16 March 2011

BTW::Weary & Wise

"Rest when you`re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work." ~Ralph Marston

I'm pooped. Draggin'. Tuckered out. But I am also like a vessel that is filled to overflowing. I am trying my best to keep from tipping and spilling out the precious things that I have learned. It has been an incredible week.
{my bezels...and my chain}
  • I spent the past few days in Virginia soaking up as much information as I could from a gracious and kind soul who was quite possibly the best instructor in metalsmithing I have every had.Yes. She is that good.
  • I am delighted that I had the opportunity to meet Stephanie Lee. She makes you feel so comfortable, as if you are pulling up a chair at her kitchen table while you make unbelievably pretty things. It always makes me giddy to meet someone whose work I admire so very much. And I feel so much wiser than before.
{view from my seat... next to the very adorable Ryan with the chocolate chip eyes ;-}
  • I get tired of flying, and weary of transportation to and from the airport (especially when it is an hour later than promised which lead to the uncertainty of perhaps missing my flight home). But it was amazing to find a former 7th grade student (my favorite) sitting next to me on the plane. That made the 2 hour flight just fly by!
  • I am emotionally spent from the thrill of meeting so many people that I have only read about online... Lori Anderson, Cindy Wimmer, Jeanette Ryan... and meeting new friendly faces like Sandi Volpe, Melissa Meman, Cynthia of Cynful Creations (who flew in from Canada!), and Tracy Statler who wasn't taking the class, but decided to come over and meet us for dinner! Having that real live connection is so important and makes me long for the day when I can come back for another visit.
  • I am overwhelmed by the things happening at my job. I moved into a new office in the days before I left. And you know what it is like when you come back to find out what was done in your absence. I am still sorting that out... and trying to find a place for everything in my new office space. 
  • I am saddened by the events that are happening in my own state and in the world at large. It makes me think that maybe what I am doing is not really helping or making a difference... but then again, channeling your passion and giving your life purpose and making artful things is a way to plug the gaping holes that are threatening to widen in our cultural and emotional ozone layer. So I keep on plugging away!
  • I am over-extended a bit in the custom creating department. For my pendants that I love but have not had the time to complete the process... for the deadlines that I am trying my best to meet... for the new gallery exhibit that is consuming my best self... But there are people counting on me so I must keep going, even if it seems to be taking me forever.
  • I am amazed that I was allowed to play with fire. Me. The Klutz. And I, and my fellow classmates, lived to tell about it! But I am a bit concerned that I will be able to find my torch, and have the courage to use it, and be able to convince my family that I will be super careful and open all the kitchen windows when I do. But not late at night. 
{yes, i am able to torch a pipe and take photographs at the same time}
  • I am tapped out a bit creatively. Gathering all the new knowledge that I now have and allowing it to settle in my soul, to gel and morph into the cracks in my brain and trying to devise where this information will lead me is a bit draining. But I will get right back up on that horse. Soon. I promise.
I am oh-so-glad to be back at home. I have a renewed sense of purpose and direction. I am excited that I have found some new tools and supplies to acquire. I am grateful for the friendship and support I have been shown. ArtBliss truly recharged my spirit and refreshed my soul. Thank you Cindy and Jeanette for being the most wonderful hostesses and to Stephanie for sharing of yourself so willingly!

{my sweet little pipe bezels...stephanie challenged me to try to make a crown on the top and i did it!}

My Bead Table Wednesday is a few shots of what I was working on in the class with Stephanie Lee last weekend at ArtBliss. I will write more of the process when I can. Cross my heart. But for now I am off to bed.

What makes you weary? Are there things that make your soul tired? Have you ever been in a slump so bad that you felt your energy would not return and you would not be able to function? How did you get over that? Do tell!


Barbara Lewis said...

Congratulations on so many things, including getting over your fear of the torch! That is huge! Soldering, lampworking, torch firing enamel are all open to you now! Cindy and Jeanette put on wonderful events and Stephanie Lee is one of the most talented artists working in jewelry today! Take time to reconnoiter and get back to it with fresh eyes! Can't wait to see what comes from your studio!

Dawn Doucette said...

YEAH Erin! So glad you had so much fun with the ladies! What a talented group you got to meet. I hope you kick up your feet and re-group so you can balance all the tea cups on your serving tray!

I know your inspiration will again flow like crazy, so take the moment and regroup. You deserve it sunshine!

Sending love! {Hugs!}

steufel said...

Erin, I'm so intrigued by the pictures and I'm sure that your work will be even more beautiful with all the new skills you have learned. Please, please, please, show us the results:-)

Gardanne said...

I took her e-course and it was so amazing that every e-course I have taken since has paled in comparison. I would love to meet Stephanie in person one day, I imagine her just as you described.
I am taking her plaster e-course in June, even though it is out of my comfort zone.

Cindy said...

Erin, I'm still amazed that you came all the way out from Wisconsin and that I had the chance to enjoy a couple of dinners and a full day of class with you. I'm glad you really enjoyed your trip, and coincidentally met a former student on the plane! Wow, your flight both ways was quite memorable then (wink, wink). The weekend was really a blast - how could it be better than spending it with friends, Stephanie Lee, and learning new skills.
Btw, your Pipe Dreams projects look really cool, especially that crown!

