Tag Archives: classes

Merry Christmas!

drusy cobalt necklace

Drusy Cobaltocalcite Necklace

Amazing Pink!

drusy necklace sterling silver

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/216136930/pink-drusy-cobaltocalcite-stone-sterling?ref=shop_home_active_4

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Azurite and Aquamarine Necklace

One of the most interesting stones I have ever made into a necklace. It is like a miniature landscape of a mountain and a valley.

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Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/216137416/azurite-specimen-stone-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-2DSC_0072

Velvet Malachite…

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Link:https://www.etsy.com/listing/216142103/azurite-malachite-drusy-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_2

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Last minute shopping on the go… Good friend and customer wanted a gift so I brought the store to him on the tailgate of our truck in the parking lot of the mall. Honestly, I have done this a lot. I live in ‘Nowheresville’ so I have often brought the store to the customer especially this time of year. I gift wrapped it and everything for him. No different the mall, right? Talk about low overhead. (Well, I guess pickup trucks are not the cheap these days.)

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Cookie Fest 2014

Every year we decorate cookies with the Aunties… The guys don’t really decorate much they just eat and goof off. Notice the ‘mice’ they were really easy and fun to make. Chocolate covered cherry with the stem as the the tail, white striped Herseys kiss face, almond slice ears, on an oreo cookie. If you google Chocolate Cherry Mice the recipe comes right up…. very simple. I am not really a fan of dessert, lucky thing, I would rather eat a steak or drink a cold beer than waste the calorie on a cookie.

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Clay Mathews Christmas Cookie made by Gabrielle ~ for all of you Green Bay Packers Fans ~ The frosting on this one will put anyone over the edge… Blood sugar 1500….

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My son Wyatt having a good time with some goofy antlers of his Aunts on his head.

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This is Aunt Jenny and Aunt Margo, cousin Gabrielle, the awesome neighbor kid Autumn and Savannah my daughter making, making, making….cookies and a mess.

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This is the only way my husband lets his picture be taken. This is an exact replica of my husband Bill. (Ok, he doesn’t wear shirts like that… his shirts are mostly black and have a Harley Davidson something on them ~ and we forgot the boots.)

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C-Fest 2014 (cookie fest) painted on the snowbank while the guys play football, dog plays too. After the cookies are made we head to the Rockin K Ranch in Greenleaf, Wisconsin. This ranch gives sleigh rides (or wagon rides if there is not enough snow) and drops you off in the woods at a bonfire ~every family has their own bonfire in the woods, privately. They pick you up whenever you say so ~ hour or two. We bring popcorn, hot chocolate and some family trivia the kids make up. It’s really fun and a nice way to spend the evening together being festive and getting in the spirit. The Rockin K Ranch does it right. Thanks for another fun night at your farm. If you have little kids or a company party it’s a really fun time doing something simple and little old fashion.

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Terrible pic… sorry it’s all I have…

off we go out to the woods on our horse ride… That is my brother in law standing next to me with his thumb up.

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

I hope you have a peaceful Christmas with friends and family and are happily looking forward to 2015.

Finalized piece from my last post…  The trillion cut stones I could have never set without Gerry Lewy’s stone setting class. Thanks Gerry. I am sure Gerry, sitting up in Toronto Canada, has no idea I use his teachings almost daily. He will be teaching at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek Door Co. next summer. If you can possibly take the class ~ take it… It’s amazing. Now I need to learn bright setting and engraving from him. If only I could live longer. http://www.peninsulaschoolofart.com

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18K Gold, Sterling, Vista Jasper, London Blue Topaz, Tourmaline….

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/215635351/18k-gold-sterling-silver-stone-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_3

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ETSY Shop Class & Metalsmithing Class Great Success

IMG_2893Great week at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek Door Co. Two day class, ‘Lauching Your Etsy Shop,’ was a great success. It had in my mind a potential to bomb… I had to rely on technology hooking up to screens and wifi working for every student and students bringing their own computers/ipads: all different with all different programs on them for photos.

