Bead Fest Philly classes

Ok all you East coast folks and jewelry making aficionados, I’m talking to you! This is the first time I will be attending/teaching at Bead Fest Philadelphia for the summer show. Believe it or not, I’ve never been to Philly, even though one of my bestest girlfriends is from there and her mom is always offering for me to come stay with them and visit.

I’ll be teaching four, 45-minute beginner workshops, which is also a first for me.  The image below is a screen shot from some PR Interweave recently sent out. It’s always nice to see my work being featured. Take a peek over at the Bead Fest 2015 site. They’re lots of incredible instructors and classes already sold out, but there’s also some fun to be had for those who’re much more spontaneous and are ready to say, “what the heck? Let’s go!”




August is a busy teaching month

This summerJenCushmanAUAutumnHarvest1 turned a little busier than I had originally planned. A couple of new teaching opportunities popped up in the last couple months and I haven’t even had the time to put them on my website. I’ll be in Phoenix, San Diego and Philadelphia in August teaching metalsmithing, resin and wireworking classes. Here’s a quick run down if you’re interested. Most of the classes are filling up quickly, but there’s usually a spot or two open for even last-minute sign ups.

Art Unraveled — August 4-8

This is a wonderful national mixed-media art retreat that just a happens to take place in my hometown of Phoenix in August. Yep, you heard correctly. Phoenix, Arizona and August. Why? Because the lovely large suites at the Embassy Suites are on summer rates. Linda Young has been organizing Art Unraveled for more than a decade and brings to town some of the top mixed-media instructors across the United States. People always assume that because I’m local, I must teach at other Phoenix venues. The truth is that I rarely teach locally. Art Unraveled is the one time of year I get to see my fellow Arizona art enthusiasts. I also vend during the Extravaganza so that’s the time I get to really talk to folks and catch up.

I’m teaching a class on making wire forms with resin paper. While it’s a project-based necklace, I’m doing my usual of teaching lots of wireworking and jewelry-making techniques throughout the day. In the end, students will finish as beautiful necklace and leave with a strong foundation for basic metalwork — cutting, filing, torch work, annealing, drawing a bead, dapping and doming, wire wrapping, freeform wire and working with resin. Take a peek here at the Autumn Harvest description. I’d love to see you.

I’ll also be doing my Bangle Angle class at AU. This is a fun, fast and fulfilling class where I focus on forging and annealing –major metal fundamentals. Students will make multiple organic bangles. Anyone afraid of using a torch will quickly get over any fears. This class has one seat left as of this post. It’s always one of my most popular.


Also, for the first time, the amazing artist Leighanna Leight and I will be teaming up to teach a molding and resin jewelry class. Called A Face in the Crowd, we’ll be exploring figurative work along with Cold Enameling and jewelry making.  I haven’t been able to do a lot of team teaching in the past, but I adore collaboration and am excited to be working with someone as talented as Leighanna. It’s a two-evening class where we will get to have lots and lots of hands on fun.


Next, I’m heading over to San Diego to do a wire class at the Charity Wings Art Center. If you want to spend an afternoon on August 16th learning new jewelry making skills, or wirewrapping techniques that, I promise, will take your work to the next level sign up now and join me at the art center. You’ll just need to grab your jewelry making pliers (round nose, chain nose and a sharpie marker) and the rest of the supplies and tools are waiting for you there. Bring your what-makes-you-happy drink (for me it’s a caramel iced coffee, but for some of my students it’s a nice bottle of cold Chardonnay) and a smile.


Lastly, in August, I will be at BeadFest Philadelphia teaching five introductory jewelry-making classes using ICE Resin. I’ll be posting more about this in a few weeks with pics, so for now, here’s the link to take a look at and register. These classes are limited to 20 students and three of the five are almost at capacity.

I know I’ve been pretty quiet since returning home from France. It’s the end of summer break and I’m diving in deep to motherhood and enjoying family time. I’m only working a few hours each morning (getting up really early and finishing up before my kids even wake up). We’re spending our days kayaking or going on picnics, swimming at our favorite swimming hole and hanging out in the cool waters of Fossil Springs. Evenings include watching movies on the sofa, snuggled up in the cool air and cocooning ourselves inside. My kids start school next week and then it’s back to normal life. I’m cherishing this time and am pretty happy with my decision to get off my electronic devices so I can enjoy this “staycation”.

