Save the Dates! October 17-19

The Fall Studio Tour for our arts group, Great Falls Studios, will be bigger than ever this year!  The tour will take place over three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 17, 18 and 19.

I am especially excited about this Studio Tour because I will be in a new venue, not my studio.  I will be at 1144 Walker Road, First Floor in the Great Falls Foundation for the Arts (GFFFTA) classroom.  (Google Maps) The Artisans Atelier is just one floor up with a dozen more artists on display.

The advantages are many:  there is plenty of parking; you will be able to see as many as twenty artists in one location; there will be plenty of room to circulate and see my latest creations AND I will have enough space to actually demonstrate some of my techniques.  In the same location with me will be Ronni Jolles, paper collage artist extraordinaire. She will also be demonstrating.

Please mark the dates on your calendar and be sure to come and see us!

Donna's Fall Classes


  • Two sessions. Saturday, October 1 and Friday, November 7 (Veteran's day weekend).  Classes are 10-4.  Cost is $60 with $30 kit fee.  

SteampunkThis very popular and jam-packed techniques class is always full with a waiting list.  I have made a new sample (photo) as the class project which incorporates all the techniques covered including riveting, etching, oxidizing, dapping and cutting metal.  

We'll use ferric chloride for the etching, texturing stamps, torches for coloration and liver of sulfur for antiquing. 


  • Saturday, October 8, 10-4.  Class is $60 and kits are $25-$35.

This is a fun and easy class and I love teaching it.  

Students leave with a beautiful finished bracelet that they're very proud of.  You will learn a basic macramé stitch and add beads as you go along.  Special techniques to add lampwork glass beads and flowers will be covered to create a unique work of art.  

While not part of the class, I'll show how the work can be modified to create a pendant and have samples to show.  I will also have kits to sell of the vintage and other unique beads I've collected in the various colorways that I make and sell (for $300-$350).  


  • Saturday, November 8, 10-4pm.  Class is $60 and Kits are $30.

Excavation 2282 
This is a new class that I will be teaching that I'm very excited about. Students will make their own fuming chamber and then use ammonia to oxidize copper and brass.  Either metal will turn varying shades of turquoise from muted to brilliant.  We will make a stunning pendant that pops out of its metal base.  I call the piece shown "Excavation".  We'll finish it off by weaving the pieces together.

Part Two of this class will be offered in the winter and involve "painting" metal.

Sign up for classes at Stars, Vienna (703-938-7018)

Summer in Maine, so far

Our 2010 summer in Maine has started off with great weather, a Fourth of July lobster bake and exciting plans for a trunk showing of my jewelry in Wiscasset, Maine for July 22-23.  Here's a link to the press release.

I am very pleased to have completed Random Acts of Beads, a necklace five years in the making, shown in the press release (and above).  It is comprised of 18 separate beaded components which were then sewn onto a separate beaded necklace base.  It's in shades of caramel and copper with purple accents and made to sit at the base of the neck for all to see.




I have also been very busy making a half dozen unusual freshwater cultured pearl necklaces (above).  They're unusual because of the pearl shapes and incredible iridescent colors.  Shown are Jacks (they remind me of the Jacks game we used to play as kids), Merlot and Hummingbird.


For the many lovers of purple, I made a seven-strand pearl bracelet that is definitely BLING.  The custom two-inch dichroic glass and Sterling clasp is meant to be worn on the front of the wrist, the better to show it off, along with the 14 Swarovski crystal cubes alongside it.


The last photo is NightBloom (above), one of two stunning (if I do say so) bracelets that really need to be seen in person.  NightBloom features scores of beads:  vintage, glass, stones and gems in black, gray, taupe, silver, copper, lavender and teal. The closure is handmade glass in black and white stripes by David Christianson of Providence, Rhode Island.  The second bracelet (no photo) is in lime and turquoise with seahorses, shells and fish with an eye-catching ceramic toggle clasp.  This is a happy bracelet.

If you're anywhere in the midcoast Maine area on July 22-23, please stop by and see the trunk show as well as DebraElizabeth's wonderful shop, right on the banks of the Sheepscot River.  Be sure to get in line for a lobster roll at world famous Red's Eats, right at the end of the block.  Deb's phone # is 207 882 8485.
If I don't see you there, be sure to mark October 16-17 on your calendar for the Great Falls Studio Tour.  I'll be opening my studio once again for this event, which gets bigger and bigger each year.

Studio Tour report

Wonderful fall weather ... 60 degrees, blue skies ... and lots and lots of people.

Thanks to all of you who visited my displays at Laura's home in Great Falls. 

Don't forget, you can see more of my new work at the Great Falls Studio's Christmas Show at the Historic Colvin Run Dance Hall in Great Falls (Directions here.)  It's Dec. 13th and 14th.




Click on the photos to see larger images.

I've been busy!!!! Come see!


Come to the 5th annual Great Falls Studios Tour.

Saturday and Sunday, October 18-19, 10-5pm

New pieces featuring Technique Metalworx

Noixetfleur Goflyakite

I will be exhibiting and demonstrating at 438 River Bend Road.  (Google Maps link here.) It is the home of Pig Pen Pottery and Laura Nichols, President of Great Falls Studios. There is lots of parking.  The setting is absolutely bucolic: a winding country lane, a one-lane bridge, hills and dales, the way Great Falls used to be!

You will be able to see the work of a wonderful water colorist, Linda Jones, as well as the functional and decorative pottery of Laura. Weather permitting, Laura will be firing Raku in her outdoor kiln.

A color Studio Tour brochure with map to all the venues and with a description and picture of each artist's work is available at Great Falls Hardware, at the Library and many other downtown locations.   Many artists have "doubled up" as I have so that you will be able to see a variety of art, skills and talents at each location. I'd be happy to mail you one if you email me.

Directionless_3 Goflyakite_4

Home again

After three and a half glorious months in Maine this summer, we are now back home in Virginia and in the full swing of the season. 

Our Great Falls Studios Artists Tour will be the weekend of October 19, 20, 21 (10-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday). 

And this weekend 10 of our group will be demonstrating on the Village Green at The Taste of Great Falls (noon-4). 

HandsThis past Friday and Monday, October 5 and 8, I had two great classes at Star's Beads in Vienna, Virginia.  The first, my Froth and Glitz Necklace and the second was Wireworked Bangle

Here is a pictorial (mostly of the fiber necklace class) with the last two showing the students wearing their Bangles (was too busy demonstrating to take pics in that class!).

Everyone finished their projects and were extremely happy. One person made me so happy when she said it was the best class she had ever had and the first piece of jewelry she made in a class that she would wear!

Donna does a Demo

Demo_day_2 Our hardy group of about 65 artists in Great Falls, Va. showed the creative process live and in color Saturday at a day-long exhibition at the Great Falls Library. 

Painters set up their easels, beginning the day with an empty canvas, and ending with new works.  Laura Nichols, the president of Making_jewelry Great Falls Studios and an accomplished potter (as well as the brood mother to 70 egg-laying chickens on her farm) showed how to make clay masks.

I set up a table and made jewelry.  Lots of kids watched, holding and feeling many of my 'raw materials.' They saw how I weigh the various beads, findings, metals and wire to make a necklace or bracelet or pin. 

Demo_day_1 A few people who gathered round also asked to be on my mailing list so I can alert them to things like the Open Studio event at my studio in Great Falls next Saturday, May 19.  E-mail me if you'd like directions.

(For larger versions of the photos here, click on the picture.)