Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Caged Bead Bracelet Tutorial from Eva Sherman

Today we're featuring Eva Sherman for our guest blog post! A talented jewelry artist, she started her hobby as a way to spend time with her daugters... and ended up opening her very own bead store in Ohio! And she's generously sharing a spectacular wire-wrapping technique that will jazz up any of your own jewelry creations. Take it away, Eva....

Looking for an easy wire wrapping technique that can be used to dress up almost any kind of bead? This caged bead wire wrap pattern works particularly well on larger round beads like the gorgeous ones used here. This design may also be adapted to create a necklace by increasing the number of beads.

  • (8-10) 10mm beads
  • (12') 18 gauge copper wire
  • (2") of 16 gauge copper wire
  • (1) 4mm copper jump ring
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Hammer
  • Steel block 


1. Cut 14” of 18 gauge copper wire. Using your round nose pliers, make a small wire wrapped loop at the center. String bead on vertical wire and make another small wire wrapped loop at the other end.

2. Holding the top loop with your chain nose pliers, begin to gently wrap the wire over the top of the bead in a spiral pattern. Make approximately 5 to 6 wraps. Be careful to apply even tension and pressure and you will form a bead cap. Repeat the spiral wire wrap at the opposite end of the bead.
Caged Wire-Wrapped Bead Bracelet

3. Bend leftover wire towards the opposite pole with a gentle curve and loop it around the wire wrapped loop. Trim excess wire.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

4. Create another loop at the other end of the bead in the same way. Repeat the previous steps through the first loop only with your second bead.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

5. At the opposite end of the second bead, start the wire wrapped loop as shown.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

6. Before closing the wire loop, slip the first bead on, then continue with making the wire wrapped loop and the bead cap. Repeat these steps until you have enough beads to go around your wrist, less 1/2 inch.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

7. For the dangle bead begin by making a spiral as shown. It should be about the same size as the other bead caps.
Caged Wire Wrapped Bracelet

8. Instead of a spiral wrap on the other end, create a loop: Bend leftover wire towards the opposite pole with a gentle curve and loop it around the wire wrapped loop. Spiral wrap back to bottom again. Trim excess wire. Connect the dangle bead to the last bead with the jump ring.

Caged Wire Wrapped BRacelt

9. Make an “S” hook using the 16 gauge copper wire. Hammer it on the steel block to harden. Attach it to the last bead as shown. Hook the “S” hook in the jump ring to close. The dangle bead will keep the bracelet evenly weighted so it does not spin on wrist.

Please note that this tutorial was created by me and may be used for your personal use. I respectfully request that you not copy it, but feel free to direct others to this link. Thank you!

Eva Sherman will be teaching several workshops at Art & Soul Portland this September/October, so check them out!

Eye of the Storm - where you'll get to create "sheet metal" from wire and open up a whole new world of jewelry making possibilities!
Fold Forming 101 - a series of metal folding techniques which allow rapid development of three dimensional surfaces using simple equipment.
Rosette Cuff & Bangle - a workshop exploring a variety of basic metalsmithing techniques such as forging, texturing, wire working, and cold connecting.

Lots of interesting and unique classes from Eva for every level of jewelry makers.... from beginning to seasoned. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Master of Arts with Sherrill Kahn, Mon., May 27th

Sherrill Kahn was a public school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 30 years, including 27 years at Palisades High School, teaching drawing, painting, fiber art, and design. Since retiring, she has become an internationally known mixed-media artist, teaching her colorful techniques throughout the United States and Canada, and also in Australia, England, India, Switzerland, and Germany.
Sherrill has written 7 books, including her most recent, Mixed Media Master Class: 50+ Surface Design Techniques for Fabric and Paper and more than 50 magazine articles featuring her ever-expanding range of expressive techniques. She was on the first TV crafts show, The Carol Duvall Show twice and has created a DVD featuring her art techniques.

Her art has been used in many products, including six lines of fabrics from Robert Kaufman Fabrics; Rollagraph stamps from Clearsnap; and many rubber stamps from her company, Impress Me.
Sherrill loves to share her techniques with others and lives by the words "what if." I don’t think there is a craft Sherrill has not mastered.

So please join us for our inspirational chat this Monday...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Sherrill Kahn
with Lesley Riley
Monday, April 29
7:00pm EST

Monday, May 20, 2013

Kansas City Wrap Up... sMiles & sMiles of Creativity!

Well, what can I say? Our inaugural event in Kansas City, Missouri this past April was a wonderful respite for creative souls of all kinds. With so many amazing photos to sift through (oh, and another Art & Soul Retreat in VA at the end of April), it's taken me this long to pick out a few to share with all of you!

