Trends of Metal Work Techniques and Jewelry Designs Through the Eras by Tobias Dean

Jewelry is traditionally a symbol of wealth, prestige, power, and has always been an important part of human culture. One of the most popular eras that saw great innovation in jewelry making was the Georgian era in which intricate shapes of jewelry with rare gemstones embedded in them were created. Silver was the most popular metal used for jewelry at the time and handcrafting such detailed work was a feat in itself. Antique jewelry from the Georgian era is most probable to be crafted with either Repousse or Cannetille jewelry making techniques. The former involved the use of a hammer to create complex designs out of malleable metals and the latter was inspired by embroidery work and involved the use of creating designs using wire-work.

One of the most interesting that came into being in the Victorian era was the rise in popularity of lockets that has space to feature photographs. of the buyer’s loved ones. It also had space to hold a lock of the hair of their deceased loved ones, which fetched it the name “mourning jewelry.” The Edwardian era also brought many innovations that include new diamond cutting techniques, besides many others in years to come. If you are interested in learning more about antique jewelry designs through the eras, check out this detailed infographic from RHJewellers. Continue reading…

“But the Customer Said They Would Be Back” by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

“But the Customer Said They Would Be Back” and Other Things You’ll Hear at an Art Show

It’s that time of year for most of our readers. Art show season. Hang in there!  While I’m not participating in a show this holiday season, I have decades of experience selling my work at a variety of shows. I’ve recently attended some shows as a customer and it was eye opening to see the mistakes artists are making, I wanted to shout, “You’ve worked since April on your stock…get some lights, don’t look so grumpy!” but instead, I’m writing out some tips and hopefully some encouragement for artists out there in their booths and to those thinking of attending shows.

The first thing newbie’s should realize—shows are expensive. This is something I wish customers realized too. It’s not just the booth fee, it’s the cost of the booth, the cost to ship the booth and all of the handmade items, to find a place to stay and food on the road, insurance for the work, the booth, marketing materials and…. It’s like setting up a mini store.

Don’t be the invisible artist.  I can’t believe how many booths I’ve seen that are abandoned. Either the artist is actually not there, or they are chatting with a vendor down the row, or they are hidden behind their products, or booth walls, or low chairs. This boggles my mind. After working so hard to make things, and to pay to show and to haul it all and set up…artists are hiding. Continue reading…

Video Tour: Rio Grande

Did you know that Rio Grande manufactures nearly 5,000 findings, tools and equipment products at their solar-powered facility in Albuquerque, NM, USA?  Many people mistakenly think that they are a wholesaler of imported goods.  A few years ago, while at the Sante Fe Symposium I had the opportunity to have a tour of Rio Grande.  In the video below you can a peek inside their manufacturing areas.  And since this is the last year of the jewellery symposium, I’d urge you to think about going if you are a jewellery maker. It is a wealth of information. http://www.santafesymposium.org/

 

Art Moment: Melanie West

I have been a *huge* fan of Melanie West’s art for years.  Her work reflects her unique vision of Nature.  Here are just a few samples of her happy, whimsical and awesomely unique jewellery. Please visit her website to learn more about Melanie, her jewellery and her classes.  http://www.ravensclay.com

Plasma and Cells BioBangle

Hand formed, carved and laminated polymer and epoxy. Features Melanie’s signature polymer cane work.

Magenta and CellsHand formed, carved and laminated polymer and epoxy. Features Melanie’s signature polymer cane work.

River Rock Bead Necklace in neutral colorsHollow form beads with hand pigmented translucent polymer cane work.

polymers, silicon, neoprene, magnets

Torque Necklace #2Hand formed, carved and laminated polymer and rubber with magnet clasp. Features Melanie’s signature polymer cane work.

The Art of Possibility- Inspiration for Creative People

The Art of Possibility-Inspiration for Creative People is a new chapter on Creative Fire.  Some people collect rocks, others mugs. I collect quotes. I love my secret stash of inspiration and encouragement…and I thought I should share it. Every week I’ll add a new quote or image. I hope they speak to you, offer inspiration and from time to time make you smile. ~Jeannette

Continue reading…

Art Moment: Nora Fok

Nora Fok  is intrigued by the world around her; she also asks questions and tries to find answers to them. She is fascinated by different aspects of nature, structure, systems and order, and the mysteries and magic which she sets out to capture in her work.

