Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Angelwood Gallery Earring Request and Fiber 577


While I was away at my artist's residency a few things went on the back burner that I'm catching up on today.  Angelwood Gallery in Grand Rapids Ohio requested that I send more earrings.  I met Julie, the owner and consequently ended up carrying my jewelry at her gallery through the Fiber 577 Exhibit last year. 


I am preparing to ship the three pieces that were accepted into this year's Fiber 577 Exhibit and since Julie does the unpacking of work I'm adding in these 4 pairs of earrings for Angelwood Gallery too.  I haven't made earrings in a while!  As I was going through my teal beads the teal with gold polka dots accent beads were calling to me so I put them in a dark gold pod. I may have to make myself a pair to keep.

Fiber 577 is a weekend-long fiber exhibit running June 7 & 8. Then the artists who have accepted the invitation have their piece go over to Angelwood Gallery. Brittany and I attended the private showing for the artists last year and had a great time at the show and in Perrysburg, Ohio!


The other item that I'm catching up on is preparing for my class on Saturday.  I'm really excited that the class is ending up larger than I had anticipated so I'm making sure to have plenty of different beads for purchase, samples and my print-outs.  I feel that it's good to give printed instructions to my students, but I have noticed that we very rarely use them. I'm much more of a hands-on instructor.  The St. Petersburg Chain is a really cool stitch, and although the class is for making a bracelet, one student has asked about starting a necklace, which we can do . I may not get to posting a blog about the options this week, maybe a follow-up on what this class's extended options are.  If you're interested in signing up, you can do so online at Interlochen's Website HERE.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blueberry View Artists Retreat Final Notes

Uprooted 2: Big Ugly

So Uprooted 2: Big Ugly is the piece that I finished while at Blueberry View.  I was worried that these pieces would take so long I wouldn't get one done, but being away from home, distractions, office work etc made it possible to do such a feat!  This is part of my Uprooted Series, but it has the nickname "Big Ugly" because it comes from a tree-bush-thing that used to be in our front yard that Zack ever so fondly named "Big Ugly."  I turned out rather lovely I think.



While working on attaching the tendrils to the root, I found that the longest tendril could be used (I was worried about the weight and it not maintaining it's shape) with the support of a part of a branch that it conveniently warps around.  I was unsure how to attach it at first.  Glue would look icky, it dawned on me that I could drill holes to stitch it to the branch stub.  I am so excited that I found the tiniest of drill bits that went well with my beading needle:


This photo was hard to get, but you can see the thread between the wood and beads:

And...pulled tight!


I finished Uprooted 2 on Wednesday giving me Thursday to focus on Uprooted 3: Growth



I've still got plenty of work on finishing the roots and I'm on to the third tendril.  I was thinking this piece may have 3-5 tendrils, we'll see where it goes.

Uprooted 1, 2 and 3

Reception set up.

She Can't See the Forest through the Trees, on the wall. 
Not as impressive as how it's supposed to be hung, but its a good piece that shows the depth of my work. 

Janet and Mark hosted a lovely reception in the Studio/Apartment that I had been working in.  I was happy to talk to other artists in their area.  Also, my parents, brother and niece all came by too!  Thank you everyone who attended and have been following along with my work.  This weekend I will be continuing to bead tendrils, I haven't started a good set up for the sanding yet.  I'm thinking outside is a good spot though.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blueberry View Artists Retreat Update: Day 9

I’m going to divide this post into two sections because I have been working on two different pieces for this series simultaneously.  First is Uprooted 2:

Uprooted 2: Big Ugly

I will be finishing this piece off while I’m here.  On day 4 I had figured out the position of the tendrils.  Since then I have had to move my sanding operations inside as it got cold and rainy at the end of last week.


I did get the remainder of it sanded the holes drilled for the beaded tendrils and today I put a coat of walnut oil on it for finishing.  I have also added the first larger bead detail within a space in the root where I removed a large part that had been burnt or charred at some point.




