Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Review...

January – May
Metal Fabrication class with Aleris Hart at Folsom Lake College.

Keep in mind that through all the following shows, we were still making jewelry…some commission pieces, special orders etc…

Hold on, here we go:

Earthday Festival in Placerville…this is where we met Matt McCollum, who recommended his Art Show at Lake Tahoe for the July.
IFest in Rancho Cordova…this is where Lisa met her distant cousins (on the Potawatomie Indian side)…Carol Willmett and Jocelyn Pickens. A seriously wonderful moment! J

Made lots and lots of jewelry…getting ready for:

McCollum Studios Art Fair at the Horizon. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in July!

Mendocino’s Art in the Garden
San Rafael Wine and Food Festival
Placerville’s 3rd Saturday
Ladies Night at Vintner’s
Set up space in The Market Place

The Market Place grand opening!
Paul Bunyan Days at Fort Bragg…three days in Fort Bragg…and Lisa came down with chickenpox round 2.
Park Your Art, Sacramento’s 2nd Saturday
Placerville’s 3rd Saturday Artwalk
Polk Street Blues Festival

Long Beach – The Great Shark Affaire…and a much needed side trip to Laguna Beach (in the pouring rain) and Disneyland (it cleared up!)
Midtown Bazaar, Sacramento
2nd Saturday Artwalk
Filmed a commercial for The Market Place

Ladies Night at Vintner’s
High Hill Ranch at Apple Hill (three great weeks until we got snowed out!!)
HP Craft Fair
San Rafael
Midtown Bazaar
Journey (metaphysical retreat) asked for us to supply pendants for their gift store.

Trunk show at Fire and Rain Gallery…and being asked to leave some of our art jewelry in the gallery…now we have our own nook there!
Midtown Bazaar
Four days at 27th Annual Telegraph Avenue Holiday Street Fair…except we only did three as one was a rain-out.

We have a very good tentative schedule for 2011. Just a couple places, rather than all over California! While that was a lot of fun, the wear and tear on the Camry was a bit much for her. She is ready to retire.

Lisa is going to challenge herself to do “A Piece A Week”…and try some challenging stone settings! She also has some other ideas…she always has ideas!!

Josh also plans to do “A Piece A Week” and to push some ideas he tried in 2010 even further in 2011

New pics of work…a fresh look on Etsy – we have a lot of work ahead of us!

2010 has been an amazing year! We have loved every minute of it. We met many wonderful people and seen amazing art. Most important, we grabbed at opportunities and ran with them.

That is always the most important thing to do…run with opportunities rather than hiding from them.

Hope your 2010 was amazing...and let us all push for more amazing things in 2011!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fire and Rain

It is a wonderful James Taylor song. It is also the name of a gallery in El Dorado Hills.

I think the first time I noticed this gallery was maybe a year ago...maybe. The gallery was closed the first time Josh and I stumbled upon it. We peeked in through the windows. I loved what I saw. Interesting and energetic art!! We noted the business hours. We would try another day and time.

When we made it back, I was completely enchanted. I was also filled with ideas for jewelry.

And then I saw the jewelry under the glass. Wow.

(out of respect for the artists and the gallery - no pics here! Although the link below has several pics on the slideshow!!)

I signed their mailing list.

Josh and I dropped in now and again to the gallery to just absorb all the neat creative energy in there. We would always walk away commenting on how much we liked it there.

A couple weeks ago I received an invitation to attend a "girls night out" event at Fire and Rain. I saw on the invite "trunk shows"...hmmmm... I decided to be audacious. I hit "reply" and wrote:

"How can one do a trunk show at one of your events...? And, here is our website..."

In no time at all the curator wrote back and invited us to participate.
The curator likes our work so much that she wants to put it in the gallery.
We left a huge stash of art jewelry at the gallery last night...

And now...our work is a part of that amazing creative space...

Fire and Rain Gallery

Thursday, October 28, 2010

And now for something completely different

Today the staff of Kewish Designs were extras in a commercial being filmed about The Market Place! We played the part of "shoppers".... Josh lucked out and got his own close-up as someone buying flooring! I didn't take shots of just have to wait until the commercial is released!!!

KCRA 3 Truck in the parking lot!

The spread...because filming a commercial really takes a lot of energy!!

