Monday, April 25, 2011
On the reverse side of this are the days you can’t even get yourself up to make spacer beads or earring wires. What’s up with that? If I knew I’d help you out but I don’t even understand it myself. It passes – thank the universe.
Today I ran across one of the blogs from the “Ranked Blogs” list called Art Biz Blog.
On it, Alyson B. Stanfield has a pretty interesting perspective on how to beat the slump. She has 10 very practical ways to emerge from your slump faster. I’ve printed them out for myself. They are going to come in very handy for those days when I am sitting with coffee in my hand, a grimace on face, and I can feel the ball bearings of my brain rolling around off-track in my skull. I’m going to keep that list handy – pick out a solution and “work it baby”.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
A couple of weeks later on one of my “surfing” journeys I Googled casting stones in place. The results were interesting as you always get the PMC information coming up and I know you can do man made stones – some garnets – etc. with PMC. I am PMC certified. Then, what I found on either Ganoskin or Shurline (?) was that if you cast the big three in place you need to alter your burnout procedure in the kiln because if you don’t you will “cloud out or white out your diamonds”. Other gems, if inclusions are there can crack – including the diamonds. Okey dokey – question answered as to why the diamonds were damaged. You also have to air cool the flask after casting. Normally you quench the flask after about 5 minutes, depending on the size of the flask/ work. Damn – blew it both ways on those diamonds.
I like answers. If you could put CZ’s and other things into PMC and fire the crap out of them was it possible to do the same in a regular casting method? I don’t know why not. So, experiment number one was born. Pristine white CZ on one set of earrings and a natural garnet set in wax modeled on another (they were $15.00 garnets – not cheap but not expensive and had inclusions). It was a regular burn out of the kiln (to rid us of the wax and make room for the silver) – and a regular method of casting silver.
The Garnets – not so good. If someone is kissing my ear (LOL) and eyeing my earrings at the same time they will notice hairline cracks and other nonsense which would make them non-saleable. They are now MINE – greedy little bugger that I am. You can see them up close if you offer to kiss my ear at the Gathering. Hence, I’m not too worried about anyone getting up close and personal enough to notice the cracks.
The CZ set – B-I-N-G-O.
They cast well – they are shiny – there are no cracks – and you could use the regular method of casting to include them in your piece. Hallelujah!
I’m now on a quest, of sorts, to make a collection of OOAK (one of a kind) earring pieces to use with beads. I will make others that are plain silver but I want some pieces that had a little bling. Would it be great if it were the big three gemstone bling? Of Course, but since the burnout kiln we are using is universal (several of us use it) it will be CZ’s.
The photos are of some of the”bling” earrings in progress. They were just removed from the cooling flasks. Since they haven’t been put into the pickle yet they are gray. Soon they will be silver, freed from their sprues, bright and polished. When they are I will post them.
Maybe when I have my casting equipment set up I will try the big three. For now – bling works.
Here you will find ranked 75 of what are considered the “best” art blogs. They have them listed by RSS feed, Google, and several other different ways. They’re fun to peruse and can really get you thinking. Who doesn't have a brain-dead day once in awhile.
Not into art – but enjoy literature. It’s ranked too. As are books, photography, museums, and so on. Go ahead. It’s snowing and cold here. A great day to hunker down a spend an hour surfing.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The Hyatt was out of the question because they didn't have room at the inn for us. And the point goes to The Galt, they had a room. I like the Galt - it's a bit of a walk through halls to the convention center but it's not sleeping the car (like THAT would happen, huh Susan?). It's a great hotel. We're adventurous - maybe not alone, but together we can get into trouble. Does anyone remember the flying monkies at one convention??? It was this "trusts" brainchild. We don't tend to be as adventurous for Lillian's sake...uh, most of the time : - ).
I thanked Libby Leuchtman - she suggested The Galt on Lampwork, Etc. when I posted about the issue of getting a room. Libby is a great Lampwork Artist and a down right good person.
