Saturday, October 01, 2011

ArtBliss Creations with Jane Salley and Diane Cook (and Zack)

This past weekend I went to a jewelry retreat called ArtBliss.  Now, jewelry workshops make me nervous.  I am not a quick learner, and once I *do* learn something, I tend to buy all the stuff needed to make the whoozee whatzit and then never touch it again. 


This time, however, there was a class on etching with Jane Salley and a glass on copper tape soldering with Diane Cook, and these are two techniques I've always wanted to learn how to do.  So I braved my fears, because this time, I was going to be making something not just for myself, but for my son.



My first class was with Jane Salley and I was a lucky girl to have a small class -- Sally Russick and I were the only students which was a blessing in disguise for me because I really needed the extra time and hand-holding.  Sally is wonderful, and she had pink streaks in her hair, so I knew we'd bond.


The project was to make a "Mystery Window Pendant".  We took bare sheets of copper, stamped them, etched them, filed them, cut a hole in one, filed a pipe, decorated the back of the pipe, covered it with mica, and attached it all with long thin screws.  Simple, right?



I started my first treasure box by cutting a vintage map with our town name on it, and then tossed in some tiny blue beads (for water) and some watch gears (for time) and let them move freely -- shake the treasure box and things will move.  A stamped brass label with "HOME" on it said all I wanted it to say ... home is where you're loved.


The second treasure box caused Zack to say, "MOM!  I'm impressed!" -- and I have to say, I was really thrilled with it.  The stamp and the etch turned out just wonderfully, and even though the subject matter is super-simple, it works.  I used the front of a greeting card I received from Jennifer Cameron for the background, and then filed down the back of a tiny bird to fit into the box.  Zack loves birds, and when we go kayaking, he can spot them and name them correctly far better than I can.  So here we have Zack's Bird Box.


It looks so much better in person, because the mica doesn't work well with cameras, but you'll have to trust me on this one.


These boxes have depth, and you can make one a pendant by hooking jump rings on the top screws.  These, however, are going to stay the way they are -- little treasures for Zack to hold onto and to be passed on as time goes by.


The next day came Diane Cook's "Believe" Soldered Pendant Necklace class.   I thought the name was apt because in addition to wanting to believe I could finally learn to solder, I'm also at a crossroads in my life and have a lot of believing to do.  So this class was both for me AND for Zack.


I started out making a very personal pendant for myself.  The back of it is a private written message to myself, a list of things to strive towards, and a photo of a "door to destiny".  That side is not at all a pretty side, but that's ok.  It's the side that stays next to my skin, and finding your way is rarely pretty.   The front, however, I made out of another greeting card a blog reader sent me, some vintage paper, and words that I need to remember every day -- "embrace living".


And then another view.


But by far the most important thing for me to make was Zack's worry stone.  He drew some of his abstract art for me, and I added a heart and the word "dream" so he will always know that dreams are attainable for him.  I begged Diane to finish this one up for me because these little glass bubbles are HARD to hold onto and I nearly ended up with it solder-side-down on my lap more than once.

He LOVED it, and I hope he treasures it as something he and I made together, even though we were miles apart.

A slight aside -- I've been reading Zack the book "Wonderstruck" by Brain Selznik, and in this book we've learned about museum boxes, curio boxes that sort of predated huge full-room exhibits.  So I decided to start a museum box of sorts for Zack.

Now we just needed to find a proper box, a curio box he could take out and look at and add to and enjoy.  I'd previously bought some of these printer trays....


and we picked one and turned it into this...


I have dreams of Zack filling up these printer trays with all kinds of things we find and make together.  Even though I spent a weekend away from my little guy, my mind wasn't far from him.  I know he'll grow older and need me less, but my hope is things like this -- reading a book and then making it come to life -- will stick with him forever.


Photobucket


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and wrote the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene and is the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.


52 comments:

  1. what a nice post! and i love love love what you made!

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  2. Oh my, what wonderful work you did. So beautiful. So many amazing ideas. I'm glad you had such a terrific art weekend.

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  3. you know, i am so very thrilled... there is so much apprehension before taking on something new... with the right teachers (which you had) you learn, gain confidence and blossom... your pieces are wonderful - heartfelt and beautiful... great job!

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  4. Those are wonderful little treasure boxes Lori - Zack is a lucky boy.

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  5. I'm one who needs their hand held on anything I'm not familiar with. This is one of the reasons I hesitate to take a class--the fear that the instructor will talk about me for weeks after.

    I love that your pieces were created for a special purpose. Everything you made is just beautiful!

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  6. ok...i'm going back to read the post but i almost choked on my pineapple when i saw your new picture..i am even more convinced i am ESP ing my thoughts to you..i saw this picture of you on Cindy's blog and loved it.. and i was going to send you a note...now i don't have too :) LOL k i'm going to read the post now!

