Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Good-bye Jewelry, Hello Grown-up Art!

Jumping out, on, and upward!

 Anyone who has followed my blog for more than 6 months knows that I usually post something only when it's really important.  Well this blog post is ULTRA-important, as it is publicly marking the end of an era for Ovenfried Beads.

After a few years of hemming and hawing over whether or not I like making jewelry, I have discovered that I do not, so I've stopped.  Shoppers who know my Etsy store, or any of the four regular galleries in Cincinnati who sell my work, know that my designs are always changing.  The Stacker beads are one of the only constants in about 12 of the last 19 years I've been working with polymer.  Polymer clay has afforded constant challenges needed to stay stimulated.  In the beginning I was one of a handful of locals using it.  Now with Etsy and other seller venues, the competition has grown very tiring for me, and I feel like I'm treading water backwards.

Last year I took a fabric marbling workshop at Silk Road Textiles in Cincinnati with fiber artist Barb Grothaus.  It opened a whole new venue for that balance of chance and minimal control that I love.  I have also started marbling paper in the Japanese "suminagashi" method.  Paper painting and staining (which is different than making a painting) has also been a barrel of fun, and I'm starting to create my own art components from those colorful stiff sheets.

Then I was able to stand by during two Natural Spirit Doll classes by Carole Staples.  Last week I made my very first art doll, and I can only describe what happened as a creative tidal wave that has exploded out of me.  The polymer beads, buttons and baubles have found a new home...on actual artwork.  I have finally tapped into something that has been wanting to come out for a long time, and the only way I can manifest that is to devote 100% of my artistic energy and time to it.

What does this mean for fans of Ovenfried Beads?  Well, for one thing, my jewelry will only be available for sale in shops through Mother's Day.  Most of what is in stock in the shops has been rotated between galleries, online and in shows for years.  After that I will take it all back so I can disassemble, sort and use in future mixed media art.  The jewelry that is in my Etsy store will also be taken off, but my Stacker bead tutorial will remain for sale.  New non-jewelry items will start to pop up on there sometimes, and eventually when I have created some nice bodies of work, I hope that they will return to the same loyal, local, women-owned stores that have carried my work for years and years, available to the public again. I really look forward to what is to come. 

If you collect my jewelry or give it as gifts, buy it before it is gone.    Below is a list of stores that sell my jewelry. They have all been notified of this new direction.  Visit their website for contact info, store hours and more.

indigenous: a handcrafted gallery
2010 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH 45208

4577 Hamilton Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45223

Urban Eden
1313 Main Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Silk Road Textiles
6106 Hamilton Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45224