Friday, June 14, 2013

Knowing When to Quit

I'ts the end of a long week, in what has thus far been a long month, in a series of long months. I've been jumping around from festival to work bench like a crazy woman since early April. And I'm really starting to feel it.

I had yesterday "off", which meant that I spent 5 hours (!!) at the studio of another metalsmith, absorbing everything she was willing to show me / share with me. I didn't plan on staying that long, but it was utterly worthwhile. I still have so much to learn and am always grateful when other choose to take the time to help me grow.

Then I went to a gallery exhibit with friends...looked at art, looked at jewelry, went to dinner, got home around 11 p.m. That was my off day. As days off go, it wasn't just wasn't relaxing.

Today I got started kind of late at the work table; my energy was really gone. I cut five more back sheets, soldered bezels to them, got them filed, cleaned up, and ready for the embellishments to be added. I'm also working on a big designer neckpiece from nearly two weeks ago, a design that's given me nothing but fits since I started it. I'm trying to get it finished and cleaned up (and the stone set!) today because I am hoping to do a photo shoot this weekend (yes, also time "off")...but that may not happen. My "work hard, play hard" lifestyle is wearing me out. Either working too hard or playing too hard is going to be death of me!

So in what really turned out to be 2.5 days of actual fabrication time, I got 22 pieces started. That includes remaking one from two weeks ago that the top embellishment just fell off (!) after I set the stone, so I had to re-do it (this does happen; it's not just me), as well as remaking three bezels that I made earlier this week, because they ended up with some funny chip in the bezel, and all were un-fix-able (I tried). So I scrapped them and started over. So really, 25 bezel pieces.

I wonder why I'm tired.  :)

Here's a quick snap of everything but the big pain-in-the-ass necklace:

When I make this many, I mark them so I know who's who. I've got tons of turquoise, some jasper, chrysocolla, and...well, maybe that's it. But I want to keep in mind what stone goes in what bezel as I'm designing the embellishments for the piece.

I sat with my sketchbook for a while and drew out some preliminary embellishment ideas, but I think I just don't have it in me to make them up and solder them today. I'm too tired, and the embellishments need a lot of concentration or I'll just get frustrated / melt something / solder something in the wrong place and have to start over. So I'm making myself take a break and the plan is to tackle these Monday morning. Apparently one cannot be a high-functioning creative diva ALL the time.  :)

I'm leaving next Wednesday for Arizona (yep, traveling again), this time for my father's memorial service, and that's been on my mind a lot this week. I'm both looking forward to and dreading it. It will be good closure but it's not going to be I'm feeling kind of stressed about that this week too. Plus it means only a two-day workweek next week...I can see why I never seem to have enough time to accomplish everything I want to do!

So that's it for this week...I'm at home this weekend but it's a busy one and before it even gets started I've got a workout to do and a grocery store visit...haven't been to the store since mid-May, nearly a month ago. It's long past time to get some real food in this house.

Happy weekend! Hopefully I can show you some new goodies next week!

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