Friday, November 15, 2013

Freeform Friday: feeling thankful

Have you noticed the people posting their daily things to be thankful for? I have and I admire the effort. I would start, fall behind, and then feel guilty/stressed that I wasn't being thankful enough! But it got me thinking... what experience in the art/jewelry field am I most thankful for? Class? Mentor? Trip? Tutorial? Instructor? 

I ask you to think on this, pour a cup of tea or coffee - and write a response to me in the comments!
My post is brief today - and I am giddy with excitement - and thanks... I am off to Washington DC for the day to spend it with my sister! She lives in Austin TX and is in town for a conference. So please don't equate my brevity with lack of caring...

My most thankful experience is meeting Keith LoBue. He is an amazing artist and an inspired teacher. He calls himself a "stuff smith" as he creates intricate swoon worthy pieces from found objects and diverse treasures. We met in San Diego at the Shepherdess - where he was teaching - it was after I had moved back East but I returned for his class. And we reconnected, and I was challenged anew each year, on his annual trip. I haven't seen him for a few years, he is based in Sydney Australia and doesn't travel as extensively as he did.

My first LoBue inspired mixed media piece. From his "Precious Little" class: antique sterling butterfly, pod, antique magazine paper, glass lens, gems...

Shrine work in progress - center focal composed of pods with vintage pearls, beetle wings, and auto glass, skeleton key, milk glass knob, cigar box, sandalwood fan... 

My first etching samples, my first resin pour.
 Experiments with antique book text. 
These classes were years ago - so I did my first etching and resin under Keith's tutelage - 8 years ago? Before the materials were commonly used in the art jewelry scene... This built a foundation for me - learning techniques to apply to my work, learning them well, being confident to implement them. 
But for me - it was also hearing the right information at the right time. The encouragement to think out of the proverbial box. The permission to play, and to alter materials beyond recognition if the piece required that. To not hold precious things too precious, and to hold dear the found treasures that spark creativity. To honor the patina of age, and the inherent history in an object - even if its specific are unknown to me. 

I was in  a period of transition - having just returned East and trying to settle into my new role as freelance teacher, and more importantly, working artist. I was, and still am working with clay, but it is one of many materials I draw on to say my piece. Mixed media became my voice, and I am thankful that classes with Keith helped me find it. I came away with skills, yes, but more importantly a philosophy that informs my work to this day. 

Aurora: vintage compact, magnifying lens, antique postcard, etched brass, rusted washer, silk...

Gaze: pocket watch case, sea glass, image transfer, pearls, antique images and text, resin, microbeads. 
Tell me you most what you are most thankful... 



  1. Lucky you to have such an amazing mentor. Your creations are amazing. I am thankful for family and faith. At the end of the day that is what we can depend on.

  2. When I first learned to solder I was so happy and to this day I am still thankful for that skill. Enjoy your visit with your sister. Sisters are truly a treasure to be thankful for!

  3. I am feeling intensely grateful to Jennifer Cameron for her recent blog post about "Procrastination". She got me to giggling with her statement that the only work space on her work bench was a two inch strip at the edge. I repeated her statement at Polymer Clay Guild last Sunday and all present admitted to having only a tiny portion of space available on their work tables. I laughed with the rest of them. But then I started working on the mess on my work table. I spent hours and hours yesterday sorting, filing and the like. I can now actually see all of the tabletop. My tower of drawers at table side is now reorganized and more useful. I still have a bit to go, but I am making PROGRESS. Without Jennifer's honest admission, I would still have only one 6" square of available workspace. Go Jennifer!

  4. I'm thankful the coyotes don't try to eat me.

  5. What a great post, I love his term "stuff smith"!! A great mentor for sure. All the pieces you shared are amazing and inspiring. I am thankful to be part of this lovely and supportive team!!

  6. I'm thankful for having the opportunity to take a couple of classes, in person, with Deryn Mentock last year. I've admired her work for quite some time and never thought I'd have the opportunity in person. Her online classes are wonderful, but nothing beats in person. She was teaching at an art retreat in Connecticut and it was the year of my 50th birthday - so I treated myself even though I couldn't really afford it. It was life changing in many ways!

  7. WOW I am thankful that I am able to see where your journey's have taken you and that there are no coyotes trying to eat me either!


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