Saturday, July 28, 2007

Metal Works North Opening

We went up to Ukiah (California) this past weekend for the opening of Metal Works North at the Grace Hudson Museum. My repair on the Lorgnette for a Fish Goddess was deemed acceptable by Marvin and Colleen Schenck, the curators. You might be able to guess, I am delighted.

Here I'm talking about Dream Focusing Device with my friend Jennifer. She is an accomplished artist (taking a hiatus to grow organic flowers) and always gives me insightful feedback.

John Marcel has two wonderful necklaces in the show. Here I'm telling him I like the catch on one of them. John, Jennifer, and her husband Jeff have been friends since we were students together at San Jose State.

I went back the next morning to get another look at the work. There is a huge variety of good work in the show, ranging from delicate jewelry to a double bed. You can see samples on the announcement. Click here to download a pdf of the front of the announcement and here for the back. The work is displayed beautifully. I love the Grace Hudson Museum, it's a very attractive, pleasant-to-be-in space.

I promised to send a link to someone at the opening for buying sheet metal. I like R. J. Leahy. My brain is a sieve at openings. If I promised you a link or some other information and you haven't heard from me by now, please email me at artATjudithhoffmanDOTnet and ask me again.

I have more photos of the trip on Flickr. And photos of the opening here.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Repairs Done

The little band on the handle of the lorgnette is my final repair. I am tired, and can't judge how it looks. I think it's okay, but I have been wrong in the past. Tomorrow I will ship it to the Grace Hudson Museum. The curators, Marvin and Colleen Schenck will make the decision. I'm glad it's out of my hands.

I tried two other solutions to repair the lorgnette. The first involved cutting a piece of tubing the long way and riveting it in place. I gave up on this when I realized I wouldn't be able to keep the two parts lined up, and there would be two seams. This second, or actually third try is a fairly simple band. It wraps around the kelp handle and is riveted in place on the back. I have some reservations. The seam on the back looks huge to me. I couldn't solder it, so it isn't really closed completely.

When I finished the repair today, I didn't know what to do with myself. I feel like I need to relax, but I just paced around. I don't always have this much of a problem when I finish a project. Usually there is a little let down, but I always have new ideas and plenty of other things to do. Right now I feel blank and tense. Tomorrow will be better.

Friday, July 13, 2007


I will have some work in the Metal Works North exhibit at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah, California, July 21 to October 14th. The opening, which I do plan to attend, is on July 21st, 5 to 7:30 pm. The announcement is very nice. Click here to download the front of the announcement and here for the back.

When I got the work out, I was very embarrassed to notice a crack in the handle of the Lorgnette for a Fish Goddess. The handle is kelp, over a brass rod. I imagine the kelp shrank and cracked over the years. I think I can see it in an old photo, I just didn't pay attention to those details. The curators, Marvin and Colleen Schenck thought it would show under the lighting they use for the exhibits, (and I agree completely.) We talked about possible repairs, and they took Spectacles for a Fish Goddess instead. But if I get the repair done, and get the finished piece to the museum by this coming Tuesday, it will still be in the show. Of course, that's what I want to do. With my brother-in-law's recent death, the memorial at our house this past Sunday, and the stuff that has piled up in the last month, I didn't know if I can do it.

I have spent the last three days trying to figure out what to do. I started to make a small piece of tubing that would cover the crack, then decided it would be hard to get it on the handle with both parts lined up correctly. So I decided on a larger piece of brass that would both support the glasses section a little more, and cover the crack. Today, when I finished etching the brass piece and held it up to the lorgnette, I thought it looked terrible. I took the photo above as a way to look at the composition. It looks too busy to me, the brass piece looks so out of place. I will have to try again tomorrow, but for now, I'm off to read for the rest of the evening. Oh, and do the dinner dishes, scoop kitty litter, and take out the compost. I am feeling rather sorry for myself at the moment. Hopefully I'll have a brilliant idea in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Simple boxes for books and digital caliper

Don Drake gave a fantastic box making demo at a BABA meeting a few weeks ago. Over many years he has developed a simple box plan that is quick and easy, as boxes go. His instruction was so clear my demo box came out impressively good. In the photo above I haven't glued down the bottom liner yet. After watching him measure box parts with a caliper, I decided I needed one.

My caliper came from micromark sometime last week. I don't usually buy complicated tools, preferring the simplest approach possible to anything. When I am measuring that usually means lining two pieces up and making the second match the first. But the digital caliper will switch from inches to millimeters with the push of a button. I don't think these are entirely accurate. In the photo above the dime I measured is between .700 inches and .7025 inches, depending on some mysterious force in the universe. But it's plenty accurate for my needs.

If you're considering buying a caliper, check out this Wikipedia article. It says the dial calipers last longer.