For my production jewelry class our assignment right now is to make five identical pieces. The idea is for us to utilize molds, jigs and other clever tools and strategies to make our work more efficient.
Although I like production jewelry and plan to do limited production lines once I'm out of school, it's hard to think in production terms. We are so schooled to make elaborate, conceptual, insanely labor-intensive, one-of-a-kind pieces that it's really a challenge to move away from that mindset and design jewelry that is creative and appealing, yet cost- and time-efficient and can be easily produced in multiples. At least its hard for me. :)
I am making a series of bejeweled silver pendants for the five-alike project. In order to be clever and efficient as the class requires, I'm casting the main component of the pendant. Fantastic, except I don't know how to cast. Rather, I'm learning in record speed how to cast (one week to be precise). This evening I poured my very first silicone RTV mold. Tomorrow I will cut it in two pieces and do a wax injection so that I can, on Monday, actually cast my piece. It seems complicated even though I've been told many times that casting is a simple process. It makes me anxious to have my project depend on a process I'm totally unfamiliar with, but I suppose this is good practice for uncomfortable situations I'm certain to encounter down the line.
I went for a short run this morning, which felt really good. I've not been able to run as frequently now that the semester is in session and I miss it terribly. Over the summer my friend H. and I were running five times a week. Now I'm getting in two runs per week, and it's rare for them to be over five miles. Rico and I are signed up to run another 10k on Saturday and I'm trying to align my expectations with my somewhat diminished physical abilities. I'd like to run the whole race really fast and feel fantastic, but I know I'll just have to go through at a slow and steady pace and be okay with the fact that I may just have to walk a bit.
In other news, I register for Spring 2012 classes on Monday. I'm taking Jewelry 3B (the next class in the series, one in which we do one-week projects all semester), Casting (ha, ha), Lost and Found (creating jewelry and other works that incorporate found objects), and a textiles class called Patterns and Pixels (creating patterns on the computer and then printing onto fabric).
I find registering for classes always gives me a little perk, which is especially welcome at this low-energy point of the semester. At a time when I so desperately need a break, it's funny that thinking about more school would get me excited. I guess this is a good sign, no?