collaboration

Textile and fibre artist (and dear friend), Catherine Miller, asked me to provide some elements for a piece that she's working on to celebrate the Spirits of Charlottetown who are helping her live with her cancer.

These glass discs of colour will be backlit in a swirling evening sky above Charlottetown.

Dancing coloured light!

Dancing coloured light!

Italy!

I saved for 4 years. We WENT! 

I have a bazillion photos, but here's a few... and if you'd like to know something about one, just send me an email.

 

"apprenticeship"

Who learned more? Me or Julie Ann?

There are really no words that can justly describe this experience with the lovey Julie Ann Rayner. She was wonderful with the customers, her skills were SUPERB and she worked as hard as I did. I feel spectacularly fortunate to have such a special colleague and friend. 

I can't speak for Julie Ann about what she learned, but I learned PATIENCE. I don't give up like I used to. Now I keep copious bench notes and work through a problem slowly and systematically. 

It takes a good 15 minutes to rivet a disc to a ring. 

It takes a good 15 minutes to rivet a disc to a ring. 

I also learned to ASK FOR HELP. When I'm good and stumped, I just ask. Oh so wise!

mentoring

This has been a tremendously rewarding year of learning, teaching and sharing.

Laura Morneau is an aspiring jeweller. She has made her DWTFOX line for a few years but was desperate to expand her skill set and become a metalsmith. I pulled together a team of my colleagues to guide and teach Laura. She's on her path now. Congrats Laura! 

Laura drilling into brass using a flexshaft

Laura drilling into brass using a flexshaft

and here's Catherine MIller giving Laura a sawing demo

and here's Catherine MIller giving Laura a sawing demo

Laura is one VERY, VERY lucky young woman. This is her full team of mentors: Julie Ann Rayner (emerging jeweller and former apprentice at Happy Glass), Catherine Miller (retired jeweller), me and Jeanette Walker, master goldsmith at Walker Studios.

Inspiration and motivation are shared at the after hours COCKTAILS!

toy Tillie

She looks like a puppy! Maybe its her hairy head or the angle of the camera, but this photo takes off 12 years. 

too fast

Tillie LOVES fresh snow. She ran so fast, I couldn't get all of her in the frame.

cozy by the tree

A cappuccino in my Great Grandmother's demitasse cup with a slice of rich fruitcake on the saucer. Good Christmas cheer to you and yours!

Our little Charlie Brown tree is covered in Swedish heart baskets and white crocheted snowflakes. I love a scruffy wild tree.

Our little Charlie Brown tree is covered in Swedish heart baskets and white crocheted snowflakes. I love a scruffy wild tree.

Christmas LIGHTS!

My upstairs neighbour, Mark Fisher from Shift Event Management, helped me execute my vision for lighting up the building for the Festive Season. Thanks MARK!

Happy Birthday Dad!

When my Dad turned 86 I went to help him celebrate. Parkinson's patients develop respiratory weakness so it was incredible to hear him play the harmonica. He's the most DETERMINED and STUBBORN man I know. You are absolutely AMAZING!!!

Dad with his sweetheart. Hi MOM!

Dad with his sweetheart. Hi MOM!

friendly beach buddy

On an early morning beach walk I stumbled upon this happy, smiling face

and then I went skinny dipping for the first time in my life. Very liberating!

and then I went skinny dipping for the first time in my life. Very liberating!

enthusiastic!

My most rewarding moments from last summer were spent with these eager, determined and tenacious kids. Their patience was astounding. Ellen comes from Fredericton often, to visit family on PEI, and the boys were travelling across the country in an RV with their amazing parents. Thanks to both families for giving me such rewarding experiences. You're welcome back, anytime!

Ellen's an old pro now. She has worked at my torch 3 times, so far...

Ellen's an old pro now. She has worked at my torch 3 times, so far...

Kia at the torch with PERFECT artisan posture

Kia at the torch with PERFECT artisan posture

Hunter the "goldsmith"

Hunter the "goldsmith"

Kai giving a demo to a visitor. At this point I just put my feet up.

Kai giving a demo to a visitor. At this point I just put my feet up.

2015 - winter of the disappearing fence

Looking back at the winter of 2015... We kept a close eye on Tillie because escaping the confines of our tiny yard was as easy as putting one paw in front of the other.

pin backs

While I had great success with the big soldering job, I had major frustration with the little job of soldering nickel silver wire onto the silver disc to make a pin back. As the saying goes... Practise makes perfect! 

practise with scrapes

practise with scrapes

execute with the good stuff

execute with the good stuff

new work

I took the new glass discs to Penland. I wanted to set them on high polished silver discs so that the light that passed through the transparent colour would reflect back to me.

For this project I needed to solder the discs to each other. Lisa Colby problem solved with me and we came up with a brilliant solution. I gathered my new found courage and DID IT!

 

components ready to go

components ready to go

successful soldering 

successful soldering 

ready to rivet

ready to rivet

I flattened some of the rivets, but i have a solution for the next time.

I flattened some of the rivets, but i have a solution for the next time.

learning at Penland

I had an outstanding learning experience at Penland School of Craft and a JOYFUL time. 

We jumped right in as Lisa Colby taught us sawing, piercing, filing, sweat soldering and heat riveting.

We made name tags!!!

"bj" with heat rivets. I LOVE heat rivets!

"bj" with heat rivets. I LOVE heat rivets!

Happy to be at Penland School of Craft in the Metals studio!

Happy to be at Penland School of Craft in the Metals studio!

being challenged

new direction

My friend Catherine Miller is challenging me to loosen up. I can make tons of very, very consistent beads, but colouring outside the lines, I couldn't.  So I tried. I'm so happy I tried!

Together we're working on a celebration of all the angels in Catherine's life. She has designed an appliqué fabric cityscape of Charlottetown, with the Hillsborough River in the foreground, and a riotous night sky full of swirling colour. At the centre of each swirl will be a backlit opening for my glass pieces of transparent colour. 

I'll show you our progress as we make it...

a complex twistie

Here are some photos that Anne Lindsay took while Heather Trimlett made a complex twistie at Bead Camp. A complex twistie is multiple layers of glass that are stretched and twisted around each other making a spectacular spiral of colour.

This is an overhead view of Heather starting to layer the colours of glass.

Layers and layers of glass, very neatly stacked.

Encased in clear, without trapping any air.

Here you see the magnifying properties of glass.

Heather likes to transfer the encased layers of glass to steel punties for the thorough heating, then twisting and pulling stages of the process.

Twist like crazy while gently pulling. The fine lines of opaque colour help you see that you're twisting evenly.

Heather's twists are always even and the diameter is always consistant.

Here it is, annealed. Fascinating!