Convergent Series

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

Posts Tagged ‘Pearl Gray Steel’

Which Direction?

Posted by C Scheftic on 2020/05/14

Sometimes when I make a piece I have an idea, a theme, a story in mind, from the very beginning. Other times, I make a design, a geometry, and then let it tell me what it’s saying. Early this year, in January, BCO (see note 1, below), I had an idea for the piece I wanted to make for this year’s Art All Night event, a reversible pendant in steel and bronze. Then the pandemic struck and, DCO, it took me a while to get started on it. And the Art All Night show that’s usually held in late April was, first, postponed until the fall and, later, rescheduled yet again as an online event in mid-May. The piece discusse here is what I ended up making. It still exhibits my original idea, but is it now saying what I’d first been thinking, or something else … or both?

Let’s consider this side first. What might it represent?

  • Many people local to me here in the Pittsburgh area (2), and beyond, will read it from right to left, seeing the design as a confluence: where two major rivers flow along until they join together to make one that’s even stronger.
    • Please note that while one can hope that together+stronger means better, that is hope talking, and we should act accordingly!
  • But others (from here or elsewhere) will read it from left to right! In that case, it could represent a path that reaches a fork, where you must make a choice, or pick a side, and go with that. In some cases, the decision can be between right and wrong, while in others, simply a divergence where each one is neither is better nor worse, even though it will yield a very different outcome in the long run.
    • From this vantage point, at this scale, and as so often happens, it feels impossible to be sure where either path leads…

Now, consider the other side:

  • For a very special Pittsburgh event, this sort of art deco design could be an homage to many of our lovely older downtown (3) buldings built during that era, with the golden-bronze element in the center of the steel design reminiscent of the logos of US Steel and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    • It could also represent the light at the end of the tunnel (4).
  • In general terms, a brilliant star in the swirling darkness could be there to help us see our way forward, whether we are traveling downriver amidst strong currents, or standing at a crossroads trying to make the right decision for ourselves and for all those we care about.
    • Alternatively, it could be the light of an explosion hurtling towards us, potentially signaling our destruction if we don’t muster adequate defenses.

For me, one good thing about Art All Night going online this year is that it suddenly become easy to display both sides of my piece together! Here is the collage I created for my entry this year:

What do you see in these images? Do you see what I’ve seen here? Do you see a confluence or a crossroads? Do you see yourself uniting with others to make something stronger, or choosing a path that could go beyond the point of reconciliation? Do you see the star as a beacon of light to help guide you forward, or as an explosion signaling potential destruction speeding towards you? And … what might you do with that understanding … of yourself, or of your reaction to others being faced with the same choices? Or do you see something else?!

And … what might you do with that understanding … of yourself, or of your reaction to others being faced with the same choices?

It’d be great to read your thoughts on this:
Please respond in the comment section below!



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Endnotes:

  1. BCO –> Before Covic-19 Outbreak;
    DCO –> During Covid-19 Outbreak.
  2. Here, specifically, the confluence is when the Allegheny, down from the north, and the Monongahela, up from the south, flow together to form the Ohio, which later joins the Mississippi River that flows the whole way to the Gulf of Mexico.
  3. Locally pronounced dahntahn, of course!
  4. Though the shapes don’t match, one interpretation of that note is another local reference: traffic congestion in both directions on the interstate at either end of dahntahn Pittsburgh is common since many drivers slow down as they approach the (Squirrel Hill or Fort Pitt) tunnels, and seem only to get back up to speed when they can see the light at the end….

Posted in Events, Visual Triggers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Just Some of What I’ll Be Making-With!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2014/03/08

I thought about using the photo I include here as the “punch line” to the post I wrote yesterday about shopping, then decided it deserved its own little spot.

The twenty-four tubes in the front are most (but, aack my wallet cries out, not quite all) of what I had shipped back from the workshop at Hadar’s last month: all five of the new clay powders we were able to try out: Champagne Bronze, Dark Champagne Bronze, Friendly Bronze, Friendly Copper, and White Satin. The seven tubes along the back contain prepared clay (i.e., already mixed with water) that I hadn’t yet finished off so, in addition to the new five, there’s also some Low Shrinkage Steel XT and Pearl Gray Steel XT in that row.

What’s missing from the photo? Well, I store my clay in a repurposed CD cabinet with lots of little cubby-holes. I already had spots for the two older steels; had those put away before I thought to take a photo; and then couldn’t even remember how many new tubes I’d added to the existing stash… The thing is, Hadar has at least one more “friendly” clay coming out (i.e., that debinders and sinters in a single firing comparable in length to that of the much-easier-to-fire fine silver), and it’s a Friendly Rose Bronze. I’ve loved working with her original Rose Bronze since I first got my hands on it, so I know I’ll be ordering some of that before I’ve worked my way through all these.

Not to worry, though, I’ve got a workshop series coming up in April and May. It’s based on the Teacher Accreditation program from which I just graduated, expanding offerings I’ve been offering for several years. I’ll be ordering more clay powders for participants to use in that, and will get myself some Friendly Rose Bronze then. (And, no, I don’t know the date when they’ll be officially released to the public. As an Accredited Teacher of Hadar’s Clays, I can get small amounts early, not enough to stock a reseller’s shop, but all that I need for my own testing and teaching, which is great!)

So I need to stop nattering here and go make some pieces to sell, and teach some workshops (including several more using fine silver this month!), to bring in enough money to pay for all these purchases: the travel and workshop expenses, studio rent and insurance, as well as the clays, beads, chains, and all!

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p.s., There are still some openings in my various classes and workshops, so do let me know if you’d be interested in taking any of them! (Although, since some have far fewer open seats than others, I suggest you let me know quickly….)

Posted in Shopping | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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