CMAG May Newsletter

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In this newsletter: May Program, Spring Show, Website Update, Upcoming Workshops

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** May 14th – General Meeting Program

** Discussion on Making Chainmaille Jewelry
My name is Bim Ditson and I have been making and selling my Chainmaille jewelry for thirteen years. I’m here to answer any questions you might have.

I came up with the name Bim for myself when I was learning how to talk–as a diaper-clad redheaded, toy roller-skate wearing, three year old. I had a knack for bashing on pots and pans each morning. And each morning, after sufficiently awakening my parents, a hearty Lego session with any one of my three older siblings in the Eugene Oregon rain would round out a good afternoon. Next might be some drawing in the craft room I so loved before refusing to wash up for dinner. Yep, I’d say a self-given name that was likely, subconsciously borrowed from a Dr. Seuss book, fits me just perfect.

I started making Chainmaille at age nine. I started selling my work before I turned ten and have since been growing my talents along with my business. Now I’m proud to fully support myself by creating my handmade jewelry and accessories. I sell my jewelry at the Portland Saturday Market, The Oregon Country Fair, on Etsy, and at several boutiques across the West Coast. I’ve worked on projects from the Twilight movies to making Chainmaille seat covers for motorcycles, and everything in between.

If it can be done with Chainmaille I’m pretty sure I can make it happen. I’m always up to a challenge and I love innovating in my field so if you have a special idea or project let me know! -Bim

** President’s Message – Spring Show Success

By Bruce McKay

The Spring Show was well run as always, looked great, and as usual we wished we had more sales. Because we have members who work way too hard to put this show on, we always are able to put it on the next year, and next year we will shoot for the best show ever. And possibly worse weather for the Show weekend to drive more people indoors.

This Show has never done the sales we would prefer, but it cannot be judged just by sales. This Show is our most visible face to the public and the best chance we have as a Guild to hand out our individual business cards and show off the amazing range of creativity and skill among our members.

As usual, we had the best looking show of all the Guilds. This is clearly a biased judgment. The Gallery was the best looking it has ever been, a great way to greet our customers and sell them something right there. The booths all looked very professional, and we created a very welcoming, almost cozy atmosphere in the middle of the giant hall.

Next year John Wirth will take over the helm of the show with lots of help from the Show Committee, a real team effort. All the members who worked so hard this year, especially Greg Wilbur, need a big thank you for doing a great job and putting on an excellent Show.

Basic Classes Offered
Contact: Gene Dietzen

** Spring Show THANK YOU!

By Mandy Allen

Well, another Spring Show has come and gone. We are still crunching the numbers, but every time we pull this off it’s a success for our guild because it builds and strengthens our metal arts community. Of course it wouldn’t have happened without the hard work of our steering committee; Co-chairs – Greg Wilbur and John Wirth, treasurer – Kristin Mitsu Shiga and treasurer in training Marcy Swanson, PR (and so much more) – Debra Carus, PR in training – Robin Epstein and our secretary (and mistress of the emails) – Mandy Allen. Along with all the sub-committee heads and numerous volunteers that helped with the gallery, education demos and booth sitting. Thank you so much.

We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the generous donations made by our show sponsors. Many of them support us year after year so please consider their products and/or services and thank them for their sponsorship when they do.

AAA Precious Metals,

West Coast Findings,

Alaskan Copper and Brass,

Rio Grande, (

SAF Enterprise LLC

North Portland Wellness Center,

Cobra Management Services

Lee Haga

For more pictures of the show check out the CMAG Jewelry and Metal Arts Show album on our public facebook page


Are held the second tuesday of each month at 7:15 in room 33 of the Multinomah Arts Center. Guests are welcome! Each meeting includes a general meeting where guild business is discussed, followed by an educational program. Light refreshments are provided.

** Website update
By Wayne Acton
Hi everybody. The website update is beginning to make some progress. This is mostly due to the efforts of Leslie (Zemenek). If you were at the April meeting, Leslie was the one who wasn’t me who answered some questions about the new website and showed some screen-shots of the home page layout. The new site will use Word Press for its implementation.

Word Press ( (dot org), for those of us completely in the dark, is a basic software framework, originally for blogs but now for websites as well. It was spun off from the blogging site also confusingly named Word Press ( (dot com). It’s open source (free, although eventually a small contribution is polite). This framework is a content management system and provides, again, for those of us at the most basic level, a user interface, control panel if you will (they call it the dashboard), where content (text and pictures and video and etc.) can be added. Modules can also be loaded and activated from the dashboard.

