Thursday, March 18, 2010

In the Studio with Doxallo Designs: a short story

Ever have one of those days (nights) in the studio?
Where everything you touch either melts, cracks, or somehow just ends up garbage?
I know we all do, but I have to be hoenst, I haven't had one in a really long time.
Or at least not to this magnitude.
Truthfully, I'd call comedic error but there was nothing funny about it.

Not even remotely.
Except possibly my persistence.

When every shred of evidence suggested I should turn off the tanks, put down the pliers, and just step away from the bench....I failed to listen.

So I melted more.
I burned my finger.
I pinched my thumb in a pair of scissors.
I got my specs stuck in my hair.
I created a lot of scrap.

But I just could not walk away.

At first I was sad - then frustrated near tears.
Then I was mad.

You see, I only get ONE night dedicated to the bench. I may be able to grab some other time here and there over the week - but Tuesday night is my ONE guaranteed 'me' time to create. To try to alleviate my brain from a weeks worth of designing, and dreaming and planning. But a clean schedule is no guarantee of clean work - or any work at all. There have been times when I have begun aching to get to my bench by Sunday night and when Tuesday rolls around I am DYING to dig in...and then I get there...and strikes.

Some weird sort of performance anxiety.....where I go blank.
I freeze up and just stare at all my lovely tools and stones and metal.

In reality, last night was a little bit like that. I had cleaned off my bench over the weekend and I arrived there last night and thought "hmmmm, what to do, what to do..?" I didn't have a clear objective. Well, I might have had an objective - but it involved LOSing and polishing already finished work and I just ummm, well, decided to ignore that and turn my energy in a different direction.

Big mistake.

So I wasted more than an hour fiddling with a prototype box. . . before deciding I just wasn't meant to make a box last night.
Then I decided to use a stone that I bought earlier this month -- pulled some materials and made a bezel. Ooops, a little small - hammer it on a mandrel to stretch it.... errggggg, ok, it fits. Grab a piece of leftover sterling that had a lovely texture on it.
Flux, heat, apply solder....great. Cool and quench.

RATS. Bezel popped open just a tad -- ok, easy fix.
Heat, flux, solder........ARGH!!!
Melted part of it.
No big deal, do-overs are relatively cheap at this point.

Grab metal, measure bezel big enough this time, snip, file, solder, quench, grab a different backplate, heat, flux, solder (yea, yea yea lather, rinse, repeat blah blah blah)...great.

ouch, gap under bezel. Tiny one. Fix it. No problemo.
Flux, solder, yadda yadda....oh NO!
I wasn't watching my flame - melted a tiny bit of the top of the bezel.
Hmmmmmm, stop, inspect. Measure stone.......
OK, was going to shave it down anyway. Quench, dry.....ok...not bad. (so tired.....)
Clean up backplate - carve decorative edge - grab some metal wire for ring shank - solder.

OK, success. FINALLY.
But wait.

Howzabout adding a little sparkle. Some visual interest...
Yeaaaaaaa, how about a little faceted stone up there somewhere?

*rummage* *rummage* oh look - a sparkly little blue sapphire - 2mm - It's PERFECT!

I know I need to be careful now - lets go to some easy solder (lower melting temperature).......
drill hole, apply solder, balance setting just so...heat.

melt setting. Clean up hole, grab new setting.....apply solder, heat.... reposition setting, heat...reposition setting, heat, repeat
And then, just shy of throwing the whole thing across the room. . . .


Grr, why doesn't it FEEL like success ? ? I left the basement around 10:30 half promising never to return.
In reality though, in the end, my perserverence won out. Once cleaned up, it looks pretty good.

Actually, its better than just 'pretty good'....
My completed ring.

It may have a few issues. (I have issues too)
I think we were meant for each other.

Written by Janice of Doxallo Designs

No comments: