Greetings, all! A bunch of stuff has happened since we last met, and I will fill you in (at least, the short version), but first, here's a reminder that The SHOW in Dripping Springs, Texas is THIS WEEKEND!!!! Are YOU in the Austin area or the San Antonio area, or will you be this weekend? Come out to the The SHOW! You'll see fabulous artwork (including mine!), hear great live music, and eat tasty food! Best part? It's INDOORS, so no roasting in the sun or getting washed away in the rain! Admission is FREE! www.the SHOWspotlight.com
My previous show, Septemberfest 2017 at the Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas, was a hoot! Midland-Odessa is now the furthest west I have ever driven. There is a lot of dust out there, which I had been warned of, but the extent of which could not be grasped without actually experiencing it. Below are some pictures from the show!
My next road trip was down to Bulverde, Texas to take a class on metal clay and argentium fusing from the illustrious Vickie Hallmark! The class was held at Stouffer Studios, which is a super cool studio in the tiny downtown area of Bulverde. In our class, on the first day we learned the basics of metal clay (like what it is, how fast it dries, and that sort of thing). Then we learned how to shape and texture the clay to make base plates, flowers, leaves, and birds! It was so cool! We dried out our clay creations in a dehydrator, then put them in the kiln overnight to fuse all the bits. The next day, we fused our argentium wire and our metal clay pieces to base plates and all kinds of things.
For those of you who may not know, metal clay is basically ground up silver dust mixed with cellulose to form a moldable material that acts like clay. It gets all over your hands if you're not careful. (Ask me how I know THAT.) When the clay dries, then you put it in a kiln to burn off the cellulose and fuse all the silver dust. The result is a solid silver object that you can solder or fuse to whatever else you're working on.
This is such a cool medium, and I definitely want to work with it more in the future! Thanks to Vickie for teaching the class, and thanks to Gail Stouffer for hosting! Below are some pictures of the work I did. I'm especially proud of the cockatiel pendant I made!
After class, I went exploring in the Texas Hill Country. I have to say, driving 281 down towards San Antonio is WAY less stressful than taking I-35 down, although you do miss out on Czech Stop and Bucc-ee's. I think the old-fashioned drive-in in Lampasas on the way down and the diner in Hico with amazing pie more than made up for it. Enjoy the pictures!
That's all the news that's fit to print. Stay tuned for more of my adventures in jewelry making and traveling across Texas!
At long last, here they are! Pictured, from left to right:
1. Oboe pendant, first finger left hand, Gobi Desert Lavender turquoise
2. Flute pendant, first finger right hand, Hubei turquoise
3. Clarinet pendant, second finger left hand, Wabi Sabi turquoise
4. Flute pendant, second finger right hand, Hubei turquoise
5. Oboe pendant, third finger right hand, Hubei turquoise
There are more coming of course, but that's what I sent to the photographer. I have another flute pendant with a really nice piece of Red River turquoise (that's Red River in Hubei province, China, not Red River in Oklahoma). I've also got more flute and oboe pendants in the works to complement the clarinet pendants I have made. Unfortunately, one of the small stones I was setting didn't survive the process, so I'll have to wait to use the key I had chosen to go with it.
So why RITORNELLO? Okay. Now, hear me out. I realize that this is kind of nerdy, but it's cool, too. Ritornello is a musical term used to describe an instrumental interlude that occurs after a soloist sings or plays in an opera or concerto. It is a refrain or return to the musical theme of the piece. (Y'all don't judge me. I have slept many, many times since I took a music history or music theory class, so this is probably not the most academically acceptable definition.) "Well, what on God's green earth does this have to do with the jewelry in the picture?" I hear you ask. I'll tell you. As a repair technician, I have a collection of instruments that are too far gone to be of any musical use. Some have been crushed, some have been burnt, some have been in floods, some have been dropped one too many times. What I and my repair technician colleagues do is take these unplayable instruments and hoard them like a dragon hoards gold, so that one day, if we come across an instrument that needs a part, we might scavenge one from the pile of broken instruments. This pile is affectionately known as a boneyard in the trade. A lot of times, a worn-out instrument will sit in the boneyard forever, gathering dust and doing nobody any good. What I am doing is taking these instrument keys out of the boneyard and returning them to meaningful and beautiful use. The word ritornello is Italian for "little return," so I thought it would be the perfect name for this collection. That, and it sounds really fancy. So, what do you think?
Now, before I sign off, let me show you the other pictures I had done of The Turquoise Queen Collection:
SEPTEMBERFEST 2017 MUSEUM OF THE SOUTHWEST, MIDLAND, TEXAS 9/8-9/10
The SHOW of Dripping Springs, Texas 9/30-10/1
Fall Into Art Festival, New Braunfels, Texas 10/28-10/29
Winnsboro Art & Wine Festival, Winnsboro, Texas 11/10-11/11