Saturday, July 30, 2011

NEW Dates! NEW classes! Wild Wire Women Retreats...

I just posted on my WWW blog some NEW dates for NEW classes held here at my mountain home in Idyllwild, California. If you love wire, metal, and found objects (and beads!), you will find something terrific to make and to treasure.
For example, above you can see a sampling (just a sampling) of the bangle cuffs you can make using sheet metal, hammers, a Dremel, etchant solution, hole punches, rivets, nuts & bolts, and more. This is an all-day workshop, very intensive, and full of great techniques for grungy jewelry making. I supply all the copper sheet metal you need to make three cuffs!
The photo below shows my "faux raku" polymer clay beads, another full-day class that results in the most gorgeous beads in a variety of shapes and sizes—super fun and creative!
I provide all the materials needed to make your beads; you may need additional small beads and pearls to make a finished jewelry piece if you so desire.
The image below is my "Fruit of the Vine" necklace with lots of wire links, charms, bead wraps and dangles plus a handmade clasp. It is intensive, but an ambitious beginner could tackle it. You might finish a necklace as pictured below in one day, but it might take more time... in any case, you will love the finished showpiece! I supply all the copper wire to make a necklace, and you provide your own pendant and beads/pearls.
Copper Tubing Bracelets (below) are a blast! Use common tubing from the hardware store (I provide it for you), wire (copper wire is provided, but if you wish to use silver wire you must bring your own), and a few beads as desired... we use wire not only to make fabulous wrapped bead connectors but also a variety of shaped charms. Foreign coins can be punched and altered as well, and added to your special piece. It's the coolest thing ever; even your teenagers will like these bracelets!
I teach a variety of wire weaving classes, too. Below is a new creation using a Frozen Charlotte doll, beads, pearls, vintage buttons, and (naturally) fine-gauge wire. But this is only one possibility amongst many! Check out my Wire Weaving page for more suggestions for what you can create. All the copper wire you need for each project is provided in your workshop fee.
I still offer some of my most popular standbys, too. For example, the Green Goddess necklace pictured below is a very popular piece that I've taught several times in my mountain studio. You will learn wire coiling and shaping techniques, a handmade chain, S-clasp with bead, wrapped eye-pins and more. All the copper wire you need to make a finished necklace is provided.
There are several more workshops—both full-day and half-day classes—offered in my new lineup. I hope you'll take some time to peruse them all and put them on your list of must-do workshops! To see my updated offerings, click here.
Here's the NEW schedule of Wild Wire Women retreats offered in my home in Idyllwild, California for the remainder of 2011:
September 15-19
September 22-26
September 29-October 3
October 6-10
October 13-17
October 20-24
October 27-31
November 3-7
November 10-14
November 17-21
December 1-5
December 8-12
December 15-19
If you would like to join me in Idyllwild for a Wild Wire Women retreat, check out my blog where I provide all the details. If you have any questions or would like to register now for a date listed above, you can contact me at sharilynmiller@mac.com.
I'm excited to be offering such a terrific new lineup, and to be using sheet metal and found objects as well as wire to share my low-tech techniques for making amazing jewelry. In September I'll be back from teaching a found-object jewelry series in Cortona, Italy, so I'm sure to have plenty of stories to share! Looking forward to seeing you soon in Idyllwild...
Happy wrapping,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Arty Jewelry III is still on sale!

I was really surprised to discover that amazon.com is still offering my bestselling eBook, Arty Jewelry III, at a 20-percent discount. Normally $9.99, you can download my new eBook (published last month) for just $7.99!
I don't know how long this sale will last, since it is entirely up to the discretion of amazon.com. If you would like to see all the fabulous projects from Arty Jewelry III, click here.
To download and read it immediately, click here.
Don't own a kindle device? No problem—you can turn your smart phone, computer, iPad, etc. into a kindle reader with their FREE apps. Just click here to download.
For those of you who have a nook (or the FREE nook app used on your smart phone, computer, iPad, etc.), you will also find Arty Jewelry III is on sale for $7.99. Just click here to download and start reading right away. Save 20 percent, and a few trees as well!
I hope you enjoy Arty Jewelry III. I'm getting ready for my teaching trip to Cortona, Italy next month but as soon as I return I'll get busy on the next eBook in the series. If you have any suggestions for content, please don't hesitate to comment here. I appreciate all of my readers and their great ideas!
Happy wrapping,
Sharilyn

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fun with Ivy in the Studio!

