2014 Workshops

I just now finished updating my website listing my 2014 workshops. I’m thrilled to be traversing the country to show all the amazing techniques and art making that can be done with ICE Resin, Iced Enamels, bezels, metal sheet, wire and a handful of good tools to make the magic happen. I’ll be on the West Coast, Pacific Northwest, Florida and the two times in the Midwest this year. I’m also thrilled to be teaching 3 of the four CREATE Mixed Media Art Retreats this year, including two new locations Dallas, Texas and Seattle, Washington.

For those of you who ALWAYS attend the fabulous Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee every year, I have some brand new workshops for this event as well. I’m teaching how innovative your jewelry can look when you make your focals from wire, resin and paper. These pieces seem so delicate that people often ask if they hold up with wear. Heck yes! This is a playful workshop where students will learn to not only create basic shapes with wire, but see how easy it is to hand sculpt dimensional forms. All you need to know is exactly where to bend the wire, and I’ll be the helpful guide! I’ll be talking more about this on my blog and show some other images that I’ve created with wire, resin and paper. Instructors are only allowed to upload one image for the Bead and Button classes so that’s why all you see are the earrings. Trust me, this class has legs!


There are so many classes to choose from at Bead and Button that it can be a little hard to find the instructors you are looking for. Here is a direct like to my workshops: Cold Enameled Cuff * Cheerful Charms * Layers and Depth * Mix Your Media; Resin, Wire and Paper

For the CREATE retreats, my Links, Clasps, Components and Chain class comes from my students who last year requested that I teach how to finish off their beautiful resin pendants with some of my organic wireworking techniques. I’m truly psyched to teach this workshop because, honestly, twisting and bending wire into components feels like play to me and not work. It’s so meditative once you get into the rhythm of wirewrapping that I often sit cross legged on my sofa with a small piece of wood on my lap for a table top, my Wubbers pliers, snips and a roll of wire while I watch a movie with my family. I make a pile of components and then finish them off later in my studio with my hammer and steel bench block to give clasps, especially, a bit of work hardening or a little bit of torch work where I want to draw a bead. Take a look at the PR Interweave put out this week announcing that registration of Chicago is now open. Love the honor of being among this particular company of artists — Jane LaFazio, Helen Schafer Garcia and my dearest Kari McKnight Holbrook.



This is just a little taste. To learn more, head on over to my website and click on the Workshops page. You can scan the different venues. Remember, sign ups for Milwaukee and Chicago are going on right now. Space is limited!








Teaching in Tucson

Gearing up for Tucson starting this weekend and my upcoming classes. Here’s a quick round up of what I’m teaching starting Friday Feb. 7th and running through Monday Feb 10th. If you are planning on attending the To Bead True Blue Show, or any of the more than 20 gem and mineral and jewelry shows that take over the city this time every year, please be sure to stop by our booth to take a look at our art samples and new ICE Resin/Art Mechanique and Rue Romantique products just released for 2014!


We’ll be exploring the wondering of Cold Enameling in Tucson making a wrist full of Iced Enamel charms in my colorful boho bangle. Students will learn forging heavy gauge wire, shaping metal, annealing, patina, wirewrapping, cold enameling and filling bezels with ICE Resin. This is a fun piece of jewelry to wear. It always gets attention when I wear my colorful bangles. Not just a project-based class, the techniques can be translated to all types of metalwork.


Breaking Out of the Bezel is a fun workshop I developed right after I did some piece for my Designer Showcase Spring 2013 for Belle Armoire Jewelry. I love love love casting in resin and I want to show how ICE can be used as a structural elements for layers. I decided a while ago that I wanted my bezels to have form with cast components looking like they are springing free or bursting forth from the confinement of their bezels. I added some quirkiness and humor to the pieces just to make them fun, but these techniques can go from romantic to moody depending on the objects/colors and compositions chosen.


Speaking of sculptural forms, the combination of wire and resin paper is magical. You can make the most stunning, three-dimensional mixed media pieces using these techniques. Students will walk away with multiple pairs of earrings.


This class Layers and Depth is another one of my faves. It’s advanced resin techniques showing how to build up color and imagery to create focals and pendants that are all original works of art. I’ll also be showing how to mix chain and fibers and how to create connections, components and clasps to pull it all together.

There’s still time to sign up for my workshops, as well as Susan’s and Linda’s and Kristen’s at To Bead True Blue. Hop on over to ICE Resin to take a peek and learn more.

