The End of 2017
A Quiet Bench
Here I am on the last day of 2017 and I'm reflecting on what worked for the year and what didn't... Well, unfortunately, a lot of things didn't work for the "Queen Bee" this year, but all is not lost!
I had a student ask me recently, "How do you stay motivated?" I had to think about it for a few seconds before I answered because my first impulse was to say, "I have no motivation." But, that would not have been a true statement.
Honestly, what motivates me to come down to the studio every day is the fact I CAN'T NOT come down here and work (yes, my grammar bells are ringing very loudly at the moment).
There are days, a lot of them, where I feel like I have accomplished absolutely nothing and then there are days where I feel like I've done a lot of things only to realize I just pushed gems, silver and drawings around on the bench. So, I decided the best way to "see" what I have done in 2017 is to look at my photo album (iPhoto of course) and see what the old Mac says I've done for the year. I decided to just pick three highlights because not everything is a milestone.
- Made a giant gold and diamond ring - and cut myself pretty good doing it!
- Made a really great skull ring for a dear friend
- Adopted an alley cat
- Donated a handmade star of life pendant to Lincoln County EMS for their EMS Days event
- Made several Valentine's Day gifts that were a complete surprise to their recipients
- Took a few nice, long solo rides on Sunshine to break away from running the shop
- Started designing a special scroll pattern for the Heritage Softail pipe engravings
- Prepared to give my Midpoint presentation for my MFA degree
- Started engraving the Heritage Softail from fishtail to engine
- Presented my Midpoint proposal and passed to start my thesis work
- Adopted a 6 week old puppy - Mikka!
- Made friends between the adopted puppy and the adopted alley cat - lost a lot of sleep at night to 3am potty needs
- Cast my first rattlesnake vertebrae and cougar claw
- Continued engraving on the Heritage Softail
- Mikka had her first swimming pool excursion and didn't like it at all and Bailey, the original baby still not quite happy about having a little sister
- Mikka lost her first baby puppy tooth
- Finished the Heritage Softail engraving (200 hours later)
- Designed and fabricated a new gold and diamond ring - a biggie too!
- Continued to play mediator between Mikka and Bailey
- Packed and moved the studio from the storefront to a private studio again
- Serious Harry Potter scar from unpacking and moving benches and tools into the private studio
- Observed the eclipse with family and great friends
- Began teaching students again in the new studio
- Back in school to start my MFA thesis work
- Was commissioned and finished a very heartfelt wedding gift by a future groom - he got 1,000,000 hubby points, I'm sure
- Several new students began their journey with me into the abyss called jewelry
- Finished a commissioned "friendship ring" for a new customer
- Thesis work is hard
- Took on a few new jobs from colleagues
- Thesis work is hard
- Visited the Mint Museum's art jewelry exhibition with a new friend/student
- Wrote a proposal for a "call for entry" to SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths)
- Designed and completed several custom commissions for three wonderfully different heartfelt Christmas gifts
- Visited the Mint Museum's art jewelry exhibition again with another new friend/student
- Closed out the semester with an "A-" and an "A"
So, all in all, the year had its moments. I was seriously absent from blogging, but I am planning a big return for 2018. (Yes, thesis work is HARD!)
Here are the things I am most grateful for:
- Having a husband and family who understands this NEED to make things in the basement.
- Having a scholastic mentor who has made a serious impact on how I view my work as well as how I approach designing and fabricating on my bench.
- Having a studio assistant - Jaycie - who helps me get these pics and videos even though I haven't done anything with them yet!
- Yes, thesis work is hard.
- New friends and future jewelers who have made an impact on how I view myself as a teacher and as a resource for this profession.
- Having the physical ability to come to the studio every day and make some... things.
- Of course, the furry kids that keep me on my toes when I think I just need a break from the studio!