Thursday, 8 December 2011

Final Crits!

Two down! One to go!

The feeling of dread and foreboding is finally starting to subside (a little bit) especially after my ceramics crit. It wasn't until I got everything out on the table that I realized how much I had made this semester. Here's all my work laid out on the table!

My platter - which I absolutely hated until I glazed it.

One of my altered bowls. I should have taken a pic of the stamp I made as well. The temoku gold glaze worked really well on the texture too.

Composite forms!


Jewellery is the only thing I have to worry about now. Other than some essays that I seem to be avoiding well while I write this. My neck piece has been a little bit of a soldering nightmare. For some of the more crazy connections I needed a third, fourth and fifth arm.

This was the connection from hell. It didn't work, twice. That's when I started to re-evaluate some things. I got some of the chain done today. I am hoping to get it done tomorrow - but that might be a little ambitious. Failing that I still have all weekend.

I guess I better work on my essays now....

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

End of Semester Madness

Despite a small crisis in ceramics last night I got my mugs glazed this morning and they are currently in the kiln. I am going to take photos of all my glazed stuff at my final crit on Thursday.

Oh and much to the dismay of my back I also finished my weaving. Five scarves!

I was doing some tests with some metal thread. I decided I need to use something different for the warp, so I only did a small sample. There is a website that sells really fine stainless steel and copper thread. You can also get these threads wrapped in silk, cotton, bamboo, and wool. This is what I want to experiment with.

AND I might be a little crazy, but I have recently procured a table loom. The lady who was selling it included so many amazing things with it, including two binders full of samples/patterns. Amazing! It's going to live back in Ontario, as that is where I will likely have the time to experiment with it. I am really excited for it though.

Halifax Crafter's Yuletide Cheer show was this past weekend. I don't feel as bad about missing One of a Kind now. I do not miss telling every single person "It's all made of glass" Every. Single. Person. I think I set a new tear down and home record though = 23 minutes!

Gateaux Rose, one of the vendors, made the most delicious donuts though. I indulged in a few of them both days. They did not last long...

The last major thing I have to worry about is my neckpiece. Lots of progress was made on Monday in class, but I know I still have several hours of work left to do. I have to make a few more components, solder on loopies, then attach them all together (somehow) with jump rings. Oh and then I have to make the chain and catch for it.

It's going to be a long week, but I fly home next Wednesday, so the end is in sight!

Thursday, 1 December 2011


Well, what a day... Less than two weeks left. I know it's going to whiz by! But how is it December? Really? Final critiques are creeping up. Final crits in weaving and ceramics are next week. Yikes.

I feel like November was really good though. I have generally learned a lot about myself and what it is that I like and dislike about different materials. My personal essay for writing class is all about the materials I have worked with and the varying personalities associated with the different mediums. Depending on how happy I am with the final version I may end up posting it either in full or in parts on here. I think it'll be a good final reflection on the semester.

As well as what I have been learning in school I have also made a lot of decisions about the kinds of things and people I want in my life. It's funny that I had to move a few provinces away from home to gain this kind of perspective, but these decisions are going to lead to so many positives and I am going to be so much happier for it. I am so thankful for all the supportive amazing people I have in my life. I couldn't have made it through this semester without all the love and support.

Anyway, there are so many final projects to work on... Here is a first look at part of my neck piece for our jewellery final. I need to make a bunch more of these and then attach them all together. This will consume next week I am sure.... Photos will eventually follow.

Detail of one of my scarves for my final weaving project. I am sewing in all the threads and doing all the twisty ends now. I actually find finishing the ends really relaxing, plus it's kind of fun. And that's the point right?

More scarf magic. Undulating twill!

We did studio cleanup in ceramics today - seriously, I can't believe the semester is almost over. The job assigned to me was throwing out bisqueware and glaze tests that no one wanted. I taught some of my classmates what "will it bounce" was. It was amazing. And if there was ever a day where I needed to smash things, it was most definitely today. Goodbye pent up frustration! Behold the carnage!

Halifax Crafters is also this weekend. I have to switch from school mode to show mode. It will be a challenge, but one I am up for. Bring on the weekend!

