Cool Stuff Happening Feb. 2013

Well, I don’t seem to have time to browse any social media anymore as I am actually too busy doing some really cool stuff. One of the cool things going on is my student Jose` Lins being accepted as a finalist in the Saul Bell Emerging Artist Awards.


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His necklace (poorly photographed here) is one of only 5 national finalists for this 18 and under jewelry design award. And this is what is so cool is that the local newspaper, the Renton Reporter (pages 8 &9) heard about it through the school district and sent a reporter out to take pictures and write-up the story.

Jose’ who had just turned 19 a day before the reporter interviewed him was concerned that he would no longer qualify to compete in the Saul Bell design competition since he was now 19 and not 18 anymore. But, I assured him that since he made and entered the necklace while he was 18, that the judges would not hold it against him having a birthday before they could judge the piece. The story with photos ran in the January 25, 2013 edition. Parents of students in my Art classes sent copies of the newspaper into school so I could have a few extra copies for my archive.

We will find out sometime at the beginning of March who the winners of the Emerging Artist Awards are, but, I am keeping my fingers crossed for Jose` to take 1st place. He did such a great job on this necklace too, making a complex key hole style clasp and graduating the filigree beads in the necklace. I was so happy to have Jose` come to me with ideas for solving problems with the piece and then trouble-shooting them together. There is nothing else like it as when a talented student has an “aha” moment. It is very cool!

Another cool thing is that I heard from LARK Books and my Crystal Cross necklace (below) will be featured in the forthcoming “Showcase 500 Necklaces” book due to drop this spring! My Crystal Cross pendant was on the cover of the December 2011 Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist magazine, and now this too! I am so excited, this will make the 5th Lark “500” book to include my jewelry work. Receiving this recognition within the art jewelry field is very much appreciated, and receiving a free copy of the beautiful book is totally cool too!



Finally, I an getting to attend a Resin Workshop presented by Jillian Moore and hosted by the Seattle Metals Guild this weekend Feb. 23 & 24th at Danaca Design Studio . How cool is that!

I will try to take photos and post pictures, but it may be a while as there is always a lot to do! 
Have fun, Be cool!

Show @ CORE Gallery

November 2012 seems like it was years ago already. With all the busy holiday happenings, posting these pics from my gallery opening just fell by the wayside. Today, I am home from work (sick) and thought it would be a good idea to get these images cropped and formatted to fit on the web. I was so lucky to have my dear Beaux, Scott Fisher, doing all the photography at the opening.This shot below is of the very first of the First Thursday Gallery Walk patrons to visit my show.



CORE Gallery at 117 Prefontaine, Seattle, WA is a lovely space and the display cases, which were lent to me by the Seattle Metals Guild, really looked fabulous! The display props where a last minute improv purchase from Micheal’s craft store, but wow! they turned out to look just stunning with my jewelry in place.



This was the “resin” case. My newest neck piece titled “Always Crashing in the Same Car” (center) is neatly bracketed between my bracelet “7 Jewel Movement” on the cone and my National Jewelry Arts Award winning “Nautilus” earrings in the front. The necklace “Always Crashing in the Same Car” is made with smashed auto glass cast with clear resin in sterling silver frames. Each frame is held to the next with a loop of fine curb-link chain also in sterling silver. The curb-link chain gives the necklace wonderful flexability and easy wearability, but it was intentionally used to give a very delicate impression – as if it was being held together by a thread. “Always Crashing in the Same Car” is my tribute to the multiple (7) car crashes I survived as a child. The mashed auto glass is my symbol of life’s fragility and the stength of survival. Remarkably and unintentionally the casting resin I used for the piece actually “healed” the broken glass, filling in and softening the cracks and sharp edges.



Of course my two-finger rings were present with a selection of “Les Bijoux de Tarot.” Here I am explaning them to another gallery walk patron. As you can see here, I shared the large gallery space with a painter. CORE Gallery hosts a facinating collection of artists from multiple mediums. Multi-media, wood, paint-on-canvas, metal sculpture, print-making, furniture, photography and jewelry are each paired up to provide complimentary showings each month. I am very honored to be asked to show with them and to be invited back for another show in 2013 is especially gratifying.