Bead detail

Before Walnut oil

After Walnut Oil

Uprooted 3: Growth

I'm not sure if I'll get this piece done in the next 3 days or not.  It's got a lot of detailed sanding to it, and I'm only half done with the second tendril.  I imagine this piece will have 4 + tendrils on it, so I'm working diligently.  I hope to at least have all of the sanding done and be ready to apply the walnut oil and wax to it for the reception on Thursday night.

Tendril 1


Tendril 2

Pre-sanding

Starting sanding


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blueberry View Artists Retreat Update: Day 4


I can't believe it's already been 4 days! I have mostly been beading and sanding my base pieces.  I got the really long tendril for Uprooted 2 finished on Tuesday (above photo) and got to start compiling the actual piece.  I took a ton of photos of different positions that I could apply to this sculpture.  I kept going back to the image below, so I think that has settled it for me.  I may end up beading one more smaller tendril for this piece, but I think it's going to be pretty strong with or without it.  I'm also wondering if I can make this piece stand on its own like the photo and also hang on the wall.  Lots of ideas rolling around in my head.


My sanding process was thwarted by rain yesterday.  I got a little bit done in the morning and then it started to dribble, which is not goo for use of power tools.  So I went to the beads for my focus for the day, hoping the rain would stop.  I did decide to look at the weather report and it's supposed to continue to be cold and rainy so I started to consider how to move my sanding into the studio without getting sawdust in my beads.  Mark has graciously offered me the use of his wood shop, but my hand starts feeling weird and vibrating after a half hour of sanding so I really like being able to go back and forth within the studio.  If I worked in the shop, I'd be running up and down stairs, and bundling up against the cold.

So I've started in on beading tendrils for Uprooted 3, I'm not sure if I'll have time to get this entire piece finished, but with beading all day yesterday and for two and half hours this morning I'm beyond half done and on to the straight part of it.  Not having to worry about beading around curvatures makes for much easier and faster beading.



Janet and Mark had me over for an amazing dinner on Tuesday evening.  I probably could have visited with them all night.  I learned a lot of their background and their inspiration for Blueberry View Artists Retreat.  The house they built is also amazing, such artwork and antiques that enrich their home!

If you're in the area or willing to drive, all are welcome to come out for my reception next Thursday evening, you'll get to see what I've been creating in person, meet Janet and Mark and see their amazing property with gardens and antiques.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Blueberry View Artists Retreat: Day 1.5



As you can tell from previous blog posts I've been excited for my very first artist residency.  I left for Blueberry View Artist Retreat on Sunday late morning to arrive here in the afternoon.  It’s lovely to finally meet Janet and Mark after only emailing and talking on the phone.  They are both artists themselves, they live on the property, have their studios here and run an antique shop.  I moved in and got straight to work.  The large tendril has been lingering, so that’s what I’m finishing up beading, but I’m also getting into sanding my first root/trunk piece.  It’s been a while since I've used my Dremel tool this much, but after 4 + hours I’m starting to think it needs a name. I've really been enjoying peeling back the layers of this wood piece and discovering what’s underneath.  I like to smooth it out, but not so much that it doesn't still look like it came from nature.  I am quickly becoming engrossed in this process and loosing hours at a time.

Day 1

Day 1

I have the best set up for sanding.  I had packed drop cloths and towels anticipating working in the large studio space provided me in this apartment, but I have a little deck overlooking the blueberry fields and gardens (see top photos). There’s a granite slab mounted to the corner of the deck for a grill, which has been a great outdoor work space to keep all of the sawdust outside.  Not only is the sawdust outside, it’s just windy enough to pick up the sawdust and take it away as I remove it from the wood.  I’m even getting some sun.  I may come back with a weird bandanna/eye protection tan if it keeps going this direction.

Day 2

Day 2

I wasn't sure what to expect as far as getting on a daily schedule.  I’m used to scheduling my art time around other people, meetings, work or on the go.  I've been starting my day with yoga, coffee and beading.  I have been thinking about exploring Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, but I haven’t wanted to leave my new space just yet.  I did make it to the grocery store and the Riverside Tavern for a yummy burger for dinner.