Friday, 25 November 2011

One of a Kind Withdrawl

I am having major One of a Kind show withdrawl. I was doing so well with not being homesick too, since this last month has been so fantastic in so many ways. It's funny though that something that gave me so much anxiety and provided so much stress would cause this level of homesickness. But I miss all my crafty Toronto people terribly. I miss the feeling of community that comes with doing the shows. That feeling is probably the only thing I miss about the Living Arts Centre. I even find myself missing the community in the glass studio at Sheridan. Being at NSCAD has just been a bit of an adjustment because there are different people in all of my studio classes. It's not a bad thing - just different.

I know all of this will be worth it in the end when I am making really amazing things (that I still can't even fathom yet since I am only at the end of my first semester here).

I am happy to say that very soon I will be done with ceramics! Maybe not forever - but at the very least for a long time. I definitely appreciated ceramics more this time around, the process is just not for me though. There is too much doing, and waiting, and doing, and waiting, and then a bit more doing and oh right, again with the waiting.... But I made some mugs for my final project. I am pretty happy with them, we'll see how much I love them when they are bisqued and glazed... I am hoping they are dry enough to go into a bisque tomorrow.

There are also some very exciting things happening in weaving too! I am working on some scarves for a final project (a preview from one of them is shown below), as well as playing around with weaving metal on a tiny and super cute table loom (pictures will follow... eventually) A very long day of weaving awaits tomorrow......

Monday, 21 November 2011

3 more weeks/Missing OOAK

This is likely to be short, but I figured it was time for a little update. It was weird today because so many people I know are setting up for the One of a Kind show back in Toronto. It feels very strange that I am not there doing the same. I still have days here and there where I question my decision to come out here, I have to say that today was one of them. I never thought I would but I miss doing shows.... I mean, yes - I am doing Halifax Crafters, but it's just not the same at One of a Kind. Plus, I am just missing all my amazing artist friends back home.

I don't have that many images to show now of what I have been working on but more will follow soon.... Here are my latest jewellery samples... chain! Which I actually really enjoyed doing. No filing or hammering, nice and quiet. This was a welcome change from rivets.

Rivets were too noisy. I liked flush rivets though.

This is one of my two flower holders from ceramics. I had a really hard time with this because with most glass vessels people ask "can I put flowers in it?" We'll see, I don't know how I feel about it right now, but maybe once it's glazed I will fall in love with them. Time will tell.

I also spent some time last week trying to weave with metal - with varying degrees of success. Perhaps I will post some pictures if I can come up with some nicer samples.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Halifax Crafters!

The weather here is miserable today. We are supposed to get 100 millimetres of rain by the time it stops. Figured I would use this rainy day to catch up on a few things. What better time to write a post about the Yuletide Cheer show. I will be there with my glass candy!

When - December 3rd & 4th
Time: 11 am - 6 pm both days
Where - the Olympic Centre (2304 Hunter St, Halifax, NS)
Admission - FREE!

Monday, 7 November 2011

A Few Good Weeks

Once again I should probably be working on my essay, but I have ended up here. I have had a super productive and amazing couple of weeks. Things are getting very exciting in all the studios. Ceramics is making me slightly less cranky this week. Our latest assignment was to throw components and then assemble them into larger pieces. So it went from the ten shapes below last Thursday....

.... to these two pieces tonight! The tallest one is 18 inches.

We have been doing some interesting things in weaving as well. We learned how to draft patterns (which was a nightmare, but I understand it now....) and then we all picked a different pattern and set up the looms. This was the pattern I set up. It's called Ms and Os. Pretty simple, but kind of nice.

I love the undulating twill! I am just happy that I didn't have to set it up.

Waffle weave.

Overshot.... These patterns look really beautiful, but are so complicated when you are weaving them. There were too many things happening at once. It was quite easy to become distracted and lose your place in the pattern. It's very pretty - but never again....

I feel like I rarely post jewellery photos. So behold my dome samples in all of their shiny glory! We are working on brooches this week. I am extremely excited for mine! Pictures to follow....

Ok, now back to my essay....

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Ideas, Inspiration and Plans

I should probably be writing an essay right now. Instead I am eating gummy frogs and writing this.

So I had a midterm critique/chat in weaving today. I'm very happy with how it went, got lots of good feedback from Robin and even discussed how I could push weaving further - specifically as it could pertain to a potential weaving/jewellery crossover. She gave me a few artists to look up, and even gave me some vintage metal threads to experiment with on our final assignment.

Here is a detail of a piece by Mary Lee Hu.

