It seems like the very next week I was off to Bloomingdale, IL to go to the Metal Clay World Conference. Unfortunately I did not have the time or the money to attend the entire conference but I did manage to get into two outstanding classes. Pam East taught Champleve Enameling and Gordon Uyehara taught Bronzclay basics. It was unfortunate to hear that I do not have the proper kiln to really create deep color gradient enamel design. I have a top loading kiln and after seeing how many time you have to load one enamel piece into and out of the kiln, I realized I really need a front loading kiln. Well maybe Santa will be good to me this year but until then I plan on experimenting enamels on shallow recesses with my ultra-light kiln. I enjoyed Gordon's Bronzclay class as well. We worked on several bronzclay masks. The most important lesson, I came away from Gordon's class was to think of a piece in parts. I am so used to creating one mold for one pendant but it was interesting to see Gordon create a mask from various parts and glue them together with thick paste. I have had a vision of creating a lovely orchid or rose pendant for a while but have been unsuccessful creating anything using the one mold technique, perhaps it best to start think of this problem in parts.
Two weeks after the conference the EMC Color Splash Team Challenge took up a lot of my time. I received many wonderful pictures from my fellow team mates. I also realized with horror that me, the person who suggested the team challenge and organized it, did not have a piece to submit for the challenge. Ahhh! I plunged into photo polymer plates and enamels. It was a stressful week but I was able to produce my Blue Enamel Star Pendant you see below. It still needs some work but I think it came out pretty good for my first try.
I am currently working diligently on my charms for my EMC Team Mates. Most of my fellow EMC team mates are participating in a charm bracelet exchange. So I will receive 25 lovely charms from all of my team mates but that also means I have to create 25 charms myself. I have a simple, familiar design going. Hopefully I will be done with all of them by the end of August.
I am currently studying for my Professional Engineering exam. Unfortunately studying for my exam is going to take over most of my time from now to October 23. However if I am able to pass the 8 hour test from hell, I will be set in my career for a while. Going home after working a full day to study is not fun.
What hopefully will be fun, will be celebrating my 30th birthday next Saturday. Yes I am turning the big 3-0 on August 22. Yikes. I do plan on celebrating my birthday drinking like I just turned 21. Truth be told I don't feel like I am in my twenties anymore. Married with a mortgage and babies on the brain, make me finally feel like a somewhat responsible adult. It's been a crazy summer hopefully the fall will prove to be less stressful.