Tucson registration open

If you adore making jewelry then you know that Tucson, Arizona is the place to be in February with all the shows that pop up in hotels and tents from one end of town to the other. I’ll be teaching ICE Resin, metalworking and mixed-media jewelry workshops again this year at the To Bead True Blue show. Susan is teaching some killer enameling workshops this year where students will not only play with both hot and cold enameling, but will also create Talisman shapes that will be the base for color. Linda McNulty, Susan’s sister and an amazing encaustic artist, is teaching encaustic jewelry techniques that can be translated to all mixed-media from collage and assemblage to jewelry. Kristen Robinson is also at the show teaching how to make some of the loveliest adornments using her Rue Romantique line.

Jen Cushman Breaking Out of the Bezel

One of my brand new workshops for 2014 that I’m really excited about is Breaking Out of the Bezel. You know how much I love making molds from found objects and casting them in ICE Resin. While it’s been awesome to see my students walk out with so many cool components to use in their work, I decided it was time to take the workshop up a notch and teach some intermediate to advanced resin techniques to create truly unique and dimensional finished works of wearable art. I am seriously so jazzed about this workshop that February can’t get here quickly enough!

I’ll be talking about and showing art samples of all my Tucson workshops on my blog over the next few days. However, I wanted to start getting the word out that registration is going on now. We’ve set a smaller student number on workshops so be sure to take a look. If you’re interested, I suggest you go ahead and sign up rather than waiting. When they’re filled, they’re gone.

Here’s wishing you a joyous weekend! I’m sure most of you are attending holiday parties or involved in family events, as I am. This means no time in the studio for real work, but it’s OK. Tis’ the season!

A few thoughts on teaching and CREATE

My buddies and fellow  CREATE instructors - Joanne Sharpe and Kristen Robinson. Pic by Kari McKnight Holbrook.

My buddies and fellow CREATE instructors – Joanne Sharpe and Kristen Robinson. Pic by Kari McKnight Holbrook.

Humanity exists because of the stories we share. It is in the telling and sharing of our stories that we know we are not alone…that we are loved, that we are one and the same despite our differences. These are things I know to be true, but that I am reminded of every time I leave the house to teach at an art retreat and then return home to ponder the events and interactions of the week.

There were a number of profound moments this time at CREATE in Chicago.  There were students who read and follow my blog whom I was able to talk to face to face. I felt a familiar connection, a bond that exists in person and not just something that often feels like I’m having a one-way conversation. Moments that reminded me that when I sit here alone in my studio and write words into the wildness of the Internet that, indeed, someone somewhere is really reading.

Kristen Robinson and myself shared the same teaching room all week at CREATE. It was amazing because she assisted me in my classes and I did the same for her. These were her lovely paintings during my Art Journal Jewelry workshop. Kristen was busy with meetings and other things but she did sit down to paint for a little while, which made me so happy!

Kristen Robinson and myself shared the same teaching room all week at CREATE. It was amazing because she assisted me in my classes and I did the same for her. These were her lovely paintings during my Art Journal Jewelry workshop. Kristen was busy with meetings and other things but she did sit down to paint for a little while, which made me so happy!

There was an amazing woman who took my classes who lost her beloved only two weeks ago, but who still had the courage to come be amongst others despite her grief and shock. She was in my class the first day and I noticed her quietness. By the end of the retreat and the last class I taught Saturday night, she was a bubbly, smiling person. I made a comment about how wonderful it was to see her talking so easily amongst the other students in the class. She responded by saying that was her true nature and how thrilled she was that she listened to her heart and came to make art anyway. I couldn’t help but keep watching her out of the corner of my eye and smiling a deep, satisfied smile that I felt in my soul knowing that I was witnessing bravery and baby steps of moving forward.

I met another woman in my art journal jewelry workshop who has faced cancer three different times and won every single battle. Her limp is testament to her bravery. She shared her smile, spirit and art so readily with the class, and I was touched to hear her story and see the intuitive imagery that came from her mind and hands.

Most of my students took their ICE Resin pieces home with them after the Ready, Set, Resinate class but these are the ones that left them to dry.

Most of my students took their ICE Resin pieces home with them after my sold out Ready, Set, Resinate workshop, but these are the ones that left them to dry. That’s a lot of beautiful pendants there!

And then there was the group of girlfriends who are all art retreat pros. These ladies are the epitome of “been there, done that”. They cracked me up with the stories they shared and their true love for one another. The last thing they said to me is a simple, universal truth. There are few things in life better than one’s girlfriends. For them the art was secondary.  It’s all about making shared memories so they can re-tell and share their stories for years to come. As we parted ways,  I had to smile because I know for sure that in the future my name will come up and a small piece of me will live on with them.

