Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Art Bliss!!!

Ladies and Gentlemen I give you ArtBliss!
A new EAST COAST art Retreat!!! YES! Right here on our side of the world September 24 - 26, 2010 at Hampton Inn & Suites Washington-Dulles Hotel in Sterling, Virginia!
Pack your bags it should be a blast!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sally Reed

Wanted to brag some more on student work from last semester. This is the work of Sally Reed. The first image is of her belt buckle. She was in my Metals 1 class and became entranced with texture. She's one of a handfull from last semester that are off an running and buying tools! Yay!

Friday, May 21, 2010

This is Shell by Geoffrey Jones

Very COOL!
A Shell ad shot in 1970 by Geoffrey Jones. This and his other short movies can be found on The Rhythm of Film DVD

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ron Pippin

and I give you Ron Pippin and his marvelous creations!

Polly Morgan

This is Polly Morgan:

This is Polly Morgan's artwork!
Check it:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

To Do

Many of you have heard me whine before about the mountain of "to do's". Well, Mary Ellen Golden sent me this article. In it Srikumar S. Rao talks about improving your efficiency through first taking note of your mental chatter.

Not a problem! where do I sign up?

He starts with
"Odds are you sometimes feel like you're swimming in molasses. Your strokes are good, with power in them, but you're just not moving forward as fast as you'd like. You look at your to-do list at the end of the day, and too many items aren't yet scratched off and will lengthen tomorrow's list."

Oh, TOTALLY! I am SO on board.....

And here's his crystal clear nugget:

"Listen. Here is a fact of life. When you label something as bad, you are very likely to experience it as bad. In fact, you're almost certain to. But as your own experience has shown you, you never really know at first whether what happens to you is good or bad. You may not know for years. You may never know..... When you refuse to label something that happens to you as bad, then you don't experience it as adversity, and bouncing back is much easier. When you don't fall down, you don't have to get up."

SO wonderful! I have been trying to teach my daughter this, I try to help my friends through crises with this type of thinking! I just need to be reminded myself.

Last night I was distressed about a million things. I was laying staring at the ceiling. Robert walked in took one look and said,"What's wrong with you?" I told him.
He sighed and said,"How can you think that when your the luckiest person I know!" "I AM?!" I reply.
"Yeah, you wanted to be accepted to grad school, Ding!
You wanted to teach at Artfest, Ding!
You wanted to be accepted at more art retreats, Ding!
You wanted a job at CFCC, Ding!
You wanted your daughter full time, Ding!
You wanted a studio at Wabi Sabi, Ding!
then you wanted a studio at home, Ding!
You wanted to live in this house, Ding!
then this spring you wanted a new (used) car, specifically a Subaru, Ding!
You wanted your summer school class to fill, Ding!
You wanted me, Ding! (I know right?)...
the Universe just LOVES to give you stuff!"
Obviously I was laughing by the time he listed himself!
Hmmmm, he has a point!
Well then! Now I want to do a book! I want to travel to Europe again. I want a Dumore small precision drill press... all doable!
but I better not get toooo carried away! ;-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tara & Bella

Oh, you will cry! but it'll be worth it!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mission Accomplished

Well, I got a packet today from the Humanities secretary... my student's evaluation of me as a teacher.

I couldn't look at it.

I was too scared.

I always have good comments, but there's always one or two that have criticism. That's not such a bad thing, but it's hard for me to be objective. I take it too personally. I've tried to tell myself all the things one would, "You can't please everybody. It's not about being liked" or "They have a valid point and I need to grow as an instructor." etc......

Their responses are typed, so I have no way of knowing who wrote them, but it's still scary to be criticized. I am throwing my all students a cookout tomorrow here at my house, I'd just gone and bought loads of hotdogs, buns beans.... and I told myself I wouldn't look at the evaluation until after, in case there was a bad mark and I felt hurt. So I'm listening to E-Town on NPR doing dishes... Robert's teaching in Raleigh and Meredith's gone to a friend's house. I have procrastinated a much as I can, and now I see the envelope staring at me. I open it against better judgement.

I burst out laughing. They're so funny! and glowing...

Excerpt from one:
"I love Ms. Manley... I wish I could fail and be with her again!"
Love this one: "She deserves a pay raise and her own parking space."
This one made me want to cry: "Ms. Manley is a great metals and life teacher."

