Category Archives: Studio

First Couple of Events for 2014

Subject: Upcoming Classes and Festivals!

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 Margaret Aden, Original Sin Jewelry
  Upcoming Classes & Festivals
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Hidden Key CuffHello Jewelry Fans! 2014 is coming and there are so many great opportunities to learn and collect! Join me at Bead Fest in Dallas (March) and Bead Fest Spring Philadelphia (April). I will also be teaching in February  during the Gem Show at To Bead True Blue (Doubletree Hotel, Tucson, AZ). You can find me selling my wares in Miami (Beaux Arts Festival Jan 17-18) and in Tucson this winter  (La Encantada Feb 15-16) — stop by, I have so many great new styles.
Learn More
 Bead Fest Texas is Bigger than Ever! Will you be there?
So many new classes, so much to teach and learn. Come Learn from me in one of four fabulous classes. Or maybe try all four!
Copy and paste this link to get a jump on April Classes in Philadelphia:
To Bead True Blue at the Doubletree in Tucson, AZ Feb 2014 Gem Show
10 workshops spread over 12 days. Surely, if you’re going to be at the Tucson Gem Show 2014, you have time for one? I have the ultimate home town advantage during the Gem Show and you will never find the number of classes I offer during the show. Browse around, find one with a torch, or without…

Opening Night is Coming!

Hello Jewelry Fans! I’m excited and if I wasn’t so tired from nearly 6 straight weeks of shows and teaching, I would jump up and down. However, Studio 9 will be opening VERY, VERY soon! The benches shipped today and I would like to invite all you Jewelry Fans to an Open House on Friday, March 8th, after 1pm. Champagne will be first come, first serve. You could sign up for the Woven Crown Hoops class that morning and be there already if that’s more convenient for you.(HINT)  I’ll be teaching my Wishbone Class the day before and the Ruffle Cuff the Day after. I’m even hoping there will be students in each class.

Studio 9 is at 657 St. Mary’s in Tucson, AZ, unit C-9 (just in case you don’t remember).

There’s another weekend of classes planned the weekend of March 21st.

It’s time, Tucson. Let’s get started!

A Branch in the Road

Ah Jewelry Fans! What a quick couple of weeks it has been. I have been flying back and forth to Miami for shows while trying to hold down the fort at home. I may have mentioned the three wonderful men in my life? They have slightly different standards regarding good order and discipline. Believe me when I tell you I am the hard ass in the family.

Recently, I made an announcement to my boysStudio 9, all of them, including my husband. I told them I was breaking up with them. Gasp!! I am moving my studio OUT OF THE HOUSE and into a commercial space. You see the door to my wonderful, funky and curretnly empty space to the left. Imaginatively, I am calling the space Studio 9 (Thank you MOM!). I challenge you to look up the numerology of the number 9. The Studio is also at 657 W St Mary’s in Tucson. 657 simplifies to 9. It’s cosmic. And here is my announcement to you, Jewelry Fans, I will now have a full time space to work from and hold classes in. I will have 4 soldering stations and all the accoutrements for Open Studio Drop In at a reasonable rate per hour. All of this in addition to my own wonderful classes. Furthermore, if you are a jeweler and you would like to hold Tucson classes, I will even rent the work space out to you!


Studio from LoftI am looking for Community, a place where Art Jewelers can meet, a place where ideas flow freely and a place where a private little enclave of fabulousness branches out into the Southwest. This is another step in my plan of world wide domination by wire. I have decided to create that Community at Studio 9. There are going to be sculptures and eventually 2-D exhibitions by some of the best talent I can find. The launch date for Studio 9 is March 1st, and I’m hoping all of you will join me for a glass of champagne and a studio full of dreams. I will still be out on the road throughout the year, showing at surprising locations thorughout the US, but this is going to be my HOME BASE. The floors are sealed, the painting will begin and the schedule will soon be posted. Beginning March 1st, 2013 Original Sin Jewelry has a Home. It’s a strange word, Home. So much hope in four letters, and vision, and the heart’s exposure. In a period where we all hide behind our gadgets and computers and app’s, come out into the sunshine and share something tenuous and new and REAL. With me. At Studio 9.


