Witchy Studio

I meant to get my travel blog started but I had too much fun in the studio.

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Halloween is coming, and I picked up some napkins in Germany to expand the collection from last year.

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So I set about wrapping wire based on the designs.

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I used the Now That’s A Jig! Big rounds to shape the wire.

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Then I adhered the napkin, which turned out to be of fabulous waxing caliber.

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Skull beads are fun.

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Later in the week I rediscovered a stamp I had purchased after last year’s season.

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So I made a whimsical spider pendant that reminds me of Jip en Janneke illustrations.

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My sister’s felted pieces are also very encaustic-friendly, so more “treats” were made.

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Some bitchy witchys didn’t want to do as I said, so they were scrapped and new ones flown into spiderwebs.

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Some of these pendants will be uploaded later in the week, and I am dropping off a small necklace selection at The Collage Cafe during tomorrow’s playtime drop-in.

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Have fun getting your Halloween adornments together! It’s fun to add to the collection and I am curious to see what goes to new homes this year.

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Studio Time

Here’s a peek at the studio.

WirePrep

I’m busy replenishing my angels and frosties inventory for Small Business Saturday.

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You’ll find me at Rebecca Marie Photography at 5254 N Damen Avenue in Chicago from 10 to 5 on November 28.

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I’m also gearing up for a pop-up at the old See Jane Sparkle Location, which will open December 2.

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I also have the pop-up at Blue Buddha Boutique, so keeping up inventory is important.

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I’m excited about all the new pieces and have more ideas than hands and hours to make them in.

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So many thoughts!

Lists

Getting them dressed is fun.

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Dashes of color everywhere.

Palette

They’ll look so nice on a tree.

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Mark Small Business Saturday on your calendar and be sure to support your local stores.

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My fellow Small Business owners will appreciate it!

Playing with beads

The Bead and Button Show is on May 27 through June 8, but this year I won’t be able to attend.

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I would love to take Brenda Schweder’s Jig workshops, but time- and money-wise it’s not feasible to travel to Milwaukee this year.

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Instead, I am perusing the beads I picked up last year for new projects.  The Yellow Agate chunky beads from Ayla’s Fall Bead Bazaar inspired a new set.

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I love the uneven shapes and the marbled patterns. Playing with the shapes and wrapping steel wire around them to create earrings and two pendants was fun.

ModelingAgateSet

Two other strands caught my eye, the chunky glass beads I also obtained at Ayla’s Fall Bead Bazaar and the purple coral from A Bella Bead in Glen Ellyn.

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The purple coral became a pair of earrings, and I’ll likely add a pendant and a bracelet to match.

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The glass beads have such cheerful colors that were fun to sort.

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I liked playing with different designs based on how the beads coordinated themselves. First I just strung some beads on a wire the traditional way.

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These asked for the classic oval cage design.

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Then I kept wrapping around it until the wire was up.

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The angular beads asked for a triangular shape.

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Then I wrapped around them more.

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Fiddling with wire gauges and bending the beads into clusters is very organic.

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This cluster wrapped itself into a rectangular shape.

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It is fun to watch the pieces catch the light.

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Dirty hands make me feel accomplished.

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Being a matchy-matchy person, I added earrings to the mix as well.

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I still have plenty of beads to make a bangle bracelet.

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I also made Amazonite earrings to go with the collar and bangle set I have up on Etsy.

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These newbies will be loaded onto Etsy after my pop-up shop on May 30 at Creative Coworking.

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‘Heart’ your favorites on Etsy!

A River Rock Commission

After a recent pop-up event a friend asked me if I could wrap her river rock into a pendant.

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When she brought it to me, I instantly thought of a heart shape. She agreed, and the wrapping began, while putting on appropriate music for this dancer.

Music

I used a prior heart pendant as a template, except I had to work this one in reverse. Usually I start with the pendant loop that attaches to the necklace cord, but in order to secure the rock I had to start by wrapping it first.

Inspiration

I gently wrapped the steel wire around the rock, and needed to make a few attempts to get it to be snug with each twist, as the wire would re-align itself.

wrappingRock

When I was happy with securing the rock, I created the heart shape.

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Then I criss-crossed the remainder of the shape, et voila!

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It did ruin the fresh manicure, but such is the life of a wire bender.

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The customer is happy, and I am inspired to pick up some arrowheads to repeat the process.

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I also created a custom collar recently. Making Waves is intended for a tall woman, so I created a smaller version for my customer.

MakingWavesCollarPendant

We measured using a spiral collar and then I got to work replicating the look and feel.

Sizing

I prepped the wire by sandpapering off the grime, hammering it straight and filing off the edges.

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Then I bent it into shape.

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This collar is being worn around town on a regular basis, and I love that it brings such joy to its new owner.

Modeling

As tough as steel wire is, the end result is a light and flowy piece you can pair with any look.

MakingWavesCollar

I take much pleasure shaping the forms and seeing where the wire leads me, as it sometimes won’t  come out as my intended vision. In the same way Amy Lee Segami collaborates with water, the wire tells me which direction it wants to bend into, creating surprising results that appeal to variety of people.

