Hi everyone! Today is the first day of our Rue Romantique Ornament Blog Hop. If you didn’t start at the ICE Queen eZine (ICE Resin company blog) first, be sure to click over now to get the lowdown of the hop. You are going to want to begin here first in order to get the full experience.
Kristen Robinson, artist extraordinaire and the creator of the Rue Romantique line begins the hop today with one of her gorgeous designs. Other amazing artists from our ICE Resin 2013 Creative Team have also made some stellar designs using Rue to inspire your crafty side this Holiday season. Yours truly also made an ornament for the hop, and I’ll be joining in tomorrow — Saturday. Here is a little sneak peek to whet your whistle.
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.
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!
It’s that time of year again when I teach back-to-back art retreats so it’s been extra busy. I tried to get a free moment to update my blog before I left last week for the CREATE mixed media art retreat sponsored by Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine, but as you can see, it just didn’t happen.
Me and Christen Olivarez, Director of Publishing (aka the Big Dog) of Stampington & Co.
I arrived in California Tuesday morning by 7:30 a.m. because I spent the day at the Stampington offices shooting my step out photos for my upcoming feature in Somerset Workshop. I’m so thrilled to be one of the four Workshop artists this year. The issue comes out in October so the editors are working hard on it right now. I will be doing mixed media jewelry, of course.
I taught 4 workshops Wednesday and Thursday. I had Friday day off, which I spent at a gorgeous little tea house called Paris in the city of Orange with my art friends Ruth Rae, Elena Lai Etcheverry and Kari McKnight Holbrook. Our fourth in the group, Kristen Robinson, was teaching her upcycled journal workshop so she didn’t get to join in the fun, but I did bring her Rosewater Macroons and Paris green tea from the store as an afternoon snack before the Artist Faire evening.
Me and the uber talented Kari McKnight Holbrook full and happy from our tea house lunch.
The workshops were a whirlwind of activity and instruction, so I wasn’t able to get very many pics during my teaching. I always want to give my students 100% of me, so I don’t really get any picture taking or social media time. I did manage to snap a photograph of the lovely couple Becky and John. These two are an amazing art team. Despite Becky being in a wheelchair, there is nothing this woman can’t do. She is a living, breathing example of the saying if you can dream it, you can do it. They were in my mixed-media journal class and you should have seen Becky make the most amazing collaged resin paper. John did the hammering and metalwork, but other than that he was simply there for support.
becky and John, husband and wife team. This couple is so wonderful, inspiring and talented!
As much as I enjoy every class I teach, I think the extra special one this time at CREATE was my Cold Enameled Heart necklace class because there were just so many techniques and tips and art experimentation packed into these six hours. Everyone loved our new Iced Enamels and had a blast playing with color on metal and then sealing it with ICE Resin. We did layering with ICE and the results were stunning.
I came home on Saturday and immediately spent some time snuggling and playing with my daughter. I was so happy when nap time came and we settled down for a nice long rest together. Bliss! Sunday was washing my clothes so I can iron them and repack them and then also grocery shopping and making a couple of casseroles so my family has meals when I’m in Milwaukee this week. I leave Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. for the Bead and Button Show, more workshops and out ICE Resin booth. This show isn’t quite as jam packed with the schedule so be sure to find me on Facebook for some pics of the week.
It’s that time of year when I’m starting to gear up for the next round of teaching and workshops across the country. It’s been nice to be home working in my studio since March, but I find myself getting a little itchy as the days tick by and the retreats draw near. In just a few weeks, I will be in Orange County, California for the Cloth, Paper, Scissors CREATE art retreat. I do love this event, as my fellow instructors are so darn inspiring with their class offerings and the students are radiate with positive energy as they are learning and creating. Talk about being in the flow!
I’m teaching 4 workshops — 2 all day ones and then 2 evening classes. Like always, I’ve packed a lot of instruction into them. We always end the day with a completed project, but I structure my workshops so we begin with basic techniques and build on them as the minutes and hours progress. We work up to things logically, but so quickly, that my students will often say halfway through “Wow, I had no idea we’d be doing so much!” I love it when that happens.