Susan Lambert stepped in with an assist (she's an excellent person to punt, a friend, and fellow roomie -along with our lovely Lillian) and made the Galt reservations. I, admittedly, was pretty fed up with the Hyatt. No matter how I tried to explain that the booking had just opened for the Hyatt and that we could not switch hotels midstream - that Lillian is disabled - or that I had just seen a different room for $15.00 more on their own site (but it wouldn't let me book it at the same time as the other half I just purchased/ so I'd pay more for two nights but not $50.-$100. more) I could not move them from their position. This is where I enlisted Susan to assist - it's like passing to the faster wide receiver. She is the receiver of my oddly thrown balls (LOL)- I am more methodical like the quarterback. I needed to be benched because I bobbled the ball....
Yesterday the ping pong ball came back around again. I went to Midland to invest some castings to pour tonight and by the time I had gotten home Kendra Bruno (ISGB Executive Director) had intervened with the Hyatt and also posted on LE because she couldn't reach me by phone (probably have my old work number, maybe?). She set aside a room for all of us and we could call the Hyatt to confirm.
First a drought - then a flood.
Back to the stategity of hotel reservations, ping pong, and football. Susan goes long on one phone from NC to The Galt - and me in Michigan on the phone to the Hyatt. Done deal - Back to the Hyatt - The Galt is cancelled. It will be better and easy for Lillian - it will be better for the ISGB. I love the ISGB - I don't want them eating penalties for not filling their rooms. Can you believe that some people book extra rooms and then cancel after they find a roommate and then book the convention?Maybe it's me but the quarterback here finds that concept bass-ackwards. I'm thinking the wide receiver though would still be standing there down field saying, "Forget about it Sharon - just throw the damn ball - I can catch anything!"
I'm hoping everyone stops by our booth at the bead sale at the convention to see the "crazy hotel ladies" since now everyone knows us - HAHAHAHA! I think we need a sign in that booth that says, "Sort of book your reservations with Sharon - it will be a fun ride."
Thank you Kendra, Susan, Libby, and Lillian and the ISGB. You all rock.
Tomorrow - on to artistic posting...enough about the hotels already, huh?
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Monday, April 4, 2011
I’m sure feeling like Waldo. Where the heck is Sharon? What in the world has she been up to? She’s never missed a whole month blogging before. Nope, I don’t think I have either. Is there an excuse for this absence? I’d feel like a teenager if I made one up - and those days are long gone.
Have I been busy? Kind of…..daughter got engaged and we are knee deep in wonderful wedding planning, took a much needed vacation to North Carolina to see children, working on taxes (UGH), did a number of special orders for customers, did some spring cleaning and have taken seven boxes to Goodwill. I think that catches up the empty slot of the blog. I've added a few photos of the trip.
Now, if I were just caught up with this house cleaning……
Sunday, April 3, 2011
It's the city of my birth, a place where I grew up meeting my Grandmother for lunch at Carson's, explored Museums, enjoyed the Scarab Club, drove "muscle" cars, fell in love with old buildings, and people. New York has it's charm but I think if you can "make it" in Detroit - well, you've got GRIT!
We've all watched the auto industry problems - it really hits home for me to see that. In our neighborhood we were the children of "factory rats", Air Force people, and whatever squeezed into living around them. It was a great WWII neighborhood with children at every house. Well, you don't want to know about that. You want to know about the shout out.
April is glass month in Michigan. Hallelujah! Can you believe it? Of all of the places to have a Habitat Gallery - it's Michigan (Metro Detroit). All the galleries and the studios seem to celebrate in one way or another. It's even got a mention in American Style Magazine. I'm hoping I get back downstate to visit some of the galleries and some of my friends this month. We'll see - it's mighty busy around here.
Carol Shepard of SMGBG (Southeasterm Michigan Glass Beadmakers Guild - Glass Act) sent out a notice to all of us in the guild about a "happening" during this time. It was kind of a gallery walk - open house. The factories aren't all abandoned. Check out the Russell Industrial Center Leave it to the artists to find the best in things and rebuilt. My motto - abandon it and they will collect it, repurpose it, and turn it into art. Go ARTISTS - and GO DETROIT!
The Russell was designed in 1915 by architect Albert Kahn and used to be home to the Murry Body Company. Today it is home to more than 150 artists and creative tenants. Everyone here has a passion not just for art, but for creating art here in the Motor City.
So lift up your coffee cup and give Detroit a toast - they are nothing if not resilient and artistic.