Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wow. It's been a long time and a lot has happened

I pulled my blog up today and was shocked and horrified to see that it had actually been over a year since I last posted. I had no idea it had been that long. It certainly hasn't felt that long. A ton has happened.

What happened:
  • Since 2012, I held down an adjunct teaching gig at Phoenix College, taught 2 classes a night at MAC and worked ~32 hours/ week at the Heard 
  • December 2013 a dear student and friend committed suicide
  • I made almost no work of my own :-(
  • I did take an Argentium class at the MAC and I'm totally hooked!
  • No knitting :-(
  • My one creative endeavor was a memorial plaque for my student to hang at the MAC, which I am proud of but I wish I had my friend back
My dear Nadine. Enameled and etched panels screwed to a box form copper base.
It will hang in the enameling studio. She'll be our kiln angel :-)
approx. 8x10"
  • My grandmother died in April
  • Eczema....
  • On and off horrendous back pain; physical therapy, attempts at exercise, etc. 
  • We ran out of money to finish our house renovation and didn't earn enough for the bank to give us a loan. We are still in new house limbo....
  • Financial stress, stress, stress
  • A good friend helped me get hired on with a web and design agency out of Canada for freelance
  • I quit my job at the museum to pursue freelance
  • The museum hired me back at a new position that was too good to turn down
  • This fall I took a PHP class at MCC on top of everything else
  • I finished teaching for Phoenix College

The end result:
  • For the first time in I can't remember how long, I'll only have 2 main jobs
  • This should allow me to actually make my own work and have a life. Yay!
  • I look forward to more studio posts and sharing what I know and continue to learn here on a much more regular basis.

It was a whirlwind of a year (the last 2 I'd rather not repeat, actually) and I'm feeling very lucky, very blessed and very hopeful for 2015 to be a great year professionally, creatively and personally. Happy New Year!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Student Work from Phoenix College

Yeesh, I had no idea it had been this long since I posted! The spring semester at Phoenix College has started, I'm still working full time at the Heard and I just finished teaching a 6 week hammer setting class at the MAC. I'm still teaching enameling at MAC and I'm currently teaching casting at the Phoenix Center while John T. is on sabbatical this semester. Needless, to say, time has been tightly scheduled with practically no free time of late. And, starting in a couple of weeks I'm taking a short course in html5 and css3 at MCC through May! I haven't had a chance to make much of my own art for a while but my students at PC are going gangbusters! I am going to have to ask my MAC enamelists if they'll leave me their stuff to be photographed because they are doing some great work as well, but for now here is some of what my PC students are doing. The Jewelry I students had to make a bracelet with texture and rivets. My Jewelry II students had to make a neckpiece with enamel. My independent study student worked on enamel and colored pencil on metal. I'm very proud of all of them.

Jordan Abernathy- Jewelry I- rivets

Christina Soto- Jewelry I- rivets

Vicki Colter- Jewelry I- rivets

Lisa O'Rourke- Jewelry II- enamel

Margaret Murphy- Jewelry II- enamel detail

Margaret Murphy- Jewelry II- enamel
This was a neat piece. Margaret created a pendant
that one could slide different enamel plates into.

Vicki Gudger- Ind. Study- colored pencil/ enamel

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Student Work- Phoenix College Jewelry I & II

I had a great first semester teaching metals at Phoenix College and it was certainly due to a fabulous group of students as well as a great faculty and facilities. This is a fledgling program and although we don't have all the wonderful equipment that MAC has, the program really has potential (we can always get the equipment down the line). Beginning students learned the classics: sawing, piercing, rivets, box ring soldering and casting. Intermediate/ Advanced students worked on forging and fold forming, etching and hinges and a box. I haven't had time to process the final project images but here is just a highlight of some of the work in no particular order:

Lisa O'Rourke- Jewelry I

Lisa O'Rourke- Jewelry I

Liz Christensen- Jewelry I

Liz Christensen- Jewelry I

Malai Suriyasataporn- Independent Study

Malai Suriyasataporn- Independent Study

Malai Suriyasataporn- Independent Study

Malai Suriyasataporn- Independent Study

Malai Suriyasataporn- Independent Study

Margaret Murphy- Jewelry II
Margaret Murphy- Jewelry II

Margaret Murphy- Jewelry II

Vickie Gudger- Independent Study
Vickie Gudger- Independent Study

Vionnie Boykins- Jewelry II

The class meets MW 9-11.45 am. If you are interested you can register through Phoenix College. Jewelry I will always be the same- sawing, filing, textures, riveting, soldering and casting. Jewelry II changes from semester to semester. For Spring I'm planning on teaching chains, marriage of metal and torch fire enameling. Contact me if you have any questions!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Polishing De-Mystified

I just cam across a really nifty PDf on polishing wheels and buffs that looks very handy. It's from a company called Caswell. You can download the PDF here as it would take forever to re-format it for this layout. It's worth it!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Millefiori, Decals and Hand Polishing

Decal Pendant by Jessica Calderwood
We've been talking about decals and hand polishing enamels in class recently so I went searching for information for my students. I've unfortunately come up with little to nothing on hand polishing enamels. I'm starting to think it just isn't done anymore. At least not in a country with a blogging community willing to share their techniques :-) But I did find an article on decals and using millefiori from an old Glass on Metal article. The Glass on Metal website is super old so I've copied and re- formatted the information for easy and efficient printing. You can download it in PDF form here. As soon as I try it myself, I'll post images of the process. Ceramic "waterslide" decals appear to be the type you'd look for. You can also have your own made and / or order them from numerous ceramic supply companies.
Here are some resource sites: - info on how-to make your own - ordering transfer paper or complete decals

Concerning hand polishing, here's my "cheat" to get that soft satin finish. I fire polish my piece as usual but then I use a very high grit sand paper, like 1500+ (you can order these grits through jewelry suppliers like Rio Grande or find them in the auto body sections at car parts shops) and with strong running water, I hand sand until I get the effect I want. At that grit it can take some work to get an evenly soft finish, but it takes the surface shine down just a bit and can be just lovely. With cloisonne it also serves to sand the wires back down to the level of the glass since when you do that final fire polish with cloisonne the glass sinks a little and the wires will be felt by the hand.

Apart from that, what little I've been able to find on hand polishing glass is from the hot glass world and reads a lot like polishing metal; start with coarser grits and work fine. The only difference is they are working wet (natch) and on mechanical wheels and finishing with a very fine polish like cerium oxide.

I have tons of images I need to optimize and put up here. My students have been doing some great things! I hope to be able to post some soon!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New Gig!

I'm thrilled to announce I'm scheduled to teach Jewelry I and II as adjunct faculty for Phoenix College this fall!
I'll still be working at the Heard (they are so great to be so flexible. I really do have awesome bosses!) and at the Mesa Arts Center where I'll be teaching enameling there plus some workshops in chains and champleve enamel. It's going to be a busy schedule!!!

If you are interested in taking classes in metals, check out Phoenix College and the Mesa Arts Center!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Understanding Blend Modes in Photoshop/ Photoshop Elements

 Here is another handout for my Photoshop Elements students. This information came from  As stated on the photoshopgurus site, this info can be found in the help files but it's nice to have a consolidated version. I formatted it for ease of printing and saved to PDF. This is a really helpful handout to understand Blend Modes and how they can affect your image.

Click here to open/ download the handout.

Remember to try and get some play time in with the program before next week!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Section of Intro to Enameling

My Wednesday class was closed and there were still people wanting to register so we split it into 2 sections. If you still want to take Intro to Enameling, you can sign up for either the Wednesday or Friday (6.30-9.30) class. The Wednesday class has already started but the Friday class starts next week June 15. Call the Mesa Arts Center at 480-644-6500 to register.

Photo Basics for my PE10 Students

As requested, I'm uploading the PP I made on photo basics. Starting with a good photo is the foundation for getting a great photo in Pshop. This slideshow goes over some of the differences between point and shoot and dslr cameras, their pros and cons, and some of the most important features to have control over. Please email me if you have any questions!