So for all you West Coasters with a little bit of time on your hands and who want to make art, check out the CREATE website and all the incredible class offerings. Not just mine, but also my dear friends Kristen Robinson, Ruth Rae, Elena Lai Etcheverry, Pam Carriker, Kari McKnight Holbrook, and Joanne Sharpe. You can see all their bios here. Remember if you are looking for unique art supplies, handmade art from some of your favorite instructors and unique mixed-media jewelry to wear, the Artist Faire is free and open to the public. I’m working on some pieces from my book to sell, specifically metalwork bangles, rings and earrings.
Here are pics of my classes:
Resin clay, painting, texture, hand building, fiber jewelry, cold connection attachment, making clasps and findings
Cold enamels, texturizing, forging, dapping, doming, disc cutter, cold connection – lots of fundamental metalwork.
Heart’s Desire journal. Resin, resin paper, fabric flowers, doodling, stamping, surface texture, forged wirework. Lots of technique packed into one workshop!
Cold-Enameled Heart Necklace class. Learn all new enameling techniques for adding color to metal and also advanced resin techniques as well, plus metalworking of making forged neck collars and handmade findings.
Oh yeah, there’s a new eMag in town from the fine folks at Cloth, Paper, Scissors. Art Journaling Exposed was such a hit that über editor Jenn Mason followed up a second edition filled with more great inspiration and education for people like myself who love art journaling.
Now, I have to admit, that I’m not nearly as prolific in this art genre as I would like to be. I have so many mixed-media jewelry ideas in my sketchbook that when I get creative time I tend to spend it at my bench working with metal and/or resin. Luckily, almost every Saturday morning is playful art time in my studio with my 3-year-old daughter where we get out the paints, paper and pens for a couple of hours of special mother/daughter time. Once I get her paint palette all set up at the big round table in my studio, I’m free to grab a journal of my own to work on. Sometimes she wants to dig into my collection of rubber stamps and other times we grab my big box of recycled objects for mark making.
When I read Art Journaling Exposed 2 last night, I was so inspired that I immediately wished for Saturday morning. My friends and fellow artists/instructors in the publication got my creative wheels turning with their responses to the creative prompts Jenn and her team sought from us. Heck yes, you can bet I’m trying out Indian Yellow, Leaf Green and Magenta as my next color combination, as suggested by the fabulously talented Jenny Cochran Lee. I also adored the video of my dear friend Kari McKnight Holbrook’s technique of raindrops on backgrounds. Seriously fun stuff. I also couldn’t help having my face split into a big happy grin to see one of my BFFs Kristen Robinson show how to make an awesomely up cycled journal from plastic cereal bags. Trash art where there’s nothing trashy about it.
Of course, it wasn’t quite as easy watching myself on video in this publication showing how to make ICE Resin paper. (This was shot, but the way, when I was in Colorado last October to shoot my DVD Breaking Out of the Mold). But then again, I don’t know any one who actually enjoys watching themselves on film. My journal pages look great though when the resin is applied to it, so I’m sure there will be lots of readers out there who will want to try out a cool new technique. I’m truly thrilled for the opportunity to be part of this new eMag.
If any of this piques your interest, here is the link to Art Journaling Exposed 2 at the Interweave store. (I know the image above looks like you can click those video links, but alas they are only screen shots from the eMag). Also, if you haven’t yet joined the Cloth, Paper, Scissors online community and sign up now, you can get a free copy of the Art Journaling Exposed 1.
Ta-daaaaa!!! Here is the cover for my brand new DVD on making molds and casting found objects.
I know I wrote about filming for Cloth, Paper, Scissors back in November at the Interweave headquarters in Loveland, Colo. It’s hard to believe that my DVD, Breaking Out of the Mold is already available now for pre-order and instant download at the Interweave store. Wowza, let me tell you DVDs move at a breakneck pace as compared to books! I also wanted to let you know that I had the sincere pleasure of meeting another mixed-media artist at the filming; Jenny Cochran Lee. Jenny’s work is incredible. I don’t sew hardly a stitch, so to see her textile work is just jaw dropping to me. I also want to thank Jenny because she did a wonderful post on me and my DVD on her blog today.
