Okay, I know that this is a long post so feel free to read the parts you want.....here's an overview.

-She Means Business Part 2
-Surly Metalsmiths : Visit to Edinboro University of PA
-Apply to Touchstone
-NEW Shop Item
-Journal Star Feature
-Upcoming Events

Alright, let's rock!!!

She Means Business Part 2 is about education and tools to success. I wanted to see how education and other factors have impacted these ladies along with their careers. They all have a unique approach and insight. So let's dive in, shall we!!!

BTW : I'd love to hear your thoughts on this series and your own answers to these questions, so send 'em in and thanks for reading.

Emily Johnson : Minneapolis MN : EC Design
Roz Savage : Windsor UK : Roz Savage Coaching
Kat Sweet : Issaquah WA : Sweetlines
Angela Paolini : Lincoln NE : Service Master

What’s your training, school or education background and how has this impacted or helped you with your current profession?

Emily Johnson: I have a BFA in sculpture from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design(MCAD).  MCAD did not have “craft” classes, they had moved to strictly fine art and design.  I think if they had had jewelry, I may have gotten into it sooner.  3 years after MCAD I went back to school to learn the technical skills of jewelry making at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC).  I wasn’t degree seeking, just skill seeking.  I combined the technical skills I learned at MCTC with the art and design skills I learned at MCAD.

Roz Savage : I have a law degree from Oxford University, but it was the rowing that I also learned at Oxford that has played a much bigger part in my life. Having Oxford on my CV has definitely opened some doors, but has probably closed others because some people assume I was from a rich and privileged background, which (in the context of an industrialized country anyway) couldn’t be further from the truth.

Kat Sweet : I went back to school later in life and graduated from the University of Washington in 2011 with a BA in Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior. It was so much fun making all of my projects relate to the bike in some way. They even used my final portfolio as a sample for other students.

My education had given me a more diverse set of skills to pull from to make my business more effective. Our whole program was based on experiential education, which is something I’ve carried over into my programs.

Bike certifications have been really helpful as well. I’m an IMBA Instructor Trainer, certified in ICP Level 3, I’ve gone to UBI (United Bicycle Institute) for bike maintenance, I got my Level 1 from Endless Biking and originally studied with the Spokeswomen.

Angela Paolini : Psychology and even the few credits and helps me everyday in what I do.  I deal with all types of people and both my teaching practicums and psychology studies help me perceptively lead my people and take care of my customers.

What is the greatest asset(s) or tool(s) that has aided you in your success? 

EJ : Business Skills, hands down.  I did this two ways: 1. Working as a manager of a small jewelry design gallery.  I learned all the in’s and outs of running a gallery and dealing with customers and artists.  And most importantly, what not to do.   And then I took an entrepreneurial business courses at a local non-profit to get a handle on the bookkeeping, accounting money and marketing side of things.  There are so many amazing artists out there, but without knowing the business of art, they aren’t going to get very far.

RS : Enough naïve optimism to get myself into an enormously challenging situation, and too much stubborn bloody-mindedness to get myself out of it until I’ve finished.

KS : I like challenge and I think that’s part of the key to my success. Whether it’s in progressing my own riding, in teaching other people to shred, or in running a business, I’m constantly coming up with solutions.

AP : All of the non-profit I did early on like beginning and running clubs in High School, creating a study abroad/mission trip and beginning/running 2 small non-profits as an adult helped develop my leadership and administrative skills that aid me in running a business.

Strangers When We Meet

Before this trip when I was living in LA I was listening to NPR and I heard a story about Roz Savage, the first women to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean. As I listened over the next minutes I felt a connection to this stranger who was inspiring me. So I reached out to express my thanks and gratitude for sharing her daring story. This sparked a slow starting email relationship that I never expected.

Then the universe brought us together. We both happened to be in  Boston at the same time this fall. So we met up. When we had coffee I felt so natural around Roz and we connected on so many levels. As I left our meeting I was thankful and grateful for my crazy adventure, it was bringing all sorts of people into my life. I’m happy to say Roz and I met once again in SoCal a few weeks ago. The universe brought us together once again!!! Ahhhhmazing. Just goes to show, if you follow your dreams they will come true.

