Back to the ocean

I’ve been working so hard on upping my silversmithing skills, and working to make pieces that incorporate both silver and glass of late. It’s a lot of work and hard and frustrating but also fun and exciting.

Each piece takes me a lot longer, however, and I have a jewelry trunk show coming up in a couple weeks. It is at Art on Broadway, where I had a solo show in November. With the holiday orders for gifts, and other distractions, making a full body of work in silver wasn’t going to happen, so I instead am focusing for this show on what I love to do best in glass: little worlds.

Instead of abstract ones, these beads have little ocean elements in them: starfish, barnacles, seaweed, water and swirling bubbles  and sand.

Sea beads - glass, sterling silver
Sea beads – glass, sterling silver

They still take time but I can produce them faster then a single dramatic focal silver necklace with a bezel set large glass cab. So I have spent more time in the glass studio the past couple weeks, and it’s cold out there! Glass work is so much more pleasant in the spring and fall, vs. winter and summer. But, work must be done in all seasons, so I have been getting the small heater I have out there turned on early, or I make straws early and let the larger kiln I call Big Mama heat the room better for me.

I asked followers on FB if they liked encased beads or beads with three dimensional elements sticking off it better, and most went for the former option. Encasement acts as a magnifier and makes the glass inside a tad larger-looking. Plus, all that luscious clear just makes things sparkle.

 

Both were enjoyed, but B was the winner. I will make both for the trunk show, but I was curious, and always am, in what people see in my work, in the glass. Literally and in terms of feelings or memories that are kindled or rekindled when looking at glass.

I have been making encased beads this week. It’s been a joy to spend so much time with glass again.

sea beads, top view
sea beads, top view

Emerging from the Snow

Depending on if you have been watching the news or not, the Pacific Northwest was pretty buried for the last week, especially in cities and areas that are not used to a bunch of snow, real quick. As a result, along with freezing temperatures for days on end, those of us in the Portland metro area, at least, spent the week mostly at home. School was canceled for an entire week, snow turned to ice, roads didn’t improve, folks couldn’t get to work. Only now are we emerging from the snow, with the return of rain to wash it away.

I had a big birthday party planned for my sweetie on the weekend, and had to postpone it, save for the small group that could actually walk to the party from down the street. I’d rather folks be safe.

 

So, it was a week of being at home with family, and not much work got done. But, I had signed up for a free online bootcamp that dealt with branding and jewelry business, specifically, and I worked my way through that. That was something I could do in my own time, squished between surprise birthday visitors flying in from other states (when the airports let them actually arrive in the weather), sledding with my kiddo, making endless cups of hot cocoa and coffee, and trying to find moments to just watch the snow fall.

 

Work life is such a balance, whether you work at home or commute every day. Time for yourself, time for family, time for work.  As my son grows, I really want to be present for the kid years left to me, which are dwindling as I wrote about in my previous post. I am fortunate that I can work while he is at school, and be home when he’s with me. I plow all my work hours into the days he is with his dad. I miss him when he’s gone, but I do have time to focus on work as a result, and one of my goals for the next month is to really set up a schedule that takes advantage of this. It’s easy to stretch oneself thin if one schedules their own hours. Errands, housekeeping, appointments, taking a little time here and there to be social or do research….before you know it, the time is gone.

 

I am hoping to use what I learned in the bootcamp to start refining things about my jewelry business, and use those goal posts and ideas to refine actual work in the studio. And with that, I had probably get in the studio. I have a show next month and work is due in a couple weeks. It’s been so cold the glass studio has been miserable, and it takes a few hours for it to heat up in there. I had best get the power running, the kiln turned on, and the muse awake.

Once I get the work done for the show, I will return my focus to the cabochons I have already made, starting to get ready for Gathering of the Guilds in a few months. I have time, I need to block it out. In work, and in life.

cabochons ready to get sterling silver homes

Tuesday Nights

Non-maker post subject ahead. *grin*

 

I still sleep with my son on Tuesday nights. Sometimes, he talks me into more than one time a week. It’s very hard for me to say no.

 

I read somewhere recently that the basic job of being a mother, in the grand scale, is to push your child away from you so that they can learn to fly on their own in this world. And then, while you are pulling apart the closest of bonds there are, one that started with two humans in one body, you should pat yourself on the back and feel goddamned great about it.

 

I don’t.

 

My son is still sweet. He still hugs me before sleep and whispers “I don’t want you to leave.” He gets up from his dinner to give me a kiss. Sometimes I am reading, and don’t want to be interrupted every thirty seconds with a new tidbit from his Book of World Records book. I think “he must be annoyed when I interrupt him…doesn’t he see that it goes both ways, I may want to actually get a moment to read a whole page here?”

But…I also don’t. I have maybe, maybe, 2 years left? Three if I am insanely lucky. Three years of him wanting to share with me, hug me, do things with me. Three years of telling me about his books, his Minecraft, his stuffed animals. Three years left of my child, as a child.  Soon, the chemicals will start brewing and his simple desires and drives will be overrun with others far more complex, that will change his life and rule his outlook for the rest of his days. These are exciting things. I can’t imagine, and cannot wait, to meet my son the man.

 

I could also wait forever for it.

 

To get there, I must go through the forest of his teen years, where the trees will start to block my view, once so clear and close, of my son. He will stop holding my hand. He will one day let me know when Tuesday night is no longer mine.

I know on the other side lies the return, but it isn’t the same. It’s not supposed to be. But I will miss this, so I want to be present for it now. Even if it interrupts my reading every thirty seconds. It is what I want, while it is here.

I don’t know how any mother does this, nods, smiles, and thinks, “This is goddamn great.”

 

Tonight is Tuesday. And for now, it’s still ours.

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