There are so many amazing things hitting all at the same time that it’s making my head spin! All of these were in the works last year and I was running as fast as I could to keep up with them all. Seriously, I look back at 2012 and shake my head at how in the heck we managed to get it all done. Finishing my new book with North Light, new product development with ICE Resin, a DVD and a new column with Cloth, Paper, Scissors and also the Designer Showcase next month with Belle Armoire Jewelry in addition to my normal Art Chooses You column for Stampington. When I meet someone and they ask me what I do, I’m not sure quite how to respond so I simply say I’m an artist and a writer.
Life was so busy last year that I really want to take a moment to thank my amazing husband and mother-in-law on my blog (even though neither of them read it. LOL). They were there for me every step of the way, cheering me on and making sure my kids were fed, clothed and happy. I also want to thank my off-the-charts-talented and totally brilliant business partner Susan Lenart Kazmer, who has been going even harder and longer than I have to run our company, while still managing to dream up endless amounts of creative ideas, building two lines (Industrial Chic for Michaels and the new Media Mixage with Spellbinders that debuted at CHA), teaching workshops, running the ICE Resin office and home front, publishing articles and writing her new book, “Resin Alchemy” that is due out in June with Interweave. (Not to mention raising two teenagers and teaching a workshop in France this summer). Then there was the other person who was standing by my side this past year. Kristen Robinson spent 2012 teaching, building her brand new signature line Rue Romantique, publishing articles, doing a DVD for Cloth, Paper, Scissors and writing her second book — as yet untitled — for North Light that’s due out this Fall.
One of the most interesting parts of all of this to me is that the three of us had to keep completely quiet on all that was going on. Sure, bits and pieces here and there were shared on blogs and social media, but most of the time I told Susan and Kristen that it looked like we were all taking long naps in 2012.
Silly me, I didn’t get a picture of me and Susan at CHA. Here is one of us shopping at the flea markets in the South of France this summer.
My father used to always say I couldn’t keep a secret if my life depended on it. I can say now that he was 100% wrong. I don’t really care for keeping secrets because I’m just the type of person who likes to share. The best part right now is that I can finally breathe. The cats are out of the bag. The only thing left to do is tell the world about all our new adventures and hope people see and respond to the kind of passion we’ve put into our first real love – Mixed-media ART! As for my next goal in 2013, it really is getting to take that long nap I keep talking about.
Kristen and me at Winter CHA 2013.
To everyone who has hung in there with me on my blog this past year, thank you. This goes the same for the new friendships I’ve made on Facebook and the incredible women (and a few men) whom I have met at workshops across the country. I really hope that if no other message comes out of anything that I do it’s this one: Dreams do come true. Nothing is unattainable. You don’t have to be the most talented person on the block, or the skinniest or the prettiest or the most congenial. All you have to be is yourself. Oh, and it helps to also link arms with some pretty amazing friends along the way who always have your back in any situation. (grin)!
Jen and Jenn taking some pics before my filming begins.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m feeling much gratitude for my experiences last week. As you may know, I spent a couple of spectacular days in the Interweave/F&W studio in historic downtown Loveland, Colorado. I was there to film a dvd workshop on mold making and casting for Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine.
As if the filming wasn’t enough, I was able to do this hand-in-hand with one of my best friends, the amazing Kristen Robinson. Kristen was there to film a resin jewelry dvd for CPS magazine and is also one of their 2013 DVD Workshop artists. Being able to film a dvd and have Kristen beside me was like birthday and Christmas all rolled up together.
Our director for the shoot was the incredibly talented Jenn Mason, editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors and a pretty kick booty mixed-media artist as well. It was really fun to get to hang out with her for a few days. She is actually a very funny person with a great sense of humor. Joking and giggling is always part of her process. I believe it’s how she manages to shake off some of the stresses of her very high-pressure job.
My favorite part of the shooting was when Kristen and I got to go into the prop department and pick items that spoke to us to create the backdrop of our sets. All of the artists were asked to bring samples of our work, but then we had an entire room of goodies to choose from to help the set look more like our home studios.
Kristen’s set is simply gorgeous! It looks just like her — cream and lace and vintage and oh so pretty! We got it set up and displayed in about 20 minutes and then she started to roll. Her entire taping, plus some extras that were added for some future promo material, ran about 3 hours.
