Monday, June 9, 2014

Sustainable Stones: High Profile Stones

"Promise of Spring"
 design and metalwork by Wanaree Tanner
stonework by Steve Tieken 

The last year has brought many changes, both personally and artistically. I needed to rediscover the purpose and passion of creating that first led me on this journey. I had become isolated from other artists and mediums, realizing collaboration was something I longed for. At the same time there was a burning desire to connect with nature on a deeper level. I'd always been interested in lapidary artistry, and began researching where and how rocks are collected and worked throughout the world. I discovered that in many cases, this was done with damaging effects on the environment. I also found it difficult to acquire stones with a high enough profile for my bezel work. Together with fellow artist, Steve Tieken, this led to the formation of

Additionally, I've been working on exhibit pieces and exciting new techniques I'm looking forward to sharing. May this spring season inspire and renew as it has for me.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Swivel Signet Ring

This piece was inspired by ancient signet rings, which I've long been fascinated with. Sculpted out of the new PMC 960 mix, with hand punched appliquéd detailing, I left the swivel mechanism exposed for a more modern, industrial look. I collected, cut, and carved the two stones as well.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Inspiration lost and found.

I've been getting back to the basics, this metal clay piece was all hand punched and appliquéd, the viking knit hand woven, and the stones I personally collected, cut, and finished. With over 400 hours of work this piece has become a symbol of the ongoing process of creating works dear to our own hearts.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Learning while Teaching: New Directions with Threaded Vessels!

Threaded Vessel by Wanaree

While I've always viewed my work as an living, evolving process, I'd never figured my workshops would also grow and change in that same manner. Typically, for me at least, a workshop is developed from a particular project when other artists express an interest in the techniques that develope from the creation of that piece.
In 2011 I completed "When Apart, Always Together," and after submitting it to their gallery section, Art Jewelry Magazine ask me to contribute an article on how the threading was made. After it was published I began to receive correspondances by artists who wanted to see how the entire piece was made, so I created my Threaded Keepsake Vessel class.

During the first time teaching this course I began to see the inherent issues with creating a workshop with such strict construction constraints. The demands of the techniques strangled out the organic and creative, and I realized this made the workshop one dimensional. 

Vessel by Tina Cloud
I learned this from watching one of my students, Tina Cloud, take the project in her own direction, and saw the proverbial light! It was time to rework the process, instead using the threading in the same way you'd use a component and encourage participants to go completely out of the box (or vessel!)

It's been incredible to see all the vessel variation created by the artists in this workshop, and I look forward to seeing what will come into being next. It's inspired me to work outside of my comfort zone too, and allow the piece to design itself from one step to the next. It can be a little nerve wracking, working with only a vague idea of what you'll end up with, but like so many things, the fun is often in the discovery and the mystery. 

One of my class demo pieces created during this workshop
Now I've added a must stronger emphasis on creating your own templates, shapes, and custom textures, and hopefully finding new ways to think creatively on the spot. I only have one booking of the class left this year, this time at Greater Chicago Center for Artisans (Art Clay World) in Chicago. If you're interested in the course you can register by calling 800-857-8800

There are also still a few spots open for my Silhouette workshops at Metal Clay Mojo retreat in September ( and in Pennsylvania in November contact Holly Gage at For more on my class schedule visit my new website address !Thanks for reading, hope to see you down the road!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Website Address!

Hey Folks! Due extenuating circumstances my previous website is no longer viable. All the same content is now located at my new address:

More blog posts coming soon, I've got some exciting new projects and classes on the way. Thanks so much for your continued support!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cycling in, cycling out.

I've been asked by a number of people if sharing my work and techniques so openly causes anxiety about what I'll be doing next. To me, teaching techniques and sharing my experiences allows me to open up further for what may be coming in. "What's next" isn't usually foreseeable, which makes the prospect all the more exciting. It's that risk of living on the edge of the unknown, while sometimes intimidating, that brings a vibrancy to each new day, to each new project.

I also may have a little touch of artist's ADHD. I like to think I'm clearing out the old to make room for the new, which may be a nice way of saying I get restless when I begin to feel like something is becoming a routine. Even with teaching I'm finding there are certain workshops that have run their course and a desire to share something entirely different blossoms. My Crash Course in Copper Clay has reached it's retirement age, but that doesn't mean the knowledge is retired, just the live workshop. Since there still may be a demand for this course, I'm making the class PDFs available for purchase in digital format on my website. This is a full color, step by step, 67 page guide with all the tips and tricks I share in my live class. You can click HERE for more info.

Soooo... what's new? I've been meaning to list this class for sometime, it's a doozy I'm really looking forward to teaching. This new class, Metal Clay Gallery Box, will demonstrate oodles of techniques and, as always, I'll be sharing all my little cheater tricks for easy construction and seamless design. There aren't any dates yet for this course, but if your guild or local teaching studio is interested, they can contact me directly at

Still tattooing and stippling on the side. It's a bizarre juggling act at times, but again, teetering on that razor's edge of what's past and what's next keeps me living more fully in what's now.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

New adventures, new experiences

I'm having a hard time figuring out where to even start this post. It seems like so much happens these days that writing even briefly about any of it sounds tedious at best! So in leu of that, I'll go with pictures (since they're pretty self explanatory), hyperlinks (cause you just click 'em), and the occasional grunt.

Last week I was interviewed by Jay Whaley for his BlogTalk radio show, Metalsmith BenchTalk Live.You can listen to the recording HERE It was a lively discussion and quite an experience. Huge thanks to Jay for having me on.

A couple of new workshops are now getting listed, and open for sign up. One I'm really excited about is the Metal Clay Mojo Retreat coming up in September. As well as presenting, I'll be teaching a post conference workshop: Custom Gallery Bezel Wire Stone Setting with the Silhouette CAMEO™. For more info about this conference and workshop check out Metal Clay MOJO.

Speaking of the Silhouette CAMEO™, May 8th, this coming Wednesday, I'll be live online with my new CRAFTCAST™workshop "New Metal Clay Possibilites with the Silhouette CAMEO™"

We'll be covering a ton of techniques while making this PMC Sterling ring and these copper and silver earrings. Everything from cutting clay, making texture plates, firing, engraving, forming, stencils, using the software, there is soooo much included in this class. Hopefully enough to get you going if you've been overwhelmed by the prospect of trying out this amazing machine.

ArtClay Silver and ArtClay Copper Earrings

PMC Sterling Ring
I also managed to finish my first full color pointillism tattoo, huge thanks to Steve for his patience, this one took a number of sessions, but I'm over the moon with how it turned out. It's the moon swallower, Rahu from Thai folklore. Oh, I guess I forgot to include the grunts... so here they are "grunt, grunt..."