Ok. I’m a bit late in welcoming the New Year, but I have been very busy giving a workshop during the 2nd week of the month and then spending a number of days rearranging my studio for better traffic flow. So far this year I’m teaching in Canada, at my home studio, and will be teaching at the Santa Fe Beadfest. I always enjoy a trip to Santa Fe, and this year will be especially great as two good friends from my Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths days will come for a visit.
Last year was especially wonderful, with every week filled with workshops or teaching or traveling. It was great, but exhausting. The year ended with 3 packed workshops at Beadfest Texas and the filming of my next DVD, “Artisan Bails”, which will be a much less calorie filled Valentine’s present from your loved ones than a big box of chocolates. So order soon to avoid the rush of first day orders! (Shamless promotion here!)
Also, on a sad note, the Beadfest Texas is no more. I know there will be much gnashing of teeth, but the choice was not mine, and I have already heard from many students who are heart broken. I am, too, because I loved the drive back home every year. I will miss all my Texas students–a lot! Let’s try to keep in touch and no telling what will happen–maybe a Texas reunion someplace.
So I will try to make it up to some of you by posting more often. Last year’s schedule just prohibited me taking the time to write posts, so my promise to you is to keep you updated on jewelry trends and tips on jewelry making. Nothing fancy, I’ll continue to write just as I talk, so I will be sitting right alongside of you, helping you though any technique you wish. But let me know what you want. If I don’t hear from you then you may just get boring stories of life with 3 cats.
As this issue’s tip, I want to share how I design. There is a bit of info coming out in the April issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist with my ammonite earring design. I show a bit in the Artisan Bails DVD, too, but I don’t have time in either place to fully explain it.
It basically works like this: You draw a design in your sketch book, and use tracing paper to alter the design. Lay the paper on top of the design, and redraw with the addition of an element, say a small spiral. Now fold the tracing paper over that drawing and redraw, maybe making the spiral a bit larger. Keep doing this, changing the design each time, until you are happy with an idea. Then redraw this in your sketchbook, adding all the details such as stone color, textures, noting different metals, etc. I have found that when I am really stumped, this helps. What is more important, if I am working with a stone I find the process easier to draw around the stone and just play with ideas. Yes, I do have days when something just won’t work out…and I do have days when I write in my sketchbook, “These all look horrible.” Its ok. We all have days like that, but just don’t give up. Change stones. Look at your old idea book. Look to nature (She’s my greatest inspiration.)
We will discuss this more later in the year. I just want you to get started. I have so many goals this year, and one is to help you in any way I can. I’ll share ideas and tips with you as we travel though 2013 together. I also want to share some of the many questions I receive from my readers and DVD watchers. If you have special questions, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll answer them to the best of my ability and quickly. There will be some surprises which I hope you will like too. I just want to get back in touch.