Making stuff – a LOT o’ stuff

Hope your Thanksgiving was super – mine was blessedly relaxing – a real day off from work. For some reason, I had forgotten what it’s like to get ready for a studio sale since encaustic exhibits and guests artists have been my focus lately, but I was hard at work all day in the Studio Tuesday and Wednesday getting ready for Saturday’s Big Ol’ Sale with Lesta, Michelle, and Alison.

This morning I’m finishing up some earthenware pieces.  I’m especially excited about the new little “B Beautiful” dishes because a portion will go to The Honeybee Conservancy for research to combat Colony Collapse and ensure that the bees will continue to thrive and produce honey and beeswax. Can’t do encaustic without beeswax. Can’t enjoy a sopaipilla without honey! Here’s a preview of the B Beautiful dishes. They are a perfect size for rings, paper clips, cough drops, hearing aids (what?), jelly beans – and at just $10 each, they make lovely hostess gifts for a cause:

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Other pieces I’ve been making are be-ribboned Encantos (charms) and HeartShard Blessing holders (larger wall-hung clay pockets). All are made from fired clay and enhanced with sari silk ribbon. Here are some of those – I especially like the new ivory ones from white clay……

Finally, I’ve created some new pendants and face shards – some are strung as necklaces and some are loose, ready for you to play with.

home2 pendants

If you’re in San Antonio, don’t let the predicted cold weather keep you away from the Big Ol’ Art Sale – it will be cozy in the Studio and there will be lots of beautiful art and tasty refreshments. OK, back to work!! See you tomorrow, 10-4 at the Studio!

 

 

 

Big Ol’ Sale Saturday and more . . . .

I’m posting my newsletter info to SHARDS subscribers because there’s so much going on in the next couple of weeks at the Studio – take a look and join us if you’re in the San Antonio area.

BIG SALE – I’m very excited about this – Lesta and Alison and I always have a fantastic time, and Michelle Belto will be joining us on Saturday. Her encaustic work has been shown all over the world – you will love it. This BIG SALE will be fun. Date: This Saturday November 28th, time: 10-4, place: my good ol’ Studio. I’ll have tons of new earthenware shards and gifties and Bee Dishes and faces! Please join us for art and Chef Mike’s snacks.

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Aha! – and speaking of snacks, Lesta and I have decided to have an Art Snacks workshop the afternoon of Saturday, December 5th. So what an Art Snack? It’s a project that you can learn and complete in a short time to give as a gift or to keep. Here are some of the art snacks you will make and take that afternoon:

  • A folding votive candle card
  • A hand-painted collaged luggage tag
  • An origami gift tag ornament
  • A bookmark

It will be a fun way to spend some creative time of your own during a very busy season. You can read more about it and sign up here, tuition is $75, all materials included.

snacksinvit copy

By the way, there are two spaces left in the Wax and Fiber Talisman workshop the next day, Sunday December 6th. This workshop is a bit quieter and more process-focused – check it out.

The next official Show and Tell will be on Saturday, January 30 – yikes, a long time away, but we will have a LOT to talk about. And there may be a little surprise “pop-up” Show and Tell over the holidays – I’ll send out an email in advance.

Please join us at the BIG SALE this Saturday!!

Lyn

Tesserae, tessera — the art of mosaic

davidDavid Chidgey is a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists and a dedicated artist in his chosen field. When we heard him speak about his passion for the art of mosaics at a recent Show and Tell at the Studio, we wanted to learn more! He agreed to teach a workshop on the foundations of mosaics, and the eight students who gathered yesterday for a workshop at my studio gained a new appreciation and respect for this art form – including me!

Among the many things we learned from David is the importance of surface light and tonal value in tile choice. We also learned about andamento, the flow in mosaic design that carries your eye from place to place. We also learned that if you are cutting your tile with your special Leponnitt nippers and the back piece sproings off into your neighbor’s wine glass, your neighbor is not happy. Ah, the artists’s life. 

Mosaic artistry is far from easy, but it can be addicting. David is a very patient and knowledgeable teacher, and he has promised to come back soon to teach another mosaic workshop – I’ll update you. In the meantime, enjoy the video from yesterday’s Celestial Gaudi: Inspiring Mosaics Workshop – and a thousand grazies to you, David. Caio til next time!

Beeswax Wednesday was a great mid-week play break

Seven intrepid students came to the Studio yesterday afternoon to help me test drive my first mid-week workshop. It was a major success – we waxed out little hearts out and produced some fine collages. Take a look:


I’ve scheduled three more Wednesday workshop for the spring – it seems to be a good day for a lot of people. One good suggestion was to change the time from 2-5 to 1-4 so participants wold miss the rush hour traffic. Thoughts?

We had an interesting discussion during yesterday’s workshop about materials. There seems to be a trend toward letting the materials dictate the process rather than the other way around.  In all my workshops, I try to encourage the simplest materials possible, and the most accessible. That’s why I like yesterday’s Beeswax Collage workshop – you can do it with an electric griddle and two tuna cans plus some clear wax and white wax. And – tah-dah – just add you own creativity! What a concept.

brushes2One of the best non-gimmicky lists of basic, good quality, non-goofy art materials I’ve come across is Jane Davies’ list of favorite materials. True, she doesn’t include basic encaustic supplies, but here’s my short list for the beeswax collage project:

You can leave some of the medium clear and tint some of it with the white paint in separate tuna cans on your griddle – simple. Be sure and follow the safety rules!

