Thursday, October 25, 2012

Change Is In The Air

Change is in the air.  That was certainly evident Tuesday when we got off the plane a little after midnight and were greeted by the frosty Reno air.  Twelve hours earlier we were getting one last swim in at our resort in Akumal, snorkeling with tropical fish and massive sea turtles.  I believe it is important to recharge, get away from computers and phones and life in general, and once again this was the perfect ticket.  This is our second trip to the Yucatan and I'm sure not our last.  I am blessed that my partner and I both share a passion for travel.  We love exploring, learning about local culture and history, indulging in local cuisine and of course getting in as much snorkeling as possible!

Speaking of change...a lot of change is happening in my world and at Copper Cat Studio.

When I started doing shows and festivals a few years back, I applied to every show I could physically get into.  Sometimes this meant a couple of shows in a weekend, sometimes it even meant doing two shows in one day.  Flashback to last year's back-to-back Taylor Street Market from 8am to 2pm, then the Nevada Museum of Art's Egyptian show from 3pm-8pm. Crazy huh? Well maybe not as crazy as this year's lineup of three solid days of doing the Great Reno Balloon Races from 4am to 9am, then biking back to my studio to open it for Reno Open Studios from 10am to 5pm.  Yep, I was a zombie by day two. Actually more like day one.

I have been saying this year that I am burnt out on doing so many shows: packing and lugging multiple 40+lb crates of mosaics to my car-to my booth-back to my car-then to my studio, not having weekends with my husband, unreliable weather conditions, the craps-shoot of if it would pan out financially~ all of the things that quickly become the downside to life on the road doing shows.  Don't get me wrong, when I'm at the shows I love it~ I love the interaction with all of the people, hanging out with fellow artists who have become lifelong friends, the great festivals with amazing food and bands, trading with other artists (maybe the best part!).  All of that is good, but I'm learning that it is not necessary to kill myself in the process. Which means I have a handful of shows left this year and then I'm done. Handful meaning five.  And not technically done for good.  There will be a few shows next spring and summer, but only my favorite local ones and maybe I will try a couple over the hill.

This does not mean I won't be creating amazing mosaics daily in my studio. Actually quite the opposite!  I am already switching gears to create custom lines for a few different retail locations locally, I will reveal my schedule for fall and winter classes and workshops next week (super excited about this!) and I am focusing on the many in-house custom orders that I am receiving weekly (a bonus from all of the exposure of the past few years of shows).  I will continue to stock anywhere from 100-150+ pieces in my studio, so please feel free to contact me to set up a private shopping appointment, I am in my studio most days.

So, although I'm not necessarily appreciating the cold changes in the air, the changes in the air at Copper Cat Studio are actually quite refreshing!  I will keep you posted~  Katie

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Indie Reno - On The Rise!

This past weekend we held our annual Indie Reno Spring~Summer show.  Indie Reno is a collaborative of local artists and craftsmen dedicated to growing our individual creative ventures by encouraging our community to buy local and handmade.  Our goal as a group is to come together to create opportunities for our members for exhibiting, marketing and sales of our handmade works of art.  Indie Reno started out as a small Etsy group, but over the past couple of years, we have expanded to include a diverse roster of artisans.  At our events, you can find everything from jewelry, to printmaking, to steampunk accessories, to hula hoops, to handcrafted frames.  There's fused glass artists, mosaic artists, and several craftsmen that make the hippest kids clothing, accessories and toys.  We have knitters, potters, metal sculptors and soap makers.  We even have a henna artist that creates beautiful, intricate designs while you wait. We are adding new artisans to our group weekly and our winter show is slated to be the biggest yet!


One of the greatest things about our group is the element of community.  Everyone is encouraged to participate in our endeavor of moving the group forward and we appreciate the fact that everyone has something to offer and has valuable input.  I like that I have been around the block and can offer advice to the new members who are just getting their business off the ground, and in turn I have received invaluable advice from them as well.  We are finding that there is so much support not only within our own group, but other similar groups in our area.  It's exciting to be part of a grassroots movement that is sweeping our town in more ways than just art.  We are happy to be riding the wave of our community's rally of supporting local businesses!

