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

Back to Back, Again….

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.

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.

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!

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.

Calling all Art Journalers…

cover image

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.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful day!

What happens in Vegas…

Stays in Vegas. Ok, not so much. What’s really happening in Las Vegas this summer is the fabulous Art and Soul mixed-media art retreat where I’m teaching three classes. The event is June 14-18 and registration is currently open.

art and soul Las Vegas

Art and Soul Las Vegas page graphic of some exciting art samples and workshops.

Glenny does an amazing job putting on her inspiring events. The people who attend are all so excited about their art and learning techniques to take it to the next level. It really is a bucket list thing for me to teach at Art and Soul, and I can’t wait to get to the gorgeous Green Valley resort to start making all kinds of mixed-media jewelry.

art and soul butterfly and resin necklace

I’ll be teaching a class from a project in my book Explore, Create, Resinate; Mixed Media Techniques Using ICE Resin. It’s one of my favorite images from the book where I use a real butterfly wing, some French text, a little special technique to get the wings to “pop” and encase them in ICE. The entire necklace is made by hand too, and that means the rolled metal bail, the resin paper beads and proper attachments of metal wire to silk fibers to create a gorgeous and strong necklace. It is so much more than a resin class, it’s also a metalsmithing basics class too. You can read more about my Eternally Beautiful Butterfly Necklace class here.

jen Cushman mica cuff bracelet

I’ve also developed a brand new class – Mica and Metal, Oh My! – for Art and Soul Las Vegas for a mixed-media cuff. These mica charms are so much fun to create, and can be used in jewelry or other mixed-media applications like on journals or assemblages. Students will learn to cut the cuff shape from metal sheet (nickel or bronze), stamp it with metal stamps for a sentiment of their choice, anneal it and form it. We’ll also be properly attaching the paper and mica charms to the cuff as well. Students can also save the charms for other projects and create a simple formed cuff if they so choose.

Jen Cushman publishing graphic

Lastly, lots of folks have asked me to teach a class on the publishing process. This class called Marketing Youself and Your Art to Editors covers the nuts-and-bolts basics about writing queries, emailing editors, showing your work in its best light, coming up with article ideas and following through with deadlines. If you’re an artist who wants to talk professionally with editors and learn how to not only get your foot in the door, but stay there, this will be a valuable class for you.

In addition to my classes, I’m excited to be sharing a room with my very dear friend and fellow artist/instructor Kari McKnight Holbrook. She’s teaching 3 great classes, including my personal favorite called Rockin Resin Reliquaries using what else??? ICE Resin.

Be sure to check out the retreat and also poke around to see how cool the resort is. What a great summer vacation to immerse yourself in art and also be inspired by gorgeous surroundings. It may still be Vegas, but its pretty far from the Strip. I’m planning on signing up for a mini spa session too. Who’s joining me?