Nancy Goodall Designs Uniquely Inspired Creations

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer!

NancyGoodallDeisgns MosesAndNancy600x800So far my summer has been anything but lazy, and I am getting increasingly excited about my 3rd quarter classes being announced tomorrow, Wednesday June 14th, at noon central time! I am especially excited about my new class, “Beads and Booze.” I know, silly name, but that’s what I envision the class to be – fun, lighthearted with a little vino for those who wish to partake, and a party among friends! This will be an evening class and you can decide on times, anywhere from a start of 4:30 up to 6:30 – whatever works best for you.

The idea is for you and your friends (3-7 people) to schedule a class when you have a little time to chill for an evening of good talk, good refreshments, good friends and great jewelry! I don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to these get-togethers for so many reasons – I get to meet terrific new people, I even get to chill a little, and it is a fun way for me to share what I love to do in an informal setting. For a few more dollars per person you can even make it into a birthday or other kind of party – I do all the work and cleaning, you enjoy the view and some fab jewelry!

NancyGoodallDeisgns NoahPaulaAndNancy600x800I took a last minute trip to Branson with my daughter and youngest grandson in early June. We had such a great time. Noah loves Branson (this was his third visit with us) and he was excited to share the places he had already discovered and loved with his mother, who hadn’t been there since she was a child. It was one of those trips that started off good and just got NancyGoodallDeisgns NoahSwimming600x800better! There were a few snags (Noah got a little bit sick and Saturday night we had quite a thunderstorm), but we braved it all and didn’t let that dampen our enthusiasm.

It was a fast and furious trip. We got there late Friday evening, went to the Sight and Sound Theater for their production of “Moses” Saturday afternoon, went to Noah’s (and my) favorite place to eat in Branson Saturday night – it is a student-run restaurant at the College of the Ozarks called Dobyn’s and man is it good, and quite reasonable. Sunday we took a trip down the river on the Branson Belle. The food was decent and the NancyGoodallDeisgns RockOfAgesshow (which I didn’t realize was country and may not have scheduled it then) was really well done. Some people behind us told me they thought it was much better than their normal show. Score!

Lots of things happening theatre-wise this summer. I just completed a very-well attended staging of “Rock of Ages.” That was such a delight. I loved working with that cast and the show itself was so well cast, not to mention so many excellent musician/actors and a band to die for! That show will go down as one of my favorite all-time experiences as a music director.

I am now working on “Heathers,” a musical based on the movie. It also has a wonderful, talented cast and a great band. The story is – how shall I put it – a little left of center and bizarre, and a word of caution – leave the kids at home! But I have had a good time working on it and have been blessed with some really good casts this summer. You would NancyGoodallDeisgns SunflowerClass2 800x791think that makes my job easier but, in fact, I think it makes it harder because I want to make it better and better and we all expect a higher musical performance level, which I absolutely love!

I also just completed my list of upcoming art fairs and hope to see you at one or two! Take a look at my web site, www.NancyGoodallDesigns.com, for a complete list and description of classes and dates of upcoming shows.

I hope you are doing well, and I would love to hear what you are up to this summer. I am not on Facebook as much as I used to be, so fill me in with all your fun!  

 

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Inspiration Comes from Unexpected Places

As I sit here waiting to go play piano for our theatre's resident Comedy Improv Company, Laugh Lines, it dawned on me - my artist's block is over!  And all thanks to a 13-year-old who wanted to buy a comb that NancyGoodallDesigns War Never Changes KnifeWar Never Changes Knifehe thinks looks like a knife!

Grandson Noah wanted to earn $10 to buy this comb so I told him he could put away beads by color that had been housed in a big basket for about 5 years.  It wasn't a hard job, but was one that I just kept putting off and he took it on.  While I was down there I was putting things away as well and, as I put up both old and new supplies, I found I couldn't wait to start working with some of them!  

NancyGoodallDesigns NoahWithKnifeNoah with KnifeSo the next night I was super tired, but he wanted to make a piece of glass to go on a real knife (are you seeing a theme here?).  He picked out glass and decided he wanted a "masculine" design, so he came up with the phrase "War Never Changes."  I was like, "Huh?"  Apparently it has something to do with a video game.  So we measured, cut our glass, I got some transfer paper and he picked the font and size.  The next night he scuffed up the metal and glass and glued it all together and Voila!  His "masculine" creation!

