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:

bdozen1

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!

 

 

 

Huipiles and votives and shards – oh, my!

Studio update – it was a busy, creative, rewarding weekend in a zillion ways. Our show and sale of Guatemalan artisan goods for Friendship Bridge was a huge success – both money and awareness were raised! Thanks for all who came to shop and learn – here are some photos:

Sunday was a day of rest – well, not exactly, but I had a wonderful time at our relaxing Votive Workshop. Seven of us sat around the table creating these little candle screens. It was the perfect way to spend a cold and drizzly afternoon. The Studio is a magical place sometimes.

Finally, last night, this girl realized she need to get to work and get her hands in some clay! These little faces will go into the kiln today and perhaps turn into Spirit Dolls, assemblages or Etsy send-outs to someone else for their own creations. Have a happy week, Y’all, and stay warm.

My (right-this-minute) Etsy Favorite 5

You know Etsy, right? If not, I’m gonna get you in a lot of trouble, cause it’s an amazing online global marketplace of creative delights. Look at some of the things you can find today on Etsy. These are my current favorite shops (but it may change with every new discovery :)):

etsy1Tomyres Boutique – Ugur Daskan’s art-to-wear collection. Ugur is from Turkey and has a wonderfully creative way with paper and fiber. This is her Wire Statement Necklace w/ Blooming Flowers. The lovely white cocoon necklace that I showed in my last post came from Ugur. She featured the post on her FB page. 

 

 

 

 

etsy2Casa de Charms Shop from McAllen, Texas is where I order milagros for my own artwork. Amador, the owner, is easy to work with and has fair prices and quick shipping. He also has larger milagros and really funny Day-of-the-Dead shopping bags.

 

 

 

 

 

etsy3House of Ceramics – despite its generic name, this studio site has some beautifully designed work like these fired and glazed apples. Una, the artist/owner, is from Fresno, California.

 

 

 

etsy4Buster Bean Knows – this Etsy shop is pretty unique. Here you can find natural stuff, rusty stuff, kitschy stuff – here’s what the owner says about herself – “I live near Sedona about midway between the Grand Canyon and Phoenix with my 3 dogs, Buster (the namesake of my shop), Duncan & Paloma. Buster knows the meaning of life… be creative and enjoy every moment you can.”  Pretty cool.

 

 

 

etsy5Hoooked Soap, form Peralta, NM. I think I like this shop as much for the names and the colors and textures as I do for the soaps themselves. This one is called Dragon’s Blood Exfoliating Soap with Poppy Seeds. Talk about power to the shower – but I think there is something so appealing about artisan-made personal goods, and this shop has that kind of appeal.

It’s easy to get mesmerized while looking around on Etsy – when I was putting this post together, I went down a lot of rabbit holes checking out other stuff and got lots of ideas an inspiration! But now I need to get to work finishing some faces for my own Etsy shop, EarthShards (sneaky segue). Have a great weekend, everyone!

Personal adornment – shards and cocoons

How do I adorn me? Let me count the ways . . .well, the participants at Sunday’s workshop created some fabulous art-to-wear magnetic pins. Their challenge was to use small earthenware faces which they custom-finished and combined with papers and ephemera to create a mini-collage on a 2.5″ base that could be framed or worn. Each one was beautiful, each was different – take a look.

For myself, my new favorite adornment is this art-to-wear neck piece by Turkish artist Ugur Daskan. It came in yesterday’s mail – and I loved it the minute I unwrapped it. Light as a feather, it’s made from silkworm cocoons, paper ribbon, and woven cotton/silk. I photographed it against a lamp so you could see the translucency. You can see more of Ugur’s unique work which combines leather, knitted paper, crochet and fiber at her Etsy shop.

necklace

I am so grateful for the many wonderful artists in this world . . . oh, and one of them is Carol Mylar, who won the Friday Freebie book, Warrior Goddess Training! It’s a little late for your birthday, Carol, but it’s on its way.