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  7. Hi Lori, i love everything you made and i love even more how your thoughts of Zack inspired you...now that my Jack is going to be 16 on the 10th your stories of Zack really make me think of memories of Jack when he was Zack's age...and no worries they will always need there mama's even if it might be a bit less as they grow.
    Thanks for sharing your amazing time! ttfn Lana p.s. hope ur feeling better :)

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  8. So gorgeous...those mystery window's! I think you will be tempted to pick up those tools once again for sure. I've had the same apprehension with soldering too I think a class would be a great idea.

    Such a sweet picture of Zack too :-)
    ~Angie

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  9. Everything you created is just fantastic. The memory boxes are awesome-I so want to learn to make one! You really do put a lot of yourself into your creations. It makes them all that more special and inspiring! I also love that you read and create with your son-you two clearly have a very special bond.

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  10. What an amazing time you had, and such beautiful artwork you made! The treasure boxes and worry stone are awesome, and I'm sure Zack can see what a fantastic Mom he has!

    :)

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  11. Dang Lori, you made me cry all the way thru! Each and every part of this post was just beautiful. I was already way jealous of all the wonderful things everyone's posted about ArtBliss, then you had to go show me those lovely treasure boxes! And Zack's memory box, how cool is that?? Oh, I'm so thrilled for you with those pendants, they are....ok, I just don't have any more adjectives. So there, now I'm speechless and crying! :)

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  12. You did it! These are lovely!!!

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  13. I have a feeling those boxes you made and the curio box are going to be more treasured by him than you could ever imagine. Glad you enjoyed your classes!

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  14. It sounds like you had a great time and you made some wonderful keepsakes and pendants! It will be so much fun for you and Zack to work on the curio/treasure boxes.

    I wouldn't worry about being slow. I've taken a lot of classes and I'm pretty slow myself. And it's sometimes weeks, months, or even longer before I begin to practice any techniques I learned. I've taken a weeks worth of workshops for the last two years at Adorn Me and I'm only just now beginning to develop my own style with the techniques. Sometimes I feel like my brain is exploding with ideas from the things I'm learning, but it takes a while to find my own style with the techniques.

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  15. Love the new pic!

    Awesome pieces! I wish that where I live offered classes.

    I do the same thing-get excited about a project, jump right in and buy everything i need, and then nada...crickets, lol.

    I've been meaning to send you an email but I'll drop a note here. For inspiration I got out some old copies of my BeadStyle mags...as I'm flipping through who do I see?? You missy! It was a tut for your copper wreath earrings that you did for the magazine. At first I only saw your name, and thought it sounded awfully familiar, but then i saw the pic and realized it was you. :) So fun how we are all connected.

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  16. Oh, Lori... I read this with tears in my eyes. I hope as Zack grows older, he'll look back at these tiny treasures with a big smile on his face and love in his heart. If nothing else, I hope he knows his mama looooooooves him!

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  17. Anonymous9:37 PM

    Absolutely precious! You brought tears to my eyes.........

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  18. "Mom, I'm impressed.". There is no greater compliment! I love your son.

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  19. Lori when you write I read each and every word. I enjoy your posts so much. First off I love your new avatar...you are beautiful! Next how fabulous your classes must have been. I have been wanting to learn both of these techniques and yours turned out amazing. How special you made them for Zack to always treasure and know what a great bond your share. Blissful art to you...

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  20. The pieces you created are gorgeous! But the story behind them is really tugging my heart strings. Kudos to a wonderful person and a great mom.

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  21. How fun that you had a wonderful weekend of art! Loved the post and all the creations you and Zack created. How great that you and your son have such a love for creating.
    TFS

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  22. Love your new profile picture. What a beautiful smile.

    What luck to have such a small class. Wish I was there with you. The pendants are little works of art with so much heart and soul.
    I already know Zack is a budding artist and he is so lucky to have you there to cultivate it.
    Big Hug to you both.

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  23. These look GREAT and I love, love, love the happy, smiling Lori back at the top of the page! ~~T

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  24. Those are amazing- I love every one of your metal creations!. I have a lust for copper and your etchings on the first two pieces are wonderful. I have got to try this. I've been searching for good turtorials as I can't afford to take classes at this time. You have re-ignited my fire! Thank you.
    I think you are an outstanding Mom and Zack will never forget that! Things like that can never be replaced because they come directly from your heart.

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  25. Wow Lori, those are amazing! What an amazing weekend you had, good for you.

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  26. You made some very cool stuff! Keep going with it.

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  27. Lori, I love the pieces you created, but I especially how you write blog posts that will live on and on in time, like this one. Who says the Internet is only about rants and ephemera?

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  28. Totally beautiful creations, absolutely beautiful

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  29. Wow. what an incredible post; everything you made is compelling and beautiful, and i Want one- LOL!!
    someday i want to learn to make these. And how cool you share so much with your son.

