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Thank You!

Hi all. It’s been awhile since I have made a blog post & a lot is going on. It’s much easier on the day-to-day to post on Instagram, which if you’re not familiar with it, is like a running log of pretty magazine photos with less wordage. I am making this post just to share more information than usual because a lot is happening on The Prairie and that change is because of you. Thank you! 

Obicular Ryolite & Garnet Necklace Removable Kinetic Chain

Wild Prairie Silver has grown every year since the start… which was when my son was an infant, 2001. He will be 18 years old this coming winter…crazy! I have always worked out of my basement and it’s not a studio – it’s a basement. I was talking with another local jeweler and he said, “Why do they always put us in the basement?” We laughed cuz it’s true.

Learning and working, learning and working, learning and working, learning and working….there has been steady small-scale growth (my business is still microscopic) that is wonderful. Wild Prairie Silver will finally have a studio, and be above ground, joining the living by 2019… The view will be of The Prairie that I live on, out of many large windows (A WINDOW! WHATS A WINDOW! SAYS THE GIRL WHO WORKS IN A BASEMENT.) I am excited. (I am also terrified.)

Here is the first pic of the studio… colored concrete slab with some plumbing in it. The walls go up this Friday & Saturday. My husband is doing all the work himself with the help of some friends. I thank them greatly. This is a luxury I could have done without my entire life. I just about throw up looking at the cost, however, what is the cost of the sun shining on you as you work? I just keep saying that to myself. (The size of it is roughly a two car garage.)

Turquoise Aquamarine Cuff Bracelet 

The studio space is a work space, not a retail space. We will have an open studio event yearly for Christmas, but not sure it will be ready this year. We will be able to see you by appointment which really helps with ring restyles & custom designs. We will have wine, chocolate and jewelry on hand  in case you call and can stop in for a jewelry fix, plus a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate!

I have had the same 2 questions this year from multiple folks. So I will try to answer them as best I can.  1)  How to ‘have a business?’  2)  Do I or will I teach a class?

  1. I have one answer to creating a business from your art = work. I work a minimum  of full-time, usually it’s much more than that. Work time is not time on the computer. Work time is time you are actually creating something. There is no secret. I worked as an RN since I was 21 years old, until 3 years ago (I am now 43). I started making jewelry, loved it and the entire time I was an RN, I was becoming a jeweler…did both at the same time for 16 years. I ‘retired’ from my nursing career reluctantly 3 years ago and it was the best thing that could have happened. (Everything happens for a reason and nothing worth having happens easily or overnight.) Clock your time and work 40 hours at whatever it is you do. Your work day is 8-5 like everyone elses or 7-7 or 6-8… whatever it takes…. If you’re not doing this you are not working enough. If you have small children this is impossible if you are actually being a parent. I could not do this with children under 10 years old. Also take a vacation every year even if it’s an at home vacation and do not do your art for one week. Your mind needs a restart and maybe your hands need a rest as well.
  2.  About teaching classes: I simply do not have time. I have so much to do before I die. I will never get it all done. I need more classes myself. I have a family. I run a business. I am an artist. I am always thinking and creating, reinventing a wheel in my basement … and then making dinner. Leaving here to teach a class is almost impossible. I live in a very rural area that has zero hotels. I don’t/won’t ever have the space here to teach a class. When I do get to leave here I want to take a vacation with my kids/husband and not make jewelry. Once in a great while I teach at Peninsula School Of Art, Fish Creek Door County Wisconsin, which is one hour from my house. They have a beautiful metals studio with great classes and great teachers. PeninsulaSchoolOfArt.org  

Labradorite Necklace 

Cross Angel Wing Necklace 

I have to say a huge Thank you!!!!!  to all that have helped me in the past years and years ~ Either as a customer, as a mentor, as my family member, as a teacher, as a gallery owner, a friend … Wow, so many people have touched and influenced my life so I can do what I love to do.

