Monthly Archives: November 2013

Happy In My Own Skin . . .


“From the Depths of My Heart”, Kiln Fired Glass, Sterling and Fine Silver, © Jessica Wesolek,2013

This time, I went missing for three whole weeks!! OMG, where have I been?

Have I been navel-gazing and contemplating the meaning of it all? No.

Have I been whining and crying about too much to do in too little time? No.

Did I take my planned trip to Tubac and bask in warm weather and warm-hearted sisterhood? No.

Then what in the world have I been doing?

I have been making art, my friends.

Making art and that is all.


“Rainbow Raven Coasters” Kiln glass silkscrened with powdered glass. © Jessica Wesolek 2013

It has been many years since I have felt like this. That I am absolutely firing on all cylinders.

When I made a promise to myself in my twenties that I would live by my art, or die trying, I knew that there would be much compromise made between what I longed to create and what I would HAVE to create in order to keep a roof over my head, and some food under that roof.

Because I was always being “creative” in some way, however, I have never been unhappy in my commercial endeavors and have, in fact, enjoyed them.

But there is nothing in this world as amazing and all-encompassing as the JOY of immersing myself in art for me – making whatever I want to make and learning, learning, learning in the process.

I have been logging 12 hours studio days one after another. Luckily, the studio is well warmed by the new kiln, which is running all the time. I don’t know or care what time it is, or whether I remembered to eat something all day.

I am making art.


“You and I” Sterling Silver, Fine Silver, and kiln-fired glass. © Jessica Wesolek, 2013

I think I mentioned last time (so long ago, it seems) that I was about to take a workshop in Powder Printing at the Bullseye Glass Resource Center here in Santa Fe. I was excited, but I had no idea that I would fall head over heels into a new world, and LOVE it SO much.

Being reminded of how it feels to be completely absorbed in art making, has reminded me also that artists are the luckiest people alive.

And yet they spend more time soul-searching, self-doubting, and indulging in self-sabotage than they do making art.

If they would just put all that energy into making art, there would be none left for worrying about making art.

I speak to me as I speak to thee, because I am as guilty as anyone of barking up that very wrong tree.

Today is Thanksgiving, and I am grateful for so many things: my family, my health, and my dear friends (such as you).

But this year, I am reminded to give thanks for the greatest gift of all . . .

That I can make art.


“Wild Horse Canyon” Image powder-printed with reactive glasses and kiln-fired. © Jesica Wesolek 2013


“Family Ties” Sterling Silver and Reactive Glasses Kiln-Fired. © Jessica Wesolek 2013


Nightlight, Kiln-Carved Cathedral Glass. © Jessica Wesolek 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear friends!

Ho Ho Ho – Art Journaling We Will Go


A couple of months ago, on a whim, and because the Santa Fe Art Journaling Retreat was coming up, I did a post about my favorite artist-made art journaling bags – which I sell at my gallery.

I said I would place a custom order and you all blew me away with your enthusiastic response. I also blew the artist away by placing such a large order. But she recovered.

I then reordered for my gallery, but the Retreat students wiped that order out before it ever got to the gallery.

These are GREAT bags that weigh almost nothing.. See the full description in this post:

Now, I am getting requests for more bags because they make great gifts for artist friends.

I have just gotten a new shipment of two each of the bags you see above and one green fern bag is already sold.

I also have orders for some other color combos, so I will be placing one big order early next week for the holidays. Because poor Corrine has to actually make these by hand – even printing her own fabrics – this will be the only order I place for the holidays. Turnaround will be 2-3 weeks if I don’t have what you want in stock, but we will get them to you in time for gift giving.

This is also a fabulous iPad bag. Fits the iPad in a folio – with lots of extra room for stylus etc.

Here’s the Shopping Cart Link

Custom Made Art Journal Bag

Feeling Like An Idiot . . .

We all know how a new art form can grab us by the heart strings and pull until we say yes.

I have really tried to fight that lately – in the interest of concentrating on just my painting… and journaling… and photography… and jewelry making… and . . . you get the picture.

Anyway, a couple of weekends ago, when Lynn was here, Betsy and I took her to the Galisteo Studio tour. Galisteo is a lovely village, very scenic, and home to several of our most treasured artists around here. In fact, I am going to share some photos next time, but on with this story.

We walked down a long, tree shaded path along the river to the studio of Judy Tuwaletswia. Judy works in natural media and does amazingly beautiful works that may take her 5 years to complete. There are fibers and textures and there are stories.

When I saw these pieces on her wall, I loved them



The first piece looked like paper and the second like corrugated copper with a “strange” glow to it

Judy said it was glass.

“Glass on what?” I asked?

“Glass on nothing.” she replied.

PING went the heart strings!

I was in trouble.

This is fused powdered glass fired directly on a kiln shelf. I can’t even say how much this excited me! My mind just about exploded with possibilities.

But I know NOTHING about glass. I don’t even LIKE most fused glass that I see.

Judy gave me the name of our local Bulls Eye Glass Resource Center (there are only three in the country and we have one here!). When my DFFL, Valerie, was in town last weekend, we trotted over there. Valerie is a potter and owns some kilns, and owns a fabulous gallery in Durango, CO, so for all those reasons, she was interested.

There was a workshop on the schedule about how to create these sheets of glass and also how to screen print on them with more powdered glass.

Valerie and I always get in trouble together and this time, we signed up for an expensive workshop right there on the spot. It’s not ENTIRELY our fault, They told us there were only two spots left. Who can resist that?!?

So, she is coming back to town tonight and we will be in class for three days. I’m excited.

I was SO excited, that I signed up for a short and inexpensive workshop yesterday – on how to cut glass sheets.

Here comes the IDIOT part . . .

On my first try, I dropped and SMASHED a large sheet of glass. OMG.

Lots of noise – glass smashing and the other students’ jaws dropping.

Something in my brain had not gotten the concept of hanging on to a sheet of glass WHILE you dropped it on the table edge.

“Someone does that in every class,” said the instructor kindly. (I bet she says that to all the idiots.)

So, I was the SOMEONE for that class.

At least my feet didn’t get cut up.

They FORCE you to wear shoes in these classes, and it was a good thing. My flip-flops would have led to my wiping out the large supply of bandages they have close by. LOTS of bandages.

Maybe someone DOES do this in every class.

The teacher said they had felt foolish putting the closed-toe shoe requirement in their class description at this time of year. Who WOULDN’T be wearing closed-toe shoe?!

They hadn’t met me yet – grin.

But now they have.

So, I apologized the whole time the teacher swept up all that broken glass, and “felt like an idiot” while the other students all looked smug with their nicely “dropped” but unbroken sheets of glass on the table in front of them instead of on the floor.

I was telling Val all about it on the phone last night, and she was giving me lots of sympathy.

“You must have felt like an idiot,” she said.

“No,” I said, “I actually did not feel bad or embarrassed at all, now that I really think about it.”

“Sure you did – you must have.” she said.

But the truth is that you can reach a spot in life where you can find your idiot moves entertaining instead of embarrassing. My “feeling like an idiot” was actually fun.

And the best part was – I didn’t have to worry about doing something stupid. I already had that out of the way. I was sure to make other mistakes, but they would likely be quieter.

What a sweet thing that is

It’s taken a long time, but when you have made enough mistakes in life, you get pretty comfortable with yourself in your own skin, and it really doesn’t matter what other people think of what you do.

Are you there yet?

Can you have dinner alone at a restaurant without feeling funny?

Do you still get embarrassed if you do something like I did?

What’s the last “sheet of glass” you dropped?