More Than Skills


This past week I taught my last workshop of the year.  I had 3 students in my home studio and we had a great time.  Today I had nice chat with my friend, Lori, who I met at a workshop about 20 years ago.  Workshops are an amazing way to learn a new technique or brush up on some basic skills but what you may not realize is how much more we all get from taking workshops.  My students always learn from each other as well as from me.  They make new friends and they always have great stories to share.  Laughter rings through the studio.  It warms my heart to see my students support each other in their creative pursuits.  They share ideas and compliments and resources and sometimes even recipes and vacation ideas. Often it’s like a cocktail party with tools.

 I want to thank all of the students who have taken a class with me. You have enriched my life in so many ways. Whether you are a beginner or have some experience you should consider a workshop.  Do it for the experience of it.  It’s more than just technical information.  You might make a lifelong friend like I have, and that is priceless. 

Happy students at my First workshop in my studio, a good time was had by all

Happy students at my First workshop in my studio, a good time was had by all

My Crazy Busy Life


2017 has been a busy year so far and it remains that way until the end.  I have 8 workshops this year.  I’ve already done half of them and I’m about to leave for number 5.  My students have been doing fantastic work.  It always amazes me to see how each student manages to create something unique with the same materials.  In January I taught for the first time in Nokomis, FL at Bead Camp.  I’ll be heading back in January of 2018 to teach a 2 day fabrication class and then 2 Drawing on Metal classes.  The folks who run Bead Camp are going to be retiring from running the school so if you are interested in running a little jewelry school in a sweet Florida town you should see about buying the business.  Here's a pic of lunch break on Nokomis Beach.


I also had really great workshops at Bead and Button in Milwaukee, at The Sterling Butterfly in Indianapolis, and for CoMA in Denver.  I also spoke at the Colorado Metalsmith’s Association and had a great time in Salida.  I can’t wait to go back. 

Later this week I’m in Little Switzerland at Wild Acres for one of my favorite workshop weeks.  Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway it’s a beautiful place to kick back and get some serious studio time.  In September I go west to Seattle, WA; Mendocino, CA; and Austin, TX to teach.  2018 is already busy with workshops and I’m scheduling into 2019.  On the calendar are Florida, California, Colorado, and North Carolina. 


In November I will be back in Atlanta for the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show at the beautiful Carter Center.  I hope to have lots of new work for that show.  


In between all of my travels I’m enjoying my new deck and trying to pull a few weeds now and then.  It’s funny that now that I’m of retirement age I am busier than ever!

Talking about Myself

Soon I will be going to Colorado to speak to the Colorado Metalsmiths Association.  It's not the first time I've spoken at a conference but it is the first time that I have spoken about myself.  I'm not sure that it's something I'm terribly comfortable with but I'm embracing the challenge.  It's flattering to think that someone wants to hear about my work.  Even though it's a huge part of my life, my identity, even my social life, it's just not something I talk about very much.  I'm wondering what it is that people want to know about me, about the work.  I'm hoping that you all will tell me what might interest you.  Of course I plan to show loads of images but since my technique is pretty consistent there is going to have to be more than talk about each individual piece.  When you go hear an artist give a slide talk what is it that grabs you?  What lights a fire in you to get into your studio and make work?  I want my audience to be more than just informed.  I want them to be excited, motivated, and mesmerized.  Is that too much to ask?  Tell me what you think.

2017 Workshops and Shows

2017 is shaping up to be a busy year and I'm pretty excited about my schedule.  I'm starting out with my class in Nokomis, FL at Bead Camp next week.  In February I hope to see you in Baltimore at the American Craft Show or in Atlanta in March.  I have a full schedule of workshops, too many to list here but you can see the full schedule at my website.  Still to be listed are workshops in Mendocino, CA and in the Denver area.  Don't forget that I will be at Bead and Button again this year.  In July I am honored to be speaking at the Colorado Metalsmiths Association conference.  


Many of you have been waiting for registration to open for the Drawing on Metal workshop at Wild Acres in North Carolina.  You can register here.  

As always, I appreciate your support.  Watch on Facebook for a special Valentine sale coming soon.

