Monday, December 7, 2015

Handmade Holiday This Weekend and Class Sign Ups NOW

My Handmade Holiday event at my studio is almost here. If you're a local in the San Francisco Bay Area I hope you can join us on Sunday, December 14 from 11-4.

Also classes are up on the website and ready for enrollment. I am really excited about the classes on the schedule. An exciting addition to the regular jewelry classes are classes on SEWING! That's right! It's time I share my sewing knowledge through simple and fun projects that are perfect for the beginner. The first class is a great tote bag with leather shoulder strap. More sewing classes to come (including QUILTING!)

Classes for January
 Find all of the classes on the blog with more photos and details on how to enroll.

Friday, December 4, 2015

My new LIVE video and a giveaway!

*** A giveaway winner was picked!*** Comment 6 wins the pearls. Congrats Lee. The pearls are yours. Email me your address and I will mail them out!

Hi All!
As you may have heard, I have started doing a live feed on Fridays from my studio. The segments include a variety of topics, mostly centered around what I have on my workbench.

I am using the Periscope App to broadcast, and then I upload each segment to my YouTube channel. They are pretty fun, and it seems that you guys like them too, which makes me super happy.

I have just uploaded the one from earlier today. I have embedded it here. You can find the entire series on my YouTube channel. Give it a follow and you will be notified each time there is a new upload.

I also shared a cool promo I received from Swarovski. It is a sample set of all of their crystal pearls. It's pictured below.

If you would like to have it for your very own, leave a comment below and I will randomly choose a winner on Monday and send it over to you.

Also more info coming next week on the new classes for 2016 at the studio and don't forget to mark your calendars for my open studio holiday jewelry sale event and FREE Make & Take on Sunday December 13. More info here.

Thanks for watching! And hope to see some local friends next Sunday.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Handmade Holidays and Studio Class Sign-ups

Lot's of great stuff happening over at the Kate Richbourg Jewelry Studio.

First, mark your calendars for my first ever holiday event at the studionon Sunday, December 13, 11-4. (Directions to the studio here.)

Handmade Holiday features six fabulous jewelry designers: Lisa Kaufman, Emily Miller, Cynthia Thornton, Kriss Silva, Winnie van der Rijn and me.

Hope you can join us for food, frolic, festive gifts and a FREE Indigo Dye Make & Take! Yep. We will have some holiday libations and snacks and you'll learn how to dye your very own piece of fabric a brilliant Indigo Blue. It's like magic!

That day will also be the first day of studio class sign ups for Jan-April 2016. You can check the preview dates on the studio class page. Class titles, photos and descriptions are coming soon.

But in case your are ready to enroll in some classes right now, I do have four exciting offerings that are available for sign ups. They are called my Make & Take Mini Classes and are one Tuesday night each month. Just $40 each. That great price includes all materials and tool use in class as well as drinks and snacks. If you want to enroll in all of them, I have a special 4-pack price. Click on the class title and hop over to my Etsy store to see the samples and enroll.

Tuesday, January 19, 6:30-9 No Fail Stacked Rings
Tuesday, February 16, 6:30-9 Texture and Patina Metal Leaves
Tuesday, March 22, 6:30-9 Stamped Rings
Tuesday, April 19, 6:30-9 Bevy of Bangles 

Enroll for all 4 for the price of 3. 

Stay tuned for more class info and Handmade Holiday details coming up soon!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Don't Play Me Off Yet, Stick Man!

Remember that year that Julia Roberts wore that amazing vintage Valentino dress when she took home her Oscar for Best Actress? Her speech was so heartfelt and giddy and breathless. She had so many people to thank that she exclaimed at the onset that it was going to be a long one.

Right off the bat Julia looked over at the conductor and said "I'm going to spend some time here to tell you some things. And sir [speaking to music conductor Bill Conti], you're doing a great job, but you're so quick with that stick. So why don't you sit, 'cause I may never be here again."

Well, I kinda feel like that today. Giddy, breathless, heartfelt. And I'll admit... a bit tired. It's my Oscar day, of sorts. My photo shoot for my second book starts tomorrow, with some last minute preliminary stuff happening today. By Friday at 5:30 PM, all will be a memory. And hopefully a success.  I am really proud of it and hope that it will help you on you metalsmithing journey.

