It's finally Spring!

Mar 24 2012

This past week has been quite a week.  It was still technically winter, and yet temps were up in the 70's and stayed that way till today ( Friday the 23rd).   It even got up into the 80's for 2 days.  I actually got sunburned and forgetten about the joys and pains of dealing with sunburns - it's been that long!   Here in New England, we have a joke - winter and construction.  Our summers are so short, and winters so long, we are starved for sun and greenery by March.

The winter semester, with 7 classes per week, plus weekend workshops really took too much out of me, so I've got to be more careful not to overschedule myself. I was seriously exhausted and dealing with a case of teaching burn-out.     I couldn't work in my studio for quite a while and was having torch withdrawal issues.  The other day, I said I needed a vacation from stone setting and my whole class exploded in laughter.   That was just after I did a flush-set stone setting demo.     I do standup comedy as part of my teaching.     Yes, it's easy to miss being able to just work at my bench, and make stuff.  All I could do was just do my best to do the custom jobs for clients.    I'm all done now with winter classes and the spring classes start next week.

I had to make a double candleholder for a client, and this is the second commission from her.   She had Victorian glass doorknobs from her old house, that was torn down.  The first set of doorknobs, I made them into individual candle holders for her daughter.  This second set of doorknobs, was for her son in NYC.    I was watching Hugo, a great movie the same day I was making these candleholders, and all the visual imagery ( clock gears, old train station, robotic man, etc) had an impact on the swooping curves of the wires making up the candleholders.    I ended up making another set, minus the doorknobs, as a mockup for Living with Crafts exhibit, for August.   I never know what kind of commissions I will get and some of them are quite interesting.  I'm game for most challenges!

Two weeks ago, I had to go to Brookfield Craft Center in CT to teach stonesetting, so with a friend, did a side trip to NYC to see the MJSA convention which I've never gone to the NYC version.   While I was at the convention, there were stone dealers, and I kicked myself for not buying a wonderful, magical pair of sapphire cabs.     Today, when I was at the Int'l Jewelry and Gem show in Marlborough, MA, lo and behold, the same stone dealer was there, and the sapphires were still there!  The stone dealer recognized me as well.    I was so happy to find them.  Of course, it costed me double, but here's the sapphire cabs.   For most people, they seem so ugly, or included, really rough and not what a sapphire should look like but to me, you can see the multiple colors in the crystalized structure.   I'm keeping them for I was so kicking myself for not getting them in NYC, but I have them now.   The camera can't really give full justice to the sapphires.    I've always liked the weird stones.  The pretty ones are for the majority of customers who like color and bling while the weird stones are for me.

Right after the gem show, I went to CraftBoston to do my volunteer duty with Metalwerx, who had a booth there.   It was so nice to see my crafts friends and see new work.   There's a lot of stunning crafts and handcrafted art to be seen, bought and admired.    Well worth a visit.   Of course, half of my friends are asking, where's my booth?    Alas, I didn't have a booth, but it was nice not to worry about having one.   There was a guy who did incredible work with a sawblade, using tiny rivets in titamuim, and I was trying to keep from drooling.   I admire really technical metalwork that is different.   Of course, I check out all the jewelry and metalwork that is to be seen.   I'm so glad I'm a metalsmith, for I know what goes into making a fine piece of jewelry or metal object.    Give me a torch and a planishing hammer, and I'm content.


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