Tag Archives: craft

The Next Step

Now that you’ve joined the Ashram for $30 a month and gotten a place in the gallery — either a cubby at $100 per month or a booth for $200 a month or both — it’s time to look at the program.

You are now part of a team.

That team operates in the subtle plane, but manifests clearly and tangibly in the gallery as a group of artists and artisans.

The art varies widely, as does the crafting. Materials and methods are very much unique to each of the experienced artists of our Grass Valley Graphics Group, and that creates a lot of excitement in visitors to our space.

Because we specialize in miniature works of art, our walls are filled with lots of interesting things to see. People tend to stay longer in the gallery precisely because there are so many paintings, drawings, sketches, embossings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings and more, and the longer they linger the more likely they’ll shop, meaning you get the sale.

How the support boils down is that whenever we have some surplus, it can be applied to promotion and publicity, but keep in mind that money can’t buy you love, and you can quote me on that! Continue reading

Why Are You Here???

St. MIke at Cosmo Street, 1969.

Back at Cosmo Street, when St. Mike uttered those now-infamous words, “Why are you here?”, newcomers would brighten up, and old-timers would groan, “Not again.”, and that’s where they were wrong.

Of course, again.

Repetition is the key to the mysteries. Only when the initial novelty has worn off can one actually penetrate into any order of knowledge.

In short, you gotta do it a million times just to get the rhythm.

Why you are here is not a casual question, nor is it all-inclusive. In that particular case, it meant, “Why are you on Earth in a human incarnation?”

You should have some idea of what you’re trying to do with your lifetime, other than just spend it on vacation, on a continual quest for absence of pain and persistence of pleasure.

Basically, that’s what a paramecium does all day long. Continue reading

Gorby’s Little Craft Kits

Can you pick me out  in photo? Craft Session at Camp Woodland, August 25, 1955. You can order the book “Downtown Community School” from Gateways Books & Tapes.

Kids had such a transformative experience working with adults in the Craft Classes at Camp Woodland and Downtown Community School under the direction of Norman Studer during the 1950s, and when families worked together on simple craft projects and craft shows, it was like a bunch of gluons had suddenly bonded the family members into a blended and harmonious unity, and that’s exactly what’s needed in this world of pain.

I’m designing an entire LINE of metal-embossing kits, and I’ll tell you why — the new EK cutter is a piece of crap, although it does admittedly do the job, but it does it with four massive crimps in the sides, which eventually will roll out with pressure and persistence, but the additional effort makes the thing too time-expensive for the marketplace.

So I decided to set up a craft supply “factory” where I either make or encourage and teach others to make little circular foil bits for sale to embossers everywhere.

We’re making embossings that can actually be used in jewelry mountings, because our sizes correspond to the mountings without modification. We’re among the very few who make embossings on round foil disks. Continue reading

What is a Healing Mandala?

Selfie at Atlantis Central Zoo & Observatory, 2016.
Selfie at Atlantis Central Zoo & Observatory, Friday, July 8, 2016, 3:46 A.M.

Before I discuss the Healing Mandala, I’d like to point out that, if you’re planning on entering the spiritual game-field of metal embossing sigils, talismans, pendants, rings, pins, headbands, belts, bolo ties and pocket medallions, you will definitely appreciate knowing the following little factoid:

The 24k solid gold disk at 1.4 grams — which is the ideal weight for the small piece, to allow a reasonable retail price-point — when hammered out with a bit of body still left on it, won’t typically fit on the pin-vise without serious compensation and special mountings.

It’s a total pain in the bazonga to try to carve, even if you do manage somehow to put it into a metal harness, because the retaining pins will block your engraving tool and your fingers, making it nearly impossible to complete any cut into the top surface.

However, a 24k solid gold FOIL disk, which is rolled out, not hammered out, can be easily embossed without mounting on a vise — no vise needed for the foil, and the foil could well be an aluminum craft foil, or solid gold foil. Use your fingers to hold onto it.

Your embossing tool can be controlled with one hand, while the engraving tool simply can’t be. You need your other hand to stop the forward movement of the tool, and to guide it onto the target curve or line or gouge.

