Studio Musings

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Wish List

I'm now hanging out in the Asheville airport, waiting for my flight which hopefully won't be delayed by thunderstorms, and starting to think about my wish list, primarily some additions for working with metals and the other alternative materials we worked with in Metals.

I took this pic of my favorite hammers from the metals studio. From the right, they include a really nice, small ball pein, a "jewelers" (I think) hammer with a huge flat face for such a tiny hammer, a cross pein, and a deadblow. I never used to understand why Joe needed so many different types of hammers. Now I do. I set quite a number of rivets in the past couple of weeks, and the jewelers hammer was perfect - use the ball pin to start the process, especially with the tube rivets, and then finish it off with the flat surface - little tiny taps. If you want to quickly flatten a piece of metal without marring the surface - use the deadblow. While a hammer with a pitted, damaged face it great for texturing metal.

I'll need to see what hammers Joe still has. I believe Joe has a jeweler's saw, so I don't have to worry about that. I also need to check out his files. (Watch out Joe, I'm not so slowly commandeering your tools! )

My other favorite was the 1" belt sander. It was absolutely essential to working with the paper mache pulp. Once the pigmented pulp dries it's rock hard, and ugly. You have to sand it down to get to the beautiful graining hidden within. And if I have to sand it by hand, I won't do it, I'm already admitting it to myself. We used a small, upright belt sander you can get from Harbor Freight.

Harbor Freight has all sorts of other cool stuff too, such as this punch and die set, and these diamond sanding blocks. Penland also had several beautiful, small dishing sets that I coveted. I find it ironic that after ignoring the metals shop in my basement in Missouri for all those years I'm suddenly covetous of all these tools. Finally found a use that excited me. I know I'll be sorting through the tools in the basement with a different focus when I get home!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm Done

As of yesterday morning I am done. I'd been putting in crazy hours trying to finish everything up, and had ticked almost everything off of my list, except for this one covered bottle project. I've put about 4-5 days into it at this point, and I finally came to the realization that it simply needed more time than I have remaining and I could either kill myself trying to finish it (meanwhile turning into a bit of a personal monster), or I could decide I'd finish it later, pack up and enjoy the Penland atmosphere.

So I decided to do the later. My suitcases are even mostly packed - largely because I had to figure out if I needed to get more shipping boxes - and I spent last evening cruising through the other studios. That was good fun.

Today we'll be doing official studio clean-up, and then I'll have the afternoon to do with as I please. Not sure what I'll do.

But before I forget, here are pics of the covered object that I did finish.

Interestingly, I was talking to an instructor from one of the other classes and she asked me about the new piece she'd noticed on my desk - the sea form in blue and bronze, and what I'd done with my car part. She didn't realize they were the same thing. I thought that was great.

May Day

Happy May Day!

Spring has finally gotten a firm hold here at Penland just within the past week. On Monday I stepped outside my studio and was struck by how green the mountains across the way had turned, almost overnight.

And of course, on Tuesday the weather turned cold again. But I took a number of pictures just standing there on the porch anyways. I think the grey of the sky actually adds to the green of the hills. So we had a couple days of chill, which made it easier to stay in the studio working.