I’ll see you next week at Art Unraveled and be ready to party after my little break.





Beads and Buttons

Today I’m headed to Milwaukee for the annual Bead and Button Show sponsored by Bead and Button Magazine (Kalmbach Publishing). I’ll be teaching three classes, attending the always-fabulous Meet the Teachers reception and, of course, shopping for some fantastic jewelry-making supplies.

I also get to hang out with my beautiful business partner/bff Susan Lenart Kazmer, which is always a rip-roaring great time. Susan is such a rockstar instructor. She’s got four workshops and all of them are almost full. We teach opposite schedules so that means I will get to hang out in a couple of her classes like the old days where I can help out and be there to soak up all the wonderful, creative energy.


I’ll be teaching my always-popular ICE Resin Layers and Depth workshop twice. The first class sold out so I was asked to repeat it. Love when that happens! I’m also teaching a metalworking class called Chevron Drops. I created this workshop so people could really hone in on metalworking basics of forging, annealing and manipulating wire while walking out with a well-designed necklace. I love doing these types of classes. I called them process-project. The teaching is linear with repetitive steps. You can learn a lot quickly. The teaching style allows information to cement itself in the brain. If you are reading this, are going to Bead and Button and want to take this class, there are spots available. You can still sign up on site at the show.

Chevron Drops Jen Cushman

If you’ve never been to Bead and Button and want to see some inside action, be sure to follow my social media. I plan to Instagram a lot during my five days. Will be Tweeting and Facebooking too.

I won’t be posting much to the blog this week, but I’ve got a summer beeswax collage tutorial coming up for you next.





Assemblage kit with CPS

If you subscribe to the Cloth, Paper, Scissors digital newsletter via email, you might have noticed today’s post (May 20th) is about yours truly. Interweave has put together Resin Assemblage with Jen Cushman Value Pack kit that includes ICE Resin and Susan Lenart Kazmer Molding Putty along with two of my new videos. The price of the kit is under $50. Pretty good deal when you consider the molding putty runs $16, the resin plunger is $12 and then the dvds are $20 each. (More pics of the kit at the bottom of this post).

Here is a pic of Online Editor Cheri Haas’ column today. She’s refreshing a blog post I wrote a while back, but the kit announcement is in there too:


Y’all know I seriously love casting with ICE Resin. There is something so thrilling each time I’m able to take an object, make a silicone mold of it and then have the ability as an artist to transform that object in any way I desire. I feel like an alchemist when I use resin. This object, this thing — frozen Charlotte doll, old key, lock, hardware, handmade polymer clay bead, vintage button skeleton leaves — anything — can be cast and then recreated in ICE. Not only that, I can add spices to the resin like tea leaves or smoked Paprika. I can color it with Perfect Pearls mica. I can make the resin opaque with ink or acrylic paint. Not stopping there, I can add surface design and texture to my pieces to make them look like the real deal or completely fantastical, like something out of a science fiction novel. This, my friends, is the real reason why I’m truly obsessed with casting. Whatever I can dream up as an artist, I can create with just molding putty and ICE.

Take a look at a new necklace I finished just yesterday. It’s part of a collection of jewelry I create based on my Breaking Out of the Bezel workshop that I’ve taught nationwide.

Jen Cushman Moon Cast Resin


If you have already bought my dvds, I sincerely thank you for your support. If you’ve been streaming them on Craft Daily, I thank you! If you want to take a peek and get your hands messy with putty and ICE, think about giving the kit a try. If you want to learn casting from me directly and live in or near Texas, remember I’m teaching at Art-Xscape this fall.



kit contents

Buckle Up, Baby…I’m coming to Austin

Jen Cushman Buckle Up Baby workshop

I’m coming to Austin, Texas y’all! I can’t wait. I’ve spent some time in Dallas and Houston but I’ve never been to Austin, and I have heard some really awesome things about it. Right now, I’m trying to talk one of my best girlfriends into a road trip so we can spend a couple of days enjoying all the sights and sounds after I finish teaching at Art-Xscape. If you have any suggestions for great stores or places that I must put on my to-do list, I’ll take ’em.

