There is nothing quite like teaching. It’s the one thing that always lights me up. Being in my studio is first and foremost, of course, but whenever I experiment and discover something interesting, my first inclination is to share it with others.
I started teaching in 2003 at my local paper arts store, which had a mixed-media/collage bent from the beginning. I began with teaching chunky book/mini book techniques; layering paint, ink, rubber stamps, vintage and new embellishments. As time went by, other store owners contacted me and I was traveling and teaching in Arizona and California. In 2008, I taught my first national art retreat in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona and have been teaching mixed-media jewelry, collage and assemblage ever since. Teaching has taken me all over the United States and to France multiple times and also Bali. For eight years I was constantly on the road doing my instructor thing and loving it.
Through traveling and teaching, I’ve met amazing, talented women (and some great men too!) Explaining my artistic process has made me acutely aware of how I work, why I make the creative and technical choices I do and why absolutely everything about the making process is important. These creatives have taught me much over the years and made me a better studio artist. Of all the things I do, teaching has truly been my heart.
I made some big life changes in 2016 after my parent’s passed away and I had an “ah-ha” moment where I decided I wanted to keep what was working in my life and created magic for me and my family and let go of everything else. I decided to drastically reduce my busy travel schedule and kept only a couple of favorite mixed-media retreats where I couldn’t stand the thought of not being with my art tribe. I also decided it was time to let creatives come to me and experience my beautiful and breathtaking corner of the world in my small mountain community that I adore.
Come join me in my home studio where you’ll stay in a local cabin or at one of my favorite urban art retreats in a beautiful hotel. Whatever we’re making and wherever we’re at, I promise we’ll make magic together and have lots of laughs in the process.
Art Is You – Redwood City, California (Silicon Valley)
Tinker, Tailor, Artist, Maker – May 1-6th 2019 –
Deconstructed Studio – Pine, Arizona
June 7, 8 and 9th 2019 – Jen’s Home Studio
Metalsmithing – Making Mixed Metal Elements; Metal Etching, Metal Stamping, Soft Solder Stamping, Forged Bangles, Soldered Ring, Making Bezels, Hinge Journal, Cold Connection Stacking. This workshop is for the many folks who own my book Making Metal Jewelry and have been asking me for a metals workshop to delve deeper into the techniques.
Art Unraveled – Phoenix, AZ
August 4th 2019 – Vintage Chic Recycled Tin Necklace This workshop will focus on jewelry design skills of color, balance, proportion and seeing with your mind’s eye (your esoteric third eye or the artist’s eye) and also technical skills of improving our cold-connection and wire wrapping skills. Register Now.
Deconstructed Studio – Pine, Arizona
October 4, 5 and 6th 2019 – Jen’s Home Studio
Mixed-Media Jewelry; Collage Beads, Resin Paper Beads, Textured Polymer Clay Pendants and Beads, Woodburning/Markmaking Components, Metal and Fiber Journal, Cold Connected Open Bezels with Collage and Resin. This is a inky, painty, sculpty, stampy, gluey get-your-hands-dirty workshop. For those of you who love mixed-media but not necessarily jewelry making, this is a great workshop for you, as every single technique taught can be incorporated into other art forms like assemblage, book making, journals, art dolls. etc.
2KatStudios – Prescott, Arizona
November 9th and 10th 2019
Collage, Clay and Word Play; A heARTful Journey – We will sculpt and build a three-dimensional winged heart assemblage where we’ll also incorporate a handmade bead-and-wire hanger. More details to come soon. Registration to open Spring 2019.
What students say about Jen’s teaching style…
“My first mixed media workshop with Jen was life-changing. We explored new techniques and mediums and stretched our creative muscles, all within a safe and fun environment. Just when I thought my project was turning into a disaster, Jen was there to encourage and show me the possibilities. She nurtures and inspires students creatively and rounds out the whole experience with practical business advice for those wanting to pursue careers in art. Jen’s workshops are like art therapy. I laughed, I cried–I re-discovered my creative self. Jen is Artist, Teacher, Mentor, Friend…all wrapped up in one amazing, inspiring and talented bundle!” — Shannon H.
“I evaluate teachers for a living and Jen is one of the best I’ve ever seen.” – Jana M.
“I love Jen’s classes! She brings such a playful, joyful attitude to the classroom. I love how she helps students see “mistakes” as opportunities to try something new. It enables the student to forge ahead without fear of failure. I never feel stressed out and always learn something new that can be expanded upon and incorporated into my work with my own style. Her cheerful, laid back approach creates a creative classroom environment. Pure fun!” – Stephanie B.
“It’s always a pleasure to take an art class from someone who is an excellent artist AND an excellent teacher. Jen Cushman is one of those who has mastered both “expertises” when teaching her highly-sought-after art. It’s clear that she has a plan in mind, and a well-designed path to take her students to a successful outcome. When I recently took a metal etching class from her, she showed technical skill with the medium, even one that can be unpredictable. She had a warm and humorous teaching style that set a comfortable, nurturing tone for the day. Finally, even with a full class, she gave each of us individual attention and support that led each student to walk out with pieces we loved. I look forward to taking more classes from Jen, an outstanding artist and wonderful teacher.” – Lorie G.
“Jen Cushman goes beyond consummate professional to skill-builder extraordinaire. She has an unending desire to build not only her own knowledge base, but also those who flock to her looking for inspiration. Jen adeptly balances kindness and professionalism in a way that makes you want to work with her again and again.” – Jenn M.