Greetings, everyone, and thanks for visiting my blog! In today's installment, I'm making my final preparations for two separate shows. First and foremost, I would like to invite you to join me at Winterfest 2018 in Round Top, Texas. This event takes place February 9-11. The big gala preview is February 9 from 5pm-8pm. Tickets are $25 per person, and there will be appetizers and a bar with local wine and beer and all that good stuff. Attendees will get first crack at the available artwork, including my jewelry! There will also be live music, so if you want a unique pre-Valentine's Day date, or just want to treat yourself and be fancy, come on out to The Compound!
After Winterfest, I will be heading to San Antonio for TMEA, otherwise known as the Texas Music Educators' Association convention at the Henry B. Gonzalez convention center from February 15-17. This yearly event is the culmination of a lot of work from the state's high school music students in the form of All-State Band, plus it's a great opportunity for music educators to take continuing education seminars,, network with fellow professionals, and drink margaritas. I will be assisting Dr. Angela Schindler at the Infiniti Reeds booth (#952), and she has graciously agreed to let me show some of my jewelry. Should be a hoot!
In other news, I have resumed classes at the Craft Guild of Dallas to further hone my metalsmithing skills. In addition to working in fabrication with Marilyn O'Hara, I have also begun taking a metal clay class with Charlotte Edwards. As you may recall, I took a metal clay workshop with Vickie Hallmark back in September, and I really enjoyed it, and wanted to explore this unique new material further. I'm only two classes in, but I've learned a lot so far, and a few things will even cross over into fabrication.
One of the fun things I'm learning about is mold making. Like regular polymer clay, metal clay can be molded into pretty much whatever shape you want. Because I was (and I guess still am) a woodwind repair technician for many years, I decided it would be hilarious to try and mold tiny woodwind screws and see if I can make screws out of silver to add to pieces. Here are the results of my mold-making. I'll have to wait and see how they do after all my show activities.
Speaking of show activities, since the Round Top show is indoors, I have access to electricity, so I decided to get some lights and upgrade my display a little bit. It was quite a lengthy process to decide how to go about this, but IKEA is a wonderful source, even if it is hellacious to shop there. Even Kaycee Katt approved!
Another thing I got into, via the Pinterest vortex of no return, is Viking knit. Viking knit is a tedious yet soothing process of looping wire. It looks like a complete mess while you're doing it, but once you finish, it's really quite impressive. You have to use a draw plate to finish your project. I made my own draw plate out of a worn-out nylon cutting board, using my titanium coated end mills I normally use for replacing tone holes in bass clarinets to make the holes. My first attempt at Viking knit yielded a compact and springy bracelet out of color coated Artistic Wire (the bass layer is copper). My second attempt was far more ambitious, and I regret not doing it in silver, but there we are. At some point I will make some end caps for that bad boy out of metal clay, but that is a project for a later time. The process hurts my hands, so I don't think I'll be doing this sort of thing very often. Enjoy the pictures!
So there you have it! All the news that's fit to print, at least for now. I'll let you know how the next two shows play out. Hope to see you in Round Top and/or San Antonio!