Thursday, September 27, 2007

Intermediate Jewelry: mono-shell/bi-shell project

Well, kids, here's one of my first metals projects for this semester (actually, this is the second project that I've finished this semester. I finished another project in my casting class a few weeks ago (two pendants)... however, I forgot to take pictures of them and now they're backwards in the display case. SO, you're just going to have to wait for those pictures). Wow, that was a long aside.

Anyways, more information about the relevant project: this one. It is a desk set: two pens, two letter-openers, and an ink well... AND it is a four-poster bed. It was a very ambitious project... and although making it was a labor of love, I feel luke-warm about how it turned out. I can't tell you exactly why, but this project just simply isn't my favorite. Although, I think maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that it looks awkward to me and aesthetically, I think I could have made some different and better decisions.

But from a more technical standpoint, let me tell you how I made it. The posters (pens and letter-openers) are mono-shells or spiculums (which ever you prefer, both terms are correct)... they're hollow forms made of one piece of metal. One of the most important things to know about mono-shells is that they require very precise patterns... for instance, with my mono-shells, I had to make them three times before I perfected my patterns to the extent that I got a usable piece. ALSO, another interesting and unique fact about mono-shells is that they are bendable tubes... after the spiculums are formed with the help of hammers, the are actually oval tubes, not round tubes... so you can bend them with your hands and they won't crush or crimp. Thinner and longer spiculums are better candidates for this bendable property. I knew that I wasn't going to bend my spiculums, so they are neither thin nor long.

And as for the second part of the project, the bi-shell, it is basically two domes that are soldered together to form, hey, a bi-shell... like a clam or an oyster. Also, another requirement of this project is that the bi-shell has decking. Now, decking is where you cut into the seam of the bi-shell, perpendicular to the planes of the bi-shell. Okay, think about a circle, and then think about drawing a linear design into the circle and cutting that design away so that the circle is no longer a circle but another shape. It is like this with the bi-shell and decking, except that the design is cut away from both circles in the bi-shell. Then, metal is pressed into the shape of the design and soldered in to create another wall and make the form one, hollow piece. It is simpler than I make it sound... it is just a little hard to explain in words and would be easier if I was in front of you with visuals.

So, that's the hows of this project. I really enjoyed learning about these techniques and forms... although after the fact, I almost wish I had chosen to make something different with them... not quite, but almost.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mutti

Happy Birthday. I love you and wish you enough. xoxo...

The Next Time You're on Jeopardy

An interesting little tid-bit that I learned in Macro Economics:

So, we're starting to learn about Supply and Demand... and in terms of demand, when the income for any demographic goes up, the the demands for goods go up as well. In that way, demand is a function of income; they have a positive relationship; when income goes up, so does demand.

BUT (and this is the tid-bit) in the case of inferior goods the relationship is negative. When income rises (the more money people have), the demand for these goods goes down.

BEER is an inferior good. When people have more money, they tend to spend that money on wine instead.

AND BASEBALL (this is the part that I found particularly interesting) is an inferior good. When people have more money to spend, they're spending that money to see tennis, soccer, and especially football.

Is that weird or what? Yeah, I thought so too... that's why it ended up in my blog.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Trader Joe's

Another quick side-note about the weekend... I visited the Trader Joe's in Pittsburgh for the first time. AWESOME!

I loved it so much that as soon as I got home, I immediately emailed the Trader Joe's Corporation and told them that they must install a store in the South Hills Area ASAP.

When I was at the store, I got chocolate-covered cashews and peach sauce and fancy Italian soda and organic shampoo and boxed noodles (microwaveable) and sushi and fruit leather and mango black tea, etc. Really just too many good things to name.

Trader Joe's better take my real estate advice, or else.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Damn You, Jetta

For breaking down an hour away from campus

For ruining a perfectly good Sunday

For giving me a headache and heart burn

For making me eat that slice of cake for dinner

(If I didn't love you so much, I'd spank you)

P.S. get better soon :(

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Brave Heart

I just (not two minutes ago) submitted a packet of six poems to The Kenyon Review for consideration and possible publication.

First, let me say that if I were to be published in that journal, I could die a happy woman. Secondly, let me say that even if I'm not published in that journal I'll definitely live to write another day. Thirdly, let me say that I feel like my heart is going to beat directly out of my chest right now.