Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bead & Button Show and Rebranding!

Bead & Button Show
It's that time of the year again where I make my annual pilgrimage to Milwaukee to attend the Bead & Button Show!  My work peeps have absolutely no idea my excitement when I tell them about B&B but it's the event of the year for me!  This will be my third year attending and I have signed up for 12 workshops!  Yes I'm crazy but I don't have other opportunities to learn from the industry's best in person often so I have to make it worth every minute!

I'm starting off this year taking Linda Darty, yes THE Linda Darty of the enamel queen, Enameling Master Class!  What a way to kick off the event!  It is a 3 day in depth workshop and I am looking forwarding to learning various enameling techniques.  My jaw literally dropped when I learned Linda will be one of the Master Class teacher as I have admired her book The Art of Enameling for years and it's been my favorite bed side and studio reading.  I will be like a sponge and absorb as much as I can from the Master of Enameling!

I'm taking two classes from one of my favorite teacher, Richard Salley, this year.  I saw the Fire & Ice Pendant in last year's class and I had to wait an entire year to learn how!  Talk about keeping someone in suspense!  I'm also taking his Make the Impression class.  I love the primitive and rustic look it can achieve.  Right up my alley!  I hope to see his beautiful and kind assistant Martina Stein.  I just love her!

After moderate success with jeweler's saw, I decided it was time to learn from the master of sawing, Thomas Mann.  Francesca Watson was raving about his class so I decided I really need to master this technique.  I've also admired Thomas Mann's jewelry for years.  The way he uses cold connection is so ingenious.  Looking forward to learning two key techniques which I will use for years in future work!  Check out his beautiful work at his website Thomas Mann!

I took Joe Silvera's class two years ago and was blown away with the set up.  I walked into his class and there is a large monitor in the front and high quality tools on each table.  The monitor makes it so much easier to see the intricate techniques he is teaching when you have many in the class so everyone gets a great view.  I signed up for the Basket Prong class this year.  Being able to capture delicate stones without the standard bezel will add another option to set stones.  Looking forward to his gentle and thorough style workshop.  Visiting his jewelry school in Berkley is on my list!  

This year's hottest workshops is being offered by Robyn Cornelius!   Almost all of her 11 workshops are sold out and most sold out within the first 10 min when registration first opened!  My partner in crime this year, Heidi Kingman, are taking this class together which I'm sure going to make it extra special.  I can't wait to apply my new sawing skills from Thomas Mann and Robyn to pierce such intricate designs and get the amazing colors through liver of sulfur!

Another class that sold out within minutes was Lisa Barth's Cross Wire Pendant.  I kept bugging the B&B peeps and when they added additional seats, I got in!  Yay!  I have long admired Lisa's metal clay and wire weaving jewelry.   I just love the way she combines copper and turquoise in her work.  I started a small collection of turquoise as it is my favorite stone.  I can't wait to learn how to capture these beautiful stones and showcase them in a pendant!

When I saw Sherry Serafini's bead embroidery display 2 years ago at Bead & Button Show Exhibit, her work literally stopped me in my tracks.  Her work is beyond amazing and they are mesmerizing.  Bead Embroidery is so opposite of what I normally do which involves hammering, soldering, torching, and wire wrapping.  Working with intricate teeny tiny seed beads is a bit intimidating.  This is going to be the most quiet class I will take this year! It will be like a meditation session and I will look forward to learning from the Master of bead embroidery!

I learned metal etching from the fabulous duo Cristina Leonard and Gail Lannum last year who taught me how to use ferric chloride etchant to etch beautiful designs on metals.  This year I signed up for John Fetvedt's Electro-Etched Copper Earrings.  It will be great to have an alternative non-chemical etching method under my belt.  John is known for his beautiful chainmaille work. 

I met Eva Sherman online and have admired her gorgeous copper cuffs she posts on a weekly basis.  When I found out she was teaching at Bead & Button Show, I had to squeeze in one her classes.  I'm so excited to take her Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder Copper Ring class.  I wear so many copper jewelry but don't have a copper ring yet so it will be a great compliment to other copper jewelry.  So looking forward to meeting her in person!

My final class is Wire-Woven Filigree Ring with Kaska Firor.  I love the look for wire weaved jewelry and the ring caught my eyes!  I hope I have the patience in weaving intricate designs.  Looks so tedious!

I've decided to brand myself and change my jewelry design business to Kumi Fisher Designs!  I had sentimental attachment to Malie Kai as they were my children's middle names but a difficult name to remember, spell, or pronounce is not good for business.  I finally feel more confident branding myself as I go through this creative journey.  Finding your creative voice and brand wasn't an easy process and I'm still learning and growing.  Events like Bead & Button Show has really helped me find my creative voice.  Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends. 

I will have exciting news when I come back from Milwaukee.  

Mahalo for being part of my creative journey!
Kumi ♥

Sunday, May 12, 2013

AJE Earring Challenge Reveal #8 & #9!

Time is flying by this year and with lots on my plate I decided to combine the blog post for Reveal #8 & #9.  

Week #15 ~ Copper Leaf with Pearls
I was shaping copper wires to use with beaded head pins but it didn't quite turn our right.  After hours of trying various different ways and getting frustrated, I sat back in my chair and saw freshwater pearls within the chaos of my workbench.  So I decided to hang a hammered copper wire with freshwater pearls as the stem of the leaf.   Sometimes a great idea comes when you can't make something you originally planned work the way you planned.  

Week #16 ~ Enameled Beads Earrings

My girlfriend Lynda came over and we had a fun afternoon making enameled beads using Barbara Lewis' immersion method.  I tried to make a matching pair but when you are layering and mixing colors, it's not quite easy to do.  I think it adds a unique one of a kind look when it's not exactly the same.  Well, I guess I'm going for the organic look lol!  The challenge of dipping into multiple enamels is I forget to take copious notes and if someone asks me to make the exact pair, I probably won't be able to duplicate.  Note to self...take better notes!  I made a swirl headpin with copper wire, added some beads and attached sterling silver ear wires to complete.  

Week #17 ~ Leather Hoop Earrings

I love working with leather and making leather hoop earrings is my latest obsession.  I love the light weight and the color contrast between the leather and the beads.  So many possibilities and design ideas are spinning in my head.

I think I'm going to make varieties of these leather hoop earrings.  I'm stocking up on inventory for a reason...stay tuned for announcement soon :)

Week #18 ~ Copper Heart Earrings

I got a special Mother's Day order and I made a heart component which I used for a necklace then the light switch went on!  Why not make earrings with the same design!  Sometimes the simple design turns out to be the best bet.  I had fun shaping the wire to cute hearts, adding glass and copper beads on the stem, and attach them to ear posts.  Ta da!

Mahalo for visiting and wishing you a creative day!  Please visit all the other wonderful artists!
Kumi ♥