October 7th, 2006
Today we finally got to the Smiley show (http://www.worcesterhistory.org/hb-exhibit.html) and it was fun! There were many, many smileys there! Most of it was the history of the smiley face, and a lot of ephemera bedecked with it and variants. I was struck by how dated some of it looked- especially the advertising!- and yet how un-dated other things were: primarily products with a simple, well-proportioned smiley on them. I was also rather struck by how few things there were things I'd had myself- although I did see a wastebasket of which I had a twin- but, as I recall, with the smileys in green instead. Gods know why!
Then there was the "art" component, of which my pieces were part. It was fun! The entering piece, seen as one went into that area, was a very realistic painting of an aerial view of the part of Worcester that has the airport- yes, we have an airport- with, in the foreground, a jet painted with smileys in various spots and WORCESTER along the sides. Not likely to happen, I expect, but a fun fantasy! The other 2 pieces- or, I should say, pairs of pieces- that struck me: a guy who does very detailed pen-and-ink drawings with a decided Gorey influence, so there was glumness and angst and a smiley. Very fun! And there were a pair of cloth hangings with the "evolution" of the smiley: it began with oblong dots, which arranged and re-arranged themselves, with a smile added about a third of the way down as a sort of control for them, and then various redistributions until the smiley was achieved near the bottom. They were maybe 4-5 feet long, so there was a lot of room for evolution! One was yellow, and the other black, and the black one had sold- the only piece I saw that had. Although I am actually somewhat tempted by the Gorey-esque ones... I'm not sure they're for sale, though, or if they are, what the price is.
They tried with my pieces, they really did. And yet... Sigh. I was indeed the only jeweler, and my 2 pendants were in a hanging case with a black velvet background. So far, OK. But the plique one had gotten off-center when they hung up the case, and no one had straightened it. And the combination of the background and the pretty dim lighting made the sapphires look like mud. :( And they spelled pendant "pendent." But! They did spell my name correctly! :) And the enamels really shone, even though the stones didn't- the cloisonne one looked richly colored (as it is), and the plique one practically glowed. Still, jewelry really need light- a LOT of light, by preference. Oh, well- this will probably make it less likely that the things will sell, and I'd be rather sorry not to get them back at this point.
I do need to get less sentimentally attached to my work, of course...!
Moderate success in the studio today. I spent a lot of time looking for some hairsticks on which I was planning to stick enameled bats, except the sticks have gone walkabout and are nowhere to be found. In the search I did sort out a fair amount of other stuff, though, and am getting the studio still more straightened up and organized. This is good.
And I soldered the problematic tapered bezel ring again. I think this time it's good. I cinched the ring together using a different technique, so it wouldn't spread (as much), made sure the top of the setting was dead flat, and put the setting face-down on a charcoal block and used a third hand to hold the ring in place, applying a bit of pressure. This meant that it did spread some when the binding wire expanded, but (I hope) not too much. It took quite a lot of fussing to get everything lined up perfectly this way, but I think it did work, and I hope the setting's still deep enough for the stone I've intended for it. I suppose if it's not, I'll use a smaller stone... but that would annoy me. :)
I think I do need to do some practicing with the tack welder- that would have solved the whole thing, if I could make it work...