Friday, May 31, 2013

Inlay, Overlay, & Underlay

As I am working on finishing up the projects on the bench I am noting that I am using inlay, underlay, and overlay techniques.  The Zuni people mastered inlay, Hopi the overlay, and Navajo/Pueblo people were over and underlay experts.  Sometimes folks ask me whether my pieces are Navajo and it really is not that simple.  I am a contemporary artist and my work is a cross
pollination of all the Indian Jewelry that I have ever been exposed to, seen in a book, or handled.  Like my ancestors and fellow smiths, I use what I have available.....I recycle. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Time Keeps On Tickin...Tickin...Tickin!

So far, this is what I am taking next Friday to Pearl Market.  I still have many projects on the bench that could be finished by then that will be added.  Another even bigger display case has been offered, so there is no excuse to not get even busier and put all this together.  If you are in Columbus next Friday (June 7), please stop by my booth.  I will be set up in Pearl Ally Farmers Market, and am hoping to catch the noon lunch crowd and perhaps some early Arts Festival people.  The Ohio Arts Council is providing my booth space, canopy, and chair.  I just have to show up!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

You Can Imagine

The top little pebble is turquoise from Pakistan, laying on top of stabilized turquoise from Rio Grande Jewelry Supply Store.  The turquoise beads are from Chexoslavakia locally sold at One Stop Bead Shop Dublin Ohio.  You can imagine that I have prewritten this blog in anticipation of staying home, saving gas money, and trying to get my display case filled for the upcoming Pearl Market booth June 7th 10:30-2:00.  The booth was donated to me by The Ohio Arts Council.  They have been so good to me this year.  I look forward to getting back downtown and hopefully seeing some of the Arts Festival when I am finished for the day.  I understand that I will be provided a pop up canopy, table and two chairs.  Stop by and see me and my latest creations.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Floating Stone Effect

In yesterday's blog, I explained the importance of using a sketched on grid to center the stone.  I am shooting for a "floating stone" effect...if I am successful brass will be visible around the stone which is a Hopi overlay method.  My process this month is to try and compartmentalize what I do to save time and the effort.
  By the time I got the oval cut out of the middle of the copper, I was warmed I used the same blade to cut out the letter E that will go on the next recycle sign. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sketching A Grid

In order for this best buckle to look right, the stone must be centered.  I sketched a grid right onto the copper so that I could center the oval (stone).  The grid is in pencil, and will serve a dual purpose in that I can tweek my "stairstep outline" before riveting it to the brass backplate.  This is an example of what I call the vanishing sketch.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Please Plan To Come

I would love to meet some of my followers at Pearl Market on June 7th when I am vending my jewelry and recycle signs.  I will be there from 10:30-2:00.  There will be plenty of items in all price range that day, and I won't be vending anywhere else anytime soon.  This booth is paid for by the Ohio Arts Council, so it is no risk to me.  I have tried vending at various booths throughout the years, and usually I don't even cover the cost of the booth.  If I had some friendly faces show up that would make the trip worth it, even if I don't sell anything. 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's Always Something!

I was minding my own business last night at the laundrymat, when I noticed this offering on the bullitin board.  It is quite a rare thing when someone is willing to pay someone to take kittens.  I suspect it is a very bad idea, as I know fiends who would gladly collect the kittens and the money and then exterminate the kittens.  So sad that folks would try this.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pulling Out All The Stops

I realized that I have some other projects on the back burner that were stashed away till I could devote more time to them.  With the upcoming vending at Pearl Market (17 days from now), I need to try and finish up some bead work in progress, finish my inlay for my medicine wheel, as well as make a few more feathers....and of course the first link to the belt buckle.  It has been nearly impossible to track down any original Powhatan designs as they were mostly wiped out by the original colonists and indoctrinated into other tribes.  Powhatan is unrecognized by the federal government.  I suppose I should just be grateful that Pocahontas married into a tobacco family and didn't need to be recognized or to live on a reservation.  I do wonder though...if my linage were recognized could I be eligible to learn from Indian master craftsmen, instead of just making up my own designs?  It doesn't matter I guess.  The last Pow Wow I attended had mostly made in China Indian things.  My feathers were noticed.  I was even asked to trade with one fine gentleman.  The trouble with that is that he didn't have anything I wanted to trade him for.  Even if he had had porcupine quills they wouldn't have added up to the price or the cost of a feather.  I will go again this year, wear my feathers and anything I don't sell at Pearl Market....maybe I will be able to sell some of my jewelry to people who would recognize my Powhatan linage and my desire to continue what is looking to be a lost art.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Proud To Be An American Shorthair

