I've written recently on my Facebook page that this is a development year for me. I love what I do and create, but felt something was really just out of my grasp with my designs. A step back was necessary. I picked up my long forgotten jewelry saw (albeit a fancy, schmancy new one, but you get the drift) and rediscovered my love of some traditional metalsmithing techniques. When working on my tiny gate in October I realized how much I missed melting, fusing, hammering, and just your basic hand working of silver.
I've also been experimenting wildly with combining paper and silver, which has been a delight. I've purchased a new, professional level die cutter which makes my heart sing.....I LOVE my tools:) I love nothing more than hearing: 'Well, this one has a huge learning curve....'. It's a challenge I happily relish. I would have thought that I would have jumped on the 3d printer bandwagon, but for me the joy is in designing on the computer, but then putting hand to design to make the final piece come together. Die cutting paper allows me to do that. Much of my time has been spent researching archival papers/ finishes and glues....another task that makes me happy. I adore the fact that my papers come from an Italian factory that has been producing paper since 1264! I'm also incorporating some Japanese handmade papers, created using such ancient techniques that the number of families in Japan who make them are slowly dwindling.
Along these lines, I can't wait to present my Craftcast class on the basics of using the Silhouette Cameo die cutter. This is a wonderful, affordable machine that can do anything that a paper or metal clay artist requires, if you treat it right and speak kindly to it:) I get a particular joy in breaking down technology for people. I'll also be teaching how to make a paper cuff, as I find that it's easier to get the hang of something when you're actually using it and making something.
I'll be travelling to Holyoak, MA in April to take private enamelling classes with the great Angela Gerhard. I am so thrilled with this. I've wanted to incorporate enamelling into my vignettes and boxes for years, but was not ready until now. Private classes work best for me as I have very specific needs, and as a learner I'm a 'get in, get my questions answered, get out' kind of gal.
So far, the only show I'm doing this year is the Ottawa New Art Festival. I LOVE this show. I've written much in the past as to how the people of Ottawa come out rain or shine....and it seems to pour rain every year! Part of my development year includes a vastly reduced show schedule, and to that end I will not be presenting at the Muskoka Summer Show or the One of a Kind Show. I'll be applying to Picton Maker's Hand and will let you know if I am accepted again. This is a small show, and they like to keep it fresh for the attendees, so one never knows. I have another venue that I am considering, but I've got a few weeks to decide on whether to apply.
And....just because I currently have no broken bones, I will be attempting snowboarding again this weekend....Didn't want to waste a perfectly good 51 year old body:)