Gloria and Lyn (and the golden rooster)

The Friday Freebie golden rooster pendant goes to blog subscriber Sherrill Kahn! That’s really funny – Sherrill, you can pick it up when you come to visit in August, and I can’t wait for your workshops.

And speaking of August, (nice segue) please please save the date (August 16th) for Shared Spaces, an exhibit of paintings by Gloria Hill and me at my Studio. We’ve been painting together on most Wednesdays since the early spring, and you will see how two weird artistic brains can take the same media (and sometimes the same subject) and end up with totally different results. There will be the usual libations and munchies – here’s you OFFICIAL invitation.

invitation copy


Hot Tip and a Friday Freebie on Saturday

I’ll make this quick – I’ve been working on my website and if I spend any more time at this dang computer, well . .it won’t be pretty. But the site looks better. You can actually find workshop info (and I scheduled another Earthshard session by request on August 25th). Anyway, here’s the Hot Tip from my friend Barb at Ann Pearce’s. If you use Altoid tins for stuff, like I do for Spirit Boxes, you can fire up the barbie and put them on the grill. It burns off the paint and leaves them nice and shiny, kind of a patina black. Works great! Thanks, Barb. Now . . . look carefully at that fine golden rooster pendant on the newly-blackened box – he’s the Friday Freebie! If you are a subscriber to this blog, SHARDS, you’ll be in the drawing for him. Sunday night’s the deadline.

Whoopee – off to the Studio – happiness is this computer in my rear view mirror!


You, too, can make a rooster shard . . .


Rooster shard necklace and other pendants by Lyn Belisle

Sunday’s Earthenware Shard and Adornment workshop will be fun, and there’s one space left for a brave soul. We’ll play with clay and create pendants and faces and roosters. Well, maybe not everybody will want to make a rooster, but a friend asked me to make some rooster jewelry for a rooster aficionado that he knows. Always one for a challenge, I did it (see the necklace, above). You can use regular decorative stamps like this one on thin pieces of damp clay in all kinds of ways. After Sunday’s workshop is over, I will take the pieces home and fire them to Cone 05, then we’ll meet again on Wednesday evening to finish them and string them at Ann Pearce‘s jewelry studio next door. It’s one of my favorite workshops. Even the rooster part.

Experimenting . . .

I’m doing some experimenting with mixed-media collage for a series of lessons I’m developing for CraftArtEdu, a pretty cool online teaching site for artists and students. It occurs to me that one of my favorite things is to put weird images together . . whether they want it or not. Here’s an acrylic-based collage I finished today called “Sweet Upon the Golden Child.” The doll’s face is a photograph that I took when my friend Ellen called me and said, “Come take pictures of my creepy dolls!” I think the face looks fascinating in the context of the collage. The large stone is an Ammonite. It has wonderful shape and texture. ArtPlay is FUN!

child copy

A litter o’ spirit dolls

Four of us birthed some Spirit Dolls this afternoon at our workshop – as we wrapped them up to take them home, we decided that they were like puppies from the same litter and would always have a sense of where their sisters were. These little sculptures almost created themselves – everyone seemed to know exactly where their work was headed. And none of them looks like the other. Except one of them kind of looks like me, and it’s not the one I created. Can you tell which one? All kinds of strange and wonderful things happen when Spirit Dolls get birthed! Thanks to everyone for sharing your time, talent, chocolates, hearts, and jewels.

Workshop notes . . .

Oh, no – she’s over-blogging again! But I did want to share some quick workshop notes and videos with you. valerieThere’s a Spirit Doll workshop this Sunday, and, as good timing would have it, I just received this photo from Valerie, who recently returned to her house in Freeport, NY after hurricane Sandy – she made this Spirit Doll using one of my face shards to celebrate the return. I love the colors and textures. Thank you, Valerie.

Last night was the Asian Painting workshop – great fun, lovely results from the participants. If you want to see me do a demo of the basics, click on this link. And here’s a video of the workshoppers and their artistry. They came as Grasshoppers and left as Masters 🙂

Tech tricks – easy “postcard” letters


Remember those old postcards that had lettering filled with scenic views? Like it would say “California” and the letters were filled with in illustration of orange groves? I made this informal tutorial for a colleague yesterday and figure why not share it with you guys – if you like to play with Photoshop, this is fun.
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The empty altar

Last week, I received this really nice letter from a group that I admire tremendously – Celebration Circle.

Dear Lyn: At the recommendation of many mutual friends, we are writing to invite you to create a hand-made altar for the Celebration Circle’s annual art exhibit, One People, Many Paths: The Sacred Art of Altars and our tenth year of presenting this exhibit and silent auction at the Bijou Theater September 1 – 30. You will be one of 50 artists to receive a handcrafted wooden box to use as the basis for creating a small “altar” focused on whatever matters to you – personally, artistically and/or spiritually – employing whatever media and/or embellishments your vision requires. The completed piece is due no later than Sunday, August 11th. 

the empty altar box

the empty altar box

What could I say, but “of course!” Now comes the challenge. I looked at the empty altar box for a while and remembered that I had some sheets of weathered moss that came off a wall planter.

. . . .lined with moss

. . . .lined with moss

On they went to line the altar – glue, glue. So far, so good – then I thought “Aha, a Spirit Doll! – I love making those” So I popped one in from the last workshop. Oops – the whole thing instantly turned into a moss lined coffin. Not good. Back to the drawing board – will keep you updated :). All suggestions gracefully accepted!

. . .oh, no! She looks dead! Oops. Bad idea.

. . .oh, no! She looks dead! Oops. Bad idea.

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!

Cheap tricks – tags and labels

I’m getting some new work ready for my Art Show on July 20th with Lesta, Jan and Alison (hint hint, see invitation at the end) and I made some really cool earthenware beads, if i do say so myself. They are finished with walnut ink and gilder’s paste. They looked pretty good on the string, but when I added a descriptive tag, they looked great! I’d buy ’em for me if I didn’t get ’em free :).


Here’s how:

  • Think of a catchy name – I used Rune & Relic because I already had that name on some things in my Etsy shop)
  • Write a very short description or use a quotation or poem line that is applicable – search for stuff like “Everything you can imagine is real. Pablo Picasso
  • Add a photo, or if you don’t know how to do that, find a great stamp and use it on all of your tags – I use a moon face stamp and add a raven stamp on top as my signature on my handmade books.
  • stampwithmoonandraven
  • Design your tags to the dimensions of a business-card (2″x3.5″) Open up a business card printing program – MS Word has one – follow the set-up directions,and just put in plain cardstock instead of business card paper – it’s cheaper by far.  Print and cut apart, punch holes and add string or raffia. Voila!! (which means, “damn, that looks good” in French)

So now you are asking yourself, “Where can I find some of those fantastic Rune and Relic Beads?? Well, here’s your personal invitation for the Christmas in July Art Show and Sale at Lyn Belisle Studio featuring Four Amazing Artists! You’ll shout “Voila!!”