Whole Lotta Whimsy
Charles Lewton Brain has again outdone himself in this beautiful and informative book.  Foldforming results in sensual, beautiful curves, bends, folds, creases, and protrusions which make you want to grab a hammer and join in the fun!  Of course it’s also edited and designed by the great team of Tim McCreight and Abby Johnston at Brynmorgen Press!
The steps are fairly easy but give you a wide range of possible outcomes.  It’s great that he doesn’t show you a start to finish project but shows you instead how to experiment and end up with a piece of pure experimental joy!  Now you get to decide what to do with it or what it’s going to end up being!

Foldforming is a great way to branch out from metal clay into the world of traditional metalsmithing.  This book shows thorough step by step photos and text to insure success!  It’s also a beautiful book!

 This is the follow up book by Mary Hettmansperger to her Fabulous Woven Jewelry.  This book explores folding, riveting, stitching, and wire wrapping.  No soldering required but a small butane torch or Mapp gas torch is helpful for completing some of the tasks. 

Learn methods to allow you to make simple and quick pieces.  Not to mention this book will give you ideas for cold-connecting to the new Bronze Clay masterpieces you’ll make.  If you sell your work, these techniques will allow you to round out your offerings to have something for every price point as well.  In this economy, it’s always great to have something that will allow you to compete and fill those niches in the marketplace today.

Add color to any piece quickly with this recent addition to the resin family.  It doesn’t set up with exposure to 2 part hardner, but with UV light.  It comes clear and can have colorants mixed in various saturation levels to achieve just the right color.  Have fun mixing the colors as well.  Add UV resin to polymer clay, metal clay, Faux Bone, and or simply apply to a mold.  It’s great for classes and other situations where your time is limited.  Watch our video tutorial to see how easy it is to use!

Watch the video tutorial for UV Resin

Last month we talked about daily affirmations and the Law of Attraction.  I invited you to join me in the daily exercise, which I referred to as the Brain Spill.  Were you able to accomplish this or was it put on the back burner for yet another day?  In fact, do you have a hard time organizing your time or making time to get things done?  Do you let other’s needs take priority over your own?

Give yourself the gift of self nourishment.  The opportunity to replenish our creative wells and to restock our ponds.  You can’t fish if the pond is empty!  So how do you find the time?  Here are some great tips from Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.

  1. Write down your daily goal, make a plan and take action.  "Thinking and planning unlocks your mental powers, triggers your creativity, and increases your mental and physical energies."  By planning out your day the night before, your subconscious will work while you sleep!
  2. The Pareto Principle: This principle states that 20% of your activity will account for 80% of your results.  20% of your customers will account for 80% of your sales.  20% of your products or services will account for 80% of your profits.  20% of your tasks will account for 80% of the value of what you do.

Which 2 of the 10 tasks you need to accomplish today will end up being worth 80% of your success for the day?  Is it the 2 that you procrastinated doing and in fact didn’t get done?  Resist the temptation to do the smaller tasks first.  Choose to create a new habit!  Figure out which of the items are your "Frogs
".  Tracy says "If you have to eat a live frog, it doesn’t pay to sit and look at it for very long.  You must develop the routine of eating your frog before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it."

Decide which items are your frogs and eat ‘em first!  You’ll be empowered with a sense of accomplishment, success, and happiness.  The energy and time you would have spent procrastinating and avoiding those Frogs will allow you to take those 30 minutes you need to restock your pond!  Oh boy, frogs and ponds…are we still talking about jewelry?  Absolutely!

For more tips on setting aside time for you, accomplishing your daily goals and creative muse boosters, check out my new blog at www.tonyadavidson.com and next month's newsletter.

By identifying your Target Market and your customer (March newsletter) and exploring the scope of our design goals (May newsletter), we have begun to define our business.  Now it’s time to develop a personal strategic plan.  This is also referred to as a Position Statement.  It is our internal compass.  Specifically you need to spend some time answering the following questions to create that compass.
  1. What is it you will offer (type of work: trendy, classic, high-end, affordable everyday wear, style, etc)?
  2. Who will you offer it to (your target market)?
  3. What differentiates you and makes your product unique?

Next you’ll want to do a personal assessment.  This is also called a competitive analysis.  Take out a sheet of paper.  Divide it into 4 columns: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  This is the SWOT exercise.  Write down your qualities in these columns.  Next repeat this competitive analysis for 2 more artists: your competition and an artist you admire that does similar work.

Next month we’ll talk about capitalizing on your strengths, defining our goals, and your operations strategy.  If you are attending the PMC Guild Conference, and marketing is of interest to you, please come to my presentation!  If you can’t make the conference, then stay tuned to my blog for more postings on marketing topics!

We’ve added even more items to clearance and this will continue!

