Thursday, November 15, 2012

new and exciting

First of all I have very exciting new!  I am a finalist for a Niche Award in Judaica, otherwise know as Jewish theme art and ritual items.  For those of you not familiar with Niche, it is an award given by the Buyer's Market of American Crafts, the foremost most important whole craft show in the United States.  Niche is the magazine which is read by most retailers who buy original art jewelry and crafts. The awards are quite prestigious.  I will be featured in Niche magazine, on their website, and be honored at the BMAC show in Philadelphia in February.  Right now the 2012 winners are still posted, once they change over the website I will let you know.

I decided to apply for the award last spring.  My feeling was that if Niche thought my work was worthy then it would be a sign for me to go to the next level.  This is exactly what I am doing.  I have designed a wholesale  line of Jewelery and Judaica that I am showing at the BMAC show.  The work is all cast from my original designs.  The jewelry is all in sterling silver and the Judaica (mezuzot and yads) will be available in antique bronze and white bronze.  I am so excited about this line.  My work has a unique voice which I feel has been missing in Judaica.  It is neither traditional nor ultra modern, but a mix of eclectic styles which is indicative of how many of modern Jewish households and people look like.  I will also be showing my original fine silver mezuzot.  They will be available for galleries

So right now and am embarking on a very busy and exciting couple of months.  I am preparing samples, pricing, making line sheets, preparing packaging ideas and designing a trade show booth.  Special thanks to all my friends and other artists out there that I have called on for their advice and encouragement.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

ARTstravaganza 2012

I am happy to be a part of Best of Missouri Hands Holiday Show this year.  It is back at the Artist Guild in Oak Knoll Park in Clayton.  This is a great venue and an important juried show.  There is a great variety of jewelry, art, and crafts, all from members of the Best of Missouri Hands.  

11th Annual ARTstravaganza November 9-11 2012 Show Hours: Friday Evening 4:00 to 9:00 PM Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Sunday 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM At the St. Louis Artists' Guild, Oak Knoll Park, Clayton, MO 63105 for more information call 636-293-6864.

Please come by and visit.  There is also live music and wine tasting!

This is my last retail show of 2012.  I am busy working on a new exciting project in which to show my work.  Stay tune for more information next post! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chanukah Bazaar

It's that time of year again.  The Bnai Amoona Congregation Chanukah Bazaar is this Sunday, October 28th from 10am-1pm.  I will be there.  There is usually a great selection of vendors that have really cute holiday gift stuff. I I making some extra earring right now that will make some great presents. Of course I will have my Mezuzots, Yads and Jewish star necklaces.  You can also order Yads to be personalized for Bar Mitzvah presents that will become a real heirloom.  Stop by if you get a chance.

Bnai Amoona is located at 324 S Mason Rd, in Creve Coeur Missouri.

Monday, October 15, 2012

SMM Show

I am very excited to be a part of the Society for Midwest Metalmiths show this weekend at the St. Louis Ethical Society on Clayton Road.  I recently became a member of this group of Artist, who provide support, education and also grant scholarships to artists training in the Metal Arts.  There is a huge amount of talent in this group.  It is definitely worth a stop at this show, even to browse, just to see some really new and exciting jewelry and other projects in metal.

The show is Friday, October 19th, 3pm-9pm and Saturday, October 20th, 10am-4pm.  Please stop by and say Hi!! Here is a link to Show info and some eye candy.

Friday, September 21, 2012

reflections of raw

Last night I participated in a different event for me, RAW ensemble St. Louis.  It is part of a national movement that stages art experiences all around the country.  It was a very different experience for me.

There were all kinds of Artists participating in the event, both visual and performing.  A couple of the musical acts went too long and were not that exciting.  The band Unifyah, Reggae inspired sound, was excellent.  Also the burlesque act, Jeez Loueez was quite entertaining.  There were some other performances that went on way too long or were a bit disturbing, like the male pole dancer.

The demographics of the "party goers" were mostly about 21-35.  And most were not interesting in buying anything, just looking.   Everyone was very impressed by my work and very complimentary, they didn't complain about the price, value, only wished that had more money to spend on something .

