May 27, 2011 Follow Tonya    Like Tonya    Like WLW

In this issue

  Personal Note From Tonya
SNAG and Flux

New Creative Tools Arrive at Whole Lotta Whimsy
Connect + Collaborate + Create

  Raving Fan

Sue Urquhart
"I make my living with metal clay, so I'm constantly in need of something and WLW is always my first stop when shopping."

  Feature Article

Craft-Worthy or Craft-Like: Did we tire of what is art vs. craft?

Personal Note From Tonya

Tonya Newsletter Picture

Throwing fish, Nick Cave at the SMA, jewelry and a plethora of coffee, what could be more stimulating and fun?

In a beautiful setting, over looking Pike Street Market in Seattle, I sit contemplating the experiences I've had thus far this week and what nuggets to share with you from SNAG (Society of Northern American Goldsmiths).

I've been exposed to new techniques and exciting materials (which I shared on Whole Lotta Whimsy's Facebook Page), enveloped in new friendships, and touched by the "what is craft worthy or craft-like" or the "handmade versus fraudulent/unethical production" controversy that seems to be important in the metals community.

The focus of the conference, of a smidgen over 900 art jewelers, is that of "flux". The way that "change influences our choice of materials, our designs, our processes, what we teach, and even what we choose to value."

With the high cost of materials, the fact that there are fewer galleries, shows that have fewer attendees spending less money, I would say we certainly are in a state of flux in our industry.

I've spent the last two years working on a new business that would allow me to help artists with these very concerns. Over the last 15 years I've secretly helped many artists and business owners and realized that there were so many more that could use my help. I'm so excited to share my gifts.

I hope you'll take a minute to check out the new site. As a thank you for your time, and in the spirit of collaboration, there's a great freebie there where you'll get 2 videos (on enameling and resin) and the fantastic Artistic Compass Clarity Tool. Each gift will be sent to you over the course of 6 days so you have time to savor each one.

I'm also offering a complimentary webinar/teleclass on June 15th. Spaces are limited so sign up early. If you can't make it, by signing up you'll receive the recording. You won't want to miss it since I'm giving away incredible bonus gifts and lots of valuable information. Can't wait!

Creative Blessings,

Tonya Signature


New Creative Tools Arrive at Whole Lotta Whimsy

Sm Pocket Watch with Glass -silver Sm Pocket Watch with Glass - Ant Brass
Md Pocket Watch with Glass - silver Md Pocket Watch with Glass - Ant Brass
Lg Pocket Watch with Glass - silver Lg Pocket Watch with Glass - Ant Brass
Watch Crystals - glass - slight dome (4) Watch Cyrstals - glass - flat (12)
Sanding Needles 150 grit (12) Sanding Needles 240 grit (12)
Sanding Needles 320 grit (12) Professional Sanding Film Assorted (5 sheets)
Micro Fine Sanding Film Assorted (5 sheets) Ultra Fine Waterproof Abrasive Assorted (8 sheets)
Sanding Film with Adhesive Back - Assorted (5 sheets) Tapered Files - Assorted (7 pack)
Slim Sanding Sticks - Assorted (15 pack) Abrasive Cleaning Disk (1)
Micro Finishing Cloth Pads - Assorted (6 pads) Ultra Fine Abrasive Sheets - Assorted (8 sheets)
Angled Flexible Sanders - Extra Fine (600 grit) Angled Flexible Sanders - Fine (320 grit)
Angled Flexible Sanders - Medium (280 grit) Angled Flexible Sanders - Coarse (150 grit)
Bench Fan - Fumes & Dust

Connect + Collaborate + Create

An Invitation:

What: To meet other like minded, heart-centered artists from all mediums and exchange info in order to connect + collaborate + create better art, better businesses, better creative lives!

When: This Sunday, all day, any time

Where: Whole Lotta Whimsy's Facebook page
**see Discussions in the far right hand column under the WLW logo for full directions on what to do

Then what happens?
Once you post your info, you'll receive an invitation to the amazing think tank, mastermind group of artists who daily share their knowledge on many topics such as: pricing, technique, sources, inspiration and more.

Here's what one group member said:

"I am so happy just to be in the presence of such wisdom and humanity and divinely talented souls. The value of what you've done for us all cannot be expressed in terms of the world's system; it can only be expressed in the hearts and spirits of all you've touched and who've touched others' lives for the better. The dividends have already been mind-blowing. Can't wait to see where we're all at a year from now!!"

Step outside your inner circle and connect with a few more people every week over coffee in your own studio. Who knows where this will take your work or your life. The masters met at Cafe Guerbois and we will meet in our own studios over FB.


Raving Fan

Sue Urquhart

I make my living with metal clay, so I'm constantly in need of something and WLW is always my first stop when shopping.

The customer service is stellar and my orders always ship within 24 hours, without any mistakes. I love how new and innovative products are always being added, and that they come with thorough and easy to follow instructions. Whenever I need to order something I peruse all the shopping categories and usually find something newly added that I have to try.

Tonya and her crew do an excellent job and I'm very happy to support such a great business!

- Sue Urquhart
Lulu Bug Jewelry

Feature Article

How much do you care about the controversy of art versus craft?

How much do you care about the controversy of art versus craft?

I've heard art being defined as:

  • Increased price
  • Art is not functional and exists for arts sake
  • The physical piece cannot be separated from it's meaning as the two are unified (Aristotle's definition)
  • It's not familiar but conceptual
  • If it's old and no longer seen as functional it can be now called art (objects defined as art in museums like armor, china, pottery, etc)
    more refined and worth more

Craft defined as:

  • Functional
  • Well planned/designed
  • Appropriate materials
  • Made by a craftsman (with 10,000 hours)

There actually are laws in place about what is art and what is craft when you bring it into the U.S. through customs. Charles Lewton-Brain has written a great article about this if you are interested in reading more.

Today there was heated discussion about what is craft-worthy or craft-like. Glenn Adamson, internationally renowned craft writer, researcher, educator and theorist presented Affective Objects: Design and the Image of Craft.

He showed a commercial where Chrysler shows its new Jeep. The message is a metaphor focusing on pride for American manufacturing and engineering.

In fact the advertising agency came up with the tagline "the things we make, make us." They propose that Americans "do well when we make things, and not so well when we don't". A boost-pride-thus-boosting-sales marketing message.

Adamson was admittedly angry that Chrysler was using the resurgence in society's interest to buy handmade, to embrace slow foods, to make your own clothing, to sell its Jeep as a marketing tool to sell more cars. He proposed in fact that it was highly fraudulent.

The conversation continued, in the Smaller Conference Experience at lunch, with the idea that if you don't make the entire piece, it is not crafted. If your assistant or apprentice files some balls into faceted beads, or solders a pin back on, or does any part of the creation of the piece, it is not handmade or crafted by you. Thus it is not then craft worthy, but craft like.

However, Lola Brooks, renown metalsmith from NY, brought up the valuable point that the assistant or apprentice is not designing the piece but simply helping with assembly. That the relationship is a give and take of equal value. It is still handmade and craft, through and through.

What do you think?

Want to use this article in your eZine, website or to give to students?

Please do!  Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Teacher, mentor, artist and founder of The Artful Success Program, Tonya Davidson helps artists take their techniques and business skills to the next level. As the CEO and founder of Whole Lotta Whimsy she has passionately empowered artists to live creatively from the inside out. Her ezine goes out to over 11,000 subscribers. Create the life you love by subscribing to her eZine at Be sure to check out her blog at for complimentary tutorials and articles.

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