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Browse my Etsy shop to see what I have in stock, and let me know if you want to customize a piece that appeals to you. Earrings, seashells, ribbons, beads, charms, crystals are all fair game to be wrapped into a unique jewelry piece of your own.

Communicating Love

The Textual Encounters show at ARC Gallery inspired me to create two new collages in February. I wrote about Encounters with Language prior to the show opening.

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When I warm up the various wax colors I generally have two new substrates to play with. This keeps me from ruining a layer when I am too impatient to wait for it to cool off enough. Overfusing can create interesting effects, but once collage pieces are laid down the heating and reheating options become more limiting.

substrate

Communicating Love was prompted by the statement that attention and communication are the same thing. I disagreed, but since English is my third language, I gut-checked with my friends (who sided with me—YAY friends!) and checked the trusty dictionary. I always consult the dictionary to confirm the meaning of a word, and find joy in uncovering the layers, origins and evolution of definitions.

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While attention and communication are not the same, they are both ingredients to a successful relationship, so I decided to create my own aspirational recipe for success and added additional words I’d like to see as part of my future. I pulled definitions and highlighted what spoke to me. Then I embedded the paper scraps into the warm wax and fused them with encaustic medium.

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The embedded words include attention, communication, trust, appreciative, respectful, dependable, devoted, worthy, bold, kindhearted, authentic, integrity, reliable and reciprocal. Whether these words are interpreted the same by a partner is what makes a relationship ground for challenge and discovery.

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When the fusing of the collaged pieces was done, I decided to apply the oil pigment technique from prior workshops, and carved in the words love, admiration, fun, joy, laughter, faith, companion, happy, pleasure and agape.

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I thought about adding a wire heart and a small wire embellishment to this piece before I started it.

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Finishing Encounters with Language expanded on that notion and had me wrangling 10 feet of wire into my biggest heart-shape to date.

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Sizing and resizing took some effort.

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Packing this bouncy piece would have been a shipping challenge.

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I am glad I could drop the work off in person.

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I am extremely proud to have my own wall in the gallery, and look forward to expanding on the wire-y elements of future wall decor.

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Textual Encounters is up through March 28. ARC Gallery is located at 2156 N Damen Avenue in Chicago. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12 to 6 pm, and Sundays from 12 to 4 pm.

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The participating FUSEDChicago artists in Textual Encounters include: Ahavani Mullen, Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Amy Van Winkle, April Nomellini, Brad Hook, Carol Hamilton, Carol Myers, Cat Crotchett, Catherine Keebler, Cheryl Holz, Dan Addington, Donna Zarbin-Byrne, Elyse Martin, Emily Rutledge, Jennifer Schmidt, Jennifer Terpstra, Jenny Learner, Julia Ris, Karen Tichy, Kari Hall, Kathy Blankley Roman, Katsy Johnson, Laura LaRue, Linda Sorkin Eisenberg, Maike van Wijk, Mary Krebs Smyth, Michele Thrane, Pat Lagger, Rebecca Stahr, Sarah Rehmer, Shelley Gilchrist, VA de Pintor.

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New pendants for dibs

I made a few new pendants this month that I almost do not want to part with.

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The studio has been shiny and bright, luring me in.

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Someone posted Isaiah 55:12 in a piece of their work, so I went to my art Bible and ripped that page out for a pendant.

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Don’t you love its message?

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May it bring much joy to its future wearer.

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Meanwhile, Iggy Azalea’s ear worm was in my head, so I took a piece of Hello Holiday tissue paper and stamped its theme onto the paper (but not quite out of my head).

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I was also feeling the need to create an empowerment talisman with royal purple.

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American Authors’ song reminds me to live each day to the fullest this year, so I wrote their lyrics out too.

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For the Evanston Art Center’s 12th Annual Winter Arts & Crafts EXPO I created a green pendant, which will debut there November 22.

GreenEXPOPendant

For their Men’s Shopping Day: Saturday, December 20 from 10am to 4 pm I also made a keychain (though I think they’re supposed to get help shopping for the leading ladies in their lives).

GoldKeyChainEXPO

Turning the clock back has me feeling like I am chasing daylight as the sun sets sooner.

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I also used some scraps to create mini pendants.

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Clearly purple is vibing with me these days.

PurpleSwirlPendant

I’ve also got a few more earrings in my head that will hopefully come out of my hands soon.

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I have not loaded these on Etsy yet but you can message me via Facebook for your selection or special order. Holiday pendants are coming too.

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Lots of ornaments are in the works and some will float around Chicagoland next month. Etsy will gradually update between holiday fairs.

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If you like to shop in person, you can peruse The ADA Holiday Fair downtown on December 5, the Waukegan West class of 1990 fundraiser December 6, and the Bucktown Holiday Fair December 13 & 14.

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a (messy) glimpse at fair preparations

What it looks like when I am in pre-fair production mode:

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Preparing and bending wire:

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wirebending

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Adding embellishments:

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Keeping track of labor and materials:

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Determining what to send to the Evanston Art Center Winter EXPO.

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Lemont fair re-cap coming soon…

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Visit Aurora Rose between 2 and 4 p.m. on Wednesday to meet entrepreneurial women, try some tasteful snacks, and order custom pieces from me while trying on Aurora Rose inventory.

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It’ll be fun!