May

May 13 2013

It's been a while since I last blogged.   The past month had evolved a lot of indepth thinking and soul-searching.  I substained a head injury, requiring 5 staples, so I've had a lot on my mind.  Fortunately, I'm ok, but it did make me reevalute my life in general.    I find I don't want to keep going the way my life is, and is looking for some changes.   I generally enjoy teaching, but having taught non-stop without a break for the last few years, I'm in serious need of time out, but at this rate, it probably won't happen for another year.   I want to do more designing and working on new work, but the teaching schedule makes it hard for me to work daily.

I did a baby spoon for a client last month.  She asked me to make a silver spoon with the baby's name on it, and a truck motif.   I had to really think about this, and do some truck images research.  After finding a picture of a model truck, circ1942, I knew I had the right image.  I reproduced the truck image out of a piece of silver sheet, did some chasing and stamping, plus stamping the baby's name onto the truck.  I also made a "smoky" exhaust cloud with the baby's last name on it.   On the back of spoon had the baby's birthdate, birth weight and height.   Truly an one of a kind spoon for the lucky baby.  I've never done this kind of detailed work on spoons before so my client and I are delighted with the results.

I was able to teach my first gas welding workshop at Brookfield Craft Center last month, so it was nice to show jewelry students how to weld steel using the Little Torch.  Gas welding is liberating in a way for jewelers, for you can stick mild steel together, and fuse the edges together.  Traditional jewelrymaking soldering requires lots of filing, fitting edges together, using various melting solder points, so forth, so gas welding is freeing in a way.   I love jewelry soldering ( technically "brazing") but it does require a lot of filing, fitting joints together, soldering, pickling, soldering, pickling, so forth...............   

Right after I taught at Brookfield, went to Snow Farm for my weeklong Jewelry and Metalsmithing workshop.  As usual, I had a full class and a TA, which was an emournous help.  I was hoping the magnolia tree at Snow Farm would be in full blossom, and it was.   There's something about that tree I just love, and apparently, a lot of people at Snow Farm enjoy the tree.  Marta B., a glass artist, was reproducing the magnolia blossoms in glass, so she made this white flower blossom for some competition.  I wish her luck and that her flower makes it.   

I did the RISD Spring Alumni Sale, and May is either freezing cold/rainy, or very hot, in the 80s's.. This time, it was cold in the morning and warmer but still a little nippy in the afternoon.  Sun all day, so thanksfully no rain.   One thing I noticed, the clothing and hairdos were a bit subdued.   I am used to wild hairdos and crazy outfits thanks to my RISD years, but this time, I only saw a few wild colors and no crazy 'dos.  Guess the crappy economy had an affect with the hairdos or RISD just wore out their students.   RISD is considered the MIT of art schools, and I can tell you, by the end of my junior year, I was so exhausted, I was seriously considering taking a semester off to recuperate, but I didn't.  RISD has a punishing pace, so you are tough, but exhausted by the time  you graduated.   Hey, I survived!  Went to grad school right after I graduated from RISD, but grad school was wonderful and relaxed compared to RISD.

That brings up another odd topic.   I happened to be teaching in Waltham during the Boston Marathon and the bombing that occurred.  I was teaching in Lexington the day before Boston and surrounding towns were in lockdown on Friday, April19th.  I didn't realized Watertown was next to Waltham, for some reason, I thought Watertown was more east toward Boston.  A lot of my students were affected, and couldn't leave their homes during the lockdown.  I've never seen anything like this so it was surreal.  One of my students was a former art teacher and 2 of her former students lost limbs in the bombing.    I felt bad for my craftsmen friends, which a number of them were doing CraftBoston, and they all lost a day of sales during the lockdown.   I was glad I didn't participate in the fair this year, just because of the timing.  I also never got to visit CraftBoston either, and I usually go every year.  I had to teach every single dayfor a week.   I knew Boston was tough and scrappy, but boy, Boston really showed it's spirit this time.  Boston is a such a great city, and such a strong one.   Having gone to school in Boston, having spent so much time there as a young kid, Boston is dear to my heart.

What was difficult for me regarding the Boston Marathon bombing is that one of the bombers was a student at University of Mass at Dartmouth.  That alone left me stunned in disbelief.  I loved UMassDartmouth, I had a great time there as a grad school and it restored my faith in the college years that RISD didn't.  It bothered me that the bomber went to my school, so that is something I have to find peace somehow.  If you are looking for a good metals, ceramics, textiles or wood program, the Program in Artistry is a really strong program to enroll in.  I wanted that program so I'm glad I had the chance to participate and be a proud grad of Program in Artistry at UMD.



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