The holiday season is here! Are you ready? I still have a few people I need to find gifts for and I am feeling stumped. Hopefully gift ideas will come to me within the next couple of days, as I'm not a very good at last minute gift buying. That thought brings me to the point of today's post. I plan to be off line for the next couple of weeks. Taking some time to spend with my kids and my family without thinking about creating or marketing my work. I hope to refresh my spirit, get a couple of projects off my list and just have fun.
This has been a busy year for me, full of interesting learning curves. While dealing with multiple members of my family having serious health issues (which thankfully are behind us now) I found I completely immersed myself into learning new techniques in order to maintain my sanity.
I kicked off the year by creating a Katwise sweater coat for myself.
Sweaters were taking over my kitchen.
But I LOVE my coat.
I took painting classes.
I gifted myself a lampworking class with a fantastic teacher, Trey Cornette. Lampworking classes are very expensive so I don't take a class too often but I really needed something to make me feel better at this time. I have long been an admirer Trey's work and there was no way I was going to miss this opportunity.
These are the beads I created in Trey's class. With Trey's help I was finally able to work silvered glass in the flame without it turning a muddy brown. This was huge and exciting for me! Sometimes it is a small thing that makes me so incredibly happy.
One of the beads I adorned with kumihimo braided seed beads. I just love this piece!
I spent a great deal of time researching and learning metal working techniques. I worked on etching copper in an acid bath and a more environmentally friendly etch using a salt water bath.
These are the results of my first experiments with the salt water etch.
Now that I was creating with metal I needed to finally learn how to use my jewelers saw so I could cut and shape the metal into jewelry components. I read a wonderful book, Metal Artist's Workbench: Demystifying the Jeweler's Saw. This book was extremely helpful in getting me to understand how the jewelers saw works and provided some great practice projects.
A finished piece of jewelry, using lampwork beads and etched copper as a focal which has been colored using Vintaj patina inks. This bracelet was a gift to my niece for her birthday.
In addition to etching metal I learned to emboss and impress images onto metal. Now this is really fun to do!
These bracelet focals have been cut, sanded, embossed, patina added using liver of sulfer, sanded some more, shaped with a partial curve and sealed.
I purchased the book Painting with Fire by Barbara Lewis. Barbara developed a technique of adding enamels to metal without using a kiln. I was lucky enough to visit Barbara at her new store (of the same) and got a mini private lesson. I haven't had a chance to explore painting with fire in my own studio. I intend to do more of that in 2013.
Enameled metal beads
The internet has so much to offer in terms of learning new techniques. I have to credit many of the fabulous women I have met through A Creative Bead Chat group on Facebook. Without them I'm not sure I would have learned so much this year. Thank you CBCers.
There is still so much more I look forward to learning and adding to my work and sharing with you.
I have some exciting events coming up during the first few months of 2013.
Over my break I will be going through my beads (oh there are so many beads) and jewelry preparing for a huge destash sale during the week of January 7th. Stay tuned to my Facebook fan page for the details.
In February and March my work is going to be published in two different issues of beading magazines! I am very excited about this and will share more details about this in January as well.
In late February I will be hosting an online auction of my work on the Facebook site, Artisans Open Market. I hope you will be able to join me for this event. Stay tuned to my blog and my Facebook page for all the happenings.
I have a few other ideas in the works for January too. I'm thinking about a Component of the Day, offering a bead or jewelry component at half price! What are your thoughts about that deal?
Thanks for joining me and I hope all my friends are enjoying their December Holiday Celebrations and I hope you all have a very Happy New Year.
See you in 2013!