Thursday, August 28, 2008

Leave it be!

Here's some pictures of my studio.  Most everything is finished, but there are still a few things to do.  

Finally spent some major time at the studio yesterday and today.  Yesterday was a day to show my studio off to friends.  Becka came in the morning.  Haven't seen her for a long time so we blabbed for several hours.  Then went to lunch at the Howling Dog (a cute place) and blabbed some more.  In the afternoon my friend Carol, from Pittsburgh stopped by and we blabbed too.  Basically all I got done yesterday was blab.  But it was good!!

Today I was there until 7:00.  I was there all by myself as the building wasn't very busy today.  It is rather spooky in that big old building when no one is there.  I shut the door and focused on working.  But, Oil City is a pretty noisy place and the studio has old single pane windows. All the traffic, and there is lots, plus the sirens (and there are lots) filter right through.  Usually I play music and that is how most people find my studio.  They follow the music.  But today I just felt like silence.  I had some problems with some things I was working on and was getting frustrated.  Talking to myself helps, when that happens .  I talk to myself as if I were talking to one of my students.  But, I did get some earring components made.  Nothing major but some fun, quickie little pieces.

The reason I was having problems today is because I can't let it be.  I think that every step of the process has to be perfect.  So, I work on things too soon or too vigorously.  Many pieces can be perfected by sanding, once they are dry.  But, no..... I have to try to smooth them too soon or straighten the edges too soon.   I know that!  (Just like my husband knows that his drives in golf are better if he doesn't try to kill the ball.  But does he always take a nice smooth swing? You guess!)  

Case in point is a beautiful piece of beach glass (beach ceramic, really) that my husband found on the shores of Lake Erie.   I tried my first bezel made from lump metal clay.   (That process is a whole different story.)  To cut it short, when I put the piece in the bezel I tried to level it up using polymer clay (didn't know then about using saw dust).  It actually was pretty level, but it wasn't perfect.  So I took a hammer and lightly tapped on it.  First tap was fine.  Second tap was fine.  But of course the third tap did the trick and cracked it right in half.  I still wear it because the crack isn't all that noticeable and the piece has an antique look.   Will I ever learn to just leave it be?



Judy said...

Hi Alice, I am a friend of Cindi's, and am curious about how you make a Bezel. I was wondering if you have the ability to cut and bend old silver forks an spoons, as if you were going to make a ring or other type of jewelry with them. I am a felloe crafter, and really enjoyed seeing your jewelry, especialy the beach pendant.I have some odd pieces of ceramic, from old mugs and was interested in creating some jewelry pieces with them.Any suggestions you could offer would be appreciated. Judy

Alice Walkowski said...

Hi Judy,
Nice to hear from you. The ceramic shard pendant you were pointing out was made with metal clay, bezel and all. Creating the bezel for this piece was pretty time consuming. Metal clay is a fairly new medium and so fun to work with. I teach classes in metal clay if you ever want to take one. There is an Intro class this Saturday and one Nov. 1.

I've never cut and bent old silver forks and spoons but I have seen them. We have a traditional jeweler in our building. Maybe she would know something about that.

About your ceramic pieces. Maybe your best bet would be to wire wrap them. I do very little wire wrapping, only enough to connect my metal clay pieces. Check out some books or magazines on wire wrapping. That might help.

Sorry I wasn't much help to you. Alice