Art and Soul Part One...What I Took

I'm back peeps!!  Miss me?  Ha.  My family sure did...especially Lily.  Geesh.  She suffocated me in bed last night and right now as I type!  I can barely type for her body.  So.....so MUCH to tell you about the 6 days I was away.  Yep.  6 whole days of no laundry, no cooking, no bedtime routine, no rushing around to this and that, no taking cats to the darn vet (which we have had over $1000 of vet bills this month alone!), etc....but I did miss my goodnight Mommy and of course my sleeping partner that weighs over 10 pounds. 

Anyhoo....Portland.  I have decided that it deserves a 3 part blog post.  So this is part one.  What I took to fatten my creative belt one more notch.  I arrived Tuesday around lunchtime because Tuesday night I had a class.  Come to find out both classes I signed up for were with this adorable artisan:

This is Jean Van Brederode.  An amazingly talented enamel artist.  Tuesday night was a total technique class on this fancy pants piece of equipment I so have to get now for the studio:
So in case you want to know, it's a hydraulic press.  This is a small one compared to her one at home.  This
one only presses 12 tons....at home she has a mac daddy 20 ton one.  Why do I need this?  Well, because after cutting my own pattern with a jewelers saw and piece of acrylic I was able to make this adorable bird pendant.  And could press it over and over and over.  Uh...huh.....addictive.  And with only 3 in the class we totally got the personal attention and time to play!!

Wednesday morning I was up and at 'em and heading to my second class with Jean called "Jingle Jangle Bangle".  And yes, we made bracelets.  The enameled yummy kind.  I've always been drawn to enameled work, and this was not my first exposure to it.  I can remember enameling at camp as a child and loving the anticipation of watching it in the kiln turn to glass.  I did learn how to not only mess with enamels, but learned how to form a bracelet from copper (my favorite metal to stamp) and RIVET!!!  Holy tamoly I am about to become a riveting queen! 

This was our enameling station.  She was a super great teacher.  And so organized.  Love that.  Well, she has some experience with teaching.....32 years of 8th grade English that is!  And since there were just 4 of us, man I went to town making.  She called me the "hurricane".  Good or bad I don't really care.  I learned a load and made even more!!  You saw my arm above right??  Here are the two that fit me to a tee...and I never took off the rest of the week!
So at the end of the day, where none of us even stopped for lunch, I secretly made a ring.  Had to.  Really. Well, she caught me in the act and I felt like such a bad student.  But I used remnants from my bracelet, so no waste at my station!!  And I LOVE it.  And I can totally see my own twist without the enamel come into play with new jewelry soon.  But I may also break down and ask Santa Claus for that fancy smancy blue kiln.  Because I really, really love enameling.  Oh, and a hydraulic press.  Yeah.  One of those too.


JoyaJewelry said...

okay now!!! I am coming over to play if u get all that fancy stuff from santa!! teach me please!! soooo cool:)so happy you had a great time:)

Felicia said...

FAB-U-LOUS!!!!! i'm so glad you enjoyed the week , can't wait to hear what else you made!

nacherluver said...

Wow! What fun! Love the no waste policy. And love that the "once was waste" is now "brilliantly beautiful jewelry". Bravo you!

Dianne said...

Very cool! Can't wait to see the rest!

Dale said...

oh man, I wish I lived near you because I would be over to press many a thing. Have wanted one for my studio, but I think I need more studio first. Love the Portland photos. Have always wanted to go there as my mom was born there many moons ago.

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