Tuesday, December 04, 2012

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival: One Magazine

A new month brings a new EtsyMetal Blog Carnival post.

This month's EtsyMetal Blog Carnival topic:
If you could only pick one magazine, which one would it be and why?


It is absolute eye candy to me.

Thought I was going to pick an art jewelry magazine, didn't you?

To see what other EtsyMetal members chose, keep reading:
Laura Jane Bouton
Beth Cyr
Evelyn Markasky
Lou Hunter
Deborah Lee Taylor
Tosca Teràn

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Studio Class Schedule

One of the benefits of having a commercial studio space is being able to offer classes! I have spent the last month figuring out what classes to offer first and have come up with the following schedule for the next few months:

Stamp your Heart Out -

Monday, November 26 6pm to 8:00pm $45

Welcome to the craze! Stamping on metal is a wildly popular technique. It is fun, it is easy and the design possibilities are endless! From letter stamps to design stamps this class will introduce you to the world of stamping on metal for creating simple and fun jewelry.

Class fee covers use of tools and materials for completing at least two projects in this two hour class. Tool kits will be available for purchase.

DIY Holiday Gift Workshop

Thursday, November 29 6pm to 9pm $55

No experience necessary! Learn to use a jeweler's saw, files and hammers to create a set of earrings and matching pendant to give as a gift (or keep for yourself) this holiday season! Each student will create a pair of nature inspired earrings and a matching pendant. No previous metal working experience needed!

Class fee covers use of tools and materials for completed a pair of earrings and a pendant with chain in this three hour class. Tool kits will be available for purchase.

4 Week Beginning Jewelry Making Series

Wednesdays January 2, 9, 16, 23 6pm to 8pm $135

This 4 week series will introduce the beginner to the wonderful world of metal working. Learn to use a jeweler's saw, hammers, design stamps, the rolling mill and more in this 4 week class. Each student will create several pieces of jewelry over the course of the series. Beginning techniques and studio safety will be covered. No previous experience necessary. Class space is limited to four students as I want to be able to give each student plenty of attention throughout the class series.

Class fee covers the use of tools and materials to use in class over the 4 week class series. Tool kits will be available for purchase.

Please visit the Class Registration Form page to sign up for classes or for more information on current or upcoming classes.

If you would like to receive information about current and upcoming studio classes, please enter your email below.

This is a very low-volume email subscription.

If you have any questions or have an idea for a class you would like to see on our schedule, please leave a comment below (please include a good email address for me to reply to). Thanks!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival: Why Do You Make Jewelry?

A new month brings a new EtsyMetal Blog Carnival post.

This month's EtsyMetal Blog Carnival topic:
Why Do You Make Jewelry?

Think hard! Dig deep.

One would think this would be a no brainer for me to answer. And actually, it is.

I make jewelry because I want to.

Simple enough, right? Yeah, maybe too simple.

Perhaps the question should be "Why do you WANT to make jewelry?" Sure, we are going to go with that.

Let's go back about 20 years, plus or minus a year. My Mom was a dedicated member of an art group in Las Vegas, NV, called the Desert Sculptors and she was also the director of a local art museum as well. She met lots of really creative folks. To this day, even 1000's of miles away from the SW desert, she still calls several of those people great friends. And for good reasons. One of those reasons being, they let nothing get in the way of their creativity. It is people like that, who artist types like me, really want in their corner. Driven creative types help drive others to get and to stay creative.

One of these creative types is a man by the name of Don Trippy. He is a sculptor, a painter, an artist in every sense of the word. One of the things he did way back when was create a foundry for doing bronze pours in Lorenzi Park in North Las Vegas. He set everything up in the bottom of a long empty public swimming pool. The deep concrete walls of the empty pool would contain any "spills" as well as protect anyone nearby from the heat of the 1000+ degree foundry heat. Paul and I along with my Mom went to watch one of his first bronze pours. With Don all geared up a HUGE silver asbestos suit and a large flame throwing torch, he melted the bronze in a large, black graphite crucible. We all sat in rapt by the fire and the glowing bronze melting beneath the heat of that torch. Once the metal was ready to pour, the crucible was lifted and the molten metal was poured to the awaiting sculpture mold. Hot, fiery liquid bronze splashed and sizzled. There was lots of steam and so much heat. But I sat there watching that metal flow thinking it looked like hot pink lemonade and I was HOOKED. I could not stop talking about that molten bronze and how I wanted to be able touch it. Play with it. Create with it.

