Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Meet my Portable Studio

It's so crazy to think that I actually managed to pare down my studio to just what will fit in one small bag on my bike. I am seriously impressed! And even more curious to know if I'm actually going to be able to do all that I think I'm going to do. Only time will tell, I guess.

Until then, I thought I'd post a little tour of my portable studio...

Portable Studio
I have a (custom) Bike Burrito loaded with all of my hand tools and a small portable benchpin. There are a couple of tins with misc. seeds, Liver of Sulfur, beeswax, stringing materials, etc. There's a shop apron, goggles, masking tape, some rags. A stack of promo cards. Sandpaper and a sanding board. Lots of metal. And, to be perfectly responsible, a folder for all of my business receipts.

Hand Tools
My Bike Burrito holds the following: brass brush, soldering tools, Sharpie, burnisher, x-acto knife, .925 stamp, small hand drill, a couple hammers, hand vise, ring mandrel, saw (and blades), hand shears, wire cutters, a couple pairs of pliers, sanding stick, and files.

And that's all folks. With any luck, it's all I'll need. Of course, if it's not, there's still a bit of open space in the bag for me to stash anything else I need to pick up. (Like, perhaps, a small torch?)

Follow our travels over on The Path Less Pedaled.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A few new beauties!

At the last minute, I realized that I really wanted to create a few last pieces in my studio configuration here. I put these little beauties together before my bench was taken apart and all my stuff was collected... and am just now taking photos and uploading.

Four new mini autumn pendants... all now in my etsy shop. :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Le Unicorn

Before packing up my studio, I crammed in a half dozen new pieces... including a new headbadge for my friend Jayme. (Who paid me in trade with the greatest Bike Burrito ever - photos coming soon.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Goodbye Beautiful Workbench

Yesterday, in our last preparations for our big bike trip, I handed off all of my stuff to my dad for safe keeping. Including my beautiful workbench.

A few years ago, when I started working with metal, I asked my dad to build me a workbench for Christmas. I needed a space to work and I didn't like any of the overly-complicated benches I saw on Rio and I thought it would be great fun to work with my dad on this project (which it was). It's a beautiful piece of furniture - simple, solid oak - and I have loved every minute that I have had it.

But, it's heavy and big and doesn't really fit on a bike, so we took it apart and loaded it into my dad's car for him to take back to his house. I trust it'll be safe until we find ourselves at the end of this trip and I can claim it again and set up a new studio somewhere. I'm feeling fine about it this morning, but it was (honestly) really hard to say goodbye to it yesterday.

I sold my under-used bracelet mandrel to Nina Gibson from Etsy Metal, and when she came to pick it up, she told me she had no idea how I was going to do it. I've been very calm about all of this until yesterday when it all of a sudden became very real - and, now, I have no idea how I'm going to do it either. I guess that's a part of the process - and I still feel that it's something I really need in order to push myself in a new direction with my jewelry. But, wow, I am officially workbench-less now. How very very strange.

I am also torch-less. I decided not to bring the torch I have, because it has a long hose and I didn't want to chance any punctures while it's bumping around on the bike. Depending on how things play out, I might be in the market for a small and very portable torch.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A bit of studio time today!

The days have been passing in a big blur lately. As we get closer and closer to leaving on our big bike trip, I've been completely wrapped up in getting rid of stuff and packing and figuring out all the last details. But the apartment is looking quite bare now, so I figured I could focus on something else for a few hours - and I took some time to camp out in my studio and finish up a few headbadge orders before I dismantle my workbench and put it into storage.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One a Week Challenge: Makeover!

I haven't been too active in the One a Week Challenges lately, as I've been swamped with so many other things. But, I've been watching them and loving everything that folks have come up with. This week's challenge was such a fun theme that I really wanted to participate - even though I'm late! :)

The theme? Jewelry makeover.

I opted to work with this scarab that my grandmother had bought in Egypt many years ago and which was later gifted to me. I've always wanted to do something with it, but have never really figured out what that was. Back when I was beading, I slipped a head pin through the hole in the center and strung it on a string of beads. I wore it, but it never really did it justice.

So, I figured I'd give it a go of presenting it better. Like Alisa, I rummaged through my box of miscellanea and found just the perfect piece of silver that I had cut out and prepped for something months ago and then never used. Curly bezel, a collage of old maps and newsprint, and the scarab...

Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. It's not weighted right, with the scarab on the side, so I'll need to still add something to make it hang straight. But, I'm determined to do that before we leave on our trip, so that I can have at least one nice "show" piece with me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shop Update!

I finally got finished shooting a bunch of new photos and updating my etsy shop! This is one of those big projects that I wanted to finish up before we leave for our trip. I also modified some prices (hint, hint). Next in line is updating my website...