What’s the Date???

Hello Jewelry Fans!!! Gosh-darn-nab-a-rab-bit! I cannot in any way believe it is 2013. And 10 days into January. I am in denial. I can Talk about January and February in general terms and as future tasks, but oh-my-goodness-gracious, the months are here and more importantly– the tasks are here!! Or events, which lead to a whole list of tasks for me to make it look effortless and professional. No sweat pants allowed on the road (this rule sucks but it is totally a good rule).

In the next two months, I have FIVE events that I could just DIE about. For real. First of all, I will be back at the Beaux Arts Festival of Arts on the University of Miami campus next weekend (Jan 19&20). I will be showing sculpture and waiting to see about jewelry (wait list– what?). Don’t worry, Jewelry Fans, I will have some on exhibition which you can buy at one of my other Florida shows if the wait list thing does not work out for me. I happen to LOVE this show. It is so beautiful and so refined. It doesn’t always have the best reviews by my fellow artists, but my wonderful Florida clients come out and make me feel welcomed and successful. I am truly in love with the University of Miami campus and will not mention the football program problems (shout out brother in law!) in this post to keep it up beat.

The next weekend (Jan 26&27) I was curated into a show on Islamorada- their fine arts festival for the winter season. I met the organizers at a west coast FL show and they are wonderful and amazing. I can’t wait to spend some quality time on that little island slice of paradise. My mother in law will be joining me that weekend, and she is a delightful and lovely lady (she and I might not have agreed on much when I first married her son, except that he was/is wonderful, but the years have built bridges and I’m so glad!)– please come out and say hello to us! I’m rushing home from Islamorada on Monday, the 28th because my baby, drum roll here please, my baby-baby-boy, who is so sweet and wonderful and I cannot believe I’ve been graced with such great kids, and if I could only convince them to brush their teeth and use deodorant (baby boy especially) and put the seat down and put their dishes in the dishwasher once and if they every make it out of their rooms (the dishes not the boys, they come out regularly for food (the boys do, not the dishes)) and fold their clothes while they are still warm from the dryer because it really does make a difference and holding the door open for a lady is not lame (!!) they would be PERFECT (!!), my baby is turning into a teenager on that day. So I have to rush home to insure there are NO STRIPPERS OR BOOZE on the premises for this grand occassion. But I digress. Of course.

Fast forward, just a smidge, to Feb 5-10 when I will be hosting a Teaching Suite at the Tucson Bead Show, Windmill Inn Suite #129. I have a simply FABULOUS array of classes on the “Teaching” tab of this very website you may choose from should you be making the Haj to Tucson for Americas Most Amazing Gem Show (my nick name, not an officially sponsored name)!! I’m not going to gush too much about it in this post because I promise you– click on the tab– you will find all the information you could possibly want about it. But I am a PROUD Lady about this, I am.

The next two events will see me back to FL. First for the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Coconut Grove, FL (President’s Day weekend, Feb 16-18). It is also a repeat performance for me and I am so tickled to death to be invited back. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Miami and it’s people!! Miami is so diverse and multi-cultural, I can’t LOVE it ENOUGH. So. The show is fabulous. The art there is AH-MAZING, and if you are near there, you have to stop in. Of course, one of my new cuffs will look fabulous on you, so you should get on while you are chatting with me. Of course. I want to mention that the Artist port-a-potty here is an AIR CONDITIONED TRAILER. I kid you NOT– running water and everything!!! OMG!!! VALHALLA!!

The following weekend (Feb 23&24) I will be at my final FL event for the season– the South Miami Rotary Art Festival. This will be a new event for me, but I love the Miami vibe so much, I’m throwing down for a closer. I’m expecting more street fair than “ART”, but I like a good street fair. Bring it on! I will be ready.

