I hadn't worked in my studio late at night for quite some time but to help with sleeping habits at home I decided to head there after work tonight. The gallery had their first opening of 2015 and I could see the stray wine glasses as proof of a good time. It's a beautiful exhibit that will be on display until the end of February.
For the last couple of days I have been trying in vain to cast some silver pieces. I was fooled by how easily the first one worked (remember the ring pictured to the left?) and it has been a complete failure every time thereafter!
I got to work on some things non-casting projects that I could pretty much count on being successful and as I was cleaning up the studio around 2am I decided to try some very basic casting. Just melt the silver and turn it into ingots.
This involves setting up your ingot mold, melting down the sterling and pouring it quickly into the mold so that it doesn't set up in a blob right on top of the mold like a nasty mushroom. That's what happened the first pour tonight. Back into the crucible and melt it again. This time I had a successful pour and I have two lovely ingots.
This put me leaving the studio a little after 2:30 and when I walked outside it was a beautiful snowy night. I dusted off my covered bike and headed home. I've never rode my bicycle in the snow before and other than the snow pelting me in my eyes it was really quite magical at 3 in the morning. As I was writing this I heard a bit of a thump outside - a branch just fell on said bike. I'm hoping that the car next to it took some of the brunt of the weight, I guess I'll find that out in the morning.
I've decide that January is my absolute favorite time of the year. Not because it's cold, not because there is so little sun but because it gives us a chance to try it again. We get to look back over the past year and think about what worked and what didn't. What we want to spend more energy on and what we want to avoid at all cost.
This past holiday season was extremely busy for me in my jewelry world. It was a chance to end out a very fruitful year on a high note. I created some wonderful business relationships with clients that I feel like are now collectors of my work. They seek me out, check out my new postings on social media and also offer up ideas of their own that they want me to create. What an amazing feeling and how grateful I am to have had a year like that.
January comes and it's time to put down the tools, add up a bunch of numbers, weigh all my metals, count all my jump rings and get ready for tax time. That's a side of my brain that I enjoy working with and can spend HOURS creating just the perfect spread sheet. Just ask my friends and they will tell you - I'm a little crazy that way. So I was a bit surprised when a few days ago I just started feeling blue. I thought maybe I was getting sick - I've been very fortunate in that regard and it could be time. Maybe I was a little disgruntled with my "day job" but I'm also extremely fortunate in that regard so chances are that's not it. Maybe it was the new yoga classes that I've started. Even though the classes are doing what I need them to do it also points out the problem areas that I need to really work on in order to face my aging body head on. Search as I might, I just couldn't put my finger on the cause - and quite honestly - it's just not 'like me'.
This morning I got up and made it to my 9:15 yoga class, told the teacher about my painful back and had a really wonderful practice. Rode my bike back to my studio and decided that I was going to take a break and enjoy the sun. I made a nice cup of coffee and packed a snack and rode down to the boardwalk here in Long Island City. It was lovely but I came back to my studio with the same little cloud floating softly above my head.
Of #$&* it! Just do something. I looked at my order board and just picked out an order that I needed to get started on. It was a client designed pendant with an abstract cat theme. About 20 minutes in I looked up and noticed that the cloud was a little less heavy. Finished that project and banged on a cuff for another 20 minutes - "oh my that turned out nicely". Put that down and decided to cut the rock for a ring that I'm doing for another client. "Wow, look how beautiful the natural striping is on this stone" About an hour later I have the stone set perfectly in the ring and it is now drying.
As I break for a cup of coffee I am reminded of a conversation I recently had with my best friend Michael. He asked me if I was worried that my friends were putting to much pressure on me to make a go of it in this world of my jewelry. I had actually thought about that a few times over the past few months and I assured him that if I wanted to walk away from it I felt like I could. I'm always a learner and am thrilled to learn new skills and then move on to something else.
But today might have shown me something that I didn't know about myself. I NEED to create. It soothes my soul in a way that nothing else does. I had spent the last two weeks working with numbers and using another part of my brain and my heart. Art is my mediation and mediation is a journey that has it's own path. I am thankful this day that I have access to such a wonderful space in my soul, in my heart and in my life.
Happy day ~
I started my journey into jewelry making in 2005 while I was working in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, an area inundated with amazing artisans. I started with glass, which led to silver, which led to inlay, which led to joy.