Feed Your Muse!

MusesApollo

My muse is mysterious and wonton in her ways.  Do not ask me her name.  I do not know it.  She is elusive, fickle and quite severe on some days, cracking her glorious whip – driving me forward without regard for my need for sleep, nutrition, fresh air, etc.   My back aches from leaning over the bench, my wrist from an injury less than a year ago still fresh on my mind, my eyes cross due to sleep deprivation and still she drives me.
I do not direct my Muse.  She directs me.  It is my job to follow, to be slave to her whims and master her desires.  My muse takes me down rabbit holes, where bright ideas are born in the ‘moments’ fire.  Wonderful accidents lead me in a whole different direction than I set out intending to take.  That leads to breakthroughs.  My success is all to her credit.  I am just the vessel that she fills.

So how exactly does one find their muse?  I recently found this article on finding your muse by Alisha Burk and realized that I couldn’t say it any better.  Check it out and let me know if it helps you find your muse. Here is a small excerpt to whet your appetite:

There’s no doubt that the Muse can speak to us through others. But what makes your work original is knowing which influences to use and which to tune out. It’s an interesting life these days: TV (yay!), internet, IPhones, US Weekly (double yay!), check your email, check your texts, voicemail, multi-tasking (boo!), news, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, “Like”, “Unlike”, post, delete, upload, download . . . . .repeat! This constant snowstorm of information clouds my brain. I wake up in the middle of the night wondering about my inbox (I know, it’s totally obsessive!) Where does it end?! Is there an end?

In the middle if this madness, where does our Muse get a chance to speak to us? Can our inspiration sing if its voice is drowned out by all of these digital voices and influences? I mean, it’s great, this new communication, but every blessing brings its own kind of curse! How do we manage this flood without drowning in it? …”

To read the rest of this inspiring article, follow this link : http://findingyourmuseonlineclass.blogspot.com/

And by all means, if you are a jewelry artist looking for inspiration, be sure to catch my 50% off sale on all of my tutorials in my Etsy shop. Today is the last day of the sale! Remember to use coupon code Happy2014 at checkout for the discount! https://www.etsy.com/shop/TutorialShop

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Copyrights and Inspiration by: Mary Tucker

Mary Tucker recently added a very thoughtful post to her blog, The Angsty Artist, regarding giving credit when it is due but also knowing when to take credit for your own work.

Excerpt:
…. I have made a design that is 100% the same as Sharilyn Miller without ever seeing that design until years later. Sometimes the matter comes down to whether or not you believe what someone tells you. I have actually felt pressure to LIE and say I was inspired by someone else even when I wasn’t. Just so that I would not look bad. Maybe you have also felt that pressure.

Though I believe in honoring our inspirations and teachers, I don’t believe we should be enslaved by them. I don’t believe it is empowering to set down every jot and tittle of their influences on each piece we make. …

READ THE FULL BLOG POST HERE:   http://theangstyartist.blogspot.com/2010/08/copyrights-and-inspiration.html#links

UWF Course: Introduction to Wire Wrap Jewelry Begins September 6th, 2011

I will be presenting Introduction to Wire Wrap Jewelry at the University of West Florida beginning Tuesday, September 6th. This course is designed to take a beginners skills to the next level.  No prior experience is required for this course.  Students will learn a variety of traditional wire wrapping techniques and enjoy a variety of beginners projects that will lead them on to more advanced intermediate projects.   Students will gain a foundation of basics that must be mastered before moving on to more advanced projects.  Learn stone setting, two styles of pendants, how to make your own findings (ear wires, head pins, jump rings, toggle clasps, various styles of hook clasps, etc.), five different rings, basic forging techniques, multiple bracelet/bangle styles and more in this four week course!  Students who advance quickly will receive bonus projects as time allows.  Individual expression will be encouraged and students will have the opportunity to incorporate beads, cabochons and found objects from their personal collection.  See some of the skills that students will master in this course below;

Herringbone weave, hammered toggles

Border Wrap Pendant with Sculpted Bail

Border Wrap with Dangles

Nested Ring

Forging Basics

Custom Toggles made to match your Focals

Forged Crosses

Bi-Metal Twist Ring

Fibula style pins/brooches

     These are just a few examples of what students can expect to learn.   I will be on hand and available by phone and private forum outside of class time for assistance.  The skills learned in this course are valued at over $350 if taken as individual classes, but are offered at the deeply discounted value of only $175 for a four week course that meets in eight two and a half hour sessions.  Classes meet Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m.

