End of Summer 2013

Hello Friends,

It’s been a while, my apologies.  Here’s what the end of summer brought about:
August 2013.
Still trying to figure out England…  however figuring out just how to be in England for one whole year is proving more difficult than expected. Visitor (General) Visa’s only allow you to be in the UK for 3 months, then you can apply to renew the visa for an additional 3 months.  After that 6 months, you have to leave the country for 3 months before applying for another visitor (general) visa (up to another 6 month stay).
More research is required… we shall see.

This summer, my giant crazy family has decided (and has planned a year in advance) to take a break from the hum drum of everyday life and take a week vacation on the beach in Hilton Head, North Carolina. We decided to rent 3 houses (only way to fit us all) near the beach.  Each house was 3 stories, had their own pool, hot tub, and shared a courtyard/driveway.  So, like any crazy family trip we all packed into cars and drove down to Hilton Head, North Carolina.
I believe the final count of how many of us went, was 36-40 adults with about 7 children under the age of 7.  Craziness!  Hence the need for a few houses.
This vacation was a wonderful break from the day-to-day drawl.  I was determined to knock a few things off my bucket list, and did.  Here are some photos from this Adventure.

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I not only managed to get in some relaxation and reading, but also had some pretty incredible experiences with my cousins that we will talk about for years to come.  Parasailing, Tubing, an afternoon on a boat, jet skiing, ghost tour in Savannah and even saw some dolphins.
The day trip to Savannah, GA for the ghost tour was really interesting, absolutely beautiful, and I would love to visit again some day and do more exploring.  Our tour guide (who’s name escapes me at the moment) in Savannah was pretty cool, very friendly and very knowledgeable about the history of Savannah.  We particularly loved the fact that we could walk the streets of Savannah with a(n alcoholic) beverage. Icing to cake during any vacation.

This trip was exactly what I needed, an escape and a change to re-energize.


MY BEST FRIEND GOT MARRIED!  and I was in the wedding… here you go folks, take it all in, cause I would only wear this much pink (or any pink for that matter) for a few select people!
Congratulations to Kelly and Lee Chalmers!
Photo’s courtesy of Carrie Vibbert at The Fence Photography, who did an amazing job photographing the wedding, making us all look good, and helping me out with a few photos of the head piece that Kelly wore for her wedding.   The head piece is sterling silver with fresh water pearls, CZ crystals (for the sparkle) and sapphires (to match the blue from Kelly’s engagement ring).
Check out some of the photos below.

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I think that is all I have for the end of the summer.
Stay tuned for the thrilling changes to come this Fall.
Until next time, take care

-Meredith S. Tibjash

Summer 2013

Hello again!

We just went through this past spring’s events.  As we move into summer, life slows down a little.
In June I picked up a second job lifeguarding in order to buy some new tools.
I also signed up for another Continuing Education class through Cleveland Institute of Art.  This time around, I went for a Metal Fabrication class with Scott Stibich (who’s work you can find by clicking on his name) over the course of 8 weeks.

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During which, I have been building my own FORGE!!!!

This class brings us into July.
July 15th, 2013 I received an email from the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham campus, in Surrey, England.  I have been accepted as an Artist in Residence for 1 year beginning September 16th, 2013!!!  The residency in essance, is access to the studio in exchange for curriculum assistance.  They also provide assistance in expanding my experience in teaching, gallery work, etc. once I am there.
In England!!  I am soo excited!
Since my acceptance, I have been in correspondence with many individuals at the University in regards a Visa, housing, job opportunities etc.  The residence does not provide accommodations or a stipend, however I have had some links sent my way to help me find them.

I am still unsure whether I will be able to go to England or not come September, however I will definitely try my darnedest to get there!

Alright, so we are now all caught up.
I hope I can keep you all posted on the upcoming events.  If/when I do make it to England, please keep an eye and ear out for the weekly video blog I will be starting to document the adventure.

Until next time, take care
-Meredith S. Tibjash

Spring 2013

Hello Everyone,

It has been an interesting couple of months. Which means this is going to be a 2 part post.