So it seems fitting to send out into the universe, my friends, supporters, students and colleagues a big THANK YOU!

I could not have achieved this sophomore effort without a team. From the day-to-day support of my husband (his middle name is dinner and laundry) to my family and friends who are always ready to lend a helping hand in countless ways. And of course to you, the person reading this on the other side of the screen. Maybe we have met in a class, or through social media, or in an online class. It's you guys that keep me doing what I do by supporting my efforts, buying my books, frequenting my Etsy store and taking my classes.  

So Thank You. The stick man is playing me off. But unlike Julia, I know I'll be here again. Another epic project is always on the horizon. And I hope you will be there with me.


Monday, October 26, 2015

My Musings...

I have had a LOT of great inspiration, support and general good will come my way lately. It's a crazy-creative-exciting time for me right now. All of these events have put me in mind to muse overwhat it is I do. To cut through the clutter (sometimes literally) and think about what it is I DO as a jewelry educator.

And since all the kids are making infographics nowdays, I thought I'd make one too, and use it to share my thoughts with you.

(And by-the-way it was really fun and easy to create. I used a template from a company called Piktochart. It was FREE to sign up and there are plenty of great templates to get you started.)

Here it is...  and thanks for reading! Click this link to download a printable copy.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

All hands on deck!

Hey Gang!
Super exciting news. My second book Metalsmithing Made Easy just posted on Amazon for presale! Yahoo!  However, the work isn't quite done yet. As a matter of fact, there is still a lot of behind-the-scenes work to be done. Including photographs! At the end of this month the photo shoot for all of the projects is going to be at my studio in South San Francisco. It's gonna be lights, camera, action here in South City.

As you might imagine it's a lot of prep work to get all the steps ready for photography. Each project needs to have several finished steps so each project goes swiftly and effortlessly.

I am putting out a general call for any crafty friends who might be into helping prepare the steps for the shoot. It involves working from my written instructions and preparing several steps of the project.

Here are the details:
When: Saturday and Sunday 10-5, October 17th & 18th. (This coming weekend.)

Where: My studio. 160 S Linden Ave Suite 124, South San Francisco, CA

What: I provide all tools and materials and when it's ready you'll get a signed copy of the new book as thanks for your help. And lunch ;).

I welcome makers with all levels of experience as there are projects that fit a variety of skill levels.

Let me know if you'd like to join in on the fun. RSVP via email kate at katerichbourg dot com.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Learn to drill stones! My new FREE class from Beaducation.

A few weeks back I posted some tips about drilling holes in stones and other objects to use in jewelry making. It is a good skill to know as it allows you to modify pieces that you might already have so you can incorporate them into your designs.

It can get confusing however. Which tool to use? What bit to use? How to start? Securing the bead? So many questions. Well, fret no more. my new video from Beaducation has the answers.

You learn how to use a variety of tools and make bails for the drilled pieces. Just like this:
Class Photo from Beaducation.
It was such fun hanging with my Beaducation peeps. Filming is always fun and Lisa and Aisha make it even better. Here we are getting ready.

 And here I am filming the preview. Lights, camera and action!

I use some diamond drill bits in the video. You can find them in my Etsy store here and here. Beaducation has a whole list of what you need on the website class page. (Link below.)

Ready? You can view the class right here,

or check it out along with all of my other FREE classes on
Drilling Stones & Found Objects
All my other Beaducation Classes

Have fun and let me know what you make. I can't wait to hear how you like it!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Indigo and Ice Dye. A perfect combo!

What a fun way to say farewell to summer. This weekend the hubs and I took a well-deserved break at our friends Emily and Ed's lovely place on Clear Lake in Northern CA.

It was lovely. Restfulness is a perfect breeding ground for creativity and Emily is one of the most creative people I know. She knew the perfect way to entertain a creative friend... Bring out the dye pot!

Before we hit the road, per Emily's instructions, I stopped at the fabric store and bought a bunch of white fabric. I chose some nice quality cotton, canvas duck and ticking with a blue stripe.