Questions?  Email: Instructor@DeliaStone.com

The Year Of Jewlery Project 2011

Some of you may be familiar with the Year of Jewelry project while others have never heard of it before. I was fortunate enough to get in on the ground floor of this project way back in 2004 when it began. In the YOJ project international participants commit to make one piece of jewelry per week with the goal of honing their skills and feeding their creativity. Optional themes are offered for each of the 52 weeks, which I rarely followed but always loved seeing the product of the many other jewelry artists who did follow themes. Not only was it a booster shot for your personal jewelry making skills, but the gallery served as a wonderland of inspirational images. I credit the YOJ project with much of my growth as an artist and I feel certain any other committed participants feel the same. For more on the history of the YOJ project, click here: Year of Jewelry Project

I participated from 2004 to 2008 but then fell under the impression that the project had wound down, ultimately ceasing to exist. That is why I have not participated for the last two years. Just last week I was thinking about the YOJ and what a shame it was that it no longer existed. Then, out of the blue I found out that not only was the project still very much alive but that the information came to me in enough time for me to sign back on and participate in this project once again.

If you’d like to participate, and if you’re a jewelry maker be it absolute novice to respected wire guru I HIGHLY recommend participation in this project. Registration is free and open until January 7th. Your first project is due on the 8th. To register go here and fill out the contact form by January 7th. You will receive an email with a password and further instructions from one of the organizers.

I would love to see some of my artist friends out there joining in the YOJ project. The more talent we have the greater our inspiration as a group is. However, if you choose not to join in this go round or found this post too late you can sign up for the next quarter. See the Official YOJ 2011 site for details. I do recommend that even if you aren’t participating that you bookmark the page and follow the weekly entries. You will find yourself quite inspired by the wonderful offerings each week.

New Seven Tutorial Student Package $24.99

I recently made this offer available on ebay and on my etsy Tutorialshop and I am spreading the word!

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This awesome Tutorial Package from Delia Stone offers ALL SEVEN of DELIA’S TUTORIALS for one awesome price! 

 

Included in the package is the Twist Ring, Needlelace Caged Pendant, Netted Bezel Pendant, Egyptian Coil Bracelet, Mosaic Eye Earrings, Wire Wrapped Toggle and the Hand Coiling Tutorial.  Individually, these tutorials would cost you $40 but you can get them in this package deal for only $24.99!

 

Tutorials are heavily illustrated with photos and detailed descriptions every step of the way.  Nothing is left to the imagination!

 

While higher level skills are taught in addition to beginner level skills BEGINNERS SHOULD NOT SHY AWAY!  A beginning wire worker is rewarded with an education on developing intermediate to advanced level skills.  Approach these tutorials as a course in taking your skills to the next level!  Should you encounter difficulty along the way you are not left on your own.  You will have direct access to your instructor, Delia Stone – one on one personalized assistance is guaranteed!

 

Take advantage of this great Tutorial Package today!

 

Please Note: You are purchasing digital files in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.  Adobe Acrobats PDF reader is available FREE online.  Files will be delivered to the email address associated to the paypal account through which you make payment.

