Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Another Successful Class Completion

I just finished five fun weeks of teaching my Creating Metal Jewelry class at Shenandoah University.  I think it went quite well.  I was VERY impressed by the enthusiasm and talent shown by my eight students. 

Several of my talented students, proudly wearing their work.
Unfortunately, two ladies are missing from photograph.  

It appears that the ladies picked up some new skills and were proud of the jewelry they created.  There was a lot of material to cover, but I think we slogged through pretty well.  I know a few of the students were happily  wearing their creations!

I truly enjoyed teaching at the University and meeting these great ladies.  I'm sad not to continue meeting with them each week!

I've been asked by the University to return next February and teach this class again.  This time, the basic class will be followed directly by a five week Intermediate session, too.  That should work out well, as I think the students were raring to go on to bigger and better projects.  Next spring, we'll be able to move right into the more advanced class without a break.

Once the new catalog is ready, I'll post more information and a link to the class registration.

Now, my next event is the Catoctin Holiday Art Tour  in two weeks.  Watch for that blog post soon!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Time for Tin Turkeys!

Well, it looks like I'm teaching another class!  This time, it's an evening activity at the Round Hill Arts Center in Round Hill, Virginia.

Are you looking for a fun event to share with your family?  This November - just in time for Thanksgiving - come join me and make a cute turkey votive for your holiday table. 
November Family Friday:
Tin Turkey Lanterns
with Meredith Hilt
Friday November 20
6:30 - 8:30 pm, 

$35 per family of four includes materials, pizza and drinks. All ages. Join metal artist and jeweler Meredith Hilt and make punched tin turkey lanterns to light up your Thanksgiving table! Make an evening of it -- we'll have pizza and drinks available, too.
Click here for registration
I'm looking forward this creative family night, and hope you'll come out and join us! Not only will your family make a fun craft, but you'll  get fed too!  That's a winning combination!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Teaching at Shenandoah University!

Shenandoah University
This summer I received a surprising phone call.  I've been invited to teach a Metalsmithing class at Shenandoah University!  It will start in October at their campus in Winchester, VA.  I'm very excited about the opportunity to teach at a school like this.  

The class will be run through the University's Center for Lifelong Learning.  The Learning Center's goal is to offer affordable, educational and inspiring classes since its inception in 1990.  

Although I'm to teach others, it's been a real learning experience for me!  So much thought has to go into developing a class like this. I really wanted to come up with interesting projects that would appeal to a variety of ages and skill levels.

Check out the description below.  Maybe I'll see you in class!  

Creating Jewelry: Metal Smithing!  

One of the Class Projects
Creating your own jewelry is actually pretty easy once you learn how. Join us and acquire the basic metal-smithing techniques needed to design and create your own beautiful finished pieces of jewelry. No previous experience necessary. This five-week class is designed for the beginner who wants to start, or for the jewelry hobbyist seeking to expand their skills and understand the components of working with metal.   

Time will be spent becoming acquainted with safety, jewelry tools and wire. Using wire and sheet metal, we will cover basic forming, filing, sawing and assembly. You will start by making your own jump rings, links, clasps, and ear wires. Those jewelry elements will then be built upon to assemble more complex pieces. Each class will focus on building a different piece of jewelry. What isn’t finished in class may be taken home to complete. 

Creating your own metal jewelry is fun and easy once you have the skills at your fingertips. This hands-on class has been geared to give you all of the essential skills and confidence to make your own jewelry at home! 
Class Projects

Class materials and tools will be provided and shared during class use. Tools may be purchased from instructor. 

Your instructor, Meredith Hilt is a Virginia based metal smith and jewelry artist who shares her artistic talents by teaching jewelry workshops and classes in Northern Virginia. A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh (PA), she is also a founding member and President of The Gateway Gallery Artist Cooperative, holds board positions on the Round Hill Arts Center and the Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour, and annually participates in both the Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour, and Catoctin Holiday Artist Tour. Her jewelry is sold in galleries on the East Coast, and also on  

WED: 10/7/15 — 11/4/15
Time: 6:00 — 8:00 pm
Course: CONT 168 CLL1 CEUs 1
Cost: $89
Location: Main Campus, Gregory Hall, Room 104

Click here for more information and Registration


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

WLAST is coming! Save the Date!

What will you be doing this June 20th and 21st?

Artist Meeting held at Franklin Park Arts Center
Mark your calendar, and make a plan to come out and tour the studios of some very talented artists located in Western Loudoun County, Virginia!  I'm pleased to announce that I will once again be part of the Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour!

I recently attended the WLAST kick off, which is the annual Artists' Information Meeting.  There was a pretty good turn-out; lot's of long term participants, as well as a bunch of first-timers.  So many creative people in one place! Everyone was briefed on the details, and "Do's and Don'ts" of the tour.   As part of the planning committee, I was asked to stand up and cover some of the tour information. I'm pretty enthusiastic.  I LOVE being part of the event!  But, I think everyone is excited about this year's tour.

WLAST Facebook BannerThis year is very special as it's the 10th Annual year of the event!  I just realized it will be my seventh year participating on the tour - can you believe it?  I certainly can't.  It's always such a privilege to be included in this super venue.  Since this is a juried event, I always feel very blessed to be accepted to participate each year.

As always, this year we have many talented artists participating.  There will also be a wide range of different mediums to see. I only wish I had to opportunity to visit all the studios myself.  But I'd never want to give up being ON the tour.  It's just way too much fun!

One of my tables from a previous tour.
I will once again be a guest artist at one of the partner organizations; the Round Hill Art Center.  This year there will be six of us there.  My fellow artists will be Mary Kenesson (Fiber), Liz Cresap (Fused Glass), Steve Loya (Illustration/painting), Jeff Miller (Photography) and Penny Hauffe (Painting).