And those are my super-fabulous-you-should-totally-not-miss-them-AT-ALL next five events. Pinch me. Don’t really, I’m being pithy here, but I am excited. I’m sure you can all tell, I have broken every rule Stephen King might have listed in his book on writing (check it out). I have use almost-expletives. I have used multiple punctuations. I have used ALL CAPS. Yikes. But I really am excited and no caps and no exclamations points didn’t seem to convey my love of this road and this game.

I will give you a teaser and let you know that just before the Tucson Bead Show and my AH-MAZING classes (shameless self-promotion, I know), I will be making a wonderful announcement. A couple of my students for the show know– don’t tell, don’t tell, don’t tell– it’s my soap box, remember? Anyway, it’s maybe more exciting than anything else I could have said so far. I will also gush about March & April & May & June around then too. I think I’m having a dream Artist year. If you click on my “Calender” tab you will have some hints, but not all.

I will be posting before then, but I’m enticing you to hang around, keep reading, and laughing, about the life, love and travels of an itinerant modern day artist who is just looking for… something? Maybe? Or maybe I already have everything I will EVER need. (Sorry AGAIN, Stephen King and HELLO Universe).

It’s ALL In a Name, Right?

Hello Jewelry Fans! I’ve been rolling this topic around in my head for about a month and hopefully we’ll all get something out of reading/writing this post. My 15 year old son has often asked me how I arrived at the name Original Sin Jewelry. For many years I kept telling him I’d tell him when I was older. This fall, I finally explained it to him, and I’d like to explain it to you. He received a short version, briefly outlining my beefs and the fact that I’ve decided to carry Original Sin as a BADGE, rather than be controlled by the unproven, theological posturing of it.  If you are religiously sensitive, you may not want to read on. I will not permit comments arguing theology here, this is my soap box and I’m the one who is talking here. Sorry. Get your own blog.

Those of you who have met me out on the show circuit have asked, and we’ve talked, laughed and never cried about it– but my son had never heard.  I’ve spoken to recovered Mormons, recovered Jews and even those who claimed to be Lutherans– the original recovered Catholics. The short answer is that I’m a modern day never to be reclaimed by the Papal See RECOVERED CATHOLIC. You can pray for me, light candles and erect a Cathedral to woo me back to the faith, but I’m not making any promises. The story is long, involved, I’ll share it here of course, and really boils down to an organized religion placing continual blame, guilt, and shame on me because I am a woman. As the Military Chaplain at the Newport Rhode Island training base told me once, women were not always allowed to attend their children’s Christenings– for fear that the ORIGINAL SIN they carried would pass to the new born child. Ummm, this was in the year of Lord 2000, not 1654, not 1911,  it was 2000.

I have other religious beefs. I can’t help but air them hear to explain to you how, why, and what the heck for the name, Original Sin Jewelry is about. I will tell you that the four years I attended the United States Naval Academy, I went to mass almost EVERY DAY. I was a Lay Eucharist Minister, I read at the Lectern. I never did sing in the chorus, but my friends understand that. I participated fully and completely in my faith, the cadre of priests at the US Naval Academy welcomed me into the fold of the Church. It was a good time. I needed the faith. I needed the community. I took the inspired words of Jesus and God to heart.

And yet, the very faithful Christians that I prayed with (not specifically Catholics) and served with told me in the spring of my First Class (read Senior) year, that I was anathema to God, that my very presence at a military academy was against God’s wishes for me as a woman. I shit you not. Almost four years of service, both to God and to the military and they’d been holding onto that and decided to tell me that why?  I’ve always been sharp tongued (ask my family) and I countered— What about Ruth? She was a Judge because the men of her tribe could not do it. God called her to a task that women didn’t serve in– why couldn’t he call me to a task in the same manner? I was a stunned young woman.

Flash forward, to Pope John Paul II”s call to the faithful. He called me back to the fold. I reached out to the church by me in VA, I wanted to put my children in Catholic school, be a participating member of the church. The Pope’s message was strong. Ummmm. No. Not to be. I was informed that the school was full. I’d be lucky to get on the wait list. But the Pope called, I wanted to come home. Nope. The church was not prepared to take us back into the fold, they would not educate my children, they would, however, take my tithe. Nice.