It was my turn right after lunch. We stripped down Kristen’s set and put up mine in the same amount of time. In the prop room, I chose and old door, a vintage shoe stretcher, an old box with rusty nails poking through, a crackled white chair, burlap sacks and then pops of color with glass and ceramic items. I loved how we literally went from one visual extreme to another in less than 20 minutes.
Ready for my close up…
After some photos of the set, it was my turn to begin. I have to tell you the truth. The first 5 minutes of filming are miserable. You can’t help but be nervous and stiff and feel as though wads of cotton are in your mouth. My voice sounded tinny and my movements seemed so theatrical. However, very quickly I found myself getting into the groove. My “student” for the day was Johnny Depp on the camera monitor. The next thing I know I was simply doing what I do…talking about my love of found objects and teaching how to make molds and do castings. Knowing that everything will be edited and that everyone in the room was there to make me look as good as I possibly can helped tremendously. Now, there is nothing but excitement to see how the project all comes together.
Then Wednesday, Kristen and I had the day to ourselves to do a little shopping and then a long talk about CHA and ICE Resin business. Of course, we had to get a little antiquing in there as well. Always on the hunt for treasures to mold and cast!
The plane home was uneventful. I took Thursday off to catch up on some family things and then I spent Friday teaching locally. It’s amazing how the days just seem to fly by. I had planned to update my blog Thursday, but time just slipped on by.
I hope you enjoy the pics of the trip and filming. No worries, I will be sure to post more about what month the dvd will be released next year, etc. as I get updates. For now, I hope you, too, are feeling the gratitude for your life and all the wonderful things you experience on a daily basis.
I know an instructor is not supposed to ever have favorite students, but I can’t help it when it comes to Jessica. She is just such a wonderful, sweet soul. She and her mother took my class last year and came back again this CREATE for my Mermaid Dreams class. I just adore her!
I honestly had the most amazing time at the CREATE retreat put on by Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine in Orange County this past week. My classes were big time fun, my students were incredibly creative women and I sold lots and lot of earrings and books and mixed-media goodie grab bags at the Artist Faire Friday night. I also got to room with one of my bff’s, the talented Kristen Robinson. It was like having a slumber party, and we didn’t get to sleep before 1:30 a.m. any night of the week. Then up at 6 a.m. Whew! Haven’t done much of that since collage and I can tell you I feel like I’m getting old when I work on 4.5 hours of sleep for nights on end.
Mermaid Dreams was all about making your own molds from found objects and then casting them in resin clay. One of the students took this concept and ran with it. She even brought some taxidermy eyes to add to her cast focal beads. Love the little mold of the skeleton key for a mustache!
I also took two classes, which was just heavenly for me. I took Jenn Mason’s Dirty Little Secrets Gelli Printing class as well as Alisa Burke’s Larger Than Life Canvas class. Since both of these were printmaking/painting classes playing with all kinds of surface treatments I was just in Heaven to be playing with my paints again with mixed-media. I also got to spend some time with my sweet friends Pam Carriker and Kari McKnight Holbrook. It was wonderful to see them and chat.
Tami and Elena are both local so they whisked me away from the hotel to get some fresh sunshine. We went to Fullerton to the amazing shop Gilding the Lily and then ate a yummy vegan lunch next door.
Another awesome part was having Friday day off of work, so I got to hang out with my girlfriends Elena Lai Etcheverry from Charity Wings and Tami Bayer, one of the lead Fiskateers. Tami was there giving away Fiskars tooks and spreading the orange scissor love to the students and teachers and Elena was raising money for Soldiers’ Angels. We went to this incredible vintage goodies shop and ate a healthy vegan lunch. We also watched a commercial being filmed on the street right in front of the shop. It just wouldn’t be Southern California without some celebrity or photo shoot or filming going on.
On the quick plane ride home I just kept thinking of the line It’s a Wonderful Life. It is indeed!
My table for the Artist’s Faire. Don’t you love the vintage dress form? I wish I could say she is mine, but she belong to my sweet friend Ruth Rae who let us borrow some of her beautiful props for the faire.