Hooray! It was fine. Everyone opened a shop. Everyone edited pics. Everyone made a banner. Everyone worked their way through the site and created listings, shop policy, shipping criteria, etc… It was fun to see every student get a way to sell their work. We all had different artistic backgrounds as well: painter, vintage collector, and jewelry.

Murphy’s Law…. second day of class: ETSY changes the format to about half of the sellers shop pages. ETSY had announced they were going to make some changes months ago and gradually launch the changes…. Ha!!!!!!! Tricks on me 🙂 Half of us had pages that looked very different from the other half…. essentially it was fine. Same content just different look and different icons. I just chucked at the irony that it took place mid-class. This class will be offered again next year. It will be two days from 9-1pm. Not sure on the dates yet. The time (9-1) was perfect because you can only stare at a computer so long.

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Wednesday Thursday Friday: Metalsmithing Class at the same school 

Peninsula School of Art Fish Creek Wisconsin Door County

What a great great great great time 🙂 I now feel have three new good friends. Thank you Joan, Kate and Terri. This is why I teach…. wonderful human connect with these three women. All of us coming from different backgrounds and all of us completely in tune to what we are there to learn: new ways to create with metal. It was one of the best classes I have ever taught. Super energy!

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Kate’s piece without the stone in it…. Hey teacher don’t eat in the studio 🙂 Yes, those are my grapes….

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Ocean Jasper… The back plate of this sterling silver was put through a rolling mill with dried corn husks ~ thanks Joan for bringing them and telling us how great it looks.

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This is Terri… She was in my class last year and was really ready to advance beyond where she felt she was stuck. She wanted to make a birch tree like piece… Well, she did and it was fantastic!

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Her necklace without the stone… it swings on the branch 😀 Love it Love it Love it. I would buy this from her if she would let me.

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This is a terrible photo but it shows Joans piece…. I wish the pic was better because it was stunning. The rough agate matched these pearls… The pearl components in the chain are double sided so the same cupped square is on the reverse side with a pearl in it. We made these component from scratch and yes, even the pearls have a little tiny post in them. There are five different tiny little soldering jobs to do in one component of that single pearl chain link. (You are awesome Joan and you did it!) When her chain moves around the pearls in the chain are never flipped the wrong way. It’s beautiful all the time. Oh, and Joan hand made every single jump ring in that chain, soldered them all, and hammered them all. By  Friday she was ready to not make any more chains but she knows now that she can…   🙂

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Pic off the the far left was just a piece that was just started in the last bit of class time…. we did not want to leave it out.

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A lot of students want to visit my studio. Well, I hate to tell you it’s just not that impressive. This is it. It’s like galley kitchen… narrow with countertop/benches on each side. I have another room with my larger equipment in it in the concrete walled part of our basement (rolling mill, hydraulic press, buffing motor, large anvil ~ this space is even less impressive, downright ugly.) This basement room has windows and it’s where I spend most of my time. But it’s not anything fancy and it’s not what I would call a ‘studio.’ It’s just the space that I have… I try to make it as inspiring as I can with goofy signs… etc…. I would love an inspiring studio separate from my house. I have often joked about this with my husband and tossed the idea around about building some kind of ‘workshop.’ After last winter I cannot image doing that. I cannot imagine heating and shoveling another building. It’s just not realistic in my head…  I would love to have the space to have another person work or students work or clients stop in… but I just don’t think it’s worth the winter time work with maintaining another building. If I had elves it would be doable….

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I have two torching station setups ~ with three torches connected to two propane/oxygen setups. One of them on the bench on the far left will be replaced with my new welder when I finally get it. I have plans to travel to Chicago to a jeweler who is going to spend a day teaching me how to use one. I plan to do that as soon as I can… I haven’t got a date yet. I wish it was today… I’m ready. If you are ready to purchase a torch, my setup is my favorite and I think I have used a lot of different torches and gas sources. I use the Little Smith Torch and the Smith Versa Torch. I have them setup on propane/oxygen tanks with a flashback arrestors and Y-Adaptors. The Little Smith Torch is tiny and very precise especially for gold work. The Versa Torch is my 90% of the time torch but mostly because my jewelry is so big…. That torch melts things fast… heavy ring shank… takes seconds to solder. When I use the schools’ Acetylene without oxygen torches I feel like it takes all day to solder something large, even with the largest tip on the torch. However, it’s just what I am use to. I know a lot of jewelers and they use either or, and seem to love whatever they are use to. It comes down to ‘heat’ … have you got it?? Is your flame hot enough? At home Terri is using a ‘CopperHead Torch’ with propane only. She stated in class there are several things she just cannot do because there is not enough fire power. Same with several hand held torches (butane or propane)… They are cheap and handy but often not versatile enough to do any job.

Terri is taking the picture so she’s not in the photo… Kate, Joan and myself 🙂 at Peninsula School of Art in the Metals Studio working/playing the day away….

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Next show is this Saturday Sept 27th at The Settlements Shops in Fish Creek Door County Wisconsin. It is 10-5 Saturday only… It’s small (only 20 artists) but nice and the Door Peninsula is starting to turn gorgeous with Fall colors.

Huge show after that is October 11th & 12th also in Door County. I will be at the Fine Line Gallery in Ephraim. The show is called ‘Townline Art Fair’ and has been running for almost 50 years. It’s a beautiful show. The Peninsula has several festivals that weekend. It is the busiest weekend of the year for tourism there…. Pumpkin Patch Festival draws 70,000 visitors if it’s good weather. Last year I sold out several items I always have in stock and it’s was raining. I won’t be able to believe the crowd it if it’s good weather…. New post soon with upcoming work. Have a great weekend!


Bead and Button Show….

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Bead and Button Show was again great! It is the largest bead show in the world and gives you goosebumps when you walk in the doors for the first time. Don’t get me wrong as to it is not all fun….it is fun but a lot of work. You have to be organized and be ready to stand, haul, walk and talk for hours on end.

I want to thank Lissa from Silver Waves Jewelry for her help. It made classes absolutely great and the hauling done in half the time.

Met some great people while I was there: above picture is of Thomas Mann’s Bench Pin. I got to meet him and speak with him briefly about his sculptures in New Orleans. He has been a jeweler I have admired for years in not only his designs but the building of a company. After we spoke for a while he gave me these ‘Pocket Hearts’ which I will treasure and keep in my satchel for good luck. Thanks Thomas Mann for the talismans tokens!!!

I also met the young woman in charge of Rosy Revolver Jewelry Co. I have always admired Rosy Revolver Jewelry for it’s unexpected, bold, yet feminine style. Jessica is an amazing talent. I hope she will consider teaching at Bead and Button. She would be a great addition to the current line up of great metalsmiths at Bead and Button. Besides if she decides to teach we can get a beer together or whisky or water or whatever our tired brains can tolerate after teaching all day.

Jerry at Bead and Button: Thank You for your work. You make all the classrooms perfect. Thank You!!!!!!!! Jerry is in charge of the nuts and bolts on the classroom floor. He is great. He will never read this because he is too busy making something for next year so that we can have cool stuff in our classrooms.

Last person I would like to thank is Bret from Arrow Springs Torch Company. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bret set up some great torches for me and will supply all of my torch needs next year so I am not hauling torches. I basically haul my entire studio to Bead and Button. It’s crazy. Meeting Bret was great. I don’t have to haul my three torches, regulators, etc…. Bret is going to bring them. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! I can teach a real silversmithing class with lots of torches for everyone to use. No limitations….. on fire power. Awesome. Next year we are making some real settings, a ring, a pendant and bracelet! Yippeeee!!!!!!!!

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This is just one of the many stones I purchased at Bead and Button. There are about 5 companies there that supple cab stones and I get all of my stones for the year with the exception of purchasing from TheAgateWorks.etsy.com. The Agate Works is in Green Bay WI so I can visit them in person. I don’t purchase cabs online. It just doesn’t work out.

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Can’t wait to set this stone. Wow…. I’m in love.

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I don’t have a single picture of class. I will get on from Lissa as we took a lot pics with students, etc. Again, thank you students. Please comment on class if you can. I had a lot fun and I hope you all make and make and make and make….. See you next year at the Largest Bead Show In The World: The Bead and Button, Milwaukee Wisconsin.


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