Flash forward, living near New Orleans. We joined the Parish in our Parish (he he he). We put the boys in Sunday school. We attend the parents meeting. The thing I remember most prominently was parents standing up demanding that something be done about the drop off and pick up line. These parents would simply not tolerate such confusion. Umm. What? Where is the heart of service? Where were the solutions? Where were those patient and willing hearts the Lord calls us to be???? I picked up my boys and their blue crayoned colored Virgin Mary’s and we went home. Never to return.

Flash forward, Rome, a couple of years back. St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Vatican.  I was nervous. I wondered if my Catholic re-awakening would happen now?? Might the beauty and grace of the Mother Church call me back??? Might it?? No. No it did not. I was quite frankly disgusted with the wealth contained in the hallowed halls of the skirted men who tried telling me how to live my life. I thought–how many children could they feed? How many women could they educate? How many clean wells, pairs of goats and even pairs of shoes could they afford with the untold wealth locked in a small estate in the middle of Rome??? Maybe just two or three treasures could set so many wrongs a-right. And doesn’t the Catholic Church have wrongs to a-right?

And therefore, in the midst of spiritual chaos I had decided to OWN my ORIGINAL SIN like I MEANT TO OWN IT.  I can’t be spiritually bullied with something that is MINE.

And that is how the name came about. I’m not afraid to change it to something else, if my story is told and heard and welcomed. If I come to a different place in life, but for now, I still like it. I own it. It’s about ME at the very core. Every person that I meet, I’m giving you a piece of me. I’m letting it all go to each and every one of you. There is no anger in my heart, there is power. For what about a woman’s being makes religions so vehemently hate and want to control the female form? Why are women subjugated in modern times when in the original cultures all across the world they were honored? Is the answer as simple as a womb? The ultimate vessel for God’s creation? The one power women have that men do not? I’m not sure, but me and my womb will meet you out on the road this spring and summer. What up womb? Let’s roll!


Winter Thoughts and Technology

So. Are you ready to get crazy? Thanksgiving is over and it’s shopping season. Although, as a consumption driven American, I wonder if shopping is ever OVER here. Often at this time of the year I get a little sick to my stomach as the registers go cha-ching and I hemorrhage cash. No matter. I’m hoping you might find it in your hearts to do a bit of shopping with me. I have mentioned before that I will be teaching at my own suite in Tucson at the Gem Show this February (click on the Classes tab above to learn all about it). I would love to see you there, learning how to weave/twine with me. I have descriptions AND pictures of the classes up on this site now. Not to mention the PayPal button. I can’t tell you how long it’s taken me to figure out how to do all of this, okay, I could, but I’m sure you don’t have time for that, but it’s up and ready now. So please take advantage of it. I will tell you that the Ruffle Cuff Class if at half capacity. If you have been looking at it and thinking about it, don’t wait Jewelry Friends, don’t wait.

I think it’s important for you to know what purpose the funds I earn from teaching will go to– and it’s a great question. The answer is one I’m scared to dare to hope for, one which my darling husband thinks I’m a bit off my rocker for- I’m hoping to travel to Africa this year. To journey across the sea with a wonderful wildlife artist I know. I’m hoping to go on Safari, to see the vast Savannahs, grasses and jungles that were the cradle of mankind and the birthing place of weaving. If you’ve met me you know that I am obvisously white bread and therefore traveling to Africa will not be the poignant homecoming it might be for many Americans. However, to see the vast lands and the tribal weavings that are the root, the very soul of the technique that mesmerizes and hypnotizes me— that is a homecoming of handiwork and heart.

Here is a button for donations if you are so inclined to fuel the hope of my heart but have no desire to take a class.

Pick your Amount

I love winter in the studio. I asess all that went right and all that went wrong over the past year, look at designs and figure out where I’m going for next year. I can give you some hints. I will be working with some beautiful Upstate NY Slate and some riduculously sculptural worn conch shells. Strange, I know, but could you really expect anything else from me?

Catch you all again soon.



