Monday, February 14, 2011

Becoming a Smith


This week was exciting and challenging. Our instructor was Jeffrey Ellis (, a very skilled and patient silversmith. He introduced us to chasing and repousee. I have tackled a large and detailed project that I'll need to work very hard on in order to have it far enough along when we do our second week of study with him. We also learned about peening, making several hammers that we then used to create a tube, a spiculum, and finally a torque, which we then shaped into a necklace (above). And I finally have the basic knowledge required to sink flat metal into bowl shapes. It seems like it wouldn't take much to form a bowl shape, but from experience I can certainly say that now I know the right steps, it's a logical process to master rather than an argument with a piece of resistant flat metal like it has been in the past! It was nice to finish this week with tool making skills as well, in addition to hammers we also made some chasing tools to suit our individual needs. A very rewarding week punctuated with a lovely lunch and studio tour at Jeffrey and Susan (from week one and two)'s house. Splendid!

I've been collecting pictures of the proliferous and varied shelf fungi on my ski trips. Some of them are huge! And in winter they certainly function as shelves too. In the one photo I've positioned a dime in the tree bark so you can see the scale. Still not seeing alot of birds although I did hear one and I don't know what it is. It sounded like if you were rubbing your finger back and forth on a squeaky clean surface really quickly. I did see a tumult (my label. Read: flock) of turkeys but they retreated over a snowy embankment as I approached, so there's only a few in the picture.

I had a grand time snowshoeing and lunching with some classmates this weekend and so once again this post won't make it to my blog until Monday when I can access the computer lab at school to add the photos. I had been spending time at the school on Saturdays during open studio time, but it's great to be making memories here outside the classroom as well.

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