Visit our clearance area at WholeLottaWhimsy.com


Whole Lotta Whimsy would like to thank all of our wonderful customers for purchasing raffle ticket to help support The American Cancer Society and The Marrow Foundation.  We were able to raise $1560, with $970 going to The American Cancer Society and $590 to The Marrow Foundation!  That's 389 tickets we filled out by hand!  Whew!

Kudos to the following customers and donors, of whom many purchased over $100 each in tickets (in order of purchase):

  • Marissa O'Brien
  • Donna Rittorno
  • Lyle Rayfield
  • Joy Funnel
  • Carol Myrick
  • Susan Urquhart
  • Lucy Pirro
  • Penelope Dunham (in Lorrene Davis' son-in-law's name)
  • Debbie Burkett
  • Diane Wood
  • Josephine Lazarus
  • Pamela Molnar
  • Ellen Levy
  • Leslie Simon
  • Donna Fox
  • Laurie Yoder
  • Lori Koenen
  • Amy Meade
  • Marybridget Lambert
  • Cindy Henry
  • Lora Hart
  • Sharon Payne
  • Ann Lacava
  • Dawn Walnoha-Mackechnie
  • Delores Crary
  • Pam East
  • Karen Christiaens
  • Dana Lockett
  • Charlene Zola
  • Molli Kolton
  • Karen Winfield
  • Ellen Miles
  • Kimberly Stevens
  • Sarah Triton
  • Babette Cox
  • Sue Cotton
  • Linda Gaughran
  • Claire Padelford
  • Carrie Cranwell
  • Leena Hannonen
  • Noreen Elaine Miller
  • Martha Sanchez
  • Anne German
  • Antonia Taladriz
  • Whole Lotta Whimsy


Each month we’ll interview a metal clay personality.  Get to know this artisan and how they stay creative!

Date started working in metal clay: Summer 2002
Certified: Art Clay with Sally Yoshida
Accomplished in what media in addition to metal clay: "Nothing really. Although I once won a poster design contest in high school and a local award in a small art show a several years back."  Don’t let him fool you….the artwork on his site is pretty spectacular!
Website and Bio: http://www.honudream.com

What is your inspiration now?  Do you have a muse?
I am still inspired by nature, music, sci-fi, design work, and other artists. I am grateful for the positive feedback from friends and strangers - they empower me on my journey of self-expression.

What is currently on your bench/workspace?
A plethora of partly finished pieces, a food warmer, slightly used paper napkins and plastic wrap, and the usual metal clay implements of destruction. Not to mention, dust, dead ants, and sunflower seeds (keeps the Cardinals around).

How much time do you average at the bench per week?
Recently, about 16 hours.

What's the average time you spend on a piece?
4 hours.

Where do you get your new ideas?
They usually pop into my head. Then, I sketch it or write it down. It's a regurgitation of the part of the world I am tuned in to.

Do you keep a sketchbook and how do you organize it?
I keep a notebook of sketches, reminders, miscellaneous ramblings, and scribbles. It is unorganized. That reminds me, I need to get another notebook.

Are there places or things you avoid that zap your creativity?
 I try to avoid loud places and long lines. I try to avoid fear-based lies from self-serving politicians and the news organizations that constantly repeat them.

Do you have a ritual before you begin to create each day?
No ritual really, just to start off a bit organized and to have an idea of what I'd like to accomplish.

What do you collect ?
I have collected things in the past but now I don't feel it is important. I only want to own enough so I can support my creative future. However, I am more conscious of the consumable wastes I am throwing out. So, with some objects, I may keep them for reuse or use in a future art project.

How do you rejuvenate your creativity?
I do the physical work of cleaning and getting rid of clutter and then I do something either fun, relaxing, or intellectually stimulating. Having fun with other creative people usually helps.

What would your perfect creative day be like?
To live each fun minute, moment by moment. To have the ideas appear before me as I need them. To have the ability to manifest each of those ideas spontaneously. To create, collaborate, and celebrate with individuals of like mind.

PMC Guild Conference
July 17th - 20th, 2008
at Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN

Tonya's class at Rio Grande's Pre Conference Class: Fused Sterling and PMC Bracelet Cuff on July 15th
Tonya will be presenting at the conference: The Art of Marketing

Come visit Whole Lotta Whimsy's booth in the vendor hall at the conference

Design Tools: A Visual Journal

Do you keep a journal, a sketchbook, or perhaps both?  Some artists just do quick thumb nail sketches and others are more detailed.  A sketchbook can be a great place to keep "recipes".  What worked, what didn't work, experiments, texture samples, finishes, interesting findings and more!  It’s a great place to try out color combinations, engineering ideas too.  I find working on index cards handy, as they fit on my bench. They can be glued into whichever sketchbook it fits best or into a special section.  Say you design a great clasp, but you end up discarding it for another, more suitable design.   You can  then easily move it to another page where you keep clasp ideas.  I also love them for class notes as they can be stapled to handouts, etc. so they are easily coordinated with other notes.