So he was done and I had a few more things to put up and I decided to make a frit sunflower, so I sat down and started.  I was almost finished when Bob came in.  I tried to move a part of the sunflower, it was falling NancyGoodallDesigns Frit SunflowerFrit Sunflowerand I spilled the whole thing.

But how I knew for real my dry spell was over - instead of getting ticked off and giving it up, I started almost over.  Ok, it's not what I wanted exactly (too much background), but I thought it came out pretty well for a near disaster!  Now I am going to slump it and it will look much better.  And I can't wait to get back at things tomorrow!

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Growing A Thicker Artistic Skin

My friend Dane Shobe recently talked about people not valuing or placing importance on something he created, and he was wondering how others handled this, which made me question my own response to careless or thoughtless comments about my work.  In responding to Dane's question, Huascar Medina put it all in perspective with his sage advice, saying "I try to put myself behind the work not in front."  YES!  It should not be about my ego.

But...but...

It is frustrating to be doing an art fair and listening to comments people make.  For whatever reason, I can have a hundred people pass by and tell me how much they like my "stuff, " and some even pay lots of money to own one of my creations, so why is it that one ignorant comment sticks in my craw?  And what is a craw, anyway?  But it does, and I have spent years dealing with the best way to deal with these comments.  Generally I ignore them, smile and move on to the next customer.  I have come to the realization that some people like my stuff and some don't.  That's human nature.  I just wish they would save any snarky or ignorant comments until they have left my booth so they won't ruin the enjoyment others might get from my work.  

I have heard comments by people standing in my tent talking about my work or directly to me like:

1. "Why would I pay that for a chunk of plastic?"  (My "plastic" is art glass that costs me up to $35 for a 4" square before I even look at it, much less start manipulating it into art, adding other layers to it, transporting it in a way it won't get broken, and dealing with theft);  

2. "I could make that." (Then do it! And MAYBE you could after you had thousands of dollars of training, bought tons of expensive equipment and supplies, and honed your skills for over ten years - IF you had the talent);

3. "The artist on the next row sells these for less." (Yes, that's true.  She is 20, lives with her parents, who buy the supplies she uses along with their space and their electricity and they pay for her van to get things there.  And guess who paid the $400 cost to enter this art fair?  She is selling for less than her actual costs [well, her parents' actual costs], not to mention no money in there for her design time or talent.  I love doing my art, but would at least like to cover my costs.); and my all-time favorite:

4.  "I saw that at [name your store] for a lot less."  (First, no you didn't because every single piece I make [except my $6 bracelets] is an original, so the one you buy from me is special and absolutely unique.  Second, I don't use child labor or underpay women in second-world countries to do my labor.  All my work is done by me here in the good old USA, plus I buy components also made in the USA whenever possible.)

People often can't or don't understand how to value the creative process.  Just because it is not their thing doesn't mean they have the right to denigrate it.

Take Dane, for example.  He creates these wonderfully creative art works using animated creatures as his subject matter.  He probably does lots more that I have never seen, but this is what I have seen.  I consider his artwork to be outstanding and would love to have a piece of his artwork gracing my walls.  Is his use of cartoon characters any less art than Andy Warhol's soup cans?  Absolutely not.

Another family friend does glasswork and creates smoking apparatus for marijuana.  Her glasswork is outstanding - much better than mine will ever be.  Because it is used in that context, does it make her artwork any less credible?  That's not my thing, but I have to admire the artistic endeavor.

I remember my sister coming to an art fair in which I was participating and coming home with a piece of art that was expensive and didn't seem very complicated to justify such a price.  I have since found that some of the best art is quite simplistic, and have tried to edit my own work toward this goal.  I now view that artwork from an entirely different point of view since I am now more educated in design than I was then, and give my sister kudos for being attracted to a higher level of artistic design.

Ok, so where am I going with all of this?  I guess I am hoping people will keep negative comments out of the hearing of those selling at art fairs and their potential customers.  We work our bottoms off before and during those shows, so please don't pass on your negativity to us and our customers. You may not like my sculptures and I may not like the outfit you have on, but I am not going to confront you about it - to each their own!  

