Sunday, February 27, 2011

I misplaced February

Over a month has passed seemingly unbeknownst to the blogger in me. I got busy with class and reading a slew of books and never had anything too intriguing to share. Hmmph. Such is life. Especially life in February, which for the past seven years that I’ve lived in Maryland has been one of my least favorite months. Sure, we are always guaranteed at least a snow day or two (or 8!) but the schedule gets complicated, the weather is bitter, and I’m generally just tired of winter by this point. This year is no different. We got some early hints of spring this year which was fantastic. Then the snow returned last week for one last blanket of white. But I believe it’s all over now. Temps are creeping toward 60 and there’s lots of rain in the forecast, a sure sign of spring I’d say.

Over the past five weeks, Caesar and I have had some really nice jumping sessions as well as some good rides on the flat. However, he’s lame at the moment; hopefully it’s just an abscess or bruise. Only time will tell. I sure hate when he’s off, but I am doing a good job of occupying my mind so as not to worry about him. I have my fingers crossed that he’ll be significantly better tomorrow morning.

My spiculum project for jewelry class is well under way. I submitted 7 samples of both spiculums and anticlastic forming last week; here’s a shot of three of them.

These are the prototypes for my beaks, which will be my final project (due in nine days!). Each beak will be made of a patterned sheet. Here’s the first (and hopefully most difficult) sheet.

I used a technique called marriage of metals whereby you “marry” metals by soldering them together. I have done a bit of this before, but this time around, I had many more challenges. The difficulties I encountered were largely due to the size of the piece and the fact that after I soldered a seam, I would have to paint it with a chemical to prevent that seam from flowing when I soldered a different seem. YIKES! The end result is quite nice; after 10 hours, it should be!

I also am teaching myself to do some simple (emphasis on simple) felting that will become part of the final project. Stay tuned!

Mike and I attended the American Craft Council winter show yesterday at the convention center. I have heard of the ACCs for a few years, but this was my first experience. It was, in a word, overwhelming; hundreds of vendors with wildly unique and often loud art for sale. I was astounded by the amount of bling—gold, diamonds, sapphires and other precious stones abounded. This made for some lovely window shopping, but the prices were jaw dropping at times. I was so impressed by the work of most of the artists, but I can’t fathom working with such expensive and delicate (other than the diamonds) materials. I wasn’t sure if I would walk out with any wares, but in typical craft show fashion, I splurged ;) I bought a ring made a Philadelphia artist Janine DeCresenzo. Her mechanical designs were beautiful and refreshingly creative. She sets stones and artifacts in small bezels to which she solders on small screws. The bezels can then be screwed into ring bands or pendants—neat! Here are some photos of the ring.

That’s all for now. Have a great first week of March (did I say that I love March!).

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