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The Lazy

A recurring joke of mine is that I’m going to come up with a series of books for people who are too busy/lazy/easily distracted to do things the traditional way. They’d all be entitled “The Lazy [enter specialty here]” Book number one would be The Lazy Metalsmith. The projects could be completed in an hour or less with a minimal amount of tools. I actually worked on this idea with my friend Cheryl, who has an actual degree in jewelry design from Tyler. I was thinking she’d lend credibility and devil’s advocacy to the project. We sat and drank margaritas one night, hammering out (ha! no pun intended) projects for the book. We started to research publishers. And then we never did anything more with it; I don’t even know where my notes are.
A symptom of The Lazy is not finishing big projects. That is why I do better with a smaller scale, like writing tutorials. So, I am pleased to announce that my first PMC tutorial, the Lentil Bead, is now available on my Tutorials page.

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Speaking of PMC

The September PMC workshops at Sparkles are on the schedule… Click here for details. I’m working on getting photos to post for the Box Pendant, so check back soon for those. Please note one change this time: I’ve asked Connie to collect the teaching fee when students register. We had a few no-shows in the last set of workshops, spots which people on the waiting list would have loved to have.Unfortunately, because of the new addition coming to our family, September will be my last set of PMC workshops for a while. What I am planning to do is write tutorials for the PMC techniques I teach so those of you who didn’t get to come in person can learn from detailed, step-by-step instructions.

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Speaking of Ketchup

Or catch-up, rather… I’ve been on the go a lot lately, finally had a whole week at home so I worked on getting special orders in the mail. Today I did a PMC pendant using a custom texture sheet, which gave me the idea of writing a tutorial. Keep bugging me for it if you’re interested; it’s a neat technique for texture addicts.

Updated: Tutorial now available here!

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PMC Conference

Last Thursday through Sunday was the bi-annual PMC Guild Conference at Purdue University. It was a time to come together with hundreds of other PMC artists from all over the world, learning and sharing ideas about this metal clay stuff. I was fortunate to get a ride from a couple ladies from MD & DE, and of course we spent the 12 hour trip in both directions talking about teaching and selling and working with metal clay, so that made it all the better.

You may have been to conferences before and seen attendees with their goody bags and hometown-bearing nametags. One thing notably different about this conference was how easy it was to strike up a conversation with a stranger simply because of the jewelry she was wearing. It was like jewelry was a social lubricant, an easy discussion topic (followed closely by people asking me, “Where in Virginia is THAT?”).

Another neat thing about the PMC Conference is that attenders are encouraged to make PMC charms to swap with each other. That is fun enough to see in itself, but this year they went a step farther and donated charms to create bracelets to raffle for charity. Well, from 380 people at the conference, an incredible 34 bracelets (!) were assembled from donated charms, and over $12,000 (!) was raised for the Cancer Society and Bone Marrow bank as a tribute to a PMC artist who had died waiting for a bone marrow transplant. Several of the raffle winners were cancer survivors themselves. I was so touched how this metal clay community dug deep and pulled together for something really meaningful.

Another thing that struck me about this conference is that conversations would skip over get-to-know-you stuff and dive right in with, “What do you think of the new Bronze Clay?” or “How long do you allot for a beginner class and what do you cover?” It was so great being in a place where everyone knew what it was like to be a jewelry artist and/or instructor, knew the right questions to ask, and had an opinion about different products.

Of course it’s going to take a while to decompress and process the information I gleaned, both from conference speakers and from conversations outside of the events themselves. I had a great time, but it’s good to be home.