Brandi Hussey said...

I've posted on Lori and Cindy's blogs, saying that I wish I could have been there with you all. It looks like you had a fantastic time, and I can't wait to see how you incorporate all you've learned into new pieces in the future!

Pretty Things said...

I can't believe you got that shot of you torching! I would have burned something -- me, the camera, the bezel, the person next to me -- something!

And I hate air travel now. I used to do it a lot when in the Air Force, a lot when I was in my 20's and early 30's just for fun, and then for my job before jewelry. But now, it just exhausts me and irritates me and I always end up with a cold from the recycled air. I hope you don't catch what all of us had at ArtBliss!

(Thanks for sharing your ephemera, btw!)

jessememan said...

Erin, I was so happy to meet you and it was fun sitting across from you at the Pipe Dreams table...I remember you taking that torch shot! Glad you made it home safely :)

jamberry_song said...

"I am saddened by the events that are happening in my own state and in the world at large. It makes me think that maybe what I am doing is not really helping or making a difference... but then again, channeling your passion and giving your life purpose and making artful things is a way to plug the gaping holes that are threatening to widen in our cultural and emotional ozone layer. So I keep on plugging away!"

You, my friend, are very wise.

Even though you are tired, it sounds like you had a wonderful experience! Here's to many, many more. :)

sandi m said...

Sounds like everyone had such a great experience. Classes are the best; don't you wish they could last forever?

I think anyone who can torch a pipe and photograph it at the SAME time will do fine with the torch! Can't wait to see how you incorporate your new found techniques - simple truths would look awesome in your handmade bezels...with crowns.

Thanks for sharing your adventure!

Lance said...

I have to share: about a year ago, I was flying home from North Carolina...and I ended up sitting right next to my 7th grade teacher!! So, so cool! (and so cool for you too!)

And I just also want you to know...that you DO make a difference. Take me, for instance. You make a difference in my life...by the words you share, the thoughtful comments, and the beauty that comes from your soul when you create works from your heart (I'm blessed to have a piece of your creation in my life...).

And...welcome home...it's a wonderful place to "be"....

Jenners said...

Sounds like you arE filled to the brim but in a good way. I'm sure you need some time to let all of this just "settle." love that crown"

Cheeseboy said...

I love seeing former students - - especially the ones that I can remember their names. I love to sit and talk with them and see what they are doing now. One of the true joys of being a teacher.

Anonymous said...

love the quote! i took the afternoon off for this very reason, to refresh. you are the second person i have seen who got to take the class from stephanie lee. how fun is that? i hope you get rested up from your travels.

mairedodd said...

in that slump and feeling ever so weary... ill children struggling sap every ounce of energy i have, and yet, as mom one must rise above giving love, support and a promise of hope every moment...
i am so very very glad that you got to go to the class... i am so intrigued with your new work and cannot wait to see what you do!

Lisa Godfrey said...

Welcome back Erin! It looks like you had an amazing time and learned a lot! I can't wait to see what you create with your own bezels. I've been in that slump more times than I can count but I know there is always light at the end of the tunnel and eventually I'll get there. It's a good time to just process everything you've learned and sort through your ideas. No pressure. :-) I'm sure you'll be firing up your torch in no time.

Jeanniek said...

So glad you're home safe. You have inspired me to pick up the torch again. My dad gave me a torch and I remember the first time I used it I almost evaporated my hand and arm off.

I feel like I'm one of your students every time I read your blog for so many reasons. Your insight, your inspiration, your words of wisdom. I hope we meet someday, but not on a plane. I hate air travel.

I'm weary, very weary preparing for some upcoming art shows. This kind of weary you don't get over, I just have to get through it.

Michelle said...

Lovely--I so want to do this...if I can only find the time.
I'm glad that your trip and class was successful! I love the piped crown...really cute. Glad that you are back home safe even in our state of unrest...

Hmm...My plate is so full of deadlines that I'm going out of my mind! I've just competed a biggie...whew! But I still have 2 more deadlines to meet. Plus I'll be creating kits since we were invited to teach in Green Bay end of April/May. I'm waiting on some pieces to be finished so that I can start that process.

My soul is more tired than I can ever remember. I've not found a way to recharge except to keep trudging through. I guess that's what makes us richer in our lives--struggling through all of the tough times even though they feel as if they will never end, but knowing that they do. It's all a cycle.
Happy Happy!

Kate said...

Hi Erin!

Your post made me think of what I think of as "your phrase".....enjoy the day :).

Sometimes for me enjoying the day takes more work then others. So I am wishing you a day that you can take for yourself and enjoy easily ( spa day, shopping day, sleeping day, whatever it takes).

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! It looks like the class truly was a treasure!

Lisa Crone said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! By the way, EVERYTHING wonderful you think and do makes a difference!! Sounds like something great is coming your way with all these thoughts and activities, I can't wait to hear what it is! :)


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