Several months ago, my Mom got in touch with Don after several years of little communication which brought him the the forefront of one of our conversations one afternoon. During this talk it dawned on me that it was Don Trippy who told me about the beginning jewelry class being offered through the City of LV Parks and Rec department. I realized at that moment that I really owe him a debt of gratitude for that bit of creative direction. For that night, when I first walked into that classroom I knew that I had found what I wanted to do with my life.

And here I am, 20 plus (or minus) years later. Creating small works of art in copper and silver. And sometimes gold. Each piece I create I pour a bit of my soul into. No matter if it is a simple silver band or a graceful copper flower blossom. That first cut with my saw or the last buff with the polishing cloth. It all started for me, back then, in the bottom of an abandoned swimming pool one sunny Vegas day.

Please continue to read other EtsyMetal members answers to why they create jewelry by visiting the following links:

Cynthia Del Giudice
Laura Jane Bouton
Beth Cyr
Peculiar Forest
Tosca Terán
Mary Anne Karren
My Precious Studio
Deborah Lee Taylor
Anne Walker
Andrea Ring
Gracebourne Design
Danielle Miller
Evelyn Markasky
Inbar Bareket
Abella Blue

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Monday, October 01, 2012

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival: Back to School

A new month brings a new EtsyMetal Blog Carnival post.

This month's EtsyMetal Blog Carnival topic:
Back to School

Fall has arrived, are you taking any classes or workshops? Metal/jewelry related or other? Is there a new technique you've learned recently? Do you have children that are in school, what grade, what kind of school and how does it affect your routine/schedule?

Aaaahh. Fall is here. You wouldn't know it by the incredible weather we are experiencing here in the PNW. We have gone days.. well, actually months without rain.


In Washington state.


It is pure craziness.

But it still means back to school for my one and only, Cody. He is in 9th grade which means, in these parts, he started high school this year.

I am a Mom to a high schooler. Am I stressed out about it? Not in the least.

This kid of mine (okay, ours...) is amazing. And luckily he is attending a real amazing school that is ideal for independent learners, like himself. We consider ourselves damn lucky to be able to send him to this school. Had Paul not got the job working for the Olympia School District several years back we would have had no idea about the school. But he does work there and that means we did learn about the school. And now Code goes there. Awesome.

With him back at school, I find myself at the studio each morning Monday thru Thursday. I get to spend about 4 hours of uninterrupted time designing and creating. Lately I have been pouring lots of thought into what types of classes I want to offer this Fall/Winter out of my studio. I plan on getting my act together and getting my first classes posted and ready for sign ups in the next few weeks with the classes beginning near the end of October, beginning of November.

Fall is not my favorite season. There. I said it. I dread the short, gray days and nonstop rain. I dread the trees losing all of their leaves. By setting up my studio away from my house and teaching classes, I am hoping that it will make these next several months go by a bit smoother for me. Give me something great to focus on instead of what is going on outside my window.

Hey, I am a born dreamer.

Visit these other EtsyMetal members to see what they are doing this month:
Evelyn Markasky
Kate Jones
Anne Walker
Abella Blue
Mary Anne Karren Studio
Victoria Takahashi / Experimetal

Friday, September 28, 2012

You (should) be here...

Silentgoddess Art Jewelry will be a vendor at the upcoming Arts Walk in downtown Olympia on Saturday, October 5th. I will have lots of great handmade metal jewelry and I will have a sign up sheet available for those interested in taking a class or two in my new studio space.

It is never to early to start your holiday shopping and handmade jewelry is a GREAT gift idea!

For more information on Make Olympia please visit: MakeOlympia.com

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

EtsyMetal Project Runway Challenge: Can I Buy You a Cocktail?

Can I Buy You a Cocktail? ring

If you are going to wear a sexy cocktail dress you HAVE to have a cocktail ring to go with it!

Created with sterling silver and a smashing gold plated druzy cabochon, this ring is sure to get people's attention! Ring has been oxidized then brushed carefully with steel wool to soften the steel grey finish of the sterling silver. Artist's initials are stamped on a raised charm on the underside of ring.

See it in my Etsy store here: Can I Buy You a Cocktail ring?

Project Runway
Season 10, Episode 7: Oh My Lord and Taylor
Air 8/30/12
My Lifetime, Thursdays 9pmPST

To celebrate the 10th season, the designers get a chance to be part of the 10 piece Project Runway Capsule Collection at Lord & Taylor that will be sold in stores and online. They had to design a cocktail or evening dress for Lord & Taylor customers that will retail in the $200 to $300 price range. A designer from each of the other nine seasons has also created a look and the dress must fit in with the collection. The winning look will be manufactured by Lord & Taylor along with the others and sold online and at the flagship store. The dress will also be displayed in the window.

