Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Archive for January, 2019

Mid-Winter Hues, 2019

Posted by C Scheftic on 2019/01/31

Spring Thoughts on a Gray DayThis Saturday, February 2, brings us the opening reception and awards celebration for the 2019 Mid-Winter Hues show at the North Hills Art Center from 7 to 9 pm. The show runs through March 1 and, after the opening night, can be viewed on weekdays (M-F) from 10 am to 3 pm, plus Monday evenings from 7 to 9 pm.

The juror for this show was Katie Koenig, a local artist (and very new mom!) whose realistic acrylic paintings of everyday objects I just love! So I’m particularly interested to hear what she’ll have to say at the opening / awards event about various pieces in the show.

Apparently there are a total of 106 entries (wow!), and I’m delighted to report that the two pieces shown in this post, both of which I made late last winter, will be among them!

Spring Thoughts on a Gray Day is an enamel-on-steel pendant. Mid-winter days here in this “rust-belt steel-town” are often rather gray…. We remember that brightly colored skies, hillsides, gardens, and more will return. Cars will have snow and salt washed off them, and those with bright colors will reappear. People will take off their heavy, dark coats and again sport bright colors. But in the cold, dark, gray of mid-winter, pastel tones may be the brightest colors imaginable on some days….

Serendipity WaveBut then there are days when the sun does come out and various bits of sparkle do brighten things up for a while. I tried to capture that idea via the lavender cubic zirconia and selective polishing in the reversible sterling (.960) silver pendant I’ve titled Serendipity Wave, while the textures on each side of this piece remind me of various kinds of tracks in the snow … or perhaps dreams of tracks in the sand dunes of an escape to warmer climates!

I’ve seen some preview pictures of a couple walls of paintings (probably about a third of the total Mid-Winter Hues show) and the thing that impressed me was how many seemed to be attempting to banish the grays of winter with bright colors! So I’m looking forward to seeing the whole collection on Saturday. And to seeing some friendly faces at the opening. Oh, and after having spent that afternoon in my studio, to suddenly trying to fit in a little stop at the Mt. Nebo Pat Catan’s (did you see my last post?!) on my way there.

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It’s been great knowing you, Pat Catan’s…

Posted by C Scheftic on 2019/01/30

We’ve seen it coming, as all sorts of brick and mortar stores struggle to compete against online shopping. (While there are times when I appreciate the convenience of online shopping, I do highly value both the touch and serendipity of in-store shopping…)

We knew it was coming, three years ago, when Michael’s bought Pat Catan’s … not for the few dozen wonderful regional stores, but for Darice and the other wholesale operations behind it. (Have you noticed that Darice products have disappeared from JoAnn’s? That’s because Michael’s now owns Darice…)

We’ve known it was coming, watching some of the changes in the inventory and pricing that have slowly but surely changed the feel of Pat Catan’s stores over the past three years.

But it was still a sad day, today, when Michael’s announced that they will be closing all the Pat Catan’s stores. (A handful will be reopened, rebranded as Michael’s stores, but we don’t yet know whether those will be the ones in less-urban areas where the loss of any store would be a big loss.)

And, from here in Pittsburgh, I will admit that it hurt even more that the best article I could find on the whole thing came from Cleveland: https://www.cleveland.com/business/2019/01/michaels-to-close-pat-catans-nearly-three-years-after-buying-local-craft-store-chain.html

We knew loss was coming. I’m just trying to be thankful for the roughly three extra years we had before it did. So I’ll close with a photo of one of my “serendipity finds” from Pat Catan’s: I still remember the time I went to grab a quick roll of vinyl and found the clear, flat-bottom card-holder ornaments from Darice that I’ve been happily decorating (as a fun, back-porch, summer project that later helps to boost holiday-season sales) for a number of years now…

2015_11_FiveCardHolders_OneGearBusinessCard_PB241207

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Ten Years!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2019/01/07

Happy New Year! OK, I am a few days late with that thought, but where has the time gone? How can it have been just over ten years already since I started this blog?! I want to thank everyone who has helped to make the past ten years so wonderful!

And here are a few of the things coming up early this new, coming year:

After a break for the Holidays, my (mostly) Second (mostly) Saturday Studio Sessions return on January 12!

Two Pairs of Reversible Earrings (enamel on copper)

This month the time will be from about 2 to 6 pm. I’m setting it a little later than usual so it will run into the International Pot Luck Dinner that Global Pittsburgh is hosting in the same building from 6 to 9 pm, to make it easy for folks who want to attend both.

I’ll have a little mini-shop open. Mostly it’ll have my newer enameled pieces on copper or steel, along with a selection of silver earrings and a few of the smaller silver pendants. (If you missed getting something special that you wanted last year, let me know ahead of time and I can try to bring that in too!).

And I’m planning to have one worktable set up, so there should be room for one or two students to join me. Again, give me a heads-up … otherwise, I’m likely to just spread out over the whole thing myself since I have several deadlines looming. (But company is always welcome!)

The next two Studio Sessions are tentatively, hopefully, scheduled for:

  • Saturday, Feb 9, 1 to 5 pm
  • Saturday, Mar 9, 1 to 5 pm

If I make any adjustments to the dates or times for February or March, I will post updated information for those events over here.

My first workshop for the year will be on Friday, January 18.

A Workshop Sample

Petites on a Post is scheduled to be held from 6 to 9 pm that Friday night at the North Hills Art Center. You’ll learn how to make a pair of fine silver post-style earrings. But my classes are always flexible: No holes in your ears: join us anyway and make a couple lapel pins! Not into posts: they’re the “bonus step” in this class, but you can join us and make dangles instead. Not into tiny things: join us anyway and just work larger! (NHAC’s course fee includes enough silver clay for two petite items, but I’ll have more that you can purchase from me in class.)

Technically, registration closes a week ahead, so that’d be Friday the 11th. But since I’ll be able to show off samples and answer questions during my Second Saturday open house, I’m hoping they’ll still let folks sign up that weekend. But registration will definitely be closed before that next Monday, so if you’re interested, please sign up as soon as you can! (Click on the link at the workshop title, above.)

I’m currently recruiting students for two workshops in my studio.

  • February (date & time TBA): Learn to Make Buttons!
  • March (dates & times TBA) A Two-Day Introduction to Bronze.

If you’re interested in being kept in the loop for one or both of those, let me know! Send me an email, or leave a comment with this post, and you’ll be included in the discussion of when we’ll meet and some specifics on the possible projects.

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