Tuesday, October 26, 2010

U F O's - Sally Jean Alexander's Halloween Necklace Class

Silly Sal's almost finished necklace

Sally Jean helping Silly Sal

Last week Margo and I took a soldering Halloween necklace class from Sally Jean Alexander. I consider her a nationally know artist of considerable repute and when ever I can take a class from this level of a teacher - I do. (My first nationally know artist/teacher was Lynn Perrella. I took the class at Art Unraveled in Phoenix several years ago. What an excellent teacher).

Our Work Room at Cheryl's home

Sally Jean's class was her at her friend, Cheryl's private residence in Poway. Cheryl is a jewelry artist in her own right. Her pieces are exquisite and can be purchased in her Etsy store. As you can see, the room where Sally Jean taught was huge. We were not crowded at all and every table had two power strips.

Sally Jean and Margo

There were 16 of us and it seemed like only my friend Margo and I were the only ones who hadn't signed up for all 4 days of Sally Jean's classes. Displayed in Cheryl's home were her chandeliers (yes plural) she had made in previous Sally Jean's classes. So very beautiful.

This class theme was Halloween. Sally Jean took us through simple steps, with a demo showing us what that step entailed as we moved through the process of making the main focal point - a shaker shadow box made out of 5 main pieces of glass and 4 little pieces that her husband had cut for us.

Margo, Sally Jean and Silly Sal

In preparation, I had spent a day with Margo and Kathie tuning up my limited soldering skills. After being frustrated with the two soldering irons I already had, I went out and purchased a Weller 100, a rheostat and a stand. Much better! What a difference it makes to use the right tools.
Friends Kathie and Margo at Silly Sal's

I had also decided to us my own art and choose the 1st thing I had ever drawn from my 1st Suzi Blu online class which Elena of Scrapbook Royalty had commissioned me to draw and paint. It ended up being two paintings called "Good Witch", "Bad Witch." I shrunk them in PhotoShop CS5. Didn't know what I would need them for but they ended up being my main focal point.

Then I went through my children and my Halloween photos when we were all much younger and resized them.

Sally Jean showed us how we can solder ANYTHING including small branches which she attached to her piece. (She has requested that I not publish photos of her necklaces).

If only I had stayed with her simpler design with just a chain and charms hanging from the chain. I thought, what if I don't do this again. I want this to be like I want it. I decided I wanted all my glass charms to be a part of the chain, not dangling from the chain. I had no idea how much work that entailed. Yikes!

Silly Sal's necklace in progress
Taped but only partially soldered

I left that day's class with my main piece soldered and a couple of other pieces soldered with their jump rings. I learned a lot and knew I could do much better with practice.

More charms in various stages of developement

This Sunday I finished my necklace, but I don't wear pieces this big so what to do. In the mean time I had found more photos I wanted to incorporate into my family portrait of our Halloweens. Enter fate or one good turn deserves another!

The newly purchased tree where
Halloween charms will reside in the future

Yesterday I was helping my friend Suzi Blu to move to Leucadia, I met the person who Suzi is renting from and who also lives on the property - Patricia. What a talented and wonderful person. I think Suzi is going to be very happy here. Patricia also owns a store in Leucadia/Encinitas on Pacific Coast Hwy called Embellishments. Here is her card.

Business Card for Patricia's business

Before we went to visit her darling shop we were in her garage because she said she was going to have a garage sale this coming Sunday. There I saw this metal display tree. (I had been entertaining the thought of using a Manzanita branch to hang my Halloween charms). I purchased this "metal tree" and as you can see from the photo below, it is waiting for the fruit (my family charms) to be transformed once again and hung.

Various stages of Silly Sal's second attempt
at Mermaid Shaker Shadow Box

Back at the class, I had purchased two extra kits from Sally Jean. One of that day's project and another of the day's before which I had seen a photo. I decided to make a smaller shaker box out of my favorite mermaid I made in another Suzi Blu class and put teeny sea shells, seed beads and a very teeny tiny sea horse. I have yet to foil wrap it but wanted to get this up as soon as possible. That is the same for the shrine piece of glass that I purchased in the extra kit. There I put my gypsy painting after sizing it and creating a background for it too.

Nothing is finished as you can see. But, like all my friends, I have multiple projects going at the same time. I just started Danita's online class through Crescendoh. Then there is Suzi Blu's current online class which I am constantly sketching and painting.

Sally Jean at Cheryl's Goodie Table

Check out the cookie on top of the scone
that one of the students had made for this class

Did I mention how good the treats were at the Sally Jean class - plus lunch from Panera's - Yummy!I will for sure take another class at Chery's when Sally Jean returns next year to teach. I think you should too. I know you wont' be disappointed.

Side note: This week I was honored to be Jenny Doh's Crescendoh Guest Curator for her Art Saves feature. It is my true story. I am truly blessed by all my old friends - never to be forgotten - and my new friends found and cultivated by opening my heart and soul to art. For me Art Saves!

Oh, by the way, U F O's stands for Un-Finished Objects. Well, my project is almost finished but it is also still a work in progress. I will explain as I go along.


Kat said...

Sally, looks like I missed a wonderful class. I love your necklace. Can't wait to see it and touch it. See you tomorrow.

Kari Desi said...

What fun this looks like! I just read your article on Crescendoh. Loved it. I too found art through Creative Memories and have vacillated back and forth between my left brain and right. Although art feels the most at home to me and I am starting to embrace that. Thanks so much for sharing!

Margo said...

We did have fun in Sally Jean's class and I love how your necklace turned out - a masterpiece indeed. Mine seems so simple now, although it felt like it took me forever to finish it. It was wonderful to share your art workspace to work on our projects! Loved your article at Creschendoh! Margo