Modules are the power of the system and come in flavors like widgets, plug-ins and themes. Themes are the most important; they are a suite of code files which determine how the presentation is arranged. Leslie has chosen a free version of the Pagelines ( theme for our website. I am in the first tentative steps of learning to use Word Press on a small personal project. To me Pagelines looks great but a lot of it is still going over my head and I’m using a much simpler theme for now.

This whole dashboard thing will be familiar to members who do Facebook. I know I promised last year to learn Facebook to help with guild communications but I have to confess that I’ve failed utterly. Despite that, there is a fine CMAG Facebook page ( in operation. One of the advantages to using Word Press is, like Facebook, having the option of multiple administrators more or less built into the system, so it’s easy for more members to contribute.

Contributions: There is a flow chart of the new pages pretty much worked out and as we progress these will need text and illustrations. Some of the text from the old site will be the basis of revision but in many areas members and committees more directly involved will have a better understanding of the needs and are encouraged to contribute ideas and wording for specific pages. Pictures are always needed; your work & CMAG events are especially useful. These can be attached to email, or copied to disk, or uploaded to a picture service.

I had also hoped to announce an official contest for a revised CMAG internet logo in this post but I forgot to bring it up at last month’s board meeting. The venerable logo, which has stood us in such good stead for decades is, I think it must be admitted, not particularly suited to the present age of electronic publishing. I’ve had this contest idea board approved in the past but the press of events prevented follow through. Vertical orientation and stark black and white are the elements which I’d say need mollification. Stay tuned for further developments.

My email has changed to ( (the guild box I used to keep on my server has finally been deleted.) Leslie can be messaged at ( . The hardest part of redesigning a site is gathering the ideas and materials to include and we need member input. Thanks. Wayne

** Artist Opportunities and Workshops


** Study Traditional Japanese Metalsmithing
Check out this incredible opportunity to study traditional Japanese metalsmithing techniques with the masters right in your own hometown. Visit the website below and click on “Workshops.” Spaces are going fast, so don’t wait!

** “The Art of the Belt Buckle” with Andy Cooperman

Belt buckles cross all sorts of socio-economic and cultural boundaries. Almost all of us wear them or at least encounter them on a daily basis, yet the belt buckle may be the most overlooked and frequently dismissed creative vehicle in the metals field. A buckle can be a billboard, conveying information about personal preferences, membership in a special club or organization and social identification. It can make a bold statement or force an interaction. It can be ironic or a visual cultural cue. It can also be a good way to keep your pants up.

In this 5-day workshop explore the physical/material demands and requirements for building a belt buckle and look at the conceptual and expressive possibilities that this form of adornment offers. You explore two different types of belt buckle configurations: a standard “tang & loop” and a unique one-piece, with the goal of making at least one during the workshop.

Prerequisite: Metalsmithing experience required, including the ability to silver solder. Forging experience is also helpful.

For more information visit the Oregon College of Art and Craft website at

Nashelle Seeking Production Jewelers
Nashelle is looking for an experienced stamper/forger/finisher for immediate employment. We are seeking a self – motivated individual who can work efficiently in a group setting with our existing team.
For more information about this opening visit the careers page on our website at:

Call for Entries: The Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition 2013

The Center for Metal Arts is announcing the opening of the Second Annual Charles Lewton-Brain Foldform Competition. The deadline for entries is July 1, 2013. This year the competition is using an online submission form to streamline the process. Visit for entry details.

** Member News

** Lapidary Items Available
contributed by Chantay Curnow, (
A coastal Oregon Rockshop is going out of business they have tons of rocks. Some in the original rock form, already cut slabs, possibly some faceting material, and tools. Below is a link for more information.

Finnish Jewelry Design?
Contributed by Arliss Wallace (
Last week I was watching AM Northwest on Channel 2 in PDX. They were talking about the upcomimg shows and mentioned a jeweler who makes a pendant that has either a Finnish saying on it or just the style signifies a Finnish saying. i believe there was a sun and some trees on it…maybe silver metal… Wonder if anyone could direct me to this jewelry designer? I would be interested in learning more about this particular piece of jewelry. Thank you.


** Multnomah Arts Center, (
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