Convergent Series

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

Posts Tagged ‘gift-making’

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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Carol’s Fall 2016 Workshops at The Artsmiths of Pittsburgh

Posted by C Scheftic on 2016/09/23

To help my local reader or potential visitors with planning their metal clay adventures, here’s a summary of the next round of workshops I have on the schedule at the wonderful Artsmiths of Pittsburgh.  The link at the title for each one takes you to the registration service for it.

For the rest of September and on into October, I’ve chosen to offer a mix of classes where you can learn to create pieces that make a definite statement, or elements to use in more complex designs of your own.

  • Monday, September 26, Noon-5 pm: Sparkle-Dome: Make a Hollow, Reversible Pendant with Bling!
    As mentioned in my last post, “lentil” beads are always gorgeous, and now you can learn to make yours even more special by adding a sparkly cubic zirconia in a simple yet elegant way!
  • Sunday, October 2, 1-4pm: Wrap A Straw in Silver and See What Happens!
    Simple tools can be the best: We’ll texture some silver clay and explore different ways to wrap it around a straw. The end result will be a large, stunning “tube” pendant-bead … unless you’d prefer to make a whole little collection of smaller ones. (The latter make great earrings, but they also pair perfectly with the mini-beads from the October 11 class!)
  • Mini Lentil EarringsTuesday, October 11, Noon-5 pm: Mini-Beads: So Cute You Can’t Stop at Just One!
    Another session making lentil beads, this time learning some of the extra tricks for making little minitature ones! These are great for beaders, or earring-makers, of all sorts. Making these little beads is easy and addictive, and you will find so many different ways to use them. (Hint: they fit wonderfully with the little-tubes you could make in the session on October 2!)
  • Thursday, October 20, 6-9pm: Lovely Silver Nests
    Tiny silver balls are easy and fun to make. They’re a great way for beginners to get a sense of metal clay, and they’re a wonderful way for others to use up bits of clay that’s left at the end of a session. And once you have such a collection, one fun thing to do with them is to collect them into a little “nest” design. (Or, if you prefer, spread them along a coiled “track”!) Explore the possibilities.
  • SimplyStupendousThursday, October 27, 12-4 pm: Simply Stupendous Cylinders
    Whether or not you’ve ever made a tube bead before (which you could have done on October 2), this is the afternoon when you can practice making one or two more and learning how to close one end, which will let you hang them in any of several different ways. (The ones shown in the photo can rotate the whole way around!)

Then, in November, I’ve chosen to focus on sessions were you (yes, you, even if you are a total beginner at this!) can quickly make several simpler pieces … where the emphasis will be on making items you can give as gifts in the coming holiday season:

  • HowCharming_CS_CharmBraceletSaturday November 6, 1-4pm: How Charming!
    OK now, the Holiday Season will be approaching, and you’ll be thinking about gifts, won’t you? But why spend an afternoon shopping, when you can spend it making several adorable little silver charms, ones you can hang from a bracelet, zipper pull, fine chain, earwires, etc. They make wonderful gifts … if you can bear to part with them!
  • SoPrecious_FivePendantsThursday November 17, 6-9pm: So Precious!
    Once again geared for gift-giving, the idea behind this session is to make a very special pendant piece (or two, depending on how carried away you get with embellishing your first one!).

Beginners are welcome at all of these, while the projects are designed so that those with some previous metal clay experience are still likely to learn some new techniques with each one.

Note: the links on each session will open a new browser page where you can read a bit more about each class and register for the session. You may notice some minor discrepancies between what’s shown here and what’s there. Having tried (without success, for technical reasons not worth going into) to set up some the sessions I offer in my studio using the Eventbrite system, I have a LOT of sympathy for the several folks at Artsmiths who worked on setting up the registration pages there. It is not easy! The thing I will say is that the descriptions, date, time, price, etc., on the Eventbrite pages ARE correct. It’s just a few photographs that got mixed up, and a few titles that somehow got changed, from what’s shown above (here is what I submitted for these sessions). So … look at the titles, photos, and summaries here, then click the link and get the full description and registration information there. I hope to see you before autumn has passed!

Posted in Events, Teaching Metal Clay | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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