Hot, hot, hot - just too hot these days.

Jul 16 2013

It's been too damn hot these days.  I think this July is the hottest we've had for years, and it's been hot for the entire month, which is unusual.  Even I had to give up walking most nights, for the air was just too hot and humid.  Not fun to be outside.  Only the early mornings and late nights are bearable.  Thank god for A/C! Even poor Bosco finds this weather a tad too hot for him, and he's a Southern boy dog, seeking warmth ( fun to watch him follow the sun over the course of the day, seeking the sunbeams).  I think only Spike with an Attitude ( hedgehog) likes this weather.  I had to turn off his heating pad a few weeks ago for hedgehogs require warmth all the time ( 72 to 80 degrees preferable)

I'm in panic mode right now, for all the CraftWear and Living with Crafts exhibit pieces are due next week, and I'm only about 3/4 done.  It's the last stages that take forever to finish, all the redoing, thinking of scale,s size and how it will come together. Many late nights as well.    I was going to make a triple mohawk hedgehog pendant, but so far, the rib structure is not cooperating for the pendant,  I may have to go to Plan B, which is a silver almond-shaped pendant with actual hedgehog quills ( thoughtfully shedded by my hedgehog herd).   We'll see.  I'm wrapping up making 2 black wire knitted "biker's vests" for CraftWear, complete with gauntlets and hat, several bowls, and a set of ladles from very small to very large.  On top of that, wrapping up custom orders for various clients, which all needed to be done this month.  I'm down to my last two, which is good, cuz I'm losing my mind.  On top of that, teaching a weeklong jewelrymaking intensive right now and a double workshop in Hanover this weekend.  Just knock me out, ok?

I have been making progress in setting many of the pot melt glass I liberated from the scrap bin at Snow Farm ( with the teacher's permission, of course!), and here is two of them.  I love the Green Stripes pendant, and probably will keep it for a while, while Night Sky reminds me of a black landscape, with the night sky still slightly light from the afterglow, but the starts are twinkling.  As for the time of day, I prefer twilight for it is the best time of the day, or early dawn, if I'm ever up that early which is not often.

I got into a delightful conversation regarding bench pins on Facebook, where there is a Metalsmith 2.0 forum.   I posted my battered benchpin so that we metalsmiths can all enjoy.  Only a jeweler or metalsmith can truly appreciate a customized bench pin.  Such a small thing, that thin piece of wood with a V slot, yet, half of jewelry fabrication cannot be done without using a bench pin.  Sawing metal, filing, trimming, cleaning off solder and ragged edges, so forth.   For those of you fellow metalsmiths who know what I'm talking about, this is my bench pin I'm currently using.  It's getting close to being retired, having been in faithful service for over 2 years.  I'm trying to break in a new benchpin, but it's a long process with growing pains.  Breaking in a new benchpin is not easy on the soul and hands. It has to be customized, filed, tweaked to just right.   I know, you think I've lost my mind?   Too bad, it's a little thing that I'm so dependent on.  I can truly say I'm co-dependent on my bench pin.  I know I wax poetic but again, it's the little things you appreciate the most.

That bin under the pin is my silver reclaimation - anytime I cut, file or trim silver, it all falls into that bench under my desk.  I frequently sort out my silver scrap, melt down the clean scrap to be made into new wire and filings goes into a dirty scrap bin that will go to a refiner.  Fortunately, I've pretty good at reclaiming much of my silver and I get my wire stock to use.    We metalsmiths are very good about saving our precious metals scrap.   The price of silver finally came down and has been under $20 per oz for 2 weeks.  Really warms my heart.  I joke the precious metals market is my stock market.  My metal friends understand completely.

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