The camera and monitor. I enjoyed watching the director and camera man compose the shots. Lots to consider. Noticing things like white plastic chairs being seen through glass cases... "Someone please move that chair out of the shot!!"

This is a common scene. The actors waiting. While someone moves white plastic chairs, lights are adjusted and blocking the main characters. (blocking=showing you where to stand and how far to move and stay in the light).

More waiting. Really. This is about it.

...and more waiting. Lots of this for shots that last about 20 seconds!!

Director gives Shawn some...direction. She has this great art called "Scribbled Stories." Fun pictures with quirky little stories! I love them.

ahhhh and after a tough morning of shooting, the hot tub. No...not really...but it did seem like a wonderful thing to do!

We are not too sure as to when the commercial will begin airing. But it is KCRA 3 for about 3 months!

And yes, I did make a point of wearing one of my eye-catching pieces... "Luna"...  :)


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We are open for business!!!

The Mayor of Rancho Cordova officially opened The Market Place today at 10am.

And here we are:

We now have a store front!

Kewish Designs at The Market Place
11395 Folsom, Blvd.
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
(916) 859-9988
Open Daily 10am-7pm

While The Market Place is open every day, we will only be in our store, Monday - Thursday starting next week. Send us an email if you want to make sure we will be there!!
We are negotiating to hold workshops at The Market Place...stay tuned for more information!

Some other artists that have store fronts are (partial list):

Fire Arts of Sacramento (Metal working and poetry!)
Jimmy T's Catering (email:
Jeanine Kemp (Abstract Art)
Quirky Creations (Fine Fused Glass)
Rohan Beal (photography)

This has been an amazing adventure...getting this up and running while completely re-designing our booth, making new jewelry and planning for the art and craft fairs we are doing!

Another big thank you to Sharon and North, Jayne and Jason!!!

(Jason...I am now going to publicly humiliate you by saying...GET YOUR PAINTINGS IN HERE!!)


Monday, August 30, 2010

Only A Week Ago...

Ad seen on Craiglist: Free space for 60 days. Only 10% commission if you make a sale.

Yes, we moved on it, we answered the ad. Does it seem to good to be true? I will say that there are individuals in this world who are good and offer good things. It is true. This was an opportunity to grab.

The Market Place. A huge space in Rancho Cordova. And in this huge space, Kewish Designs secured a 10x10 block of realty...a void space ripe with possibilities!

We were told that there were four glass jewelry cabinets available - first come, first served. The cabinet was a mess, but we grabbed it, moved it and cleaned it. The light worked! Su-weeet!!

Now to decorate the space. Mind you, Josh and I have extremely different interior decor ideas. I am the wild bohemian/asian influenced/dumpster diving type. He is sophisticated, streamlined and sleek. Agreeing on how something should look takes us a. very. long. time. Very long. And it can get very heated.

We had recently done major cleaning at home, so all tables, coverings..."stuff" was gone. We had nothing to decorate with and not much of a budget. A plea was posted on Facebook - "got stuff?" and a beautiful couple, Sharon and North* Marques, kicked things into gear by offering up a dark purple throw-rug and a collection of small tables.

PERFECT!! Josh has a painting with purples, blues and gold. We were off and running. Sharon and North's offering probably saved us HOURS of! A trip to Ross and the perfect fabrics were purchased.

Our space looks incredible, but I'm not going to reveal the pics until after the grand opening on Wednesday.

We have a selection of jewelry in the cabinet, photography, paintings and prints all up or on easels. Stop by sometime and check it out!

The Market Place

11395 Folsom Blvd, Rancho Cordova, CA

There are several artists there who have work that Josh and I love and appreciate! The huge space has become quite the gallery!
*check out the gorgeous work by North!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just Playing...

Not everything needs to be an amazing piece of art. Sometimes you just have to play. Play is where ideas come from and skills are discovered...for instance:

I found a store with a stash of white buttons.

a white button
I bought a bunch of these white buttons...and painted them.

a blue button

Yellow buttons
I had a sea of button possibilities.

I have no idea what to do...but painting them is fun!
And then, while outside having coffee, a dragonfly flew over my head, and landed.

And I suddenly had a silly idea.

Actually - while playing with THIS idea, another one developed...and THAT idea is currently in the pickle.

Playing leads to discoveries. Don't forget to play.

