Lessons in metal from a master teacher

I will never again underestimate the artistry that goes into a pair of earrings designed by nationally-known artist Dale Jenssen – her skills are impressive. She taught two days of detailed metal jewelry techniques at the Studio this weekend, and her students produced some amazing work (see the video, below).

I have been a fan of Dale’s for years and have collected some of her work – earrings and a treasured mirror – but working with her gave me new insights into her talent and experience as a designer and craftsperson. She provided an array of materials for students to choose from, then led them through the process of cutting, finishing, and assembling their pieces using tools like the drill press, grinders, punches, and wire brushes. It was cool!

Dale’s metalwork is featured in Artful Home as well an  in galleries and public and private spaces through the United States. Here are some of her iconic sconces. She also does custom work and special commissions. I am profoundly grateful to her for sharing her skills with us!

Sconces by Dale Jensses in Artful Home

Sconces by Dale Jensses in Artful Home

Wasp Sconce by Dale Jenssen

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Dale Jenssen Workshop at the Studio

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Contemporary mirror by Dale Jenssen, 2015 – owned by me! Yay!

Dale Jenssen is a multi-talented artist whose work I love. I have one of her iconic mirrors and several pieces of her jewelry. Whenever I wear the earrings she created, other artist friends always admire them and say, “Dale, right?”

Exciting news – Dale is coming to Lyn Belisle Studio in June for a one-time afternoon workshop to show you how to create these wonderful earrings from metal, beads and small found objects. You will NOT want to miss this. You can find the details here.

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I met Dale several years ago through the Fiber Artists of San Antonio – yep, she’s an amazing fiber artist as well as metals sculptor. Check out two of her creations for FASA, below, and don’t miss the chance to work with Dale at my Studio on June 12th. I’m so excited!! Thanks, Dale, and TGIF, Y’all.

What to do with your face

Kiln-Fired Earthenware Shard Faces, unfinished

Sometimes people who come to the Studio and see a basket of my little earthenware shard faces say, “These are interesting, but what do you DO with them?” Need ideas? This week, I received photos from two California artists who incorporate these faces into their pieces.

Erica Seelig, from Ukiah, CA, has a beautiful Etsy shop called A Gathering of Good. She sent photos of these two pieces – astonishing craftsmanship! I told her she has elevated my faces to stratospheric status!

Terra Cotta Woman

Spring Woman

Also from California (Sacramento), jewelry designer Karen Anderson  sent these photos from her Etsy shop, Catching Waves. Karen has such a great eye for matching the shard color and texture to the beads and theme – look!

Sea Goddess – glass beads, earthenware pendant, silver plated brass chain, pearls, moonstones, vintage glass pearls, sterling and enamel earring, crystal dangle, vintage glass seed beads

Wild Coral Sea Goddess – sterling silver clasp, raw coral branch beads, turquoise nuggets, African silver beads, antique silver plated solid brass chain, vintage silver beads, clay face shard, seashell

It’s pretty nifty seeing these inclusions of my face shards in such stunning work.Thank you, Karen and Erica, for sharing your artistic vision.

fluffheadBut enhancing an earthenware shard face doesn’t have to be elaborate – last night, I got a photo from dear friend Carol Mylar, a fiber artist from Colorado, who added a bit of fiber fluff to her Sprig Shard – voila! Instant mini-clay-and-fiber wall piece!

For today’s Friday Freebie, I’m giving three little unfinished shard faces to three SHARDS subscribers, one for each – not a biggie, but lots of potential for creativity, as you can see! And as usual, you can go to my Esty shop, Earthshards, to get ideas for surface finishes. Stay safe and warm this weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Mylar –

Far-flung faces and una mas Friday Freebie

I told my Trinity students that if they finished their websites by class time yesterday, we wouldn’t have class on Tuesday of next week and they could travel home for Thanksgiving. Worked like a charm! Which, of course, means *I* don’t have class next Tuesday either. Yahaha.

And speaking of travels, the little Face Shards that I make and sell on Esty sure get around. I love getting photos of how people use them. This first batch shows detailed spirit dolls made by my friend Ginger Quinn in New Mexico (some of you know Ginger) – and check out the neat mud-cloth jacket she made, also:

These photos come from Karen Anderson in Sacramento, California. She created these lovely necklaces using my face shards for her Etsy shop, Catching Waves:

I’m grateful to all the artists who get inspired by these little faces and use them in the most creative ways – and I’m also grateful to you SHARDS subscribers, so here’s the “una mas”  Friday Freebie. It’s a sister piece to the Friendship Bridge purse given away a couple of weeks ago with a face shard inside. And if you are a SHARDS subscriber by this coming Monday morning, you’ll have a chance for your name to be drawn. Good luck and have a lovely weekend!

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Spring Fling: the Trailer (approved for audiences of all ages)

Alison, Lesta, Jan and I had the best time setting up for today’s art show. Here’s your special sneak preview – I took some photos with my phone as we were finishing up and made this little video. My three fellow artists are just amazing in their versatility and creative talent – please come see for yourself – 10-5 today at the Studio, and here’s a map for you so you won’t lose your way!

