Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oh It's Time To Post

A glass of some red wine in a stemless Riedel white wine glass (most of the red ones are broken), the sounds of Jessie practicing cello upstairs in her room with the door closed (she doesn't like anyone to hear her) for my background music. I allowed myself a glass of wine (or two) tonight as my cold is *finally* on the downswing. No, I didn't go to the doctor. It was a cold. Horrible, but a cold. No fever. I am done talking about the cold.

Today was the first day of my jewelry-making class and I was reminded both of why I like to take classes, and why I would rather learn from a book. I like taking classes in a well-equipped space because they have all the best tools. I like taking classes because the instructor always gives cool little tips that only come after a bezillion times of doing something. I like learning from books as the content covered in the first three-hour class is what I would do in the first 20 minutes on my own. Though I am very excited about my class, we spent today introducing ourselves, going over the syllabus, learning to light the torch, learning to move the torch back and forth with one hand while picking up small objects in tweezers with the other, and, finally, moving the flame back and forth over the metal at a consistent height for a minute and then quenching the metal in water at the end. Total time on torch/task: 10 minutes. I am not criticizing the instructor, the syllabus, ANYTHING. It is a reality of life that a class situation must move at the pace of the slowest possible participant, and, on the first day, the instructor has to assume we're ALL the slowest possible person.

What I most got out of the class--and it was so appropriate for my current overwhelming life topic of the book that it looks like I made it up--is the incredible, invisible potential overlap between disciplines in tools, materials and techniques. Because each discipline uses its own esoteric lexicon, the potential for cross-discipline usage is often overlooked. For example, my instructor in class today was surprised to hear that the company that makes chemicals for use on copper jewelry (JAX) also makes a copper patina for the stained glass industry. Is it usable on jewelry too? Interesting question. Maybe other jewelers are familiar with it, but she was not.

And speaking of the book, I stopped at Daven's today to pick up several ceramic tools and chemicals that I want to try using with glass. The experiments begin tomorrow! I might even get to making the traganth-gum pastels.... Oooh!!!!

1 comment:

Bill said...

Ever learning...