Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I spent tonight working in bronze again...making little pieces parts for earrings and very simple necklaces. The kiln will run overnight. This is my third load in a couple days. I have less than two weeks until the next show....my last show for the summer.
I have love/hate feelings about doing shows. I get nervous leading up to a show...will I have enough jewelry to sell, will the weather be good, will I have customers. Setting up takes a lot of energy. When I was a child I used to play Shopkeeper. I would set up an imaginary store and sell things. Now I do it for real....so I always get to a point during set-up when I think back on that and feel very content. It's fun to get to know your neighbor artists at shows and the customers are always interesting. Even if they don't buy they are fun to talk with...and watch. The hours are usually long...10 hour days...on your feet....very few, if any, breaks for food or the bathroom. When the show is over everyone happily breaks down to go home...but it's also a little sad that this community that's been created will no longer be....until the next show:)
I got an e-mail from the promoter of the Hathaway Brown show. Attendance was down 35%. The weather was a big factor in the drop. As an incentive and encouragement to not give up during this economy, all the artists who did this year's show will automatically be in next year's show. We don't have to jury in for 2010. That's cool. So I already have a show lined up for next year.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Although the insurance will cover damages to the house it won't cover taking out the tree. It's in a precarious spot. About 5 feet away from the back of the house, next to some power lines, in a land-locked back yard. They want to set up the crane in the neighbors front yard and take out the fence between our backyard and the other neighbors house so they can get a big truck in the back. It's not going to be cheap....but it is necessary. The tree is beyond it's prime and is a danger to our house and the neighbors. I don't want to be here when they do it. They will take down the higher branches and when all they have left is the trunk....they are going to take it out at the base and drop it into the back yard.
Once all the outside work is done we will get someone to come in to repair the hole in my studio ceiling and then replacement windows for the upstairs. Sometimes is takes something like this to make you get things moving.
I'm still getting ready for the show in July. The kitty alarm clock woke me up at 8AM today....to be fed. And I stayed up. AMAZING. I usually sleep in. But I haven't had a chance to do that in almost 6 weeks so maybe I've broken that habit. It would be nice to be one of those early risers. So I worked until 1PM in my studio. I blew through 200 grams of bronze. Mostly little pieces to make earrings and accent pieces but I did make 9 medallions as a base for lampwork beads. Those have been popular. They are in the kiln right now. This is when I could use a second kiln because I have another load ready to go. It will go in tomorrow morning.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I have been trying to find a new frame for my EZup tent. The company doesn't have a replacement frame in stock and doesn't know when they will have it. This may have been a good thing. I've read on some forums and websites about this model and it seems a number of people have had problems with the trusses breaking and bending after a few uses....just like mine did. Comments about the companies other tents make it sound like the quality of their frames are not what they used to be.
So I bit the bullet and bought a serious tent today....a Trimline. To start with I got a real person on the phone....that was a novelty after calling around for a couple days. I talked to Tom about what I needed and he assured me that my tent will be here on Tuesday. Plenty of time for Lou and I to put it together at least once before we have to set up at the next show. The other thing I liked is that the company was started by a group of exhibitors in the 80s to provide artists with an easy to assemble tent that would also protect the artist and their art from mother nature. It took a bite out of the bank account but in the long run I think it will be worth it. It has a steel frame and I got the stabilizing bar option for the bottom of the tent. I should have done this first time around....live and learn.
I also place an order with Rio for clay. I mistakenly order 2 kilos of copper and didn't catch it in time to stop the shipment. So now I have to decide if I want to keep it or send it back. I'm not working in Copper right now. Anybody want to buy a package...or two??? The bronze arrives tomorrow. Just in time for the weekend.
I'm off....a little house cleaning to do and some chains to make.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
We didn't notice it until we collapsed the tent and for some reason the frame was askew and wouldn't come together. When we took a good look there were at least 3 support bars that were bent. Lou grabbed ahold of the frame and forced it together.....very proud of himself that he did this. I lifted up the canopy and pointed out that one of the supports had broken. Luckily the manufacturer sells replacement parts so I have to get those ordered up right away so I have a functional tent for Cain Park.
Tomorrow after work I get back to making pendants and earring parts. I have three weeks to build up my stock for the next show.
Friday, June 19, 2009
So I did alot of assembly today...extra pieces for the show. I also put a load in the kiln. Previously fired items that I wanted to put a different color on. I was bringing a somewhat warm container up from the laundry room using that pan removal fork. The cat constantly tries to run down into the garage so as I came through the door I tried to shoo her away from the door.....and tripped. It was like slow motion watching the lid of the pan fly off and the carbon go flying into the air and all over the kitchen floor. Of course the cat had this oh so innocent look on her face.
One of those days.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I've been set up at the dining room table since I came back from B&B. Cris refers to my bench as the "workbench of chaos. I don't know why...... And if you think that's bad you should see the rest of the house.
And it's suppose to be a lovely weekend.... 80s on Friday with a 40% chance of thunderstorms. 30% chance of rain on Saturday and windy. WOO HOO....and I"ll be in a tent all weekend. The show is on the grounds of a private school, so if really bad weather hits...like last year.... we can all take shelter in the school.