*Roz, I apologize for this not so great photo but know we will do better next time!!!

Next Weeks She Means Business : Part 3 The Goods


Surly Metalsmiths : 
Visit to Edinboro University of PA

Yes, Edinboro is a name and even a place. I never would have suspected it either but to both our surprise it’s home to the Edinoro Univeristy of PA and some creative fun loving metal smiths. I was invited to visit this northern PA town and had no idea I was in for such a treat. First things first, I needed a place to stay. It just happened that a grad student, Jim Dunn, would give his apartment to India and me for the duration of our stay. Jim’s first impression was spot on and over the next few days I would come to find that he rocks at creating metal, rides bikes and even knows what Surly is. Scoring points here Jim, big time.

As I toured the school the rooms had these beautiful old school features to them like beaten worn wooden drawers and I couldn’t help but get the feeling that “The Lady in White” movie could have been filmed here. Haunting story about a murdered girl who’s ghost relives her death each night in the schoolhouse. Has Lucas Haas, it was a fav of mine growing up. So I felt at home with the eerie-ness of Edinboro. The students did tell me that there are ghosts that live in the building. Ohhhh man, this place is growing on me!!!

Once I got my bearings I gave a lecture about my project and travels. I then snuck around peering throughout the room of students busily at work. I also spent some time with Matthew Cote, Jim Dunn and Peter Antor, 1st, 2nd and 3rd year grad students. I snooped through their workbenches, talked about process and just shot the shit with them, really getting to know each other better.

Photos : (1) - Matthew Cote (2) - Jim Dunn (3) - Peter Antor (4) - Haunted Work Table? 

Once class was out I had more one on one time with the students when we went for Mexican food with professors Cappy Counard and Sue Amendolara. This is when the magic happens. The exchange of stories, life and what makes us all tick. I love this part of traveling.  After we all got our fill of tacos, margaritas and stories it was time for India and I to pass out in the comforts of a loaned college apartment. The next day I spent more time sharing stories, theories behind process and learning more about the under grad students.

I left Edinboro with a strong sense that these students really love what they do. They help each other and push each other. When the leaves change to rusty warm fall colors, when the weather becomes bitter cold and when the campus is covered in feets of snow this is when the Edinboro metalsmiths take advantage by snuggling into their studios til at least Groundhogs day. Guess this is where boys become men. And men make jewelry.

Apply to Touchstone

Touchstone Center for Crafts in Farmington, PA is accepting applications for

-Studio Fellowships
-Studio Technician Program
-Studio Assistant Program

I'm honored to be teaching Pipe Dream PVC Pipe with Explorations in Cold Connection Workshop on June 20-14th so if you apply we might get to hang out. Rad! Due date is March 11th for most so get on it!! Here's the link!!

Touchstone Center for Crafts  Applications

NEW Shop Item

BOOM! Necklace

I created this choker style necklace while camping in Maine. I sewed the leather by hand while sitting next to a camp fire, India sitting in Jones (our van) both of us enjoying the chill of the fall night. BOOM! was finished in my hometown in Nebraska.

Measures : Neck Length : 14"     Pendant : 2 1/4" long x 2" wide x 3/4" deep

Art evolves while philosophies change along with lifestyles. I'm embracing the path my work is going. I've been using items from the area where I've visited and letting go of limits I unknowingly set that held back my thoughts of my art. 


Journal Star Feature

Thank you to the Lincoln Journal Star and Jeff Korbelik for this awesome article. 

Nebraskan spends year on road to share passion for art and bikes



Sign up for a *workshop in your area!!!

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Denton, TX
Artist Talk, Visit and Workshop

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Brockway, PA

Flux Metal Arts
April 16-17
Mentor, OH
*Pipe Dream Workshop

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Asheville, NC

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June 20-24
Farmington, PA
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