Keep Your Eyes on the Horizon (My Out of Shape Studio Part 4)

hginthesea.wordpress“It’s for five days” my husband announced as he showed me the tickets to Mexico. He’d checked out a travel agency on his way home from work. (Remember travel agencies? Yeah, me neither…this story is from 1997.) With tickets in hand, we dug out our suitcases and made plans to scuba dive for five days. My husband and I had both taken scuba diving courses while in the military, however, the most exotic dive we’d been on was in the murky waters of Lake Ontario to find a sunken ship. Dream sightings of coral reefs and colourful fish danced in our visions. The travel agent had told my husband where there was a great scuba club. After a plane ride that seemed to last 12 days, we made it to our destination. We found the scuba club, and enjoyed three glorious days scuba diving. On the fourth day, the sea was a bit rough. I had spent time in Newfoundland as a child, and was pleased to discover that the salt water still ran through my veins. My husband…not so much. Oh was he sea sick. The instructor told him to “keep your eyes on the horizon”. So while I held on to my seat and enjoyed the roller coaster ride, my husband desperately searched for the horizon. It helped. He was able to “find his legs” later in the day and enjoy a nice dive with a sting ray and shark sighting, which were highlights of the trip for him.  If he had not been told to keep his eyes on the horizon, he would have missed the next few dives, which were the most spectacular and the most memorable. Continue reading…

I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours. (My Out of Shape Studio Part 2)

IMG_1672I am relieved to find out that I am not the only one feeling overwhelmed by the state of my studio. (Although, I am pretty sure I win the prize for the messiest studio!) I’ve heard from many other artists who are also looking at their studio space with a heavy heart. These spaces are sucking our creativity. I am certain that my lost mojo is in here somewhere. I’m on a mission to organize and reclaim my studio space.  I feel that my work is stale and that if my studio had a good airing out, maybe my jewellery would be better. But what to do with all this stuff?  It’s all good stuff.  I hope readers have some organizing tips for me!

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My Out of Shape Studio. (Part 1)


I am on a mission to reclaim my lost creative mojo.193092-Metal Clay Art_selected-pages-2_Page_1

Poof
, right before my eyes a year (or more) has passed without me being in my studio working on jewellery. It’s been a year of ups and downs…many more downs than ups and I guess working in my studio didn’t seem important, or I wasn’t motivated. Whatever the reason, here I am standing in the door of my dusty and very messy studio. Amazing how this space became a “dump zone” so quickly. I love the light in here and the smell of my art supplies. But this is as far as I ever seem to get with reclaiming my studio. Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of stuff, stale ideas and stuff…. I usually just sit here and contemplate renting a huge container and taking every last item out of the studio and only putting back what I really need. But as I look around, I’m not sure what I need. It’s been too long. Continue reading…

A Pendant by Any Other Name…an Art Rant by Ann Robinson Davis

Editor’s note: Ann Robinson Davis is the author of one of our most popular articles. “Clean your Studio Heal your Artself!” (From Metal Clay Artist Magazine Winter 2012) We received the most interesting notes from readers about this article…including a letter from one person who credits this article for having saved her life!  The article dealt with letting go and cleaning up our studios.  We are pleased to share another article by this author. This time it is a “HOT TOPIC” among artists!

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“Lagoon” by Ann Robinson Davis

There has always been a fierce debate in the art community (all the arts) about whether to name or not to name your work.

In school, back in the 60’s I was never taught to name anything. If I produced a crazy lace agate ring, well that was what it was called, with the added place it came from, such as Mexican Crazy Lace Agate Ring. As I matured as an artist I began having specific ideas about my work and how I wanted to express an idea. The urge to create was subjugated to the urge to have meaning. Continue reading…

In Business: My First Exhibition by Jeanne Pring

I would like to thank Jeanne Pring for being our first guest author and for sharing her experience at her first exhibition! I met Jeanne through the MCAM auction site set up on Facebook. I was not familiar with her work before seeing her name pop up on the auction page, but now I feel like old friends. Jeanne is quick to share her story, images of her work and lesson’s learned. Jeanne’s article will be the first to appear in the category of “In Business”. Our goal with this section of articles is to create a place for artists to share their experiences selling their work and to create a dialogue that will benefit all metal clay artists all over the world.
~Jeannette Froese LeBlanc editor cre8tivefire.com.

In Business with Jeanne Pring ~United Kingdom:
Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Jeanne Pring of Jkhoo Designs. I started making jewellery when I was not able to find anything suitable to accompany my dress for my wedding … and certainly not to my budget. I therefore decided to teach myself how to make my own jewellery for my special day. I received so many positive comments on the pieces I made that I decided to teach myself more and start a business.

Page_2_Image_1With Trisha Williams – the event organiser

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Cool Tip: Improve Your Jewelry Photos

Photographing our work is just one of the many hats we must wear as artists.Getting decent photos for online sites, show applications and to submit for media coverage…is very important.  How your work looks says a lot about   you. A jewellery maker friend of mine, Kathleen Nowak Tucci, always, always has wonderful photos of her work.  Even the on scene shots are wonderful. One teacher I took a class from, (Rona Sarvas Weltman) told us that she never puts out any images of her work unless they are professional shots.

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A behind the scenes shot from a shoot for Kathleen Nowak Tucci— with Rebecca Lynn, Janine Kirsten Jøffe, Paris Lemon and Kathleen Nowak Tucci. Photo by: Janine Joffe Photography

Excellent advice from a guru of jewellery making!  And advice I will follow once my work is “at that level”.  Until then, I will look for ways to improve my own photo-taking skills so that my shots look less “homemade”.

A few years ago, Hadar Jacobson posted a how-to take better photos using a semi-transparent garbage can as the light box.  I have been meaning to try that idea, and was reminded of it when I saw this blog post: turn a plastic bin into a light boxphoto-setup3 from www.quirkyoak.wordpress.com.

(Here’s the link to Hadar’s post from 2009!  Hadar’s Photography tip)

Do you have any tips for photographing jewellery?  Any pitfalls to avoid? (Click on “read more” to add your comments.) Continue reading…