Bronze ammonites, waiting to be bezeled.
It's Bead and Button time again. It takes me a ridiculous amount of time to get ready to go to this thing. I'm not even a vendor this year, though I think I might try to do that next year. It's hard for me to decide about that because it's fun to just go and see my friends and soak in new techniques. I really do carry the inspiration that I gain there all through the year. I'm in 4 classes this year. I'm stepping out of my box a little, which I think is good. I'm taking a glass casting class with Susan Lenart Kazmer. The only glass work I've done ever done (outside of an extremely ill-fated lampworking class and a stained glass class) is fusing and enamel work. It should be fun. I think it's good to do things that are out of the realm of normal for you. Two of my very good friends, Gail and Karen are in that class too, so perhaps nothing will be accomplished except for laughter and burned carpet (you know who you are Gail!). And that would be ok too. I'm taking another class from Susan as well, Relics, Rivets and Staples. More up my alley for sure, but since it's Susan I know I'll leave with a lot of inspiration. I'm also taking a class on reticulation, texturing of silver with heat in a controlled manner. It looks a lot like a topographical map when done correctly. I've wanted to try this on my own for a long time, but I believe there's a fine line between a beautiful texture and a puddle of silver and with the price of silver these days, well, you get the picture. My last class is a traditional bezel setting class. I've done this before, but it's been a while and I'm looking forward to a refresher. I'm not as good at this as I wish I were, so this should be really helpful. That's what the ammonites are for. I decided that I'd like to try setting something other than a stone cabochon. Plus in an email the teacher told us that we should chose cabs that aren't too fragile. I'm pretty strong, but I don't think even I can crack a bronze cab!
I made a list yesterday of all of the tools I'm supposed to bring for these classes and it is a long and ponderous list. That's not even counting all the stuff I'll want to bring that's not on the list. How do people fly to this thing? Thank goodness my lovely Sherpa, Paul is coming along!