New Work from Arlene Groch

Earlier this summer I got to spend some time in Arlene Groch’s spanking new studio which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago.

Here’s what she’s been up to.

Arlene really took to screen printing on polymer clay, but she didn’t restrict her work to pieces with an Asian flavor.  She tried screen printing on practically everything except her Grandchildren, often with stunning results.

And no one ever accused Arlene of being afraid of color.  Her pieces are big, bold and colorful.

Recently, Arlene has gotten into caning.    Well, I suppose a workshop with Bonnie Bishoff and Melanie West   and hanging around fellow PAPCG member and caner extraordinaire  Emily Squires Levine is bound to rub off.   It will be interesting to see where Arlene goes from here.

This just in!

Catch Arlene at the Wheaton Fine Arts Festival

Bead Soup Enclosed!


OK, I admit it. I’ve been a little bit frazzled lately. For one thing, my workshop is in chaos following the repair of a pipe in the cement floor. I’m moving old furniture out and new(er) furniture (shelves and table) in and have more plans after that’s done but first we are having some home renovation done which requires major purging (Goodbye Disraeli Gears and 600 other LP’s I haven’t played in 30 years). The only one who seems unaffected by all of this is Plumpton.

So imagine my delight and surprise when I got a little package in the mail with this on it.

A little back story: I participated in Lori Anderson’s 6th Bead Soup Blog Hop this summer and posted prodigiously about my non-linear creative process. I had a blast. I had so much fun that I even filled out a survey that Lori sent around. Me. Filling out a survey. Normally when someone I don’t know (and honestly this sometimes applies to people I know and love) inquires, “Can I ask you a question?” I am tempted to reply (and indeed sometimes do reply) “Yes, but only one and that was it.” I am not the kind of person who responds to surveys. But I was so delighted with the Bead Soup experience that I responded and forgot about it, until yesterday when the package arrived in the mail.

Kalmbach Books, publisher of Lori’s forthcoming book Bead Soup, (Pre order a copy here) selected some beaders from those who answered the survey and paired them with bead stores who advertise in Kalmbach publications for another Bead Soup event. I am delighted that I answered the survey!

I tore open the package and this is what I found

Lots of beady gemstone chips, plus cylinder beads, 3mm beads and a charm all in a warm patinated metal from Your Beading Heart.

I’m not restricted to a particular color pallet and there’s more than enough Bead Soup to get me started.

Some words about my sponsor, Your Beading Heart. Your Beading Heart looks like a wonderful full-service bead store in south western Pennsylvania. They offer classes, room for parties and gatherings and a lot of interesting beads, tools and storage items for sale. And they sell on-line! Since they are 285 miles from me, that’s a good thing. If you are near Irwin PA and want to stop by, go here for directions.

Oh yeah, the due date for our finished projects is October 31 which also happens to be my 25th wedding anniversary. Our work will go up on Kalmbach’s Facebook and Pinterest pages.

Thank you Lori, thank you Kalmbach and thank you Linda Jacobs-Pence, owner of Your Beading Heart for this wonderful surprise.

Maybe I’ll answer more surveys!

In Arlene’s Studio

Earlier this summer I got to spend some time in Arlene Groch’s spanking new studio.   For years , the room had been a makeshift storage closet for Arlene and her husband but now it’s the studio she always wanted.

I have to admit,  there was something refreshingly different about Arlene’s first studio.  She was a practicing lawyer and when she decided to quit, she turned her conference room into a clay area; the conference table was just right.  But when another tenant wanted the space, she decided to move on.  She took over a room in her house but it was never quite what she wanted.    Something had to be done.

There is a room near the front door of Arlene’s house and for years she and her husband used it as a makeshift storage locker.  Arlene knew it could be put to better use.  They cleared it out and now Arlene has the studio of her dreams.  Two windows give plenty of light on sunny days; one is a  bay window complete with window box.  The studio  has running water, work tables to accommodate five people and plenty of storage.

Now students can come to Arlene’s front door and right into her studio.

Arlene keeps her oven in the  laundry room it behind the door on the left and happily reports that she’s finally caught up with the laundry.

Arlene has filled her studio with her work and little mementos are everywhere.  Her studio is a happy place.

A work space like Arlene’s is conducive to creativity.  Next week, we’ll take a peek at what she’s been making in there.

What is Holding You Back?

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Press here for the the news article.