Imagination is the beginning of creativity.
George Bernard Shaw

Life outside of the studio...Lisa's POV

A few snapshots of my day today...Josh and I wandered through Sutter Creek and Jackson, California.

For the bride who wants to go vintage, this set up had it all. All very not me, but I can appreciate the charm of it all.

Ok...this is me! LOVE LOVE LOVE these shoes!! Even the little handbag.

Note it is a Chevy. Note the crunched bumper. Note the Nissan tag.
This vase gave me quite the creative idea. Instead of surrounding a stone with metal, why not surround metal with a stone...????
I am fascinated with old, falling apart buildings. Here is a window that someone once gazed out of...and now...the flora has taken over.

When did this lace curtain fall?
Cafe De Coco. Very good cappucino!

Need to hold a meeting? This strange little room was adjacent to the main dining area in Cafe De Coco. Just a big plain room. This is the view when you exit the bathroom!
I found white buttons...brought them home and began to paint them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trying to find it....again

Sometimes I just seem to make messes.

The big wire mess

I feel clueless...and so I go out and buy magazines.

Seeking inspiration

And...nothing happens. I now have a big wire mess and a stack of magazines.

I try to convince myself that my big wire mess is like writing my "morning pages".

Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages-- they are not high art. They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind-- and they are for your eyes only.

Except - I have not written morning pages in a very long time. Maybe an artist needs to do a daily morning wire mess. Just empty out the brain...waste some wire.

I don't know.

I'm going to eat a breakfast burrito and head out. Look at things. Touch things. Consider things.

Re-fill the well. Let's see what happens.

(Lisa Kewish)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Business of Learning Business

Recently we set up our booth at San Rafael's Food & Wine Festival at Falkirk...a lovely little Food and Wine event with art and craft booths interspersed between vintners' and restaurants' tables. The day was sunny and warm, the setting was inviting. It seemed like a perfect place to sell our work...and yet we only made one sale all day.

Disappointing doesn't begin to describe it. And for a few minutes Lisa and I felt the temptation to run back to the easy, safe life found in a corporate job. But then we sat down and analyzed ourselves, our booth, our products...pretty much everything about our business and realized we need to change our perspective from artists to business owners in order to make it work. This doesn't mean we will compromise our art, but it does mean restructuring how and on what we spend our time, it means changing how we setup our booth and what we put on the tables. It means taking a hard look at how we price our work.

So, I guess it was a good day after all. It was good because it helped us recognize that we aren't just artists; we are business owners too. On some level we knew this, but our understanding of what that means just stepped up to another level.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Life on a Tuesday night

Just thought I would share a little snapshop of my current point-of-view.

That is Josh (right side of pic) working on our table covering for our booth. We are fitting the fabric (Wal-Mart sheets) to be a snug fit on the table. I'm done with using bungee cords!! Anyway, he's measuring and pinning the fabric - I'll be sewing the seams in a bit -

To the left is Booger. Sleeping. The cat is actually helping by weighing down the fabric.

Yes, that is our mantle with my photography, one of my charcoal drawings (15 Pears), and some of Josh's sculptures...and a lava-lamp.

Yes, Josh's hair is actually spiking up in three spots. It has been a long day!

Welcome to our world! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How does your potential grow?

Art expresses life. Jewelry art intimately expresses life. It is intimate because it is worn against the body, it is seen, it is felt, it is experienced. Some jewelry artists draw meticulous designs and hold true to that design. Others, like me, work by intuition. I never know where a piece is going to end up - but it always tells a story. Usually, a very telling story.

I made a series of "copper skeletons"

I posted the pic and received many compliments on the basic copper shapes. The second guessing began; "Hm, maybe I need to just leave these the way most people would expect them." "My designs are very wacky...maybe they are too much for this world..." But I knew I had something in me that wanted out. Ever find yourself thinking, "there is more to me than just this...more than what you see?" Yeah. Still waters run deep.

Reading the bracelet from left to right - it begins with some sense of uniformity. I expected that this design element would stay the same all the way around the band. But it didn't. The uniformity begin to split and get a little crazy. And then "something happened"...a new bead, full of potential hits the scene...and then, all heck breaks loose...

