art, Blog, foggy, jewelry, Mountains

Workshop Weekend

Day 23

IMG_7290What a beautiful morning to drive around the foothills. The sun was out and there was fog lifting out of the valleys. The morning was cool and the drive was nice because no one was on the road yet. It made me think I should get up and out early more often. It was a nice change from the rainy day we had yesterday.

I always love these drives. The sky is crisp and clear after a day that dropped 3.5 inches of rain in our area. It never got really warm today, but it was dry and clear so that made it a rather perfect kind of day.

Let’s Make Rings!

Today was the first day of my 2 day workshop with Molly. She’s so nice and so patient and so talented. There were five of us in the workshop plus Molly. After getting introductions and housekeeping out of the way, we all set about making a textured ring by hand hammering.

We were finished by lunch time. Everyone brings their own lunch and we sit around her dining room table and have lunch together. It’s a nice way to get to know everyone and just relax for a bit. After lunch it was back to the studio!

Spinner Ring

The rest of the class worked on making a pierced pendant piece which I had already done, so I worked independently in the afternoon making a spinner ring. This is two rings, one large enough to ‘spin’ around the other. I used the rolling mill to texture the outer ring and then hand-hammered the spinner ring. I felt good that I could do 98% of the work on my own.

Tomorrow, I need to flare out the outer ring so the spinner does not fall off. Then, voila! That will be project number two.

Day Two

Class starts a little later tomorrow so I will be able to enjoy two cups of coffee before leaving the house. I really do enjoy the drive and I get lost in the creative aspect of the work. The day flies by.

I am not sure what I want to make tomorrow. I might drill pebbles and stack them in a frame which is cool, or I might try to set one of the cabochons I cut. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

Now I am off to relax a little, have some dinner and a glass of wine then take a hot shower and get in bed early.

Jewelry pictures tomorrow!

IMG_7292

“Sometimes you can’t see the road ahead but as you keep going, it gets clearer. Stay the course as the fog of life dissipates.”
Sanjo Jendayi

 

art, Blog, creativity, Lapidary, retirement

Creativity

Day 19

When I decided to retire, I did not give a lot of thought about how I would spend my time. I knew I would take some classes and do some traveling and visit family, but as far as how I might choose to spend the majority of my waking hours, I just did not consider it.

After working for so long, you imagine what retirement will be like. For me, it has been wonderful. I have not missed going to a full time job and working for someone else. Even when I had my own business, I was always working for someone else — my clients. Sure, I could set my own hours but there were still demands. I wanted my retirement to be as ‘demand free’ as possible.

Dreams Realized

I have always self-identified as an artist. I am unfortunately not disciplined enough to work hours on end, apply to shows, advertise and sell my work. I just love to create and I do it for my own satisfaction more than anything else.

meteredLearning to cut stones has always been a dream of mine so I was really excited when I discovered the arts and crafts school here offered lapidary classes. I have taken the same class many times because I do not have the equipment to do the grinding at home. It is also a very messy proposition, which requires a studio dedicated to this type of work.

This morning was my last lapidary class. I finished a few metered pieces and worked on a few freehand pieces. I am always sad to see my classes come to an end because I lose myself in the work.

Silver Jewelry

My other dream was to make more jewelry using sterling or fine silver. I have done a lot of bead work, but as I age and my eyes get worse, it is harder to work with beads. My mind usually goes to the more asymmetrical designs which is not always the design of choice for people buying jewelry. I still make survival bracelets for victims of sexual abuse, but not much else.

engagement ringsI took several classes in Florida before we moved to North Carolina. I even made engagement rings for my daughter and my now daughter-in-law. Talk about stressful! I have taken a few classes since, but again, this work again requires specialized equipment and a dedicated workspace. I love this work even if I do not have a studio of my own.

This coming weekend I am taking a workshop with Molly Sharp. She is an incredibly talented jewelry designer and silversmith. She is also a kind and effective teacher. I am really looking forward to the class this weekend – I’m sure you will hear and see more about it after the workshop is over.

The Urge to Create

Taking continuous classes is not fiscally possible so I have been looking for something creative to do when I am not enrolled in art classes. I have been so inspired by Maitri Libellule and her whimsical watercolors of Anna. They are bright and beautiful and unapologetically Maitri.

watercolor pencilsI have also been drawn to the sketches of Lisa Wagner, who writes an amazing blog entitled “Places of the Spirit”. She has also been spending some time creatively and sharing that work on her blog. So, between the two of these talented women, I have been inspired to try to do a few drawings. I picked up some new watercolor pencils at Michaels, so I will see where this takes me.

These are the activities that I dreamed I would have more time for once retired. So far, I have been successful, but I am really looking forward to having more rainy day activities that do not require a studio and an elaborate equipment set up.

Driveway
As I left for class, the view out my front door morning was delightful. I love this area and now that the trees are starting to turn, I especially love the view. The dogwood trees are finally showing color from top to bottom and it will not be long before the leaves are blanketing my driveway.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” 
Maya Angelou