Sunday, July 31, 2016


I said I'd show you what I've been up to - - actually I think I had already begun that before the Op Ed post.  These are what I call process photos.  I will often take photos of what I'm doing so I can go back over them in the evening (if I think about it). 

Have you ever taken a photo of some work and all of a sudden there is this glaring mistake you didn't know what there?  Boy oh boy have I.  All of a sudden you will see there was a hairline fracture in stone, a solder seam that you could have improved on earlier in the process - you know. 

While settling in here to NC I've been looking around to improve my skill set - and make some new friends.  I have to say I am a tad concerned about that one, the new friends part.  It was easier to meet people when I was thirtyish.  Now that I am sixtyish it seems that people already have their "friends" groups.  I sure hope I can begin to include myself in a few of them.  So while looking around for classes, although I think I already knew, I've found the Asheville area is a wealth of artistic riches.  Penland north, Arrowmont in TN, John C Campbell, William Holland, Haywood College, and everything in between.  Be still my heart!!

I've signed up for a few for the Fall.  In the meantime I've taken two and updated a strong skill set. 

Currently I'm continuing to metalsmith and working with glass and found object.  This is one of several pieces using sea glass.  I love the stuff found on beaches and roads.  Fingering through Grandma's button boxes and my own cigar boxes of cracker jacks goodies cemented that forever in my aesthetics.   Let alone the fact that I grew up in Detroit - the epicenter of assemblages of parts. 

Here is one of the current pieces.  I hope you like where I'm going.  And again, if you have a question, ASK.  I love talking process.

Here is the drawing of the piece.  I do typically take whatever object I'm going to bezel and draw around it in my sketch book.  From there I work out around it.  There are often variations on a theme and many designs and as I post about what I'm doing you are often going to see photos with a star and maybe some highlighter.  The highlighter is so I can find them in the sketch book.  They're the ones I've decided are worth exploring more.

What are you currently doing that works for you?

Everything is all soldered up fitted. I've out the piece of glass in several times to make sure it fits. And I've made some design adjustments. I liked the holes on the original drawing but thought the lacier look of loops would balance better on the left side final piece. Now to clean out the solder globs on the inside of that bezel.  The last thing I want to do is to crack that glass when I set it. 

The next photo shows this piece with all of the bells and whistles added.  The stone (glass) is fitted and now it only needs to be oxidized and finished up. 

At the bottom is one piece I've completed.  It contains a malachite cab that was given out as a bonus when I purchased some Navajo stamps.  I thought it would look great in this piece. Just need to get that final photograph ready for Etsy.  I'm switching my regular Etsy (Right Turn ArtWerks) over to finished jewelry.  A new site, Right Turn Part Werks will eventually contain all of goodies I so love to create to add to my pieces.

Now for the finish!
This one is complete.  Sorry the photo isn't as "crisp" as I would like.  It's just one of my "process" photos.  Not the dazzler I should have to list it for sale.  (Smile!).

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Good Grief, It's an Op-Ed

I would post the offensive video but it and the original comments were removed from Facebook - I only have a Facebook post I will show you was all that was left.  But if anyone has the original stuff - add it to comments.

Oh My!  Tonight I saw this video link posted by Leslie Villarreal.  It was of some kids, obviously gang bangers.  And how would I know this? - worked with those kind of kids for a long time.  What they were doing was horrific.  They were video taping and a member was attacking what appeared to be another member of a disenfranchised group....maybe homeless, maybe addicts, I don't know what the mix of adults was.  But one lady who confronted the young man was hit (perhaps knocked out). 

It was hard to watch - and trust me, as someone who worked in the business for a long time it was even very difficult to listen to when these kids had to recount their crimes.

What surprised me was the number of people who said (because of Leslie's posting) that had they been there they would have shot the kid or done something.  Really?  Now, I will fully admit what happened was awful, there is no excuse for it.  But, there were over a dozen adults there as the young man carried out his mayhem.  So many people, not all, but many who posted implied they would have done something, if only they'd been there.  Really? 

I noticed that Leslie herself hadn't said what she would have done - although she was the one who reposted the heinous video.  So, I asked her - what would she have done.  She said she would have shot him in the balls, not killed him - just shot him in the balls. 

Oh my.  I wondered whether anyone had taken a really good look at what they were watching. and I stated that.  There was a kid (accomplice I called him) video taping the event - and at least one or two others visible, also in hoodies.  There were also many others in the background and to the left just off of the screen.  Where their alliances  stand within this video'd group I could not say.  But, what I did was to reply to the "shot off their balls" comment.  You can not draw a gun in a group of people and shoot someone when it is not your life in danger.  That is for a policeman, whether you are registered to carry or not.  Should she have drawn a weapon in this situation she would have been arrested, or worse yet killed. 

The broad conviction that you could and should shoot their balls off seemed very much like vigilantism.  Yes, what happened was gruesome but we can not just shoot someone.  We can, and should call the police.  I suggested that picking up a gun to shoot someone because we are shocked by what they have done is of no difference than the vigilantes who took up guns against the police because they too were disturbed by other videos.  When does this stop?

It's simply crazy to think this can continue to be perpetuated by even well meaning citizens....and I'm using that term very loosely.  How well meaning is it to stir the pot?

As I said, I have done this for a long time.  Those kids wear hoodies to hide guns, drugs, knives, whatever.  All of the adults sitting around in that video had no reaction to what happened - other than to move a coffee out of the way and scoot over.  To that, I asked her "Why?" I wanted her to think about that.  THEY knew something us "video-bite" observers did not know.  That, these kids were dangerous - that if they intervened they would be in harms way.  They (the people who were standing around) did indeed seem to outnumber the thugs.  I'm guessing they knew damn well it wasn't going to be a fair they stayed out of it.  They might have even bought drugs from these very kids.

Another Facebook poster noted that the thugs had later been arrested.  And, that is the way it should be.  And, no armchair quarterbacks had to be involved.  Hallelujah!

I guess I struck a nerve or two or three.  WOW.  Never did I say I wasn't concerned about the victim - nor did I mention whether I am a conservative or liberal.  Just because I worked a difficult job for the State of Michigan - and a good paying one with exceptional insurance, it doesn't much indicate a whole lot of anything.  I worked with Republications, Conservatives, Democrats, and I dare say a good number of great Christian people who would take Leslie to task on her shooting someone.  Although all of them were hunters.  I never even stated anything any differently than I stated it here - although shorter, for sure.

But, look at what posting arrived on Facebook - just before the entire posted nonsense was deleted from Facebook:

"What really gets me are the people commenting on that videolink Sharon Driscoll- totally unconcerned about the victim but more conerned that one of us conservatives has the courage to defend and protect others by personally taking the liberal down. OMG totally insane thinking, I wish you would all move to Syria an Lybia for a while.. then you might appreciate reality here in America." ,by Leslie Villarreal.

There is no way to take that's too angry and distorted. 

Moving on!  Tomorrow, some great jewelry!  Good to be back.