After two years of hemming and hawing about continuing education and making a portfolio and thinking the stuff I make isn't worthwhile, I've finally enrolled in a metals course at a local university. It's a breath of fresh crafting air and each class I find myself doing an internal dance of joy when I realize that I have access to good dremels with all kind of bits! Enamels and a kiln! A tumbler! I think I freaked a fellow student out the other night when I came out of the back room and quietly expressed my sheer joy over the fact that we have those little letter stamps (she looked at me, slightly askance, when I lovingly held out the piece of scrap metal that I'd imprinted with the letter 'k'.) It's fantastic to be a student again and just about the funniest thing (not in a ha ha way, maybe more of a sob sob over a Campari and OJ way) to feel like I am a completely alien generation from the 20 somethings in the class. I can feel my inner grandma bubbling to the surface when I hear them singing along to a Beastie Boys song...that's MY generation's music, darnitalltoheck...and when I was in high school, we all worked in nothing but silver because it cost $3 an ounce (cue the wide eyed, gaping stares from wrinkle-less students).
I've been given the OK from my professor to just play (!) since I haven't taken a metals class since high school (and in case anyone was wondering, no, the technology hasn't changed and soldering is still a pain in the ass) and so I'm experimenting with putting fibers and metal together. I'm currently playing with singed polyester (thanks to this fantastic tutorial from Foundling), and this stone. I'm going to wait to show you until I actually have a finished piece, but let's just say it involves the fabric, the stone, a handmade bezel that will be the death of me, and perhaps the loss of the majority of my right arm hair as I learn the nuances of the classroom torches.
Next fiber up (maybe): silkworm cocoons I got at the Fiber Festival last weekend.