Convergent Series

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

Posts Tagged ‘Arts on the Riverwalk’

Doorways!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2018/09/08

Several years ago, I made a small series of “doorway” pendants.  I have no clue why I don’t seem to have stopped to photograph and write about them:  I must have been busy with something else at the same time and devoted my social media time to that instead.

Digging back through photos now, the only one I can find is a rather blurry snapshot of the last one from that series.  But the funny thing is how that piece, Ancient Doorway, is the basis for this post!

Ancient Doorway had been bought by one of my regular customers.  She comes by at least once a year, usually with her mother and/or occasionally with a sister, often with children and/or spouses in tow too, and they entertain me for a while as they explore my offerings, provide interesting critiques, and debate which to buy for themselves or each other.  They are very enthusiastic, and thus a lot fun to have as  customers.  And I remember the time she bought that piece because, as she walked in the door her eyes landed on that one first and sparkled!  She headed straight to it, picked it up, turned it over, checked the price, set it back down, looked at several other pendants, came back to it and made a few comments, looked around some more, returned to it again and held it up in front of a mirror, looked at some earrings, and finally declared something to the effect that it was definitely her favorite of all the new pieces I had that day.

The funny thing about that is this: I knew from the moment she first headed for it that it was the last piece left from that older series, adapted from a project in one of Hadar Jacobson’s great books (and being the last one is probably why I got at least a quick shot of it). And she had to have been shopping at least two previous times when it was there.  So I stood there trying to remember if she’d expressed interest in it earlier, and didn’t think she had.  But she was definitely intrigued that day.  I was happy to have the sale, but I was also very happy that it made her happy even if that had taken a while.

Except when she came in earlier this summer, she was sad.  I could have a few of the details wrong here, but I remember her saying that she usually doesn’t take jewelry with her when she goes on vacation with her family, but she liked that one so much she wanted to have it with her when they took the kids to DisneyWorld.  She clearly remembered seeing it on the bathroom counter the last morning when she went to take a shower, but realized on the trip home that she wasn’t wearing it, and didn’t remember putting it back on as they rushed to get everyone out the door that morning.  As soon as possible, they called the hotel to ask if it had been found, and were told no.  She was disappointed in herself for having lost it: could I make another one?

Of course I said, “Of course.  Yes!”  I did add that I’d never be able to recreate it exactly, but was it OK if I  made something similar.  Sure.  I said that I was in the middle of some other projects, so it wouldn’t be right away.  Was that OK, or did she want it asap?  She said that as long as she knew it’d be coming, that was fine.  I said that what I’d do would be to make several, give her first choice, and then just put the rest up for sale to others.  She liked that idea.

Through the Arches / Into the Vault

Through the Arches || Into the Vault

So I started out by making two more, shown above.  With the old series I remember trying to make them two different ways, and I couldn’t remember which way I’d ended up preferring  So, for those first two, I made one each way:

  • starting from the back and working towards the front, and
  • starting at the front and working backwards.

The techniques to make it work are a bit different and, in some ways, I now think that “easiness” may be a toss-up.  It is far easier to control the design with the approach I used with the former (Through the Arches), but far easier to get great, smooth side-edges using the techniques I applied to the latter (Into the Vault).  So I guess I’ll just have to make a couple more!

Just as I finished those two, I looked at my calendar and realized that I needed several entries for two upcoming art shows, so each of the new doorways went to one of those!

  • Through the Arches (left) will be on display (and available for purchase) at the North Hills Art Center in Ross Twp, PA, from September 8 through October 5, (along with a second piece, a quilt-design piece with a cubic zirconia).
  • Into the Vault (right) will be on display (and available for purchase) at the Arts on the Riverwalk art competition, sponsored by the Hoyt Art Center at the Confluence Cafe in New Castle, PA, from September 8 through November 1 (along with a second piece, a shamrock design that incorporates dichroic glass).

    And I’m delighted to report that I just learned this great news:Into the Vault
    has earned a Merit Award … and was the only 3-D piece to win an award!