An absolutely stunning piece Maria, a student, made in m Art Journal Jewelry workshop. This is before ICE Resin was poured into it and made it 'pop"!

An absolutely stunning piece Maria McGuire of Stencil Girl Products made in my Art Journal Jewelry workshop. This is before ICE Resin was poured into it and made it ‘pop”! Maria shared her story too. Right before CREATE, she sent her baby off to collage at ASU. Here is her personalized piece representing her now grown-up boy.

I decided to write a much different blog post today than I originally planned. Rather than a straight forward wrap up, I wanted to acknowledge what it is about the art retreats that keeps me doing it. It’s the moments in between. The spaces where I get to connect with strangers who — in an instant — I recognize as members of my tribe because we’re there for the same reasons, the same interests. It’s getting to see and hear and learn and grow from other artists. It’s for the time during class where I’m able to impart something…be it a technique, in inspiring image, a small tip or a story of my own that makes sense in the moment.  It’s for the times when I get to be quiet and witness the authentic interaction between two people and know that, in those moments, life is being lived fully by all involved.

I teach because it’s how I learn best right now to be a better human being, a more patient parent, a more giving spouse, a kinder friend..a more well-rounded artist. What I get in return is a thousandfold more than I give.

Love these pieces created in class. The pink and green happy colors makes me grin!

Great pieces created in class. The pink and green happy colors makes me grin and I love the quote “You are the result of the love of thousands.” That sums up the way I feel when I return home to my family after teaching.

Art Affirmation and CREATE

I leave tomorrow morning for the CREATE Chicago mixed media art retreat. I know you’ve been hearing me say that for the past week, but the time has finally come. I spent Saturday morning this past weekend having a painting playdate with my daughter and making some new samples for my Art Journal Jewelry workshop. I was recently chatting with my sister, Patti Stanley, who’s an intuitive/medium, about all the various amazing possibilities and opportunities that are happening in the universe right now. I feel so blessed that I almost want to burst wide open with happiness. She gave me a new affirmation to visualize from now until the Emmy’s. I immediately wrote it down on a sticky note, but then I decided to incorporate it into a piece of artwork to remember it more easily. Here it it:

Jen Cushman Art Journaling Painting

This is truly something I wish for all of us, and the world at large: To expand in abundance, success and love…every day..and to inspire others to do the same. I’ll be back next week with a CREATE round up. For now, here’s wishing you an amazing day.

Packing for CREATE Chicago

CREATE 2013 I'm Teaching ButtonToday I’m finishing up all of my class kits and packing my supplies to send to CREATE Chicago for next week’s retreat. As I’m packing and assembling the words “All resin, all the time” keep drifting through my brain. Seriously, I hope it’s still a hot summer in the midwest because I know there’s going to be a lot of ICE to cool down the Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine mixed media art retreat. (Forgive my attempt at a bad pun. grin!) l

Of course, I love love love teaching our new Cold Enameling program with Iced Enamels™ and ICE Resin®. Gotta love mold making and casting — a class based on my Breaking Out of the Mold dvd.  I’m thrilled my Ready, Set, Resinate class is sold out too.

But the workshop I’m most looking forward to this time is Art Journal Jewelry because it’s based on brand new work I was doing quietly last year in my studio. The thing I most love about the process is that it gets me deeply re-rooted in mixed-media surface design. I began my art career by playing with inks and paints, stamps and textures, mark-making and simple line drawings. I’m now in the process of re-incorporating these things into my resin jewelry work, and it makes my heart sing! My students next week will be the first to get a peek into my process, and I’m thrilled to share.


If you are in the Chicagoland area next week, please stop by and say hello. If you’re home still enjoying the last days of summer, then all I can say is good for you! Whatever you’re doing, I hope its Artful.

Winding down Art Unraveled

Today is the last day of the week long mixed-media art retreat in my hometown of Phoenix called Art Unraveled. I’ve been teaching three workshops and checking in with Misty Grosse, booth manager for ICE Resin, each day as she’s been running the on site jewelry store for AU and doing such a great job!. I’ve also been catching up and spending a few moments here and there with my amazing mixed-media artist friends – Seth Apter, Kari McKnight Holbrook, Pam Carriker, Leighanna Light, Thomas Ashman, Lesley Riley, Joanne Sharpe, Richard Salley, Mary Beth Shaw, Deryn Mentock, Kathy Cano Murillo, Laurie Mika, JoAnnA Pierotti, Diane Cook, Dina Wakley, Jane LaFazio,  Claudine Hellmuth, Pamela HuntingtonAndrea Matus DeMeng and Michael DeMeng, Jane Eileen just to name a few of my favorite peeps! The first night of the Meet the Artists events, Seth moderated a panel discussion with artists from his books The Pulse of Mixed Media and The Mixed Media Artist, which is available now for preorder. I’m thrilled to say I’m one of the Featured Artists in Seth’s new book. Yippee!