I had fun with Ivy in the studio today! She loves to accompany me everywhere... I'm sure you know the type! In the studio, the kitchen, the bathroom, etc. there is no room off limits to this curious and affectionate kitty. But it really drives me nuts when she pops into my photo tent during a session with my camera. Once I get cat hairs in the photo tent, it's very difficult to clean them out.
Today I was photographing three new cuff bangles that I'm now teaching and before I knew it, Ivy had joined in on the fun. After scooting her out (nicely!), I got the following shot:
Up front is a copper cuff bracelet made with engraved metal with a micro fold-formed copper piece attached with nuts & bolts. This is followed by a vintage leather button topped by a Roman coin purchased in Italy, a Bali silver bead cap, and another vintage crystal button.
To the left behind the engraved cuff is a simple etched copper cuff. Etching is so much fun, and not very difficult, although you will need to learn some basic safety techniques.
Finally, in the back is a fold-formed cuff with lots of hammering, stamping and punching. Let me emphasize, lots of hammering! And you have to keep annealing the thing every few minutes, it's quite a chore. But, the results are so worthwhile!
All the cuffs were antiqued in liver of sulfur, and polished. In this workshop, you will learn:
Design considerations
Cutting and filing sheet metal
Annealing metal with a torch
Pickling in an acid solution (safe for use at home)
Etching metal
Engraving metal
Fold-forming
Micro fold-forming
Stamping
Punching
Cold connections
Metal shaping
Patinas
Filing and polishing
Safety tips galore!!!
If you're interested, I do still have some openings in my Wild Wire Women retreats this summer and fall. My last retreat before I depart to teach for a week in Cortona, Italy (Aug. 27-Sept. 3) is July 29-Aug. 1. If you'd like to know more about my WWW retreats, click here.
I'd love to meet you in Idyllwild for a retreat! We learn so much in such a short time, it's incredible.
Happy wrapping,
Sharilyn

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fun with Enameling

This past weekend I had a FABULOUS time in Carlsbad, getting together with old-time friends Louise, Joyce, and Anne. We haven't seen each other in a very long time, so it was an overdue reunion of sorts. Anyway, what made it extra special was that we all had some time with the torch!
After getting some much-needed coaching from enameling guru Barbara Lewis, who advised us to use a map-gas torch instead of butane (butane turns your enamel icky colors!), we were set to play... and BOY, did we! I am now positively addicted to making enameled headpins, and now that I'm set up with Barbara's bead-pulling station at home I'll begin to torch-fire enamel some beads as well.
I've already experimented a bit with some of my smaller copper beads, but I want to do much more using beads in various sizes, both copper and sterling silver (some fine silver as well).
The trick to making the best use of your silver when enameling is to use transparent enamels instead of opaque, allowing the brilliance of the silver to shine through the color. Opaque colors are perfect for copper, however. You can torch-fire enamel practically anything if it's copper: wire as well as sheet metal, copper blanks, discs, beads, pendants, etc.
Oh, the possibilities!
Louise was making these gorgeous pouffy flowers and I decided to give it a whirl. I used the same basic technique (which she learned in a workshop with Linda Darty—and if you have any interest in enameling at all, I highly recommend Linda's classic text, The Art of Enameling). But I changed my flowers quite a bit by creating much longer tendrils and curling them under, and enameled them with multiple layers of gorgeous color.
I guess it's official now: I'm in love with torch-fired enameling. Given the enormous potential for creativity with this one technique, I know that it's something I'll be pursuing with passion for the rest of my artistic career. I have to thank Barbara Lewis for introducing me to this wonderfully expressive art form! I'll be reviewing her new book when it comes out, too. I've seen it on-screen because the publishers made it available to reviewers for a preview, and it is fantastic! Pre-order Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry by clicking here.
I was thrilled to see that Barbara's book will be available as a paperback and as a kindle edition! I love my kindle eBooks, which I can view in full-color on my iPhone, and I will be purchasing many more in the future. My own bestselling eBook, Arty Jewelry III, is still on-sale at 20 percent off! You can download it for just $7.99 by clicking here.
Happy wrapping (and torch firing!),
Sharilyn

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Arty Jewelry III on SALE at bn.com & amazon.com!

Just a quick post: Amazon.com has recently reduced the price of Arty Jewelry III from $9.99 to $7.99! This was done without my knowledge—apparently they'll sometimes reduce the prices of eBook downloads at their discretion without notifying the author. I wish they had informed me beforehand because I would have loved to have let all my readers know about it before the sale; but it just happened, and I just happened to find out about it tonight.
So now the download price of $7.99 is good on both barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com... that's a savings of 20 percent. I hope you take advantage of it while the sale is on. I have no idea how long it will last!
To download Arty Jewelry III from Amazon.com, click here.
To get the free kindle app that turns your smart phone, computer, iPad, etc. into a kindle reader, click here.
To download Arty Jewelry III from barnesandnoble.com, click here.
To get the free nook app that turns your smart phone, computer, iPad, etc. into a nook reader, click here.
Happy reading... and wrapping!
Sharilyn

I've been hacked!

I just learned that my email has been hacked. If you receive an email supposedly from me at my .mac account, please disregard if it says anything about being stranded in Madrid with no money, etc. I am working on the problem right now and will let you know once it's resolved.
Sharilyn