Saturday, January 11, 2014

The annual slow down

Every winter I hit this spot where it's too cold to do much ongoing work at the jewelry bench.  I can run out for short bursts to do a custom order or a bit of sanding but it quickly becomes too cold and my fingers stop following instructions.  I tend to think of it as a forced shutdown - like when a factory closes for two weeks to do routine maintenance and that's when all of the employees have to take their vacation.

I've been trying to look at what I can do in terms of planning - going back through some of my resource materials to brush up on techniques and (hopefully) get inspiration for projects I can do once the weather really starts to warm up.

Here are some of the books I've been pulling out in the last couple of weeks:

The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking - great fundamentals of bead making.

Foldforming - basically, this is the Bible of foldforming.  And it's a lot cheaper than it used to be!

The Complete Metalsmith - The instructions and images in this book are tremendously helpful.

Jewellery Fundamentals of Metalsmithing - another Tim McCreight book with good metals instruction.

Making Metal Beads  - Great ideas and instruction for making your own beads.  I have yet to actually make any but the ideas are inspiring!

And even though it's a little bit early I think it might be time to get out the Valentine's Day projects. The "surprise" cookies are always a hit:

And it's a fun project for Ben and me to go through the art supplies and clean out the broken pieces to make little heart crayons:

Maybe by the time it warms up I will have a ton of ideas and be ready to get back to the workbench and make a bunch of new jewelry!

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