You may notice that both of those shows open on September 8. In order to get to both of them (and accept the award in New Castle), I’m moving my usually-Second and usually-Saturday Studio Session & Open House one week later, to September 15. I hope I’ll see some familiar faces at the shows this weekend, and in my studio next weekend … though of course I also look forward to meeting new folks too!

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2017 Arts on the Riverwalk – please vote!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2017/09/05

UPDATE: Voting ended at 5 pm on September 9. I didn’t mount quite a big enough Facebook campaign (which really isn’t my style anyway) to claim the $100 people’s choice prize but, as of the last time I was able to check (an hour-ish before the deadline), I had garnered well within the top 10% of votes. So I sure do appreciate the support of everyone who took the time to enter a like-vote on my behalf!

(Also, since it no longer matters, I’ve removed the column of notes on the extra quirks of this particular voting process…. The rest of this post remains as originally written.)

Oh, and the exhibit remains on display at The Confluence cafe through October 26.

I’ve got two pieces in the Arts on the Riverwalk competition, and I’d sure appreciate your vote!

Now, I’ll admit, neither of these pieces were originally made with competition in mind… They were designed as samples for two different classes I taught last fall, and my intention was to illustrate specific technical strategies of construction! In my classes, I also point out that sometimes a design will take a while to tell me what it really wants to be; in the case of these two, they have also taken a while to tell me what they want to be called!

2017_0127_AngledSquareNestWithLinks_and_BronzeDrapedLayeredEmbellished_4037


1. In the pair shown here, the piece positioned towards the left, with a silver pendant on a gunmetal chain, is now titled Overflowing Nest. In the class where I taught that, we covered a range of different “nest-style” constructions, plus I threw in a “bonus” on making links. Time constraints meant I could only illustrate using links this way, as a bail, but the same techniques work for making an entire chain. The other interesting thing about this piece is that it was made for one of the first classes I taught using “EZ960” sterling silver metal clay, and it was made entirely from reconstituted “scraps” that were left over from earlier samples. It’s always good to learn how well different clays do or do not reconstitute, and this sample worked wonderfully.

If you’d like to vote for my “Overflowing Nest” piece, please click to find the instructions here.

(Quick mini-lesson on re-use: Like all clays, scraps can get “worn out” after many re-uses. After just a few repeats, if you’ve treated your clay nicely all along, it’ll be fine. But even after it’s had a long or rough time, it can still be salvaged by mixing little bits of “scrap” in with “fresh” clay! This is one of the things I really appreciate about most metal clays!)


2. The piece towards the right, with a bronze pendant on a brass chain, is now called At a Bend in the River. That main part of this one was also made from a scrap! I’d finished the main demonstration on making a rolled bail on a two-sided piece, but there was a question, so I quickly rolled out another piece of clay to use as an illustration while answering. I was a bit distracted while talking about something raised by yet another student, so I didn’t roll it very straight AND I rolled off the edge of one of the texture sheets with clay squishing out. But I looked at it and exclaimed, “What great luck! This piece just told me how it wants to be built!”

I immediately reversed my plan of which side would be the back or the front, because the place where I’d overshot the texture has that lovely angle-into-smooth look that I just had to put on the outside-front, not tucked under in the back. Since the remaining demonstrations I had planned involved layering elements and how to add a fire-able stone (in this case, a peridot-colored cubic zirconia), I made use of the curve of the piece to embellish it with a piece where I could also talk about design issues for centering, or not centering, any embellishments. Ended up being a very interesting, if unplanned, answer to the original question!


If you’d like to vote for my “At a Bend in the River” piece, please click to find the instructions here.


Also, though I don’t have these specific classes scheduled (yet) for this fall in either of my North Hills or South Hills venues, there’s still time to add a workshop or two in my East End studio. So if you’ve been inspired enough by one (or both) of these to want to learn how to make something like that yourself, please let me know and we can talk about our options!

More on other shows, classes, and more, as soon as I find the time for another chance to post here.

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