Funny thing is, once the gold foil or heavier gold slab is inside the bezel and the protective quartz-glass crystals are in place, you can’t tell whether it’s foil or a thicker beaten-out gold disk. Unless you take the locket apart, the foil gold and the heavier “token” weight gold disk, when viewed inside the locket, look exactly the same. Continue reading

For Your Convenience…

“Country Road Along Canal, Amsterdam 1645” comes out differently every time.

I’ve given my sources for my metal embossing projects, so that you can bring your prices down, down, down, to the level where there’s some profit in it and it’s worth your while to devote time, energy and talent to the thing.

But what if you DON’T intend to quit the day job and sell your embossed metal artwork to thousands of satisfied customers??? What if you don’t intend to order and await shipments of industrial foil, huge cartons of coin-flips and enormous quantities of sales tags? For you, there is a VERY good answer.

I make kits that are attuned to specific projects. You get all the materials and supplies you need to make 21 finished disks mounted in “flip” coin-frames for sale — that’s one to wear in a bezel or carry as a pocket-pal or purse-pal in an acrylic capsule, if you decide to use those items.

ALL MY DESIGNS COME IN ONLY ONE SIZE, made especially for the dollar-sized disk & bezel. You can re-size them as you wish. You will do better by just sort of roughly and generally copying the lines rather than trying to trace them, but some folks won’t have it any other way, so for them, you’ll have to shrink the thing down on photoshop and print it out on a TRANSFER paper, I suppose.

If you work this system rightly, you’ll develop your own “iconographics” and get them into the metal form. The whole point here is to utilize “reductionism” in order to simplify the form, as Cangialosi would have said it. You can also understand the concept in the following Matisse-ian way:


Metal Embossing Made Easy

Handmade by Local Artisan, only $3 bucks each, come and get it!!!
Handmade Metal Embossings by Local Artisan! Only $3 bucks apiece!!! Look Here!

“Hi, I need some cash fast, and I’m on the street selling these things for which I usually ask fifty bucks, but like I said, I need some cash, so I’m selling them for only $3 bucks apiece, metal ebmossings mounted in a coin flip, like you see here. Can you help me out? How many would you like?”

Metal Embossing? It’s cheap, and it’s a total cinch to make ’em, and a total cinch to sell ’em, when you know a few tricks of the trade. Metal embossing is a terrific way for a new artist of ANY age and persuasion to get out there with their artwork, and it’s a great way to get your art into multimedia without a lot of fuss and horrible expenses.

For an established artist, it’s a no-brainer. It puts your art into an affordable category for an original work of art. Usually it’ll be a signed and numbered multiple, which this isn’t. It’s a total original, and an established artist can ask the moon for these things.

Doubt it? Imagine what the price would be for a coin-sized embossed metal piece if you could PROVE that it was made and signed by Picasso? How about Rosenquist, or Lichtenstein, or Warhol, or Basquiat?

I think you get the picture. Continue reading

Which is the Darkest Hour of the Night?


Deeply Sculptured Enamelware can be achieved through advanced techniques.

Which is the Darkest Hour of the Night? It’s always the one you’re in. How will you get through this Dark Hour? It’s not a question of what you do, but where you are at the time. Most of the issues in the Dark Hour revolve around what you’re going to do to get through it, and here’s one solution that works when all other solutions fail. Continue reading

Oh, NOes, More About Greeting Cards!!!???


Yes, more about greeting cards. Why all of a sudden, greeting cards?

1.   First of all, it’s not “all of a sudden”. I’ve been creating and selling greeting cards, artist trading cards, color wall prints and calendars for decades, starting back in 1954 when I made potato-stamp and linoleum-cut cards for my school projects and Christmas Fairs.

2.   Secondly, whaddaya mean by “more”??? I haven’t even hardly begun on the subject. Continue reading

What is “Children’s Craft Village”?

Academy Outdoor Stage

Children’s Craft Village is a dream of mine, held for many years now. It is a place where children from all over the world can come to learn the mysteries of crafting and building, and it currently resides at Prosperity Virtual Ashram, where we have crafting and building classes every weekend.

I firmly believe that virtual crafting is the key to future learning, and kids need to learn the virtual craft skills now, while they’re young and able to accept the high learning curve that comes with the skill package. Click the “continue reading” button to continue reading…

Continue reading