A NEW website & more!

Welcome to my NEW! website, shop, and blog! Despite the lag in the blog’s timeline I’ve been busy; making my work, being director of Art in the High Desert, and carving out time for living my regular life. And of course, there is no time for any of it! Ha!

You will recognize my previous work but I’ve added a new twist to it. I’m now working with wood as well as metal. I’m using mostly Ebony & Holly the wood (who knew?) to create new forms and add another dimension to my work.

Let me know what you think about it.

The Shop is also new. Gone is the portfolio of old=not available work, and here is The Store full of order-now-and-it-ships-tomorrow work. I will be adding new work as I make it, so the store will always have my newest pieces.

And, yes, I’m still doing shows, a limited number. (See carving out time for a life above.) I will keep you up-to-date of my next show in the handy side-bar on my site.

Finally, do LIKE me on Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/CarlaMFox/   I post short blurbs there on a variety of subjects, mostly hand-crafted jewelry.

Visit often, see what’s new in The Shop! And if you see any boo-boos in the website let me know. I’ve proofed it till I’m cross-eyed and will appreciate other eyes on it.

Carla

On the run

Life is a river and other ruminations

Friends treated Dave & I to a day trip down the Deschutes River last weekend. It was beyond wonderful. And symbolic…..in a sappy way.

Into the rapids

Into the rapids

In my world of summer shows once April-May comes I feel like I'm on a river trip dropping into a rapid. And I don't pop out of it until September. For me it means paddling as fast as I can all summer long, never looking up, and hoping all turns out well. Last year had its rocky spots; we lost our canopy & all of our display to freaky wind in Des Moines & I managed to break a shoulder running for the porta-potty at Art in the Pearl. But it had its highs, great shows…and our dot was married to a most wonderful man at our home.

This year it was a great year, minus any rocks, flips, or personal injuries. We had interesting weather, snow in Laramie-Wyoming, hid from a tornado in Seibert, Colorado, 3 days of rain and great sales in Belleville, Ill. We made it thru Des Moines with only one threatened wind storm that never came, more great sales and a beautiful drive home that took us north of Joplin, Missouri the day the tornado hit there. We were lucky. While we were saving a turtle that day in Missouri, helping it cross the road, Joplin was hanging on.

Pissed off turtle

Pissed off turtle

We had more rain in Salem (the first rain on the show in 35 years!) and welcomed being in Bellevue, Wash in a lovely inside parking garage. At Art in the High Desert-Bend, Oregon, the show we help produced with 3 other board members...we were honored, surprised and deeply touched to be awarded a Bench Mark Award by the AHD artists to us for putting on the kind of show they wanted to come to.

Our 2011 Benchmark Award

Our 2011 Benchmark Award

And we ended the show season at Art in the Pearl, Portland, Oregon...our other "home" show. We love the Pearl.

…And now its September the post show month. And this year I am determined to take September off, the calm after the rapids. A corny analogy to be sure, but apt.

after the rapids

after the rapids

I’m cleaning the studio….which you can see it badly needs, packing for a wonderful trip our son and his lovely lady; planned by them just for us, taking long naps, riding my bike, and enjoying the delayed summer as it finally is hot in Central Oregon.

messy workbench

messy workbench

A fine end to a wonderful show season. Thanks all for making it memorable, profitable, full of laughter, and coming along with Dave & I for the ride.

Carla

Where have I been?!

Here in Central Oregon, head down, tail up, working working working. You'd think I could get to the computer to type a few words but I always want to "craft" the words on this blog, add photos, etc. so I make it more time-consuming then I should and nothing gets done.

But to catch up since December!

January 2011: Relaxing thinking all my life was up-to-date, could let go for a while. Working on jewelry commissions, life was good, cold-snowy, but good. I was in control. Silly me.

February 2011: Damn me. Art in the High Desert was in Jury Mode had a pile of work to do to organize that.

March 2011: Jury results were released. Lots to organize that, work with accepted artists, write 86! detailed jury feedbacks for artists who requested them. So much work, but so important to do. I also etched 10 sheets of expensive! sterling silver to hold me thru the summer.

April 2011: Hummm, show season is coming, still working on jury feedback, have commissions I'm trying to get done, but summer is still far far far away.