For our EtsyMetal Translation:
Design a sophisticated piece of jewelry for evening wear. Something that could go into production. You can choose one of the PR Lord and Taylor designs to complement or for inspiration, check them out here www.lordandtaylor.com/eng/CMS/PRDress_Dress.cfm If you do use one of these dresses, please post a picture of it also.

Make it work!!

Deadline: Thursday, September 6 by midnight, your time.

To see all of the kick ass pieces created by EtsyMetal members for our Project Runway challenges, visit the EtsyMetal blog!

Monday, September 03, 2012

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival: Samson the Great!

A new month brings a new EtsyMetal Blog Carnival post.

This month's EtsyMetal Blog Carnival topic:
Please share your pets with us! Pictures, stories, new pets, old pets, dogs, cats, ants, anything that has ever lived in your house that wasn't human, be they friend or foe!

If I was to blog about all of the pets that have been a part of my life we would be here until next year, November. I don't think any of us want to spend THAT much time reading about my pets, do we?

Much to my Mother's (and husband's) chagrin I am a animal lover through and through. I think I got it from my Dad. We are both a bit animal crazy.

So I am going to narrow it down to the here and now. For the most part anyway...

I can't write this post without showcasing history's number one dog. Ever.
That pup there is Wrangler. That dorky girl. Yup, you guessed it. Me. That was the day we brought Wrangler home.
My Dad and I adopted him from the pound when I was in 6th grade. He was the first dog that was MINE. And he was the BEST dog IN THE WORLD. My Mom put up with him, due to how awesome he was. Wrangler was a part of my life until I was 18. Putting him to sleep is still on the top of my "hardest days of my life" list.

Okay, moving ahead to present day and the love of my dog life: Samson.

Samson is a Boston Terror. I mean, Boston Terrier. After a life of having BIG dogs, Paul and I decided that maybe, just maybe we would try a small dog this go 'round. After spending some time with a Boston Terrier one day at Paul's office picnic, we decided THAT would be the next breed we would welcome into our home. When my brother caught wind of the fact we were considering a BT he said to me... "a terrier? Are you sure you want a terrier?" Pashaw! Of COURSE! What does HE know? Boston Terriers are the GREATEST DOG IN THE WORLD, don't you know?? We spent a WHOLE day with one. We KNOW what we are talking about...

Obviously he KNEW what he was talking about. Terriers are just another word for Terrors. But we LOVE this Terror:

I don't have many good pictures of Samson in action. He is really hard to photograph except when he is sleeping. Because he moves around too much to get shots that aren't blurry. So I have a lot of good pictures of him sleeping...

But we do have an overload of videos of him. Here are two of my faves:

The beginning of this one is a little stomach churning due to the Blair Witch style camera handling ... but the under-the-cabinet dive near the end makes it worth it (well, at least I think so).

Paul is trying to get Samson's leash on so he can take him outside. Sammy wants NOTHING to do with it...

He does NOT like going to bed:

He is quite a handful. His personality is larger than life. He isn't your typical Boston Terrier. He weighs in at nearly 30 pounds. That is about 10 pounds over a typical BT. His ears insist on bending over at the tips. They should stand straight up. But. Samson has NEVER been one to play by the rules. EVER.

We here at the Clark household are pretty smitten with him. Even Paul, who has forever and always put up with my love affair of animals. He knew going into it how I was (that is what I tell him whenever we see a "free kitten" sign...). Gotta love him. He has put up with a lot of animals in our 20 plus years.

We will wrap this up today with a few gratuitous puppy shots:

(notice a particular cat's laser eyes trying to scorch a certain puppy right out of existence?)

Keep reading to learn more about the pets of EtsyMetal!

Beth Cyr
Evelyn Markasky
Erin Austin
Rebecca Bogan
Victoria Takahashi/Experimetal
Lou Hunter
Cynthia Del Giudice

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

it has been a while...

Hi All, The building where I rent my studio in downtown Olympia has one space available for immediate occupancy. Dimensions are 12'+ x 15'+. Rent is $320.00/month. If you would like more info or the owner's contact info email me at silentgoddess.etsy (at) gmail dot com :) Please see the pictures below for an idea of the building's look and feel :)

Been a very busy summer for me. Made a big move to Olympia WA to do away with Paul's 2 hour commute. That meant putting our house we still own up for rent in Port Orchard, finding a house for us to rent in Olympia AND finding a studio space for me to work and teach out of. Luckily I LOVE change so I have been able to enjoy the ride and take all of the upheaval in stride.