This morning I recycled my metal at Dick Shermans recycling.  I got there just as the collection of cats were gathering for their moring chow.  The last time I visited was in the pouring down rain.  I saw lots of cats, but not as many as I did this morning.  These cats are happy cats...most of them "fixed".  They have plenty of food and water.  They were coming in and out of the pay window, which is what I was aiming for in my photographic pursuits this morning.  There are about 40 of them.  I asked questions this "have you found any kittens yet?".  They haven't, but I am not surprised as there are so many places a mother cat could hide a litter there.  The nice man at the payment window told me that most all of his cats are "fixed" which is a relief.  They seemed healthy and happy.  There are so many cats in our town that are not taken care of, so it is refreshing to do business with someone who is doing the right thing by them.  A + for Dick Sherman.

Now for the second order of business for today.  It has come to my attention that I have not apparantly made myself clear in relation to not being able to store any more CHRISTMAS tins.  I won't be working with tins till later in the summer...and I can assure you that I won't be using Santa, or Mrs Clause, Rudolph or his stockings, no matter how hung with care they more snowey pine trees, or wreaths.  There is no way I am going to encorporate Christmas tins into my please no more Christmas.  Solid greens...solid reds...are OK...just no more Christmas cheer OK?  If I were going to do another quilt, which I am not sure that I am, it would not be until July that I would start it, and I won't be having any lack of Red or Green.  Don't spend your money on any more tins for awhile.  Thank you for the ones that you have donated to me thus far.  I will be lightening my load in the near future and only keeping the tins that I know I can use.  I do not pay for if I have boxes full of tins sitting around my house that I can not use, then I would be hoarding.  Those of you who know me best, know that I am recovering from living with a hoarder for 7 years.  While I am not a minimalist by any long shot, I won't be accepting anything that I have to store, or move, or find a place for.  I don't want peoples junk....or ideas about me being so poor that I have to accept the charity of peoples junk.  What I lack is cash for the things I can not buy...gasoline, sterling silver, solder, polishing wheels, paint (specific colors), hardware, glue (specialty glues), glue remover, saw blades (for my jewlers saw), polishing wheels for my dremel, A kevlar glove for my left hand....for when I am trying to cut tin (not Christmas tins as they are not worth cutting myself over).  I don't need no stinkin Christmas tins! LOL...and please stop offering me cats, and I don't care how cute or in need they are...I AM NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY MORE CATS!  I pay rent for Syd, and he misses the outside cats, but we can't feed them, and we can't pay for another cat.  We could use some flea if you bought a box of tins for me at an auction recently...thanks for thinking of us....but what we really need is flea meds, not any more tins....not any more cats.  End Of Rant.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Projects On The Bench Can Be Modified

Most of my drawings and sketches get glued right down to a piece of metal.
After the glue dries, I begin cutting out the outlines of the sketch with my jewelers saw.
Prior to the sketch, I compile, stone, metal, and whatever in order to conceive of the idea.  Sometimes the idea in sketch is not possible with this process is important.  I have sketchbooks full of ideas that are impossible in terms of transforming them to metal, given the limitations of my equipment and training.
It can take weeks, sometimes years for something like this belt buckle to make it from sketch to metal.  Sometimes pieces will lay dormant on the bench for months at a time.  Sometimes one completed piece will give me the idea and sketch for another piece.  Sometimes an idea and sketch look better in different metals.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Small Sketch Diary

Bringing forth a sketch on paper into metal is a transformation...and very magical in my opinion.  Until I decide that my sketches warrant another blog, I will post them here when they are relevant.  I didn't realize that my original Thunderbird was in an old sketchbook.  In leafing through, I find other drawings and sketches that have not manifested into objects yet.
The library is now closed on Sundays, so I will try to put something up on Saturday to post automatically on Sunday.  Monday morning I am taking a computer class and will be blogging later in the day.  Have a great weekend dearest readership.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sketch Diary Projects