May 2011: Damn Dave! He pointed out that Belleville, Illinois---a great show is just around the corner. Panic mode....Art int he High Desert still needs my time, the studio needs my time, wasn't I going to cross country ski more?

I made it through May, went to Belleville's Art on the Square 2011, had a wonderful show. Followed that with a trip to Indianapolis for an art/show directors' conference. And now am home.

May's photo for you is Dave & I and our trusty mini van hiding from a tornado in Seibert,Colorado. Can ya see us?

 

Carla

The Poofer

Sometimes when only a rounder shape will do,what's a fabricator to do? I work with flat sheets of metal. How to make it bend evenly in all directions?

Yin Yang Pods
Yin Yang Pods

Fortunately there's a tool for this challenge.

More  edifice then a tool my solution sits in the corner of my studio waiting to wield its amazing strength. Technically its called a hydraulic press. But more often then not its referred to as The Poofer.

Hydraulic Press
Hydraulic Press

It sits 18" high with 3 thick steel plates. The driver of this tool is a house jack that can and exert many pounds of pressure on metal. The essential ingrediant are my urethane spacers whose special characteristics allow them to flow into voids of my dies.

Eh what?

From the top without the metalsmithing terms.

Metal is ever bendable. And will yield to force. The hydraulic press has been designed to take advantage of that but needs a few more special pieces of equipment to make it work, besides thick steel and a house jack.

Dies_brass
Dies_brass

The first is a die, a hole if you wish, that is cut into the shape one wants the metal in. These dies are made of a variety of tough, dense material so they can stand the amount of pressure exerted by the press. Mine are made of brass and a filler to so I can reuse them and I can make double-sided poofed shapes. It takes time and precision to make these dies. I want to design pleasing shapes I can use in a variety of ways before I make any new die.

Urethane
Urethane

The next item needed is something to push the metal into the void in the die. And not any material will do. Most rubbers and soft  plastics will just thin out (squish flat) when put under pressure. That is where urethane has unique properties that have it flow into the void distributing the force into the unsupported metal.

Die ready to press
Die ready to press

Once this is all assemble its time to "poof" or press the shape. It would be simple if I could simple take the press up to full pressure, but it requires many smaller steps. Because if one goes too fast the metal will not bend, but tear. It is a combination of annealing (make the metal more malleable) pressing a small bit, annealing-pressing, etc until the proper depth is achieve.

Torn shape
Torn shape

This process also requires extra metal around the edges of the shape-a flange - so this process is both labor intensive as well as expensive in metal usage.

From here the piece is cut free of the & the fun begins. What to do with the shape? Sometimes as in the Yin Yang Earrings above I have a specific idea. Other times I just start to play.

Below is a variety of hydraulic pressed pieces that have been incorporated into my work or is just an idea I've been working on. Mostly these are older pieces. I haven't done much "poofing" lately.

Poof projects
Poof projects
silly bird
silly bird
3 fish pins
3 fish pins
Lge Pod
Lge Pod

It looks so phallic!

I know! That is why I had to buy it at a flea market. I was totally amused by the shape of this hammer. It was even more fun to carry it around as my Sis and I continued to cruise the flea market.

phallic hammer
phallic hammer

I think it is a riveting hammer of a by-gone profession. I really don’t know for what or how it was used. Any ideas? I don’t use it but it is part of my hammer collection.

One of the many reasons I love being a metalsmith is the opportunity to buy and learn to use new tools. We’ll be exploring my studio to see some of my favorites and how I use them. Here’s a preview of what’s to come.

The Poofer

The Smasher

You can never have enough.

Really!

Open Wide…

You cut it all by hand?

Well, almost all of it.

Fire, my lovelies.

What I can’t live without.

Whatisit?

BTW this is my riveting hammer, a bit different in shape and size, but a similar function.

riveting & phallic hammer
riveting & phallic hammer

Bits & Pieces

Off the subject of jewelry, I am happily wallowing in the leftovers of a wonderful, way-too-busy summer, happy wedding memories, and some gorgeous Fall weather.

