Monday, September 22, 2008

Wire Workshops in Alpena, Michigan this weekend

I'm offering a wire workshop series in Alpena, Michigan this weekend at Art in the Loft!
If you live in the midwest, this is the ideal opportunity for you to join me in a live workshop. It's my last opportunity to teach in the area this year.
On Friday, I'm teaching my popular Biker Chick Bangles workshop, which is one of four bangle designs featured on my DVD, Bohemian Bangles. After lunch we'll tackle Hoops & Triangles Earrings (pictured above).
On Saturday, I'm teaching my 10 Trippy Tricks 1 workshop.
On Sunday, it will be 10 Trippy Tricks 2.
I hope to see some of you there!
For information, contact Art in the Loft at 989 356-4877.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Class at Brea Bead Works this Sunday!

If you're in the Southern California area this weekend, check out the workshop I'm teaching on Sunday at Brea Bead Works.
"Convertible Jewelry" is a great how-to class, because we accomplish so many things in so little time. I start everyone with the basics, and then quickly build upon your skills from there. I teach you how to make beautiful S-clasps, handmade jump rings, heavy-gauge twisted wire jump rings, bead connectors, and bead dangles on headpins.
Next, we assemble our jewelry components—all of which are useful in many other jewelry designs—into a long necklace that easily "converts" into a short necklace and bracelet set. In a sense, you get three jewelry pieces in one, besides gaining a wealth of wireworking skills in the process.
Every student will walk out of the class with a finished jewelry piece. You are welcome to use copper wire instead of sterling silver if you prefer. Do consider using sterling silver wire, however, because lately the price has come down significantly, making it a very affordable art material for everyone.
If you're interested in this workshop, which runs from 10 am to 5 pm this Sunday, be sure to contact Brea Bead Works immediately and sign up. Call 714 671-9976.
The class is limited to 12 participants. I hope to see YOU there!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ties that Bind Update

In a previous post (August 11), I shared an opportunity with my blog readers to contribute a handmade charm to a collaborative art project called Ties That Bind. The idea is to get lots of contributions that can be used on an art doll that will be auctioned off soon; all proceeds from this auction benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. You can read more about the project organizer's mission statement and get lots of helpful information by visiting their blog.
I really like this project and was honored when the organizers asked me to participate. Now that my charm is finished and ready to ship, I thought I'd update everyone with the latest info.
If you want to participate in this charitable endeavor, there's still time—just barely! They really need your donated charms by the end of this month (September). All you need to create is a little charm of some sort, with or without beads, made with any media, but with something on it that makes it easy to attach to a larger artwork (a handmade art doll).
Please send your donation to:
Ties That Bind
c/o Jan Brown
17 Otterbein Drive
Lexington OH 44904
Thanks so much, everybody! Together we can find a way to detect this insidious disease and save lives.

I've been framed!

Who are these ladies, looking at my necklace?
OK, I admit it, this photo is a fake! Sadly, you won't find any of my art jewelry featured in your nearest museum of modern art... At least not today.
While Web surfing around this evening into the late hours (I love visiting other artists' blogs and Web sites), I found a cool site called Dumpr. It allows you to choose a template or "effect," such as the one I chose ("your photos in art museums!") and upload one of your photos to it. Push a button and, presto, your photo is transformed into this layout that at first glance really could be taken for the real thing.
I thought it was fun. Thanks to fabulous artist Di Overton at for sharing such a terrific Web toy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bonnie & Jane's Necklaces