Registration for Art-Xscape is open now. I’m happy to say that I developed a brand new workshop that I thought would be perfect for Texans and other art makers who enjoy cowgirl chic. It’s called Buckle Up, Baby. We’ll spend the day learning about Iced Enamels and other cold enameling techniques, as well as making jewelry-sized collages for belt buckles that we encase in ICE Resin.

Last year during the Tucson Gem and Mineral show I found really high-quality antique brass belt buckles. I bought a dozen and couldn’t wait to return to my studio to create. Like a lot of what I do, I went into the studio and spent a couple of days trying to push the limits with my techniques and materials. The results ended up in some pretty fun pieces. I took the best of my techniques, bought more buckles and created a new workshop. I’m thrilled to be debuting it in Austin.

Jen Cushman Resin Belt Buckles

I’ll also be teaching two more resin workshops while I’m there. The first is Create and Resinate, where I teach the basics and beyond of working with ICE Resin. I’ll also be teaching mold making and casting, which is honestly my all time favorite thing to do with resin because I get to play with found objects, as well as molding putty, acrylic paints, Gilder’s Paste, mica powders. We spend a lot of time working on the surface design techniques I’ve developed that pretty much guarantees people cannot tell the difference between the real and cast objects.

If you’re looking for an intimate art retreat getaway in a great city take a peek at the Art-Xscape website. It’s October 8-12 so there’s plenty of time to grab your best artsy friend and plan a road trip with me. I bet we could have some serious fun in Austin together.


Packing for workshops

I’ve been home for a long and lovely 6 weeks. I really needed the time to recharge my batteries and work on some items on my to do list that just never seem to get done because they’re always at the bottom. I head out to SoCal on Thursday for a lunch and meeting at the Stampington offices and then my 2 days of Resin workshops at Make Art in LA. If you happen to be reading this and you’re local and find yourself with a free days this coming Friday or Saturday, check it out. I have only two spots left in Create and Resinate. My kits are made for the max amount of students the space holds so I promise there’s room and materials for last-minute sign ups.

If you’re not convinced about both days, here’s a little testimonial from artist Kelly Smith: “Casting is addicting! Ever since taking your class a few years ago I’ll go into huge spurts of making molds and casting. You are the best teacher!”


I thought I’d show you a little sneak peek of what it takes for teaching. I include so many mixed-media techniques in my classes that it requires a lot of supplies. I have a large heavy-duty black tote that gets filled to brim and usually weighs between 50 and 70 pounds. (It’s a bear to ship, but as much as I’ve tried to whittle down my supplies. I can’t really do so without asking my students to bring a huge laundry list with them). You can see by my short LA workshop supply list that I do my best to make it easy for people to show up, learn, play and discover.

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that if I pack for each class in plastic shoe boxes it helps keep me organized. An important consideration at many of the national hotel-based retreats where you’re teach both day and night for two to three days in a row, plus vending.

Jen's teaching box

In addition to my box, I have a black tool bag for my Wubbers pliers, steel bench block, hammer, files, drill, wire snips, torch, rivets, wire, etc. This usually weighs around 20 lbs. Sometimes I bring a small store with me, which includes Susan Lenart Kazmer Art Mechanique bezels, ICE Resin, Iced Enamels, ribbon, etc. Other times, it’s too much and I show up as just me, an artist. (When this happens, I tend to get a least a half dozen sad faces from people who were also hoping to shop and then I feel bad for not wanting to lug around all the stuff.)

Jen's toolbag

My workshop art samples, books and work for sale goes into another plastic tub along with a few display items that fold and pack flat. In this box also goes a piece of fabric for a table covering and a couple of old burlap coffee bags with great vintage writing on them for display.

Of course I have my luggage. I bring water, some snacks like fruit and nuts and Kind bars. I also pack my lavender eye pillow, a small scented candle and some essential oils because sometimes hotel rooms have musty or odd smells. Of course, all of the above is easy to pull off when I’m driving. The events I fly to are much more challenging and I have to ship my workshop box and tools ahead of time. Believe it or not, I’ve also shipped water as crazy as it sounds. I learned this the hard way when I was stuck in a hotel room in the outskirts of Chicago with no car and no van shuttle to get me to a nearby store. I was like a camel and after 5 workshops and had the most splitting headache from dehydration.