If I solicit your critiques, go for it (and I often do and have learned a lot). At an art fair, though, my most important critic is my bottom line - if my stuff doesn't sell it may be for many reasons, and one if those reasons might be that people don't like a particular design or type of product.  I get that, and often what sells well at one location bombs at another. I will follow Huascar's advice and put myself behind my work, not in front.  I may not always succeed but I will give it my best shot.  After all, who wants to buy from someone negative?  Not me!  So growing a thicker artistic skin will help me keep a more positive persona for those who will appreciate what I do.

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Is Artist’s Block a Thing?

Sometimes I get what I think of as ”artist’s block.”  I don’t know if this is actually a thing, but what happens to me seems similar to writer’s block, so that’s the term I have coined!

Nancy Goodall Designs Jewelry Making SuppliesIt’s not that I don’t have anything to do or no inspiration.  Just the opposite - I start too many projects and have too many (good problem) special orders.  I get to my studio and I see a half-started project here, there and everywhere.  Add to that the two boxes of glass I ordered that need to be catalogued and put away without (hopefully) breaking anything or cutting my fingers open.  Then there are a few special orders I need to get out.  It just feels a little overwhelming!  When I am overwhelmed by “stuff” to do, I apparently get artist’s block and can’t work on any of it!

I remember seeing a Family Circus cartoon depicting  a child’s trip to the grocery store located at the end of the street.  His journey is plotted out using  a dotted line.  While Nancy Goodall Designs Jewelry Making Classthe shortest way to the store would be a straight line, the dotted line of how he actually got there goes everywhere – he starts out with good intentions, stops to pet the dog across the street, stops at the park along the way to pick a beautiful flower, joins in on a jump rope game with a neighbor – you get the picture!  The line is hilarious but accurate – it zig zags and circles around in a crazy array from his house to the store and back again.

With so many projects looming, that’s how I feel.  When I do actually sit down to work on a project, I notice that bag of jump rings I need to catalogue and for which to find a new space, or I see out of the corner of my eye a great glass mold I have never used, so of course I should start a project using that rather than waste it sitting there.  Of course there is that crazy-cool new glass I just got.  Oh, but there is that other box of new glass I really need to open and put away before I get started on anything else… Ugh!

I am happy to say I think I found a solution a few days ago that may work for me (at least for now).  I went to my studio, wrote down all my projects (very long list!) and prioritized them.  Then I pulled out the one that was first priority and worked on that for an hour.  I had to let that dry before I put it in the kiln, so I went to the second thing on my list, which happened to be putting Nancy Goodall Designs Stones For Making Jewelryaway some supplies I had not put away after my latest wire wrapping class.  

Since my life could be a little chaotic outside of work if I didn’t keep it organized with trying to get my artwork done for upcoming shows as well as music directing theatre shows and trying to spend time with family and friends, I have found that for me, the more I write down and get organized in my brain, the better I create.  It’s like I have decluttered my brain to allow new creative thoughts to enter.  And what a sense of accomplishment it is to be able to cross two things off my list in one night!

I’m not going to lie – my studio list is LONG and my studio is still pretty cluttered!  I doubt I will ever get everything done on that list, but I do know that by following my new prioritized list I will at least get a lot of things done, and that’s a good feeling!

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Knee Deep in Special Orders

Hi everyone!  I am knee deep in “Rock of Ages” at Topeka Civic Theatre – that show is SO much fun!  It opens the beginning of March and runs through April 1st – if you don’t have your tickets yet, get moving!  They are selling really well and I suspect many dates will be sold out soon.

Nancy Goodall Designs Amber Rapture Wire-Wrapped PendantIn my first blog I talked about my next projects.  Priorities have changed a little, so now my first order of business is setting a beautiful stone with sterling silver wire wrapping.  This is a special order from a man who cuts his own stones, and this one may be the most beautiful one he has sent me yet (I have done several for him).  Here is a picture of the last one I did for him – he wants a similar design as this one, so I will see what I can do.  Since no two are exactly the same, I try to get close!

As soon as I am done with that, I am going to go back to the project I talked about before – the table-top “Women” sculptural series. I am still working at it – my first attempt was a miserable failure!  I am working with thick final done in stages, and these are prone to bubbles.  This (my first attempt) didn’t bubble, but I am using enamel (liquid glass, basically) and it wasn’t thick enough and ran all over the place.  