The Official Only Time I Will Discuss This…

Hello Art Lovers! I’ve been on the road the last couple of months, saving up topics and all sorts of cool new designs to share. However, before I can move on, I would like to discuss the delicate topic of “another wire artist”.  At shows, I hear one of two things: 1. “Oh my! I’ve never seen any thing like this before.” or 2. “Oh, don’t you have your things in a gallery in Santa Fe?” 

The first response pleases me, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I am trying to take the world over with wire. Therefore, when people are intrigued and experiencing what wire can really do for the first time, the education of the populace (you fabulous art fans out there) can begin. I’m honest about where my wire training began and with whom- Mary Hettmansperger, Barb Switzer and Lisa Claxton. My one week of classes with these three ladies has informed the whole of my artistic sensibilities when it comes to wire. After that, I can credit a unique and rich internal life in which my brain poses questions for which I must experiment and come up with answers. The year to year evolution of my work circles around several themes– 2 Dimensional vs 3 Dimensional, small vs large, entrapment vs exposure. Patina, pattern and structure are the vehicles with which I explore the aforementioned dichotomies.

In the second case, I have a canned response, “Oh no, I don’t show in Santa Fe, but I know of whom you speak. Certainly, my designs are much more original than that!” Unfortunately, I have had the not so pleasant experience of meeting the artist of whom most folks are talking about at a show in Houston, TX several years back. Not only did this artist fail to exhibit any common courtesies of exhibiting artists, but the negativity and territorial bent of the pursuant monologue was quite shocking to me. You see, I’m a friendly smiley girl. If we have met at a show- you know it to be true- customers and neighbors alike. If my goal is to take the world over with wire, then I believe wire artists need to band together and support the diverse way we each express our designs along the path of our individual art careers.  

Women have been twining for tens of thousands of years, to believe that any one person in the modern era came up with the entire idea of connecting large wires with small wires is ridiculous. (In fact, I believe Arlene Fisch’s work predates any other contemporary wire artist. A lovely customer in Palm Springs told me to look her up this year.) And furthermore, to believe that any person working with wire in the modern era can trace all there designs and techniques back to a particular contemporary artist is also ridiculous. I do believe that if we put enough monkeys in a room with typewriters, one of them would come out with Romeo and Juliet (I’m showing my age here, I believe today we would have to supply the monkeys with iPads, Android tablets and vitamin water to expect them to produce anything at all).

In conclusion, I’m just another monkey with a couple of pieces of wire trying to figure out what willl happen if I do this, or that, or whatever has popped into my brain after a 1,600 mile, 25 hour drive straight through from Seattle to Tucson. I would also like to formally state that I have a busy family life, and up until recently was running dual careers in both the defense industry and art. (Funny saying it like that.)  I didn’t, don’t and never will have time to give two blinks of an eye to stalking someone else’s work. I have too much to do!!

I have to admit, it feels really good to get this off my chest.

Thank you to all the customers I have met on the road. Your enthusiasm and interest in my work humbles me. I am honored to meet each of you.

And for those of you who decide not to be customers but critics, I have one final series of questions for you: do you buy clothing from Nordstroms AND Macy’s? Target AND Walmart? Will you buy produce from the grocery store AND a road side stand? Have you ever purchased jewelry from Tiffany’s AND Kay’s? Have you ever owned a Ford AND a Honda? Have you ever had a Maltese AND a Retriever? Please note, that these need not occur at the exact same time, but over the course of a life. I’m guessing the answer to this line of questioning is “yes.” So, here’s one more logic test: if you can purchase jewelry from two different goldsmiths, than why does purchasing work from two different wiresmiths seem so wrong?

This is the only time I will officially discuss this.

My piece on this is said, done, put down and never to be mentioned again.

Back in the Studio Saddle!

