Monday, June 20, 2011

Blog-o-sphere Think Tank - Favorite Past Time Activity

For this month's installment... the topic is a favorite past time activity.


I'm not really sure I have any "past time activities"... it makes me think of things I used to do as a child for fun and maybe still do?

And pretty much the first thing that came to mind was holding my breath. Most kids do that don't they? Like in a swimming pool or bathtub - see how long they can hold their breath. And I still do. sometimes yes, in the bathtub. I'm sure if I had a pool I would test it out in the pool as well. But now, because of my yoga practice, I can hold my breath in a much more controlled and healthy manner. And still love it.

So I'm not really sure if that was a good answer for the topic, but it was the first thing that came to mind, so I figured it would be an entertaining post :)

Make sure to check out everyone else's favorite past time activities!

Andes Cruz
Kathleen Krucoff
Mary Spencer (WATTO)
Stephanie Clark
Shaun Young
Shannon Koochin
Brad Severtson
Wendy Kelly

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

EtsyMetal Book Club - Hyperion

Yet another new fun challenge from my buddies in EtsyMetal. Erin proposed a book club - and since I love reading, it sounded like a great idea to me! And to have an excuse to make a fun, non-commissioned piece sounded nice as well.

The first book we read was Lost by Gregory Maguire. It was... not so great in my opinion. I can't remember reading a book where the lead character was just so horrid. It wasn't very inspiring even though I did have a good idea for a piece. I think I resented the fact that anyone could think this was a great book and didn't want to actually make the piece. Either that, or I was just too busy and not really all THAT inspired... But I just wanted to mention it since it was technically the first one we ready. Moving on....

To the second book - Hyperion by Dan Simmons, was by far more inspiring, and well, a better read. Science fiction tends to be one of my favorite genres, so that helped. Simmons is also an excellent writer and I found very easy to read. It was a little rough at first. Many of the 'other worldly' aspects were given names, but not really described. To start with, it seemed a bit confusing, but very quickly I found myself just accepting these new words or objects and using my own imagination to create the mental landscapes. What better to create a jewelry piece than an author who encourages the reader to use their own imagination so strongly?

So I don't have time to write a full review or description of the book (you can look it up if you like) - the basic plot - there is a group of people going on a pilgrimage to see the Shrike at Hyperion - the planet that is home to the Time Tombs. The Shrike is a legendary "being". From Dan Simmons's description, my own imagination and discussion with the EtsyMetal gals - the idea for my piece was developed. The Shrike is a dangerous and vicious creature - maybe somewhat humanoid - or giant armadillo/sea urchin made out of metal. An entirely metallic being with armored plates and spikes and blades, but still organic in nature. It is mostly a character of legend, not making a direct appearance in the book. And I found it to be wonderfully inspiring - and created the Shrike Ring! Maybe a ring one of it's followers would wear... since I doubt it has anything resembling a finger or any need for a ring...

It was the first piece I have just made for fun that isn't a wedding ring in a really really long time. In fact, I can't really remember the last time I just made something. Yay!

And there are more photos on flickr as well.

Monday, June 6, 2011

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival - 6.6.11 - Etsy Metal Studio Tour

Yay! It's EtsyMetal Blog Carnival time! This month's topic is:
Etsy Metal Studio Tour

Show us where you work!
Describe what you love about your work space and/or any changes you would like to make in the future.

This past weekend, I got an iPhone! and I am SO excited. I love some of the photo apps, particularly the one I've been playing with the most - Hipstamatic. I mean, it just makes my studio look so interesting doesn't it?!

Today I was doing a quick casting (very short burnout) and decided for the blog post, I would document the process, in addition to some other general studio photos of my work stations. I meant to get a photo of the thermometer today... some other day... There is no air conditioning and by the afternoon most days, it's near 100. ouch. and with the kiln going, it doesn't make it any better. ah, well, I think it's better than huge blizzards in the winter.

Here's my photo journal for today!

investment about to be mixed

investment about to be mixed



more debubbbblingg

setting up

metal all weighed out!

flasks are ready (and normally, no, the door isn't wide open)

melting sterling

melting gold - sooo pretty! it's my favorite part!


cast and cooling


all cast and ready for clean up!

casting area and torches

soldering/fusing area

second workbench, mostly for engraving and mini drill press (hidden under the bag)

my main work bench - a total mess like most jewelers' I know!

So that was my studio! Hope you enjoyed the tour! Make sure to check out the other EtsyMetal members who are participating in this month's blog carnival!