The first thing we did was indigo. Indigo is magic. The color is so luscious and rich. The fabric comes out of the dye bath an electric, bright chartreuse and turns into a deep, rich blue right before your eyes. We used this kit from Dharma Trading. At nine bucks, it's a deal and provides hours of dyeing fun.
I was an indigo novice, but under Emily's tutelage it was a piece of cake. Follow the package directions and mix the dye in a bucket. Let it sit for a few and you are ready to turn everything you own blue. We laundered our fabrics before dyeing to remove any sizing from the fabric. I did a few tied pieces of fabric. I used twine and rubber bands to hold accordion folds in place and dropped the whole thing in and gave it a few stirs. The color saturation depends on how long you leave the fabric in the dye. I suggest making a few test pieces. I kept mine in for 5-10 mins and dipped a couple twice for more intensive color. When you are ready, remove the fabric from the dye bath (wear rubber gloves, or have blue hands...your choice) and squeeze excess dye back into the pot. Undo the ties and hang to dry. The color will develop more as the cloth dries.

Like I said. Magic.

Next we did something that was completely new to me. It was a dyeing method that Emily had done before with our friend Lisa, owner of Baubles & Beads in Berkeley, CA. I had seen the results and loved the effect.

First you start with a piece of fabric, shirt, pillowcase... whatever. Wet it in a pot of soda ash solution to prepare it for the dye and then tie, fold, pleat or just bunch your fabric on a surface that will allow draining- like a baking rack on sawhorses.

 Like this.

 We used this dye from Dharma. It's a powdered dye. It comes in a bazillion colors. Find them all here. It was really easy to use.

 Lay your bunched or tied fabric on the rack and cover it with ice cubes. Then get a plastic spoon and sprinkle the dye on the ice. I used about three colors per piece. Don't use too much. Just a light sprinkle over the ice. as it melts, the ice distributes the dye. Add more ice and dye as needed to saturate the fabric. It's a pretty loose process. Just let the muse move you. We left our stuff for a couple of hours. The heavier canvas took a bit longer and a bit more ice and dye.

You can see how the color spreads when the ice melts. When it looks good, untie the bundle if needed and rinse until water runs clear. We washed all of ours in the washing machine with the recommended detergent and done! We washed the indigo together and the other like colors together. The detergent helps to set the colors and prevent the dye from running.

From this... this. This is a t-shirt that my husband made.

More finished pieces...
 on cotton.
And canvas. Looking forward to the "next steps" with these pieces of cloth.

I see a lot of cool tote bags in the future. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

You can do it! Drill holes in stones.

Seriously. Nothing gives me a bigger feeling of accomplishment than drilling a hole in a stone. I mean, the possibilities are endless if you can drill a stone. You can make a hole bigger to wrap with heavy-gauge wire. You can use a pebble that you found to make a pendant or drill a bead to rivet on a ring. Like this.

I have been working on this technique to add to the projects in my upcoming book (Spring 2016, FYI. More details to come) but I wanted to share some tips with you, since drilling is such a handy skill to master.

I use these diamond drill bits found in my Etsy store. Use them in your Dremel, flex shaft or drill press. Here are some tips to consider when drilling:
  • Always use diamond drill bits wet. Use an old plastic container as a water reservoir. Hold the stone that you are drilling underwater close to the surface and drill. 
  • If it's not possible to drill underwater, dip the tip of the drill frequently (very frequently) in water to keep it cool and lubricated. Also dip the object being drilled. If you see dark grey colored dust around the hole as you are drilling, that means that the drill and object are too hot and you are close to breaking your project and drill. Dip immediately if this happens.
  • Hold the drill bit at a 45-degree angle as you begin to drill. Apply slight pressure and as the drill begins to pierce the surface, rotate the tool upright to 90-degrees and continue to drill. This will provide a "seat" for the drill bit and prevent it from skittering over the surface of the piece you are drilling. 
  • Drilling makes dust. Wear a dust mask while you work to prevent breathing particles in.
  • Wear safety glasses. Objects can fly right out of your hands as you drill. Take care to protect your eyes.
I have a class coming up that is all about drilling a variety of objects plus a whole bunch of techniques using the rotary tool. You can join me at BeadFest in August in my Pierce, Set, Texture and Polish: Rotary Tool Basics class on Thursday, August 20.  Check out all of the classes on their website. Class is filling, but there are a few spots left. 

I also have a FREE class coming up soon on that demonstrates how to drill on a variety of pieces. I'll share it as soon as it is available.

