Monday, June 17, 2013

de-tangler is needful

There are days and days when our plucky heroine does not find studio work a delight. Most of the difficulty with fabricating this pendant was due to the shape chosen by my patron, a long lozenge...

The enamel is quite large, for a jewelry piece, being three inches in the longest dimension. The size makes it difficult to keep in a stable horizontal alignment while in the kiln, particularly since it is an angular geometric shape. At 1500°F the glass melts, and metal under the enamel becomes very soft, only retains shape once the enamel cools to room temperature, which is another reason to be careful to balance the counter-enamel on the back.

The painted laurel wreath, (the part I was and still am most happy with) was a challenge to keep even in scale and shape, remembering that the "painting enamel" is more akin to wet sand than to watercolors. I rarely use painting enamel on this scale; usually reserving it for adding tiny details, but here the combined techniques add up to more than the sum of the parts.

And finally, building even a simple closed bezel setting becomes more difficult the more the shape varies from a circle. Still and all, the final result is most impressive, and I hope that the intended recipient feels the same way, since it has taken almost three times my normal turnaround time to complete.

In addition, whilst struggling to complete this commission, I have become aware of an odd and dysfunctional piece of magical thinking, that is getting in the way of my having the kind of life I would like, one where my surroundings support the activities in my life, and one where the work I do moves with relative smoothness from initial contact to delivery...

Part of me resists finishing things and resists dealing with the disorderly clutter, because that part seems to believe that if I have everything in order, and all my projects completed, then my life will be over and I will die. Needless to say, this is a peculiar and inappropriate way of thinking, and I am not quite sure how to counteract it. I have been pushing myself to just work ahead anyway, with mixed and less than ideal results. Recalcitrant projects do not help. I am rather embarrassed to have figured this out, and don't know anyone else who feels this way, or where to look for possible solutions... sometimes the inside of my head is a very odd place indeed!

Next up in the everlasting project list: back to cloisonné in the workroom, and another gift reverse applique t-shirt...


  1. That is gorgeous! For the magical thinking, you could designate specific clutter and specific projects which shall not be cleaned or finished. Kind of like that one deliberate mistake. Then you know it won't ever be completely clean or done & you can relax about it for now & work on changing the thinking over time, because that does take time to change.

  2. Hmmm that is a potentially useful idea... the designated unfinished clutter and project... thank you. I shall continue to mull over ways to change my actions and my thinking