Friday, January 28, 2011

1/12th of the Way-Lessons Learned -Evelyn Markasky

Everybody's been working really hard. The 1st month is almost over -- we are 1/12th of the way through! It's really interesting watching people go into depth in their studies.
We are still new, has enough time passed to have learned any lessons yet?
My brain goes immediately to Lora Hart (a RAW participant) whose submissions have a descriptions of what she learned, here is one example from her first Ring A Week submission:

RAW 1/52

Lessons learned:
1. It's best to have the correct materials.
2. 26g copper is not the best for a ring
3. People who use solder as an accent are most likely working with engraved depressions.
4. Solder really doesn't fill a gap no matter how much you use.
5. A Dremel engraver doesn't do the same thing as a real graver (not that I know how to use one of those)
6. Soldering steel is not as scary as I thought.
7. It's best to have the right tools.
8. Clean up is much more difficult than with metal clay (which I already knew)

I think we do really learn something with each piece we make, if we allow ourselves to see it.
Some things I've learned so far:
  1. It's way easier to weld a gap than to solder it
  2. A sketch and the 3-d object it's supposed to become can be two completely different things
  3. Sometimes pods look like poop
  4. You can make a triceratops head out of metal and comfortably wear it while bicycling
  5. It's fun to experiment with color and heat on metal
  6. The resin will eventually arrive
  7. You can fold metal just like you can fold paper (Erin Austin)
  8. RAW_2_1-23-2011(4)
  9. Body parts are very inspirational
  10. You can get amazing colors and designs from polymer clay
  11. We keep working and thinking even when we're sick (or our families are sick) or on vacation
  12. Ice can be set into a ring like a stone
  13. Talons can be a cool inspiration
  14. Pirates are cool
The question comes up 'How can we do this every day?' But more importantly is 'Why should we do this every day?' I'm going to leave you with a quote from an old Stephen King non-fiction book I'm reading right now: "What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work and study: a constant process of honing... Discipline and constant work are the whetstones upon which the dull knife of talent is honed until it becomes sharp enough... No writer, painter, or actor -- no artist -- is ever handed a sharp knife... and we hone with varying degrees of zeal and aptitude... I'm suggesting that to be successful, the artist in any field has to be in the right place at the right time. The right time is in the lap of the gods, but any mother's son or daughter can work his/her way to the right place and wait."
Stephen King, Danse Macabre, p.85, Berkeley Books 1983.


  1. Oh Evelyn... you have made me: think, smile, laugh, giggle, get serious and be encouraged, all in one minute. Love the quote you used and agree with all from my own experience. For 20 years I've done nothing and in two I've done plenty because I decided to work on it. We have all made a great and wise decision joining this group to learn from each others' success and mistakes and grow in our own creativity.
    Thanks for this encouraging post.

  2. You're a great writer Evelyn! Thanks so much for using my "Lessons Learned" as inspiration for this piece. And the quote is great. It's copied to my desktop.

    I want to see the inspiration that came from Pirates and talons. ;D

  3. wonderful post and I love that quote! You ARE a great writer.

  4. Thanks Evelyn for an inspiring read and for including my origami work! What I've learned so far is that working every day on what one is trying to achieve doesn't necessarily mean that a jeweler must sit at their bench or that a sculptor must have their hands in clay, but that anything and everything can be an inspiration, starting point, or turning point in ones work as long as one takes the time to make the connections.

  5. Great post! It truly is amazing, all the different inspirations we are building on. It's such a varied group.

    I can't believe it's only been a month. We've all accomplished so much.