Be well,
Deb Karash

lately and coming soon

I am just so bad at keeping up with blog posts this year.  It's been a crazy busy year and it is not getting any less busy any time soon!  The Society of North American Goldsmith's just finished a great conference here in Asheville.  I gave a talk about collaboration which was well received and my show at Blue Spiral 1 got some lovely comments.  If you are in Asheville before the end of June please go see it.  The collaboration with Lisa Clague really inspired me and we plan to do more work together in the future.  I also have some work at Bellagio in their show called Contrast which is all black and white work.  It's lovely show with some of my favorite jewelers.  I'm about to head off to Milwaukee to teach 2 workshops at Bead and Button and then in July I will be teaching at Baltimore Jewelry Center.  There is still space in that class so check it out if you are looking to take Drawing on Metal.

A Whirlwind Start to 2016!

2016 is shaping up to be a busy year.  As usual for this time of year I am preparing for the American Craft Council shows in Baltimore (Feb 19-21) and in Atlanta (11-13).  I'm making some interesting new designs as well as bringing back some favorites from last year.   I'm almost moved out of the Bakersville studio and into the Asheville studio.   SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) is holding a conference in Asheville in May and I, along with Anna Johnson, am working on making all of the evening events a fun taste of Asheville's personality.  I will also be giving a short talk about doing collaborative work.

My most exciting project this year is a collaboration with accomplished ceramic sculptor, Lisa Clague.  We will have an exhibition in May and June at one of Asheville's premier galleries, Blue Sprial 1.  Many of these one of a kind collaborative works will have wearable elements.  I'm eager to see how this collaboration will inspire each of us to move in new directions!


Flower and Willow by Lisa Clague and Deb Karash sculpture with removable ring

Flower and Willow by Lisa Clague and Deb Karash sculpture with removable ring

As if that weren't enough, my classes are already filling up.  Bead and Button has added a second session of Drawing on Metal, there are still a few seats left in the Puerto Vallarta, Mexico class, and also in the Wild Acres, North Carolina class.  There will also be some classes in my Asheville studio once I am fully situated here.  In the fall I think I will be out on the west coast for a couple of classes so keep an eye on the workshops page of my website if you are in that part of the country.

Well, enough about me.  I hope you all had lovely holiday and I wish you a happy and productive New Year.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions about any of the classes.



A Gathering of Beauty

It's time again for the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show. This weekend I will be in Atlanta at the beautiful History Center with a fabulous group of jewelry artists . This is a special kind of show and if you are in Atlanta this weekend you should really not miss it. The level of quality and variety of styles and materials will enthrall you. It's a pleasure to be included in a show of such high standards and it's a treat to hang out with my fellow jewelers for a couple of days.  Stop in on Friday night and join us for a glass of wine and some leisurely browsing.  I know you'll find something lovely.  See you there!

5-5-10 Workshop at Arrowmont

I had a great time with my students at Arrowmont this year.  It was a big class and they worked super hard.  They really accomplished a lot and I am quite proud of the work that they did.  Our goal was to make 5 projects in 5 days using 10 techniques and almost everyone managed to meet their goal.  Of course, as many of you know, workshops aren't all work and no play.  My fabulous assistant, Anna Johnson, and I had some after hours fun with some of the other students and staff.  Arrowmont is such a special place and it's a privilege to teach there.   Here are more pics of the good times at Arrowmont... a campfire sing-along and my karaoke debut!

Something a bit industrial


If you are in Asheville please stop in at the Woolworth Walk and see my mixed metal and found object work.  I'm making lots of great earrings and pendants for the upcoming holiday season.  These pieces are playful but polished.  This pendant includes an authentic clock gear just for fun!


Notes On Making

Many of us that work in what is traditionally considered “craft” are actually working in multiple disciplines.  I make jewelry but I use drawing materials to apply color to my metal.  So am I a jeweler or an artist or something else?  I think this dilemma is one many of us face.  Perhaps this is why so many of us have taken to referring to ourselves as makers.  It’s not a very descriptive term because we could be making any old thing.  It does, however, speak to the core of us.  That intense need that we have to create something new, something that previously did not exist.  A need lives in us that cannot be satisfied in any other way than to make.  If we are not in the studio then we are usually creating in some other way whether it is in the kitchen, the garden, with music, or by designing our homes.  It is a need that must be met.  It’s our driving force and the key to our success.   To be an artist, craftsman, maker or whatever terms you prefer, one must be driven.  It is the only way to become proficient in a chosen medium.  The creative life is a bit of roller coaster.  There is the fulfilling moment of finishing a piece that you have worked hard on and then there are the rejections and the failures but we push on because whether we are successful or not, we must make.  And so we are makers.