Thursday, February 24, 2011

I have been mentioning lately my lack of TIME. This is my classroom.....I drive to Kalispell 4 days a week, I am in 4 classes. There's so much to learn about metal, it's one of those materials with unending possibilities, It is such a deep water to tread.....the trick is to stay afloat! I am surrounded here by challenge and more challenge. All the courses I am enrolled in this semester are upper-level, and are VERY technical-based. I take Repair in the morning, where I rip apart perfectly good rings, set them afire, and then fix them back to pre-fire status. I am in Casting class in the afternoon, along with a rendering/jewelry design course (lots of drawing). And then, there's stone-setting....evenings every other day. Ugh.

I am not complaining. These courses are soooo valuable, so interesting, and are going to make me a better metalsmith. I mean, a perfect polish really has to be perfect, not KINDA-perfect.... and soldering is a skill you get better at only with practice. And actually, considering the courses, all the challenge involved is actually INVIGORATING. It's really a great feeling to come home from 8 hours of jewelry school, and still WANT to sit at my desk and do fun stuff, with stones I love, with metal.

I have putzed around the art department since I was in High School, I was the girl who ate lunch in the art room instead of the cafeteria. And I have putzed around Academia, all over the place, for long enough to probably have earned a doctorate... (makes me kinda sick thinking about impending doom student loan repayment......ick.) I once wanted to be a teacher, and then found I had very little patience for it, for the structure and politics involved.... I wanted to be a million things, and was in five million directions....I spent a lot of money in college learning how to BE ME. Art was always my "thing" but I never believed in the passion behind WHY it was my thing.....I didn't know where to put all those creative juices. And I eventually became very bitter in Academia. I bopped in and out of school because I think I never knew why I was there.....

What I am finding a renewed respect for in school is this.......College is really a great place to feed your creative fire, not necessarily build it into a huge bonfire.......It is a place where you can take what you learn, filter out the stuff you don't like, and keep near and dear to your heart what you DO love. There are a lot of students, all with different flair, different design aesthetic, different motive (that one is my favorite, it's one of my great pleasures to attend community college to find community) I love all the little old ladies who "just want a new hobby", the single moms who are desperately looking for a career in a fulfilling path, the young freshman who are "taking this for my art requirement", and the know-it-all twentysomethings (I fall under that category I think, only hopefully a little more humble and appreciative *wink*)
I love this program, it is all technical-based, all skill-set and practice....LOTS of practice. Even the things that I don't think I would use, or the processes I would skip, it is really the EXPOSURE that is the best part. EXPOSURE to different ideas, materials, and people.

ready to solder.......some more

staring at a bench pin for most of the day......not the worst thing in the world.....

My view from 9:30 to 5:00..........
A little messy desk shot for you.....

So Until next time.....hopefully my brain doesn't explode.....and even if it did, there would be a whole lot of useful bits and blown pieces someone should collect and take notes from.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Studio in a day

Jesse is the most kick-ass boyfriend that ever existed. Here's some photos of things happening in the last 24 hours......

my man.....he is awesome.

front door to a soon-to-be-home for rag and stone!!!!

Reality has hit today.

After Jesse got home from a winter ski trip, he was into the idea of building a space, a portable,movable, draggable, towable studio built for my metalwork....and now it EXISTS!!!! Here's some shots of things happening.......I am still kind of in shock. I am now the proud owner of a 10x12 shed-type building all for ME!

I cant even express how thankful i am for Jesse in my life. I love that man. This is the coolest thing ANYONE has EVER done for me. I could go on and on about how special this is, how much it means to me, such an amazingly cool thing happening here.

A bit of background info: Jesse and I tend to move our lives around....a lot. We move every year, pack up all our stuff, throw it in storage, and take a trip (no rent paid means travel money!). Sometimes we just get bored with the place we are renting, and move to a different home, in an attempt to keep things fresh and fun. Moving is a great way to purge all the crap collected in the year, all the junk you have no idea why you still have, usually ends up in a few dump-runs to the salvation army, or a garage sale. Lately, it's become more than just every year, and we will soon have to move again in April. This all being said, I HATE MOVING. mostly its a drag, because of the studio. Having everything in my studio all packed up and put away is just about the most depressing thing I can think of. The first time I had to pack it up, I cried. Watching your space, your meditation spot, your hobby and passion all but dissappear is heartwrenching. Plus, it's just a bitch to move it all.....Oxygen and propane tanks have to be dis-assembled, things unplugged and packaged up safely, chemicals all put away, tools and anvils have to be hauled. It sucks. A lot.

I could care less about where we move, or even where we sleep (I've got a great tent, and we have the camper, not a huge worry) all that can be improvised.

But the STUDIO.....noooooooo. Not cool.

Solution: Build a studio, moveable by trailer, on skids, that can go on Jesse's dad's property (hiding in the woods and out of the way) and when we figure out what we are doing with our lives (hahahahah!) we can slide it onto some property of our own someday.

I have never felt so lucky. This is so cool. SOOOOO COOOOOOL.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kacy's booty droppin' wedding cocktail ring!

Jesse and I were at a good friend's wedding in January....(crappy picture, sorry, but you can see the glass thingies i am talking about, and there was more all strewn about some of the tables...)