 

 

 

 

 

Gallery talk and hand sanitizer

Tonight’s gallery talk at Nueva Street Gallery should be fun. It starts at 5:00 – hope you can be there. My title is “The Face: An Enduring Iconography,” and I’ve done a short slide presentation of how faces inform and inspire my work. I’m giving away little face shards, as well – and this is kind of interesting because I used the same press mold for each one, yet they turned out so varied. They look like they are related, but not identical. Here’s a photo of the freebie faces that I’ll give away at the event:

facesnueva

OK, now about that hand sanitizer. . . yesterday, my friend Gloria Hill helped me do some experimenting with transferring digital images onto fabric for my upcoming online collage-on-canvas class at Artful Gathering (checkout their catalog). We used hand sanitizer to transfer the images, and it worked! See the pics below, and in a future post, probably the next one, I’ll give you the directions. Till then, hope to see you tonight at Nueva Street Gallery!

hs1 hs2 hs3

 

Monday updates and a make-over

How did I spend my post-Thanksgiving weekend? I did a makeover on my website (practicing for the make-over that I’ll have to do on myself after all that turkey and pie). I have a new header using one of the new Peregrino constructions that was a favorite. It matches the new SHARDS header – look up, see? And it should be somewhat easier to find workshops and calendar info on my site. Let me know if you like it.

Also, please notice the Writing Workshop in January given by Nancy West – it will be a great way to start the year for writers (aspiring or experienced) and journal-ers. Nancy is funny and gifted and I’m so glad she’s coming to the Studio as a guest artist/writer/teacher.

Oh, yeah, and I also I did a firing of 14 new Scent Shards this weekend – just in case you need a super $20 gift for a special someone (like you). They will be at the Studio starting today – if you’d like to order one by mail, email me for pics – shipping is $3.50 and the essential oil, lavender or eucalyptus, is included. Here’s your tantalizing example. This is a face from a 30’s carving and she’s about 6″ tall. Yay for Cyber Monday commercials! The End.

Scent Shard essential oil sculpture and diffuser

Scent Shard essential oil sculpture and diffuser

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.

neck2 neck4 necklaceanns

 

Friday Freebie – Silver Shards for a subscriber –

mirrors1The kiln and I have been busy for the last few day. I’ve done two firings since Tuesday with new designs. Here are the first few pieces of earthenware with silver Gilder’s Paste which I order on Etsy. I love this combination or terra cotta and silver. Check out the little shard mirror! The Gilder’s Paste is a metallic wax that you can rub on with your finger to highlight texture, and it becomes a permanent patina-like finish on the unglazed clay.

Today’s Friday Freebie is one of the little B Beautiful shard dishes like the two in front. You can use them for tea bags, rings, whatever – or just look at them as a small one-of-a-kind work of art. I put a honeycomb texture on the clay that looks very cool, if I do say so myself. If you are a SHARDS Blog subscriber before midnight tonight and your name is drawn by my number randomizer app , I’ll send you one of the little B Beautiful dishes – free tea bag included 🙂 Subscribe by adding your email on the top right on the page – thanks! And thanks to all of you loyal already-subscribers – you guys are awesome.

Also, as a PS, since I’m talking about ME, I was asked to submit my digital portfolio for consideration as San Antonio Art League’s Artist of the Year for 2014. Now, chances of my being chosen are about as likely as flying pigs, but it was nice to be nominated. I didn’t have a digital portfolio so I put one together with some work from the last couple two years. The nomination made me smile because my work was rejected by the juror in the last Art League show, but you gotta roll with rejection, keep calm, and carry on!

 

Sunday’s getting closer . . .

So the big Fiesta Show and Sale is day after tomorrow – I’m sorta ready, but this morning I really wanted to work on something new for the show. I started with some square black frames that I had ordered just because they were on sale. Then I printed some digital photos of gravestone angels (but of course!) and started working on two small collages that remind me of the Guardian series. I call the new series El Ala y la Oración (the Wing and the Prayer) because they feature bird feathers and monument faces. They are turning out so well – it’s great to feel them come together. Here are the first two – with any luck I’ll finish four more by Sunday. These are behind glass so there is a bit of reflection in the photo, but it adds to the overall effect, perhaps. The hardest part was figuring out how to create the shadow box. I did it with thin strips of black foamcore mounted against the inside edges of the frames – come by the Studio on Sunday and I’ll show you the trick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shards and Strands

Last night I got an email from artist Dawn Zichko, whose blog, Mental Mohair is full of inspiring ideas for thought and new work. Dawn had ordered some Shard Faces from my Etsy shop in early February. I always ask buyers if they’ll send me pictures of how they use the little faces, but these fiber hangings that she and her daughter did just blew me away. Look at this amazing combination of strands of knitted yarn, ribbon, twigs – beautiful work. There’s another photo here. Thanks for letting me share these, Dawn. I love your work and your blog.