It’s a lazy drizzly Sunday and I am finally taking some time to write.
On the 18th I had another birthday, this one ends in a zero and marks the beginning of another decade. The day was spent in the city doing normal things which means I was on 47th street and in class. I visited Ellen in her studio where the girls all sang happy birthday, we ate lunch together and had some special cupcakes. It was a really nice event since I hadn’t planned on doing anything special until the weekend.
After lunch, I went to class at FIT where I am working on three pieces in an attempt to get control of raising metal into the shapes and sizes that I want, not just the things that the hammer is delivering. After each round I am making four measurements to gauge progress and make corrections if things get out of line. The little cup I had been working on was raising fairly well but I hadn’t noticed that the base diameter shrank about 10 mm. Gennady showed me how to regain the base diameter in class. it was because of that shrinkage that I added measuring the base to the list of obvious measurements of height, top diameter and lip to lip around the base.
Here’s what the pieces looked like last week after class. Bottoms and tops. The small cup is the piece that had its base re widened.
I spent some time over the next weekend raising them (and measuring), then took them to class where, for some reason, I was only able to get one round in on each piece, the usual work in class allows me to raise at least two and a half rounds on each piece. Here they are after class.
I recall now that I was getting some instruction on the small cup, which had reached the right size, but I wanted to see if I could thin the metal a little and give it some more height without changing the top diameter. This action requires a different hammer, the first rounds didn’t do anything noticeable so I asked for help. Each of these pieces started out as a 5, 6, and 7 inch diameter circle of 18 gauge copper. I’ll work on these again tomorrow. The tall one needs to be narrowed more, the smaller cups need only to be refined before I can begin to chase designs into them.
On the 19th Colman and I went into the city to go th the Met. We were to see the Morandi and Turner Shows and I wanted to look more closely at the ancient silver and jewelry. It was a beautiful day and we walked up Madison Avenue to take in some of the sights we haven’t seen for a while. In front of the Whitney there was a street vendor who was selling african artifacts, among them, on a very crowded table, were these two bronze leopards, one seated, one standing. I wanted to take both of them home with me.
We had lunch at Nectar and then went into the Met. No photography was allowed in the major visiting shows so there are no pictures of the Turner or the Morandi paintings. Colman liked this painting of the Annuciation.
I found this girdle interesting. It’s very close to a project I’m working on in the studio.
And these hair pins are something I’ve ben thinking about but haven’t moved on because I don’t see many in use.
But here’re the things that I needed to see. The ship has really bold chasing and repoussè on its hull, the 16th century tankard has flat chasing on its sides, I intend for my work to be more like it’s top.
After the Met we walked over to Dean and Deluca’s on Madison Avenue to pick up something for dinner. While we were there I noticed these wrapped pieces of stone which turned out to be salt. Reading the little card explained that these “plates” were to be used to cook fish on, to serve sushi on, and could be used to keep food warm on the table if they were first put into a hot oven to charge them. They’re attractive, heavy and more pink than my photo shows, I don’t know if they are fragile or if they salt the food served on them. There were jars of crushed pink salt on the plates, presumably for seasoning.
At home over the weekend, where it is definitely becoming Fall, the begonias are blooming. This one has enormous flowers. It’s got a name like Big Roy or Big Bob, I can’t remember what it’s called.
Soon the plants will start to come inside for the winter, I’m not looking forward to that. The studio space has been redesigned and there is less room for the big guys that usually spend the winter there.
Henry is in his second week with us. Every day he grows in ability. Yesterday he discovered jumping, we have graduated from dragging toys to flying toys. He’s also discovered he can get onto my cushion by himself.