Also I have an apprentice, she’s be a wonderful addition to the studio… Kali… She is becoming an amazing jeweler in her own right. Then there’s Skyla… the college intern… she is the organizational CEO of the studio. She has organizational skills that I was never born with. Both of these wonderful women help with all things Wild Prairie. They don’t go to shows cuz that would be cruel and unusual punishment ~ Roadies for the art shows… husband, Savannah and Wyatt (my kids who have spent countless hours at art shows)… take down and set up is a smash and grab but it gets done in record time.

***My customer…. none of this would be possible without you believing in what I make for you. I want your piece of jewelry to be everything you want it to be. I want your heirloom jewelry to be worn, be memorable and be amazing. I want the items you decide to decorate your body with to be a reflection of you, your past, present, future. That is why I love what I do. It connects us. My art connects you to memories and events and that makes it all worth any time, any failure, tons of effort… it’s the success in the finished piece that makes your face light up with joy or tear up with a memories. My very best pieces have been because of you pushing me, changing it, making me see it through your perspective. I could not exist without ya. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Diamond Ring 

And for the Jewelry… making leaps and strides with higher end pieces.. getting braver and braver. I hope to take another gem setting class in 2019 so I can be more confident in setting unusual gems in gold. Ring show is for sale but an example of how your diamonds sitting in a drawer can become something else… something you will wear.

Events coming up are Oct 6 & 7th Townline Art Fair which is held at the Fineline Gallery in Ephraim Wisconsin… Door Co. It’s a show that has been going on for decades so come and enjoy the fall colors and the beautiful harvest festivals all over Door County that weekend. November 24th, Small Business Saturday, East Depere High School 9-3.

I will keep ya updated on the Studio. Since my husband is doing it himself it will take a while. Again thank you all, and enjoy the weekend and hopefully see you at a show before Christmas.(Yes, I said Christmas… it’s coming…. please put in any custom orders as soon as ya can… already started on some.)

~ God Bless 🙂 joy

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Christmas Show Schedule

I have not posted on my blog in a zillion years so I figured I had better for the Christmas Show Schedule… I don’t post on here very much any more because I use Instagram as a daily log of what I am doing and making. If you want to catch up on some images go to ~http://www.Instagram.com/Wildprairiesilver   

NEXT SATURDAY 9-3PM 500 SWAN ROAD DEPERE ~ I am out in the hallway in the commons area. There is a line at the door so if it’s cold come at 9:30 cuz then you won’t have to wait in line outside. Parking is impossible.

Saturday Dec 2nd Art Show at Titletown Tap Room on Broadway in Green Bay ~ 10-5PM. There is a home Packer Game the following day so I expect we will be busy. Please stop in and see us. This is the first year for this even and we could be standing there alone, listening to the crickets, but we are hoping not.

Last but not least… a get together (I can’t really call it a show cuz it is not a show but a party) A Christmas Open House in Kewaunee at 210 Ellis Street~Kewaunee WI Kali’s School Of Dance Studio is hosting us… Stop in and say hello and have some Wine and Chocolates with us so we can wish you a Merry Christmas.

We are working hard right now to ship everything the day after you order it. So, if you need something made for Christmas please email joy@joykruse.com. This is not the ‘No Season’ but the ‘Snow Season’ and we say ‘YES’ to getting it done. Don’t be shy or think we are too busy. We expect busy right now, welcome it and we are at your service. email joy@joykruse.com Website Orders http://www.WildPrairieSilver.com 

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope to see you before Christmas! 🙂 🙂 🙂 joy


Travel and Fresh Metal…

Recently arrived home from a trip to sunny Cancun Mexico. A week in the sun and the water was wonderful. After about 6 days I am ready to return home from anywhere but it was good times had by all of us. We really wanted to take our two kids out of the country as well just so they could experience life lived in was other than what they know. It was good for them. The water in the Yucatan Peninsula is known for being crystal clear and aqua blue. We snorkeled and scuba dove, swam and ski jet skied, ate, walked, toured the Mayan ruins. The Mayan ruins are one of the wonders of the world and I now have more information on that then I’ll ever need. (Our tour guide has a Phd Mayan culture.)