Thank you for everyone who came to RAW and also those who bought a ticket but couldn't make it.  Special thanks to Erin Mahoney, my cool hip young friend, who came early and stayed till the end to help me set up, sell, and take down.  I am pretty sure we both explained Judaism and the use of mezuzots at lease 3 dozen times.  My apologies to all Rabbis and Jewish scholars for any misinformation we may have communicated.

With all experiences I learn something.  Last night I learned that my new lights from Ikea were  a great investment.  I think my booth looked better great.  I met a lot of interesting people and most were very complementary and excited about my work. I also learned that if you grow up in St. Louis and have the name Kranzberg, their is always going to be someone who knows someone in your family!

I also probably will learn more things in the weeks to come, and hopefully this opportunity will lead to others.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

RAW:natural born artists

I want to tell you about a wonderful event that I am pleased and honored to be a part of.  It’s RAW: St. Louis Presents ENSEMBLE, On Thursday September 20th at the Coliseum Club on Washington Ave in St. Louis. 

RAW is a national independent Artist organization which promotes creative success for many genres of art including independent film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art, hairstylists, makeup artists and more.  The organization puts on party like events to showcase talents.  I was contacted by Raw: St. Louis and asked to be a part of their next event September 20th.  I will be selling my Jewelry and Judaica pieces at the event. 

Raw asked artists to sell a certain amount of tickets to the ENSEMBLE in order to participate.  I would love you to attend (it promises to be a great party) but even if you can’t make it please consider buying a ticket and sponsoring me as an artist.  To do so just follow this link, and then indicate me, Rachel Kranzberg Miller, as the artist you are supporting.  The tickets are just $10 each.

There were over 600 people at last month’s event so please try to stop in for a drink, a show and some creative inspiration.

Friday, July 6, 2012

inspired and renewed

I'm sorry I haven't posted for a while.  May was crazy, emotional and hectic.  It definitely was not a great month for me, although there were some wonderful moments amidst the chaos.  But after my daughter's wisdom teeth and then getting both girls packed and off to camp, I was able to get away for a week and have some real time for just myself.  In June I went to New England and connected with some old friends and familiar places.  As a result I am feeling renewed and inspired! 

The last few weeks I have been spending a lot of time in my basement studio.  But don't feel sorry for me.  The heat in St. Louis is oppressive, so the basement is a very nice place to be, and with few interruptions I have been able to make some very exciting pieces.  I've made four new mezuzot, which I will feature on my blog in the following weeks.

I am focusing on making objects that inspire me.  Sometimes that is Jewish Ritual pieces, other times that is jewelry pieces.  The important thing for me is to have my heart and soul reflected in the piece.  I think that it shows in my work.  I know that when I feel that I have to make a certain amount of, lets say earrings, for a show, they are not as successful as I would like.  I am pledging to be to guild first by my creativity and whim and then by other factors. 

I also have some exciting news, One of my pieces, The Hidden Star locket, is featured in a juried Art Jewelry show in a Gallery in Oklahoma City.  I won an Honorable Mention for the necklace, please visit this link for more information on the show. Spiritual Juried Jewelry Metalsmith Show

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

six necklaces

Tribal Necklace

  I have been in the studio the last couple of weeks trying out some new things while also clinging to the past.  The result is six finished pieces.  Some you may recognize, like the "Floral Lentil Necklaces" and the "Ring of Periwinkles Necklace", these styles are popular at shows.   I experimented with some new designs which I strung the metal clay elements on bead wire with gemstones and Hill tribe silver.  Both of these necklaces are 16" shorter styles with motifs that encircle the entire neck.  The "Tribal Necklace" combines hand cut silver tab beads with faceted Indian rubies.  The "Spiky Necklace" is just as it sounds.  A series of hand formed silver spike beads, in various sizes, with small Hill Tribe silver beads in between.  I have Test driven (worn) these styles and they are pretty comfortable to wear, so no worries!
I also attempted a working locket style, which I think is a bit rough around the edges, but I guess that's part of the charm?  Maybe, I don't know.
Spiky Necklace

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I made some things for my girls!