I decided to let it dry anyway and to come back to the outline to see if I could “erase” the parts of the enamel that ran.  Often you can do it if you have a stray line that has gotten out of place – I take something that has the body of a paintbrush and the tips are rubber, and you wipe away the stray pieces.  That would have been ok normally, but the whole thing ran and it was just easier to wash the dried enamel off, save what I could to reconstitute and start over again making it a thicker consistency.  Then I treat it like oil paint, except that I have to fuse the enamel on to another piece of glass.  Once fused, I continue to paint and shade more, refining with each firing.  I think it will take me about 5 firings to get it where I want with the colors, shadows, shading, etc.

But that’s not the end of it!  I am using three “blocks” of glass, each 3 or 6 mm thick (I use thinner pieces on the outside, and my inside piece is thicker).  I am painting something different on each “block” that goes with the other two blocks but is totally separate which, once all 3 are fused together, gives the finished product a multi-dimensional feel, almost 3-D.  It’s hard to explain, but when it works, it looks pretty good!  Help me pray for no big bubbles.  In hand-made glasswork, often champagne-sized bubbles are acceptable and unavoidable, but the big honker bubbles – not so much!

Assuming I get at least part of it done before my next blog, I will put some pictures up so this makes a little more sense!  Have a great week.

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Thank you Mom!

MissBettyBetty Norton PondI know this blog is supposed to be geared to my glass work and I will come around to that, but I thought I would take this time to write a tribute to my mother, Betty Norton Pond (with thanks to my mother’s and my mutual friend Janis Keim, who wrote something that gave me the idea).

My mother grew up during the Depression but was fortunate enough that her parents were comfortable and my grandfather was able to continue working as a builder.  Both grandparents instilled in my mother the need to help others – they would have people over for dinner every night who couldn’t afford to eat, forgive bills for those who couldn’t pay, and help out however possible.

Betty & Herb Pond Janis KeimBetty, Janis, & HerbMy mother was like that too.  She was the Pied Piper of young people.  She was a single mother for a great deal of our childhood, raising three bratty kids on her own, yet Mom was the first one to feed our friends amazing dinners every night, even working full time; to help them through family problems at home; and to just let us all breathe – we were never on eggshells with her.  Our house was the place to go to feel welcome and have a fun evening.  It was all her doing.

Most important – she listened to what we had to say.  She listened to what our friends had to say.  She gave our ideas credence, only laughed at us when we deserved it, and she truly believed we could do anything we set our minds to do.  That gave us the insane notion that we really could do anything.  In a day when women became nurses or teachers, after my few years of teaching when I came to her and told her I was going to go to law school she didn’t bat an eye.  She just knew I could do it.  There was no doubt, so I had no doubt.  She treated all our decisions that way.  She personified parental support – I never remember thinking “I just can’t do that,” because she made me believe I could.  She taught me if you believe you can do something, it’s amazing what you really can do.

Nancy Goodall Designs Swirling Dervish EarringsSwirling Dervish EarringsYou may notice that hot air balloon pieces are well-represented in my collection.  When taking a class where we had to come up with something to draw or represent, I always seem to fall back on hot air balloons.  Mom was responsible for that, too.  I went to visit her in North Carolina pretty early into our marriage, and she took me to a terrific gift shop nearby.  I fell in love with this amazing hot air balloon sculpture but it was way out of my price range.  The next thing I know, we are back in Topeka and a package shows up with this sculpture.  I still have it and love it to this day, and have based many projects on hot air balloon themes, sold at balloon rallies, etc.  

So now getting back to my glasswork – I am so sorry she passed away before I started doing glasswork, because it was always her voice in my ear saying, “Of course you can start doing something for which you have no training and no particular artistic aptitude (other than music), and end up doing it professionally.”  My other friends in the glass world have been doing some sort of artistic endeavor all their lives – they learned how to draw, or did crafts, or many other things leading up to their glass work.  Me?  I just liked the way it looked and decided I was going to do it.  And I love it.  But it is through her encouragement (my husband would say it is her fault when he looks around at all the equipment I now have and the fact that I have taken over the basement!) that I started working with glass and never looked back.  Her voice is always there with me, helping me find my voice.  I wish I could be half the woman she was.

Thanks Mom.

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Blogging Again!

Hello and welcome back! Or maybe I should welcome myself back - I had discontinued my blog posts for a while but now that I am on Facebook very infrequently, I thought it might be a good time to start them up again!

