Fun In the Studio!

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Day One Leanne and Tammy and their finished projects!

It was so great to host two of my favorite people this week for a class in my new studio! Leanne (Assemblage Jewelry) and Tammy (Sunny Creek Jewelry) are fellow jewelers and close friends. I admire each of them for many different reasons and It was an honor to help them learn new skills to incorporate into their work.

The fun started on Sunday at the Minneapolis Gem Show! Amanda, Leanne, Tammy and I found lots of treasures and inspiration to fuel our work in the upcoming months! It is always so great to see all the familiar faces, peers and friends at the show. Everyone excited about the next treasure they might find. Even after going to this show for almost 10 years I still feel my heart race with anticipation of seeing the beautiful stones and finding that one (or 10, 😉  perfect things to add to my artist pallet. We even had a new addition to our little posse this year! Little Poppy, Amanda’s little bundle- only a year old! All in all we had a great time!

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Old Treasures

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Tables and tables of color!

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My Favorite! TURQUOISE!

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More cool OLD stuff!

Monday we got to work! I taught them how to create their own tube bezels to set faceted stones into their work. Leanne received a grant last year to advance her work and one of her goals was to learn new ways to set faceted stones into her work! She made two pairs of earrings and a pendant to get started! Tammy was excited to acquire a new tool in her belt to use in her designs. She made a beautifully simple ring for her daughter Gracie.

Leanne at work:)

Leanne at work:)

On Tuesday we covered Gypsy/ Flush setting. Leanne was a natural at this! Gypsy setting is tricky and takes a lot of patience. There is a lot of trial and error! The key here is PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Leanne melted a bunch of my scrap from my Papel Picado series into little balls and we used those to make little pebble stacking rings. She set a CZ in hers! And she had time to make a special little ring for her grand daughter Tilly! We had a great day 2 in the studio! I think she is set to create some beautiful pieces for her up coming Gallery exhibition at the NAG (Northfield Arts Guild) this coming fall! I am so excited to see it!

All the Pieces coming together!

All the Pieces coming together!

stackable pebble rings

Completed stackable pebble rings

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Fun stack I made for Kristina! She Loved it!

Reflecting today about the past couple days has helped me to know that it is more important than ever for me to continue to teach. In turn I have also realized that it is equally important for me to continue to learn! I have always loved teaching and I think I always will! My heart swells when I see my student succeed.  It’s my way of saying thank you to the universe for bringing this gift into my life. I also will always have something to learn. I get giddy when I get the chance to sign up for a class and have the chance to be on the other side of learning. It is a chance for me to play and grow too. I am looking forward to getting started on writing my first grant proposal to help me do more of both! I look forward to sharing more of that process with you all in the near future!

Go out and explore and learn something new today!

A Dream Made Real

We broke ground in June of 2013

We broke ground in June of 2013

For the past 7 years I have been renting studio space in the NE Minneapolis Arts District. When I first started making jewelry 9 years ago I worked out of my three season 6 x 9ft back porch. Fully loaded with a space heater and heat lamps for those MN winters. I drove at least once a week 40 miles to Northfield for instruction from my mentor Leanne and rented studio time from another Northfield artist Jennifer. In her studio I had access to a torch, a kiln, and other cool tools I didn’t have the money or space for. I remember those days fondly as I know they were integral in my journey.

Much has happened in the past 9 years. Primarily, my two little boys are now 10 and 12. Not little boys anymore. They have made this journey with me as I started this venture when they were just babies and the chapter of my life as wife and stay at home mom was ending. They have watched me struggle and cry as well as triumph and leap for joy with the ups and downs of this business. They have spent many a day in the studio with me, movies, games and sketchbooks in tow, so I can work. They have been drug to shows, and fairs. Essentially they have grown with my business and really know nothing different. As a single mom this business has been such a blessing. It has allowed me the flexibility to be there for my children in ways a normal 9-5 wouldn’t. One of my children, the oldest being Autistic and having epilepsy has fueled my drive to make this business succeed. I need to not only be able to provide for these two but I need to be able to be available anytime, without the added stress of losing a job due to missing work for being called home to care for him. This business has given me that.

The past two years have brought challenges beyond any I could have imagined. These challenges have brought me to my knees, praying for guidance and help. They also brought me a gift. Another “angel.” Her name is Kristina. She has changed my life forever. We bought a home last March. A dream come true in and of itself. This home is nestled in St. Paul and we are surrounded with great neighbors and close to friends and everything we need. The boys are settled and happy beyond belief in having their own rooms and lots of boys their age to play with on our street. As if it couldn’t get more perfect, there was also a large backyard with room for a studio! YES a HOME STUDIO! A place I can work anytime day or night. Having my children close, comfortable and safe. Saving the driving time and rent money of an away studio. The benefits are too many to list. I wanted to share with you all a photo journey of the process of building this studio. It was pretty stressful at times. Construction never goes as planned. It tested our patience over and over, but in the end it was all worth it!

I am so excited to share this space with clients and students. Please contact me at info@marisa-martinez.com to set up a visit or to schedule a class!

Building the foundation

Building the foundation

Foundation poured

Foundation poured

Ready to start framing.

Ready to start framing.

Framing has started!

Framing has started!

Almost done framing.

Almost done framing.

A look inside...

A look inside…

Roofing underway

Roofing underway

Roof done, sheet rock, windows, and doors!

Roof done, sheet rock, windows, and doors!

Sheetrock and mudding inside.

Sheetrock and mudding inside.

bowling alley floor counter tops going in.

bowling alley floor counter tops going in.

Plywood sheet floors and lighting goes in upstairs.

Plywood sheet floors and lighting goes in upstairs.

Painting and lights outside- Alley view

Painting and lights outside- Alley view

Backyard view

Backyard view

Inside finishes -stairs

Inside finishes -stairs

installed counters and lighting- main work area

installed counters and lighting- main work area

The mural begins in the stairwell!

The mural begins in the stairwell!

Kada bringing the under painting to life

Kada bringing the under painting to life

Almost done!

Almost done!