As an artisan, it’s important to me to continue to grow and develop my skills.  And so I work at it and play at it.  When I returned from Penland School of Craft this past summer, I knew I wanted to expand the type of jewelry I was making to fully capitalize on what I learned in the class.

In the car on the way back from Penland, I started making a list of those things that if I did them would further cement and expand upon what I learned in the class.  When I got home, I typed it up, posted it in a prominent place, and here it is.

Everything on the list is definite and concrete – something that is either done or not done.  There is nothing like – improve sawing skills – which you can never really finish because you can always improve.  Instead I have something like – cut out the details from one coin.

The bright pink marks are things I’ve completed.  Here and there I get pulled by other things a realize I haven’t looked at the list in a while.  When I realize it, I go back to the list and check it.  Sometimes I see that I’ve completed an item or two while doing other things.  Other times, I pick an item and get going.

What I especially like are those things that started out on the list but have now become ingrained in my arsenal of techniques.

Here are some of the things that I still need to do:

  • Make four folded, cut, and hammered leaves
  • Make two pieces with hinges
  • Select a historical piece of jewelry and create a design inspired by it using fragmentation and abstraction

I will get there.  I will.

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Happy New Year!  2009 was a good year for my jewelry business and I am looking forward to a wonderful 2010.  Starting a fresh new year all sparkly and clean is why I selected these earrings for this post.  They have plenty of sparkle going on.

Reflecting on 2009, these are some milestones:

  • I studied at Penland School of Craft for two weeks taking a metals class under instructor Bob Ebendorf and his assistant Marlene True.  What I learned in the class enriched my skills and helped me break some boundaries in my jewelry.
  • My blog turned one years old.  Now in the second year of blogging, I think/hope I have hit my stride and found my voice.
  • I showed my jewelry at Hampton Bay Days and enjoyed and learned from interacting with the public.
  • I’ve enjoyed Tweeting about jewelry and participating in the Twitter community and have over 600 followers.
  • I was fortunate enough to be able to giveaway four books and one gift card to blog readers.  Thank you Lark Books and Artbeads.com.
  • I found my path with social networks.  I moved away from scant participation in too many to solid participation in one – The Indie Business Network.  As a result, my time in the one social network is much more meaningful and I’ve made friends there.
  • I held my first-ever Cyber Monday online jewelry party.

So many other things happened, these are just a few highlights.  Looking ahead, these are some goals and plans I have.

  • I definitely want to continue blogging, enjoy writing, and enjoy interacting with readers.
  • I’d like to do 2-3 art/craft shows.
  • I have signed up for a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer and am so excited.
  • I’m also taking an enameling 101 class.  It’s only one day so I know it won’t be but so in-depth, but I’ve wanted to study enameling for so long and this was all I could get this year.  I can’t wait.
  • I’m building a mailing list and my online newsletter will be published on a regular basis.
  • I will get one of those gadgets that lets you take credit cards at craft shows.
  • I am in the process of designing and will introduce my first collection of 12-15 cohesive gallery pieces.
  • I will continue my journey of learning to work with metal, becoming more and more skilled.

I guess I need to get started and I hope you reach your goals and dreams in this shiny new year.

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Charlene