Click here to download the Power Point slideshow

Full disclosure: the images used were taken from multiple websites. I can't claim credit for  any of them.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mesa Arts Center Classes start Monday!

The summer session is here for MAC classes! We have a great lineup, which you can check out at our dedicated site for the jewelry program: or at the official Mesa Arts Center website:
I'll be teaching an 8 week enameling class for beginners and continuing students wishing to work on their own projects with instructor access.

I know you've seen this before but I'll just include it here again
to give you an idea of the range of enamels. From left to right:
raku, cloisonne, painting, sifting/sgraffito/inlay

I'm also offering an 8 week Introduction to Photoshop Elements class, which still needs one more person. It starts Thursday 6.30-9pm and I'll cover camera basics, and how to optimize and funk up your photos using the much more affordable Photoshop Elements although if you have Photoshop, I'll cover that as well. There's still time to register! Contact me at my yahoooooo! address: hjewelclark if you have any questions :-)

Here is an example of the original photo I took of the courtyard fountain
at the Heard Museum on right, and the finished image on left. I know, this
should be reversed. I used Photoshop for this but I could have gotten the same
results in Elements.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SNAG is here!

Well, the Society of North American Goldsmiths conference is here in Phoenix this week and we started off the events right with some fabulous pre-conference workshops at MAC. Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday we were privileged to host David Huang teaching chasing on vessels. I'll post more photos as I have time of the other presenters for Demo Days and of the conference itself which starts today. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what David's workshop was about.

Everyone is working and getting to know each other.

David is demonstrating tool making here

David's chasing tools

This is a student piece in process. David brought spun vessel blanks for people to work on
and some people brought already raised vessels.

You can learn more about David and his amazing work here:

More to follow!!!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

More Graphic Work

for the store co-op at the MAC. This took a long time. The total size is 48 inches by 60 inches and is on view in front of the Ikeda theatre and at the box office in the studios building.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Future Plans

I've been watching my cat Ollie and our dog Oscar grow up together for a couple of years now. We brought them home within a week of each other and they were both about 8 weeks old. They have quite a dynamic relationship and they love each other very much. But they do go at it and I've had this idea to start filming them (and with my new phone, I can!) and create a YouTube channel called "The Ollie and Oscar Show". Since I haven't yet bothered to set up a YouTube channel and I don't have that many segments and I don't have any video editing software, I'm going to debut one of the pieces I've shot with no editing here! Enjoy!

The Ollie and Oscar Show, Episode 1: Smackdown

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Oh, and I'm still teaching....

Enameling- Beginning to Advanced at the Mesa Arts Center
Wednesdays 6-9pm starting January 18- May 9! 16 weeks.

Some enameling samples, from L-R:
Raku, cloisonne, painting and sgraffito/carving/sifting
Enameling: Introduction to Advanced
Instructor: Jewel Clark
  • Enameling is the ancient art of fusing ground colored glass to a metal surface.
  • Please visit for a detailed explanation if you would like to learn more about the process.
  • Students will learn the basics of enameling: metal prep, sifting, enamel chemistry, and firing.
  • Specific techniques include: stencils, wet-packing, raku, basse-taille and more, such as cloisonne, foil, separation and crackle, as the pace of the class allows.
  • This class is designed to give the beginning student a strong foundation in enamel techniques.
  • Returning students may sit in on lectures and/ or work on their own projects with access to instructor help.
  • Make sure our registrar has your email address for contact by instructor prior to the class.
  • No class Nov 23
Download the Materials List (pdf)
Classroom: Lapidary Studio
ages 16 and older /16 weeks

CAW12JE005-01 W Jan 18- May 9 6- 9pm $278R $333NR


So.... it's been a while.....

Well, well, well. It's been a long and busy winter. I have done almost no art. On top of a very busy work and freelance schedule I've been recovering from an upper respiratory infection and I found out the excruciating pain in my back is being caused by a compressed disc in my back. Not the kind of thing one wants to hear at my age. I've done some graphic work for the MAC Artist's Cooperative Store- a rack card, and I'm about to submit designs for window cling.