Images from: https://www.artpeoplegallery.com/hand-knit-jewelry-is-inspired-by-nature-and-science/?fbclid=IwAR3YHEMGG6PFQHQh6z0u6y1njvuzDPGTJYB09fr7veLDgD9DBleGX6-CBXw

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

Art Moment is a snippet of an artist’s portfolio to introduce our readers to new artists. Please follow links to see artists work. If you would like to suggest an artist please email the editor at cre8tivefire (@) gmail.com.

Artist Profile – Tracey Spurgin by Julia Rai

 

I’ve known UK based metal clay artist and tutor Tracey Spurgin for many years, so long in fact that I can’t remember when we first met! Tracey lives in the small village of Walkington in the East Riding of Yorkshire which is in the north of England. Tracey and her husband Steve were regulars at the US conferences that ran every year and which a group of us from the UK used to attend. I last saw them at the You Can Make It conference in the UK in March 2018 and it was good to have a catch up then.

I thought it would be interesting to interview Tracey to find out about her background, so I started by asking her about her family. “I have two adult boys, both in their twenties and engaged to be married,” she began. “They’re both very settled in their careers and have homes of their own. The eldest lives in Edinburgh and the other in Manchester.” Continue reading…

Organization & Storage Tips for Jewelers: How to Keep Your Creative Space Tidy by Roxy Burg

Sourcing beads and jewelry making supplies can be highly addictive. You start with a small collection of seed beads, and then before you know it, you have hundreds of thousands of beads cluttering your design space and getting in the way of your creative process.

Decluttering your space is the first step to a more creative and productive jewelry making operation, whether you design as a hobby or for a living. While you could simply throw all your beads in a jar, you need storage solutions and organization strategies that complement the way you design, allowing you to easily view, select and access your materials. So here are some handy tips on how to keep your creative space tidy. Continue reading…

Feeling Funky? by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

Every winter many artists in my area fall into a creative funk. The days are short so those with seasonal affective disorder feel the lack of sun first.  Then there are those who feel “let down” after the hustle of shows and sales before the winter holidays. Some artists have pushed so hard to create lines and new work and once the shows are over, they are depleted.  Starting over is sometimes hard.  Others just fall into a creative funk seasonally.

Every February I’d beat myself up for not creating.  Spring shows would be coming up and I’d look at empty shelves with no desire to make.  One year I was talking to a local potter and he said he once charted his funky moods and found that if he didn’t give into them, he was even less productive.  So when they came, he did what he felt like doing–if it was reading–he read.  If it was the desire to take a dance class–he did.  Eventually he learned that by giving into these “unproductive times” he was ultimately more productive. I think of him every February and wonder what crazy creative thing he is giving into and then I wonder why I’m fighting my own creative funk.  This year I feel very, very far from my studio.  I’m working a regular teaching gig.  A painting teacher at the school invited me to sit in on his class…so I’ve dug out my paint brushes.  I haven’t taken a painting class since 1993.  It’s good.  I’m starting to dream of colour combinations and to look at light and clouds creatively and not just with the sigh of an artist in a funk. Continue reading…

Preparing to Teach From Your Home Studio by Jeannette Froese LeBlanc

_

SHARING YOUR KNOWLEDGE IS A GIFT.

It is an opportunity not only to pass on important information about your techniques and your chosen media to your students but also to educate them about important topics such as safe working practices and artistic ethics.

(Bright and airy teaching studio of Ann Robinson Davis in Virgina, USA)

LEARN FROM THE BEST
If you are new to teaching, it’s a really good idea to learn from a more experienced teacher whom you admire. Try to find one (or more) who might be willing to let you be their “teacher’s aide” in a few classes. Even if you’re just setting up, tidying and breaking down the classroom, you’ll have an opportunity to give your full attention to observing his or her teaching style and techniques for keeping the class on time, on track and engaged, and for dealing with disruptions or needy students. Then try tandem teaching with another experienced teacher. Guild meetings also are a great place to learn and to share teaching tips and methods. Continue reading…