The uniformity is no longer and instead seems to be leaping, landing and then jumping off again. One element ( a bead) seems to be stepping outside of the lines! It is a little chaotic. The brass wire that attaches the beads is NOT uniform and perfectly straight.
Because -

Life is not uniform and perfectly straight. Things happen. Events change things. Thoughts change the self. New paths are tried out. One should be leaping, landing and then jump off again. Some aspects should fall outside of the lines...surprise and chaos IS OK. NOT everything should be controlled and put on the day's agenda.  Potential is powerful. Many fear their own potential. A good way to hide from one's own potential is to live inside the lines, plan everything and act as if he/she is in control.

Ever watch a vine grow? A vine just goes...unchecked it can take over. I believe that is how our lives should be. Full of unchecked growth. Yes, jewelry is intimate. I may have some intimate stories to tell in bead, stone and metal. There is unchecked growth ahead. Potential untethered.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FOCUS <---highlight in yellow

We are busy. Events in May handed us opportunities that astound us. Josh used a "slight" bit of downtime to move our studio from the dining room to the garage. We did an inventory on ALL our pieces of jewelry. I made list after list of "things to do"..."things I wish I could do"..."things I had better do..."
So MUCH! And it's all GREAT!

And...with everything we must focus on...there are also many tempting distractions. This is how the picture played out in my head. I ended up with realizing that life is one big ritual on focus.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kewish Designs at International Festival in Rancho Cordova, CA

We will have a booth FULL of our new work!! Lisa will be creating a space to honor her ancestors, complete with her recent work, "The Angel." "The Angel" is a tribute to her great-great-great-great-great-grandmother, Archange Ouilmette, a Potawatomi Indian from the Great Lakes area!

Village Green Park is a great place to hang out. There are restaurants right down the street AND a Starbucks!! Have a leisurely dinner, grab a coffee and then walk to the park and check out the incredible World Dance participants and all the vendors! This event was a lot of fun last year and we are looking forward to participating in it again!

More important, we would love to see YOU! :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Granulation is a technique used by metalsmiths to create small silver or gold balls for decoration or an accent to a piece. The technique is said to originate from Sumeria from as early as the early to middle Bronze Age. During the Iron Age it was adopted by the Etruscans in present day Italy.

Here is a very short video on the granulation technique!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Art and Business

Many artists say they love working in the studio but hate the "business" side of the art business. I have certainly said it and I know many artists who have said it too. And while it is true that it all starts in the mind and soul of the artist, the moment he chooses to sell his work it is a business. Like it or not, art is a commodity like any other.

But we artists need to adjust our thinking about art as business. Commodity isn't a dirty word any more than knife, or fire...or even dirt. Money is not evil. Money is just a tool. And like any tool, it can be used for good or bad.

Lisa and I have chosen to sell our work. But we know it is honest work...and we know we charge an honest price. The work still contains all the love and integrity we put into each piece. And, when one of our customers wears one of our designs with pride, when we see the sparkle in her eyes, we can see first hand the true value of our work.

My point is that art is meant to be shared, to be in the world, not merely in the artists world. And making a reasonable profit from one's labor is not merely is honorable.

I have been slow to arrive at this understanding. I spent decades making art that no one except a few friends and family ever saw. But now I am embracing honest capitalism. Lisa and I have much to learn in order to grow our business, but I know this much for certain:  our art is made with love and skill and has value.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Artisans Gallery

Our friend, Chad, called last week and with incredible excitement announced:


oh yeah...two weeks prior we had dropped off some of our jewelry and have been too busy to go back to see the display! So, after class on Saturday we stopped in to see how everything looked!

Josh standing outside!!
Inside the gallery...our work is on the lower level of the display tower!

Here's a peek at some of our work...


and, I love this ring that Josh just made...


So...if you have a chance to stop in, the Artisans Gallery is located at:
535 Pleasant Valley Road
Diamond Springs, CA 95619
(530) 626-4181
Our instructor, Aleris Hart, also shows her work there...along with many other incredible local artists. We are very proud and excited that we are able to sit along side these beautifully talented individuals.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Facebook "Contest" Now on our blog!!

I posted the following our Facebook page:

Kewish Designs Lisa wonders.... What kind of goals do you have for this year? I'm looking for themes. I'm EXCITED about working on a special project. :) A name will be drawn from those that participate...and that person will get the FIRST "special project." :) Deadline for submissions is....Sunday, January 17. Winner will be posted on Monday, January 18...and "special project prize" will be sent by the end of the month!