 

 

 

2016 Spring Workshops open for registration

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Yay! It took most of the day yesterday, glued to my computer instead of playing in the Studio, but the spring workshop calendar is finally up on my website. I hope you find something that you like! Thanks to everyone who helped me out with the workshop preference survey – I included most of the things you suggested (like three Composition Camps) and I still have the rest of the year (and some Saturdays) to add new stuff.

And I have some great guest teachers right off the bat – Clare O’Neill, of course (can’t believe she’s actually coming to MY studio – woohoo). There may be one or two spots in her workshops as things shift around, so email me if you are interested.

Also coming are Kelly Schneider Conkling who is teaching meditation as an art process – I saw how she worked with Zelime Matthews and was just amazed. And my friend Lisa Stamper Meyer is going to teach a workshop on simple screen printing for mixed media artists. When she showed it to me, I couldn’t believe how really easy it was. 

handsAnd then there’s ME – I’m teaching 10 workshops this spring, including some on Wednesdays.

Hope to see you in the new workshops! Thanks for making this so much fun – big ol’ group hug!!

 

A gift from Lorri Scott –

Lorri Scott, wonderful fiber artist and new-found friend

Lorri Scott is a fantastic fiber artist who teaches all over the country. She’s a weaver, a dyer of cloth, creator of altered cloth books and art, and a designer of garments and accessories. When I found out that I had a chance to teach for her at Vivi Magoo because she was facing surgery, I was petrified because she is so stellar and well-known for her fiber art. But we talked, and she reassured me, and all was well – Lorri’s recovering nicely, and I had a wonderful time at the retreat teaching the dyeing classes. I am forever grateful to her for her help.

Imagine my surprise when she send ME a thank you present! Holy posole – there she was, recovering from surgery out there in California, and she took the time to send me a gift for doing something I should be thanking HER for. Lorri hand-felted the cover of the beautiful little cloth book, and her sister fitted it out on the inside as a sewing kit – what a treasure!

Now I can’t wait to take a workshop from her! Lorri, many thanks – hope you’re feeling tons better – you are amazing!

Tortoise-shelter architecture by a brilliant contractor

You know Dudley, right? Our 90 pound Sulcada tortoise who was the size of a chalupa just five years ago?

Dudley's baby picture with Chico the kitten

Dudley’s baby picture with Chico the kitten

She spent the winter last year on the deck, but she’s just too darn big now and needed a backyard shelter to keep her warm when temperatures drop below 50F. She is, after all, a desert tortoise.

I suppose we cold have just spread thirty or forty sleeping bags over her 4×6′ crate, but that seemed kind of tacky, so we called our long-time friend and contractor, Kurt Wahrmund, to see what he could come up with. After all, he built her first condo. The brilliant result? A cedar-clad shelter that matches the architecture of the house. It has three wall panels that can be stored in the summer, and it features a plexiglass roof and a plenum system that directs the heat from a space heater down into Dud’s straw-lined crate. Check this out!

I am so grateful to Kurt for figuring out a beautiful solution that works aesthetically and practically for human and tortoise both – if you ever need a contractor/designer with a great solution to a building dilemma, call Kurt Wahrmund!

Home from The Prairie

belIt’s hard to know where to start when you’ve just experienced an amazing four days in an unfamiliar but totally inspiring place. Teaching with the gifted instructors at Vivi Magoo in Round Top was an honor – and the students taught me as much I taught them! My friend Bonnie said that it was like going off to camp – how true. Except the camp cabins at The Prairie were furnished with lace and soft pillows and rose chintz.

I did miss my pal Michelle Belto – she was a huge help preparing botanical prints and papers for our demonstrations. And I couldn’t have done it without help from Lorri Scott, whose advice kept me focused and confident in a new environment – so glad she’s feeling better! Each of the three classes had its own personality – and I loved them all. Remarks heard during the three days, “I love your residue!” – “Those look like tie-dyed underpants” – “Ow, ow, that rebar’s hot!!” – “Look, it’s an alien!” – and especially, “I feel like I’ve know you guys all my life.”

I’ll let the video give you a taste of all the truly fun things we did and learned, but videos can’t show the welcoming warmth of the students and instructors at Vivi Magoo (by the way, I did find out where the name came from). Many thanks to Barb Solem and her family. And what a thrill it was to meet fellow Artful Gathering (yay!) instructors Diane Cook and Debby Anderson in person. So Viva, Vivi Magoo, and y’all in San Antonio stay tuned for workshops at my Studio sharing all of this good stuff!

Second workshop with Clare O’Neill offered January 18th & 19th

I just got off the phone with Clare – she has agreed to stay in San Antonio two extra days and do a second workshop on the two days following the first one, Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 18th and 19th. Monday is the MLK Holiday, so hopefully this will make it possible for more people to meet Clare and work with her.

There is a second PayPal button for the second workshop at this link – I won’t have time to add the second workshop to the flyer page before I leave for Round Top in about three minutes, but know that it’s available.If you have any questions at all, please email me.

Special thanks to Clare for scheduling this workshop for us!! You’re the best!.