I just got word yesterday (Friday) that I will be vending at Pearl Market Friday June 7th.  I am pulling all the stops out, and trying to fill up my display case by then.  This is a very wonderful opportunity, and I am going to make the most of it.  Previously, I mentioned that soon I would launch another blog dedicated to "the sketch"...but I really am not sure about that, and until I am, then my sketch book will go here (Concha's Cauldron) as really the sketches that become objects are a vital part of my story.  Here is a photo of the first Concho that I will make for my very own Concho belt.  The blue belt I earned in Karate will do nicely for the belt itself.  I recycle everything...even Karate belts!  This will be a fun project...and I sure do hope I can get some funding for it, because I want some of the Concho's to be with silver included.   This piece front and center is going to be regretfully copper over brass with my prize turquoise stone.  The stone comes from Rio Grande and an in kind donation...the brass donated last month, along with the copper.  This project is going to be fun, and a very traditional type project for an Indian craftsperson.  For now I am going to call this project Concha Castanedas Blue Belt.  I look forward to sharing each one of the concho's as they are forming and transforming.  I knew I wasn't supposed to keep that blue belt stashed away in a drawer!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Evolution Of Sketch

Most of my work evolves from sketch's.  The sketch doesn't usually survive the evolution of the project, but rather it precludes the final creation.  Consequently, I do not have many sketches in my personal library at home.  Once in a while though, I run across an old sketchbook and am surprised to find that I don't remember sketching the thing, and wonder what if anything I can do with it just in the form of a sketch.  For this reason I am thinking about starting another blog to post these sketches whenever I find one of them.

  I have moved about 10 times (I am not kidding you!) since this photo taken in 1998.  With so many moves in such a short time span, it is hard to keep track of things (like sketchbooks).  Most everything in this photo I have not seen since the photo shoot, such as the book in my lap, and the coffee mug in my hand.  The bracelet on my arm was destroyed by the Columbus police when I was falsely arrested a year later.  I had a stalker, I had complained to the landlord as he was bothering my female friends as well as me...and somehow his sister managed to get me arrested before I could file a report.  It is a terrible thing to be stalked, and a worse thing to be beaten within an inch of your life defending your the very people who are sworn to protect.  Be that as it many places I have lived, and so many possessions I have lost along the way, and things stolen right off the moving truck!  I emerge a wiser woman, and frankly I wouldn't even dream of dialing 911 until after I "immobilized" (the nicest way of saying that I won't have it next time) my stalker.  That may seem bold and cruel to some of you....but if you haven't walked in my shoes, then you really can't advise me on when or if to call the police.  Stay tuned for a new blog post with a future link to my sketchbook.  Maybe someone else can make use of such a thing.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Guardian Of The Clay

This morning, I left Syd guarding the clay project (coil project).  He has moved to the kitchen table from the workbench, presumably until I start metalsmithing again.  I had been waiting for an in kind donation to fill up my acetylene tank.  I got that yesterday, and my tank filled.  Thank you Judy.  You have helped me continue operations, when I would otherwise need to do something else.  I am so blessed with people and friends that actually "get it".  I am good to go today.  Syd continues to be wherever the action is!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

For Sale To Highest Bidder

I spent a couple hours listing this turquoise ring on eBay today, only to find out that they want a credit card on file!  You have to wonder why a credit card that implys debt, would be a requirement for a person who has never had credit, does not want it, does not believe in it!  We really should be able to opt out of this part of Capitalism.  This is the part of Capitalism that is unhealthy and causes more harm than good.
Anyway....this ring is handmade, signed, genuine turquoise stone, size 8 1/2 sterling silver.  I have not been able to get a real good picture of it with my here is a sequence of pictures for your consideration.  Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing this ring.  I can size it down, and I can enlarge it up to a 9 1/2. far, it is a one of a kind.  Bidding starts at $75.  I will be posting this on both eBay and Etsy as soon as I can bypass the requirement for a credit card.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Powhatan Princess Jewelry

For a year now, I have known about my native American linage through my great grandmother Laura Bell Bolen.  I have been making jewelry since the 1980's, and making indian jewelry all along the way, without knowing my genealogy.  When I lived on Wyoming Street, I put  damaged silver dollars on the train tracks to flatten them into bracelet size lengths.  It was only when I started being a teaching assistant that I was introduced to the rolling mill.  My latest in my Powhatan Princess line is this turquoise ring which I am trying out today to see how it feels before marketing it.  I have been busy searching for grants, making art, and learning stuff.  I don't seem to be able to learn fast enough for all that I am trying to do.  Today, I got an invitation to enter into a project called Project Berlin "Which Gate?" from factory art.  The deadline is May 20th.  I looked at their site, and my art would definately fit...there is just not enough time to get good pictures before May 20th.  Their next deadline is in legal situation comes up again mid June so I can not imagine being grounded enough to jump through the necessary hoops.  My life has been on terminal hold it seems since June 2011.  I will be glad to put all that behind me so that I can see what happens when I can fully engage