Our dot is now married to a most wonderful man, who brings with him a great family. The Fox Fam has been enlarged and enriched! This was an unexpected bonus to marrying off the kid. I had only thought in terms of her being married happily and moving all her stored stuff outta my house, finally. To have her find a man with a great family is an unexpected delight. Extra bonus, our son-her brother & the groom's sister were the officiants for the wedding. And as the son told people all summer, "I'm going marry my sister this September." And that he did, sorta, while wearing his beloved grandfather's re-tailored summer "ice cream" suit.

s&gwedding
s&gwedding

Friends were married the next week in Napa/St.Helena, California. They did so to give all us guests a present of being in Napa during the crush (when the grapes are picked and smashed for wine) and to let us discover this most amazing area. A most sublime-dreamy wedding it was.

Rubicon Vineyard
Rubicon Vineyard

Art in the Pearl, Portland. Wowsers! what a show. Its always our best and such a great way to end a summer. Its nice to finish a season with such an appreciative audience. We must jury into the show each year, so we cross our fingers and put our best images out there and hope the jury likes us, so we can it all again next year.

And speaking of the Art in the Pearl. What is wrong with this  picture?

What's the matter with this picture?
What's the matter with this picture?

This would be my broken right arm. Not a good thing for a right-handed metalsmith. I was running to a porta pottie switched directions quickly and my feet got way behind the rest of me. A curb & I met rather abruptly. Damn. Not my best move. It would have been so much better if I'd been in a bar fight.

I am one-armed for a few more weeks. And I must say its a raging bore. Each day tho' my right hand and arm sneak in to do more things that the left arm has been doing, so I should be back up to full strength soon.

My next show is a ways off, Local 14 in Portland, Oregon; October 14-17. I'll be there, with a reduced inventory, but there.

Hoo Boy!

Whatta summer. Its been 5 months of all out hurrying as we went from one show to the next, to 2 weddings, one at our home! First things first. We have recovered from our Des Moines blow-out.

I am again humbled and grateful for the friends we have. They supported us in all ways as we set about returning our booth to its full form. Without these friends we would have never made it through this summer. Here we are a mere 2 weeks after losing our booth in Des Moines back up and running at Salem Arts Festival here in Oregon.

Salem 2010
Salem 2010

My rings were even part of the massive I-5 freeway billboard. It's quite a surprise to see one's rings so BIG.

Salem 2010 billboard
Salem 2010 billboard

From there we went immediately to the Bellevue Arts Festival in Bellevue, Washington. This is a wonderful show, with some of my favorite artists. Extra bonus for us weather weary is that it is inside a parking structure that provides shade and protection from rain, hot sun, and winds!

Then it was on to Art in the High Desert - the show we put on with a group of local artists, here in Bend, Oregon. This is our baby and we had 3 weeks to put the final touches on it before welcoming this year's artists. We in our 3rd year and it gets better each year.

AHD 2010
AHD 2010

A week after Art in the High Desert we were at Art in the Pearl, in Portland, Oregon. This proved to be an eventful show in many ways for me. But more in the next blog.

Happy Fall, all. Sign up for my newsletter. Once Fall is well-under way I will be starting online sales and discounts! just for my mailing list clients. If you signed up at a show, you can wait for me to add you, or add yourself. My program, MailChimp eliminates all duplicates.

Thanks for a great summer!

Carla

Smack down in Des Moines

This last month was literally such a whirlwind of events I’m still spinning. It’s been a rough year for us with weather. Starting with the torrential rains at the Belleville Illinois show we traveled on to Des Moines, hoping for better days. Its one of our favorite shows, we love the town, the organizers are the best, and this year we had a great hosts with a beautiful art-filled home to stay with.


We set up our booth Friday morn, went home and showered and were ready to open it up at 2 pm when the show opened.  We had a great first day on Friday & went home happy to our hosts who had beer and snacks ready for us. We like being hosted.



In the middle of the night our cell phone rang and Stephen King the director told us our booth had flipped and though his staff was working to help out we probably should come down and see what we could do. What we found was a scrambled mess. A freak wind-rain storm snuck into Des Moines and wrecked havoc with the show. Four booths (one being ours) were flipped and the interiors twirled and tossed. The show staff had saved as much art and supplies as they could and moved them to a safe place. Fortunately for us our jewelry was with us and we didn’t have to worry about lost art. But the rest was lost. Our canopy has been torn, torqued, tossed and totaled. Much of our display is broken (all our glass), wet and ruined, scattered, or soaked.