This last photo is of the entry/title wall of my show. This couple were very sweet asking lots of questions and being very tolerent of our photographing them. I had title the show “contained” since I realized as I put the show together that much of my work deals with the idea of either conceptual containers, container rings, lockets, or encased items within resin. Also, I felt what I have really worked on as of late is focused so much more on the untangable product of teaching that it is my jewelry alone that can be contained in the cases, whereas “my work” cannot be contained in a display case or in a gallery. “My work” is now in the minds of my students and will be expressed by them over the years with their own voices.
Anyway, it was a great show and I now have to make a bunch more stuff – since they asked me back for another! Wish me luck.

It’s Always Exciting at PVCC!

What a marvelous time we had at Peter’s Valley Craft Center with my Cold Connections for Stone Setting workshop. The participants of this recent workshop were simply one of the most talented bunch of students I have had the privilege to share skills and information with since last year at PVCC. What was most remarkable was that they all were students in one college metals program or another! It was thrilling to not have to teach basic sawing or riveting skills. We jumped right into the material (physical, technical, and conceptual). The speed at which the class moved through the processes and techniques was a marvel to see. I was able to use my educational techniques of “meta-cognition” to gauge how well each “lesson plan” was “scaffolding” new information and skill building practices onto existing knowledge. (Go M.Ed!) Here are May’s practice turtle & Volcano settlings.



Using the dividers and brass slide gauge we started with the layout of turtle settings for cabochons and quickly grasped bent finger and raising internal prongs from a plate variations. I was delighted to have assembled for this class an extensive collection of technique samples. Many of my samples illustrated the creative divergence of application available with these skills.

What is always fun in this community of metal-smiths is to see so many options for executing basic techniques. Like a rivet for example: Should it be cut first and flared only once it is in the hole? -or- is it easier to flare one end of a wire and use that “nail head” to hold the rivet in place while threading through multiple panels? What are the best tool options? There were plenty of ball-peen chasing hammers available, yet everyone wanted to use my sweet, little, Fretz riveting hammer (even naming it “baby,” more than once the call went up- “where is baby”). What can I say (and I am not getting a penny for it), but when you find a tool that is not only beautiful to look at and is also wonderful to hold and work with – it’s a sexy thing!

ricks to flare tube rivets helped keep many alternative materials safe from harm.
Thank you, Mara for this lovely brooch with anodized niobium domes/cabs.



I have already gotten half a dozen compliments on it!

I have to say it warmed the cockles of my heart to see so many notes being taken (every-time I opened my mouth) and sketches of ideas before diving in. Teaching at the high school level this last year I nearly despaired of ever seeing these creative tools being employed by students so devotedly. Bravo! Ladies, Bravo! Your photo documentation of demos also gave me the brilliant idea of allowing photos from smart phones as an option for my high school student to document my demonstrations. If the photos are good I could then post them to my teacher page on the schools website for other students to see. 

The excitement started with a major thunderstorm hitting PVCC at lunchtime on Monday. It was so bad it downed 4 trees, blocking the road to Thunder Mountain Metals Studio. The rain soaked us all to our skin as we dashed to our lodgings. As the storm continued to pound the campus, electricity was lost at several buildings. The faculty house was still with power, so, I invited all my workshop attendees to come stay with me for a kid-style, camp sleep-over. We all got settled in when the power went out in the faculty house too! Undaunted we sat out on the huge covered porch and talked of metalsmithing, our kids, and our boyfriends/husbands. Power was restored within an hour and we continued to laugh and talk well into the night. 

With the morning the sun was shinning and the road to the metals studio cleared we did our best to finish up, clean up and say our goodbyes.


Here is the lovely Gina wearing her sandwich setting.



And a blurry shot of Mandy’s sandwich setting samples. Because of all the excitement I did not get to take as many pictures of everyones sample projects as I wanted. So, Ladies, please if you have photos post them to your FaceBook page and tag me on them! Come on Kris, Brienne, Heather and Laura I know you did some beautiful stuff – Please share it with me!

Thanks to everyone at Peter’s Valley for a wonderful workshop!