Friday, 22 October 2010

A day in the life...

I never got to post last week so I thought I'd catch up by posting a kind of typical day post. Lots of pics, not much about jewellry making though.

 On my way to school, I pass this statue which is on a former shipping office. Maybe they had St. George as their patron saint ? I love the detail on the Dragon. I'll store him away for use as inspiration later...
 On the south channel of the river they built an Hotel and office block development. It's a nice place to get a coffee..                                                                                                                                                                                                  .

 I also pass my old high school. It was a commercially based school, specialising in accountancy, bookkeeping and so on, how would things have turned out had I gone to an art based school ? 
 Because I'm always early, I get to sit and drink a flask of coffee. For a while I have the place to myself.

 This is our workshop building. It was a church at one point. 

After some instruction, we get to work. This day we had a go at enameling. There's always a mad flurry of activity while we try and solidify in our minds the technique.


This is Chris, our instructor. How he manages to deal with everybody and keep a sense of humour is amazing.

Saturday, 9 October 2010


 So last week, we were to take a pattern and impose it on a piece. I opted for a bangle as I wanted to get through this brief quickly and get back to brief 3. Zebra pattern on a Bangle.  I selected Aluminium as a metal but spent a lot of time trying to polish out the scratches and marks so I'll be slower next time to pick it. I covered the bar in heavy duty tape, cut through with my pattern and peeled off the "black" stripes. I then sanded each stripe. The look I got is not the one in the photo's. On Thursday, Sam showed us a little tool that goes on the buffer, that whips the metal giving it an etched look. It took 2 minutes as opposed to 2 hours with sandpaper. I think next time I get an idea, I'll hold off until the Thursday afternoon instruction. Save myself a lot of pain and anguish. So lesson learned this week was, be slower in selecting materials, techniques, and sizes for the end product. Over and out !

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Week 3.

No Pics at all this week. We found the battery charger but not until Friday so it was too late to take any photo's. I'll bring it with me tomorrow and take photo's of the class, school etc.

 So last week was difficult. The work load is heavy but interesting. A lot of people caught a bad cold going around and I thought I was clear, but it hit me on Friday. Today I have the hot and colds, was awake all night with a hacking cough so I'll be glad to see the back of it.
 I thought actually, I caught a sinus infection, so before you go thinking I'm a wuss, here's how it involves my classroom. We were short on dust masks, which we wear for polishing and sanding. I was using a bandana over my mouth but on Thursday night my throat was raw. On Friday I had a sharp pain under my cheekbone.  A few other people had the same complaint earlier in the week. Manifestation of the recession !
 I was also noting how a lot of the equipment was worn out or simply broken and not replaced.  There is a good side to this, in that it makes you think laterally about how else to achieve the effect you need. This is also good because when I set up my own workshop, and won't be able to fork out £1000 for a clapped out rolling mill, I'll be used to solving problems. There's always another way !
 I asked our instructor would we be going on any field trips this year. He said they normally go to the Kilkenny design studios, but it depresses the students to see the state of the art equipment  they have there, and then come back to St. Johns. I suggested the National museum, and the Museum in Collins Barracks  so he thought that was a better idea. Won't be until spring time though.

 Next week, our brief is to design a piece we don't normally do (in my case, a pendant) and incorporate pattern into it. I've had the idea for a few weeks now to do something to "bring out your Urban Goddess/High Priestess", so I'm thinking a triangular shape with a zebra skin pattern. We'll see if it gets accepted tomorrow.