Stages of the Design Process: Part I

Asking All the Questions
Artisans come up with lots of great designs.  However, when designing a piece the engineering or functionality of the piece should be well thought out prior to starting with the actual metal.  Of course if the piece doesn't need to be functional, well that’s entirely another design consideration.  Consider how is it going to hang, is the hole in the right area to provide balance, does the piece have symmetry or are you trying to provoke emotion with 3 elements, can it take wear and tear, are the materials suitable, etc.

Thinking Laterally
Challenge yourself to think laterally when designing from inspiration.  Instead of seeing the obvious, look to see what elements, ideas, or inspiration can be gained by finding a solution beyond the obvious.  Do you just see the saguaro cactus or do you see the undulating lines that could be formed by foldforming a piece with a hammer and vise?

Consider the Elements
Create a checklise for every creation until it becomes second nature.  Your list might have the following: shape, form, texture, line, marke, color, the 5 senses, emotion, function, materials, and process.  What elements do your piece contain and which should be carefully edited or added?

Apply the Design Development
Take one element from your design or idea and begin to sketch.  Begin to sketch additional  ideas and elements.  Think laterally and sketch in stream of consciousness fashion asking yourself what about this or what if I add or subtract that.  Consider each new sketch, each progression and refine as you build the design.  This is the voyage of your design.  Enjoy the trip!

Next month we'll talk about Part II of the Design Process: Inspiration and More.  Many of these tips are taken, in part from Elizabeth Olver’s great book The Art of Jewelry Design.  I recommend any of her books for your library!

Click on highlighted index categories to go see those website pages

Beading Supplies and Chains

  • Soft Flex Original Heavy Cable Wire


  • Ceramic Miniature Pots


  • You Made It Now Sell It!
  • Foldforming
  • 500 Pendants and Lockets
  • Glass Bead Workshop
  • Wrap, Stich, Fold and Rivet


  • Resin Jewelry by Sherri Haab

Enamels: Tools and Supplies

  • Eutectic Silver Solder
  • Carefree Lustre Pack
  • PNP Blue
  • Marking Crayon - New Style

Firing and Torch Supplies

  • Ring Size Protector
  • Kiln Window View Port Plugs
  • Cordierite Shelves

Polymer Clay

  • Kato 4 Color Samples

Resin and Photopolymer

  • Mold Release
  • Jewelry Cabochon Mold II
  • Graduated Mixing Cups


  • Simulate Alexendrite 1mm
  • Clear/White CZ AAA 1mm
  • Clear/White CZ AAAAA 7mm
  • Clear/White CZ AAAAA 8mm


  • Nikolas 1205 Clear Lacquer
  • Collage Sheet D
  • Stainless Steel Socket Head Cap Screws
  • Ring Size Protectors

Tools: Burnishing and Polishing

  • Replacement Tumbler Belt

Tools:  Extrude, Punch, and Stamp

  • Makins Professional Ultimate Clay Machine
  • Metal Punch Plier

Tools: Glass Soldering

  • Flux Brush
  • Soldering Flux Paste
  • 750° 1/4" tip for Studio Pro 100 Soldering Iron
  • 1/4" Chisel Tip for Hobby Studio 100 Soldering Iron
  • Studio Pro 100 Soldering Iron
  • Hobby Studio 100 Soldering Iron
  • Studio Pro Glass Cutter
  • Soldering Iron Stand
  • Lightweight Running Pliers
  • Copper Tape Pro Foil

Tools: Hammering, Sawing and Forming

  • European Grade Double Horn Anvil
  • German-Style Saw Frame

Tools: Miscellaneous Bench Tools

  • Metal Clay Pulverizer

Tools: Organize & Magnify

  • 5 piece Stone Tray Set
  • Mini Organizers

Tools: Ringmaking and Forming

  • Cindy’s Bender Tiny Mandrel
  • Ring Clamp Wooden with Wedge

Tools: Template and Cutters

  • 3/4" Pattern Cutter Assortment
  • 1/2" Pattern Cutter Assortment
  • 5-piece Fluted Shield Pattern Cutters
  • 6-piece Shield Pattern Cutters

Tools: Texture and Molds

  • Krafty Lady: Buddha
  • Krafty Lady: Mini Derriere
  • Krafty Lady: Mini Spanish Cross

Tools: Worksurfaces, Spatulas and Tweezers

  • Mini Palette Knife




We'd love to hear from you if you find this newsletter insightful or if you think it needs improvement.  Tell us what we could do to make it better.  Have a artist that you would like to have interviewed?  Let us know!  Have a request for a product to shown in our video tutorials?  We are always wondering what products need to be demonstrated to be better understood.  That's what spurred the tutorials in the first place.  We are open to your suggestions and comments.  Send them to tonya@wholelottawhimsy.com.