Part 1: Spring

Back in February I took an adventure to North Carolina where I met up with Master Bladesmith Daniel Warren, and Journeyman Smith Bill Wiggins.  After work with them for a few days, and making a blade, I ventured further east to make another blade with Journeyman Smith Scott McGhee.  Both experiences taught me a lot and I cant wait to continue learning.
Now that you’re caught up, here is what has been going on since…

In March, I continued to fill out applications to residency programs and studio assistantships in hopes that I would be able to gain access to a studio full time to make work.
I also was lucky enough to participate in a weekend Powder Coating workshop with Michael Dale Bernard at Edinboro University.

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As April came I found out that I had been chosen as 1 of 4 finalists for the Blacksmithing Apprenticeship at The Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee!  As the interview process continued I found that I lacked in some skills necessary for their requirements (no welding experience….), so unfortunately I was not accepted for the position.  The Metal Museum staff however were very nice seemed genuinely interested in helping me succeed.  I hope I can visit Memphis soon!

Also in April, my cousin Lauren and I took a trip to Arizona for our friends Mary Beth and Ben’s wedding.  It was a short trip, Thursday through Sunday however the ceremony was gorgeous and I am glad we went.  Lauren and I flew in and out of Phoenix, AZ, rented a car, and drove the 2+ hours north to Sedona.   We had the wonderful opportunity to meet the entire Bray family previously (bachelorette party) and knew we would have a great time.

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Oh, did I mention on Sunday, the morning after the reception, Lauren and I woke up Early and drove 2 hours north to the Grand Canyon!!!  We stayed for about 20 minutes then drove 4 hours south ( back through Sedona) to Phoenix in order to catch our flight back to Ohio at 3pm.  LOVED IT!

As we switch over to May, I have to mention the Closing Reception for my friend Jessica Armstong that happened on May 3rd.  She finished her MFA at Edinboro University and totally Rocked it out.  You can check out work, and see what she’s up to now at:
Way to go Jess!

As May continues, I am still filling out applications and trying to find other opportunities for the year while getting ready for this year’s SNAG conference in Toronto, Canada!

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Special shout out to Erica Hoosic, Kate Cosden, Lydia Martin.  Thank you for an awesome conference!
I love the SNAG conferences, they are an excellent networking opportunity and amazingly helpful way of getting involved more within the jewelry and metals community.  Cant wait until 2014 – Minneapolis, Minnesota!

What a busy spring!
Well, this concludes part 1, stay tuned for part 2 of my adventures, Summer 2013!

Take care until next time,
-Meredith S. Tibjash

North Carolina Adventure

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all had a good weekend.  My adventure to North Carolina was a Blast!  I got to work with some amazing bladesmiths.  Here’s how the weekend went:

I left Cleveland on Wednesday February 6th, 2013 at around 9am.  Drove my butt off through the mountains of West Virginia, through Virginia, the corner of Tennessee and on into North Carolina near Asheville, NC to work with Journeyman Smith Bill Wiggins and Master Bladesmith Daniel Warren.  I made it into the shop on Wednesday about 6pm.  With such limited time, Bill helped me Forge a blade out, heat treat and temper a blade before the end of the night.  I learned a Lot on forging in such a short time!  It makes me want a power hammer even more!

Exhausted, and reeling with information, I got back in my car and drove to about 20 minutes east and crashed with my friend Elaine Buss, a wonderful ceramic and mixed media artist I met through a mutual friend.  Check Out her website!  She is an absolutely fantastic person and a great artist!

On Thursday, Bill had to work in the morning, so I ventured to Asheville in search of an adventure on my own.  Thank’s to Sara Brown (another Amazing Artist) I was lead to Mora Gallery run by Joanna Gollberg and Marthe Le Van.  Their Gallery is Beautiful and in the heart of Downtown Asheville, NC.  While visiting, I ran into a friend from Arrowmont School or Arts and Crafts who is working with Joanna, Shana Loconsole.

If you are ever in the Asheville area, please check out this gallery!
Bill, Dan and I then got to work at Dan’s shop to work on the handle and finishing of the blade.

