See My Work with Patty Lakinsmith for the ISGB/Bead and Button Convergence Exhibit

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I'm in the final throws of preparing for the Gathering in New York at the end of this month. I'm never sure if I'll have enough pieces for the booth I'm sharing with Patty Lakinsmith, my partner in crime, but I just keep plugging away and  hope for the best.

In my efforts to make my life a little easier, I ordered some tools from various supply companies that I had hoped would help speed up the process. Now I'm going to whine a little here, so bear with me. I was so excited to get my new tools and hounded the UPS tracking site until they arrived. There's no greater feeling than opening up boxes that have been delivered! Here's the problem: NO INSTRUCTIONS!!! Now in most cases, the tools are pretty basic and no instructions are needed. But this time I ordered the Swanstrom link forming pliers, complete with jigs and pegs that I saw in a trade magazine. (they were highly recommended) There are so many parts and no instructions on how to assemble the tool for it's various uses.

Why on earth would a manufacturer not include instructions.....even pictures...or something???? I contacted Rio Grande and asked them to send me a tutorial or instructions and they said they'd get back to me. That was a couple of weeks ago, and still nothing. I find all this very frustrating. The tool was not cheap and it's just going to sit on my bench until I have the time and patience to try to figure it out.

I confess, I'm a tool junkie and have collected, over the years, quite an array of assorted dodads. Some I find very helpful and time my guillotine cutter.....nothing better than quick clean cuts on sheet metal, and my jumpring maker....I can make dozens of well formed, well cut, jump rings in just minutes.
But some, which were fun to use at the start, become more troublesome than need be, and I wind up back at the bench using old fashion hammers, pliers and files, and the new thingamajig just sits there.  But I would like to at least try the new tool before making a decision about it and with the new tools I just got, I won't even have that opportunity for a while. FRUSTRATING!!!!

On another, brighter note, I had the opportunity to teach a basic metalsmithing class to my gals in my Altered Minds group. I put together kits so they could make basic earrings using metal squares and beads of their choosing. They learned to texture, file and sand, and patina their pieces, punch holes and add beads and earwires. They learned to bend wire to form loops to attach everything and then they were turned loose to create. I have to add that this group is very creative as a whole....they are painters, quilters, papermakers, photographers, beaders, doll makers, artists of varying degrees, etc. and I learn from them every month. This month was my turn to tutor them. I was amazed at the beautiful earrings they created!  Here's some pictures of the group at work and some of the results.

That's all for now.

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