Indie Reno is growing and so is our clout.  We are getting more and more press and people actually know who we are (woohoo!).  As a group, we are able to negotiate with some of the bigger events, where as individuals we may not have a chance of participating in.  For example, this weekend on June 30th we will have a row of booths at the 2nd annual Reno Block Party.  For pretty much all of us, the entry fee would have been out of our league, but the organizers not only gave us a price break, but are allowing nine of us to share a six-tent block to create an "Indie Reno Boutique".  Among the other events we are involved in, we organize the art vendors at the original Food Truck Fridays held every first Friday at City Center.  We were recently the featured group of craft vendors at the Great Basin Food Co-Op's grand opening event.  And we are very proud and excited to be asked to be the exclusive artisan group for the Crafters Row section of the Great Reno Balloon races this September!

Our host for the Indie Reno Artisan Market was The Holland Project.  The Holland Project is an art gallery/music venue/classroom/place of nurturing, dedicated to encouraging creativity among our younger generation.

If you are a Northern Nevada artist or craftsperson, we'd love for you to be a part of Indie Reno!
For more information please send me a message.  You can find Indie Reno at

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


This has been an odd winter in Northern Nevada, due to the fact that we haven't had much of a winter down here in the valley.   Our poor confused trees are starting to bud, flowers are emerging out of the cold ground and fresh grass is even is even starting to pop through the dry remnants of last years lawn.  In the past 24 hours we have gone from sunny 70 degrees to howling wind and snow flurries.  Everyone on TV and various social media sites have been talking about spring, but it's just hard to think about when we've barely had a dusting of snow here and there.  And with our crazy weather, snow is a possibility for the next three months- last year I followed the tested rule, don't plant your tomatoes until all of the snow is off Peavine, and low and behold we had snow in June and I finally planted my tomatoes July 4th weekend! Before I had started planting, I had gotten pictures of my family in Alabama's overabundant crops, piles and piles of tomatoes.  I was so jealous.  Anyway, this story does have a point.... GARDEN MARKERS!

Stamping the clay for the markers

On this blustery snowy day I've been working away in my studio creating Herb & Vegetable Markers.  Even though the weather has been crazily unpredictable, people are starting to think about their gardens and even start their seeds indoors. This is the third year I have been creating my Garden Markers and they are always a hit!  Every show I go to, I always get great suggestions.  Right now my collection has about 40 varieties and is still growing.  New for this kiln round is Catnip, an idea from my favorite group of gals who come to the studio for private mosaic classes.  Last year I had someone request a set of specialized peppers- Anaheim, Jalapeno, Mexibell and Poblano.  I even had some friends that planted a rose garden and wanted each of the bushes labeled accordingly- those were some funny names!  My favorite is a set of two that say Fairy Crossing.  I always have a couple of those in stock :)

These Garden Markers make a unique gift for the gardener in your life.  I know several of my clients have their own mini-supply of them on hand to give as hostess gifts.  I recycle silverware so no two pieces will ever be alike.  I try to find unique pieces and the more flowery, the better!  I use stoneware that is fired to cone 6 and I use a cement adhesive, so they will hold up to the best that Mother Nature will throw at you.  I use two different fonts and two different finishes, so you can get a variety or have them all match, it's up to you!  They are $5 each, no minimum order required. Please contact me to see what I have in stock and if we need to do a special order, it'll be about a week longer to process.  There is a link to my Etsy store on the side bar of this blog or contact me through my website.


Rose Garden Markers

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and I am working away in my studio creating a wide range of Valentine inspired mosaics.  I have brought back the "Key to My Heart" series, and have a new line of "conversation hearts"~ 4" x 4" mosaics cute on their own or great in multiples!  I have Valentine mosaics from modern to traditional, bright to neutral color palates, and many that would be great for HIM!  I have posted many of my mosaics on Etsy, but I have dozens more that I will be finishing up this week for two shows....

The first show is this Thursday, February 9th from 4pm-7pm at Ryrie's Art & Home on Lakeside in Reno.  Ryrie will be hosting this special artisan show featuring my new line of valentine mosaics, the beautiful fused glass art of Bryn McCubbins-Design4Soul, and the whimsical mixed media creations of Randi Case-Blue Moon International.  Come meet the artists and pick up something special for your valentine!

The second show is Beer & Brats for Babes, this Saturday February 11th from 3-5pm at an eclectic art house in Reno located at 2421 Riviera Street, near Idylwild Park.  There will be beer and brats on the barbie for all you Valentine babes!  Several artists were selected for this unique show and will include yard art, homemade truffles, fused glass, large scale digital art, and of course my mosaics.



If you can't make it to one of these shows and would like to get your sweetie a very unique valentine, please contact me to set up a time to come by the studio and look through my stock.  If we need to ship, let me know by Thursday to ensure timely delivery.  Happy Valentine's Day!

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