If you want to participate, but are not a fan of social can post your comment here...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Out and about...Sacramento's 2nd Saturday

Whew...what a great night. Headed out to January's 2nd Saturday Art Walk in mid-town Sacramento.
We've included as many links that we could to give you an idea of what art life is like around here!

First landed at Jason Thorpe's reception at The Denim Spot...check out what was going on early in the evening. (please forgive the strange ending to this vid...I'm still getting used to the camera and obviously have not checked into any editing software!!!)

We headed over to Crepeville for some food and while there, Lisa saw an ad in SN&R The Jammies.
Info on The Jammies
This is a great cause to support teenagers and music...we are thinking of going next Friday night.

We headed out of Crepeville and found ourselves in front of Jodette's Belly Dancing Studio. Here's what that scene looked like:

Jodette made her way across the room to hand Lisa a flyer with information for belly dancing lessons. (How did she know that I have been wanting to study belly dancing since I was ten????) hmmm $99 for 3 months, 3 times a week...and you get to learn Egyptian meditation... SIGN ME UP!!

Next up was the Sacramento Art Complex....
Stopped and chatted with Joe Tate - Lisa read the first line of his bio "I am from San Bernarndino, California...." and HAD to stop and talk with him (Lisa being from San Berdoo...). He's a very cool dude, here's his MySpace link: Joe Tate

Then we checked out some blown glass at the Los Rios Gallery in midtown.
Nicholson Blown Glass
Fire River Art Glass
...and yes, both places teach classes in blowing glass.
Yes...Lisa is adding that to her list of things to learn/explore.

Here's one of the shots that Lisa took tonight...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mutual Support

Yesterday, Lisa and I went into a fine jewelry store called Designs by Mike Lim. We had noticed the place a few days earlier while walking around the Birdcage mall. Designs by Mike Lim had taken over the space formerly used by RITZ Camera. This establishment sells high-end gold and diamond jewelry, a bit different than our work, but very very nice.

We were a little unsure how to approach the store owner. Being jewelry designers ourselves, we had no way to know how Mr. Lim would react to us. Would he see us as a nuisance? Or competitors? Perhaps as fellow artists? To our delight he and his master jeweler, Rasmik Carapetian, responded with warmth and proved to be a wealth of information. They shared experiences in the retail jewelry business, providing several useful tips which we plan to use to improve our own business during the coming year.

They also offered their expertise in the event that we have jewelry designs that prove to be beyond our skill level. They were very willing to offer their services as jewelry designers (for a reasonable fee, of course).

It is great to know that people are still open to share ideas and offer advice to others in a similar line of work. Thanks Mike and Razmik!

Designs by Mike Lim info:
6123 Sunrise Blvd.
Citrus Heights CA 95610

posted by Joshua

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Discovered in San Francisco!

San Francisco buzzes with creative energy. There are galleries everywhere with unique expressions of how to view the world. The City keeps my senses on point and my own creative ideas take on new forms...even things that disturb me, intrigue me. Like this window display. There was a lot more going on in the display - but this shot is the one that creates a whole new story in my head.

"Creepy Baby Doll Heads"
Photography by Lisa Kewish

Not only are store displays edgy and unique...there are also all the fantastic artisans selling their items out on the streets. Out of respect I do not take pics of the artisans work, however, I DO collect business cards and web site addresses and I enjoy mentioned them in as many places that I can just to support their work.

Jimothy is a leather worker with an amazing spirit. He has founded Chi Stylez, handcrafted leather goods made from recycled resources. Yes, I purchased a gorgeous clutch and a wrist cuff..and had a GREAT time chatting with him. He came up from San Diego...HE gave us the tip on how to apply to be a street vendor in San Francisco.

We discovered beautiful fine handmade silver jewelry by Emilio Sotelo...simple and lovely. Very elegant designs. We like.

ok...and some work that completely captivated me...(and woke me up a bit...I'll be getting real busy soon) is the amazing copper jewelry by Astrid Walther and Christian Gardelle. What they do with copper is incredible.
The prices of their pieces is ridiculous low for the quality and beauty of the work...but then, that is part of the gift of copper!

I did get one tip...peanut oil. Dip copper in peanut oil and then fire it...apparently amazing things happens.
I'm going shopping today for peanut oil.

(authored by Lisa)