The week that was… back to school and more.

Some weeks fly by.  Wait, I think most weeks fly by!  The list of things that need to be done seems to expand at a greater rate than time – maybe we should get some scientific minds on that problem!  This week I really only had two things on my mind: 1. get going on the first week of school, and 2. the Grimsby Show.

Before I went back to school though, I really wanted to accomplish one jewellery project which was creating and making a setting for an enamelled piece I did in the Enamelling course this past spring.  This really was the first time I used my new torch set up.  That was an experience in itself, since I had never used propane to solder before… boy is it hot!  Yes, I know gas and oxygen = fire.  But, in school we use natural gas (and O2), which just isn’t as hot.  It’s kind of funny thinking about the relative heat of a flame, isn’t it.  I guess flameworkers go through that too if they decide to move to hard glass (borosilicate) from soft glass (moretti).   Anyway, I digress.  I managed to finish the project by Monday (which was Labour Day), I just need to tweek it a bit until it is perfect but in the meantime here is a preview shot:

enamelled focal set in sterling silver
This is a modern cloissone piece on fine silver, set in sterling.

Then it was off to school.  My first day was all about bringing all of my hand tools to my school bench.  Boy, do I have a lot of tools now… and are they heavy!  Let’s just say a wheeled suitcase was involved!  It turned out we did not have a class that day (don’t ask), so I started in earnest on Wednesday.

Let me back up a bit.  This term I am taking: Projects C – this is our main course (worth the most, like a thesis course); Gemsetting 1, Production A, Jewellery Repairs 1.

So, back to Wednesday: my first class was Projects C.  Our first project is “Process Driven Design”, meaning we have to make a bunch of samples using processes that they have assigned to us to design a piece.  The processes are: foldforming, roller forging and anticlastic forming.  I will go into them in depth in other posts.  Luckily, for me, I took courses last year that used these processes, so at least I’m not starting from scratch.   We are on the research phase of this project, so no pictures yet!

Then I had Production A class.  This class is meant to introduce us to methods of making  jewellery in a limited run.  This doesn’t mean buying the pieces and putting it together (which lots of makers out there do), instead it means coming up with your own design which you can use for a variety of types of jewellery (eg. cufflinks, earrings, a pendant, etc.).  This is a way to broaden your market, so that the people who like your designs but can’t afford a one of a kind art piece can still own an interesting piece of jewellery.  Our first class was on etching!  This will be fun.  I will definitely have pics to show about as we progress!

Finally, on Thursday I had Jewellery Repairs 1 class.  Our teacher is a practicing jeweller, who has been working at a bench since he was sixteen (a product of European apprenticeship).  He knows a lot, and he’s funny to boot.  I also know from seeing him around the studio the past 2 years that he is a tough task master, so I expect to learn a lot.

Then I capped off the week with the Grimsby Festival of Art show.  It was an enjoyable show, which was made even better because it was mostly sunny the whole day.  I’ve been there when it has rained – that is not fun, believe me.  I guess it is always nice to have positive feedback on your creations.  It is also interesting to see what people are attracted to, it changes from show to show.  I was speaking with another artisan at the show and that was their comment as well – you never know what people are going to like.

picture of booth set up
My booth at the Grimsby show, set up and ready for the shoppers!

Well, I’ve already packed my show “stuff” away this morning, and now I have homework.  I know, already!!  I’m hoping I can have even an hour of fun this afternoon!

How was your week, back to school or otherwise?

Studiously,

Valerie

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