Saner Head Prevails

Ok, I can’t be the only one who feels an overwhelming urge to make very last minute jewelry before a trip. At least I stopped myself in time today. This weekend is my trip to Philadelphia to visit the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild and I’ve got to head down to New Haven to catch my train in a bit more than an hour. Just a few minutes ago I found myself in the studio rushing to make a pendant I’ve been thinking about for weeks.

As I was zooming along, skipping steps I knew I should be taking, I stopped myself. There’s really no reason for me to rush to assemble a poor version of what I’d like to do. (we’ll just ignore the fact that I could have done a proper job if I had started days ago). Nothing good comes of rushing and doing things poorly at the last minute.

What’s with this last minute jewelry impulse? This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, but it is one of the few times I’ve let my saner side jump in and stop the process. I can’t be the only jewelry artist who does this.

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Klay Karma

I had a lovely weekend at the Klay Karma polymer clay retreat in Nashua, New Hampshire.  My guild, the Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild, hosts a weekend retreat every other year.  Klay Karma is a polymer clay retreat run by a group of Massachusetts and New Hampshire polymer clay artists scheduled for the off years of Clay ConneCTion.  It’s great to have a polymer retreat to look forward to every summer.

It was a great weekend, very mellow.  The whole thing was incredibly well organized and a delight to attend.  There’s a special kind of buzz in the air when you fill a big room with more than 50 polymer clay artists at work.  It was great to see old friends and meet some new ones.  Watch some great demos, eat delicious food, shop and play with clay.  Surprisingly I even finished a fair number of things.  I made a few ikat canes and used them to cover the nifty silver bead cores from Metal Clay Findings.  This was the first time I covered the smaller 1/8 inch cores.  I’d only used the 1/4 inch cores previously. I really like the skinny little spacers interspersed with the larger beads.

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Diane Villano spent the weekend working with the silver bead cores too.  She sat across from me and we both fielded a lot of questions about covering them with clay.  Diane’s beads have wonderful flowers on them.  We traded and I got this lovely bead:

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I turned one ikat cane into a set of earrings and a pendant.    Then I gave them to a friend who had generously opened her home to me when I was in her area taking a polymer clay workshop last year.  She injured her shoulder this year and hasn’t been able to do anything creative for quite a while.  She showed up in a light blue t-shirt which matched the set I had just finished and I decided they needed to go home with her.

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It was a really happy weekend all around.

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Having some fun again

I had the opportunity to clay along with some friends last week and it was so much fun!  My favorite piece is a necklace I dubbed “Yippee!” because it felt so good to make it.  Pure fun.

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Playing around with a quick center tube rivet:

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Playing around with purple and green:

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Sorry about the crummy photos.  My usual photograpghy set up is still packed up from a guild demo I did ages ago.

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Studio Snapshot – 2 Roses

Artist name: 2Roses

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Location: Anaheim, California

Website: 2 Roses.com

Etsy: 2 Roses Etsy Shop

Flickr: 2 Roses Jewelry

Do you have a dedicated studio/artistic space? Yes.  Its worth noting that our current studio is the result of over 25 years of focused effort at accumulating tools and designing and building specialized space. It did not happen overnight, nor is it completed by any means. It is a working space that has continually evolved over the years.

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Where is it located? Attached to our home

Is it a large or small space? Large space aprox. 1800 sq ft

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What medium(s) do you work in? We work in a very wide variety of materials ranging from metals, wood, plastic, gem stones, electronics, leather, paper, pigment & resins, bone & ivory and precious metal and polymer clay.

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Do you have a separate area for each? Yes, we have separate areas for metal working, casting, wood & plastics, gem cutting and lapidary, milling and machining, forging, polymer clay & enameling.

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What one word would you use to describe your studio? Complete.

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What do you think is the best feature of your studio? Versatility. We have taken care to assemble a very broad spectrum of tools and equipment.

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What would you change if you could? More tools, more room. We are constantly building and arranging things for more efficient layout.

Can you share an organizational tip? Cluster like materials and tools. Example: we keep the leather working projects,materials, supplies and tools in a single area. It is easy for things to get spread out and the next thing you know you are looking for your leather tools in the wood shop or where you do lapidary. This is usually accompanied by much cussing. We have found that disciplining ourselves in this manner keeps harmony in a studio where two (and sometimes more) people are working.

Describe the usual state of your work table? Organized chaos. Each of us typically has anywhere from six to 12 projects going at any one time. These are often passed back and forth between us, so it is essential that we keep all the elements contained in some manner. Sounds good in theory anyway.    Does your work table face out into the room or toward the wall? Depends on which area, but most areas face towards a wall.

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What’s one drawback of your studio/artistic space? Climate control. Parts of it can get chilly in the winter time.

Do you have any studio mascots (pets, mannequin whatever)? Uncle Bob is our resident human skeleton. He was used by a medical school at the turn of the century (1900) for anatomical study.

Do you have an idea wall or inspiration board? The studio is pretty much encrusted with this kind of stuff.

Do you listen to music in your studio?  What kind? Yes. Very eclectic mix ranging from gypsy electronica to Indian new wave, to Brazillian world music.

Do you display your own work in your studio?  Other artists’ work? No reason to. Items get shipped out to the shops as soon as they’re complete.

What’s one quirk or unusual feature of your studio? Electrical outlets and lighting. Because the space was built as a studio, we designed in far more overhead lighting and electrical outlets than would be put in a normal living space.

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