I got my replacement Blackberry today. I was without it since B&B. Actually I didn't miss it that much. I use it more for e-mail than as a phone. As most my friends know....I don't talk on the phone much. I have some aversion to it...I don't know why...probably the hermit in me.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
OK. I'm off to reorganize at least one box for the show.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
So the rumor of the show was that Wolfgang Puck's ex-wife (but still business partner) showed up and purchased 20 glass wine bottle stoppers at $40 each from one of the vendors. Why she would have been in Cleveland is beyond me...but that was the rumor.
Brandon Holschuh, author of The Jeweler's Studio Hanbook, was an exhibitor at the show. He stopped and looked at my work in BronzClay. That was very cool.
It's always interesting watching people. There are always a few that catch the eye. First ...the dogs....everyone brought their dogs. Big dogs...one great dane was so tall his back came up to my waist. I walked out of the booth to get a look at him. Also small dogs....one person was pushing their dog in a stroller.
The other thing that caught my attention....unfortunately....guys in their bicycle shorts....the spandex kind. UGH. What makes them think it is acceptable to walk around in public a spandex outfit. It they had been handsome and buff it would have be another story. But that is never they case. They are always pouchy and saggy and the shorts leave nothing to the imagination....which for these guys should have been another reason not to wear them.
Then there was the 70+ year old woman wearing a black mini skirt and knee-high leather boots. When your knees need a face lift... you might want to re-think the mini. But who am I to talk. I have redwood trees for legs and would kill to have skinny legs and wear a short skirt....or any skirt for that matter.
The rest of the week I will be getting ready for the show at Hathaway Brown. Lou will help me pop the tent on Thursday and the show runs Friday and Saturday. I'm looking forward to Sunday....first day off in a couple weeks.
Other news....I was accepted into the By Hand show in November. This is a nice show and is coupled with the Fabulous Food Show. With that I have achieved one of my goals I set a few years ago....which was to be in 6 shows. I know that many artists do this in a season...but for me it is an acheivement. Just like the summer shows....the three fall shows are all in the same month. I am a glutton for punishment.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
A pretty good show considering the economy. We go again tomorrow from 11-5. The weather was beautiful...but it did threaten to rain at the end of the day. When I shut the tent down I made sure I protected anything that might absorb water should it rain hard tonight. Hopefully it won't but I'll arrive early tomorrow to get everything in shape.
The response to the bronze clay has been great. People like the earthy tones and ancient look the pieces have....which is what I love about it.
People watching is always great at these shows. There seemed to be just as many dogs there as people. I looked up once to see a grey hound sticking his head up over the table checking out the jewelry :) He was partial to the silver.
Then I get to do this all over again next Thursday.
I'll be back on line Sunday night.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I am gradually going through my checklist for the show. We popped the tent tonight to put the canopy back on. The neighbor on the corner was walking by. She is a silver/goldsmith and I don't know why I haven't gotten to know her yet. We talked a bit about doing shows this year. I'm going to have to get to know her.
I still have a ton of jewelry to tag and bag. I was doing assembly last night and realized I had to quit and get stuff tagged. I've decided that I have to do assembly after each load comes out of the kiln. I can't just make batches and batches of stuff and then try to do assembly 48 hours before the show. It's not working. I have visions of sitting at the show putting things together.
If I had to do it over I don't know if I would do this many shows at once. We'll see...if I make alot of money I will be thinking differently. I am going to give some serious thought to taking a year off from shows. I cold really use the time to remodel the house. I think I need an assistant....to take care of the house while I do the jewelry.
Stress is such a fun thing. The only way to beat this stress is to be well prepared for the show....so back to work.
Monday, June 8, 2009
I am now getting ready for an art show on Saturday and Sunday. I have to take Friday off so I can set up the booth. Tonight I am spending time goign through all my crates to make sure that I have everything I will need. I want to do this early in the week so there are no crisis runs to the hardware store.
Hopefully I will have some time later to post some more pics from B&B.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Some of you have asked for more info on the pendant I made. It's a combo of metal clay, resin, and faux bone. The metal clay is silver with a heavy patina. The front is actually one piece that was made from a mold of an antique button. Very cool...very dimensional.
The solder used in the soldering class was silver solder. We used it on everything...even when we played with the bronze jump rings. But Rio has a copper solder. Mark is going to send Cris and I a sample of it to try.
Back to class tomorrow. We are in a metal weaving class with Susan Lenart Kazmer....always a good time.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I picked up a fabulous vessel bead from the wonderful Karen Elmquist. Take a look at this. My picture doesn't do it justice. When I get back home I'll take a really nice pic of it. It's really great.
I have more pics but it's 1:30 AM and I am tired. Bye for now.
Monday, June 1, 2009
After class a small group of us (Cris, Paul, Anne, Terri, Karen, Gigi, and Henriett...just a small group) went to dinner at the Calderone Club. It's a great little Italian restarant across from the Hyatt. Beside having great food... we had a great time. Have you ever laughed so hard your stomach hurt?? Well that was tonight. Of course the two carafe's of Chianti helped. But the highlight of the night was watching Anne and Paul try to make wine mustaches. I think Anne has it down.....
But no matter how hard he tried....Paul couldn't seem to get the hang of it.
And Anne tried really hard to give him one. If this jewelry thing doesn't work out....we think she has a great future in home health care :) "One more sip of medicine dear...it will help you sleep"