The next day we unpacked all the things we had jammed in the van in the hurry of the night before and sorted through things, dried out what we could, threw away a bunch of things. And so it goes. This is a double hit for us as we have display and canopy to replace and we lost 2 days of income as we lost 2 days of sales. Sigh. We bid Des Moines a sad farewell and headed home to redo, replace, repair, remake our booth.


I must comment on the Des Moines Art Festival staff. They were there when the storm hit and were able to mitigate a lot of damage and ruin through their quick response to the storm. Without their actions things would have been so much worse. They stayed up all night helping out artists and were still up the next day, restoring tents, returning saved artwork to artists, checking weather reports. They also rented tents for all artists who lost theirs should they want to continue with the show. Kudos to DMAF! They were the best.

With the help of friends and fellow artists once home we pieced piecing back together as we have a full show schedule from now until September. And this has been the golden lining in all our troubles. We are surrounded with some of the best people in the world. It sounds hack-eyed, but knowing they are out there worrying, caring, cheering for us has made the recover so much easier. We made it to the Salem, Oregon with our “new” booth and display materials. At Bellevue, WA we were inside a parking garage out of the weather. Never has a parking garage looked so lovely. We are back up and running, still slightly twirled by events, but well on the road to full recovery.


Carla

Belleville, Illinois...hard part is getting there...... & back

But the in between was grand.

The house sitters were in place, the dog sent to the dot for a vacation, and we hit the road to Belleville, Illinois, just south of St Louis. For two weeks, Dave, the hub, had been giving me updates on the weather in St Louis. "It's in the 80's," he's been repeating. Sounds wonderful to me. I packed my accordingly, I was tired of a sloppy wet winter-spring.

As we pulled out of Bend on an overcast day I looked forward to driving into warmer dryer weather. Hey, we were heading south. I pulled on some early summer clothes hopped into the van and bid the house and studio a fond farewell. This is what we drove into.

SnowyWyoming
SnowyWyoming

In Laramie, Wyoming-May 12, 2010, they closed all south and east highways. With 500 miles a day to do, sitting on the edge of a snowy freeway was not in the game plan. But it was Mom Nature's plan. We joined a long line of trucks waiting for the freeway to be plowed and reopened. Sigh.

Our next decision was to go through Kansas or Nebraska? I voted for the southern route as it had to be drier and warmer, but as we checked we found that route had tornado warnings on. Nebraska it was.

No storm can cover a country from the west coast to the midwest, but seemingly this storm did or it was chasing us. We finally pulled into Belleville, Illinois Thursday eve in the rain. And so the weekend went. Rain, some clearing as a tease, and more rain.

Belleville rain
Belleville rain

The good news is that Belleville folks are no more intimidated by a little rain then they are  in the Pacific NW. The crowds were out, they loved the art, and best for us artists they bought. Hooray! Thank you Belleville. One can withstand a soggy show if company and appreciative clients abound. We were treated like royalty, given great food, show every hospitality by the 500+! volunteers and even awarded a prize for excellence that came with  $! This show rated as one of our best ever shows, even with the rain!

We packed up Sunday eve, damp, but happy and it was on to our next show. Problem is that it won't happen for 5 weeks and is in Des Moines, Iowa. We decided that the best thing to do was store the van with the booth and fly home. This good decision turned into a great decision when it rained the last few minutes as we loaded up and all our carefully dried out things got wet again.

Once in Des Moines we rented a storage unit, unpacked and re-dried off our booth and its various pieces, gave our hard-working van a run through a car wash and locked the door on it all.

drying out the booth
drying out the booth

Now we are thinking we're pretty clever folks. We've braved snow, freeway closures, tornado warnings, torrential rain, figuring out how to dry out and store a very wet booth, and we have our earnings and prize money in hand.

But wait....we're not home yet. We board a plane in Des Moines with a long stopover in the Dallas International Airport. While waiting to fly home we decide to have a meal & we both pick out a healthy, fresh, yummy salad, all sealed up in safe plastic. We arrive Tuesday eve and Wednesday morn Dave wakes me up to say he's not feeling so good. Hummmm. I'm fine....must be HIS problem. By Thursday its my problem too. A raging case of food poisoning hit us both. No details, ya'll been there, done that....but yegawds what a homecoming. We both took to our bed and I didn't pop back up for almost a week. Is this a result of feeling smug and clever, I dunno. But it sure took the starch outta my sails.

