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!

JCusmanCheerfulCharmsBracel

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.

JCushmanBreakOuotofMoldJewe

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.

Tucson2013Workshop2Jen

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.

JCushman-LayersandDepth

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.

A Rue Christmas

I hope you’ve been enjoying the Rue Romantique Holiday Blog Hop and the beautiful things showcased yesterday by Kristen Robinson, Jen Crossley, Cindy Cima Edwards and Cindy Bisson. If you missed it, be sure to catch up (links at bottom of this post).  Today’s hop is brought to you today courtesy of Lexi Grenzer, Pamela Hungtinton, Susan Walls and yours truly.

I adore Kristen Robinson’ romantic look when it comes to her jewelry and mixed-media. I’m always captivated by the Victorian-inspired bezels in Kristen’s gorgeous Rue Romantique line with ICE Resin. One would think this line would be artistically challenging for me, as I tend to fall more on the “Bohemian artsy” aesthetic with my work rather than the beautifully polished, but the undulating lines and feminine shapes in Rue always speak to the part of me that loves to dress up for date night with my hubby and wander the aisles of Sephora looking at makeup palettes and pretty packaging.

When it came time to do our ICE Resin Rue Romantique Ornament blog hop, I knew I wanted a part of it. Mostly because Kristen is one of my dearest friends and I’m hugely supportive of her work and career, but also because I wanted to see if I could put my own twist on Victorian Christmas. I wanted to create a substantial piece, incorporate some of my ICE Resin casting work and use Iced Enamels. Naturally, The Relique Ivory and Glitz powders are wonderful with Rue.

Jen Cushman Rue Christmas Photo 1

The resin casting is from an ornamental hardware piece that I picked up at a Paris flea market last year. I have made at least two dozen of these castings for various projects and have brought the object to my workshops. It’s a favorite of my students as well. The finely detailed metalwork in the hardware creates such gorgeous undercuts that it’s one of those ” wow” factor objects for resin casting. I melted Iced Enamels on the casting and then added some Gilder’s Paste in German Silver for the final vintage-looking patina.

Rue Christmas Jen Cushman Photo 2

I used Relique Ivory on the center focal of the bezel and then stamped on it using Kristen’s Love Lines stamp set that she created with Stampington & Co. I sealed that in ICE Resin. To tie the silver of the bezel into the vintage patina of the casting, I also rubbed a little German Silver Gilder’s Paste onto it.

Rue Christmas Jen Cushman Photo 3

To attach the two pieces together, I threaded Kristen’s beautiful red velvet and red organza ribbon through the center holes and tied at the top. A wire wrap in 22 gauge blackened steel wire from Art Mechanique reinforces the tie for strength and works as a design element. To create a hanger, I added a wirewrapped loop to the top of the casting.

While the piece was pretty, I felt like it was too pretty and needed something more. I searched through my stash for this large crystal drop from Connie Crystal and did a chunky, organic wirewrap to gives this part of the piece my touch of a messy, bird’s nest type of feel. If you’ve taken any classes from me or read my books or articles, you’ll know that one of the ways you can always identify my work is that there’s always a touch of chaos or wildness in my pieces.

RueChristmas2

The piece ended up being a rather large ornament. I can see it on a big tree that’s taking center stage in the ballroom of an old Southern mansion. If you don’t happen to live in a 17- bedroom house, I think it would be lovely to use as a holiday home décor piece.

Here’s some more exciting news, Kristen and ICE Resin have teamed up with Interweave to create an exclusive Handmade Ornament Kit, which included Kristen’s DVD Romantic Bezels, her brand new book Making Etched Metal Jewelry, along with Rue Romantique bezels, Iced Enamels in Relique German Silver and more. Here’s more information to check it out.

handmadeornamentsheader600

I hope you found this inspirational. Be sure to check out all the amazing artists from the ICE Resin 2013 Creative Team on our ICE Queen eZine company blog to see what beautiful things they’ve made this holiday season with Rue.  Also, be sure to come back to the company blog tomorrow as Lesley Venable, JoMama Jones, Sandy Martin and Susan Weckesser are rounding out the 3-days hop with some gorgeous designs.

Here’s links to the hop:

You can look forward to these ornaments:
Saturday, Nov. 9
Sunday, Nov. 10

A Rue Romantique Christmas — Day 1

Ice Queen E-ZineHi 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.

Rue Christmas Jen Cushman Photo 3

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!

The Whirlwind of 2012

Ta-daaaaa!!! Here is the cover for my brand new DVD on making molds and casting found objects.

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.

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.

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)!