    PS: I really enjoyed reading your feature in Bead Trends. yay!;)
    tara

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  30. Girl... what an amazing artist you are!!! Wow! I've got you bookmarked missy--- I'll be back to stalk you, er um.... see what you've posted lol

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  31. Did you change your blog? It seems brighter and your photo's are really popping. Maybe it's just me. Either way, it looks great!

    Your pieces are wonderful! I don't like to take classes either. I don't do well in big group settings. I am better with a book, and figure out on my own, or one on one. I take a while to figure stuff out too.

    Love love your printer drawers. My mom bought one like 15 years ago, and I ended up claiming it for myself some time ago. I put my on the wall and fill it with all my bottles of ink and such. Just love it. I have always wanted to get more and do what you did with them.

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  32. Fantastic pieces, maybe we will be in class next year or before!!!

    Sandi

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  33. I liked this post it is so positive. Those little treasure boxes are just too clever. Be Blessed to be a blessing

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  34. Oh this post brought tears to my eyes ... I have two wonderful boys, and being able to make things with them (and for them) is just about the most special kind of project a crafty mom can undertake. These pendants are so lovely ... I'm sure he will treasure them always as a reminder of his brilliant, beautiful mom and all the love she has for him.

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  35. looks like you had a lovely time lori! i love the boxes at the beginning. so lovely! thanks for sharing.

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  36. Lori, I loved that we both had pink streaks in our hair! I was surprised we were able to finish with all the talking the three of us were doing! I enjoyed the class so much! Your soldered pendants turned out so great and the worry stone with Zach's artwork is wonderful!

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  37. p.s. I just love love love the felted mushroom, and the pendant next to it. Okay..lvoe all the stuff you made.

    But I have wanted to learn to felt. Just not enough hours in the day. There is an artist on etsy that makes tiny tiny felt animals that litterally stand on the tip of her finger. Crazy small! But so awesome.

    Anyways. Have no idea how you do everything you do. I swear you must never sleep.

    also, i got the most lovely thank you card in the snail mail this week. I don't know the last time I got a handwritten thank you card. It was such a nice surprise :)

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  38. Your pieces are wonderful! Such a beautiful post as well!

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  39. Lori! All of those pieces are great. I'm sure you had a fabulous time while creating these items for Zack. I'm sure he will treasure them forever knowing that his mom made them just for him. How special!

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  40. ~*Lori, these pieces are so cool and heart warming!!!
    I really love the little treasure boxes! GREAT WORK!*~

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  41. those are beautiful! I've done a soldering class before but now I want to learn etching! :) Those boxes are beautiful. I loved that you made such great gifts for your son as well.

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  42. I am so impressed - there is so much you have learned and you did pretty good.
    I had to smile about your post because I am also kind of hunter and gatherer collecting everything I can find and coming always home with something: feathers, stones, glass chips, wood ....... not to speak about wanting to buy everything after a class ☺.

    I am so jealous some times that you have so many art teachers in US, I wished we had them here too.

    Have a great beginning of the week and enjoy the new knowledge, I am sure your boxes will be filled soon with lots of treasures.
    xxxoxx Manuela

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  43. What a beautiful post and beautiful treasures you and Zack created, my friend!

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  44. I love the project you did with your son! What an awesome idea! he's so artistic too...it's great y'all do stuff together like that. he will always remember it!!
    Thanks so much for joining me for Pearls and Lace Thursday!
    Have a great week!
    Doni

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  45. The treasure boxes are so beautiful Lori. Zack is very lucky to have such a special mum. So glad you had a wonderful time in the classes you took.

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  46. WoW!
    I am in LOVE, LOVE, LOVE with your little treasure boxes. I think the little bird one you made for Zack is awesome! You are one talented Lady.

    Thanks for always taking the time to stop by my blogs and for leaving a comment. Much appreciated.

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  47. Thanks for the great comment on my blog earlier. It is much appreciated.

    I love that you're an Outlander fan. It always makes me smile to see someone else who loves, loves, loves that series.

    I took a look at your good reads profile. It looks like we share some similar interests.

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  48. Beautiful Lori, love your post. Your son is too precious, and the love that went in to your projects shines through. How fun, and what excellent instructors! I must say! Hugs, Riki

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  49. These are beautiful! I love "Dream" by Zack! The colors really appeal to me!

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  50. Oh, Lori! I love how beautiful every single piece is but I love the personalization even more. I am honored to be included in something so special for Zack. It almost makes me cry...especially after some of the garbage that's happened this week. Thank you for making sure I saw this.

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  51. love the Xmas earrings

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  52. Those are all so cool and now I'm even sadder that I couldn't stay and attend. Is it on the same weekend every year?

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