I encourage to to give drilling a try. I know you have a rotary tool hanging around your tool box. Break it out and experiment! And don't forget to let me know how it goes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Easy Metal Jewelry

Hurray! It's official. The latest issue of Easy Metal Magazine just came out and I have four projects featured in it.

Editor Denise Peck was also nice enough to do an interview with me that appears in the issue as well. I talk about how I got started in the biz and what is currently inspiring me. Thanks so much for the feature. It was really awesome of you! It also features a reprint of my "Ode to Portable Torches" from Jewelry Making Daily.

There are a great bunch of projects in this special issue. It's available in the Interweave Store and hits newsstands and craft stores today! Don't miss it.

Friday, May 29, 2015

I Played Hooky

Yep. I know Bead & Button is just a few days away. Right. I know that my book deadline is shortly after I get back. Uh huh. Yes. I have not packed my clothes and I may or may not have enough room in my suitcases for all of the tools I want to bring to Milwaukee. I should be working on a website redo for Jess Imports and my Etsy store needs stocking.

Who cares?

I played hookey today. And it was the best damn time.

It all started a couple of weeks ago. My friend Andrea Chebeleu owns an amazing Studio Workshop in San Jose, CA called A Work of Heart. She teaches mixed media classes and has a variety of really cool classes on her schedule. (Including mine from time to time.) She stocks a bunch of art supplies and interesting things. It's like a creative explosion in there.

So, like I said, a couple of weeks ago Andrea posted on Facebook that she was preparing to teach a few online classes at CreativeLive in San Francisco that needed a few students in the audience. The topics all had to do with painting, art journals and reusing/repurposing your art. I was hooked at "online class" and "paint." Plus I have always loved the art she creates and the opportunity to learn some of her techniques sounded too good to miss. Plus right here in SF? Sign me up!

I followed the link to the application, answered a few questions and a couple of days later I got an email welcoming me to join the class. "Cool," I thought. I added it to my Google calendar, set a reminder and got back to the task at hand.

I got a couple of emails from CreateLive about the general info for the day. Parking. What to wear. Photo release. A general rundown of what they do. Again I thought, "Cool." Checked that my calendar alerts were on and went on with my day.

Fast forward to yesterday. In the midst of being so very, very busy lately, I didn't think much about what we were going to do in the class(es). When I arrived at the studio I immediately ran into Andrea as she was putting the final finishing touches on class prep. Everything looked great, but what caught my eye was that next to each of the four student tables was a 3-TIERED CART OF ART SUPPLIES!!!! My heart gave a leap of joy and I thought, "I am gonna get to use all that stuff. ALL THAT NEW, SHINNY, JUST-FOR-ME-TO-USE-STUFF!!!" It was like getting a new box of Crayons on the first day of school. Except better.

I met my fellow students (lovely ladies), had a bite to eat (lovely breakfast in the caf/kitchen/meetingroom), got the rundown from the producer and host and wired with a mic (lovely and professional crew.) Then it was ON! Usually CreateLive classes are live on air, but this particular series was a live-to-tape for broadcast at a later date. Three classes were filmed over the course of the day... Making Collage Papers, Art Journals 101 and Recycling Your Art.

Now let me let you on on a little secret. Painting and drawing and journaling has always been a bit intimidating for me. I mean... yeah, I've done a lot of that stuff from my days as a theatre major in college to last week when I jotted down some jewelry ideas in my idea book. But it's never seemed effortless. Until yesterday.

I think it was the combination of the fast pace of the class and the focused direction and effective design coaching that Andrea gave the students. Plus having a full cart right to my left full of everything I needed. So I just did it.

The first class showed us how to create collage papers for our work. On of my favorite techniques was using regular and sticky-back foam to make our own stamps for printing.

Then we did things like gelatin printing, layering paper with all kinds of paints, stamping, smooshing, dabbing. Using acrylic ink. (Also a new favorite. Drop them on paper and then spray with water. Magic!)

Acrylic Ink. Water. Bamboo skewer. Bubble wrap. Amazing!
The day went by so quickly that I hardly had a chance to snap photos, but here are a few highlights.

Journal Page
Collage Paper

Journal Page Two
Andrea and Kate peeking.
All of the techniques were really interesting and I learned a lot. My favorite takeaways were:

1. When choosing paint colors to mix and layer wet use two of the three primary colors. Mix a variation of two (or three) and you'll get those colors plus the color they make (blue+red=green). Mix a variation of all three primary colors and you'll get mud. ( Blue+red+yellow=brown). That helped to keep my colors vibrant.