Tendril Yesterday

Tendril tonight


I do believe that I’ll be hunkering down with this tendril, fingers crossed, getting it finished up.  One of the issues I’m running into while beading it is not only its size, but its weight.  Right now it weighs 89 grams (3.1 ounces) which is kind of heavy for one hand holding it in various positions.  I often forget just how much glass beads end up weighing.  I think I’ll be sticking to smaller beaded pieces after this experience.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Packing up and Heading Out


Sunday I leave to my very first artist's residency at Blueberry View Artists Retreat.  I've been making myself anxious thinking about all the items I have to take to be able to work on the Uprooted series. I have been working on beaded tendrils and had hoped to have the really long one done before I left, but it's got about 7 more inches and I've got a bunch of packing and cleanup to do before I go, so we'll see.  It's the tendril on the left in the above picture.  Uprooted 1 has 3 large tendrils and 2 tiny ones.  My current roots may be a little larger, so I'm not very far in to making all the tendrils I want, but it's a start.

I have about 4 roots and pieces of wood packed to work on.  I think this may be setting my sights too high for only two weeks, but I'm not sure which root is going to go with the tendrils that I've already made, so it's best to be prepared.


To relax, but keep beading, I have been making leaves, of all sizes and colors, for future leaf panels.  When I do sit down to start in on a panel it's less overwhelming if I have a stockade of leaves to start laying out.  In making various sized leaves, I made the above tiny earrings.  This neon red color has really struck me lately, as you may have noticed in the previous hexagon set.  So I made a tiny set that's only 1.3 inches long from the top of the earwire to the bottom tip of the leaf  This style is only $35.00.


I love piling my tendrils and taking photo details of them.  I have ideas for some even more involved beaded pieces with this in mind.  We'll see how long it takes for that to come to fruition! I can only bead so long per day before my shoulder starts clicking and my fingers can't hold tight anymore.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Juried Exhibits and Awards, oh my!

I literally got so much good news coming through my email that I couldn't shorten it to 140 characters for Twitter and other various social media so I'm posting a blog about it instead.

The first email I received from Jennifer Gould who organized the Michigan League of Handweavers Biennial Exhibit this year.  All three of my pieces that I submitted were juried in by Ann Kiester.

I'm happy to say that In Progress won two awards: Complex Weavers Award and an Honorable Mention


Climbing won an Honorable Mention,


and Small Leaf Panel in Blue was accepted into the show.


This exhibit can be seen at the Holland Arts Council Gallery May 17th through June 29th.  Also, June 29th the juror will be giving a talk and handing out awards.  I would also like to add a side-note that I'm really happy that my In Progress piece was awarded, it happens to be one of my favorites.


The second really great email I got was from the Fiber 577 jurying with a list of the artists and pieces accepted into this show.  Again, all three pieces that I submitted were accepted!

They are all jewelry this year:




Fiber 577 is a weekend show running June 7th and 8th in Perrysburg, Ohio at the 577 Foundation.  Brittany and I went to the private reception last year and it was a wonderful show that was really well done.  I'm honored to be part of it again.  After this weekend show, my pieces will be moving over to Angelwood Gallery June 19th -31th in Grand Rapids, Ohio.

I was already pretty proud of myself for getting in gear and doing a bunch of "business" stuff that I have been putting off. Transferring my jennyschu.com domain name so I'm not spending so much money on Yahoo's auto-renewal.  Bear with my if this particular domain name doesn't work while I make sure everything transfers correctly. One can still use jennyschu.net or jennybehler.com.

I started a MailChimp account to start doing a newsletter again so look out! I even figured out how to transfer my ConstantContact list over.  Of course, you can still find out about all of my workshops and travels on my website.

As icing on the cake, I got an email from a gentleman who is looking to purchase his wife one of my bangles for Mother's Day. 

Can today get any better?! Yes, it can, my husband and I have plans to go over to the Potters Guild Sale which opens tonight.

Now, back to trying to organize all of my dates, when things are going where and getting more beading done on tendrils for my residency at Blueberry View starting May 11th!