Saturday, February 10, 2018

Training Workshops ... more steps ...

The last 2 weekends have been great fun ... a much needed sanity-saver.
They've involved training sessions for Westfield Heritage Village. Even though I have 20 years experience as a hobby smith, the head smith at the village wanted to see me work and just do some meet-and-greet. He turned out to be a really nice guy and he has a FANTASTIC home shop ... I was totally jealous of all the toys he had. The day was marvelous ... I haven't swung a hammer in 2 years but once I knocked off all the rust, it all came back to me in a big, joyous wave ... I haven't felt that happy in what feels like forever. I think he was happy with my skill set, and I was definitely happy with what he taught me.

I know it seems silly, but I've never made a successful set of tongs in my 20 years of smithing. He started me off with a bar of 1/2" mild steel and demonstrated the steps to making a basic set of tongs. I had a bit of difficulties and had to restart once, and there needed to be a bit of adjustment with a grinder, but in the end I got a very serviceable pair of light duck-bill tongs to do sheet work with ... I was so stoked ... I can't wait to make more.

Then I got to show off a bit with a leaf hook. I've been making leaves and hooks forever, so I didn't need much instruction here.
It was soooo much fun to make stuff again, but, did my arms ever ache.

This weekend was another workshop day. Today I learned how to braid a rush seat for a chair. It turns out that it was the exact same weaving pattern as the 2 rush seat chairs we have at home that our cats are making short work of ... I guess now I'll be able to fix them. I was having so much fun that I forgot to go to my second workshop. I didn't get a chance to finish the rocking chair I was fixing, but I was still pretty satisfied with my first try ... but I have to say that my hands and carpal-tunnel are KILLING ME right now ... but it was worth it.

... more steps ... ever forward ...


Sunday, January 28, 2018

... small steps ...

... so, things to share.
I'm going to really try to focus on positive things ... no more pity-party-posts ... I promise ... at least, I'll try ... so ... positive steps forward ...
My wife and I have signed up as volunteers at the Westfield Heritage Village in the Hamilton/Brantford area. We had been talking about doing this for years but our lives were just too busy. But finally, this year we decided to go ahead and do it. Yesterday we had our orientation and next week we'll have our first training day.
I think this is going to be a lot of fun. We're both history geeks and we're both makers ... Westfield seems like a perfect fit. With my skill sets, I'm going to be working at the blacksmith's shop (big surprise) but I could also work in several other tradeshops if needed. So now we're looking at 1850's costume ideas ... this is going to be fun.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

2017 in retrospect.

Here I am, sitting at my computer at the end of January, 2018 and as I think back to this last year, one word comes to mind ... HARD.
2017 was a hard year in far too many ways.
... I lost friends ... I lost touch with my passions ... I lost touch with myself ... I lost touch with my art ... I've lost too much time ... and that is the hardest one of all, losing all that TIME that I'll never get back again and having to carry that regret.
Over the spring, summer and fall of 2017, I had to deal with family health-issues (that have finally leveled out and hopefully will stay like that for a while). During this time I just didn't have the time or strength to deal with anything else ... so I really regressed into my shell and just basically shut down ... my work benches were largely abandoned and buried under junk and all my creativity came to a crashing stop. So, when I say 2017 was hard, I mean it was really HARD.
Sitting here, a month into 2018, I feel a bit more optimistic of the year ahead. My mind is more and more occupied with plans for moving forward ... rebuilding and improving my work spaces; moving forward on the home forge/shop project; building new bellows for my travel forge and getting back to making things ... but, it's hard overcoming depression's inertia. Trying to regain momentum is going to take time and many, many small steps ... and I'll try to post more about my progress as this year unfolds (I can't believe I only posted once in all of 2017). I just need to keep remembering that even small steps are progress forward.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Too few spoons.

Hi folks ... it's been a while. 
It has been a hard 6 months.  I've been struggling with health issues, family health issues, work, house, depression ... the whole shebang. Needless to say I haven't been very productive lately. Right now I've got too much on my plate, too few spoons and very little time to get into my art much. I look forward to when I get my life back, but right now other things take precedence.  This was just a little post to let y'all know I'm still alive and look forward to getting back to my art soon.
Take care and be well.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Yule gift.

I finally have some time to show off the Yule gift my beautiful wife gave me ... a gorgeous piece of hand-blown glass ... I love it.
... now to plan a window around this beauty.
Thank you, my darling ... I love you with all my heart.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Yule blessing.

Today is the longest night ... today is the first day of winter, when the world is at its coldest and the land goes into a long sleep ... but the Wheel keeps turning. I don't think anyone would disagree that this has been a hard, and at times bitter year ... I know for me and mine, we have suffered many loses of family and loved ones, as have many others ... I know many are dealing with watching their loved ones battle disease and old age and their own inner darkness ... we have suffered loss, and we have suffered hurt ... but the Wheel keeps turning. But in this darkness, we also rejoice with the promise of new life ... children not yet born ... hopes rekindled for a brighter tomorrow ... and friends and family still with us - in our lives and in our hearts ... for the Wheel keeps turning.
So I wish for you a most Blessed Jul, my dears ... for while this night is long and the wind blows cold ... Spring is coming.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Nobless Largess

Well now that the gift has been delivered and received, I can show you what's come off my glass bench lately. The person the gift was for has recently taken up bee keeping and is a medieval re-enactor in the SCA, like me ... so I felt a medieval skep (that is what the straw bee hive was called) would be a good motif for this panel.  I'm pretty proud of this one because it is an original design I created and executed myself.