2. This art is for YOU. It's a way to get your creative thoughts on paper. Not everything is pretty, but almost everything is usable in some form.

3. Bubble wrap is your friend. Put some paint on it and use it to print on paper. Genius.

4. Take pictures of your art and use it in other ways. A printout is an immediate collage paper. Use it for backgrounds, images and elements in other areas of your work. (Think website backgrounds, business cards, even printed fabric.) When you use your original designs it gets more of your "hand" in your art. 

Collage on canvas. Using photocopies of journal pages as the background.
And one last big takeaway. This.

The contents of that three-tiered cart? Yep. Each of us got to take home our art supplies. It was better than winning a car from Oprah! (You get acrylic paints and stencils and spray ink... and you, and you!) So unexpected. And so appreciated.

If you want to learn more about Andrea and her fantastic shop and classes, visit her website.  Find out more about CreateLive here. There are a lot of interesting classes beyond their craft offerings.

Even though I've packed away my art supplies, I am thinking about filling all of those pages in that blank art journal. After my deadlines. And looking forward to playing hooky another day.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

We have a winner!

Thanks for commenting everyone! I had my husband pick a random number from the total number of entries and Teresa, you are the winner. I replied to your message in the original giveaway post, so please contact me with your details and I'll get your DVD in the mail.

Stay tuned, gang! I have a couple more great giveaways happening in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NEW! DVD Giveaway and Class in the Studio this weekend.

**We have a winner!** Check the comments on the post below. Chosen at random, commenter Teresa gets the DVD.

Middle of April? Okay. If you say so. Things are humming right along in Kate Richbourg-land. I have, like 5 million irons in the fire and each project is fun and challenging at times. I feel like a sprinter that's nearing the finish line. I. am. so. close. to. finishing. Sorry about the radio silence on the blog. Those fun and challenging projects are requiring every second of my writing time.

One big project that I worked on this year (and the end of last) was a DVD set for F&W, Interweave & Craft Daily. The IW gang and I tossed around a few ideas and the one that all of us were most excited about creating was a series on portable torches for the home metalsmith. You can check out the preview here (#solderlikealady).

You can download individual lessons from the DVD on the Interweave Store website, but even better is the just-released 6-lesson DVD. I just received my copies in the mail and I have one to give away to you!

If you'd like a chance to win, leave a comment about why you'd like to #solderlikealady and I'll choose a random winner on Sunday evening. The video covers all of the portable torches that I wrote about in this post for Jewelry Making Daily along with great projects to create.

And a quick note of you are local to the Bay Area and want to get creative this weekend, I have a couple of spots left in my Metal Movement class this weekend at my studio. Check out the details here. All tools and materials provided.

Stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks as I have more exciting news AND giveaways to share with you. Have a great weekend everybody!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New Classes at Bead & Button and My Studio

New! Exciting! Classes!

So as you may know I have been obsessing over rotary tools and how to maximize them for small-space jewelry making. (And if you didn't, now you know.)

So after many months of hammering (well, drilling) away I have a fantastic new class to share, Rotary Tool Basics: Drilling and Riveting Mixed Media. You are going to learn how to add a hole in stones, found objects and metal. Then you'll learn the fine art of cold connection using a variety of riveting techniques.

Cool, right? You have two ways to join me in class. First up in March at my studio in South San Francisco, CA. You can find that info at this link. Or you can travel to Milwaukee in June for the Bead&Button Show. It was just added to my class lineup. Check all my B&B classes here.

I also have a SECOND new class at my studio in April. Metal Movement: Explorations in Texture, Shape and Form. It's all about using the rolling mill, hydraulic press, hammers and flame to make a bunch of patterned and textured sheet, wire and components to use in your jewelry. Also, if you've been thinking about purchasing a piece of heavy-duty equipment like a rolling mill or hydraulic press, I'll help you figure out what you'll need and you can place the order right in class.  All the info at this link. 

I am super excited about both classes. I'd love to see you in Milwaukee or at the studio. Meanwhile, don't forget to #solderlikealady! (More info on my new DVDs coming soon.)