Mayan temple is not really a temple… it’s a calendar. The Mayans kept such accurate track of time that their calendar has a leap year every 5,000+ years. Nasa uses the Mayan calendar and developed the Atomic calendar with it. Pretty smart for 4,000 years ago. Twice per year on the Spring Equinox and the Fall… the corners of the temple create a shadow down the stairs of a slithering snake- ending at a huge stone carved snakes head which. We were there the day after the Equinox…the day of the Equinox 50,000 people there to see it.

Traditional Spanish town about half way to the Mayan ruins. This church was built in 1545, destroyed of course in battles, rebuilt in 1705, some town Mayors murdered in it and the church was painted with their blood..eeekkkk!!!!!!!! This is one of the only churches in the world banished by the Catholic church because of it’s gruesome history. I did not get an accurate story about this church either…the language barrier kept a lot of details from me.

Guy in this town making Mayan charm pendants for tourists while they wait. He is working in a space the size of a closet with people lined up out the door.

Under ground Cenote…

Just loved this Flatbed bug 🙂

Savannah snorkeling…right after this photo we saw a fish as big as we are and he was standing his ground so we turned around like a couple of chickens.

The end of our travels to Mexico… it was very hot there and actually when we got home to 35 degrees it felt refreshing but I have always loved it here in Wisconsin.

Nail Through My Heart Necklace With Handmade Chain… This photo is not the best… the stone is awesome! I love making this necklace and this is the best one yet! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/521810847/sterling-silver-heart-necklace-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_2

Labradorite ring with Aquamarine Gemstone. This was a custom order and my apprentice made it, Kali… she really held down the fort here while I was gone. Without her it would be very difficult to take a vacation for a week. I just cannot keep track of orders, emails, shipments, and production without help. She is a great help and is also becoming a very talented metalsmith.

Palm Root Fossil and Citrine… handwoven viking knit chain. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/506828562/sterling-silver-necklace-handmade-one-of?ref=shop_home_active_52

Crazylace Agate and Vanadinite…handmade solid cable neck wire. I just made this Thursday but it is sold. These are really my favorite pieces to make…the unexpected stones turned jewelry, the rough with the polished, the ugly and the pretty…. I am glad that you all like my crazier pieces because if you didn’t I couldn’t keep doing what I love to do, so thank you. I am at a point in my life where this is what I am and there is no turning back, just going forward and learning/evolving.

To anyone I went to High School with I will be in the Oconomowoc Art Show this year August 18th and 19th… it’s as close to Fort Atkinson as I can get so please stop in and say hello. That is a new show for me and had several of my Door Co. customers ask me to apply there because they live in the more southern part of the state. I just got news that I was accepted in. I will not be in Madison this year. I just decided I do not like the Urban environment and the great expensive of the show. I would rather be in the grass at a park then on hot pavement in between high rise buildings. Other shows are listed on my events page. Summer will be here soon. Happy Spring to all and God bless you and yours.


ArtiGras Art Show This Weekend

Labradorite necklace

ArtiGras is this weekend in Green Bay at Shopko Hall across from Lambeau Field: Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-5      link: http://mosaicartsinc.org/artigras/about.php   I will be at Booth 37, so stop in and say hello. I will try and post some pics to Instagram of the weekends events. It usually is really nice to get out and see people this time of year. Above Labradorite necklace: https://www.etsy.com/listing/497592472/sterling-silver-labradorite-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_31

Sterling Silver and Moissanite Handmade Engagement Ring

I’m scrolling through pics to add them into this post and I feel like I could add pics forever just for the pure pleasure of seeing all of the work I have created for so many of you. It is such a ‘joy’… so thank you! The studio is busy, but please don’t ever think we are ‘too busy’ for your special project. I would not be here without you and without you asking me to do something for you. I’m here working away and would love to make something just for you. Ring Above link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/514379079/sterling-silver-ring-handmade-sterling?ref=listing-shop-header-3

Handmade Garnet Ring

Wild Prairie Silver this fall has had an apprentice come on board. It’s great to watch a new metalsmith work and learn. She doesn’t need to learn that much… she’s a natural. Her name is Kali and she made this ring along with several others. Welcome Kali to the wonderful love hate relationship you can now have with metal. It’s a very bipolar love affair… the Smith and the Metal…    Above Ring link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/501405074/sterling-silver-ring-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-0