I must confess... the first time you do anything new, there's always a sense of nervousness about everything going right. But I have to say... between the beautiful venue, the excited students and our multi-talented workshop instructors.... it was a time and a place to remember!

Our newest retreat took place at The Elms Hotel & Spa, located on the outskirts of Kansas City in the town of Excelsior Springs. Doesn't that sound just heavenly? Well, it was!

From the inside out, this historic hotel was an ideal setting for letting go of the everyday hustle and bustle of life, while attendees explored new artistic techniques and made wonderfully creative projects! The grounds and interior were absolutely gorgeous and the old timey feel only added to that.

Heck...  even the coffee was pretty! The staff was simply outstanding and met our very unusual demands with a smile. They enjoyed having us... and you could tell. And we enjoyed being there.

I mean... take a look at some of the classrooms! What an inspirational place to make art and create mixed media magic.

Like this amazing piece created in one of Cathy Taylor's classes. It's a brilliantly colored, cleverly shaded, excellently executed masterpiece! The students really take my breath away.

And speaking of masterpieces, want to paint like a master? Then study with Jill Berry and you'll be doing it in no time flat. Picasso in a day.... it can be done!

Like to play with dolls? So does Tory Brokenshire, here with some student work. Having students recycle tins for bodies and create clay people around them — each with their own unique look — was magnificent to see unfold in her Story Tellers class.

And talk about fine details.... you cannot even imagine the beautiful fabric and fiber creations that come out of any Liz Kettle's classes! All the careful, thoughtful placement of color and stitch is something that happens magically whenever she teaches a workshop.

Got Gelli Plates? Well, if you don't... and you try it... then you will. Ask anyone at Art & Soul who tried this technique... and they'll tell you they're hooked! A new and easy way to make fodder for your journal pages, collages and much more. So pretty!

Are you a metal head? We have all kinds at Art & Soul. These ladies are having a ball (not of the head-bangers type) in Jill Timm's dremel workshop. Now that's class!

Or maybe you'd like to Chime In... which was the clever name of Erin Keck's creative class, where students got to upcycle tons of vintage goodies to make a wind chime of the most extraordinary kind.

Perhaps you're more of the texting kind? Take a look at this amazing journal work. Just gorgeous!

A bit of schpritzing....

A little carving...

And a fabulous Vendor Extravaganza made this a first time event to remember!

We really had it all at Art & Soul Kansas City! The turnout was great, but the smiles are what made it all worthwhile. These pictures reveal only a fraction of the endless creativity and fun we all had, but I don't think Blogger will let me add any more in this post! So I'm going to just thank you all again... the attendees, the teachers, my right hand chicks, Judy and her pop-up store, our vendors, the hotel and staff.... Thank YOU! We'll see you all again in 2014.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Remembering Mom - a Tender Tribute from Cindy Kovack

Our very own instructor, Cindy Kovack was recently published in the April 2013 issue of Somerset Memories Magazine! A heartfelt tribute to her mother is the foundation of this lovely project and the basis for one of Cindy's Portland Art & Soul workshops. Here is a little bit of the published article, sharing the inspiration behind her creation...

This piece was created to honor my mother, Frances, shortly after her death. I come from a large family of 8, and 7 of us are girls. I was the only artist in the family.  My parents marveled at my artwork, wondered out loud where I had ever acquired the talent.

My mother did not see me as I watched her hands tear apart dresses and creatively spin a design from the fabric. So meticulous, so well made. I was always pleased with the results — as were my sisters — and we often had people marvel at her craftsmanship. Without realizing it, she had directed me onto my creative path in life.

I remember all those cold winter months in Ohio, when my sisters and I were bored to tears, with nothing to do. She’d prod us to embroider, crochet, sew... anything creative. Who remembers Pot Holder Kits, Paint-by-Number and mastering French Knots?

In her late 70’s she visited me one day while I was creating in my home. She told me she had been envious of my art ability, and what I had accomplished in my life. She admired my spirit, creative nature and independence, and said I had lived a life she wanted for her own. Admitting this fact helped us both have a much closer relationship, until her death at age 84.

She wanted that creative life for herself, but a woman from the 40’s and 50’s, having 8 children, and little education, could only have dreamed of a life as I have today. She never complimented me openly on my art, though she loved receiving gifts that were my original work, knowing I created each piece lovingly, especially for her. 

Many years later, relatives and friends told me she bragged often about my creative ventures and art ability. This was very heartwarming to hear and I appreciated hearing this from them. Creating this piece helped me to grieve her loss, using my art as a form of therapy to get through this difficult time.  I used a photograph of me as a child, holding my first dog, Buttons. I’ve incorporated several mementos from my childhood, all of them with special meaning to me. All of these pieces tie my work together for a very heartwarming memory of her. She has been missed, but is still an inspiration to me today.