How wonderful!!!! I feel validated. I'm only part time. So I only get paid for the actual hour(s) in the classroom, face to face with the students. The extra time I put in with out pay painting a old showcase to put their work in, or babysitting the student art show last week, the extra money I pump into the class when we need things I can't order, or time delivering work that wasn't picked up from the show, sweeping the floor, scrubbing the sink, repairing tools, or driving broken tools across town to those that can repair them.... all seem worth it now. I do those things because I love metalsmithing and I want to see people get to do it, who normally wouldn't. I can confidently say that all of these people who took my class this semester wouldn't be making jewelry and metal work if it weren't for the class at CFCC. Most of them would never even have been exposed to "art metal" or "art jewelry". So my work here is done.
Warm inside!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ring of Bright Water

photo by Michael Franklin

Ring of Bright Water is one of my favorite movies. I'm ashamed to say I have not read the book. But I thought it a fitting title to this post. I've enjoyed reading Jake Stachovak's blog and want to share this paragraph from his About page with you:
"It's Not Really About Me - It's About the Water
It’s about you and all the people along the route, and anybody else that cares to listen. I’m not out to prove anything about myself with this trip. By many people’s standards it doesn’t even fit the description of an expedition. Paddling 5000 miles through everyone’s backyard isn’t “hard core” enough to compare to trips that probe remote arctic islands or cross entire oceans. What I hope sharing this trip does do is show people how paddle sports can open up a world of adventure right near home. I also hope that the route itself (starting and ending in the same small town in Wisconsin, linked by a continuous loop of water around a third of our country) shows how we all are linked by water. Perhaps with an appreciation for watersports and the realization that we all share the same water we may be motivated to take care of it for the future. "
You can read more here.

Robert & Jake as he loads up to head north.

Celebrity in the House!

photo by Micheal Franklin

Robert and I were lucky enough to host Jake Stachovak. Jake is kayaking from Portage Wisconsin in a loop down the Mississippi, around Florida, up the East Coast all the way back to Portage. Read about his amazing trip here!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Steam punk romance. By

Oh yeah!

The Cog is Dead - "The Death of the Cog"


the hissss of steam

Josh Sreb

I have to brag on some of my students. It's the end of the year at CFCC and I'm taking photos of the final work. I'll share some more as the week progresses. I just finished tweaking these images of Josh Sreb's work.
Isn't it WONDERFUL!?
I'm hoping Josh's work will be accepted into a new Quarry press book coming out, Steeeeeeeeeampunk!
And hopefully, we'll see more of his work as he progresses. This semester was Josh's first foray into metalworking! CFCC will be loosing Josh, along with a number of my other best students as they go off to other schools and pursuits. BTW- the cuff is for sale as is the second belt buckle pictured. I keep telling Josh and others that they need online stores/etsy shops. Let him know what you think!

Monday, May 3, 2010


So, it's late. I have to get up a 6. I should be in bed, but I feel verbose. I was recently thinking about a comment a woman made at my table of wares at Artfest this year. She said,
"wow, your work is so refined... and its so ... intimate." It just cropped back up in my mind and I'm swishing it around. How nice. I like it... intimate. Isn't that what jewelry does best? Its given intimately. Its small and requires a paring down of experience... a scaling down of vision. Keith Lo Bue talks about allowing the viewer in, and that being the choice of the wearer... I think I'm drawn to nuance as well. I like it when something's packed with nuance. Or when subtlety is used... a subtle transition from one edge to another, or a fading texture gradually dying off a surface. Ah.. so lovely... and when it's done well! a patina that is used just so... a fine file that has gently licked off a sharp edge and softened it and then been lovingly sanded to the silkiest of smoothnesses.... so nice.

Why am I enraptured with metal? I mean really, why? why not clay? I love clay! I used to adore it! but now its okay, I mean I like it an all. Why not oil paints or soil? I used to adore soil! ...and humus and roots and the warm smell of it on my hands, but now..
it is metal that I cannot stop thinking about. I drive the road, NPR playing in the background dreaming of how many different hinges I can make for one locket. How many different ways I can trap a shell in metal. How many different ways I could solder a platform onto a ring to raise it up differently each time. why does my brain do this? And then why is it so hard to actually make the metal sugarplums that dance in my head? It seems there's never time.
I guess it's back to that word, intimacy. I am intimately involved with copper and silver. We are in a love triangle we three.
Or is it an age thing? is there something about middle age when your brain kicks into high gear, but only on certain things? I can't remember my middle name but ask me a question about metal! ah well... it's a lovely affair.