Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Well, it’s been a while…

Posted by C Scheftic on 2021/04/03

So … I haven’t posted here in a while, have I?  Then let me start with a question: How “creative” have you been during the pandemic?  

Background

Back when I retired from working full time at a university (plus taking on a range of consulting gigs), I was so thrilled to have more time for creative adventures.  I could keep all my other “outside of work” activities going, still do a bit of consulting and/or tutoring,  but start using what had been my regular work-time for new projects.  Wonderful!!!  

Though I had done some things like art-jewelry and gardening when working full time, I really appreciated having more time for those in particular and, through them (as I’d had as a faculty member), more outlets for continuing to meet and interact with new people.  So when so much shut down, instead of seeing it as an opportunity for more creative activities, for me at least it felt more like it shut down so many of the reasons I had expanded those areas.  I didn’t drop those balls completely, of course, just some.  But I went sort of back to the pace of when I’d been working full-time-plus.

(I’ve always done a lot of “creative cooking” and for the past year I have done a lot of very “creatively inefficient” cooking!  That is, instead of cooking “in bulk” to make food for dinner parties and several meals at once, I was making just enough for each meal.  I set the table each time too, with nice glasses and dishes, my good flatware and fabric napkins, etc. (I did often use my smallest plates so it would feel simpler to not over-eat!)  I tried new recipes and re-worked older ones (especially early on, when we were contending with various shortages) which I found to be easy when I didn’t have to worry about timing … beyond all those zoom-calls!)  

One Fun, New Creationf

Ah, but other types of artistry… With this post, I include a photo of one of the jewelry pieces I did make this past year, yet another in my “doorway” series, this one in brilliant bronze.  It was a combination gift for a friend “out west” when she: retired from her (self-employed) job; celebrated a decade-turning birthday; and, by coincidence, had just completed her 2-jab covid-vaccine sequence!  

When looking at a different doorway pendant I’d made on commission a while ago, she had asked for one (rather insistently, I might note) and it did seem a good choice now as she was stepping out into the next phase of her life.  

We don’t normally exchange gifts at the price-level of what I’d’ve normally charged for one of these.  Until now, I’ve always made these in silver.  During the pandemic, the price of silver has gone up even more … sigh.  The relatively few sales I have managed to make were fine for covering fixed costs like rent but didn’t leave enough extra to splurge on more up-priced silver…. But I was happy to see this as a chance for me to explore what it’d take to make doorways in this lovely golden bronze color.  Bronze does take more time than silver at several points in the process so, after balancing the cost across both materials and time, the final retail price would still be close to that of a silver one.  But in this case, I had plenty of time to spend on a gift for a dear friend while both saving myself the cost of more silver and testing for any issues in trying to make these in a base metal alloy.  I’m happy with this result, and she seems to be too!

Have you tried anything new, or modified any previous interests, during the shutdowns?

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