Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2016 Classes are Posted!

 In line with my intentions of teaching more classes in the coming year, I've posted my workshop offerings on my website. There is a nice mix of "salon" style mini-workshops in the evenings (and I'm open to more if you have suggestions), and 1 and 2 day workshops. These will be taught in my home studio (still yearning to name this sacred space) in Los Gatos, CA, a space that is becoming more and more special to me as my wonderful students attend classes. 

Starting in February is my series of 2 1/2 hour classes where I will offer demonstration and individual student help on specific topics ranging from making glass headpins on wire, using presses, making striped cane and twisties, and hand shaping. These are meant to help beadmakers that have some experience already to perfect their skills. They are very affordable at $85, and small enough to allow a lot of individual help.

In April I'm also offering a one day workshop on making flameworked glass cabochons for snap jewelry. I've been doing this for over a year now and it's quite fun, and sells really well.  If you haven't heard about the newest trend from Europe, have a look at the snap charm jewelry section of my Etsy shop and tell me this doesn't get you excited.

I'm also going to be teaching my electroforming class again, this time in my own studio in June. If you've ever wondered how to fabricate something entirely new (and often organic) to transform your bead or other artistic work, this is your class. You don't have to be a flameworker to take this class - this skill is useful to many different creative types. We will learn about equipment and where to buy it, how to electroform on glass and also organic materials such as pods, twigs, etc, and I'll help you to learn ways of troubleshooting your setup when things aren't working right. This class includes my written tutorial, as I think a student should be free to pay attention during class and not have to scribble every detail down.
So, if any of these offerings interests you, please check out the full class descriptions on my website.  The best way to reserve your seat is to go ahead and purchase the class, but if this is challenging for you in any way you can contact me to save a seat and we can discuss payment options.  Thanks for looking!

Monday, December 7, 2015


  That's pretty much what I said when I noted the date of my last post.  Seriously. I know why I haven't been blogging much, but is everyone else in the same situation? Do people even read blogs any more?  Is it all about Facebook and Instagram now? I know I've gotten out of the habit, but I'm not sure I'm representative of the rest of my artsy community.

So in the interest of getting current, here's what I've been up to since my last post.

The Gathering (annual conference of glass bead makers) in Albuquerque last summer was fabulous. I taught there for the first time (electroforming), and my 12 students all succeeded in a big way and I was so proud!  The opening party in the lush garden area of the hotel was probably the best I've been to, so green and lively. The Hotel Albuquerque was nearly all ours and they were very accommodating. Since I've become the Vice President of that non-profit (official as of Sept. 1) I attended Board Meetings and such, and got to know the inner workings a little better. But sales at the Bead Bazaar were probably the best ever, and the town just seemed to open their arms wide for us. So, that was a wonderful time.

There was also a quick trip to the East Coast in there somewhere, and I was thrilled to spend some one on one time getting to know Ann Baldwin, a fellow ISGB Board member. She taught me some polymer clay tricks one afternoon in her extraordinarily tricked out studio. That lady knows how to PLAY!

The ISGB is busy publishing a book called The Art of Glass - Flameworking, and I've been heavily involved in that this fall, as well as attending Board meetings and getting to know my responsibilities as VP. We are also planning next year's Gathering, which will be held in (drum roll...) New Orleans. It will be my first visit there and I can hardly wait. Kendra (our Executive Director) is an excellent event planner and has thought through every detail, and everyone going next year is in for treat after treat.

I toted my jewelry to show at the Sacramento Arts Festival again this fall and was ever grateful for the help of my wonderful friend Heidi during that show. She knows all the workings of most of my major shows now, and is such a delight to be around, and for customers to interact with. The first evening after we set up we were lucky to catch our friend Rick of One Eyed Riley playing their twice monthly gig at the Delta King, the first time I've seen them play outside of their rave performance at our Summer Solstice party this year. It was nice to be able to sit and fully absorb their camaraderie and musical talent without worrying about party hosting.

 Then I taught a class in November in my studio - Fine silver fusing and chain making, and it was fun to see the light bulbs go on once my students grasped that you could essentially solder silver without...solder. One of my students showed me her post-class riffs a week later and it was my turn to have my mind blown. She definitely got it and even invented her own chain design.  It's so wonderful to have my own teaching space, and I'm going to get even more enjoyment out of it next year as I crank up my class offerings.

This year it was time to muster a changing of the guard with our own local ISGB Chapter's board (we are the Silicon Valley Fireflies). We successfully rounded up volunteers for new board members and got our 2016 meeting calendar settled, and as of our holiday party on December 2 I have turned over the "key to the club" to the very capable Jackie Marr, who will undoubtedly do well for the Silicon Valley Fireflies. In their infinite wisdom someone suggested we set the tone for our holiday party by hosting a holiday pajama contest, and while it seemed a little whacky going in, I think everyone loved the casual feel. It was the best potluck we've had, with so many yummy treats that I want to put together a cook book from the event.

That pretty much catches you up, I think. This coming weekend I'm having my first ever Holiday Open Studio party, with demos, food, raffles, and fun from 10-4 on Saturday, Dec 12. It's kind of the capstone to my year and a thank you for my awesome local customers. I'll also unveil my 2016 teaching calendar - I've been hard at work planning about 9 different classes next year, from mini torch-based workshops to weekend-long intensives, and I can hardly wait to show it. My Open Studio guests will have first choice of the limited number of seats, and I will publish the calendar for everyone else on Monday, December 14th by noon. If you're in the San Francisco Bay area, message me and I'll shoot you the directions.

It's going to be a somewhat quiet holiday around here this Christmas, so I'm hoping I'll have time for at least one more reflective post before the end of the year. I've missed writing, and I've missed hearing from you. And oh yes, just a reminder.  If you're on my mailing list you have a special coupon code for a discount in my Etsy shop before the end of the year. I'm feeling the need to clear some space for fresh new things in the new year, so check back frequently!


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