I know this is pretty mundane stuff here, but they’re a number of you who read my blog who also teach or are interested in teaching. Plus, I know quite a few of you are art retreaters yourself and it’s good to peek behind the scenes. One of the ways you can tell the difference between a newer teacher and someone whose been at it for a while is their level of preparedness. This isn’t to say that things don’t go wrong, because there’s always something that does, but the experienced instructors should have an ace up their sleeves, like a good magic trick that can save the day. I promise you, they’re a couple of things in that black tote of mine that I can use to change my workshop in an instant if need be.

I’ll catch you on the flipside next week when I return. It’ll be a little quiet here for a bit because I have my Cloth, Paper, Scissors column due within days of being home and a webinar idea I’m suppose to be getting to my editor as well (happy to have a 6 hour drive to think it through because right now all I have a headline and 3 bullet points.)

Artfully yours,



My new DVDs are here!


I have some exciting news to share. My DVDs (or digital downloads) are being released and I’m not too proud to tell you I burst into a huge grin when my hubby brought the box into my studio and I opened it up to see the cover art for the first time. Then imagine my surprise when I opened my email Saturday afternoon and saw that Cloth, Paper, Scissors dedicated March 23-29 as The Jen Cushman Week. Seriously??? I just about fell out of my chair. I had no idea that one was coming!


Not sure if you recall, but I flew to Fort Collins, Colorado to film these one week before Christmas. Yes, you read that right…the week before Christmas. (A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do). Even though everyone over at the Interweave studio was as ready to get on their  holiday cheer as much as myself, we managed to get some good work accomplished. If you’d like to refresh your memory or see the on set pics if you haven’t yet, here’s the link to that December blog post.

DVDCastResinMessageBoardCoverWe filmed four DVDs in 2 days and had a blast doing it. My time to push hard was when I was making all the art work, doing the step outs and just organizing my part of the filming so when I got into the film studio things went as smoothly as possibly. When it was all said and done, I came home to enjoy Christmas. Then it was a push to get to CHA and then Tucson and now it’s already Spring. I knew in the back of my mind that the DVDs were set to come out soon, but I was surprised to get that email from Cherie Haas, fabulous online editor of Cloth, Paper, Scissors telling me that it’s time. The feeling was a bit like having a baby, but forgetting you were knocked up.

So, without further ado, here are some photos of my Mixed-Media Chalkboard with Cast Resin. (if you’re curious about the straightforward titles, blame it on SEO. It’s great for the Internet but it’s killing artist’s and writer’s ability to be clever). This is home decor piece reminds me of the Paris flea markets whenever Susan Lenart Kazmer and I do our art retreat in the South of France because that’s where I bought the hardware I molded and cast.

French Message Board Jen Cushman

This piece is a painted chalkboard. As a technique, I also teach you how to make your own chalk paint (the blue) and your own antiquing wax, thereby saving you money and adding to your creative knowledge of things. This fabulous wooden base is from Walnut Hollow and I love the French Provencal shape of it. Actually, the entire project was inspired by this substrate.  I used old wooden rulers that my sweet hubby swiped from the supply closet of his work for me. He had to go digging around for them. They were in a box on the floor literally gathering dust.


The details are stamped and embossed Paris-inspired images from Stampendous and, of course, my favorite cast ICE Resin embellishments. I had a ton ‘o fun making this chalkboard and I hope you enjoy the DVD too.


If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to head on over to the post Cherie wrote on my new DVD and see what she has to say about it. Also, be sure to check in with my blog this entire week. I’ll be talking about all the new releases.  Cherie will be doing the same at CPS. If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter yet, I’d encourage you to do so. Lots of great info that’s all about mixed media! Also remember that there is a coupon code to save 15% on the videos. It’s CPSVIP15. 

One last thing, since March is National Craft Month, I’ve been working with Walnut Hollow this month with some inspirational projects for their blog. Coincidentally, I have a project up today. (When it rains, it pours) Don’t miss that blog post either. This is another home decor one using wooden spools, steel wire and a stencil. The free tutorial with step outs is on their blog.

Here’s wishing you an Artful day!