I see that I resolved, back in January 2015, to post more often. And I see that I didn't do that! Procrastination certainly played a part, but it is more than that. I haven't been happy with my artistic direction over the past year or so. Not that I didn't make some pretty things that I'm very happy with, of course. But nothing has been particularly satisfying.
To try to figure out what would be satisfying, I took a wonderful course by Debora Mauser, http://www.deboramauserdesigns.com/2014/12/11/fqxbxykc4oymwvcwpfbe8sxwt27ui6. It was held at Wild Acres, the Southeast Federation of Mineral Societies' retreat in the NC mountains. Debora taught us cold connections and torch-fired enameling. I enjoyed every single minute, and Debora certainly packed a lot of information and technique into every single minute! I still can't believe how much she taught during the week. I came home and applied the techniques, but that still wasn't it. It did feed into my objective of learning a lot of techniques so that I can mix and match them as the creative urge requires. Debora teaches a lot of workshops, so check out the link above.
The other thing I did was purchase a tutorial from one of my favorites, Eni Oken, https://www.facebook.com/EniOken/. Not only is she talented in jewelry making skills, but she is one of the most entrepreneurial people I know. I have purchased over the years all of her Creative Journals and her Think & Design series, so I knew when she came out with The Crossover Method it would be worthwhile. It turns out that it is a great tool. It is complex and a challenge and is not something you can get result from overnight. I'm still working on it.
However, just this week I stumbled upon the Flickr site (https://www.flickr.com/photos/auntgriz/) of an artist that I have seen previously and admired. She has numerous tutorials on her blog, http://knighttwork.blogspot.com/, that I have used. I particularly like her border canes. What I found recently was something I hadn't seen before, her combination of polymer clay and wirework. These are 2 of my favorite mediums and it is a combo that I've been thinking about for several years but haven't quite wrapped my mind around. I found her pieces very inspiring and have spent the last couple of days knee deep in polymer clay. Next step is to see what I can do to make a finished product, hopefully with some wirework.
I'll post some photos of the polymer clay pieces I worked on in the past couple of days and will post those with wire when I have them done.