Cindy Kovack will be teaching several workshops this October at Art & Soul in Portland Oregon, including Tenderly where you'll learn how to create these elaborate found object necklaces, Whimsical Flight making a painted, embellished bird, and Poker Face where you will make a unique playing card assemblages.

© 2013 article reprinted with permission of the author, Cindy Kovack and the publisher, Stampington & Company

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Being All Over the Place Can Be Good!

Today's guest post is by our lovely Monster Maker — Catherine Zacchino, a.k.a. Junker Jane. She shares a little about what is "expected" of artists to get done, and then a lot about what "really" happens in the art room. So... take it away Cat...

Did you ever try to just do one thing, creatively? I hear from so many people that you should work on one thing at a time. But as an artist and maker of things, I'm here to tell you that... being all over the place can be good! 

Usually it's a good thing to start what you finish. It's discipline. Right?

But when it comes to creating I find that if I start out with a rigid end-result mindset I might worry too much or never even get started! But creating is the one place I can be all over the place and it's a good thing!

I just follow my intuition or the creative urge now, even if that means I start painting squares in different colors on a piece of junk wood. I have several painted wood plaques around my room and one day I had the urge to nail a red children's wooden block to it, so I did.

Then I found wooden craft game pieces and loved how they looked next to the wooden block. This was a month ago and it's not finished because I didn't know where to take it next.

But that's okay, I set it aside and started decorating  a left over scrap canvas with craft pom poms, a marker cap, just goofy things! I didn't finish it because I don't where it's going yet. I'm waiting for the idea to come. It will come, but on its own time. I have learned not to force something, but just to trust. It's this trusting that allows me to get new ideas and grow because the pressure to finish a piece from start to finish is gone. The answer always comes, I just need to wait and be open to it.

I used to feel that I was wasting so much time starting a doll, pillow, or painting and not finishing them.

Or spending the entire afternoon setting up displays in my room.

I felt like I kept making failures, even though I was very inspired while doing the half part that came to me to create. I am realizing these are necessary steps though, in my creative journey and it's not a waste of time, that this is the way my inner artist grows.

I might not understand why, but this is how it is. I just need to trust my intuition and let the ideas out. Without knowing what it will end up being.  JUST LET THEM OUT.

By allowing myself to create this way, I continue to grow and this is what it is all about!

What is your process of creating? Feel free to share your ways. And come take a class with me in Portland, OR this October at Art & Soul Retreats! I'll be teaching a Monster Mashup doll making class. We'll have a magical time.

~ Junker Jane 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Art & Soul... Dates for 2014!

Well, folks... after two amazing events in a row — a first time retreat in our new Kansas City location and a bayside creative respite in our Virginia Beach location — I've finally been able to hash out dates for our 2014 Art & Soul Retreats. We're changing things up a bit this year... not only to avoid overlapping with many of the new retreats out there, but also so that we can bring you the best rates possible at each of the venues. So mark your calendars and start dreaming up what types of classes you'd like to take!

And, if you are an instructor of the mixed-media kind and would like to teach at our retreats, send us your workshop proposals by June 15th!

Here we go!!!

Kansas City, MO
The Elms Hotel
March 20-23, 2014

Portland, OR
Red Lion on the River
April 9-13, 2014

Virginia Beach, VA
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel
October 1-5, 2014

Can't wait for another exciting year with all of you!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Virginia Beach - Creativity at its Finest!

Wowie! We had such a marvelous time on the bay — good weather, bad weather. It didn't matter because we were too busy laughing and creating. It is so much fun to see our east coast friends each year - and NONE of us grows a bit older! Isn't that amazing??? How you manage to take classes all day and night and STILL have energy for a pajama party is beyond me - but you did it! And I know there were "spin off" parties each evening in various locations...ahem. How fun was that??!!

I cannot begin to thank our wonderful group of instructors for once again providing us with stellar classes and techniques. The work being accomplished was amazing - and you did it! A big thanks to Sally and her crew at The Bead Goes On for our Opening Night Party. Don't miss it next year! And to Ken Oliver for all his demo's on the Spellbinder. FUN! Judy and her gang in our fabulous store! And, of course, our Energizer Bunny - Marie. She keeps us on time, on target and is a jewel.

I'll be posting a recap of Kansas City and Virginia Beach on the blog shortly... after I catch my breath! I will also be sending a newsletter with the dates for 2014 in the next few weeks. As you may or may not know, we are changing things up a bit. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me personally at  

Thank you so very much for being a part of our A&S family!!

Many hugs,