Handmade Sterling Silver Necklace

This is a crazy specimen piece of jewelry…love it! It’s big and crazy and wonderful. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/494870798/sterling-silver-spessartite-garnet?ref=shop_home_active_21

Labradorite Necklace

Labradorite Necklace & Huge Chain  Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/514346111/sterling-silver-necklace-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_2

What else is new? We got a new puppy dog, named Taz. He is some kind of Boxer mix from a local shelter. He is really Savannah’s baby doll to be honest with you. He would like for you to wrap him in a blanket all day and hold him even though he’s more than 60 pounds now. We miss Dusty Dawg and his maverick ways but Taz is growing on us…literally cuz he never stops touching you.

sterling silver wisconsin charm necklace

Sterling Silver Wisconsin Charm Necklace now comes with a sterling silver heart or a solid 18k gold heart. I like this style the best out of all of them. They have been featured in Our Wisconsin Magazine so that has been a great boost!!!! Thank you Our Wisconsin!!!!!! Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/497121284/sterling-silver-wisconsin-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_2

sterling silver ring

My new show schedule is out on my website… and I will up date it on this blog as well but you can check it out at Http://www.WildPrairieSilver.com. If I don’t see you this weekend hopefully see you soon at a Summer Show!!! xo ~ joy

Ring Above link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/500470570/sterling-silver-ring-handmade-by-wild?ref=shop_home_active_6

DAILY PICS OF US WORKING AND MAKING~FRESH METAL ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAY ~ INSTAGRAM #WILDPRAIRIESILVER


It’s Been Too Long…

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It’s been too long! 🙂 I have not been writing in my blog much and got an email from a reader asking me if I am still around and still working? They inspired me to give everyone a lengthy update. I am still around and I am working more than I have ever worked. I no longer work one day a week as nurse and it’s paying off. I was very nervous about that umbilical cord being cut but it was for the best. I have not worked as a nurse since July and it’s a relief. I miss the OR but too bad for me, because I’m swamped in the studio. I needed the extra day I was missing just so I could lead a normal life at home and not work all weekend in my studio. I still work Saturday mornings so it’s a 6 day a week gig. If I have a show then it’s 7 days a week. Speaking of shows… Yes, next week I have a show 🙂 It is the Red Bird Holly Craft Faire at East Depere High School. It’s a beautiful Christmas show that benefits the school. Hours 9-3 Sat Nov 28th 500 Swan Rd Depere WI. It is $3 to get in and yes, there is a long line outside at 9am. It is every year, the Saturday after Black Friday. I do not normally fit in at a craft show but this one is a little different… all holiday themed and super pretty. They do an amazing job.

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This is my lunch break… Walking Dusty Dawg. He starts pulling at my pants leg if I am late for our lunch date. He is a good break to get outside and let my eyes see the sun. He’s been a wonderful addition to our family.

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Over the next year I will start to work into more gold pieces. They will be 18K Gold or higher incorporated into my work. It’s a natural progression and as I become more and more skilled it’s necessary to add in more valuable natural resources. Gold is like a dream substance. I can see why ancient people used it and created amazing things with it. It’s properties are so wonderful and beautiful. These are 18K Gold and Sapphire Earrings. Each sapphire is one carat. They sparkle and glimmer like no other faceted bead would, except a diamond. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/256759020/sapphire-18k-gold-earrings-handmade-wild?ref=shop_home_active_2

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Sierra Madre Agate, Crystal Quartz and Pearl… available on my Etsy site: https://www.etsy.com/listing/256678815/sterling-silver-necklace-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Faceted Labradorite Cuff: Link https://www.etsy.com/listing/254359565/labradorite-cuff-bracelet-sterling?ref=shop_home_active_2

Ok, so where have I been posting my new work? I have been using Instagram. For those of you that do not know what Instagram is, it is a mini blog of daily photos and some text. It’s fast and efficient, short and sweet, and you can add people to your favorites to see what they are up to. A mini, daily, report… Facebook owns Instagram. My teenagers tell me that Facebook is for old people. Instagram is the new, cool, Facebook. That is coming from a 14 and 13 year old, so take it for all you think it’s worth. I don’t care what is cool. I only care that I can communicate with my customers, my peers/colleges, any audience that cares so I can keep making jewelry. If you want to try it out, down load the Instagram app on your device and type #WildPrairieSilver in the search box.