I have had questions about when I was going to start classes again for 2017. I am music directing two shows at Topeka Civic Theatre and both are pretty intensive musically, so the first one, Rock of Ages, has been my focus for the beginning of 2017. Usually I take January and February off from my glass work anyway since October through December is always so crazy – in fact, my family is about to shoot me since Nancy Goodall Designs - Table Top Glass SculpturesTable Top Glass SculptureI am still doing inventory and have pieces everywhere! – so it takes me a while to get everything in place and good to go again.

A second question I am getting is what am I working on artistically right now? Well, nothing at the moment except doing some repairs, but here is what is in my future: First, I am going to make some more of my table-top glass sculptures. Those have been a big hit, and every one I have made has sold almost immediately. So I am heeding my mother’s warning – Don’t mess with success! On the other hand, I don’t want to saturate the market so that people will see too many around, so I will do a limited amount annually. But I have some GREAT glass that I am excited to start working with to create these sculptures. Here are some pictures of a few of them so you know what I am talking about:

Nancy Goodall Designs - Table Top Glass SculpturesTable Top Glass SculptureThe second thing I am going to try are multi-level pieces that give kind of a 3-D effect, adding lots of depth to the pieces. They too will be more table-top size, and my first series of pieces will be a series of women’s facial silhouettes with some interesting additional material! That’s all I will say – interesting! Some a little crazy, some really pretty, some very modern. But the theme is going to be women. If that does well, I will do another series with animals. These are kind of hard to describe, so I will send out a picture as soon as I have one ready to go rather than wait for the whole series.

NancyGoodallDesigns NancyWithLargeGlassSculptureNancy with Large Glass SculptureMy third tentative project is another collaboration with the talented Bob Goodall, who built the wood for this piece:

Enough about my glasswork – I have some really fun things happening musically right now! First, we have a STELLAR cast for TCTA’s upcoming production of “Rock of Ages.” It basically runs the month of March. I have been having so much fun working with this group – so many wanted to be a part of this show that many of the people you normally see in leads you will see in supporting roles or chorus. Talk about an awesome sound! And we will be doing the show with a real rock and roll feel, so all of you 80’s loving, former big-haired people need to come. You will know every song! I guarantee you will want to sing along with most of them (if not all!).

I will also be doing the musical “Heathers” in the small theatre at TCTA, which runs during the summer of 2017 . That is kind of a quirky show based on the movie, and it has been getting a lot of buzz so I will let you know what kind of turnout I get for auditions, but I have a feeling it is going to be a good one! This show is not everyone’s cup of tea (which is why we are doing it in the smaller Oldfather Theatre – certain situations and language are not appropriate for some audiences), but I have a feeling it will be a hoot and should have a great cast!

So who is doing what on Broadway? Well, both Topekan Tommar Wilson and Nikki Renee Daniels Kready (married to a Broadway star and Topekan Jeff Kready) are still in the Broadway production, “Book of Morman.” She has a beautiful CD out titled “Home,” which is well worth the purchase to listen to her gorgeous voice. And speaking of Jeff, he recently appeared in the CBS show “Elementary” as a SWAT team leader, and is playing the title role in the upcoming animated film, “Prodigal,” coming out on DVD soon!

Topekan Jayne Houdyshell won not only the 2016 Drama Desk Outstanding Ensemble Performance for “The Humans” on Broadway, but she won a 2016 Tony Award for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play. Phew! How cool is that?

On the Left Coast we have another Topekan making some waves – J.B. Bauersfeld has recently starred in the dark comedy, “Gentlemen’s Fury,” and you can also see him as the quarterback in KFC’s Kentucky Buckets national campaign.

So definitely get your tickets to Rock of Ages soon – I have a feeling it will sell VERY well once open to the public! And keep an eye out – I should be posting my classes soon! If you have anything you are really wanting to take, let me know. And don’t forget – I do parties for kids and adults, individual classes and trunk shows at your house where you can earn points to buy yourself something fun!

Please visit my website at www.NancyGoodallDesigns.com. We are just now starting to update my pieces so bear with us – check back every couple of weeks and you will see new, beautiful pieces!

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Testing my new blog

I am sending a test blog from my website to see if it auto-posts to my Facebook Page. Here's hoping something works on a Monday.  :-)

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