Another Mary Lee Hu piece. I absolutely love this piece. I can really appreciate the skill it takes to make metal look so fluid and organic.

This is a piece by Arline Fisch. She wrote a book called Textile Technique in Metal, which I really hope to possess in the near future. (Notice the italicizing of the book title... look at how much I am learning in writing class....)

More Arline Fisch.

Even more! This one is fantastic, silver pleated twill!

Also today I sat down with someone at NSCAD and mapped out the rest of my time here. I have officially decided to go with the interdisciplinary degree, rather than specializing in jewellery. I will still be taking primarily jewellery from now on, but the interdisciplinary gives me a little more flexibility. It also turns out that half of the courses I signed up for this year are useless towards a jewellery degree. It's so great that I knew that before I registered for classes in the first place.

I am really happy that I finally have an idea of what I need, and there is a plan. And in the grand scheme of things it's not important what is written on my degree when I graduate. It's going to be about what I do with all the skills I am learning here. I could care less about getting a BFA, I am here to learn, regardless of what it says on the fancy expensive piece of paper I get when I leave. It is still difficult at this point to see what will happen, and where I will be when I am done though. I can't even fathom what I will be making even a few weeks from now, let alone next semester, next year and when I graduate.

Someone posted this on facebook a little while ago, and feel like it's so appropriate right now.....

Apparently though, Sheridan thinks I am successful! I was contacted in the summer to be featured as a "Graduate Success Story". The link to it on the Sheridan website can be found here.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Halfway and 500 rings!

I have passed the halfway point of the semester. In fact, tomorrow it will be 50 days until Christmas break - which seems unreal. This has been a very busy week for me. Catching up on ceramics consumed the beginning of the week. Some unfortunate circumstances made catching up even more difficult. Thankfully I have a new wonderful shelf where I can leave my work without worrying about it being destroyed. Always a positive.

I got some fantastic news this week too! My Separation rings were accepted into the book 500 rings! I love all of the 1000 and 500 series books that Lark Books puts out, and I am blown away that I am going to be in one of them!

We had our first major assignment due in jewellery this week. Below is my ring after the soldering nightmare. All I want to know is when soldering gets less stressful.....

Finished ring!

One of my new bowls in ceramics. We made stamps and bisqued them last week, so I was playing around with one of my stamps. I'm really happy with it. It's funny because if it was glass I would probably hate it. Not a huge fan of the ruffled lips on glass bowls.

We finally glazed things! It's very exciting!

Really love the glaze on this one. I am also glad that I left the raw clay on the outside. The stoneware we are using is really beautiful.

Shino glaze is my new favourite. Most of the cone 06 glazes we are using are very earthy colours, which is not usually my thing, but I think the Shino is gorgeous. I will definitely be using this glaze again.

I was just thinking back to how unbelievably stressed out I was this time last weekend, but I survived the week! It was a good week too, despite all the stress. Lots of good things are happening! Hopefully this week is just as good.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Nocturne 2011

Nocturne is an amazing art event all over Halifax, similar to Toronto's Nuit Blanche. Here is a quick look at some of the great things I saw on Saturday night.

Public Gardens!

Hilarity in chalk.

3D video projection. Overheard at this piece "Are they going to start talking in 3D?"

This piece was kind of eerie. There were LED lights and speakers that interacted with the heartbeat of whoever is sitting in the chair. Everyone was very quiet and the beating sound echoed in the space.

Nova Scotian Crystal! So nice to hang out in the glass studio. They are making a swan. I am about to be a little glass nerdy, but I was amazed that they didn't flash (reheat) this the entire time. Everything was so precise and amazing too. These guys must not like their eyes though, because no one was wearing glasses.

One of the engravers. I did not understand a single thing he said, but he was incredibly talented and I have so much respect for the skill engraving takes. I required a lot of chocolate when I took it at Sheridan to offset the frustration.

Finished piece ready for the polishing acid bath.

At the Canadian Museum of Immigration, I was blown away by a series of photographs by Rafael Goldchain. From a series called "I Am My Family", Goldchain dressed in period costumes and photographed himself as various members of his family. This one was my favourite. He also teaches at Sheridan!

Some ceramics at Port Campus.

This was my favourite part of the entire night. The Happy Wash!! They setup the gallery like a car wash, and played the Rolls Royce song on a continuous loop. I found a YouTube video of it so everyone can share in my joy.