On Friday, I had some time to kill, all I needed to do was drive the 6 hours across the state to Scott’s shop.  I decided then, that I would take Friday for me, and visit the Biltmore Estate in Ashevile, NC; and boy am I glad I did.  The Vanderbilt’s sure know how to build a property.  The whole estate was gorgeous.  Just awestruck, and it reminded me how much I love history and site seeing.  I spent 5 hours wondering around the Biltmore house and gardens (which I’m sure a much more breathetaking in the spring when the flowers are all colorful and hedges are grown and manicured).  After the house, which allows you to get an automated tour so you can explore at your own pace, I had to get back in the car and drive to the east coast.

I managed to arrive at Scott and Lydia’s just in time for dinner.
On Saturday, after breakfast, we got to work.  Scott is an excellent teacher!  He stated (and I completely agree) that I needed more work on grinding of the blades, so he helped me get started on a stock removal blade.  I drew up a design, cut it out, got it to shape on the grinder, and managed a rough grind.  The blade was then heat treated and back to the grinder.

Sunday I spent the day cleaning up the grind work (by hand), adding the clip, or false edge and the handle was added to the blade and shaped to comfort. When everything was finished and beautiful, Scott showed me how to sharpen the blade- a task I had not been shown how to do yet; and Lydia helped me photograph my new blades.

I learned soo much on this wonderful adventure.  It was exactly what I needed right now and I am so thankful for the opportunity.

I cant wait to get to work on my own this summer! Keep and eye out world.

Until next time.
Thank you for reading 🙂

-Meredith S. Tibjash

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New start

I must apologize.

I have been horrible with keeping up with events in 2012, however I hope to ratify this in 2013.
So here goes…

The start of this year Sucked! Well, the end of last year had me in a funk and it continued on into 2013 and lasted for most of January.
It is now February, my birthday month and I aim to change things; stir up some trouble and start moving forward.

I have been in progress of applying to multiple residency programs and even a grad school.  Most of the deadlines are still to come, however I have already managed to miss 1.  The reason being:  I just do not have enough work.  I find this ironic considering this is the main reason why I think a residency program would be great for me right now.  Uninterrupted work time, with no outside work distractions.  A designated time to just MAKE WORK!

No worries, though.  I have moved on from the shame of missing one deadline and will now put forth all of my efforts toward the upcoming target dates.

This week, I will embark on an adventure the 8 hours to North Carolina, where I will meet up with Master Smith Dan Warren, and Journeyman Smith Bill Wiggins for a 2 day-ish workshop, then travel another 5 and a half hours east to the coast for a day and a half workshop with Journeyman Smith Scott McGhee.
I am super exited to work with these gentleman, gain some new knowledge and direction.

Within the workshops, I hope to obtain a better understanding of grinding work and sharpening along with heat treating techniques.  The goal is to be able to do some of this work on my own toward the summer time.

Cant wait to share the pics of what I have made!!!

Until then, take care

P.S. I will also post a new tentative schedule of events for the upcoming year.  This way I am held accountable for the show of progress!  🙂

Please let me know your thoughts.

Thank You

A knife show? at Canton Museum of Art? Yes Please!

Hello Everyone,

I found out recently that Canton Museum of Art was opening a new show all on Knives! and on the opening there was going to be a Hammer-In with some local knife makers?
So what did I do?

I hurried my butt down to Canton to check out the opening.  I have some friends in the Canton area, so I gave them a ring and met up with the both of them on the semi rainy Friday afternoon to check out the knife show and speak with some bladesmiths.

The show was pretty cool.  We got to check out lots of different styles of blades and I even recognized a few.

While there, I met and spoke with a gentleman who makes Damascus: Dan McMullen.
Really nice guy, makes Damascus in his spare time as a hobby.
I managed to bring the 2 knives I have made and got some great responses.

Wonderful adventure and made a few Great Connections!

Sorry this one is short.  I missed most of the Hammer-In and just caught a few bladesmiths for a quick word, but saw the show and met Dan.  I call that a win 🙂

Until next time.