Happily we're all recovered, the rain is STILL coming down, its JUNE for gawd-sakes! and I'm back at the bench getting ready for Des Moines. We will reclaim our booth from the storage facility, repack our van, and go to downtown Des Moines and do it all over again.

I hope to see you there!

Etching sterling silver

Every once in a while someone comes into the booth, regards my jewelry and asks, "Are you making this with pmc?" NO, NEVER!!!! I want to shout, but I gulp and moderate it down to, "No, all my work is sterling silver and I do my own etching." Now if they are really foolish they will gaze again at my work and particularly my box clasps and tell me I should use pmc. I am usually less moderate with my next answer.

But what is PMC and why am I not happy when asked if I use it and even less happy when told I should use it? It is precious metal clay that is fine silver suspended in a clay medium. It has a great appeal to hobbyists and people without technical metalsmithing skills. I am neither. Once a piece is made in pmc it is fired and becomes (if done correctly) fine silver. I have "issues" with pmc but that is for another blog entry. Today it's about what I do to get the etched patterns on my pieces.

First, I always work in sterling silver because of its strength and its ability to accept patinas. Fine silver is not a strong metal and it won't take a patina. Etching sterling involves a vile chemical process that I have worked long and hard to perfect, plus it's just plan hard work. Stamping a design on a piece of  metal clay is easy. Etching is a several day process.

Because of the time involved I always do several sheets of sterling silver at one time. This means it's expensive too, so I go slowly as I don't want any mistakes. I do have sheets of etched silver that are just downright ugly and unusable. I have learned. My etching starts long before I ever don my acid gear and put on a respirator. First, I must create patterns that I want to etch into the sterling. This usually involves many drafts and finally I scan the final version into my computer where I employ both Photoshop and Illustrator to clean up the final artwork.

Doodle do etch art
Doodle do etch art

Raw artwork before cleaning  it up

Resist on silver
Resist on silver

I transfer that artwork  to a resist... something that the acid (or in my case ferric nitrate) cannot eat through. This step is perhaps the most important, as a good resist makes  a good etch. Once made the resist is carefully applied to my sterling sheets.If I should stop here and drop the metal in the ferric nitrate it would eat out what is unprotected, including the back of my sterling sheet. The next step is to protect the side edges and back of the pieces.

Then it is outside to set up the actually table and hardware to etch. Because of the nature of the chemical it is best to etch under a fume hood. I have none. I etch outside. This is sometimes a dilemma for me. Once the day I picked was the first over 100° day of the season. I stood outside in it all day in heavy acid gear. Another year it was cold and damp. Spring or Fall are my favorite seasons to etch, but I seem to run out of material in the winter and summer.

4 me in my gear
4 me in my gear

Here's me in my chemical gear and my etching set-up, on a moderate February day. I etched 8 sheets and it was a day long process, just to do the etching. The prep work was another day. But in the end it was all worth it. I have the etched sheets that I can make into wonderful jewelry.

3 etching set up
3 etching set up
Finished etch on the sterling
Finished etch on the sterling
Finished piece
Finished piece

And in case you are worried about the vile chemical that I am using. It is a salt, a component in fertilizer,  and I always keep track of it until I turn it over to the folks at the dump to depose of correctly.

Etching sterling silver is a long multi-step process. But I like doing it. I can put my own artwork in the metal, I love the varied textures, and it makes my work more personal, more a part of me. Its one of my hard-learned skills that I am proud to share and add to my jewelry.

Scottsdale Art Festival

I love Scottsdale, Arizona! Though we are back in the studio after a whirlwind trip to the southwest, we are still relishing our time there. We drove like demons to get there, had a grand time, and drove 2 long 12-hour days home, no time for site seeing this trip. The only blessing in this trip is we travel east of the Sierra. Its an incredibly beautiful side of California.

