FREE Class on Craftsy!

January 24, 2015

Enter to win my new class for free on Craftsy!

Enter before Tues., Jan. 23 by clicking on this link:

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/MeredithArnold_Giveaway

 

 

 

Making a Video!

November 11, 2014

I know I have been rather quiet of late… I am in the midst of my wonderful, new project: teaching online for Craftsy.com. I have been in the pre-production phase for many weeks now. What does that mean? It involves creating a 7 part video first. The video comes down to figuring out what is important to teach, how to say it and show it as well as creating the pieces that show the methods on the way to the end result in at least 3 steps plus the finished piece: so think 4 pieces for each 'chapter' or segment. Wow. That's busy!

We film the video next week! I'm so excited to do this! But here is what happens as an artist: cycles of pure confidence in what I know and can teach but then…a crises of confidence: consuming nervous anticipation that I'll be a total flub on camera. It's crazy. Where does this come from? I know what I know. I can only be me. They can edit, stop, start, reshoot, edit and did I mention EDIT? BREATHE! It'll be fun. REEEEALLLLY!

 

Studio Time is Fun!

April 18, 2014

Even though ArtWorks is pretty busy these days I always look forward to Art Spa Open Studio on Fridays. Artists drift in and out just to chat, knowing that other artists will be there working on something. It's a good touchstone day but I never get much done when people are there. Usually after they have all left is my time to get at least a few things made – usually components for jewelry or a specific project. Because it's so busy I don't bring anything super ambitious to work on. This way I'm happy if I can get three or four good results before I go home.

Today I got three pieces done and two of those I'm particularly happy with. They stretch my jewelry into new directions and expand into a new line for me in altered metals. I'm very excited about this work and hope others will find it appealing, too. Regardless, I'm having a great time finally bringing some ideas I've had for years into reality at last. I'm working on these new directions for the Garden Gallery show I am participating in next month and the Edmonds Art Studio Tour in Sept.

Check out http://www.edmondsartstudiotour.com for details when they're available.

Bead Fest Texas

March 31, 2014

It's been great fun teaching at Bead Fest Texas! Thanks to the students my classes were full of fun people with richly inquiring minds. I think we went in all directions at once! Two of the classes I taught were brand new ones and we had such a great time I can't wait to teach them again.

I wish I'd had time in the classes to get pictures of what everyone did with their new knowledge but we covered so much ground it was just not possible. Imagine polymer clay jewelry creations galore, interesting molds, resin pendants and components plus collaged metal patterned by flame, colored pencils, abrasion, alcohol inks, patina paints, hammers and whatever else we could think of to try! A total classroom of experimentation with a variety of materials for two days. Who could ask for more? I love seeing the wheels turning as my students expand their world into these adventures and I hope to see what they end up doing with their new skills. Thanks ya'll!!

I also can't wait to get my CraftOptics scopes! I have to get in to update my glasses prescription and then I'll send that info to CraftOptics. I'll have my pair in a week or so! It will be so great to see and not fuss around with trying to see some of the small stuff I'm working with. Check them out: http://www.craftoptics.com. Mine are going to be purple: anyone surprised by that?

 

 

Dreaming of Things to Come

October 25, 2012

I'm working away like mad making new jewelry for the show in Switzerland. My time is running short and of course life doesn't just stop when you have big things to do and little time to get them done. I got 4 contracts today – all of which need thorough reading and who knows what else. Then it occurs to me that I need to finish some things for one of the galleries that carries my work so they'll have it for holiday season. When it rains, it pours. This is one of those times when I remember the days when I didn't have my work anywhere, I wasn't working in any art related field, and I just dreamed of the day when I would be steeped in art every day in some way. Here I am! NO complaints! So what are the big dreams of things to come now?

Lately I've been daydreaming about a proper Jeweler's bench and dust extractor system. Weird, I know. But check these benches out!

I think I have bench lust though I like the bench I recently made and am using. I'm thrilled to be working in the studio after such a long hiatus. I can't wait to get home and get in there after work or on my days off. Right now it's late evening and I'm already looking forward to what I'll work on tomorrow. So what does that take? To get that excitement in doing your own work? I think getting out of your own way. The joy is in the doing. The more you do, the more intrigued you become. Make your work your priority and it all falls into place. So while I do have bench lust, wish for a bigger space to work in and all that I'm really dreaming of things to come: finishing the pieces on my bench so I can move on to those other pieces I have in my head!
 

 

So one would think that a jewelry maker would have some sort of anvil and a bench block or two, (which would be a steel block to hammer on)…yup. To make metal spread out requires hammering the piece of metal using some sort of steel hammer and hammering on a steel block. Now it seems like every time I turn around I see an anvil or bench block that makes me want to have it. What is up with that?

This last week I had the great good delight (something I try to have often), of setting up my bench. I've been hammering stuff on a bench block on my kitchen counter for years. When my tools weren't in use I tucked them away into tool bags and drawers, making it a hassle to find what I need at any given moment, sucking time looking for things instead of working. This was okay before and after my arm was reconstructed a couple of years ago because I couldn't really do that sort of work anyway. But once I found I could hammer some metal again it was time to get things set up properly and get to work again. As I was arranging my bench and places for my tools I kept finding bench blocks and anvils! It was hilarious. Some are small, some bigger, some really heavy, some are light for traveling, some are like mini anvils. I think I've been collecting them and dreaming about using them or something, saving them for the day when I could. But not five minutes ago I saw a lovely bench block and actually thought I wanted it. Then I started counting what I already have. I think 12 or thereabouts is enough, don't you?