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Closed On Sundays

Our library is closed on Sundays for the summer.  It is going to cramp my style a little as until Lori pays the phone bill, I won't be having internet at home, or a phone for that matter.  The library is my main source of information these days.  I rely on it to stay in touch with friends...I haven't stayed in touch with my family....just my grandmother.  Maybe that is what I will do on Sundays from now on....visit my grandmother.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Homemade Scratching Post

Syd has been working on this stump for quite a while.  He likes to keep his claws sharpened.  Better on the stump than my couch!  He has been grieving the loss of Rubio, and the mother and her kittens.  I confess that I don't know what to do about grief and depression for myself, let alone my cat.  I gave him cat nip last night and I sang to him.  That is, I sang his name to him in several songs....making it up as I went.  He seemed to be much better after that.  It is one of the many joys of living alone....I don't have to worry that my partner will think I am crazy for singing to my cat!  I don't have to answer to anyone or anything.  I even unplugged my alarm clock recently....out of rebellion!  I wake up when I wake up....go to sleep when I am tired.  Syd and I like it just fine that way.  Today we are finishing up on my pueblo style pot.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Afternoon Delight

I am blogging this entry on Thursday in anticipation that I will be spending the whole day in my studio Friday.  My Princess Powhatan line of jewelry is shaping up.  I am trying to fill my display case in anticipation of both the Pearl Ally Market, and the possibility of another demonstration at Flint Ridge this spring.  Without Acetylene, I can not finish my bracelet.  That does not mean that everything has to stop though.  If I can clear my bench, then I can move the clay pot into the sunlit studio to get rid of the coils and smooth out the pot.  I think I have to do that before I start closing the hole, as I am doing a Pueblo style pot.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Red Clay Cat

Syd decided to lend his help this morning when I added a coil to my clay pot.  He likes to get into the act.  Later in the morning, he helped me sort out some beads:) 
I decided that rather than jump into the painting again, that I ought to take my jewelry as far as I can go without the torch.  I set the stone in my ring, finished the feathers and Zuni bear.  Syd dumped the beads at one point trying to get onto the workbench.  He isn't far from whatever it is that I am doing...and I wouldn't have it any other way.  When I left him, he was back at his window by the anvil. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Out Of Gas

About a week acetylene torch started sputtering.  Upon investigating, I found the gauge was reading just above empty.  I finished the penny project and soldered a couple feathers and shut the torch down to go away for my painting holiday.  This morning I ran completely out of gas while soldering the silver on both the bracelet and the matching ring.  I am so close to finishing both projects that I could scream!  But that is just the way it goes in the metal shop, I am always running out of something.  A replacement tank of acetylene was on my art council grant list, and it was one of the things I waited on as I wasn't completely out of it, and there were other things I was completely out of at the time.  Lucky for me, there isn't a thing on the bench right now that is pressing.  My plan is to refocus my attention on my clay piece and my painting...neither of those projects needs acetylene.  I have been making a coil pot in pueblo style that does not require a potters wheel or a kiln...which is good as I have neither.  I heard that there was some talk about my wasting my time and talent on copper.  There is some truth to that, as it takes just the same amount of effort, skill, and time to do the same projects out of silver...and of course the obvious price hike because of the cost of silver versus copper and brass.  I do what I can, with what is available and within reach.  It is true that the Zuni bear is exquisite in sterling!  This one in copper will go in my display case, and if a customer wants one in silver, they will have to pay me a deposit so I can get the silver to do it.  Which is better, no Zuni bear, or a copper one?  I am sorry if I disappoint some folks....I don't have the luxury of fixing a problem by throwing money at it.  It could be weeks before I can fill up the tank, and rather than pine away because of it, I would rather keep my mind on what I can do.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Closed On Sundays

