Friday, May 29, 2009

Collection of random cuffs

Trying to add a little pizzazz to the blog and not happy with the picture sizes I'm getting from flickr. Oh, well, when I know what I'm doing, I'll be really dangerous.

Hardly got anything accomplished in class last night. As the evening wore on, I realized I was coming down with a cold. Well, that explained the complete lack of ambition.

I did read through some books and things on enameling and have a little better clue on what I want to do. I need to order a few more things--some kiln wash, some liquid enamel, etc., before I get down to business.

Pat asked me what I would need to do the plating. As I've thought about it today, really, for my beginning experiments, I might as well get the large boro beaker with lid that is available everywhere. The first little bowls and things I do should easily fit inside something like that. Then I wouldn't really need to worry about such things as 'throwing power.'

Got to know Janis a bit last night and she's all right. She teaches at Lake City Community College and she's crazy. I told her about coming in extra, like weekends, and she's interested. So who knows, I might have another partner in crime.

I mentioned, mostly to Karen and Sandi, how frustrating it is searching through blogs to find anyone interested in any kind of serious metalsmithing. I said something to the effect that finding that the person has an etsy 'store' is the kiss of death. Olivia's friend (the one with the tats and piercings) said, defensively, "I love etsy." The guy that's in class seemed a little shocked that I'd say anything negative about it. I said that I'd seen some really good stuff on it but that most was nothing special--bracelets assembled from pre-fab beads, pre-fab chain, pre-fab charms. Read More!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We need to boost enrollment

The powers that be have told Pat that we will need to boost enrollment in the jewelry classes to the max. Federal funds have been cut, so the only way SFC will allow the classes to continue is if they fill all the seats every term. Pat and I are planning a brainstorming session.

I have threatened in the past to take over the display window for ad hoc, guerrilla shows when class is in session. Maybe that would be one little way to increase our visibility, especially if we could get a few large pictures made to put up in the display as well as pieces of actual jewelry. And how about that window right next to Jayne's office? It's had the same three pieces in it for months and months. Why not some jewelry instead? Or in the window at the other end of the art building? Are there other display windows/spaces we could use on campus? Or places we could get our pieces in around town? I will need to ponder and to keep my eyes open.

It's hard to get back into gear this term. I did get some work done yesterday. I have discovered that I am lousy at rivets. There must be some secret that I haven't figured out yet. I still have fourteen more rivets to make, I think, for this collar. And then I need to figure out how to attach the square wire to the ends of each copper piece. I suppose I will drill the copper and will probably need to taper the ends of the wire to get it into the copper.

I am very unhappy--no, that's too strong an emotion--I'm very blah with how the clasp pieces are turning out. I need to do something with them to give them some sizzle. I'm thinking of carving on them a little bit with files to give them some shape. Silly, really, when you consider that the clasp will be largely unseen. And the rivets are really lousy. I don't want to drill them out and start over.

It looks like the studio is open this Sunday. Sandi and I are meeting for breakfast and thought we'd try the studio if it's available. The temperature is unlikely to get to the mid-eighties.

Karen has begun working on the prototype of the bracelet for Aspen. It seems like she is intent on replicating the design from the magazine. I don't see what the point of that is. I don't think much of the design to begin with, but that's just a taste thing. But why go to all that effort to reproduce someone else's vision? I can understand doing it for Aspen, she wants to make the bracelet her daughter desires. But to make two of them? I wouldn't make the same thing twice if it were my own design, not without trying to improve it, or explore it further. I was joking with her--you can reticulate it! you can hammer it! you something, anything!

More pictures this weekend. I'm making a promise to myself to put the tripod in the car with the light tent, camera and the spare batteries and memory card. Read More!

Saturday, May 16, 2009 Read More!

Summer Term has begun

Class started Wednesday. Sandi, Karen and I sat together at the table closest to the patio door. We were all lackluster but that is sure to change.

The new bunch, the ones who showed up, seem to be a good crop. One woman, the oldest, teaches at Lake City (or something). She learned enough fabrication recently to begin teaching it. There's a young woman with long hair who seems a little ditzy (her reaction to what put on the Studio Monitor form was--I mean, oy, just because it says 8 a.m. to midnight, doesn't mean you have to live there, right?) But obviously enthused enough about jewelry to request a monitor form right off. Another woman turned out to be a friend of the long-gone Olivia. I had to bite my tongue, no, we don't all miss her. She's not a bad sort, but too, hmmm, needy I suppose is what comes to mind. Pay attention to me, I'm a wacky artist, look, look, I do crazy stuff. Olivia's friend has tats and piercings. God, I'm getting so tired of them. There's one guy so far in class. I have even less of a sense of him than the others. There are several others signed up who didn't show. And the girl who's working as class helper/studio clean up girl. So far, though, the group has a very low toddler quotient. I am so happy. Read More!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Field trips are fun

I told myself I wasn't going to do it. And I really meant it. This was only going to be a fact-finding trip and to pick up a few odds and ends. But I asked my questions about rectifiers and after I made it clear that, no, if the 10 amp only would work on say a bangle, then, no, a 10 amp really wouldn't do the job for me. Not at all. And lookee there the 25 amp only costs $10 more. All this and heaven too.

So I bought it.

And the Grobet booklet on plating which seems to be just about the only thing out there. (Maybe finding info on plating is like knowing the password to get into a speakeasy, once I know where to go and who to talk to, suddenly the doors will all open up.) I also picked up a steel anode and a fine silver one. Apparently I need to 'silver strike' first, using the steel anode and then switch to the fine silver anode to do my real plating.

I am so excited.

I also picked up the Fretz planishing double-faced planishing hammer with changeable heads. I realized that I needed that after buying the Fretz shell stake on the last field trip. It's the correct size to work with his mini stake and the changeable heads will not mar the surface of the stake. I'm one step closer to some serious anticlastic forming.

Class starts again on Wednesday. I'm so excited. I am sooooooooooooooooo excited. Class starts on Wednesday.

On the trip down I picked Pat's brain about various teachers with a mind toward's taking more classes. She highly recommends Newell, says that he pushes his students really hard but I won't mind that. It's just the stuff I've heard about some of his rather high-handed practices, taking stuff and ripping it up. Whoa, there, Sonny Jim, there's no call for that sort of behavior. She says that Robert Malinowski teaches painting. And that would be good, I very much like the man from the few days I was in his class (before I sprained my ankle and had to withdraw).

Did I mention that I'm excited. Read More!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It seemed like a good idea at the time

Why am I suddenly tongued tied? I always have a lot to say. I haven't a clue yet on how blogger works but I'm sure I'll puzzle it out in time. I tried to add a picture to my header and that doesn't seem to have worked. I'll try again. After all, that's what this blog is about, about my metalsmithing and drawing and whatever other creative pursuits I wind up following. Talking about them is all well and good but without some ability to share them, well, what's the point.

I wish there were more fonts available. Times is all well and good but I'd like something else. Who knows what I'll discover is possible after I've wandered through help a bunch more times. Read More!