Bonnie Mincu and Jane Rieck are good friends from NYC who visited me last weekend for a Wild Wire Women Retreat. In my previous post, I showed you Jane's beautiful Ethnic Doves Necklace, which she made on Saturday during my Ethnic Coin Necklace workshop. Instead of using coins, Jane opted for copper dove pieces she had purchased at Metalliferous in NYC. She also altered the doves with hammering and texturing techniques before attaching them with copper tacks to handmade wire links (as demonstrated in close-up detail on my DVD, Ethnic Style Jewelry Workshop with Sharilyn Miller).
Jane's friend Bonnie, who is a very talented painter (check out her Web site), was another student who was just too creative to follow the usual pattern for my Ethnic Coin Necklace. She incorporated coil-wrapped beads (she made the gorgeous red beads you see here using multiple colors of polymer clay) and a big turquoise pendant, as well as the wire links and bead wraps we had learned on Friday during my 10 Trippy Tricks 2 workshop.
I just had to share these with you, I'm so PROUD of my talented students!
ps My next retreat in Idyllwild will be held October 30-November 3 and has two openings. Be sure to contact me if you're interested in attending!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An Ethnic Doves Necklace

Jane Rieck, one of my Wild Wire Women participants this past weekend, made a beautiful copper "Ethnic Doves Necklace" yesterday, and I just had to share it with you.
Jane is a very talented artist, and although she started out this weekend a relative newcomer to wire-art jewelry, she quickly learned how to use her pliers, wire and metal pieces to make this beautiful jewelry piece. I usually teach this workshop as a coin necklace, but Jane had purchased some lovely doves from Metalliferous in New York, NY (her home town), and wanted to use them in her design in leu of foreign coins. I'm thrilled with the results of her efforts!
Over the weekend, five of us explored some of the possibilities of wire jewelry as I taught my 10 Trippy Tricks 2 workshop, the Ethnic Coin Necklace workshop (also available on my DVD, Ethnic Style Jewelry Workshop), and today we made big wire bangles, woven wire embellishments for a pendant, and various earring designs.
We also used liver of sulfur to artificially age our jewelry pieces and learned how to polish metal jewelry. Oh, and we ate great food, did a little shopping, drank some wine with our pizza, watched a movie, and had a few laughs.
A terrific weekend retreat, I must say! I enjoyed every second of it, and now I'm just sad that it's over.
My next Wild Wire Women retreat will be held October 30-November 3, and has two openings. If you're interested in participating, be sure to contact me.
Check out my Web site for more info:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Crazy Girls' Night Out

So what are these girls up to? It's just a crazy girls' night out before our Wild Wire Women retreat begins tomorrow. Why are they hiding???
Pictured from left: Bonnie, Jane, Brenda and Barbra (the brave one with the pretty smile)
I found out that one of my workshop participants, Bonnie Mincu, is a very talented oil painter. Check out her Web site by clicking here!
Tomorrow after breakfast we'll explore the world of wire-art jewelry through my 10 Trippy Tricks 2 workshop, learning lots of great ways to wrap beads and make links and charms.
On Saturday, we jump right into the fun stuff: the Ethnic Coin Necklace workshop, as featured on my latest DVD, Ethnic Style Jewelry Workshop with Sharilyn Miller.
We'll finish our weekend on Sunday with more fun workshops and I hope to get in a photography session, too. We'll also have time to use liver of sulfur and polish our jewelry in a tumbler—something every wire artist should know how to do.
It's too much fun for one weekend, and it all begins tomorrow. I look forward to blogging about our adventures over the next few days. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wild Wire Women Retreat begins tomorrow!

It's the night before my next Wild Wild Women retreat begins in my mountain home in Idyllwild, California, and Rosie is getting ready to receive our guests. Now that I've cleaned house from top to bottom, she's made herself very much at home on one of the guest beds. Naughty of her, but she loves napping on the guest beds!
Tomorrow afternoon, four guests will arrive and we'll spend the evening getting acquainted over dinner and wine at my favorite restaurant on "the hill": Cafe Aroma. On Friday we'll take our first workshop together, 10 Trippy Tricks, followed by the Ethnic Coin Necklace on Saturday. On Sunday, I'm teaching an earrings workshop plus Bangle Bracelets and the Spider Weave Pendant. An ambitious itinerary, to be sure, but I'm very excited about the upcoming weekend.
If you would like to participate in a retreat this year, I have two more coming up: October 30-November 3 (two openings) and December 11-15 (four openings). For more detailed information, click here.
To reach me with questions, email
I'm going to do my best to blog about our progress over the weekend. Check back often for updates!