Well hello web site I’ve been ignoring for awhile. I’m still here, although I took most of last year off from jewelry making. It felt good to release the stress of making-to-sell for a time, especially when I had to squeeze maker time in between the other two jobs. Add to that having to move my studio a couple of times. It is now in its smallest incarnation ever. But the lighting is good, and I still have a dedicated space to work. With the world on lockdown due to the coronavirus, I have more time to get back into the land of beads, porcelain, and metal. Pictured here is the first pendant I’ve made in a long time.
I recently participated in Naglee Park Open Studios which continues to be a wonderful show for me. I do still have some shard pendants available and now they are in my store! The one featured here is clear, recycled bottle glass on porcelain with black glaze. The blues and green happen as a result of the glass meeting the glaze. Click through to see more in my store.
I continue to work with porcelain, combining it with wire and accent beads. If that wasn’t enough, now I am adding glass into the mix. I recently taught a jewelry class at Higher Fire that focused on melting glass into our pieces during the firing process. It’s still very much a hit or miss process, but when it’s a hit, it’s delish! Pictured here is some recycled clear glass on porcelain with a purple glaze. Some interesting things happen where the glass meets the glaze. These are not in my store yet, but I hope to have a variety available at the Naglee Park Open Studios in June.
I am pleased to announce that I will be teaching a ceramic jewelry class at Higher Fire for six weeks starting in May. I’m excited to see what my students will do with the techniques I have ironed out over the last couple of years! Click here to view the full selection of classes at this wonderful studio in downtown San Jose.
My mother often describes the early fall period as the downhill slide into Christmas. I can feel the pull these days as I prepare for various shows, but it is a challenge I enjoy. As many of you know, I am all about deadlines. Being accepted off of a waitlist a week and a half before the Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild’s Art in Clay Holiday Show and Sale has propelled me into action to see what else I can complete in a short space of time. Thanksgiving will be here soon, then two shows in December, means inventory, inventory, inventory! Here is one of the Big Ass Mugs I have in stock, and there will be many more at the Art in Clay show. Be sure to check out my events page for the where and when, and if you can’t make a show, my online store is always open!
Summer shows are mostly over and we are heading into fall. Mountain View Art & Wine is coming up and I have been at the bench getting ready. Nothing like a deadline for a burst of productivity! I have also been converting some old jewelry to new jewelry for a friend and client. I’m not sure any other art form enjoys being upcycled like jewelry. I love giving new life to pieces or materials no longer at their best. I will post those when they have been delivered. In the meantime, enjoy this latest in the Drama Drop category.
The International Gem and Jewelry Show comes around twice a year. This is helpful for supplies and bad for the budget. It goes something like this:
1. Check show schedule.
2. Decide on budget.
3. Attend show and be overwhelmed by shiny, pretty things.
4. Say to yourself, “Go big or go home!”
5. Blow your budget out of the water.
On the plus side, I had specific things I was looking for, which helps me shop with a little focus. Pictured below is the haul from my trip. Notice the tiny shinies that will be incorporated into knit necklaces. Did you know that you can get diamond beads? I’m hoping to pick some up on my next trip.
In the meantime, come see me at the Naglee Park Open Studios on June 7th, 11am-5pm. I’ll be on 14th Street between San Antonio and San Fernando in San Jose. There are lots of great artists participating and it makes for a lovely walk!
Last month was a fun challenge for me, having booked three weekends in a row. The first event was the Mountain View Art & Wine Festival, for which I am pleased to report record sales. Because I had sold so many pieces, I scrambled to make more for the following weekend at the Capitola Art & Wine Festival. Saturday saw steady traffic and Sunday was pretty slow. Being able to eat lunch with a view of the ocean was pretty fantastic. At both shows, some old friends stopped which is always a treat.
The third weekend was full of new friends. My other job is teaching kung fu and T’ai Chi, and I was honored to be selected to teach at the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists‘ camp this year. Most of the emphasis was on teaching and learning, of course, but there was also an opportunity to sell things to promote your school. How could I turn that down? I created some bamboo-themed jewelry and martial arts mugs especially for the weekend. Of the eight mugs I brought, I sold five along with four T-shirts (also designed by me) and orders for many more. Preparations for this event moved quickly, so I do not have photos of the mugs, but am happy to leave you with this lovely pendant in crystal, glass and sterling, which is still available in my online store. Be sure to check out the events page for upcoming sales, including for the holidays!
I am in the midst of inventory madness to prepare for September. I have shows two weekends in a row plus a martial arts camp the following weekend. First up is the Mountain View Art & Wine Festival, September 6 & 7. Then, I get to enjoy some coastal time with the Capitola Art & Wine Festival, September 13 & 14. This one has been recommended to me by a few people and I’m really looking forward to it. I was waitlisted, then got a spot. Hooray!
To prepare for these shows, and be in decent shape heading into the holidays, I set some ridiculously unrealistic goals for myself. What’s the saying? Go big or go home? Anyway, it’s a fun game to see what kind of numbers I can get. I have a chart breaking down how many pieces I have in what category – necklaces, earrings, etc. – and in what colors. So if I have twice as many purple earrings as green ones, I know what to focus on for an even offering. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love the focus I get from an impending deadline.
The third weekend I mentioned is the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artist Camp. My other job is teaching kung fu. I was invited to apply to teach, was accepted, and am super stoked to hobnob with like minded folk. The icing on the cake? There is a bazaar where we can sell wares to promote ourselves and our schools. Do I want a table? YES. Yes, I do. I have some mugs in progress with a special saying and am working on some miniature weapon jewelry. It’s a little challenging to develop work for this while trying to crank through regular inventory, but I guess it keeps my brain fresh.
Fresh out of the studio! I just completed this pair of wedding rings for a couple who wanted to upgrade from their simple wedding bands. They had the wonderful idea of wearing a main stone in the color of their choice, accompanied by a smaller stone in the other’s choice of color. We used the gold from their previous rings, and I took them stone shopping so they could personally select the gems that spoke to them the most. Here they are in 14K gold with sapphire, tsavorite garnet, and black epoxy.