Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Hello, it's Kate McKinnon, writing from Tucson, where it's sunny, cool and fresh from a deep desert rain. I've been doing some filming this week, and I wanted to share a video with you that I just posted to YouTube.
I've spent the last 12 years working with fine silver and fine silver metal clay, and in that time I've thought a lot about its potential to allow one to maintain a clean, safe metalsmithing shop. Working in fine silver, for example, I can usually skip the soldering, fusing my connections only with fire, and in metal clay, I can work as cleanly as a cat. Several of my CraftEdu classes will focus on things like drybuilding, which is a clay term for letting your pieces and parts dry before you assemble them. This will allow you to make your joins with just a lick of water, instead of added slip, and will save you time, join cleanup, and mess on your bench.
In the video, I share a series of tips designed to help you have a cleaner, safer metal clay shop, and have some suggestions for instructors, studios, and shows. I hope you enjoy it, and, if you work with metal clay, I hope it gives you a few new ideas for working cleanly!
I recommend that you hit "Play," and then, when it starts to go, hit "Pause," so that you can let the whole thing load before you play it. Otherwise, it will stop and start.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Grace Taormina led us to digital artist, Heidi Rand. She skillfully and, I might add, joyfully joins her love of nature with her knowledge of computer programs and technology!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
My latest bouncing baby is named Steampunk Style Jewelry (2010). It’s a beautiful book that provides not only the how-to information for 20 unique jewelry-making projects, but also sidebar information on all aspects of Steampunk, a trend that was so nicknamed in science fiction circles in the 1980s that has spread to fashion, art, and theater. Just think “Mad Max meets Jane Austin” and you'll get the picture...
I’ve got another book in the works now, too. I can’t divulge too many secrets, but I can tell you that it’s filled with Crystallized Elements by Swarovski and contains 20 over-the-top, very glamorous, intermediate/advanced beadweaving jewelry designs. Get ready for the red carpet in Fall 2010! Here’s a sneak peak at one of the designs to give you a taste. This one's called Marilyn.
CraftEdu feels like another project I’m standing by to help deliver, too. This is, perhaps, one of the most exciting teaching platforms I’ve ever encountered, and paired with the amazing faculty that Donna Kato has gathered, I expect this delivery will be extraordinary! I feel so honored to be in the birthing room of this baby, and I hope you’re there with us to celebrate!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I'm thrilled to be teaching with CraftEdu because I can get so many more people as excited about color, beading, sketchbooking and doodling as I am. These are life-changing endeavors when you pursue them as such. I've completely overhauled who I am through my creative expression, and its the most fun I know.
As a professional artist I've logged in years as a graphic designer, art director, painter, jewelry designer, author, teacher, lecturer, and color expert. And non-professionally as a musician. I publish color information specifically addressing the challenges presented by glass and beads. I've published 4 books, including the popular The Beader’s Guide to Color and The Beader’s Color Palette, which the Library Journal voted the Best Craft How-To book of 2009. I discussed my approach to color on a 2008 episode of the PBS TV show “Beads, Baubles and Jewels.” My lucky day... that's where I met Donna Kato!
I conduct color courses for artists, interior designers, and beaders throughout the US. My art is featured in galleries across the country and in many books.
My free monthly color column, “Margie’s Muse,” is available on my website, www.MargieDeeb.com. Subscription to my free monthly e-newsletter is also available on my website.
My articles have appeared in Bead & Button and Beadwork magazines, and I write a regular color column in Step-by-Step Beads (make that "wrote" as they are now part of Beadwork) and the Softflex website.
Over the years I've taken -- and then taught -- art and jewelry-making classes, I've learned to recognize an unconscious notion that many students carry with them into the classroom: They hope maybe they’ll be “discovered” in this class. I think sometimes students hope their teacher or their fellow students will not only recognize their talent, but be absolutely blown away by their phenomenal artistry. Glory will soon follow. Admit it, we’ve all been guilty of thinking that. Myself included. The problem is, if you’re busy worrying about how your work is going to look to your teacher and fellow students, you’re going to be very, very careful. You’re going to try to minimize mistakes. And there is no creativity and no learning without mistakes.
Every time I talk about this to my students, they laugh when I talk about everyone’s secret hope they’ll be discovered, and I gently remind them that it doesn’t happen in jewelry classes. And they laugh even more when I suggest that some may not only be hoping they’ll be discovered, but their secret hope is the upshot of being discovered is they’ll finally get to quit their day job. And then something magic happens. They totally get it. Everyone sort of breathes a sigh of relief, and then gets down to the business of working, playing, and discovering.
With CraftEdu classes, I don't go into that because I know you're not thinking about impressing me or any fellow students. You're not worried about what you're wearing. (Okay, just among us friends, let me describe what I'm wearing as I type this: soft waffle-weave nightgown, old lavender-colored terrycloth bathrobe and soft, cozy booty slippers. Point made?)
As an artist, I love creating. Often people are surprised to learn that I get the most joy from teaching. But what is creativity if not creating something of use, of beauty, of joy? And every time I teach, my hope is that I will ignite a spark in my students which will help them deepen their artistic voice and go on to create -- and share -- beautiful art. As a student, I'm excited to jump into all the classes this rich tapestry of techniques and projects has to offer. As a teacher, let me welcome you to CraftEdu. Thank you for bringing my classes -- and those of my fellow teachers -- into your home. I look forward to many years of joyful collaboration.
-Ronna Sarvas Weltman
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Welcome to our new blog page! I tried Wordpress - it was a total mystery to me. I couldn't figure out how to do anything - Blogspot is so much easier to use. So, while I did manage to get the blog up, we'll have to present interesting things for you to see and read.