Tuesday, November 30, 2010

thankful and whew!

Some quick tidbits for this grey Tuesday:

*   Our show was a great success! Lots of shoppers, wonderful food, each artist really shined. And it was fun!!!! Thanks to all who attended!

*   My house is still in recovery - I anticipate being back to our normal state of disarray by 10 p.m. tonight.

*   I did not take one picture at the show. I felt like I was being in the moment, in the moment, but I'm regretting it a bit today.

*   My youngest is as toothless as he will ever be. MUST take his picture today.

*   I finally read, A Reliable Wife and loved it.

*   Any chance you noticed in Kyle's note up there, that he was thankful first for his dogs? And the item before that was his sharpened stick that he made himself...hmmmm....

*   I will not have a studio tour this week while I get some custom orders finished (custom orders - yay!), but please check out Amanda's studio....wow....

*   Tomorrow is the first day of December - the first day of Hanukkah too. I'm thinking about what work I need to do (literally and mentally) to set our family up to have a peace-filled, love-filled, fun-filled-but-balanced December. You?

*   Happy Tuesday! xo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A little [ephemera] journal footnote

Since we're in overtime-production-mode over here, I thought I would explain about the kinds of ephemera found in my journals. Here are three journals waiting to be bound. Each is filled first with a "base" of art paper pages (this batch has Canson 98-pound mixed media paper). The art paper is important to me because I want journalers who write and/or draw/paint to be able to use my books.
I've opened one to show you what's included: graph paper, vintage sheet music, and an old recipe card. Lots of paper old and new, and each book has a different collection.
I spread some of the pages out a bit more, so you can see the playing card, the gold cardstock, the old writing tablet paper, a page from a vintage dictionary, an "original" Charlie Brown cartoon page, some ledger paper, a page from an old encyclopedia, a piece of vintage stationery and a small envelope.
I also often include a sheet of watercolor paper, colorful cardstock, vintage childrens' book pages, beautiful pictures/patterns from magazines, banana paper (recycled of course) and art paper samples from around the world.
So if you've wondered, now you know. I have quite a [ahem] large collection of vintage paper and I love mixing it up and sharing it. Of course, if you ever have any questions, please email me: corinne@goodnessrecycled.com. xo

Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting there...

A little sneak peek of things I'll be selling at our show on Friday. Here are some ornaments in the works...
 ...love cocoons waiting to be packaged in all their darling goodness...
 ...and ephemera journals...I love each and every one. Hope they sell (kind of).
I love Amanda's post today about staying calm and grounded in thankfulness during this season that can get so phrenetic. Happy Monday! xo

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rachel Miller: : Precious Metal Clay

Today we are visiting the studio of Rachel Miller, precious metal clay designer.
Rachel, a former painter and sportswear designer, has been creating jewelry and Judaica for more than five years in her home studio.
She began making wire-wrap jewelry and then took the plunge and purchased a kiln. "I just wanted to be able to make more [of my pieces] on my own," she says. (Can you see the delicate heart in the middle of these Star of David necklaces?)
She is now PMC certified, as well as certified to teach.

Her inspiration board holds ideas for future projects, works in progress, fan mail and tidbits from her daughters.

Rachel's work begins with a sketch. Her mezuzahs have an international following. 
Today she is designing a mezuzah in the likeness of a Brownstone. 
After she creates a design, she makes plates so that she can imprint her clay uniformly with her designs. The brick pattern, for example, is a drawing that she had made into a plate.
Below are some plate designs.
After her main piece is constructed, she'll begin the intricate, finishing details.

Her work is so exact.
She uses molds and stamps that she collects and makes herself.
Her pieces are fired in her kiln at 1600 degrees for two hours. Then they head to her finishing table where they are polished.
When the clay work is complete, Rachel begins constructing her jewelry. She only uses real gemstones and fine silver.
Rachel says her biggest challenge is finding enough time to create. "You have to surround yourself with people who support you," she says.
Two of Rachel's pieces were selected for this year's PMC Annual, published by the PMC Guild. This is a huge honor.

You can see Rachel's work in person this weekend:
Sunday, November 21
Thanks Rachel!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I almost forgot to eat...

