Wednesday, May 4, 2011

William Holland: Day 2

As some of you may have already seen on my Facebook status, I hit my frustration level with jewelry making today.  Perhaps it was a lack of sleep (I posted my blog at 1 am last night) or too many of my classmates needing assistance at one time, but I was at a level 10 for about an hour or two.  I'm sure we've all been there a time or two when you REALLY want to do something all by yourself and find that it just cannot be done.  That was me today!

The day started off relatively easy.  If you have seen my post from yesterday, I made a "basic bracelet" out of copper wire.  I decided to make that one over a twisted bracelet first to work on my technique.  After all, I intend to use the heck out of what I'm learning so I must be able to do this on my own.  In my free time yesterday, I twisted some wire and began constructing a variation of the basic.  Given it did take me some time to do it all by myself, I finally finished in between the other projects we worked on today.  I love it and it turned out beautifully!  Here are some photos:

 The front of my lovely new bracelet.  There was no help from the teacher here.  

 The back of the clasp.  I now love hook and eye clasps.  They are better than a toggle and easier to get on if made correctly.

The side flares out similar to the front, but just a little less.

In between the times I was working on the bracelet, my instructor introduced to us how to wrap a freeform or cabochon stone.  This is where my day fell apart for a bit.  I've never considered myself a perfectionist until now.  Until I was challenged and pushed further.  Suddenly everything was wrong with me.  My head hurt, my hands were sore, my back was sagging, etc.    By the time lunch rolled around, I was so ready to flee the scene and take a breather even though lunch kind of resembled leftover refried beans five days after you've eaten them.  (Salad bar it was!)  I practiced some encouraging self-talk, told myself you CAN do this and managed to finish the pendant with help from the teacher.  The result was a beautiful carnelian pendant:

 The front of my pendant complete with twisted wire carefully placed around the bail and over the cabochon.

The back of my pendant is just as pretty as the front.  

New goal:  make another pendant without needing assistance.  My perfectionist attitude is demanding it.  
Tomorrow brings another day at William Holland and most likely my "wish list" will get longer!  : )

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

William Holland: Day 1

So here I am in Young Harris, GA at the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts.  I meant to blog about my fun adventures getting here from Lexington, but it was such an exhausting trip that I can't even begin to put it down on paper (computer) yet.  Let's just put it this way.  I left Lexington at 11am on a trip that was SUPPOSED to take me approximately 5 hours.  Seven hours later I arrived at my destination just in time to drop my bags in my room, eat dinner, and meet my instructor and classmates.  Much to my surprise and delight, I have a quiet room to myself with plenty of room for all the supplies I brought and a very clean bathroom.

Day 1 was absolutely awesome and exciting!  Class started at 9am and I pulled myself away from the last unfinished project at 9pm thanks to our wonderful instructor working overtime for her eager to learn students.  I could probably go on and on about my day, but most likely the few readers I have would stop reading at this point.  Pictures are worth a thousand words so without further a do, here are the pretties I made today!

 My instructor calls this a "basic bracelet."  I can assure you there is nothing basic about this bracelet other than its elegance and simplicity.  

The back of the "basic bracelet" includes a handcrafted hook and eye closure.

 A simple ring with a carnelian bead.

This is the second piece I made on day 1.  Due to skyrocketing silver prices, we are using copper for practice and other projects unless we choose another type.  If you look closely, I twisted a few pieces of the wire (second in from each piece of wire in the middle). 

Three beaded ring with purple pearl beads of course!!
 Three bead ring with purple pearls of course!!

The side view of the pearl ring is stunning.  I love the way this one turned out.

Phew!!  I can hardly wait to see what Day 2 brings!