Carnival Blog-October

The Blog Carnival….a group of jewelers get together via the web, once a month, to post on a topic that has to do with jewelry.  It's a fun way to hear different opinions from wonderful artists.  Hope you'll visit their sites and read their great blogs.  Please post a comment or two.  It's always great to know who is reading and your shared thoughts.

Which one is your favorite?  I of course like the pink one the best ;-) 

Topic: Out of all of the pieces you've created, which one means the most to you and why?

Sometimes these topics just throw me for a loop.  I suppose this one did because I do not get emotionally tied to the pieces.  For me it's about the process or the journey, not about the outcome.  It's the challenge that I seem to enjoy or the process of the technique.  This made me realize, what one wise metalsmith seemed to define, as one of the differences between a maker and an artist. 

I suppose that's why when I was contemplating this blog, I did think about my favorite ring that has disappeared.  It was made entirely of metal clay syringe and was filigree in design with stones set throughout.  Everywhere I wore it people complimented me.  It's been lost for more than 5 years, and I still pine to wear it.  One of these days I'll make another.  

I enjoyed making the ring and it was a huge challenge.  I made it about 8 or 9 years ago when not many were working with the syringe and certainly not making the entire ring out of syringe.  I am very hard on my rings and that ring had been worn for about 3 or 4 years without any misshaping or distortion and had never cracked or broken.  This is why I know if you engineer a ring well, even in fine silver metal clay, it can last.  This ring was completely open with scrolls and lovely swirlies, polka doted with stones.  It was not a syringe mess but looked like an silver version of an open scrollwork gate.  However, if any ring was, this one was a distortion waiting to happen.  It didn't though.  So I knew that my "paste solder" technique was a winner.  I made sure to "paste solder", as I refer to it with my students, which I believe helped to reinforce all the connections.  I also fired it properly and work hardened it.

"Paste Solder" is where you take metal clay paste and reinforce every connection or joint once or twice.  This helps to give extra support.  Everything is well connected and blended at the seams with a clay shaper, wet.  It's how I do all my joints, but now they are done with lavender oil paste.  They are invisible and solid.  When dropped in the greenware state, they break not in the joint areas.  This technique also helps with shrinkage issues which also can create weak spots in your work for later failures down the road.

I'm sure moving forward my work will have more emotion tied to the pieces.  I've come to realize, with more introspect, to look at my feelings and why I create.  To ask, what's this piece's story?  Previously I just created.  I didn't think about why I was creating or the meaning the piece had.  I was playing, experimenting, challenging myself.  It was more about the material and not myself.  Now, I know what the material can do (after 13 years of play) and now it's time to explore my art from a different place.  The place perhaps of the artisan and not the maker.  Pieces that have a story and not just a timeline.

Check out these other carnies:

Lora Hart

Tamra Gentry

Angela Baduel-Crispin

Lorrene Davis

Elaine Luther

Marco Fleseri

New to the group:

Vickie Hallmark

Andes Cruz

6 Responses to Carnival Blog-October

  1. Oh, I'd love to see a photo of that ring. If you didn't post one I bet it's because you didn't take one ? Bummer ! Great post ! It's good to have a certain distance from our work, specially when time comes to sell it :o) (I still have my prayer wheel ;o))))

  2. Oh Sweetheart, I've been thinking of you for the past couple of weeks and wishing there were some way for me to convince you that you *need* to take some time to do art. You *need* to take precedence in your own life. Guilt is a mind killer and doesn't make your business function any better. Play Girl!
    Such a shame you don't have the thing you're most proud of. I totally think you should make something similar. It will never be the same – but will make you smile each time you wear the new version.

  3. I'm with Angela (even tho I don't know her) I bet you din't take a picture of that ring. I have many pcs. I've made that I did not photograph . . . they were gifts, I ran out of time.
    And my first response to the post was, 'Why would I ever have a favorite piece? How will I ever find it a new home?' Truly every piece I've ever had an attachment to or a story is still one I carry from event to event.
    Which of course led me to the tangential thinking about being my own worst critic and how I often overwork a piece, or 'walk away' fire it and find all the perceived foibles. Yesterday a participant in my workshop said "You know that comes across when you are trying to sell your work." Dovetailing a bit on your marketing post . . . :]
    AHHHHH . . . confused yet? How do I love what I do and sell it, how do I sell what I'm not totally in-love with . . . just exactly how many pieces can I re-work? Why does every piece have a story?
    Well, I for one intend to take a break from over thinking this and will go work in the shop :)
    I also agree with Lora . . . go play!
    All my very best,

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