It's always a whirl-wind weekend!  Literally, thousands of people come through the studios.  At my stop, I always do some metalsmithing demonstrations, and make a point to meet and greet all of the great visitors.  Everyone loves the tour, because they get to see the artists at work, and chat with them about their medium and techniques.  And of course, there's also tons of beautiful art work for sale!

I hope you'll plan to come by and visit all of us!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Starting Fresh and Making Commitments

Sometimes life sweeps you away.  Have you ever felt like a leaf just being buffeted up and around in the wind?  That's what the last year or two have been like to me.

But I feel much more in control of my life now.  I feel stronger in many ways, and have a drive I've never experienced before.  So I'm running with it!

The jewelry side of my studio
My "new" studio is starting to feel like a good fit. I enjoy being there and working in it.  Slowly, but surely I'm getting it organized, and creating a work flow.  I'm producing new work, too.  I just need to get on a schedule that I can stay with.

I recently read another blogger's post about setting annual goals and reviewing them quarterly.  Well, I missed setting any goals at the beginning of the year, but I'm primed to set some now.

So, here they are:

  • A blog post Every Week 
  • Continue to build inventory: create a Body of Work
  • Promote more 
  • Get my Etsy sales up
  • Gain representation in 1-3 new galleries
  • Participate in a new show
  • Have some work published in a magazine
Grand goals, I know.  But they should be achievable if I keep on it.  I've just got to keep on schedule and keep my motivation up!

I'm always looking for ways to be more productive.  I'd love to hear feedback with anyone's suggestions, tips, tried-and-true ways they keep on top of their production and promotion game!

    Monday, April 6, 2015

    Back in the Studio Finally!

    Well, it's been awhile since I've blogged ... but I do have a good excuse!

    We'd been busy fostering some children for more than a year.  We were assigned an infant, and his half sibling, sister.  While it was a wonderful experience, it was also one of the most stressful times of my entire life.  Fostering isn't an easy job.  You can get very attached to the children.

    So, for awhile, my creative side was turned off, and my uber-nurturing side was in full swing.  The children have since been moved on to their grandmother, so I am finally back in a normal routine and trying to get back in design mode.

    Would have made a great studio, right?
    (The odd shadows are being cast by a ceiling fan
    with cut-glass lights.)

    We had been renovating our 2 car garage into what was to be a huge, beautiful new studio for me.  But it was turning out so well, we decided it would make an even nicer family room.  So I gave up a super, new studio, but gained not only a new living area, but a new mud room (very handy with horses) AND a lovely new laundry room.  Whew, no more schlepping down to the basement to do a load of clothes!

    I'd started to take over our old living room as my studio, but then we got the call to foster the children.  So, we just dumped all my art stuff into the old living room in piles and boxes, and there it sat for months and MONTHS.

    Way later, after the children left, my first hurdle was to tackle the total disarray that was my studio. Even now, it's still a bit of a mess. But, I am slowly sorting things out, and do have areas in which to work.  

    Needless to say, after not working for so long, I had very little inventory left in the various galleries and shops I sell from.  My recent goal has been to get some production done, and hopefully increase my inventory.  In addition to trying to beef up my gallery inventories, I'm also working on my Etsy shop, and gearing up for another Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour.  Being on the WLAST committee keeps me busy all year, but being an artist on the tour this coming June means I need to create, create, CREATE!

    Lately, I've been trying some new directions with my work.  I'm experimenting with various stones, and playing with tabs, settings, layers, and rivets.  I've even been stringing, and playing with beads instead of just hanging my pendants on chain as I have in the past.

    I'm also researching the potential purchase of a Hydraulic Press.  It's a large expenditure, so I've been a bit hesitant.  But considering how it might help speed my creative process, it's looking more and more like it might be a worthwhile expense.  We'll see.  I'll keep you posted!

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Get Creative in a Jewelry Class!

    Have you ever been bitten by the "Creative Bug"? Would you like to learn how to make your own jewelry? It's actually pretty easy if you know how.

    In several weeks, I'll be teaching a 4 week class at the Round Hill Arts Center in Round Hill, Virginia. This class is an extension of the 1 day "Intro To Wire Jewelry" workshops I've put on. The Center has had several people inquire about a longer, more intense jewelry class, so we've put this class together.

    I'm pleased to say that the workshops have been well received and have gotten some nice reviews.

    I took the Wire Jewelry class and would like to let you know what a great instructor you have in Meredith. She was informative, we practiced everything she talked about, and we walked away with skill enough to do it ourselves. She very nicely handled a large age range and skill differences. Also, when help was needed she showed you what to do, not did it for you. I had a great time, and would not hesitate to sign up for a class she is teaching.

    Molly Tew

    Here's the scoop on the class:

    Jewelry 101: Intro to Making Wire Jewelry

    Meredith Hilt

    Date: March 22- April 12, 2011

    Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Cost: $115
    (Plus $25 materials fee payable in first class)

    This 4 week class is a more intense version of our Intro to Wire Jewelry Workshop. This class is designed for the beginner who wants to learn the basics, or for those who want to expand their jewelry skills and produce quality finished pieces of jewelry.

    Learn basic jewelry techniques needed to design and create your own beautiful jewelry using copper and sterling wire. We will spend some time becoming acquainted with safety, jewelry tools and wire. We will move on to skills such as making jump rings, links, clasps, and ear wires. If you’ve ever wondered what all those components can be used for, wonder no more!

    Each class will focus on building a different piece of jewelry. Students will learn to create earrings, rings, bracelets and pendants. Finishing techniques will also be discussed. What isn't completed in class may be taken home to finish.

    Learn the basics of jewelry making with this hands-on class and gain confidence. You will learn skills that will allow you to easily make your own jewelry at home!

    Register here

    Hope to see you there!