You know the old saying, the shoemakers children never have shoes, well it's sort of like that with me.  I hardly wear any of my new jewelry, because its all priced and in little plastic bags, and my kids almost never wear the jewelry I make.  They have their excuses, Abby doesn't like to wear jewelry and Tamara wants post earrings and I don't have those.

So I decided to make somethings just for my girls, a hair clip for Abby (not jewelry) and post earrings for Tamara.  Here are the results.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

custom work

I'm finally back in the studio after a month or so of being busy with everyday life.  I went on an awesome vacation with my kids, and I am pretty sure I am ready for another one soon.  Next time I should not wait so long.  After the trip it was time to prepare for Passover, which was my favorite holiday when I was a kid, but is the one I dread most as an adult.  It's just a lot of work!  The sedars ended up going well and everyone had a wonderful time, and is well year.

So I am busy now catching up on some custom orders.  I made two personalized Yads, and a special personalized needle case necklace.  The later I made with a new technique I learned in a Craftcast online class from Donna Penoyer.  I really recommend taking these online classes if you are serious about learning metal clay techniques and don't have local classes.  Here they are just out of the kiln before polishing and patina.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

bronze mezuzah

I have exciting news.  I now have a mezuzah available in bronze!  One of my handcrafted solid silver designs has been caste in a more affordable rich warm bronze.  The original silver mezuzah I created has been made into a mold and then caste in bronze.  Not only is it less expensive, but it also is a gorgeous color and it will not tarnish, so it can be used outdoors.
 I am premiering this design at the Moriah Congregation art fair this weekend in Deerfield, Illinois (see previous post for details).  It will retail for $120.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

spice box necklace and Chicago show

I have been adding some different styles in pendents lately based on the feedback I got at the URJ show.  I crested the "spice box" necklace.  It is basically a slightly larger secret keeper necklace with lots of holes in it.  I fill the vial with cloves, but any fragrant spice or herb will do.  I also made some temple building which look like miniature versions of my mezuzot but open up, so you can put anything small you like inside.

These items are not in the Etsy shop, but they will be, with me, at the Moriah Congregation Judaica show in Deerfield, Illinois next weekend.  I would love any Chicago area friends to come by and check out this biennial juried Judaica show, which features more than 50 artists.  Moriah Congregation is located in Deerfield at 200 Taub Avenue.  The hours of the show are as follows:
Saturday 2/25   8:00pm-11:30pm
Sunday   2/26   10:00am-5:00pm
Monday 2/27    9:00am-1:00pm

Monday, February 6, 2012

the story of the needle case

original needle keeper
my new version

shown open

About 25 years ago, I was a sweater designer visiting the Orient a few times a year to work with factories. Most of the time, I was in Hong Kong, and most often I was in some bland office working, but every so often, we would get a chance to get out and explore the city.  I don't actually remember where I acquired the case, it may have been on an out of the way street market, or it could have been in a fancy antique store in the vast shopping malls.  But I do remember that I had never seen anything like it.  It was not expensive, it may not even be silver.  But, it is beautiful.
I wear the needle keeper from time to time.  It is always noticed, always a conversation starter.  It has been the inspiration for many of my own creations, like the tiny secret keeper necklaces.  I finally decided to make a more literal version of the necklace.  My own design is constructed just like the original, though slightly smaller.  It also has a skinny leather cord.  I used my own floral textures for the design and added applique silver flowers.  It is of course fine silver.
The first time I wore it it was noticed.  It's been purchased and is gone.....until I make another incarnation.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

kitchen stool transformation

Just a short break from metal clay.....

I had these sad looking faux leopard  upholstered kitchen counter stools since I moved in to this house.  They were a gift from my annoying real estate agent.  I never liked them, as I am no fan of animal prints.  I finally got around to changing them up to modernize the look and get with the mid-century modern look of the kitchen and den.
sad chair :(
happy chair :)

The hardest part was finding the Missoni inspired fabric.  I searched local upholstery fabric outlets with no luck until I found this fabric at an Etsy store made up as a pillow.  The store said it was a Schumacher fabric, and I was able to order it locally thru a decorator  store.

 I just ripped off the old fabric and stapled on the new one, and they look fantastic.  Now I will just finish it off with a good spray of Scotchgaurd and they will be ready for many meals in the kitchen.