“Painting with Fire” – Now I Get It!

I have been experimenting with enameling for several months and finally just about nailed doing flat or gently curved surfaces. Using a torch under a tripod, I created some rather lovely pieces. My ultimate goal, however, was to learn to enamel beads. This technique simply eluded me.

I had been reading and studying Barbara Lewis’s book, “Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry, a Workshop in Painting with Fire”. Her beads, discs and bead caps were magnificent. Her set-up was ingenious, with the anchor piece being something called a bead pulling station. I ordered all of the pieces, but couldn’t create a single bead. I knew it was related to the amount of heat generated by my torch. So frustrated! All of this money invested in a technique I so badly wanted to conquer and I couldn’t.

Imagine how excited I was when a Painted with Fire class was being offered locally by my friend, Eva Sherman, at her studio, Grand River Beads. The day long class was taught by Debora Mauser, a Certified Painting with Fire Instructor. She finally pulled all of the pieces together for me. The first step is to put a bead of your choice-copper, brass, iron-on a mandrel. The bead is heated until it glows and totally immersed in a can of enamel. Add 2 to 3 additional more layers of enamel. When done, pull bead from mandrel by placing bead in “V” of bead pulling station. Beads cool in a bed of vermiculite. Many other techniques were discussed.

I am so thrilled at everything I learned at the class. I have been able to reproduce much of what I learned, but I have lost a few of the finer points. Enameling has added a new dimension to my jewelry making.

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Fall is a Perfect Time for a Show – and rings!

I continue to adhere to my new policy of limiting shows to one a month.  Before my knee infection and knee replacement, we did as many shows as we choose to, frequently 2-3 a month.  I guess I just have a better appreciation of what’s important.

 

Having said that, I have 1 scheduled for November and 1 scheduled for December.

 

On Nov. 7th and 8th, 9-4, please come to visit me at the Rocky River Senior Center for the 26th Harvest Holiday Craft, Antique & Quilt show. It really is a terrific show. I did it in 2012, before I got sick. The 1st day of the show was to be a Fri. at a Senior Center. Whoopee!! Not exactly a scenario for a successful day. Wow, was I wrong. It was a hugely successful day.

 
My favorite person was a middle-aged women who bought 2 of my rings on Friday early in then day. She came back a little while later and bought 2 more. The next day, she came back and asked if possibly I had other rings that I hadn’t put out. Actually I did have a few I didn’t put out for some reason. She bought 2 more.

So, in preparing for this years Rocky River show, I will be making a lot of rings!

 

 

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Coming Home to Berea

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Berea Arts Fest 2014

This is a one-day, invitational, multi-arts festival held in historic Berea, Ohio.

The twenty fourth annual festival will be held Sunday, September 14, 2014 from 10a-5p on the banks of beautiful Coe Lake, situated in the heart of Berea. Attendance is completely FREE and the festival takes place RAIN or SHINE! Approximately one hundred professional fine artists and craftspeople will display their works for sale. There will be a demonstrating artist and an Art Raffle offering chances to win art donated by the participating artists. Performing artists will entertain from multiple locations surrounding Coe Lake.

My booth is #35. Please stop by and say hi. Mention this blog for a 20% discount!

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Forgive me while I reminisce for a minute or two. I graduated from B-W College (now B-W University) which is in Berea, so I knew the town, although there have been mind boggling changes since I graduated. I was on the rowing team all 4 years I was there. To get ready for the competition we had to practice, and of course, we practiced on Coe Lake!

Looking back, it was rather hysterical. Only one girl in the sorority had a car, Stacy, so she drove us to the lake every morning before class. We rowed a rubber raft, with a rope looped around it. We flipped it up on the roof of her car, upside down, and got in the car. Everyone reached out the window, grabbed the rope and held on for dear life so it wouldn’t blow away as we drove to the lake.

We raced our hearts out, Cathy at the helm calling cadence. If I’m not mistaken, we won at least a couple of year’s races!

This old picture is from a yearbook of mine and is rather blurry, but hopefully you can make out a few of us in our rubber raft.


“Affair on the Square”…. “Affair to Remember”

Isn’t “An Affair to Remember” an old movie?

All in all it was a lovely day. Well, almost.

Affair in the Square was held at the lovely gazebo in downtown Medina. A walkway encircles it with numerous spokes leading off of it. The setting was lovely.

The vendors were lovely and, in general, the goods were of a high quality.

The crowds were lovely. And, most importantly, they were buying my jewelry. We were really having a good day and enjoying ourselves (I’ve used the word lovely way too much here).

It was an enjoyable show and I would definitely do it again. We were having a great day. I sold several of my felt pieces, a smaller collection, which I love, love to make. More on felting to come.

Felted Blue Brimmed Hat
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collar TAA

Sometimes I think I have bad karma or something.

