Tool boxes and other stuff

Oct 19 2013

I didn't have much to say for the past month and half, so that's why I didn't blog at all in Sept.   I made some decisions for I was so overwhelmed, I could not make anything or work in my studio for over a month.   I seem to be trapped in never-never land and a zombie a good part of the time.  Couldn't make anything or do it right the first time.     I finally dropped a class in MA that was a thorn in my side - I simply had nothing left to teach to the same students, over and over, semester after semester.   The summer morning class was the most irritating class I ever experienced and I was in a terminal state of crankiness all summer.   I find I can no longer be an effective teacher and have run out of options to try to help students, esp. the difficult ones that no matter how much I try, no matter how many ways I try, I simply can't get the students to grasp certain concepts or relax, or get more comfortable with soldering.    I'm at the point where I feel I'm not an effective teacher to these particular students, and it's time to walk away.  I do care too much, and that's my downfall.  As a fellow teacher and glass artist says, I have to stop caring so much, stop taking everything personally.  I'm trying, but I may never get the thick skin required. 

As  you can see, 2013 has been a challenging year, and I'm in a dark place, mentally.  Need to find my way back to the light, somehow.......................

I do so much volunteering for the League of NH Craftsmen, it was draining me, so I had to drop one of the committees, so that I can focus on my work and business, not on the League and teaching.  I am on Standards committee, Education Committe, Board of Trustees, metals juror and also metals consultant for the new jewelry studio at the League.  Something gotta give.  I can't seem to  work in my studio anymore and spend my time pushing stuff around, organizing, organizing, so forth.  Things that normally are easy for me has been extraordinary difficult and I keep having to fix them, over and over.  Not a good sign.      

On the good news, I finally got a chance to sign up for a workshop at the North Country Studio Workshops, in VT, which will be in January, 2014.  It'll give me a chance to observe John Cogswell, a highly respected teacher and jeweler in action for I've been told he's an amazing teacher.   5 days, 5 clasps is the workshop.  Rachel Morris, who used to run the Brookfield Craft Center metals studio and I will be classmates, so it'll be fun to be back together.  Another good news is that Brookfield Craft Center is reopening so that's great.  Seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel.   The government shutdown had me worried and still gives me grave concerns for the future.   The GOP really loathes President Obama, and the lengths they go to discrediting the White House is unexcusable.   I can see that people are not buying, being very cautious, so is there hope for the future?   Right now, it looks pretty bleak.  I tend to look at the glass as half empty, so yes, I tend to see the worst in many things.  Not a great character reference, but I seem to be born that way.  

Got accepted into CraftBoston for 2014, a high-ended craft show that is in April and Dec.  Have to decide which one I will do.   I never did well at the April shows which I've done twice in the past so I may just do the Holiday show, which will be at the Hydes Convention Center.   I know that center well and lost my muffler on my car the last time I did a show there thanks to the truck lift.   Not the easiest load-in.   There's always an adventure in doing shows and convention centers loading docks can be hard on vehicles.  The RI convention Center loading dock ramp takes the grand prize - my bumper suffered as a result.   I honestly don't know how truckers manage that ramp - maybe I should find one and ask.  You have to make a 360 turn to get onto the ramp, uphill if you are turning left.   I'm certainly watching out in Dec when I do the Dec RISD Holiday sale.   The Georgia Dome in Atlanta was a nightmare I never wanted to repeat when I was loading out.   At least I know and can avoid.

 Trying to get enough stock for the Philly Museum of Art Craft show in a few weeks from now, which I was shocked to get in again this year, after doing it last year.   I'll have a lot of friends at this show, so that's good.   Last but not least, sort of submitted at the last moment, my Intermezzo purse was chosen as a finalist for the Niche Magazine Awards.  I hope my purse makes it to the awards, but just being a finalist, first time, is great.  

On the last subject, I'm afraid I have to retire an old friend.  My red toolbox, a familiar sight at every school I teach at, is proving to be inadequate to all the tools I need packed in.  That red toolbox was bought in Providence in the fall of '86 and had faithfully served me for 27 years.   Still functional and tough, but just a bit too small for all the tools I seem to require for classes.   I found a new one at Walmart, but already, it has a malfunction, so I may have to return it for an exchange.   My other bag, the black bag is bursting at the seams, as you can see from the middle picture, so I found this big tool bag at Harbor Freight, that is on wheels.  All of the supplies fit in, so far, so good.   What I would like is an tool box that had at least 3 drawers but they either are the metal shop cabinets, or fishing tackle boxes.   Guess I have to turn to Ebay to find what I want.   I love my trusty old red tool box, but it's challenging to find all the tools at once.   I need more compartmentization in the drawers that I don't have in my trusty box.  

Hopefully I will have a nice blog in mid-November.   Spike the hedgehog and Bosco the dog are doing great, and Robert, my parakeet is over 10 years old and still going strong. 



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