But in between the butt numbing driving, we were in heaven. We stayed with friends in their fully restored mid-century modern home. They are landscape designers so the house is a joy of great design both inside and outside. It was our own personal resort with wonderful hosts, who cooked for us and even did laundry! We were taken on a post show hike in the desert to work out the cricks before we had to climb back into our van for the 1250 mile trip home. This is a rare treat when your guides are so knowledgeable about the desert plants.

When not at our "resort" we were at the show where our booth is always an easy set up and take down. The Scottsdale show is set in a lovely park area, though we choose to stay in the parking lot. We love our "hood" as there are always great friends there as well as new friends to meet in our fellow artists. The weather this year was perfect! Not too hot, or cold, no winds, or rain.

But the best were our customers, both old and new. To quote Sally Fields, "You like me, you really really like me!" As an artist there is a lot of me in each of my pieces. I have spent much time designing, picking the right stones, pearls, walking away-coming back, redesigning, fabricating, finishing each of the pieces. Every time a piece of jewelry walks out of my booth with someone, it is a thrill. Customers take a little bit of me with them and I am always honored with each purchase. Eeeuuww, Enough! I'm getting sentimental.

What's next? Well, what isn't next? More commissions to complete. Some old, some new. The show we help organize in Bend, Art in the High Desert, is inviting artists for this year's show. I must send out invitations, and "sorry you're not invited"to 438 artists. Always an exciting time as well as sad, as I know how it feels to not be juried into a show. And our weather is springlike, so it's hard to stay inside. We want to try at least one more cross-country ski day before we dig out our road bikes and declare winter over.

Happy Spring top everyone.  Keep in touch.

New pieces

Today it's sunny and Spring-like outside. Its hard to be inside the studio. But when I go outside to walk the dog and enjoy the weather I get all sorts of great ideas and I want to curtail my walk to hurry back to the studio. No pleasing me.

I am working on some pieces I'm excited about. So like the kindergartener I am. Here's my show & tell for the day.

Unless otherwise noted this are my quick photos of the work. My photographer does a much better job. :-?

First I took my new favorite shape, the Zoa, and made it larger, and worked it on to a simpler, more elegant neckwire. Its hung on 3 strands of stainless steel wire. The hook & eye closure is made to go with the pendant. This particular pendant went home with a wonderful sculptor in Bellevue. I delighted she saw and loved it. Some pieces find the right home quickly.

Zoa_multi-strand_nckl
Zoa_multi-strand_nckl

And while I was at it, I made another Zoa pendant into a box clasp. Or a box clasp into a Zoa pendant. This a new direction for my usually rectangular box clasps. I love these white fresh water pearls.

Zoa Boxclasp
Zoa Boxclasp

This box clasp lead to another idea. What if I made multiple shapes and attached them all together. Would that work?

I think so.

BoxClasp Circles mookaite
BoxClasp Circles mookaite

The stones in this necklace come from Australia. One doesn't see Mookaite often but I'm quite fond of it.

All these pieces can be seen live and in person at my next show in Scottsdale, Arizona. Come by, say hello, and mention you read this blog and I'll give you a gift and maybe a hug.

Preparing for the next show

I'm currently getting ready for a rare February show. Rare because short of traveling to Florida there are few to none shows in the Pacific NW in the winter. But the Bellevue, Washington Art Museum folks (who also put on the Bellevue Museum Art Fair) have started a new show, just for jewelry: Indulge. Held a week before Valentine's Day it promises to be great fun. Plus the dot, Sarah is also one of the participating artists.

I've known about this show for months. I've known I need to get my inventory up after a very successful last show. So why am I now in the last few weeks working like crazy to build up my inventory when I could have done it at my leisure for several months? This seems to be a common thing for artists. While I beat myself up for not doing all things earlier, I wonder about this. And I've come up with a reason...that satisfies me for now.

For me, it takes a while to get into the groove of creating. Its a state of mind and will, and frankly once there its all-consuming. The rest of the world must wait while I create. It is not something I can switch on and off; I'm more like the little engine that could. It takes me a some time to get rolling.

I know Dave-the-hub, as well as myself would be much more relaxed if I did not approach work this way. But after years of trying to break out of this habit, I'm still in it. This seems to be an artist thing. Many friends complain of the same syndrome.