 

 

It’s showtime! Come fling with us . . .

Spring Fling springs open tomorrow morning at the Studio. My pals Lesta Frank, Alison Schockner, and Jan Longfellow will join me in our first show and sale of the year – hope you can drop by. There’s always lots to see, and lots of ideas and techniques to steal – er, I mean, emulate. I’ll have some new small textured earthenware adornment pieces, most around $8 or sotext1 text2 text3. Here’s are a few samples:

I’ll also have the new Milagrito hanging constructions and the first series of Shardian Angels (what a name).

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Anoba, Celtic forest goddess

Anoba, Celtic forest goddess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out this elegant necklace that Jan Longfellow will have tomorrow – love the stone! And Lesta and Alison will have a huge assortment of gorgeous fibers and watercolors and treasure of all manner. See you tomorrow, 10-5, at the Studio for Spring Fling!
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DYI Friday Freebie . . . Shard Adornment Kit!

Howdy, and happy All Saints Day. I always think of old San Fernando Cemetery  on Nov 1. Lots of families will be there this weekend having picnics on the graves of loved ones and generally hanging out with them, which I think is pretty cool. Most of my earthenware faces come from San Fernando, so today’s Friday Freebie is a Shard Adornment Kit with everything you need to create a magnetic art-to-wear pin like this one:

pinfreebie2For the kit, I’ve put together a small shard face, some feathers and mat board, beads and cord, interesting paper pieces, and a strong bar magnet for you to use to create an adornment for yourself or a friend. You can see lots more examples at this YouTube link, and I’ll have some new Shard Adornments at the stupendous Studio Art Sale next Saturday, NOV 9. Please come!

pinfreebiekit_edited-1To be eligible win this kit, be a SHARDS subscriber by Sunday at midnight – yay for shameless self-promotion! A random drawing will take place Monday morning. Oh, yeah – I’ll even include directions! And if you’d like to come to a workshop and make them with me and several other creative people, sign up here for the Nov. 24th workshop at the Studio. It’s your Place of Creative Belonging – mine, too :). OK, go forth and doing something small and saintly for someone to celebrate All Saints Day.

Shards and Spirit Box Kit

Congrats to Barb Wolfe, winner of the SHARDS subscriber drawing for the Spirit Box kit. Barb’s a good jewelry designer, can’t wait to see how she puts it all together. Speaking of shards, yesterday’s workshop artisans outdid themselves in quality and production. Take a look at some of their work – it’s very fragile right now while it’s waiting to be fired, but the pieces should be even more amazing once fired and finished. The last photo is a card of air-dry clay buttons that I made yesterday for fiber art enhancement – I’ll post directions at a later date. Sherrill Kahn turned me on to air-dry clay as a quick alternative to earthenware.Thanks for a great workshop, y’all – see you Wednesday to finish your pieces and put them together at Ann Pearce’s jewelry shop.

Art teachers and adornments

I don’t know where Sherrill Kahn gets her energy – after two full days of teaching workshops at the Studio, she lectured to a full house of North East ISD art teachers this morning at the McNay Museum of Art as part of their in-service for back-to-school. My painting pal, Gloria Hill, is the NEISD Visual Arts Director and she arranged for Sherrill to come from California for the occasion. Sherrill shared images of her intricate, colorful work and she gave lots of hints to teachers on how to inspire students even on a teacher’s budget. Did you know, for example, that cheap hair gel from the Dollar Store works beautifully as an extender for acrylic paint? Check our her newest book for lots more cool ideas.

Afterwards, Gloria, Sherrill and I went to my Studio to work on face shard jewelry, but not before several of the art teachers showed up just to visit with Sherrill on a one-on-one basis. We did get back to work on our shard faces, and we spent the rest of the afternoon with Ann Pearce creating our necklaces with her help. If you’d like to make your own clay faces, I have a workshop this Sunday, August 25, on clay adornments, so sign up and join the fun! There’s still space.

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Arts, letters & amber – a studio visit

Carolyn Eastman Cazares is a Woman of Letters – Hebrew letters. She fell in love with the letterforms over a decade ago and paints them in layered compositions that transcend translation. I visited Carolyn at her Studio on the edge of the Texas Hill Country north of San Antonio, and I was astounded with the diversity and passion in her work. When she falls in love with something – Hebrew letters, chunks of amber, faces that compel her, she is prolific in her explorations. Her amber and copper wire jewelry is lyrical – she says that amber is a combination of “liquid sunshine and ancient wisdom.”

She also makes a great chocolate gluten-free cake (and gave me the recipe). We talked for over an hour about creativity, relationships and art, and what inspires us, and we found a lot of common ground. If you’ve visited my house and my studio, you can see from the photos that Carolyn and I share a lot of the same kinds of “artists’ stuff”! Thanks for the visit, Carolyn – I will be back!