Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Ducks and stands

Things have felt relentless since arriving back home in July, but this time with mostly not very exciting things to report. Yesterday I had a wonderful day with the fearless and powerful Kim Baxter, a metalsmith who founded Flux Metal Arts. For the last month or so I've been working on a duck commission that required that I move aside a ton of my regular work. The ducks were one thing, but then the stands....
This was where I worked yesterday and am so glad that a friend told me about Flux, because I was able to book private time with Kim to get more guidance on these dang stands that began in 2016 and have taken on many different lives of their own. I've been fortunate to meet great jewelry folks this way, from Damon Thompson who made the first stand at Haystack, to Deb Rosen and Grace Chin who taught me at the Orange Art Center, and then last week Lyanne Torres, the excellent technical specialist in jewelry and metals at the Cleveland Institute of Art. If the ducks could stand on their own, fine, but these metal stands really help, and while I've also hired out for steel versions, the very strong part of myself that insists on a certain degree of self-sufficiency and control demands that I get a little better at doing them myself.
In a panic, I ordered copper discs from three different vendors in NJ, Mexico, and England. NJ ones arrived just in time to work with Lyanne and England in time to work with Kim. Mexico shipment close but hasn't arrived yet! Kim is great with all of the pandemic protocols and the shop is very well set up and stocked. Everything you need is there either for use through the studio rental or for very reasonable prices through the store. She even set up a little table on the side patio so I could have lunch in the gorgeous weather. The front of the space is devoted to gallery space of their instructors and local artists.
We talked so much shop and that included commiserating about adjunct life (and breaking away from it), creating studios that don't feed into the non-profit industrial complex, finding what you need from every source possible—like this mix of cases! The black-based ones were from an industrial resale place that I need to hit up soon for my own studio, and the skinny-legged ones were inherited from a colleague.
It's true that once you know the work that goes into just finding equipment, lighting, etc., you see so much more than the jewelry. Talking to Kim made me realize how long it has been that I've been able to meet and connect with local artists, and how valuable and precious it is to continue to do so. Even when it feels much easier to crawl into a shell.
Learning from her also reminded me of how students probably walk into my classrooms and how I could probably cut them some slack in certain ways, but will always hold myself to a certain standard. The larger stands in the front I did with Lyanne and then the smaller ones in the back with Kim.
New ducks, new stands, now packed. There are three other new ducks not pictured. I will be SO glad to get these on their way so that I can get back to the work I had intended to do this fall. Aside from this job, the other major detour was my kitchen ceiling/leak that ate three months of my life/sanity. Thank goodness for Bill, who came over to do repairs after the plumber did his thing. He was so patient and never complained, coming over countless days over weeks to do the various layers of patching, mud, and primer. Then it was up to me to finish priming and painting, which was yet another comedy of errors. But after really pushing through last weekend, I'm done!
I made this book maybe a month ago and still need to properly photograph it. But am glad to have one more rhodie book done, this likely being the last one. It's called Steady.
At the end of this week, I fly to NY for family stuff for a bit, and then the agenda: make more books, figure out how to weave a rooster out of hanji, and write. I've been approved for occupancy and passed fire inspection for the studio, so fingers crossed I can have a real opening by year's end. It probably will be snowing by then but it's just a matter of time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Slow grow

More marigolds appeared! Seeds sown in July and very intermittently watered. Good to know that these work while the other seeds totally failed.
Over two weeks, I worked on a new set of ducks for a commission. Here's a review of the paper show my ducks are in, in Columbus.

I tend to make more than ordered so that I can choose the best selection for shipment. These are going overseas as soon as I can make more copper stands. Under the fabric full of chickens (from Youngmin) are lots of bamboo splints from my trip to Korea that already feels like it never happened. Funny how that works.
I also sowed these seeds in July and while the zinnias came up quickly, the flowering has been the slowest of them all. One poked out to say hello in the last day. After talking yesterday to Velma about how it's okay to only get a few plants out of many, many starters, I feel doubly grateful for this one pink face.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Time and change

Working on ducks while listening to this far-ranging and deep story about the UN Conference Against Racism that ended only days before this day, 20 years ago, by a brilliant journalist that NPR was so lucky to have, Shereen Marisol Meraji. Tears, for sure.

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Testing tech

I hastily scattered marigold and bachelor's button seeds in July before I left for NY. Clearly the latter failed utterly and as of last week I think I have one tiny marigold. I definitely don't expect a real yield for dyeing but it's always great to see which plants can survive my neglect.

This is mostly a test to see if the new subscribe by email button will work. I could not deal with any of that while in Korea so I am slowly getting to it now. What else? A few more rhodie books are available from my dealers now, the coffee grounds from *$ are actually working well to dissipate the kimchi smell from my fridge, and registration is open for my fall Asian Paper Craft class at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Still buried by life but grateful for it.