I have been in my studio now for about a month. Sure didn't take much time to settle in and ask myself why I didn't do this sooner! Well, I know why I didn't... studio space was non-existant in Port Orchard (and the surrounding areas). Olympia is a quite a little artist mecca. So I was pretty certain I would be able to find somewhere that would work for me and Silentgoddess Art Jewelry. Granted studio space wasn't waiting to be found on every street corner but luckily a few months before the move I had been in contact with a guy who was advertising space for lease on Craigslist (let me count the ways I LOVE Craigslist!). I looked him up once we got moved into Oly and lo and behold, he still had some vacant spaces.

Didn't take me much time to fall in love with the largest space he had available. It is actually two spaces with a great big walk thru doorway. One space for my bench and one space for teaching. A perfect fit!

Here is the new home of Silentgoddess Art Jewelry:

Looking into my work space from the entrance. Doesn't that old brick just scream "art studio" to you?
Looking toward the classroom entrance.
Classroom space. I took the photo at a bit of a funny angle so it looks smaller than it actually is. Granted, the space isn't ginormous but it will work for classes up to 4 people. And that is the max amount I would want to be instructing at one time. Works for me!
Each entrance off of the main hall has transom windows above the doors. I love a building with character!

And here is what the main space looks like right after I moved the majority of my stuff in. Yes, I have a rug under my bench. Practical? Perhaps not but I don't like dropping things and creating a bunch of noise for the tenants below me (a children's theater). Honestly, when I had my studio in my house, I had a rug under my chair to protect the carpet (YES... I KNOW... CARPET) below. We do what we gotta do (or want to do, in my case ;).

Next big step is getting a "real" torch set up. I plan on having a soldering station off to right of my bench by the window. I am still trying to decide what torch set up to get. I am leaning toward the Smith acetylene jeweler's torch. Would love to have input from other torch users. Leave your thoughts in the comments section!

If you are in the Olympia area and are interested in my upcoming classes, contact me via laney (at) silentgoddess (dot) com or thru Etsy. I will get you hooked up with my class schedule. If you have something you want to learn, drop me a line. I am working on what classes to offer and would love your input!

Monday, July 02, 2012

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival: What In The World Are You You Doing?

A new month brings a new EtsyMetal Blog Carnival post.

This month's EtsyMetal Blog Carnival topic:
What In The World Are You You Doing?

Now THAT is a question I am asking myself...

You know how change always sounds like such a GREAT idea at the time? And then when it comes down to implementing that change you realize how much work it really involves? That is right where I am, right NOW.

The long and the short of it is this... commuting sucks. And my husband Paul has been doing a long one for many years. And we all got really sick of it. Not only due to the time it took out of each day but also because of the $$$ that is was costing us. Add to that I was driving our son 15 miles one way to and from a better school in a different district. We were spending way too much of each paycheck to get from point A to point B and to point C.

Cue in the BIG CHANGE.

I like change. So much so that I usually don't like to stay in one place much longer than 5 or so years. Back when the housing market was booming, this was an easy lifestyle. Get sick of the house we own? Sell that sucker and move to something new. Fast forward to THIS housing market and the brakes screech us to a halt. No chance of selling the house we own... time to rent it out and head south. That is just what we did. Or are in the middle of doing.


I am too old for this. And I collect WAY too much stuff when I stay put for 5 years. Note to self: you don't need all of this crap. I promise, you don't. Moving was WAY easier when I was in my 20's. Maybe it was easier back then because I just didn't have that much stuff? Hmmm, I think I am onto something here.

Just a peek into our BIG move.

I had a 5 bedroom house to pack. Why the Hell we thought buying a 5 bedroom house was a good idea when we only have 3 people in our family... it is a question we have asked ourselves for some time now. Don't even get me started on the equity we have lost with the housing market tanking. But I digress. With Paul already living down in Olympia during the week I had the HUGE responsibility of getting the household ready to move.

I offer you but a PEEK into my madness, err, I mean one thing on moving checklist. On the agenda one day last week, my studio.




That took over 6 hours to complete. 6 hours of precious time. And these pictures only show a glimpse of that room. Madness, I tell you, pure and utter madness.

Mind you that once we have finally moved everything down to Olympia, get the "other" house successfully rented out and I get my studio set back up so I can get back to work (I can HARDLY wait... I miss it. BAD) things will settle down. One can only hope, right?

So THAT is what I have been up to.