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This is an awesome cuff. I have been making it for awhile. You would die laughing if you saw me making it. I make it with a big hammer on my concrete floor ~ Nothing but high tech equipment in my studio!!!! I do have some tools coming to make bracelets~ Durstons Bracelet Forming Kit, but I still don’t think it will help me form this 5mm thick sterling. It has to be man handled and trust me I do not have man hands. It also has to be annealed over and over again. Every time you bend it slightly it stiffens up to the point of not moving another millimeter. It’s worth the work. It is a lifetime piece of jewelry. Actually, it will last several lifetimes. It is nice to make something that will be here in 300 years. That makes me smile. 🙂 Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p4/Heavy_Sterling_Cuff_Bracelet_Brushed_Finish_Handmade_Jewelry_Wild_Prairie_Silver.html

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This was a great custom order. One I will not ever forget. Stoneless ring in the back ground was an anniversary band with 7, 3.25mm diamonds in it. It was valued at $4000 and looked every penny of that…. The customer was not a traditional diamond wearing person, which most of my customers are not traditional diamond wearing people…. So, she had a Twig Vine ring made from her diamonds…. It is huge… 14mm wide at the top. It had to be to put all the diamonds in it. I loved it! and so did she! If I had that many diamonds I would make one for myself.

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This is a Vanadinite and Crazy Lace Agate. https://www.etsy.com/listing/252405002/sterling-silver-necklace-vanadinite?ref=listing-shop-header-0IMG_7377

Crazy Lace and Garnet Ring ~ Honestly I love this ring..It is both of the stones… purely wonderful stones. https://www.etsy.com/listing/252597917/red-agate-garnet-sterling-silver-ring?ref=shop_home_active_4

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Ocean Jasper and Pearl ~ This is sold. I have a lot of gorgeous Ocean Jasper and I do not hesitate to purchase it. It is no longer being mined so whatever rough is out there (which I am sure there is tons and tons) that is all there is. Pieces as special as this piece will be gone first and then just the scraps will be left.

Next week is Thanksgiving. We all have things to be thankful for. I hope you have a wonderful meal and are in good company. If you are going shopping on Black Friday please save some of your money for small business Saturday… because I can see you in Depere on that day! And it’s all hand crafted Christmas items. (9-3 East Depere High School… 500 Swan Rd. Depere WI)

I will keep making things here in the middle of no where and I will keep doing blog posts. I do enjoy it. If you want a daily dose of what is at my bench, visit Instagram and search #WildPrairieSilver. If you search #Instasmithy lots of beautiful jewelers images will pop up for you to view. It’s eye candy for the jewelry lover and the jewelry creator. I will check back in before Christmas is upon us.

Happy Thanksgiving To All!


Art Show Dates and Classes 2015

Happy Spring!
It’s been a whirl wind here in the last month, many changes and its hard to absorb them all. Maybe next winter I can look back and remember what I was doing during April and now May. My jewelry business is growing nicely and that is all good. It has been a progression that was meant to be. I sent jewelry to a new gallery in New Orleans and that is exciting. The Thomas Mann Gallery:  I/O Gallery will now be showcasing my jewelry. That is a happy feeling. I’m ramping up for show season and can’t seem to keep a stock of inventory and that is also good. It’s good to be busy. I can’t believe my first show is in three weeks… I have a lot of work to do. It’s also my favorite show… Sturgeon Bay’s Fine Art Show Memorial Weekend in Sunset Park (Sat and Sun only.)
I redid my website completely after being coerced into it by my friend Tammy Rae. Her daughter helped me endlessly… I was very frustrated because maintaining a website is a full-time job. I wanted to be able to change my pics, change my slideshow, have a shopping cart, not lose my several domains I maintain, and do it easily with it looking nice. My other web designer was great but she can’t change things on a daily basis. I now have control over minute to minute changes. Well, all of that seemed overwhelming to conquer when I already had a website. I was sick of my old website. It needed a facelift, but I did not want to spend any time changing it or waste time making something I liked even less than what I had. So THANK YOU Kristina and Tammy! It looks amazing and was not as painful as I expected and I love it. It has a full shopping cart attached to paypal and square and I can update it whenever I want to very easily. Please visit it and check it out! I would love to hear your feedback. http://www.wildprairiesilver.com