I have been out of the studio since I left for Beverly Hills, until today. After the Beverly Hills show, my son was being promoted from the 8th grade and my wonderful parents were in town. It was a really great week. As my children get older, I’m reminded that I’m getting old. I’ve been working in jewelry since my oldest was in uterus— I was pregnant and on bed rest when I discovered beads. Yes. Beads. It is an excellent gateway drug into the world of creating your own jewelry. First come beads, then small wire loops and earrings. Then classes. Take classes anywhere and everywhere you can. It stretches your mind and helps stave off the build up of plaque in the brain (my theory, not tested in a double blind study). Next thing you know, you have a concurrent career in, let’s say defense, and Art Jewelry. And then, you take the plunge and are a Jeweler full time. But not a diamonds in a gold band kind of jeweler– a jeweler who challenges what adornment is, uses different materials and techniques– maybe you’re even a jeweler with a world class engineering degree from the United States Naval Academy. Of course, you know I’m talking about me. And my degree is also in English, and a minor in Russian. Wow. Such a use for Russian on the art festival circuit!!

Anyway, I was out of the studio for over a week. I always approach my work bench with a combination of excitement and dread. I am not exactly tidy– I’m a pile-er in my studio. So whenever I am gone, I have to sift through what I WAS working on and decide what I AM working on now. That’s the dread. It’s hard to say goodbye to what I was excited about two weeks ago; if I’m not completely done, it gets moved into another “to come back to pile”. My worktable(s) are like the sandstone and limestone layers of the Arizona and Utah deserts, each one revealing some design point along my creative timeline. The excitement comes because after hundreds of miles behind the wheel, after interacting with other artists, after having time AWAY from production and creative work– I always have so many ideas on what I’m going to be working on NOW. Or what I will be working on if I can only clear a little spot to get some fresh supplies out. I’d like to add that I don’t take my Mom and Dad into my studio; it’s appalling and messy and my creative mess shames me just a little bit, but I’m committed to my process nonetheless. I also rarely make my bed–GASP!! I just pull the sheets up and call it done, no more quarters bouncing or 6 inch folds for me!! I am in complete military rebellion.

Yesterday, I sketched and made a list. I was anticipatory, but gave myself one extra day to let the mental design cream rise to the top. This morning I picked a design from my sketches and started on it before 7am (as soon as I cleared my soldering station from the tiny tourmaline’s I was wiring onto gold swirls before Beverly Hills). I’m in a swirls phase, so I can tell you today was about soldered swirls, which I then shaped into circles, squares and upside down triangles (my husband calls these shields, it’s always about warfare with boys, isn’t it?).  I will be rolling out to SLC with swirls, woven, soldered and hammered- circles, triangles, and squares.  Ain’t geometry grand? It’s good to be a nerd and it’s good to be back in the studio.

p.s. I tried taking photos to post, but I am so inept that I deleted them in horror at my own lack of photographic talent. I’ll have to take out my light cube to post some sneak peaks. Maybe this weekend…

Those Who Have Gone Before…

Memorial Day. My youngest asked what the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day was at dinner a few nights ago. I explained that on Veteran’s Day we honor those who served our country and lived to tell the tale, while Memorial Day honors our fallen– those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. I am lucky to be a Veteran. I am luckier still to be able to honor members of all the Armed Services by being HERE in the NOW.

I often wonder how I got “off track” from serving my country in the Navy to becoming a roaming-gypsy-festival-artist.  Yet, in a way, I have seen more of THIS great big, beautiful, green, brown, forested, coastal, prairie, desert filled country since I became a gambling, rambling artist than I ever did while I served my country. In those times I saw the ocean. A lot of ocean. I saw foreign ports and drank Johnny Walker Red in Poland, Vodka in Sweden and dark, chewy beer in Denmark. But now, now, I see MY country. I meet heros at every show, the hard working people of America looking to express a bit of their soul in the art they put in their homes and the art they put on their bodies.

Thank you America. You have shared your soul with me throughout the countless miles and under the white roof of my not-the-best-canopy. I listen to your stories. You listen to mine. We are alive to tell them. Together we make the fabric of our great nation. We would not be able to share and engage in the most amazing democracy yet to march along history’s swift moving river of time but for the greatest sacrifice of all– the lives of the men and women who have fallen in battle. For us. For you. For me. Remember our fallen, don’t forget them.

And please don’t drink and drive.