Susan Lenart Kazmer, my business partner, taught three amazing mixed media jewelry classes and the things the students made were, indeed, drool-worthy. My journey with ICE Resin has taken me in so many wonderful directions, and my love of mixed-media art has ensured that I have a tribe of people who’re as enthusiastic and passionate about creating/educating our industry as much as I am.

I’ve taught Cold Enameling and metalwork this week. Today, I’m teaching wire wrapping and how to make findings. I love teaching this particular class because I can show how inexpensive it is to make one’s own jewelry findings just out of a spool of wire and some great technique. Save your $$$ for ICE Resin and beautiful beads and excellent tools, rather than jump rings and clasps and chains. Plus, wireworking is a way to definitely include the what I call the “hand of the artist” in all of your work.

Jen Wireworking

Unfortunately, the week was such a whirlwind that I didn’t get to snap as many pics as I wanted to and I’m having technical difficulties getting them from my iphone camera and onto this post before class begins.  However, if you “like” my Facebook page, you can click over to JenCushmanArtist to take a peek if you have a few minutes. For more Art Unraveled wrap up pics  visit Seth’s blog to see some great Polaroid shots of the week.

I hope you are all having a very Artful day! — Jen

Hobby Lobby and Iced Enamels!

Art Unraveled begins today and runs through next Tuesday, August 6th. It’s another full week of education and demos, make n takes and a booth for Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin! Tonight, I’m thrilled to be participating in a panel discussion hosted by the amazing Seth Apter, mixed-media artist, instructor, author and all around creative soul. I can’t believe my luck because I am one of the featured artists in Seth’s new book The Mixed-Media Artist: Art Tips, Tricks, Secrets and Dreams from Over 40 Amazing Artists, which comes out this October from North Light Books. After the panel discussion, I’ll be at Meet the Teachers night with my table for a meet and greet of old friends and new. Tomorrow, I teach my Cold Enameling class all day. Friday there is a make ‘n take using ICE Resin and Rue Romantique bezels by Kristen Robinson  and the Artist’s Extravaganza on Saturday. Then I teach again next Monday and Tuesday.  Please follow me on Facebook for status updates of all the Art Unraveled happenings.

Now, on to another big announcement. I’m sure you’ve already heard from our ICE Resin® blog and social media, but we now have a brand new program in all Hobby Lobby stores nationwide. Iced Enamels™ along with our bestselling Art Mechanique™ hobnail bezels, new Art Mechanique™ brass Silouhettes, brand new ephemera papers, Shattered Micas, findings and, of course, ICE Resin® are all available at your local store. Be sure to also pick up the brand new free project instruction sheet as well.  Susan and I are so thrilled to bring our passion for mixed media jewelry to our loyal customers coast to coast!

Free project guide on Iced Enamels and ICE Resin available at Hobby Lobby stores nationwide.

Free project guide on Iced Enamels and ICE Resin available at Hobby Lobby stores nationwide.

Also, if you’ve been following our ICE Resin social media for a while now, you might have noticed a recent uptick in information. Be sure to say hello to Jennifer Priest, our new social media manager. Jennifer’s legendary skills were quite the talk of last week’s Summer CHA and we are thrilled to have her as an important part of our team. I cannot tell you how exciting it is to have gathered the group of ladies around us that we have over the past few years. Every single person who is part of the ICE Resin company — including our talented Creative Team of artists — is as passionate about ICE: Inspiration, Creativity, Education as Susan and myself. Look out, world, here we come!

Kick up your jewelry with wire working

I started playing with wire before I became interested in metalworking. The two just seem to go hand-in-hand. As my organic mixed-media style has clearly emerged in my art, so has my wire working skills. I rarely use manufactured components in my jewelry, mostly because I prefer seeing what I call “the Hand of the Artist” in my pieces. This means making my own bails, clasps, links and even wire beads. Wireworking is also how I securely and creatively attach fiber and alternate materials along with my resin pieces to create wearable works of mixed media art.