 

Free Lesson: How to Develop Your Jewelry Making Skills

Recently, on a jewelry making forum that I participate in, a fellow member posed a valuable question.
Beautyseek writes:
“A Wise Guide is a Gift … This was a saying I saw while reading Tim Mccreight’s book. For those who have been working with wire and metal for sometime, what would be the most important piece/s of advice you can give to those at the beginning of the journey?”
That question set me to thinking about what I had to share that might be valuable to others.
My Answer would be:
Practice, practice, practice! Be daring and try new things even if you think they are beyond your level of experience. You will never expand your level of experience otherwise.
Continue to browse the forums and take inspiration from other artist. You will discover techniques that will take you in new directions.
When you make a mistake, keep it around for a while … continue to play with it and watch how mistakes can become treasures.

Below is a very useful exercise in helping to develop yourself as an artist:

Choose a technique to work with. Commit to making at least 3 pieces, each time changing something about the design but utilizing the same basic technique. Watch the technique evolve right before your eyes.

To offer an example, I will share the three stages I went through in developing my needle lace line.

Stage One: Flat Work

Stage one was actually the most difficult. I had to refine the technique, and that took practice.
Back to what I was saying about how mistakes can become treasures – my first attempt to create a flat worked needle lace piece landed in the scrap pile. I was disappointed with it and reached the point of giving up. I left my apparent failed experiment sitting on the end table next to my favorite chair in my temporary scrap pile.  Items thrown in this pile either evolve or they eventually get thrown into the permanent scrap pile.
The next time I was sitting in my chair having a conversation with my other half, I unconsciously reached over and started to fiddle with the piece. I wasn’t really very invested in what I was doing … I just let my fingers do the walking while I did the talking. Suddenly, I looked down and was surprised to see that I actually LIKED the piece I had in my hand. No longer a failed experiment … it was now a unique and lovely pendant! I made a second pendant and was even more pleased with the results. I was encouraged to move forward.
Sometimes, my hands just want to be busy whether I am in full jewelry making mode or not – this is the perfect time to fiddle with experiments gone awry. Because I am no longer afraid to ‘mess them up’ I am much more relaxed and prone to take more chances with my experiment. The results are often favorable.

 

 
 
 Stage Two: Circular Work
I found this stage easier than the first. Having something to cleave to and to form the wire to seemed to make a big difference in the difficultly level of the project. Of course the practice I had with the techniqe while experimenting with the flat work no doubt contributed to making it easier as well.
In stage two, I worked the needle lace in a circular pattern to ‘cage’ a stone in order to make a pendant. The results were more than encouraging once again.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 


Stage Three: Circular Bezel Work

Now THIS was fun! Filled with confidence from my success with the circular work I ventured further and applied the use of an armature to adapt the needle lace to create a netted bezel pendant. I wanted to keep it simple to keep the focus on the netting while showcasing a beautiful stone. This stage was more difficult than either of the previous stages, but the effort was well worth the outcome.  

After becoming comfortable with the needle lace technique I began looking for variations on the technique.  Below are two examples of variations;

 

 

 

 

Button Hole Stitch:
 

Button hole detail:

Adding Windows to the Netting:

 
 
 

     The same technique results in three very unique though clearly related pieces.  Adding variations only adds to the fun and adds additional interest to the work.  This was really a fun experiment. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot along the way and you will too if you apply this exercise to a technique.  It doesn’t have to be an uncommon technique.  You can work variations on border wrap styles, coiled work, scroll work – your imagination is the only limitation!

     It’s important to try new things if you want to keep your interest in jewelry alive and feed your inspiration. Set a personal challenge for yourself and go for it. The above experiment is ideal to get you started. If you pick a technique and apply the same principle I think you will be delighted with your results and learn a great deal in the process.

      If you would like to learn the netting techniques used in the experiment above, you can check out the downloadable tutorials on my website, DeliaStone.com.  The Needlelace Caged Pendant (example number two) and the Netted Bezle Pendant (example number three) are available in a tutorial package for just $12.

    

So what are you waiting for? Pick your technique and get started today!

Delia Stone
Unique Artisan Jewelry and Tutorials
www.DeliaStone.com