Tuesday, July 28, 2009

carrot ring

I finished up the wax for this ring and cast it a few weeks ago. I carved it at least 5 years ago, but never got around to totally finishing it. I am half finished enameling it. I will make the rest of it transparent orange.

Monday, July 27, 2009

exhibitions and competitions

Several days ago I submitted my entry for an exhibition called "To Be: (Determined) - An Exhibition of the First Five". The entry fee was $30. That's pretty average. Most entry fees are around $25 - $40. Since I have kept copies of almost all my exhibition and competition entries since 2005, when I started entering them on a regular basis, I decided to add them all up and see what I have spent entering these things... $915 on entry fees since 2005. Before 2005 I only entered a few things and I don't have copies of the entry forms anymore, but I would guess they totaled around $100.

Those entry fees have really added up. And those numbers don't even include shipping costs for the work if it's accepted. I wonder if they are worth it? What do I get out of these exhibitions and competitions? That is something I have been thinking about a lot this year, cause many of these exhibitions don't seem to be worth it. You get exposure for your work, and hopefully a catalog of the exhibition is published. Ego boost or ego crush, depending on if you are accepted or not. That is the other downside to entering, in addition to losing money, I feel pretty bad when I am rejected. But it is kind of addicting to enter them. I have a hard time not entering a show if my work fits the theme. Entering exhibitions and competitions is the closest I get to gambling.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

updating my website

I spent most of yesterday trying to redesign my website www.jonmryan.com. I didn't really make the site any different, I was just tired of how it looked. I remember now why I never really finished the site last time, I hate doing it. Right now it is mostly finished. I still want to add photos to the portfolio page, instead of just having a link to my portfolio photo set on Flickr, which I did on the previous version of my site out of laziness. There's also some little things on the new version of the site that are driving me nuts. It's trying to fix those little things that makes designing websites so frustrating for me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cheongju Finalist

I just found out my necklace was one of 210 pieces selected as finalists in the Cheongju International Craft Competition. The next step is to send the actual piece to Korea for the next round of judging.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

August travel

I will be taking a short trip to Iceland and Sweden at the end of August with my parents. I am looking forward to it. I have never been to either of those countries before, or anywhere in Europe. I have only been to Japan and Korea. I like Japan a lot so it was difficult for me not to suggest going there again, but I figured I should see some other part of the world.

500 Plastic Jewelry Designs

Thursday I received a copy of the new book 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs. I have one piece in the book. The work in the book is good, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I just realized recently that I must not have won anything in the Jewelry Arts Awards this year. When I won last year I found out in May. Since it's July and I haven't heard anything, I guess that means I didn't win.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

More stupid tool designs

Several weeks ago I got the soldering tripod from Rio Grande (item #502-085) so I could more easily torch fire my enameled things from below. The top of this tripod, which is going to be exposed to fire, is for some reason either powder coated or painted. The problem is this paint or whatever it is, doesn't hold up to the high heat it is going to be exposed to. When it is heated it makes a bad smelling smoke. This is just so stupid, the thing is being sold as a soldering tripod. I think this is even stupider than the chrome plated Peddinghaus goldsmith's hammer. Right now, as I type this, I am sitting in my studio breathing the (probably toxic) fumes this stupid thing has made, while a fan tries to blow the fumes out the window.

I thought it was stupid when I first got the tripod and saw that it was painted, but I got busy with trying to finish my necklace and forgot about it. Tonight is the first time I have burned it under normal use, and I haven't used it that much. I guess I will try to remove the paint it with a steel brush on my angle grinder. This is a good example of a tool being made by a company that is clueless as to how it will be used.

old photos

I am probably going to be taking a trip next month, and since I take a lot of pictures while traveling I like to make sure my camera gear is all in order well ahead of time and make sure I don't need to buy anything new. So while I was looking for something for my camera, I decided to check all my old memory cards I don't use any more and make sure they were empty. Well one wasn't empty. I found 15 process photos of my teapot and another piece from Oct. 2006. The photos are nothing that great, but I love process photos, so I was happy to find them.

I'll write more about the trip after I have the plane tickets. Other than that, there is not much going on worth writing about. The classes I am teaching are going well I guess. At least as far as I can tell. I am comfortable doing the techniques I am teaching, but communicating to someone how to do them is sometimes kind of difficult.