Spring Collection

My Etsy shop is currently updated to include my new Spring collection pieces.  Just in time for Mother’s Day!

Feel free to share with friends and family.  My next show is May 21-22, 2016 at the Canton Festival of the Arts, Canton, GA.  Come and see me!




Winter Hiatus

My winter hiatus has come a bit early this year, as I didn’t book any shows for the late fall/Christmas season.  Ah well, my choice and now it is the time for updating my skills, continued learning, and participating more actively within my field.  Specifically for me, that is metal clay art.  A new group has organized that makes me very excited.  It’s called the IMPACT Artist Project and here’s their mission statement:


“IMPACT Artist Project–The International Metal Clay Project Advancing Creativity & Talent is a non-profit Metal Clay arts community building and outreach program.  The mission of IMPACT and its philosophy stems from a generous attitude of giving and sharing which is overtly present in the Metal Clay arts community.  We have a developed a “team-like” program where IMPACT members, guilds, teachers, teaching facilities, and business work in conjunction to advance and strengthen the creativity, talent of its artists, and support healthy thriving businesses within our international Metal Clay community.”

What a great beginning to a form of organization and purpose.  I have often found that within the world of art, there are very few (beyond guilds)  standards, guidelines and professional guidance as one would see in a business setting.  I think that artists are underrepresented because they have no unifying voice.  I am thankful that the metal clay community is attempting to change that for our form of art.

I will continue to make this blog about my journey with metal clay and as a show circuit artist.  I love to share and teach and I hope that I will be more diligent is this task.  If you are a fellow metal clay artist, check out the website for IMPACT at http://www.impactartistproject.org and see how you can contribute or benefit from.

I am busy keeping my Etsy shop full for any Christmas shoppers and am also working on some custom pieces for Christmas gifts.  I love the challenge of custom work and hope that what I do pleases everyone involved.

Also, a task I don’t look forward to during winter hiatus, is the continued research and learning about upcoming shows and to schedule for 2016.  It starts early (as in right now) for many of the spring shows and even some fall and winter shows for 2016.



Why I love doing Shows

I haven’t been on my blog lately as I’ve been busy preparing for all my Fall shows.  Not only that, but because of some medical issues, I have to have bed rest for at least half a day.  So, I’ve picked up my crochet needle and now I’ve made about 50 hats, 4 scarfs, 10 fingerless gloves and so on.  My new line is called “ThreadHeads” and I’ll premier these items on October 5 at a local show.  Just love keeping busy!

But I digress . . .why do I love shows so much?  I have taught many new artists about the show circuit and what it requires to run your business on the circuit.  Many artists do not do shows because of all the hard work, weather issues, or just not having enough help.  I have found that instead of galleries, retails stores and such, my work sells best at the show–and that is because I am actually interacting with clients and since my work is unique (no reproductions), I am able to see the person I made the piece for.  It is a joyful and wonderful moment when a piece of jewelry created and designed by my hand speaks to someone I have never met and it is perfect for them.  This happens all the time.  Not only does make shows fun for me, but I also love being around people.  When you work on your own and by yourself, sometimes that become hard to process and feel like your are creating pieces that will really make statements.  But, when I open up for a show, I am validated by all the happy comments and the “wows” and the “ahhs” and the general consensus that my work truly stands out.  That means I’ve made my mark in this industry.

And yet another reason, is that I get to meet some wonderful people on the circuit–mostly the artists who are my neighbors.  I am always praying that connections are made not only through my jewelry sales but also with the people I work with.  Some neighbors are just not happy people and complain about so much.  Yet most of the folks I know are so down-to-earth and truly creative in their own right with beautiful art.  I love when I can trade for pieces (especially for pottery) and I love bringing more of the handmade art into my home.  Not only do we support each other in our work, but we grow our local economy.  I only buy gifts from artists.  I only trade with artists.  Even on days when the sales are slow and the show seems to be a break-even or even just a marketing show, I still love what I do.  My desire to reach out and share my joy motivates me to keep on trucking through my chronic pain issues and my physical weaknesses.  And, when I do hit a low spot in my thinking and concern, God certainly validates to me that He is in control and that my work is important.  Jewelry is a personal expression.  It is something that allows us to tell the world who we are and what makes us happy just by wearing it.  And when it gets noticed, then we are able to not only smile but to also reach out to others.  It is the ripple in the pond effect.  And that is powerful enough for me to keep on liking my shows.

One day, I hope to become a promoter and run a show that artists will find viable and fun.  In our current economy we have much to watch out for, especially for promoters who don’t follow up and through on their promises and only wish to sell the “real estate” of the booth space.  Hopefully, the more shows you do and the more you talk to other artists, you’ll find the right shows for your product.  It is a learning experience even for veterans like me.  I still hit the shows that don’t work for me, but I meet lots of great people.  And again, in the economy, every show is now a gamble because we can no longer rely on the consistency of the buying public–especially for the arts, which is basically not a need for most people.

I hope to give shout-outs to artists I meet along the way and I’d like to start with this one–Roger Clark–a man who is a retired pastor and now preaches behind his potter’s wheel–impressive and exciting to hear what he does and to see his beautiful work . . . http://www.inthepottershand.org

Here’s my piece from Roger’s collection this last weekend:


Springtime Beauty

I often find many of my organic pieces in the spring when they are fresh and new. It is best to work the clay into a paste that matches or is supported by the actual item you want to make. This process takes time, patience and practice! It is almost intuitive when you have to decide just how many layers a piece will take.  Dogwoods are one of my favorite flowers to work with.  This year, instead of picking just one or two larger ones, I went earlier and picked about 9 really strong “baby” ones.  I find that using distilled water and glycerin will thin down the paste really well–but you have to keep it mixed thoroughly.  Also, in these slow economic times, I save all my silver “sawdust” and make paste out it.  This last batch made up about 6 oz which saved me over $180 in supply!  But, it took time and patience to get the consistency right and the paste smooth.  Also, be sure to have the right brushes to really apply the paste in all the nooks and crannies of an organic piece.


This shows you the current collection of dogwoods I am working on.  I paste one to two layers each time I’m in the studio.  You can speed up the drying process by putting on a cup warmer and then paste again.  How many layers?  Well, until you feel that it will be strong enough during firing!  That’s the art part, not the scientific answer.


Here are my lenten roses from our new yard that I thought I would try.  Much larger and the first couple of layers of paste didn’t take well–but I pressed on and kept working it and after you get about 4-5 layers of dried paste, it becomes easier to bulk it up.

I’m still working on these pieces but here is one of the roses that I finished for the last show . . .


I hand torch the organic pieces to control the amount of time and burn and also do some flattening in the process to make sure the finished piece doesn’t have sharp curves or edges–also filing after firing helps in this area.  I don’t drill a hole until it is tumbled after firing to harden the actual metal.  With this rose, I oxidized with coffee and liver of sulfate!  Awesome midnight colors came to surface with a light polish and paired with a black steel hammered chain.

If the organic makes it to the show looking like this . . . well . . springtime beauty is well worth the wait in my opinion!