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Inside the Studio with Erin Prais-Hintz

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner. 
Congratulations Debra Gibson!
You have won one of Mary’s new metal toggles.
Please send Mary an email with your information. 

This week we check in with Erin Prais-Hintz to see what is going on Inside the Studio.


I have been riding a whirlwind the last few months.

If you have been following me, you know that in September, quite out of the blue, I was offered an opportunity that I just couldn’t refuse: film four hour-long videos for Interweave (F+W Media).

Since my creating time is relegated to the 9p-midnight hours for me, and September weekends were filled with football games, Homecoming plus a full three-day school fundraiser, I really had to work hard and fast to come up with the content. Not only did I have to come up with four completely different ideas, but I had to make prototypes… write outlines, intros and scripts… gather supplies and materials… make travel arrangements… create jewelry with the techniques… and practice, practice, practice. Needless to say, I had a lot of sleepless nights!

I told Jean Cox that I was not a technique based artist. Rather, I have wide breadth of knowledge. I didn’t mean that to sound like I don’t know anything, it is just that I feel like I would be hard-pressed to have any one technique something that I am known for. I work in metals and wire… I string and assemble… I create with clay and resin and mixed media. I consider myself more of a bricolage artist, a bricoleur.

bri·co·lage /brēkōˈläZH,ˌbrikə-/ noun
     : something constructed or created from a diverse range of available things.
     : origin : French “to tinker, to do odd jobs” 
So constructing from the diverse range of available things in my own studio and life, I ended up with these four ideas that evolved into these four videos:

Shimmering Garden: wire wrapped petal shaped beads form a sparkling garden of blooms to give your pieces a fresh take on a retro look.

Fabulous Facets: polymer clay, inks and patinas combine to make rough faceted handmade beads in an ombre color effect.

Flashes of Brilliance: paint, mica, glitter, stones and resin combine for truly unique faux gemstones and include a new on the scene UV resin that gives almost instant gratification!

Wire Doodles: create freeform links and connectors in dark annealed steel wire that can be used in a variety of ways in your jewelry using both the Now That’s a Jig and your hand tools

Filming was everything you would imagine it to be… overwhelming… nerve-wracking… hard work… and even fun! Putting something on like this is definitely a challenge and there is a lot that has to be prepared and thought out. It certainly makes me appreciate those that take the time to teach and share their knowledge, whether in written tutorials, slideshow webinars or workshop settings. I think that there has become such an expectation that content is delivered free for the taking and people find it so easy to criticize the work without any regard for the person behind the class. After going through this, I will certainly remember how much time and effort goes into the classes and tutorials that I take and truly appreciate it. I can remember how great it felt to be done with the filming and have some time to drive into the surrounding mountains near Fort Collins, CO to take in the breathtaking views. It was just what I needed to decompress and reflect on all that transpired.

And then you wait.

Luckily, they are really on top of pushing the content to the website as soon as possible. Did you know that Interweave offers over 500 videos on their site They are completely professional and efficient and I feel so grateful for this experience. Plus, I really didn’t have to wait all that long before the videos were starting to show up on their site. Ready in just about three weeks!

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to deliver content that was worth flying me out to Colorado for the subscription service on The good news is that they liked my content so much that they decided to also offer them as either downloads or DVDs through the Now that is a true ‘something good!’

There is also something new that I am finishing up…can you keep a secret? It’s a kit! F+W Media asked me to be the first featured artist in the month of January and they asked me to make up a kit to go along with the Fabulous Facets video. Right now my dining room looks like the elves have taken over! Next week I will be sending off limited edition kits to Interweave/F+W Media in time for the January blitz. I am calling them Creativity To Go Kits and I think they will really enhance the learning experience of the DVD.

Can I let you in on another secret? I will be co-teaching a class at the Bead & Button Show in June 2015 with Brenda Schweder (inventor of the Now That’s a Jig that I used in the Wire Doodles video) based on my AlphabetiQ necklace. So you know what I will be busy preparing in January!

December and January seem to be the time that I gobble up videos and make arrangements to take classes. This is the time that I start thinking of new techniques I would like to try, teachers I admire that I would like to meet, skills that I would like to develop. I actively set aside funds each year to take classes and buy resources that will help me learn something new. For myself, I have already bought a bunch of polymer clay tutorials (like this and this and this) and I am looking at taking some new wire and metal working classes (like this and this and this and this). So my question to you is this…

What new skill/technique are you looking to learn in 2015?
Please feel free to share links to those tutorials, classes and retreats that you are looking into
(I am always looking for more ways to learn!)

A random winner will have their choice of either the Shimmering Garden or Fabulous Facets video to kick start your creativity for the New Year!