What’s Sitting on My Bench Top

Studio work in progress

I finally deleted enough images from my camera for its software program to recognize it. When I accumulate over, say, a trillion images, the software refuses to acknowledge the camera’s existence (error message to this effect). Then I can’t upload anything, and somehow blogging is less fun without images.

This forces me to deal with the images, one by one, making tough decisions (I hang onto old images). And until I find the time, patience, and decisiveness required for mass deletion, I tend to refuse to acknowledge the software’s existence–it’s dead to me. Vicious circle.

Happily, everything is back on track again. I still feel put out upon by the software’s strange agency in this matter, and after seeing a friend upload his images directly to iPhoto (bypassing camera software!), I’ve begun wondering whether I might be happier doing the same. . .

But all this is off-topic, as this is supposed to be about studio work.

I know that round cuts of branch can be a little cliché, but I really like the disparate quality of the (as-yet-unfinished) piece with them above–the wood is from Paul’s homeland, and I found the steel wire on the Ballard bridge.

Everyday Adornment Matters

Good friends Robert and Josh

This is Robert (left) and Josh (right). I met them while out for a walk at the elementary school I long ago attended. They were hanging out. I spotted Josh’s substantial silver figaro chain resting on his neck, as I approached, and thus a conversation was struck up.

Josh received the necklace when he was just 4 years old, from an uncle who died shortly afterwards, so it has a lot of meaning for him. I love the balance between this significant piece and his decidedly casual attire.

These guys were really open and friendly. Robert has photography experience, and offered his recommendation for a place nearby great for catching spectacular sunrises and sunsets. We also chatted about school, as they’re getting ready to head to high school next year.

Approaching strangers for Everyday Adornment Matters pushes me a bit out of my comfort zone. It also reminds me of my parents, both of whom knew everyone and were really gifted conversationalists. I’m not sure if this affability is particularly Midwestern, or whether it is generational. I know I don’t see it as much as I used to. But I’ll take a real conversation over a Facebook-anything any day of the week.

Hands-On at Pratt

Yesterday, my friend Paul and I taught a Hands-On event in the Jewelry/Metals studio, a fast and fun introduction to metal. Our job was to guide patrons through the making of their own hand-stamped holiday gift tag, ornament, pendant, or whatever else one might create from a pre-stamped circle of brass and access to the studio’s equipment and tools—we were open to anything!

We decided we’d “tag-team” it, taking turns taking on students as they arrived throughout the night, and this worked fairly well. It was a bit of a challenge to get everyone going at staggered times, and then return to tutor them on the next step right as they were ready. Luckily, people were relaxed and happy to be hanging out in the studio, and before I knew it, we were helping the last person patina and wax her finished pieces.

I really enjoy teaching and the opportunity it provides to meet so many different people. And I love how, whether you prepare in depth for a class or plan on keeping things loose for something like the above event, you never really know how things are going to unfold until you are in the moment. Adaptability, along with curiosity, will carry you through the day.

Some images. . .