So I have been up at winter school this week working with students on creating pearl jewellery. We have been creating mock ups of the work that they are looking at making in silver, firstly creating the objects in copper. I have been showing them how to create templates for their work and throwing in new techniques and working processes including non-conforming die and sweat soldering.
Today is the last day and they will be putting everything together as well as learning how to thread their pearls together. I have a great bunch of people this year with a full class of 12 students which is 2 up from last year and certainly the limit for me as a teacher. When you start getting beyond that it all becomes a little stretched and the students don’t get what they need from you. It is fine when you have some individual students who just put their heads down and bums up and get on with the job but you always have those who require a little more help than others and this can be unfair on those who also may need help. This is my challenge a lot of the time is to fairly give everyone a bit of my time. Not always easy and this can mean that I have to keep working through breaks or even lunch to make it happen.
From here I have Cobb+Co Museum where I will be teaching bangles and cuffs. We will work on a silver cuff with etching and sweat soldering again as well as how to create simple bangles with texture. I only have 5 students on this occasion which will be nice, and the breaks here are forced breaks so you can’t generally work through them! It is good to be back at work as the money is a little tight at the moment. It is always a frustrating time of year and I find it really hard to get the money in. The only thing that seems to roll in are all the bills! And they keep on coming.
I even managed to get an overdraft last year and the problem has been tax. Tax has taken close to $12000 out of my bank account with PAYG, Tax and accountant fees all adding up to make life really difficult at the moment. I keep thinking of what I can do to get the money in to make it all stay open. And this is what I think a lot of people don’t understand is that it gets to a point where you don’t know if you can stay open. Is it worth it? Can you make it? This gets so fucking tiring! The need to have to work all the time, the frustration in thinking that you are getting ahead only to suddenly find that you are further behind than you have ever been.
I am looking at changing the business model to see how I can make it work for me instead of me doing 80+ hours a week and still not getting anything from it. One thing is for sure, that I will be moving the school to a smaller and cheaper location that will enable a little more freedom by reducing expenses. I am also looking at ways that I can do this throughout the business. Advertising is essential and I hope to be able to do something else with the radian advertising but I am going to have to make some serious money in the worst time of the year to be able to do that. See my conundrum?
The more I think about it the more frustrated I get. I know the universe is watching me and seeing that I will finally get to the point where I say “fuck it, what will be will be” and that will be it. I may stay open where I am, I may be able to negotiate an early release from the lease and find a smaller space that is cheaper, I may do mobile touring instead, I may move north or further south….I am not sure….People will follow if need be but also I don’t want to start again and I feel that moving somewhere too far from where I am will be like starting again. I have done that enough.
In any case, I know this will all work out and I will get through it. I just need to get through.
One of the things people tell you when you ate about to head of to vietnam is the traffic. Once you get here and, if you have never been to Bangkok, India or any other major Asian city, you should find the traffic a walk in the park. Slow and steady is what they say but it depends on what is hurtling towards you. A quick side step here or there and you’ll be fine. Just remember to look both ways!!
On this trip i have been taking along a miniature figure called Walter. He has been the travel companion who has featured in most of the photos. Seeming i have started working with #miniatures and small scale i thought it best to travel blog with him too. Of course most of this has been on instagram @dancoxart as it offers up such ease in photo logging what is happening around you.
Here are some photos of Walter’s journey….
These beautiful pieces came into the studio recently for a resize…. some a fair few sizes up!!
Oh and a much needed clean!!
The diamonds sparkle now. Lol
This coming August will see a new series of work created around the theme of 1950’s Sci-fi posters and imagery.
Each piece has been created from old forks and spoons, enamel and small plastic figurines. I am trying to use an everyday object and re-contextualize it into a series of fun sculptures of miniatures.
I am having a lot of fun with creating these works, aimed more at the men in the audience, and hopefully a point of difference in the exhibition from the other jewellery.
So I have been a little absent lately as I have been head down bum up for an exhibition in November called TOPOLOGY at Percolator Gallery. This is a joint exhibition with Lyne Tilt, a good friend of mine who at the beginning of the year discussed the possibility of having an exhibition, and as we both wanted to do an exhibition this year we thought that it would be god to do this together as it saves us the costs and amount of work that we need to do to get this done in time.
It has been a 7 month slog to get this far. We still have plenty to do but we are on the home stretch and looking forward to the opening night on the 25th of November. This will be a showing of all the work we can do so it is rather important to both of us. A variety of work will be shown from painting, sculpture, etchings, drawings and more. I am really looking forward to showing and hopefully selling some of the work!!!
Here are a few of the pieces that will be on exhibition:
So, as I have started to do Lapidary, I have been given a whole bunch of slabs on New Zealand Jade to play with! Exciting new pieces coming from these slabs in the coming weeks!
I have also managed to finish my first cabochon in Gympie-ite and have started a couple of others which are smaller pieces. It will be interesting to see how these turn out. This is such a great experience, learning how to cut gems to the way you want them cut. I am really looking forward to going ahead and cutting some more pieces but in a way that I want to shape and polish them. As I said – this should start happening next week! If I had more time I would love to be doing this more often and at this stage I can’t really afford to be going out and buying the machinery to at least trim the slabs!
This is where I need to be patient and just wait!
Im super excited! Today was my first day at the North Brisbane Lapidary Club in Northgate and I was shown how to create my first cabochon! Although I am still underway with this process and have the polishing to do I am really happy with the progress so far!
Just getting the shape correct is the challenge, but once you have that right you can go ahead and adjust what you like and create unique shapes as you like. I have a plan with this process. I want to be able to cut stones specific for pieces that I am creating and even look at butting up stones against each other in settings. Allowing them to create an image in their own right!
Next week I will have this one finished and polished up with my sights set on creating something else, cut to the way I want them!!