Just when everything was going so well, the bottom fell out. I was standing, talking to a repeat customer when suddenly I felt extremely dizzy. I had to sit right away and my husband put a cold cloth on my forehead. A woman stopped by and suggested I put the cloth on my neck instead and then recommended I lie down for a few minutes. There was a bench behind us with 2 people sitting on it. She shooed them away so I could lie down. It seems she is a nurse; I really wish I knew her name so I could thank her. Next thing I knew, 2 EMTs appeared-still don’t know where they came from. I’m insisting I’m OK and want to go back to my booth until I try to sit up and everything is spinning. Long story short-my BP was 60/’just barely palpable’. That got my attention and I willing went to Medina Hospital. All is well now.


Back to Back! Oh My!

It seems I’ve gotten myself into a minor pickle.
In my younger years (ha), I often did several shows in a month. These days we’ve (my husband and I) have been doing only one a month.

Hopefully everyone knows I am doing the Warehouse District Show this Sunday. Imagine my surprise when I checked my schedule and there is another show the next Sunday (Aug. 10th). My first inclination is to bail. Every show I’ve done for the last few years were well known to me. I know EXACTLY NOTHING about this one and don’t quite remember applying to it. What if it is crummy? But, what if it is great?

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“An Affair on the Square”
“It is in the “beautifully preserved historic downtown park of Medina”. There almost 150 vendors. Blues and jazz music will be playing.

OK, I’ll be there.

805 Woodhaven Lane
Medina, Oh


Washed Out in Willoughby

Rain
Rain
Glimpses of the sun
Rain

Rain and thunderstorms were predicted at 50%, but that was low. It did really rain all day, but that didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of crowd. Brightly colored umbrellas were everywhere.

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Luckily the really serious downpour came at the end of the show as we were taking down the tent and packing up to go. It still was a good show and I got to meet some nice people.
If you see this Meagan, I hope you are still happy with your rock necklace.

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Next Show:
10th Annual Warehouse District Street
Noon – 8:00
W. 6th St.
Warehouse District


Eat Cake

I have been waiting for weeks for the pre-show packet to arrive. It contains relevant info such as my booth number, when to set up, how to get in, etc.
Having not received it, I was very panicked as the show is TOMORROW. So I called the Chamber of Commerce and was told it went out as an email back in June! I couldn’t find it.
She agree to send it again; still no luck.
Inspiration. Sure enough, both emails were in SPAM.

We are in booth #512, on Euclid Ave., between W. Spaulding and Sharpe Ave.

Hope you can come out for this fabulous event and stop by to say hi.

Sorry to Willoughby Chamber of Commerce for blasting you. I really do want to do this show in 2015!

Barbara


Where is Willoughby?

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If I thought Shaker Hts. was slow in delivering any show information, Willoughby takes the cake. I will have to call. I still don’t know my booth, when to set up, etc.
I do know it is an absolutetly amazing show and I’m thrilled to have been accepted into it.

When: July 19, 2014 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Where: Historic Downtown Willoughby, Ohio (map)
Historical Downtown Willoughby, in the hub of Lake County, is located 20 miles east of Cleveland and easily accessible from both Interstate 2 and 90. Featuring over 125 artists, entertainment & food, this show welcomes over 10,000 people. Willoughby ArtsFest–you won’t want to miss it!

Parking
Get to the Artsfest early to ensure convenient parking!
Parking Options for Artsfest City Hall parking • Behind the Court House • Todd Field • Behind Willoughby Welcome Center
* Any car parked in an illegal space will be towed by the city of Willoughby

Click here to see the map in greater detail on Google… More Info – See more at: http://www.wwlcchamber.com/events/artsfest/#sthash.SOkj8I86.dpuf


Traumatic Fourth of July

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We have 2 rescue dogs – Murphy is very mellow and calm and Lucy is not.

She is afraid of everything and suffers from extreme separation anxiety. She is especially afraid of loud noises.

The 4th of July is her worst nightmare.

Fireworks terrify her and she spends most of the day under the couch. We try to take her outside, but if a firecracker goes off before she relieves herself, she races for the door and will not come back. She trembles so hard, you can see it across the room.

We live in the country and it is not unusual to hear a shotgun fire. Same thing. Poor Lucy


A Bit of a Bummer

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Historically, the Shaker Heights show has been terrific – great venue, super attendance and crowds who BUY. I have been at this show from the time it was held on the sprawling grounds of an exclusive girls schools to it’s current location on a parking lot adjacent to some of Shaker’s finer shopping areas. I always do well.
Until this year. Crowds were very sparse. I think they were initially nervous about the inclement weather, but even when it cleared up, they stayed home. I have to say I was disappointed.
The other factor was that there were 44 jewelers there, over half of the booths. I still don’t know how I got in. Customers had there pick of jewelry vendors to make there purchases at.
Oh well, Wellington looms ahead, on July 19. That has always been another great show for me. I will be reevaluated what pieces to take and my whole pricing structure.
Info pending.


Metalsmithing Poodle

This blog has morphed into an observation and reflection of life as an artist. I am a Denver based metalsmith who works in a call center by day, sells jewelry by night, and fills the rest of the waking hours practicing parkour. I am the founder of Purple Poodle Designs and I am the events coordinator for the Colorado Metalsmithing Association.

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