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.

Friday, 14 October 2011

More Spinning!

So I lied, I didn't chronicle the process. Mainly because there is wool, metal, clay and books all over my apartment, and that does not need to be recorded. BUT! Here is my second little ball of wool, which is clearly way cuter than my first attempt. I may actually do something with this one, not sure what though since I can't wear wool.

I was working on my tapestry weaving today. I don't care for tapestry weaving.... I do like the density of the weave though. One part that was an inch long took about half an hour to do though.... unacceptable. I have about two inches more to weave then hopefully I am done tapestry weaving forever...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Spinning Workshop

We had a wonderful visiting artist come to our weaving class yesterday. Leslie Hauck, the owner of The Spinner's Loft about an hour outside of Halifax, came and did a spinning workshop with us! Although she did a quick demo for us on the spinning wheel, we learned the old fashioned way on drop spindles. Leslie made it look so easy. I have such a greater appreciation for the wool I have used to knit and crochet with in the past.

This is what we started with. There were 3 different types of fleece. One was really dry, and the other two still had some lanolin and were pretty oily. Carding the fleece took way more arm strength than I was anticipating. There was a lot of grumbling from the girls in my class when spinning started.

Here is my finished wool.... We have to do another ball for class next week. Perhaps I will chronicle that for a new post and show off my mad spinning skills.... Hopefully I end up with something a bit nicer .

Leslie explained that when she teaches people to spin, she always starts with the basics: hand carding and hand spinning on a drop spindle. This way we are more able to appreciate the history of the process, which I thought was really fantastic.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Well I have had quite the experience in ceramics lately. I got up the other day realizing why I had switched to glass 6 years ago at Sheridan. I was feeling like I needed a balance between the truth to process in ceramics and the anal retentiveness of jewellery. If I could only find a material that was somewhere in the middle. Oh, sort of like glass.... This, of course, led to all kinds of questions about why I am here.

We have been doing lots of technical exercises and samples in all of the studios. Lots of soldering samples in jewellery, lots of practice setting up looms and experimenting with weaving, and lots of cylinders in ceramics. Oh so many cylinders.....

Finally we are starting to move onto bigger projects. A big ring project, a tapestry, and mugs!! Mugs definitely made up for my cylinder frustration. Unlike glass I really enjoy making functional work out of clay. Even more exciting... our next project is bowls!!

mugs and cups!!