Heidi is a local potter and dear friend whose studio and work space actually inspired my own bungalito. Nearing my 8th year in business, her 20th, and our seasonal MAY studio sale at her home in West Glacier, I felt it imperative to bring some collaboration to the table.
Like, I NEEDED it. BAD.
After many trips back and forth from her studio to mine,
(and back and forth from firing her kiln)
after realizing clay shrinks significantly (14%!)
and a few long and curse-word-filled days on my end making clay rings,
(which I now look back on and would TOTALLY do differently)
we had a small collection of handmade beads made from her Chocolate Clay body,
an opaque shiny white glaze on some,
and a chalky white slip wash on others.
We also had teeny tiny rings I carved that would end up shrinking in the kiln so no one but tiny elves would fit in them. (Sizes 4 and 5. If you're a tiny finger, you're in luck!)
So, in an effort to make rings that actually would fit someone of average finger size,
I used the delft clay for sand casting to make casts of the ceramic rings we originally made.
Because I can control metal.
I like metal.
And come to find out,
I DO NOT like clay.
They are lovely.
And I love them, maybe because they were so fucking hard.
The struggle of sand-casting is not when it will fail,
but HOW MANY TIMES it will fail.
All in all, I successfully casted 3 silver rings and 3 bronze rings,
in various sizes and shapes.
And I know I'm on to something good here.
The best part was this:
Even in newness,
even in some seriously new territory (i.e. clay?! Wtf?!)
I could stand on my metal skills.
I could make a collection from concept to end product.
I could DO whatever I wanted.
I had the skills.
I had the tools.
It was like an old door swinging open, and slapping me in the ass after walking through,
"HEY! I was here all along! Now, MOVE IT!"
During this creative process and exploration, with miss Heidi at my side,
she showed me rolling techniques for ceramic beads too.
Textures I could apply.
Colors I could glaze.
Ways to coax clay into something beautiful.
Something I could easily translate into functional, wearable, jewelry.
She coaxed the collaborative project along, too,
kindly offering help, space, and instruction...
but as I sat at my kitchen table with a few tools and a big hunk of mud
I knew that this material
just wasn't *me*.
I called her multiple times, whining about how dirty this material was.
How sloppy. How sluggish.
And that's okay.
Because I LOVE metal.
I love the rigid rules of metal.
I love the hardness.
I love the feel.
I love the tiny tools and specialty equipment.
I love what I know and can do with the material.
I love the strike of a hammer on a cold anvil with my favorite hammer.
I love the heat of a torch.
I love the magic of solder.
THAT, friends, is what I learned.
A means to find *you*
ENTER TASSELS FOR SASSY ASS WOMEN.
(Because, in my head, Portland was all about sass.
And big-ass, loud-ass accessories.
Looooots of fun.)
ALL collaborative work will be in the Etsy shop this week.