Crushes on Crafts

riv talks about past, present, and future obsessions with a bajillion types of crafts.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This blog has moved

I've switched to updating at Come follow me over there!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

(Mostly) successful time at Arisia!

I say "mostly" because I think I may have come away from the weekend with some kind of con crud (probably a cold). But I did better than I'd expected at the art show, and then made another sale on Etsy as a result of someone viewing my work at the con. I'm planning on transitioning from renting studio space to working in my own basement during the month of February; making these sales means that I'll be able to afford more tools of my own sooner, and hopefully there won't be much downtime while I piece together a metalsmithing setup of my own! This weekend I'm hoping to do at least a preliminary clean of the basement workbench area. I'm planning on posting "workspace in progress" photos as I collect tools and organize my materials so that readers can get a glimpse into how and where I work.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I'm not entirely sure how to articulate this, but biking home from metalsmithing in the freezing cold last night made me feel fantastically alive.

Carnelian flower I'm learning more and more metalsmithing techniques and concepts and gaining confidence in my abilities to execute them; I'm making things that I see as a fusion of the metalsmithing world and the assembly jewelry I was working on before; watching copper glow bright red from my torch and shift on the flowing solder is a pure, elemental rush. Likewise, I'm immensely proud of myself for bicycling in such extreme cold, and surprised and delighted at the muscles that can suddenly Do The Right Thing when I want them to. After only walking and taking public transit for so long, a bike really gives me a new feeling of freedom-of-place. And it's fun to go so fast!My bike (now with panniers)

I know that at some point my rate of metals-related learning will stop accelerating, my bicycling-related fitness improvements will plateau. But I hope that I'll retain the feeling of hungrily racing forwards, able to smoothly and competently go wherever I can imagine.

I'll be at the Arisia art show this weekend! I can't wait :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gearing up for open studios! And a craft fair!

OK, so Joy Street Open Studios are this weekend! I'm in studio #19.

In anticipation of this, I've tried to make a bunch of cool stuff to show off.

Finished in studio last week2009-11-06 23.41.03.jpg
2009-11-08 21.18.12.jpgLittle gear moons
This evening's earrings

I had business cards printed, and they showed up yesterday. I'm really happy with how they turned out:
Business cards!

I did the design myself using Inkscape, with help from some vector art found at Open Clipart. Hooray for open-source software and resources! I used a vertical format so that I could also punch holes in the cards and display earrings on them.

In two weeks, I'll be vending at the Washington Street Art Center craft fair. In addition to my stuff, I'll have a basket of yarn and roving made by my housemate, aka I designed a business card for her last night, and I'm pretty happy with how it came out, especially since I made the image of the drop spindle from scratch:

And speaking of yarn, I've started knitting this amazing shawl (using this English translation of the pattern). I'm about 30 rows in. At first I thought it would be way too difficult, but it's actually fairly easy now that I've worked out how to read the pattern :) I'll post pictures when I'm a little father along. I've also started a spinning project, but it's on semi-hiatus while I try to make the shawl before the winter starts getting cold in earnest.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Exciting texturing!

Earrings made in studio this afternoon

I discovered that I can achieve all sorts of lovely, organic textures with the help of a small brick in the jewelry studio. I'm really excited about these earrings--they remind me of the moon and underwater kingdoms.

These earrings will be at open studios on November 21 and 22!

Monday, September 21, 2009

New developments

First: I moved to a new apartment in the Inman Square area! My girlfriend and I share a one-bedroom unit within a much larger building that houses us and 4 other housemates. Many of my housemates are crafty, and after things are a bit more organized, we should have a workspace in the basement for all sorts of projects.

Second: Jewelry studio! I was looking around for jewelry supplies on Craigslist and saw a listing for what's essentially a subletting of bench space within a studio in Joy Street Studios. The artist who rents the studio is John Lerner, someone who's been making jewelry for 30 years. For what's a pretty reasonable monthly fee, I get free run of a fully-equipped jewelry studio whenever I want to show up, and instruction/supervision/tips from John on Sundays and Tuesdays. I started at the end of August but missed a couple of weeks. Here's some of the stuff I've made so far:

first nice-looking pendant made in studio

2009-09-20 14.50.18

2009-09-20 14.50.51

As you can see, I'm currently in love with the combination of dyed blue freshwater pearls and textured, oxidized copper :)

There may be a time when I decide it would make more sense to buy my own equipment and work in the basement of my apartment instead, but for now, the studio bench solution fits my needs really well. I can get away from the clutter in my apartment and work on jewelry whenever I want; I have access to a really great teacher; and the other people sharing the studio space with me are great to bounce ideas off of. Oh, and it's in ideal biking distance from my apartment, or a direct ride on the bus.

Oh, and we're having an open studio on November 21-22!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Silversmithing and jewelry class


I made a ring today in the Cambridge Center for Adult Education's intro to jewelry class--it's many weeks' worth of material crammed into two 6.5-hour long Saturday sessions. I'm learning lots of cool stuff--some stuff that I can't really use until I invest in some more equipment, but some stuff that I can use right away. It's pretty cool :)

(I of course had to texture my first ring with the traditional message a programmer displays for their first foray into a new language!)