Yesterday, I pulled my dirty clothes from my suitcase and put them in the washer and dryer. I took them out and repacked them for tomorrow’s trip to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee. Back to back trips can be tiring, but I always look forward to the incredible shopping at the Bead and Button Show because it’s where I get a lot of my supplies for my classes. That and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. I also get to meet up with Susan. I haven’t seen her in person since CHA and 6 months is a long time. While we talk all the time for our business, it’s just not the same as getting to see each other and work in person.
I have the Last Word in the May/June issue of Somerset Studios. This is the first time, I’ve been featured in this part of the magazine and it’s quite an honor. Each issue, an artist gets to tell her personal story about a piece of art work they’ve made and the story behind the piece. Usually, the stories are inspirational or reflective in nature, often setting the final tone for the entire issue.
The piece is an assemblage I made for a sample earlier in the year for our ICE Resin booth at Winter CHA. I had just gotten back a bunch of resin castings that I did for a workshop in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine on mold-making. I pulled the piece I cast from a Frozen Charlotte Doll torso and head and began to build a piece around this focal. As I was in the creative process, it dawned on me the feeling of the piece is the joy my beautiful daughter — our miracle baby — has brought to our family.
However, like a lot of my work, the assemblage is also about a deeper story. It’s about me following my dreams to have a successful creative career and to live my life as an artist. This is the story I tell as part of my Last Word article. It was difficult for me to openly talk about something so intimate, but I feel it’s also another part in my journey. What I do when I write or teach or create is share my story with others. It’s about sharing emotion and common human experiences and finding connections that have deep roots.
If you haven’t had a chance yet to pick up this issue, please consider doing so. There are so many wonderful articles throughout. Seth Apter is the Artist Profile, and his incredible art made the cover so engaging. My dear friend Kristen Robinson is featured with some of her cast Paperclay assemblages and my business partner Susan Lenart Kazmer has an inspirational article on her unique journals. Oh, the eye candy! It’s honestly one of my favorite issues of all time.
One of the things I enjoy the most about being involved in the media and publishing for many years is that I get to meet so many new people. My brain is trained to always be on the lookout for stories — people stories, feature stories, new trends, etc. Because I naturally do this, I’ve had the privilege of working with many editors of the top arts and crafts magazines over the years.
As I’ve delved deeper into my own mixed-media art career, I’ve found these women to be a constant source of inspiration and support to our art community as a whole. When I talk to them, they always say they’re ”just doing their jobs,” but I always wonder if they realize how large their reach is and how influential they can be to people’s careers. A few editors, like the incredible ladies at the Stampington publications, are so supportive of my work I honestly don’t have words to express my gratitude.
Beth Livesay, the ahhhhhmahhhhzing editor of Jewelry Affaire, showed her true spirit in spades with the newest Spring 2012 issue (on bookstands now) when she gave a glowing review of my book Explore, Create, Resinate. Not only did I wish to publically thank her for her beautiful words on my blog, I wanted to share with you all what she wrote:
“Jen Cushman is no stranger to the pages of this magazine. Her contributions to the world of jewelry and mixed-media have not gone unnoticed and her love affair with ICE Resin continually inspires. Complete with tips, tricks and explanations of how to work with photographs and findings, this book will make you want to add resin to everything. The chapter on making resin paper is especially cool. Jen’s passion for teaching and jewelry making shine through in this book full of fun and extraordinary creations that are unlike anything out there. ” — Review by Beth Livesay, Spring 2012 issue of Jewelry Affaire.
Thank you Beth. You made my month!
It’s an overwhelming feeling when people compliment my work. It’s also an incredible thing to see so many people being receptive of Explore, Create, Resinate. While I wrote the book and did most of the photography, it’s important for me that people knowthe book is a collaboration of some of the most talented artistic women I know, including my business partner Susan Lenart Kazmer (who created ICE Resin) and our first “Dream Team” of designers; Kristen Robinson, Deryn Mentock, Barbe Saint John, Jane Salley and Kecia Deveney. While we’ve all gone on to do other things (though still making jewelry and teaching), my heart holds such a special place for each of these ladies for giving so generously of themselves and their talents to make my dream of writing a very special craft book unlike anything else on the market a reality. I feel like Beth’s review is a tribute to all of us.
It’s been over a year since we self-published and ECR seems to still be building in momentum. I know its through the support of our friends and the generosity of the mixed-media art community.