Tuesday, April 3, 2012

old school

I've been missing college. Specifically my metalsmithing classes. When I was at SWT getting my studio art degree, you had to take seven semesters of your chosen emphasis in addition to several other studio classes. Translation: I spent three and half years (well, if I'm being honest, I did four and a half) in the same room. It was Heaven. There were three of us that started and finished together and a few more that overlapped a few years. We really hunkered down and it became home. I spent more nights half asleep in that studio that I should ever admit to - late nights, no sleep, a torch in your hand or molten metal flying through an outdated centrifuge at 2am...well, let's just say that I had some unintentional hair trims on more than one occasion.

But back then we had projects. We were given topics or materials or something to launch us into a month long project. It is so different from how I work now that it seems crazy - I would actually work on one thing for four weeks!?!? But I did. And I have been longing for that again. Sketching, playing around with an idea, experimenting, taking on something that I know will be involved and probably, truthfully, not sell-able because I've invested a bazillion hours into it.

But here's the thing: I've decided I need those old school projects. They are good for me, keep my brain working and keep me in touch with those days where I couldn't afford to buy silver so I made everything in copper. So, this butterfly ring is my first trip down memory lane. It began with the cage, just wanting to cage something...I had to really rack my brain on building the cage, it took a few attempts. While it's not a month long project, it was time-pricey. And I love it. The band and setting are sterling silver, the butterfly is brass and sitting in green resin, and the cage is made of copper. It's kinda cool.
And all the while I am still working on what truly IS metalsgirl. And the really great thing is, it still inspires me. I still love making pretty much every piece. I would be nuts not to - I got an art degree that I actually use to make a living. How often does that happen? To say I am lucky is quite the understatement. So yeh, whether I am making a necklace I've made 20 times before or a ring that no one may ever wear, I'm loving my job!