Why I like Open Studios

 Beautiful downtown Crested Butte, Colorado where i exhibited last August. Many weather patterns pass through these mountains in a day, up at 8,500 feet. 

Beautiful downtown Crested Butte, Colorado where i exhibited last August. Many weather patterns pass through these mountains in a day, up at 8,500 feet. 

...throughout the year I travel to juried art shows mostly in the West. Some are two-day drives, others part of a circuit if I"m lucky. The circuit is a lot of fun because there is built in down time, usually in beautiful places, between shows. There are always farmers markets and decent grocery stores in order to eat healthy. Travel is also a nice break from the daily rigamarole. However, if I get a custom order, it has to be delayed until I'm back in my studio. 

 One of the many hats I wear, literally and figuratively.

One of the many hats I wear, literally and figuratively.

Here I am in my Berkeley studio, in the historic Sawtooth Building at the start of Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios. The studio floor has been vacuumed, additional cases are out, flowers and cookies garnish the set. At show-time I flip the switch, casting a warm glow of halogens and LED's onto my displays. The CD player is loaded with open studios appropriate music spanning from Big Band and jazz to Cuban and by the end of the day Tom Waits. Each studio you visit has it's own flavor, many visitors point this fact out. 

 This antique tool chest sits on my work desk, spilling with tools I use daily.

This antique tool chest sits on my work desk, spilling with tools I use daily.

 One of the 'maps' I make to keep me organized.

One of the 'maps' I make to keep me organized.

People wander in, I show them my process, chat and give them space so they can take it all in. I have a demo process board that exhibits how I create my hollow forms and clasps...just a little bit of information to help the viewer understand how my work is made. If they're really interested and I'm not too busy, I can really get into it... pulling out my jeweler's saw, my favorite goldsmith's hammer and showing off my little torch. Sometimes potential students come in and we talk about the possibilities, I have many samples of clasps and other workshop projects that I've made throughout the years to show. 

Then there is the idle time-which I relish since it's usually so rare. I often play around with new design ideas, sometimes there's an epiphany, other times I'll get paperwork done, apply to a show that I've been meaning to, and sometimes I'll actually get to work...soldering, filing, fabricating my hand-made hollow forms. After all, this is a real working studio, what else do you expect to find here?

www.berkeleyartisans.com is where to go to download a map for the 24th year of this event. Many of us are open year round. please visit my 'events' page as I add 2015 craft shows and I'll see you in the studio or somewhere on the road.