Want to see what some other EtsyMetal members are up to? Keep reading:

victoria takahashi
Beth Cyr
Rebecca Bogan
Ann Walker
Erin Austin
Danielle Miller

Monday, June 04, 2012

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words - EtsyMetal Blog Carnival

A new month brings a new EtsyMetal Blog Carnival post.

The topic for the month of June is:

A Picture Tells A Thousand Words

June's Blog Carnival article is all about showing, not telling.

For more pictures stories, please visit these EtsyMetal members' blogs:
Cynthia Del Giudice
kate jones
Inbar Bareket
Rebecca Bogan

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

cheesecake escape

Sometimes the long three day weekends end up causing a tough Tuesday after the fact.
On days like that, I tend to get a good case of the munchies. Luckily when doing the weekly shopping the night before a new week, I tend to avoid buying a bunch of junk food because I know exactly how I am going to be wanting to eat a bunch of crap food come Monday (or in this case, Tuesday) morning.
I did, however, buy myself a box of cinnamon graham crackers last night. Not the *best* food, but far better than other choices I could have made. I was in a particularly munchie mood this morning and had a AH-HA moment when I thought about the leftover whipped cream cheese I had in the fridge with no bagels in sight to use it up on. I thought how perfect would it be to create a little mini faux cheesecake delight. And that is EXACTLY what I did.

Cheesecake Escape

2 graham cracker sheets, split in half (gives you four squares)

2-3 tablespoons whipped cream cheese

Baker's or regular sugar

Smear cream cheese onto each graham square. Sprinkle with sugar (as little or as much as your heart desires) and ENJOY.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

stand alone store

I am very happy to announce that Silentgoddess Art Jewelry has launched a stand-alone store. My jewelry is still available on Etsy and Artfire however I was ready to make the jump to an independent web store so I could utilize some customizable features such as a blog, gallery, tutorials and calendar all in one place.
Over the coming months I will be building my new site by adding products and content so please bookmark silentgoddess art jewelry and see what is new! If you are an artist looking to build and/or expand your online presence, I highly recommend Indiemade. The interface is super clean and easy to use and the monthly cost is a very manageable flat fee. No more listing fees or sales percentages taken from your bottom line. Plus your first month is FREE.

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Unconventional Tool - EtsyMetal Blog Carnival

A new month brings a new EtsyMetal Blog Carnival post.

The topic for the month of May is:

The Unconventional Tool

Do you use tools that you have made yourself? How about items that were not intended to be used by a metalsmith?
Tell us all about it and describe/show the results your special tools give in your creative process!

My very first metals instructor handed out several handmade tools he made for us the first night of our first class. That was nearly 20 years ago. I still have several of those tools but I really only use one regularly. It is my burnisher. The wooden handle has years of grub and metal dust embedded in it. But it is a workhorse. And every time I use it, I think of that instructor and how that first class changed the course of my life.

There are several other things that I employ on a regular basis that were probably never intended to be used by a metal artist. One of those is my beloved masking tape. And it can't be just any old masking tape. I have high standards and expect a lot from my tape!! I like the Scotch #2060 green painter's tape. It is just the right color of light green that allows my Sharpie marker drawings to show up crisp yet the tape won't leave a sticky residue when removed. I put it on my metal then draw a rough sketch with a sharp pencil of what I want to pierce then I trace over the pencil marks with a fine Sharpie. This gives me the best pattern to saw. And the tape protects the surface of the metal while doing the initial stages of finishing (i.e., filing edges, marking and drilling holes for bails, rivets, etc). I use that same tape to create a cushion when using my dapping blocks to create concave forms in the middle of my dogwood pendants. If there is no cushioning the edges of the block will mar the metal. And we can't have that!

For several years after my son was born I put my metal working tools away to spend time being a Mom. There just wasn't a workable way for me to be in the studio outside of my home and I wasn't comfortable bringing the chemicals, torches and such into a home studio when I had a young soul living in my house. However, I have never been real good at just sitting around so I started an online business selling scrapbooking supplies. This made it possible for me to work from home, raise my son and keep my hands in a creative realm. To make a long story short, I did this for about 5 or maybe 6 years and during that time I amassed a whole BUNCH of crafting supplies. And many of those crafting supplies work real well when creating art jewelry! One of my favorite uses for these alternative supplies is using rubber stamps and embossing or pigment inks when working with torch fired enamels. The ink works as a great binder for enamels and the stamps give endless design possibilities.

Sometimes just stepping out of the box frees my creative mind to new ideas and opportunities! Plus it gives me more reason to horde supplies ;)

Read more about unconventional tools and their uses from other EtsyMetal members:
Beth Cyr
Inbar Bareket
Theresa Kwong