Wednesday, January 28, 2015


... in which our plucky heroine turns resolutely to the motto, perseverance makes positivity...

Organic Seville oranges mean the start of marmalade season, though they are difficult to find and usually only available for a week or two. I need to remember that they come ripe usually in January, and set aside a day for making preserves. After my burn-the-marmalade debacle on the 18th, it was good fortune to find some more still available, and this weeks attempt will be most cautious, having no desire to deal with another heavily burned pan, though learning the trick of applying peroxide and warming it to remove layers of burned-to-carbon sugar was a big help, the waste of all that time and effort, not to mention the oranges and sugar was most upsetting. This will be the first of three batches of marmalade, blood oranges are next, and then probably red grapefruit. Finishing up citrus season with some candied peel would be excellent; this year am hoping for a good balance between a bit more preserving, and a bit more garden activity, and since citrus are from faraway, any citrus preserves must needs happen when they are here!

Yesterday my student Freydis came over for the afternoon, and as a way to demonstrate some basic soldering, I worked on fabricating the setting for a very small dress form enamel charm. The charm will be part of a larger sewing tools pendant/necklace, which in turn will be part of a shadowbox artwork: "time is a dressmaker specialising in alterations". This particular project has been percolating in the studio since the first concept showed up in my sketches in December 2012, but I am far more excited about the way it is shaping up now... stay tuned for further updates in the next few weeks. If all goes well I shall be having a small show at Azure Fine Art Gallery in Corvallis, in April, so in addition to my everyday work, am focusing on putting together a series of interactive shadowbox artworks that include my metalwork and enameling.

Obviously, this is the unset enamel, and the back of the bezel setting that will hold it (7/8 x 5/8"). I initially and unintentionally cut the base plate just a little bit smaller than the already soldered bezel. Some hammering with the ball peen both textured the back around the maker's mark, and stretched the base out just enough to make a good solder joint possible.

Fortunately I am not always rarely quite as sunk in the depths of an emotional swamp as Monday's post might make it seem, and in truth I expect no magic answers, despite the stories in children's books... I do enjoy my own company, and enjoy time spent with friends, and strive to be accepting that my life is not shared in intimacy with anyone, and that the tactile and affectionate world, that for many some is a constant, is in my life more akin to Halley's Comet. I long for simple affection, the arm around the shoulders, the hugs and contact that tell our skin that all is well... ... a few good productive days like yesterday and I hope to be my usual and more cheery self.  In general I feel blessed with how many wonderful friends I do have both locally, at a distance, and online (as well as my parents and siblings, since we are also close though not nearby geographically). I do count my blessings every day, and practice gratitude, as a counterbalance to despair.

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