My latest Mixed Media Metalsmith column is out

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Looking for a quick and easy summer read? The July/August issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine is on newsstands and in subscribers’ mailboxes now. As many of you may know, I write a column each issue called The Mixed Media Metalsmith where I make a fun project each issue. My editor gave me very few rules — which I LOVE — but asked that metal be one of the mediums each time. It’s been exciting showing how metal can be incorporated into just about any kind of mixed media project imaginable.

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I particularly like this issue’s project. A little journal charm made from a scrap of 24 gauge copper, a page from an old book and some nuts and screws as a cold connection. The inspiration for this came from childhood memories of how I spent my summers. I was a big reader and spent every summer break participating in my local library’s kids summer reading program. Growing up in Phoenix means you have to stay cool. If my nose wasn’t in a book, I was making crafts, swimming at the local high school public pool or going to the dollar movies.

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Take a peek at the completed journal pendant. These make great girlfriend, teacher and thinking of you gifts! Then head on over to your favorite bookseller that carries magazines and pick up some new summer reading. It sure helps to pass the time on those hot days!

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10107-Create-teaching-CHIOn another note: Registration is going on now for my workshops at the CREATE Mixed Media Art Retreats. I’ll be teaching this August in Chicago, September in Dallas and October in Seattle. I have A LOT of new classes this year and I’m so excited to be teaching resin and metalsmithing and mixed media. Be sure to check out my classes at CreateMixedMediaArtRetreats.com. Click into the area of the country that most interests you and then click on Instructors. If you look for my name, you’ll see a list of classes I’m teaching. I sure hope to see you there.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful day! — Jen

Art Journal Sneak Peek

Vintage Summer by Jen Cushman

I’ve been in my studio finishing up some projects and tying up loose ends at work before I head off to teach at the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. I’m teaching four classes from June 4th through the 8th. While online registration is now closed, you can still sign up on site if you’re going to the show and looking for a class or two to fill in between all that great bead and jewelry making supply shopping! Actually, I have a list this year of things I’m needing to buy for classes and I’m looking forward to seeing some of my favorite vendors again. The easiest way to see what I’m teaching is to follow the Meet the Teachers Link and click on my name. It will take you to the workshops with days and times.

I’m always thrilled to be at this show. Some of these faculty are people whose work I’ve admired immensely as I was learning and growing in my mixed-media jewelry making. I love seeing the new work these talented people bring to the show. It’s so inspiring be there amongst the best of the best!

In between packing and making some more class samples for my students to see, I was also working on a little project for Jenn Mason, Director of Content Marketing at F+W and editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. She and mixed-media artist Julie Fei-Fan Balzer are hosting a new online weekly show called The Mixed-Media Workshop. While I’m not appearing on the show in person, I am giving a little instruction as part of my magazine column The Mixed-Media Metalsmith. Most of the art samples are already waiting for them in Loveland, Colorado where the filming studio is located. This journal (sneak peek top pic) and a few other cast resin pieces were out the door today. I’ll let you know when the segment airs, but if you see any PR for shiny things then you know you’ll be seeing some of my casting work.

I’m planning to take a bit of a break from blogging this summer. I’ll be checking in here and there, and definitely be on my social media, but the kids are home for summer break AND I’m going into my office for all of July to write my next book on Iced Enamels. For those of you who’ve done book publishing before, you know it’s a pretty time-consuming undertaking. While I’ve gotten pretty good at juggling work and family and teaching, book writing is something that requires my full focus. After the Bead and Button Show, I’m home until CREATE Chicago the middle of August — the perfect time to write, write, write, edit, take photos, edit photos and write some more. Thankfully, most of the art pieces have already been completed over this past year.

I hope you stay with me through the next few months. I promise, I’ll have lots of new information and new art content to share when I get to the other side.

Here’s wishing you a truly ARTFUL day!

 

Miami here I come…

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I’m off to Miami, Florida to teach a three-day ICE Resin and Iced Enamels Master’s workshop for the South Florida Jewelry Arts Guild May 16-18th . In addition to teaching, I’ll be giving a presentation to the guild the evening of the 15th on the subject of “My Artist’s Life: Art, Family and ICE Resin Juggling Act.” I’ve done a fair amount of public speaking over the years on writing, business and creativity and I always enjoy it. Sure the butterflies hit those few minutes before each talk, but once I get into the groove, the time flies by and it’s always a lot of fun being in the moment.

I’m fairly certain the workshops are full. However, you can always check out the SFJAG website and see if there is a spot left. Last time I spoke to the organizer the two-day resin was full, but there were two spots left in Iced Enamels on Sunday. I really enjoy teaching at guilds because the classes are usually more intimate and folks are really looking to go a little deeper into their work.

I’ve been doing my best to get some studio time to make some new pieces of jewelry to sell at the event. I made 20 new necklace and the same number of earrings. However, I won’t be able to bring that many with me, as it looks like some of the pieces are going out the door to editors before I can get them to my upcoming retreats. I did manage to grab this pic of a bunch of them layered on my vintage dress form. I like the abundance of this photo! I just wish I could keep up that kind of production. (grin).

I’ll be taking a little break from my blog while I’m away. Do be sure to check in this coming weekend as ICE Resin is participating in a blog hop with Faber Castell. Keep an eye on the ICE Queen eZine for more deets. My day to go live is May 16th.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful day!

 

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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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