Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Finally Home

My second week at William Holland was a week I won't forget anytime soon.
Mr. Allen Jewell (Yes, that really is his name. When I lived in Las Vegas I had a pottery instructor who's name is Potter...) was kind enough to allow me the pleasure of sitting in his Silver One class.
When it comes to this craft I still have so much to learn. Some Silver One teachers only want beginners in their classes and I understand this so I promised Allen I would do all of his projects and stay with the rest of the class. Well, we all flew through the six projects he laid out for us! By Tuesday night we were all asking "what's next?" and were hungry for more. Although the majority of the student were indeed beginners, we all kept Allen moving on coming up with new projects! (He has this great binder of projects and material kits that go right along with them, I am envious of his organization!)
One evening Allen invited me back to the classroom after dinner to work on another project, I chose what I thought would be the most complicated of his projects...I think I was right, his square ring;

I love the lines of this ring!

It was fun working along side Allen and playing with all of his tools.
(He introduced me to a steel jig that I MUST get.) This jig was really the only way to get this ring square. Allen made the exact same ring and they both came out great! Our other projects were simple but were techniques that I had yet to learn:

Allen's Split Shank Ring.

Twisted Wire Bracelet
(and a ring from leftover's!)

Spiral Earrings

As we moved through the week Allen challenged us all in our own ways, for me it was setting faceted stones and making my own prong settings:

All of the rings and prongs were made from wire and soldered for a total of 11 solder joints!
I now have a small pile of nails on my solder bench!

I have since completed my Captured Ocean piece. 

Spending the additional week up at school was invaluable and I thank Jeff from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity, it was a long week of driving for him. 

Last week I got the news that I have been accepted to the Sandy Springs Art Festival near Atlanta in the middle of September so all my current efforts are to get as much as I can get done for that show. Then the season picks up for all of us on the circuit.

Keep an eye open, I will be posting  long awaited shop updates with new pieces!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not just another day!

I would like to ask any one of you that are "makers of things" to watch this.

As Ira says I wish someone would have told me this sooner. I think we all have this feeling but are not aware of what it really is. This is what drives us to continue seeking, it causes some to quit and many to have doubt, unnecessary or otherwise. I found this clip very inspirational this week and have watched it over and over.

Many things are changing in my life, causing me to question my direction and goals and more importantly some of my past decisions. I am finding I do not wish to live in the past nor do I wish to go back. None of these things are bad, as a matter of fact the more I question the more confident I am becoming of my new goals. I am being pushed and that is always good for me.

As in my classes these past two weeks, I am learning much about myself and about my craft. Forcing myself to lean into places I have never been, turning corners I would have never found before..and enjoying myself and results.

The finished product is something I am proud of, in my work and the artist I am becoming. 

My pieces last week are a result of letting myself create.
The instructor, students, school, surroundings and my husband are all so supportive and inspiring.

William Holland is such a cradle of growth.
It will be where I mentally come when I need a retreat and feel the need for support in my work.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Week One

For those of you that are new to my blog, Jeff and I spend at least one week a year at William Holland Lapidary School in the beautiful mountains of northern Georgia. For the past two years Jeff has taken classes and joined in what he likes to call "Art's and Crafts Camp" for me, it's time to get to some serious learning. 

This year I was wait-listed for the most important class on the schedule, Reticulation, Granulation and Tube Setting. Three processes that I felt I really needed to learn. At the last minute I got a call that I made it in the class!
In reticulation you melt the top surface of the metal creating random effects, which can be brain-numbing to those not used to working "random", it takes some getting used to but the results can be stunning.

The fine silver on the surface waves, buckles and flows in beautiful patterns, then you need to figure out just what to do with it!

In the Granulation portion we made TINY granules...and I mean TINY. My classmate Susan sat next to me and really took off making these things, she really enjoyed this portion of the class and soon had 6 bottles of different size granules for one project.
This is a photo of Susan's second day of making granules. All reticulation put aside! 

This year Jeff took off from the "making" portion to have some water fun. Each day he loaded up the van and took off, leaving all of us to toil in the classrooms and each evening he came back with stories of a new adventure. 

 With the help of Chuck, the schools Maintenance Guru, Jeff had a new destination each morning and we had a new trail or park to walk through each evening after dinner. This is just one breathtaking view of Meeks Park in Blairsville.

As the projects moved along we were all more comfortable with the creative direction of our work. As the day went on we found the classroom became quite except for the sound of torches burning, hammers and drills. At the end of each day as our ideas began to gel our designs took exciting shape.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Lot's of things are changing 'round here but mostly it is my perspective on things.
From now on there will be a lot more of me "seeing" things differently.
My routine, if one could call it that, will be coming into focus, I'm not there yet but I'm working on it!

My mornings will shortly consist of a lot more of this...

These are all different views of my morning running path.  When it's not too hot and I can get away this is where I will choose to run. Otherwise you will see me running the streets of my community.

In the past months I have been focusing on me and things are coming full circle. When is the right time to become selfish? Well I seem to have waited until it was thrust upon me. Months ago my Dr. told me I should lose some weight. Although I was not overweight she was the one to look over the past 4 years and see a pattern. I am ever-so thankful for her words. (Truth be told, she was not tell me anything I did not already know!) So, I've reached my goal in that arena and am much better for it, (Although Weight Watchers is now telling me that I am "unhealthy" weight I do not feel like it!).

I said I would never start running again but I have, this time for myself. I run at my own pace, the path that I choose is my own and I am enjoying it more than I ever thought possible. I am healthier than I have been in years.

I am spending much more time in the studio, although, again, you would not be able to tell by my blog or the shop.  Here is a sneak peek at some of the pieces that are in The Studio just waiting to be finished:

These pieces probably won't make it to the Silver Lining Shop before I leave for another wonderful week at William Holland but once I get back things will really begin to roll.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and remember to take care of yourself!
It's never too late!