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Beautiful Bloodstone Necklace ~Sold

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Pearl and Dryhead Agate Necklace available Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p324/Dryhead_Agate_Sterling_Silver_Pearl_Necklace.html

Other personal changes… my father in law passed away very unexpectedly a few weeks ago. He was a wonderful man. He was a father that was an example of how to live your life and love people. We will miss him greatly. His grandson spoke at his funeral and describe him as ‘warm’ and that is so right. He let you love him and he loved you back. He was a warm, loving person with a sense of humor. He was non-judgmental and rolled with the punches. I lost a Dad and a friend. His own children lost not only a father but their guide post, the foundation of their lives. We all are grateful to have loved him and we all are grateful for how he passed away… in his sleep, never sick, living and going and being right up to that moment. That is a beautiful to gift to him and a reward for the self-sacrificing life he lived. Love you Gramps.

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Mother’s Twig & Vine Ring ~ This is a custom order with your choice in stones. This was made as a Mother’s Ring with her children’s birthstones. You can have your own ring made in a similar style but they will all be very different. I have made about five of these rings this month and each one is just as unique and beautiful as the next one. Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p181/Twig_and_Leaf_Mother%27s_Ring_Custom_Order.html 

 

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Florida Fossilized Coral and Citrine… Handmade Chain ~ This necklace is one of the boldest necklaces I have ever made, yet there is a softness about it. If you are interested in this necklace you can send me a message or call The Flying Pig Gallery and purchase it directly from them. It is on display and for sale at The Flying Pig Gallery in Algoma WI. 920~487~9902 http://www.theflyingpig.biz

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Labradorite Bullet Ring Link:http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p173/Labradorite_Bullet_Ring_Sterling_Silver_Hand_Made_One_Of_A_Kind_Wild_Prairie_Silver.html

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Azurite Specimen Necklace Handmade Chain Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p325/Azurite_Stone_Hand_Made_Chain_Sterling_Silver_Necklace_.html

Here is the show and class schedule for 2015. I am excited that I did get into the Madison Show and Wausau Art Show. Madison is terrifying me but you have to do new things, right? Why is Madison terrifying? I have a list… It’s huge, it’s a ton of over head in $$$, it’s huge, it has 200,000 people in attendance, it’s one of the top art shows in the nation, it’s huge, it’s windy, it’s huge, I will need help, I have children that are helpful ~ thank God for that, oh did I mention that it’s huge. It is on the streets surrounding Wisconsin’s Capital building so I think I will love it but I won’t know unless I try. IT’S HUGE!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkk!

My jewelry classes at Peninsula School Of Art are a little goofed up in the catalog. As I type, I am reminding myself to give them a call. The three days of jewelry making where suppose to be consecutive days. You could pick and choose but not just come on Friday only and think you can make the necklace in the photo in one day. I am a little worried that I will have a class 20 people on Friday that all want to make something awesome to wear for their weekend in Door Co. in one day and that is unrealistic. We will just do what we can with what we have but Friday was only supposed to be available if you picked one of the other days or all three. So if you come Friday only and have never used a torch or a pair of pliers in your entire life we will still have you make something amazing but it won’t be what is in the photo. We will do our best though and as always in class I hold nothing back. We can take class wherever your skill level and imagination allow. All the links to show information and classes are on my website: http://www.wildprairieisilver.com http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/show-dates–classes.html