This is the front and back of the rack card. I will hopefully have that done tonight and then I've got websites to start working on! I'm pretty excited about those because they are for some really neat people so if I don't get any other artwork done for me, I'll at least have fun working for them :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Is this Sweet or What?

Found this recently while researching web info for a talk I'll be giving. It's amazing what random things I am led to on the web when I swear I'm doing legitimate research!

The Anonymous Hugging Wall
Check it out for yourself here.

Where's a picture of that rabbit with the watch from Alice in Wonderland when you need it?

I can't even begin to express how stupidly busy I've been since summer started.  I foolishly thought I'd have all this time to work on new art and I foolishly thought I'd be able to accomplish it while taking a welding class and teaching 2 classes of my own, one of which is still fairly new so I had to make lots more samples than I already had.  AND, the MAC decided to turn their museum shop into an artist's cooperative and I applied in both photo and metals and got both accepted so I had to get work ready: files to the printer, jewelry cleaned, glass for frames, frames, display material, yadda, yadda, yadda.  And I have freelance webwork in there. Oh, and did I mention that full time job I still have?  And to top it off, I've missed every show deadline that I wanted to make for fall. Oy!!!!!

Anyway, enough kvetching.  I have loads of photos of work, play (we did go to Vegas-first timers) for a few days thanks to the gracious invitation of dear friends Becky and Marilou, and interesting things lined up to blog about, so stay tuned.

One thing that I recently did was buy a truly ergonomic keyboard by Kinesis.

Looks weird, right?
Being on the computer all day at work with a cr*ppy old standard keyboard was making my thumbs numb and not helping the tendonitis or arthritis and even my old old old MS natural keyboard wasn't helping so I did what I always do and went researching on the web for something truly ergonomic.  There's not much out there that is touted as truly ergonomic but this keyboard got consistently good reviews from programmers and professionals who sit in front of a computer all day.  So, despite the hefty price tag and steep learning curve to re-learn where the "Enter", "Space", and "Backspace" and oh-so-many-more keys are I went ahead and ordered one.  I am slowly typing on it as I write now and  I have to say that my hands don't feel better (the tendonitis seems to be kicking in and my left thumb feels a little numb) but I'm hoping that's just because I'm struggling to type being so thrown off by the unusual design. Most reviews on Amazon said the learning curve was 1-2 weeks.  Wish me luck.....

Sunday, July 24, 2011

While I'm still strugglingto catch up....

I came across this nifty art piece involving knitting:
365 Knitting Clock

Click here to view the article. The link is to an article rather than the artist's website because the article has way more info and photos. You can view the artist's website here.  The clock knits a 2 meter long scarf in a year. What a great concept.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

This is neat for web/ graphics AND metals!

If you've been reading this blog at all or actually know me, you know I have my multi-armed Hindu goddess arms in many, many fires.  Well, in my search for web background inspiration I cam across these two sites:

The first site, ColourLover, allows you to create your own patterns and colorize them and/or search through thousands of already created patterns. Whatever you create goes into the pattern database so it can be used by anyone else who comes across it or knows its precise name.  And you can re-color it to whatever color scheme you like, then right click to save it to your computer.  The same goes for the Japonizer but has a limited number of traditional patterns to choose from in the gallery.  But here's the kicker.  Not only is this great for all the web people out there, but metals people can use it to make patterns for PNP to etch their own custom patterned sheet!  How cool is that?????

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Sorry, it's been a bit hectic this month.  On top of the day job, I'm taking a welding class, teaching 2 night classes and working on a website (one in earnest and several in the pipeline) and there's been some celebration of some kind (Father's Day, our wedding anniversary, etc.) almost every weekend and all of the above combined has banished my personal creative time to the far corners of the universe.  And I was sick for a bit, too, which slowed me down.  When it rains it pours :-)

Classes will be over at the end of July and so will the web project (keep your fingers crossed) and I'm taking some vacation days so I will plan on getting back to the blog et al soon.  Hope your June has gone well and if you live where I do that you are staying cool!