Public Radio to speak as a former resident artist for the Corning Center for the Fine Arts. Did any of you catch the show? I was told that I didn't sound like a total spaz. ;) You can check out the segment on rural economic development here.


Arts and Culture in . . . Adel, Iowa?!

This weekend fuzzi-mom and I attended Atherton House's 11th Annual 'Kiln Opening'. I had read a blurb about it in Juice and we went with no expectations. Wow! Talk about impressive. There were so many fantastic pieces for such a small town. In fact, there were over 90 potters from across the country represented at this showing. Here are some photos of a few of my favorites.

[photo of fuzzi-mom's mug to come soon]

Sunflower Pottery
Bob Andersen of Pella, Iowa was one of the demonstrating artists on Sunday. He does fantastic bold and whimsical pieces. This stunning turquoise mug became fuzzi-mom's Mother's Day gift. Bob took some time to chat with her about what each design element meant and how it came about, as well as sign the piece for her (it was one of the few that wasn't signed). I wish I could have taken one of everything of his home with me!

Double Creek
This mother/daughter team from Eustis, Florida create vivid pottery pieces that call to mind a 'Sticks'-like aesthetic. The in-your-face colors and chalk pastel appearance were a breath of fresh air. Totally unlike any of the other pieces we'd seen that day.

Michael Cohen Tiles
I also snagged a trivet/tile from Michael Cohen of Pelham, MA. His work is striking in shades of cerulean and turquoise with deeply imprinted designs under a thick layer of glass. We first visited the show on Friday but stopped back on Sunday. Quite a few of his pieces had sold and I was glad I snagged mine when I did.

A singularly beautiful raku'd vase and lid by Kerry Gonzalez.

Eartha Handmade Tiles
Mmmm pretty. Depth + unusual colors + whimsy = fantastic! Look at that octopus! And the bird tile at the bottom. The asymmetry and balance between the bird, flower and night sky creates a dynamic appeal all of its own. I think the frame and 'windows' of each piece really create a strong design. These are on the must-have list ;)

LinkGlenda Jordan Ceramics
Vivacious, vivid, verdant organic ceramics in a lovely light lime green. Delicious and refreshing pottery for your special events and everyday purposes. Love these!

Lollipop Pottery
Like a scoop of refreshing rainbow sherbert this husband/wife team from Perrysburg, Ohio make charming and quirky bowls and plates. I'd love to have a mix-matched set of these birdy bowls. Perhaps when I have a place to call 'permanent home'.

LinkLisa Muller Studio
These groovy tiles have such depth and vitality. Each little tableau invites you to create a hundred different stories. My favorite is the stack of sustainable birds. Guess I must have been on a real bird kick this weekend.

Motawi Tileworks
Sharp crisp lines vie with curvy sinuous forms in Arts & Crafts style tiles. I love the graphic appearance of these pieces. I think you could design a room around any one of these.

Royce Yoder
What's warm and cool and earthy all over? These sensuous and covet-able vases by Royce Yoder. They invite you to touch them, lingering on the smooth but rippled texture. Check out the curvy beauty in the back.

Three Wheel Studio
I usually prefer my art (and my clothing) loud and funky as opposed to pastel, floral, or lacey on principal. But with Dwo Wen Chen's* pottery I am more than happy to change my mind. These elegant pieces have actual flowers, leaves and twigs pressed into the clay before firing the first time. The delicate and realistic watercolor-like palette highlights the texture in the clay and gives the piece life. The japanese maple leaves are one of my favorites.

* A fellow RISD-ite!

Cache Valley Pottery
Again, not my typical design aesthetic and I'm thrilled to have my tastes expanded. Sharon Brown Mikkelson's cave animal designs have such life and movement. Her pieces have a look that is both primal and totally contemporary.

This horsehair raku work by a studio in Wisconsin was something I hadn't seen before. Both fuzzi-mom and I liked the earthy and organic appearance.

I do believe that this Kiln Opening will become one of my yearly must-dos. Hope to see some of you there next year!


Refrigerator Art For Her Neck

Remember how Mom liked to hang your art on the refrigerator? She'll love this even more!

Create a sterling silver pendant accented with 14k gold for or with your Mom. Have a crafty mom? Give her the opportunity to make her own. It only takes about 30 minutes and each pendant is as unique as a fingerprint. Contact Rachel to reserve a time.

Et Finis!

It's done, it's done, itsdoneitsdoneitsdone!!! Yay! I loved designing this 'mother's brooch'* with Jan and I enjoyed making it but I am happy to have finally finished it. Everything was going swimmingly but the last few soldering steps were quite dicey. It's a beautiful piece, if I do say so myself, but I am SO GLAD the scary soldering is done! I hope Jan's mom loves it too.

* I hope to make one of these all in silver for a kick *ss belt buckle soon :D


Money Can't Buy You Love....

But it does pay the rent! - MRW


Steampunk Saturday

Yesterday we went to a....

in Kansas City. The bead show was fairly impressive for a small show and quite crowded but the main draw for me was the steampunk pendant workshop. It seemed like a fun opportunity to do some cold connections in a style I don't normally use. Here's the piece in progress...

Although the workshop was from 1-4pm we still didn't have enough time to finish up. Here's the (mostly) finished piece. We had a blast and I hope to be offering some steampunk workshops at my studio soon. Please email me or leave a comment here if you are interested. Thanks!