Late little note… I started posting daily pics in my workshop as they are created on Instagram. If you want to see those pics download the Instragram app (you can go to Instagram on your computer too) and type in the search wild prairie silver. The pics are fun, spontaneous eye-candy, no extra hoopla, very little text. Hopefully see you all soon on a beautiful summer day, in a park at an art show. Take Care & God Bless ~ joy

 

Art Show Schedule and Class Schedule
Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Show May 23rd, 24th Memorial Weekend, Sat & Sun only. Sunset Park Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin Door Co.
Art On The Square ~ Art Off The Square July 11th, 12th Madison Wisconsin, surrounds the Capital building
Bergstrom Mahler Fine Art Show ~ July 19th Sunday Only, 165 N Park St Neenah WI 10-4pm.
Art In The Park ~ Appleton Wisconsin Sunday July 26th
Artstreet ~ Green Bay Wisconsin August 28th, 29th, 30th Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday
Wausau Fine Art Show ~ Wausau Wisconsin Sept 12th, 13th
Towline Art Fair ~ Ephraim Wisconsin at The Fine Line Gallery Door Co. October 10th, 11th
Redbird Christmas Show East DePere High School Nov 28th Doors Open at 9am
 Class
September 14-18th Peninsula School of Art Fish Creek Door County
Sept 14, 15th Business Class Opening Your Etsy Shop: In this class we set up your Etsy store from start to finish. If you already have an Etsy store we make it shine. Class covers social media, SEO and other business aspects of selling your work. Two half day classes, morning
Sept 14, 15th Demo Microscopic TIG welding: Over view of new microscopic TIG welder for jewelry and mixed metal artist.
Sept 16th, 17th, 18th: Three days of making whatever jewelry piece you want from sterling silver…. come one day or come all the days… open to all skill levels.

Making Jump Rings….

Making jump rings…. Why???? Number of reason ~ you just need one. It’s pretty lame to wait for the mail for just one jump ring. Next reason… You make an awesome focal pendant and you add an $10 cord or machine made chain? Ugh! I can’t even stand the thought of it. It happens, but sometimes you just need that handmade look to finish it off just right.

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Cut about 3 feet of whatever gauge you want to use. If you want flat jump rings run a piece of wire through a rolling mill or use rectangular or square wire that you can purchase.

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If you have flat/square wire: coil it like this or it will turn on its side and get all wonky… especially square wire, it turns on its side easily.

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Round wire: does not matter just hold with your fingers.

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Cut the coils off the mandrel. You can use almost anything round for a mandrel ~ like a pencil. I use Pepe brand jump ringer and there are several brands out there to choose from. These coils are 14g and 16g sterling silver.

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This is a saw blade. It fits in a safety housing. I hate the thing because it’s dangerous, it’s expensive to replace, it has to be loaded correctly or it breaks. I’ve had students smoke several of them up in one day at $12 a piece. If you use it properly it’s fine. I’ve had the same three blades for a few years. That being said I don’t use this. Don’t use it… There’s an easier, cheaper way.

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You need need this thing. It holds the coil perfectly. It keeps the cut perfect. What’s it called? I don’t know… I’ll call it a Gizmo…

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Anneal you coils before you cut them… That makes for nice pliable rings without tension in them. It’s much easier now, than when you have a hundred separate rings. Pickle them as well.

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Use this… Cut off wheels available at Home Depot. Put a coil in the Gizmo. Oil oil oil 🙂 or the blade will break and so would the dangerous metal blade. You’ll know if you forget this step… Smoke and breaking blades. I use mineral oil available at your grocery store in the laxative section..(nice, huh?)

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Tighten Gizmo lid… Firm not too loose and not squashing the coil. Cut coil with fast flexshaft motor speed and slow steady hand speed.

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Open up Gizmo: All nice and perfect… Wash with dawn dish soap and hot water rubbing in your hands.

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Now, go make some awesome chain…..

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See you you all soon at Artigras in Green Bay Wisconsin. It’s the first weekend in March and gets us all out of hibernation. Winter has been good to us this year though…. I hope my friend Roni in New Jersey is ok and not snowed in. Being snowed in isn’t all bad though….. Once in awhile. Hope you’re ok Roni!!!!

New Instagram pics, fun app…. #wildprairiesilver


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