I had quite the refreshing time this weekend with my painter friend near the zoo!  We were both working from photographs but we approach our layout differently.  It is always good to see how other artists work.  My friend is painting a diner scene, and I am working on painting my way out of Newark.  My belief in magic motivates me to paint a scenario that would transport me out of Licking County and back into Franklin County where my drum sisters are.
I know of no other artist that actually works that I am pretty much out there....on my own on this.  Nothing ventured nothing gained as the saying goes.  I found myself saying to my librarians "I am going to paint my way out of this town".  They probably thought I meant that I am going to try to sell my paintings for the money to leave, when in the sense that I spoke of I meant that I would create a scene, put myself in that scene...move myself to another scene.  I have no idea if it will work...I just need to try it and see.
Many people speak of "magical thinking" and they are talking about something that is entirely different than magical being.  I believe in magic, and so magical thinking is just a preliminary process to magical doing.  My painter friend is not a witch, and so I felt totally comfortable just painting with her in her studio without explaining that I was attempting a magical experiment.
I am reminded of the cave men and women who painted the hunt on the cave wall before actually going on the real hunt.  I look forward to seeing my painter friend's completed diner.  We had a lot of fun imagining who all was in the diner, and what there names were.  The library is now closed on Sundays, so I will not be able to blog or check email on those days.  Not to worry though, I will plan accordingly.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Painting Holiday

I just love this time of year!  I will be painting on a canvas today....somewhere out there in the world.  Be back blogging on Sunday.  I want to learn what kind of tree this is.  Anybody know?

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Mind Has Been Blown

For the first time in months I feel that Syd and I are safe.  We remain vigilant...but sometimes knowing who our enemy is not is helpful.  I am seriously thinking about doing a painting of Syd with my anvil.  He likes this spot in my workspace because of the light.  Yesterday, I moved him long enough to finish up on some of my projects. 
I didn't get a shot of both will just have to take my word for it.  I used Syds perch for about 90 minutes, then I gave him his spot back.  So my tally is two bracelets, 8 penny buttons, and 5 copper and brass feathers.  Not too bad for a 90 minute session.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

No Opportunity Here

The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) is currently accepting applications for visual artists for its 2013 Visual Arts Fellowships. Artists must be a Franklin County resident for a minimum of one (1) year to apply for the fellowships and remain a resident for the grant period if selected as a recipient. While students are not eligible, artists may submit student work that is within the required timeframe. The application deadline is Friday, June 28, at 5:00 PM.
GCAC will award four (4) $5,000 fellowships in 2013. The Visual Arts categories are 2 and 3-dimensional visual arts, photography, and crafts. These awards, based on the quality of work created within the last three years, assist artists in the creation of new work and the advancement of their careers. Through the recognition of individual creative work and artistic enterprise, the Columbus area remains a vital place where artists can live and work.

I started gathering my painting supplies together yesterday to take with me on a short little day trip with my painter friend.  I have a heavy heart.  I know that there is little or no opportunity for me here.  My chair is the gathering place for my brushes, paint, canvas's, round pane of glass.  Who knows what I will come home with?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Am Going To Paint My Way Out Of This Town

I read a Herman Hess story once when I was in College.  It was about this guy who was being tortured in prison.  He was an artist as I recall.  One day he started painting or drawing a train station on the wall of his cell.  He heard the guards coming for him and his daily torture he quickly drew or painted a train and then got on.  That was the end of the story and I have never forgotten it.  I feel the same way as that character in the story...about living in Newark.  I didn't choose to live here, and each day I exist, I realize that I really want to get the hell out of here before someone else gets hurt! I do try very hard to see the know I do! 
So maybe I have to be like the guy in the story and paint my way out of this godforsaken hell hole.  They use U-Hauls here in Newark to make  and transport crystal meth probably to I notice them whenever I see them.  Maybe I will paint this U-Haul leaving Newark and going....ANYWHERE (the road sign will read ANYWHERE...passing another sign reading you are leaving NEWARK).  This one was right outside kitchen window.  I guess you can call me a land escape painter from now on:)  I am coming Columbus (My first choice).  I will be there soon!

post script:
The Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) is currently accepting applications for visual artists for its 2013 Visual Arts Fellowships. Artists must be a Franklin County resident for a minimum of one (1) year to apply for the fellowships and remain a resident for the grant period if selected as a recipient. While students are not eligible, artists may submit student work that is within the required timeframe. The application deadline is Friday, June 28, at 5:00 PM.

GCAC will award four (4) $5,000 fellowships in 2013. The Visual Arts categories are 2 and 3-dimensional visual arts, photography, and crafts. These awards, based on the quality of work created within the last three years, assist artists in the creation of new work and the advancement of their careers. Through the recognition of individual creative work and artistic enterprise, the Columbus area remains a vital place where artists can live and work.