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Just in time for 12th Night

Well it’s January 5th, the 12th night of Christmas.

Most years I celebrate the season from the Winter Solstice straight through to the 12th night. Of course this year was different, no parties, dinners or gatherings. One thing that wasn’t different was the steady stream of orders from my websites, custom work and online shows. I’m grateful for the opportunity to exhibit my work online, from my home and to complete a number of different custom pieces, from my niece Katie’s wedding rings early in December to a set of anniversary keychains that will be presented later this week.

A highlight for me were the pieces that finally arrived at their recipients today, who are parked at a goat farm in Arizona, just in time for the last day of Christmas.

See, my kid and their best friend, Coriander who is really more like a sister, have been off traveling the country in Gerti, their RV, for the last six months. It’s an interesting story, but it’s their story, not mine, so if you want to learn more about their grand adventure follow their Facebook group, the Cryptid Camper Crew .

For Gwen’s gift, I got to a long imagined redesign of my puzzle ring and since the kid has been wanting my hand wrought version for a number of years now, I sent the first version of the new design to them. Now me and the kid are wearing matching rings.

 

Coriander told me about an idea for a ring last summer. It’s been on my mind for a while and I managed to squeeze it in with all the other work this holiday season. Her ring says, Be Curious Be Kind. Coriander wrote a post about its meaning on her Patreon page. Which I highly encourage you to join if you love to look at beautiful art adventures. Both of these rings will be available for sale.

Happy 12th Night!

In the new puzzle ring design all four rings are cast at the same time. Coriander’s Be Kind Be Curious ring was cast in the same flask.

 

 

 

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SNAG Loop – Chicago May 2019

Each year I try to attend the annual conference of the Society of North American Goldsmiths aka SNAG.  Since the first time I joined this group, I’ve felt like they are my art jewelry tribe and each year my friendships there deepen. This was my fifth time, so I did a few Instagram posts to cover the highlights, follow the links in the images to see more.

I’m really excited looking forward to next year when the SNAG conference will be taking place here in Philadelphia!

 

 

 

 

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What is that Tacony LAB place all about?

When I’m not working in my studio this is one of the places where you can find me. I really appreciate all the support of the Northeast Times, and reporter Logan Krum, in shining a light on the emerging arts scene in Northeast Philadelphia. This week Logan came out to the LAB for an interview and to get a look around. Here’s the article he wrote.

Check out some of the photos

Photo by Logan Krum of the Northeast Times
Photo by Logan Krum of the Northeast Times
Photo by Logan Krum of the Northeast Times
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Craft Pusher

I got a new title this past week- Craft Pusher. I think I’ll embrace it.

It happened when I was teaching an introductory workshop in needle felting, also known as dry felting, at the Tacony LAB. The “LAB” is a community art center in the local neighborhood where I live in Northeast Philadelphia and I work there as a coordinator as well as instructor. I had eight students around the tables shaping wool roving into small whimsical forms. None of them had ever tried needle felting before and each person was enjoying it immensely with the room experiencing periods of near silence with only the sound of poking needles.

The classes at the Tacony LAB are free and include all supplies. Introductory classes like this are a great way to try out a craft you are interested in without investing in tools and materials. In the course of the workshop, it became apparent that many of the participants wanted to continue in the new techniques they had learned.

“These free workshops are really starting to cost me.” one lady said with a laugh. “I’ll need to go buy some of these needles and the wool.”

“Tell me about it!” said another. “I took the Intro to Enameling and enjoyed it so much that I bought a kiln!”

In the course of the discussion that followed, I was labeled as a Craft Pusher. I’m happy to embrace it, as I have found it a delightful experience to bring new techniques and art forms to students who may not otherwise get the chance.

In the course of the workshop, I was busy working on an experimental piece that combined both vitreous enameling and needle felting into an eye pin or brooch.

My life has always been surrounded by craft. Tools, materials and processes have shaped my approach both as an artist and educator. It fuels my curiosity about the ways that different techniques can be used in new ways. As a jeweler, interaction with the body and wear-ability are as important as the quality of the work, but as an artist and process geek, I can not help but constantly investigate new ways of making.

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Sophia & the Hose Clamp

During the late 1990s I lived on a sailboat docked on Toms River in Pine Beach, NJ.  It was a beautiful place to live, but I was feeling a little isolated from friends and family. I was able to connect online with a group of women that eventually formed the core of an intentional family for me. We met in diners, each other’s homes and sometimes on the beach to celebrate the seasons. It was a magical time that lasted almost three years. As time passed we scattered, but all of these women still hold a special place in my heart.

Sophia probably wandered the most, moving to the UK for several years and then returning to the US to settle in Maryland. Sometime last Fall she returned to her native Ohio to be with family and start anew. I was delighted to hear from her in November.

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