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.

BanglesJenCushmanAU2

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.

AU15FaceintheCrowd1Jen

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.

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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.

JenSig

 

 

 

A new direction

Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman

Susan and me in Madrid, Spain on our unintended day trip after our flight home from France was cancelled. Here we are doing one of the things we like to do — turning lemons into champagne by creating new experiences.

Have you seen the news on the ICE Resin blog?

We’ve entered an exclusive manufacturing and distribution agreement with Ranger Industries for Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin products. Susan and I are staying on to continue working this beautiful ship we’ve built and help steer it in exciting new directions. I cannot tell you how happy we are to have found the perfect partnership to make ICE Resin grow and bloom into everything Susan wanted it to be when she founded it eight years ago. This change is going allow us to focus on our core competencies. I do want to take a moment to acknowledge what an incredible business woman Susan is. Most people see this amazing artist, but they have no idea how much smarts, grace, strategic thinking and hard work she put into her position as President and Founder.  It’s been an honor to work with her.

ranger ink logo

Susan is now Creative Director of ICE Resin. She gets to do what she does best and loves the most: think, dream, build, invent and inspire all amazing things jewelry and mixed-media related. Watch out world, and unfettered Susan Lenart Kazmer is a beautiful thing to watch indeed. Stay tuned! I’ve seen a little bit of what’s to come and I’m blown away. As Education Director, I’ll focus on what I love — being an art educator and creating DIY programs to showcase all the the amazing techniques Susan’s developed over the years so others can continue to learn how to use resin and SLK products in their own art making. We will continue to teach workshops, create videos, do online education, write books and articles and pursue new opportunities. We’ll continue to do new product development for ICE Resin hand-in-hand with Ranger. This is the big time, folks.

One of the biggest challenges of being an artist-based company is that we’ve had to take on all the company responsibilities as we were growing. Finances, sales, manufacturing, trade show logistics, vendor relations, customer service and a host of other tasks that are absolutely essential to running a successful business. We’ve stuck together and done it, even though we’ve had some rough patches where we’ve looked at each other and said “What are we doing? We’re artists”!!!

We woke up every day and put one foot in front of another and grew the company. We “made the donuts” (remember that old Dunkin Donuts commercial?) because we have responsibilities that we’ve always taken very seriously to our customers, employees and creative team of artists. Last year, it became clear to us that in order to up level ICE Resin to the next big rung of success, we needed to find the right partners who shared our vision and also our deep commitment to our creative tribe and industry. This process was a long one that developed after many months and meetings. It was a literal meeting of the minds with every conceivable detail being worked out.

So begins a new chapter, more like a new book; a sequel. The characters are in place, the journey continues, the plot thickens. Keep reading. Hopefully we can make this next book a page-turner. I can promise you that we will never be out of ideas. With Ranger’s support, now is the time to fly.

Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman Boat in Paris

Cheers!

Viva La France

I’m so excited! The time has come for our workshop in France. I’m heading out Thursday and come this weekend, I’ll be wandering through all the amazing Paris flea markets with Susan and our students looking for centuries-old treasures to not only inspire me, but also to re-purpose into mixed-media art! After five days in Paris, we’re heading by high-speed train to the South of France for our retreat.

Since there’s still a million and one things I need to do before I leave, I thought I’d give you all a quick photo collage of some of the past pictures from our Relics, Ruins and Resin Alchemy workshop.

Ruins Relics and Resin with Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman

This workshop is a big undertaking with lots of logistics and a small, intimate group of people. Our students are not only looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience but are dedicated to digging deeper into their work and getting a full immersion experience in the best techniques Susan Lenart Kazmer‘s developed throughout her 25-plus art career. I’m really looking forward to teaching the ICE Resin and casting part of this workshop. Susan, of course, is going to be teaching her amazing soldering and caging, forging, brazing and wireworking techniques. I’ll be listening and soaking it all up, not to mention I plan to come home with some amazing new jewelry of my own.

Interested in learning more about our trip, jump over to the ICE Resin website workshops page. Want to see more on this magical retreat known as La Cascade, be sure to click the link.

france workshop logo

Once I return in two weeks, I’m planning to do a series of blog posts on the trip. I plan to share some video, lots of pics and more information about La Cascade and what it, and France in general, means for me personally and for my soul’s growth.

Bon Voyage everyone. Stay well, happy and creative.

JenSig

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.

JenCushmanLayersandDepth

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.

XOXO

JenSig

 

 

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:

CPSblogMay20

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.

 

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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.

JenSig

Secret coupon code

Hey peeps! My editor at F+W just sent me an email saying that the marketing folks gave me my own secret code. Sounds so very spy-like doesn’t it??

I can give away 25 of these codes and it’s only available to my blog followers. It’s a 20% off coupon for my new dvds. I can’t publish the code here, but if you email me at jencushman@ymail.com then I can send it to you. The code expires April 30th.

You can find all of my new dvds in the sidebar to the right. These are affiliate links with the publisher so I’ll make a few pennies when you purchase them using these specific links. Just click on the image and it will take you there. Once you have the code from me, you can fill in the box before purchase.

JenCushman Fork Hook Detail1LR

Also, if you do read my blog and you’ve already watched any of these videos I would sure appreciate you leaving a review on the Interweave site. Obviously the more stars, the better the review, but please give honest feedback because it’s important that people who don’t know me and who’re taking your reviews into consideration get your authentic opinions.

I know I’ve said this before at various times, but it bears repeating because its true for myself and my fabulous friends in mixed media. If you follow an artist’s work via their blog/social media/classes and she/he has truly inspired you in some way or added to your personal knowledge base, one of the very best thank yous is a good review of the artist’s books on Amazon or her products on sites that let you offer customer feedback.

It’s not a simple path to fully embrace the artist’s life because you need to have multiple revenue streams to make a living from your creativity. There are a fortunate few whose work is in demand to the point where they paint all day while their sales reps and/or agents and/or business partners take care of the rest. Most studio artists are juggling marketing, emails, sales, Etsy stores, branding, etc. and that can gobble up more hours in the week than actual art-making time. When the career-making projects such a books, dvds, ebooks, online classes do make their way into the world, your public support counts.

Asemblagepack

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s to all of us beautiful creatives!

JenSig