Our house is now adrift in the flotsam and jetsam of a show. We've pulled out the display pieces to sort and repair. Our old boxes have cracked and Dave purchased new purple ones to carry our traveling retail store from place to place.

Dave & display pieces & the dining room table.
Dave & display pieces & the dining room table.
new boxes
new boxes

The dog wanders amongst the piles. She's seen it all before. Her favorite thing is that she gets to sleep in the clean laundry that is not getting folded and put away.

Marley+laundry
Marley+laundry

And so it goes. I don't know whether I should be worried that I can't compartmentalize better so I can jump from task to task. Or I should thank my lucky stars that I can focus like a laser when I need to.

Whew! A new decade.

Look what happened while I was gone. A new decade has rolled over. I for one am happy to see this. The old decade was a hard one.

There can be only 2 reasons for such a long lag between posts on a blog. The writer has been to busy to post, or the writer has had nothing to post about. Fortunately I claim the former. October seems months ago...actually it WAS months ago. I could plead the rush of the holidays but that seems too easy.

My energies have been scattered as I've been working on multiple projects. My jewelry, commissions, Art in the High Desert, taking a class in Illustrator, making inventory for a gallery,  of course all the end of year celebrations, and my favorite-cross country skiing.

xc skiing_12_09
xc skiing_12_09

What's up next? In February, I will be at a wonderful new show in Bellevue, Washington: IndulgeSarah the dot, will be there too with her wonderful metal and felt jewelry. I've been working on some "man" jewelry in the form of cufflinks. I will be posting these on the site soon.

Here's to a brand new clean decade.

All the same, none alike

O's all different

For years I have tossed around an idea of making a series. I like the idea of a defining set of parameters within which you design and execute your art. I think it leads to something new and wonderful, though I'm not sure what. And I like that "not-sure" part.

Poetry is full of tightly limited creations. The sonnet is a poem of 14 lines with a formal rhyme scheme, and usually 10 syllables per line.  There’s not a lot of leeway to branch out. Yet English literature is filled with amazing poetry in sonnet form. The Japanese haiku (a poem of 17 syllables, in 3 line, of 5, 7, and 5) with a nature theme is something all children have worked on in schools often with delightful results. And of course, limericks are a wonderful example of how rigid limits can push creativity and humor to new and glorious heights.

Throughout history visual artists have also used a set of rules to corral and then turn-loose their creative muse.

Monet had his hay stacks.

Jim Dine-a contemporary painter, has a series on bathrobes and hearts.

Recently a friend, painter-Marla Baggetta, completed a series of 100 images of the same scene. It was her series that reinspired me to again look at doing a series.

Craft artists have also done series.

Pat Flynn has done a series of heart pins.

And one of my favorite series is Kiff Slemmons, Insectopedia. A series of bug pins, based on the alphabet. K is for Katydid.

Insectopedia-Kiff Slemmons



cmf-head-avatar Carla

Where are you?

Normally this time of year I am in Portland, Oregon at the Local 14 Show & Sale. This year I am not. For all those who are concerned it is because of something bad I assure you it is not. It is because of something good! I had a terrific show at Art in the Pearl, in Portland. I have very little inventory left.

I had September to restock after Art in the Pearl, but September was booked with other business that kept me from my workbench. Also there was a trip to Peoria, Illinois for a show artist/director conference. I gave 2 presentations as well as learned a lot from my fellow directors. It was great fun.

Afterwards I hurried home to ship promised work off to a gallery in Austin, Texas: Art on 5th. Now I really have nothing left. My goal for the next month is to complete a bunch of commissions, enjoy Fall in Central Oregon, keep biking, and watch the snow fall in the mountains.

And a bit of random humor. Maybe my life in Central Oregon is sheltered. While traveling I encountered a vending machine that offered a wide selection of items that I had never seen before in a vending machine, together. I was going for the M & M peanuts.


Vending machine




Vending machine choices















Carla

I'm still here

I just took a friend to task for not updating her blog more often. I told her to at least "grunt" in the direction of her readers so we'd know she's still out there, even if she too busy to post a full blown blog entry.

Consider this my "grunt." I'm looking up photos, I just returned from Peoria, Illinois from a conference of art show directors and artists, and am getting a shipment ready for a gallery.

I'm still here and kicking and more entries to make.

Carla