Key word is almost. I ate plenty, and had such a great weekend. I shoved David and the kids off to his parents' house so I could paint and sort and assemble and plan for our upcoming show.
 Two whole days of getting ready and nothing more. (Although the dogs were a bit of work. I'm wondering if my art room has ghosts because they were acting crazy...)
Anyhow. Lots done, lots of time to think and reflect, lots of time to get my hands dirty. Thank you wonderful family! xo

Sunday, November 14, 2010

You're invited to our show!

If you live in the St. Louis area, I hope you'll plan to join us! xo

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ready for the weekend

I'm claiming this weekend in a way that I haven't in years. Can't wait...

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xo

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What on earth is this? [a love story]

I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! [Elf]
Does anybody out there have any idea what this thing is? A letter sorter? A collator? I said I was going to Goodwill, but something told me to stop at the Salvation Army store instead. [Serendipity]
It was like the end of a romance movie - I walked right through the crowd until I found her (it). [Elizabethtown] I thought I'd never find anything this perfect, and there she (it) was right in front of me. [When Harry Met Sally] I swooped it and its 99-cent price tag up-and-out-of-there faster than it could say, "You had me at hello." [You know this one.]
I wish I knew what it was, but it doesn't matter. [Shrek?] It's so so perfect. I couldn't have designed it better. This could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship! [Casablanca]

[Cue mushy music]
[Close scene] xo

p.s. I'm sorry there's no studio visit today. Please come back next Thursday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Works in Progress

Don't want to jynx this, but I believe I am ahead of schedule! It's a miracle! I need to run to Goodwill to look for something to help me prop up my covers as they dry (I'm thinking toast server - something you'd see in Mary Poppins or some such film). The next time you see these, they'll be complete and in our Holiday Show or my etsy shoppe! xo

Monday, November 8, 2010

The blessings of the assembly line

Ok, ok, I'm a believer. I have read countless (countless!) books, blogs, articles about being a small, business owner and specifically, a creative business owner. If you're making accessible, affordable art for sale, you have to find ways to save time.
My goal for this week is to have 10 journals finished to completion. Finished. And so for the first time, I worked on 10 cover sets rather than one at a time.  
Granted, this is the easy part, but so far so good! Gotta get back to it... xo

Friday, November 5, 2010

One potato, two potato...

...three potato, fifty!!! We had no expectations when we went to dig our sweets this week. The heat was crazy this summer, our other plants did horribly, but we dug up oodles and oodles of potatoes. Such fun.

Wishing you a lovely weekend! xo

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Rachel Akin: : Ceramics

Today we are visiting Rachel Akin. Rachel is one of three Artists in Residence at Craft Alliance in Grand Center.
Rachel knew in high school that she wanted to be a potter. She attended the Kansas City Art Institute, and then earned her MFA at Ohio University.
She creates here about 20 hours a week. She also has a home studio.
 Today she's making a bowl.
 Rachel uses a mirror to ensure her work is symmetrical.
Rachel's work is constantly evolving, but the one constant? "I want my work to be soothing," she shares. "With the fast nature of life, it's nice to have objects around you that bring you down a little bit and calm you."
Rachel tells me she is so thankful to be a working artist. "I did my share of waiting tables, but since I've finished my MFA, I have been able to focus on producing my own work and teaching."
This is Rachel's view, when she's sitting at her wheel.
 These pieces are waiting to be glazed.
Rachel teaches ceramics classes at Forest Park Community College and at the Craft Alliance. Her 1-year residency began in June, and in addition to loving the space, she loves working side-by-side with fellow artists.
 Works in progress...
 This is one of the classrooms at The Craft Alliance.
 Rachel waxes the bottom of each piece so that nothing sticks in the kiln.
Rachel is also very committed to creating collections with a wide range in pricing. She wants people to be able to afford her work.
Access to a kiln this size is a dream come true for many ceramic artists.
Recycled goodness? Rachel can reuse all of her porcelain, from the tiny slabs she slakes off her work, to a bowl that might break or crack. Her "slop" bucket is kept to the right of her wheel.
Rachel won the Local Artist Award at this year's Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair.

You can also find Rachel's work at:
Craft Alliance, The Loop
Craftland, Providence

Thank you Rachel!
And special thanks to the Craft Alliance!