Below is a picture of where I put things together. Everything red or orangey is flame painted copper. Most black components are polymer clay or blued steel. Bottom left is aluminum (holey) and next to that is polymer veneer with sequins in it. There are some woven wire pieces here as well as pendants waiting to be combined with components and finished for hanging. The triangle with tabs in the center is actually flame painted copper, too.

 

The finished pendant at right is the same one seen in the picture of my work table on the right. From front to back there is a charm I made from a radial polishing wheel (light green), behind that a triangle of polymer clay, a swinging spiral of red brass wire is under wheel charm, under the spiral is a vertical of patina'd steel shim (steel blue that looks black here), that has a vine pattern applied to it and everything is backed by black polymer clay. It's the first of my House series.

Make Your Own…Monday

April 30, 2012

It seems I’ve gotten out of my regular blogging habit. That and I’m on the road a lot this year so far. I just got back from teaching in Philadelphia a bit over a week ago and I’m leaving for Florida. This bouncing around has been disruptive to, well, everything. I have one more event after this trip that’s nearer the end of May and then I stay home until August, (back to Philadelphia for Bead Fest!).

I am really looking forward to a good long dose of studio time. It’s like a good drink of water for the thirsty at this point. I do make things in between everything. For example, I was able to start on an experiment for work I’ve had on my mind for awhile now: window jewelry. They have windows In them so whatever you’re wearing shows thru a bit. Then the jewelry always matches! I got the basics of a pin made in my hotel room in Philadelphia one night. I can’t wait to explore that series of ideas more.

This picture is the sunset in Oaks, PA from my hotel window. I seem to collect sunsets from every hotel window so far this year. Something must be percolating there. Either it’s jewelry or a new book that I’m going to make or both, I don’t know…

So in honor of making, I declare it Make Your Own Monday. Check out how to make your own fresh ginger ale! Check out: http://joythebaker.com/2011/06/homemade-ginger-syrup-for-ginger-ale/

 

The Long Way Home

October 27, 2011

It took me 28 hours and 3 flights to go from Dallas, Texas to Seattle, WA via St. Louis and Chicago. I hope I got a lot of mileage points out of this trip. Through the perils, (or adventures!) of travel I got stranded in St. Louis though nicely stranded in a Hilton Hotel. However, by the time I got to said nice hotel I was so tired that I couldn’t even figure out what was missing with my luggage that went elsewhere. I always check through my tools, equipment and toiletries and carry on my clothes. So luckily, I had clothes when flying. But I didn’t have the obvious things like toothbrush, shampoo, and so on. All I could think of was food and sleep when I finally made it to the Hilton. I had eaten some instant oatmeal and almonds for breakfast back in Texas that morning at 7. By the time I was trying to figure out dinner it was after 8 p.m. and I was one starving traveler. Dinner arrived about 9ish and I was ready to eat the silverware. I had to get to bed as soon as I was done because my plane out was at 6:10 a.m. and required me to be at the airport at 4:30 a.m.
So I get up and take a shower at 3:30 a.m. A few scant hours after going to sleep. I get out of the shower and realize with horror that I don’t have a brush or comb or deodorant and am facing a very long day with two flights on the agenda. I apologize to all that may have seen me. I’m hoping they all thought I was just practicing for Halloween…

The funniest thing was getting to airport only to find that it wasn’t even open. I got to be the first in line to wait for TSA to open. Of course, once through the security gauntlet it was clear that nothing was open…no coffee to be had until an enterprising Burger King opened and everyone flocked to get coffee and a semblance of breakfast. Me included. I was so tired that I walked past my gate twice and I was looking for it. Of course it was directly across from the Burger King where I had my eye on to catch a shorter line.

Finally it was on to an uneventful flight to Chicago. Then the long haul to Seattle, a shuttle ride home, some lunch and to bed for a well deserved nap! I thought the big marathon of this trip was last Saturday when I taught the 8:30-4 class and then a 5:30-8:30 p.m. class the same day with another all day class on Sunday starting at 8:30 in the morning. Little did I know that Monday and Tuesday had so much more in store for this short trip. I think it’s going to take a week to recuperate. It’s great to be home.

Bead Fest Texas

October 23, 2011

I have written about 4 blogs that have disappeared. Technology sometimes doesn’t quite catch up to what we expect. I’ll see if I can fix this glitch with blogging from an iPad. Who knows, it may be fixed now…

I’ve never spent any time in Texas except for the occasional layover. There has been a gorgeous sunset every night. And last night around 2:30 a.m. there was a T storm as forecast on TV just before I conked out for the night. I wondered why it would require a warning at the bottom of the TV screen. Now I know. Think of this: I was in the classroom yesterday from 8:30 a.m. To 8:30 p.m. (actually 9 pm), with one 7.5 hour class and an evening 3 hour class. Was I tired? Oh yeah. Consider that breakfast yesterday was a packet of instant oatmeal, some almonds and coffee out of a can. Lunch was a small tin of tuna, rice crackers and an apple and dinner was a foil pack of salmon and more rice crackers with a couple of pieces of chocolate and 30 students in one day later… Yeah, you could say I was tired. Well, that T storm woke me up in the middle of the night. I didn’t think it could be done but it really sounded like a giant had a car with his muffler dragging on the ground. That wasn’t as fun as how I woke up yesterday before the 12 hour class marathon: I woke up laughing. Now wasn’t that a good thing before such a long day!
Okay, gotta go! I have another class all day today. Just hope I can make sense come this afternoon. Have a great day!