It is so fun to see weddings, how people put them together, how sentimental the ceremony is (long and drawn out, short and sweet, long and boring, theatrical?) But mostly, the thing I love about weddings is, and i don't mean to sound like a wedding snob....but I love the FLAVOR.

I love the little accents, the fun funky and creative things people do, things guests remember about the night, the color, the smell, the FLAVOR of the relationship (gooey lovebirds?, smart and respectable?, kind and happy?, proud and flaunty?), and usually a good account of the bride's taste. It sounds so judgemental, and maybe a little shallow, but I love when weddings SHOW you who the couple is. gall, that sounds shitty. But i mean it in a good way!

That being said, this wedding was a BLAST! Fun, loud, laugh-y, light. The ceremony was light, sentimental, and sweet. Kacy, the bride, bust into laughs a few times during the "serious" parts of the ceremony and the toasts, and the whole evening was just fun.
So this ring really wasn't much of a stretch. There were these chunky glass pieces as centerpiece accents on the tables, along with candles and flowers....really a beautiful combo, the green blue glass and the candlelight. So I snagged one.....not stealing.....right???(although i did get the eyebrow-up-i-cant-believe-you-just-pocketed-a-glass-stone-off-the-wedding-table look from jesse)

Those stones screamed "MAKE ME INTO A BIG FATTY COCKTAIL RING!" I couldn't resist. How cool would it be, as a bride, to get a big ol' ring to wear alongside a wedding ring on nights out, something that says "I AM A BLAST TO BE AROUND AND ARENT YOU JEALOUS??!!

Hence, Kacy's audacious,booty-droppin, laughing all night long, sweetly strong, loving life wedding cocktail ring.

I think she is gonna love it.....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


SO I have been collecting a short list of blogs i love to look at, people I wish I knew in person and could have coffee with on a weekly basis.....

One of these women is ROSY REVOLVER. She writes a hilarious and sometimes very raw blog about the lovelies and not-so lovelies about being herself. She makes gorgeous and raw jewelry also.....
So I stumbled upon her latest post.....

Check it out! YOu will be very entertained, and remember to vote for your favorite gnome name....

I am not saying you HAVE to vote for my name, but I think its the one!
Raphanus Sativus, Raph for short. It's the scientific name for a garden radish.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So the goal was clean and productive.....

Only took me a few hours....I SWEAR......but this is the cleanest I think this space has EVER BEEN! I found this gorgeous desk yesterday underneath all the clutter and mess of jewelry making (Jesse built this beautiful desk with inlaid copper and a butcher block top last year for me, with a sweeps drawer and everything)......I tend to explode when I create, whether it's the desk, the kitchen table, the work-bench...It's definitely an explosion, the desk tends to my new goal is to work in a semi-organized space. See how long that lasts...keep you posted.

I was also surprised to find this at my desk last night, a valentines gift......

If you look a little closer, not just at the fleur, but that pretty little rose is sitting on top of a NEW SHELF TO HOLD ALL MY TOOLS! Beautifully constructed! I have this super fancy drawer to get all my junk and sandpaper and tools and chemicals out of my sweeps drawer, so that I am not dusting it all with bitty sterling and bits of metal everywhere!!!! Best Valentine's day gift EVER. Screw the chocolate and the love notes, this is waaaaaaay better.

Gotta love a man who makes you furniture.

and leaves you a fleur.

I adore him. And not just because of the aforementioned : )

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Holy Mess!

Here's a very un-flattering photo of what i think might be my workspace.....there's so much stuff all over the place! I've got to go get that space all whipped into shape today, woke up this morning with a few new fresh etsy orders (YAY!) and a few things to finish up for friends. Nothing worse than trying to find a file or stone among 50 other things you aren't using and don't need. So the goal is CLEAN and ORGANIZED.....and Productive!

Also thought I would explain my not-so-frequent postings lately. I have taken on SCHOOL in Kalispell at the community college, full time! Everything I know about metal is to the credit of a program there, an AAS in Goldsmithery. That's the end goal, and really all i have left are a few classes this semester and the fall, then I am DOOOONE. So all this bloggy time, between school, homework, full time job, and trying to squeeze in some skiing, has shrunk significantly. BUT i do say this, I LOVE SCHOOL. I lOVE the classes, the professors, the exposure to new technique and new approaches. I am in Casting class, which has broadened my exposure to 3-d stuff....molten metal is VERY COOL. I am also in an advanced bench skills class, where the emphasis is on perfection. If it's cattywhompous, soldered sloppy, made with the smallest measurement off, then it's wrong. It is a very difficult concept, because there is so much about metal that is spontaneous and sloppy and fun. So I guess I am being exposed to the other side of it, where diamonds and gold have GOT TO BE PERFECT. Geeeesh, pressure's on.

Anywho, back to my disastrous desk and my pot of Mat'e, maybe a little breakfast and some Mumford & Sons ( I just bought their cd this week and haven't stopped listening to it....absolutely AWESOME energy, lyrics....if you haven't heard the whole record "Sigh no More" do yourself a favor and DO! I think I might have to build a piece of jewelry around a few of their songs, especially "Roll away your Stone" & "Thistle and Weeds" that, for whatever reason, really speaks to me lately....)