-Meredith S. Tibjash

Forging Entrepreneurs

SNAG Presents Forging Entrepreneurs: Tools and Skills for Business Success in collaboration with the Society for Contemporary Craft,     August 25th and 26th 2012

Speakers included:
Michelle Pajak-Reynolds
Artist Entrepreneur
Find and Build your Customer Base

Brigitte Martin
Goldsmith, Crafthaus Founder, Author
What It Really Takes to be a Successful Artist Now

Wayne Werner
Fine Jeweler
Success in Contemporary Craft Shows

Adam Kenney
Executive Director, Touchstone Center for Crafts
How to Diversify your Revenue Streams

Todd Pownell
Fine Jeweler
Efficiency and Earnings: Technical Choices that Build a Viable Studio

Ronald McNeish
Combine New Technology and Old World Craftsmanship

Beverly Tadeu
The Journey from Art Pieces to Production Work

Glen Gardner
GSG Design and the ExOne Company
Using 3D Printing to Improve your Productivity

This was a fantastic conference.  I learned a soo much from each speaker and actually had the chance to stop and chat with a few over lunch.
At this point, I have been in a rut.  Creatively stuck, and not really sure where to go from here, so I asked one of the speaker, who I knew from SNAG to lunch to go pick her brain and ask for her advice.  Brigitte is wonderful!  Not only did she help me gain a new direction and motivation to go for something, but she has been pushing me ever since. Over lunch she told me she was going to check in on me a week after the conference to see what kind of progress I have made in moving forward.

A week after the conference, I received a SKYPE call from Brigitte.  Luckily, I had a few things accomplished which set me in great direction.  From this conference, Brigitte and I have continued to stay in contact, and have had meetings at least once a month.   It has been so helpful talking with someone who can help look at things from another angle and help set reachable, tangible goals and reaffirm your hard work isn’t for nothing.

I also managed to chat more with Sue Amendalora and Cappy Counard at the conference who currently teach at Edinboro University in Jewelry and Metal.  One of their current Graduate students, Jessica Armstrong is a good friend who I met in 2011 at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts; she mentioned that the jewelry studio was looking to bring in some outside help from some graduated near by jewelry artists to help fill tech hours.  Excited for the possibility to get back into that creative atmosphere I spoke with Sue and Cappy right away and am pleased to announce that I will be helping out at Edinboro every Friday 🙂

I established some great connections at this conference, learned a ton, and got myself back on a track toward something.  I am truly grateful for the help and support.
Thank you SNAG for this conference, and thank you speakers for also being willing to listen and speak more one on one.

Until the next adventure,

-Meredith S. Tibjash


Knife Making Workshop in Riverton, Wyoming with Mike and Audra Draper
June 17th-24th, 2012

The first time I attended this workshop back in 2009, it opened my eyes to a whole new avenue.  I loved every aspect of making the full tang blade; from forging the Damascus, designing the blade shape and forming it in the Damascus, and making the handle.  I knew I would go back before the first day was over.


And I did, in 2012 I went back to Mike and Audra’s this time to make a Folder; and boy is it a beaut!


Welcome to 


Here we go!!!

Today is July 21st, a Saturday, and this afternoon I embarked on putting together my website.
So far so good!  I should be around adding information and spreading the word on where I am headed every so often!

Good things ahead!
Feel free to spread the word on my new site.  Looks like I need to order new business cards :)

Thanks for visiting

-Meredith S. Tibjash

Continuing Education- a Class at Cleveland Institute of Art

After my adventures this year:
Arrowmont            3/20-4/22
SNAG                        5/23-5/26
Knife Workshop   6/17-6/24

(just to name a few), I was feeling a little… lost, creatively.  I had done these amazing things, learned a lot of new information, met amazing new people, gone on some great adventures… but now what.

At home, I managed, with the help of my Uncle, to put together a studio in the basement.  The only problem I was facing was the lack of creativity altogether at home. In order to help break this creative brick wall, I found an outlet.  Thankfully, I live in Cleveland, Ohio; and with Cleveland, come Cleveland Museum of Art (CIA).  CIA has a great continuing education program, through which I enrolled in an Advanced Jewelry and Metals class.  It took a while to get myself enrolled in the program; I had to convince the university that I was in fact an advanced student.

The class was not quite what I expected, but it got my hands working, and gave me access to studio tools I still do not have accessibility to.  Every Tuesday from 6-9pm I spent my time at CIA’s Metals’ studio.  My time there allowed for some creative juices to start flowing again, and I even managed to do a demo or 2 for the class on techniques they had not learned.

I’m not sure if I’ll be taking another class at CIA, but I made a few friends, and it got the gears moving again artistically.
It wasn’t the end all to save all creatively, but it kept me motivated


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