WireWork Bail

Sterling Silver Wire Link

For those of you who’re interested in learning how to organically create wire forms, as well as new super-secure cold-join attachment techniques using wire, I’m teaching workshops on this summer at both Art Unraveled in Phoenix and CREATE in Chicago.

Here is the information for the Art Unraveled event:  Free Form Jewelry on August 6th from 1:30-4:30 p.m. This three-hour classes is technique-heavy and fast paced. You will make some beautiful pieces to wear and the projects you choose are completely up to you. Earrings, bracelet, necklace —  all with just wire or an eclectic mix of wire-and-beads or wire-and-fibers. Just like all of my workshops, students will walk out with work that’s completely personalize to the individual aesthetic. Students are also encouraged to spend class time making a range of wire components as the optimal way to experiment with and really learn all the various loops, swirls, techniques and designs.

For all of you East Coasters, here’s the info for the CREATE Chicago event. (All of the CREATE retreats are run and sponsored by Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine) Organic Wirewrapping is Sunday, August 25 from 9 a.m. to noon. The information above regarding the techniques you’ll learn and projects you can make also applies to this workshop. To register online, head on over to the main website, click into Workshops and scroll down by day to see my classes.

Another great thing about twireworking is that it doesn’t take a lot of tools or money to create beautiful handmade components. A couple of spools of wire in various gauges, along with round nose jewelry pliers and a few household mandrels and you’re in business. (It does help to bring a steel bench block, but it’s not absolutely necessary if you’re trying to travel lighter with your tools/supplies).

Want to see more? Here are some pics of my work for inspiration. There’s also a lot of wire techniques in my new book Making Metal Jewelry as well. As I said earlier, this type of organic wirework is something that really gets my creative juices flowing. and it’s my sincere hope that I can inspire the same for you.

Wirewrapped Earrings

Organic Wirework Pin

Wirework Bail and ICE Resin

Sterling silver wire clasp

Bead and Button recap

Peacock headpins

I returned Monday from Milwaukee from the annual Bead and Button Show sponsored by Kalmbach publishing. This is the 4th year in a row I’ve been at the show and my first time teaching. It was really quite incredible to have my own table at the Meet the Teachers night, a big event where all of the students purchase tickets to see and purchase work from the large cadre of instructors. To be in their ranks was, indeed, an honor. I had butterflies in my stomach as I was setting up my table and putting out all of my published jewelry samples, along with some of my work for sale and my books and DVD. My work elicited some of the best comments and I was walking on air at the end of the evening. I also got to meet in real life Jo Jones, better known as JoMama, a fab artist on our ICE Resin Creative Team this year. She is a hoot!

The ICE Resin booth was handled this year by our incredible associates — Carol LaValley, Misty Grosse and Cindy Moss. These ladies worked their fannies off for four solid days. Cindy and Misty did two make ‘n takes with Iced Enamels and Misty rocked the booth demos of them out of the park. I was just so proud of our team! My workshops were awesome and so much fun. I particularly loved my Cold Enameled Cuffs class because there were a couple of students who’ve done a ton of traditional enamel work and were blown away by the grace and ease of Iced Enamels on the curved cuff form. Susan’s two workshops were completely filled and I heard lots and lots of fun and laughter coming from her students.

I got a little time the last day of the show to walk the floor and buy a few goodies to use in my work. I had to see Green Girl Studios and ogle their great charms. I also ran by Heather Powers from Humblebeads to see her gorgeous handmade beads. The pic above are some of her gorgeous handmade peacock headpins that I absolutely had to purchase so I could make a pair of earrings for myself. The star of these earrings, of course, are Heather’s clay beads. It was simple to add some crystal rondelles and blue faceted crystals and wire them up really quick. The moment I put the sterling silver French ear hooks on them, they went into my ears and have been happily hanging out ever since.

I’ve had a few days to rest and unpack. Tomorrow I’m off again for Southern California where I’m teaching a couple of metalworking classes at the brand new Charity Wings Art Center. Next week, I’m home for about 5 weeks before I have to head off to Summer CHA in Las Vegas. I have plans to do some fun family things with my kids for the summer break, as well as get some samples made for next year’s classes.

I sincerely hope you’ve been able to eek out some creative time in your studios or art rooms. And for all you parents out there who find it much more difficult to make work during the summer months, just know I’m right there with you. As soon as I get a chance to clean my studio a bit, my daughter and I will be back to spending some art mornings together painting and drawing.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful week!