Monday, April 26, 2010

Coffee and Adrenaline for Fuel

Also known as finals week at art school.

Sleep-deprived nights, weekends spent in one studio or another without barely a glimpse of the beautiful day outside, callused and cut fingers, dirty nails, multiple outbursts of filthy words directed at the all-too-fast passing of the hours, creativity pushed to the limit.

And then there is the adrenaline. If one manages to finish one's project on time, to one's exacting standards, there is always a presentation that must follow. Show off your work to your peers and teachers, name the flaws before anyone else can, rattle off something profound about concept and materials and process, and hope for the best.

I'm currently one project down, three to go. Plus two translation jobs Rico and I have taken on. Feels like the last few weeks we spent in Maputo, where everything was on overdrive and sleep was at a premium.

More later. I'm off to finish a couple more pages of translating and then knock out an art history take-home exam.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Final Stretch

It's crunch time at art school and I'm trying not to stress about the multiple final projects I must turn in next week. Sort of easier said than done...

I am currently working on a copper box covered with 11 bezeled moonstones (for my jewelry class), a drawing of my rehearsal dinner dress in graphite pencil (for drawing, obviously) and a wooden treasure chest filled with "trade beads" made out of wood (for my 3D visual dynamics class). I also have an art history exam to write.

I am loving the moonstone box project, but technically speaking it's killing me. I spent several hours trying to solder with hard solder today and the damn stuff just wouldn't flow. I think I was having problems getting up to temperature. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day at the torch.

I'm looking forward to doing the drawing of my dress, but because it doesn't depend on going to campus to use the metals studio or wood shop, I'm putting it off until the weekend.

The wooden box and beads project is my least favorite of the whole semester. It's been a bad combination of technical difficulties - the result of insufficient demonstrations and teacher support (in my opinion, as someone who has never used table saws and a lathe before) - and simply not being "into" the project. Sometimes that happens...just a part of the experience. I try to think of it like strengthening a muscle - some days the exercise is painful and just plain sucks, but it's all building up to the greater goal of sexy arms and strong legs, or whatever.

I have many photos of my work from this semester but haven't managed to post them here on the blog yet. As soon as I get these final projects turned in, I'll do that.

Until then, wish me luck: in addition to finals, I have my First Year Portfolio Review tomorrow. I will have 5 minutes to present 15-20 slides of my work in front of a panel of faculty members and art professionals. The school is giving out two $3,000 scholarships to first year students based on this review. I can't help but get my hopes up that I might win, although I know that as a Spring-admission student (i.e. I started classes in January as opposed to September) I am naturally at a disadvantage because I haven't taken as many classes and therefore am limited in the scope of work I can show. Still, I'd love to be one of those two lucky students...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I woke up very early this morning - 5:30 - to finish a term paper for my art history class. I'm so uninspired... I guess the lack of motivation for writing (something I usually love) is a sign that I'm ready for the semester to be over. Or at least for a giant coffee and the promise of some cute new clothes if I get all my work done. :)

The other day my friend Claudia and I were chatting on the phone and we came up with the concept of the "fashion carrot". We both use it to motivate ourselves. In my case, I've promised myself a trip to Anthropologie (I've never been to one of their stores before!) if I get straight A's this semester. Art school definitely isn't about the grades, but I know I'm an A-student, so the measure is really more about putting in the effort and giving my best rather than wanting a particular letter grade...and sometimes a little reward makes the process that much easier!

I'm hoping the above serves as an auto pep talk for this interminable paper I'm trying to write at the moment!

Okay, back to work.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mexico Meets Bossa

An oldie but goodie out of Mexico. Love the bossa nova/lounge vibe and her incredible voice. I listened to this song somewhat compulsively my first months in Chimoio while working on our business plan for the tea processing client. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Mortifying, But Too Good Not to Share

For most of my teenage years, and well into my twenties, I kept a journal. Here is a particularly priceless excerpt from one of them, written when I was 14 years old:

November 11, 1995

  • Go to Smith's and buy more hair dye
  • Wear my walkman 24/7
  • Become an enigma
  • Have different looks daily, i.e. hair, clothes
  • Start wearing cool makeup and jewelry
  • Get a life on weekends
  • Get Aiden!
  • Throw an exclusive, kick-ass party

Verbatim, I swear.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

HUGE Spring Sale - 40% off all Alexandra Amaro Global Fusion Jewelry

Neo Mexica Necklace - turquoise, swarovski pearls, sterling silver

To celebrate spring and make room for some new designs for summer, I'm running a huge sale on all Alexandra Amaro jewelry currently listed on my website. Take 40% off your entire order through April 15th! Simply enter discount code SPRING once you start the checkout process.

Carolina Necklace - Mozambique Island trade beads, golden quartz

I am done with my current semester at CCA on April 29th, so I will *finally* have time to list my new pieces on the website. Check back soon for the Summer 2010 collection featuring lots of sterling silver jewelry to show off my newly acquired metalsmithing skills!

Happy spring, and happy shopping!