BBh went with me on a road trip to Mesa, Arizona. I was attending a workshop with David Huang on "Chasing with Microcrystalline Wax". After you look at the pictures (click one to open it and see the description; and to scroll through a slide show) follow this link to see pictures from my workshop.
The bunny is on the move again, the packing has begun - stay tuned for pictures as the trip progresses.
Back in January I applied to Haystack Mountain School of Craft, to attend a metal smithing class for two weeks. I received the news that I had been accepted in April. There are several posts about it here on kernology and over at my other website The Adventurous Silversmith
I returned from my trip last week and I finally have time to write about it.
Getting to Maine was an adventure in itself. On Saturday, I took a 6:30 am flight out of San Diego to Philly. I would have an hour layover in Philly and then catch a puddle jumper to Bangor, Maine. I would spend the night in Bangor before catching a Taxi to the school on Sunday. I landed in Philly on time but the weather was not cooperating. The connecting flight was delayed, delayed again and then cancelled since the plane was coming from North Carolina and could not take off due to the bad weather. I was put on the next flight at 8pm, which of course was also delayed and then cancelled. You can see where this is going, can't you. I was bumped to the 9:30 flight and it too was cancelled. I got myself on the stand by list for the 8:30 am flight with a confirmed seat on the 3:30 pm flight, checked into the Airport Marriott; had a burger in the bar and went to bed around 11:30 pm - totally beat and freaking out I would get to Haystack too late. I hate being late.
Sunday morning I checked in at the airline counter at 6 am and I was the first person on the stand by list though the counter person said the flight was full, I had hope. Sure enough, there was room on the plane and I was called to board at 8:15. I landed in Bangor just before lunch time and guess what - my bag was not on the plane, it was going to arrive via the 3:30 flight and I would not get it until sometime on Monday, luckily I had a change of clothing in my carry on and my tools had been shipped a head and were waiting for me at Haystack.
I hooked up with the taxi van with another half dozen other students and we were driven for about 2 hours to Haystack. I found myself just looking out the windows at the older homes, the coast when it could be seen, and the trees - the green, green trees.
I miss trees, I miss the sound the trees make when the wind blows through the woods. And the rain, I miss that too.
I arrived at Haystack around 3:00 pm and checked in. I found my cabin and my room mate had not arrived so I opened my boxes and assembled my bed. I had used my bedding as the packing material for my tools which was a good thing other wise I don't know what would have used until my luggage arrived. I wandered around the campus and got warm by the fire until dinner. Afterwards, we had orientation about how the school is run. Then the metals group had a meet up in the studio and I eventually met Ellen my roomie for the next two weeks.
I won't repeat here, what I did most days in the metals class... But the typical day was: Get up and shower; breakfast at 8 am; work in the metals studio from 9 until noon; lunch; work in the metals studio from 1 until about 4 or 5 pm; call my sweetie for our daily chat; dinner at 6pm; relax and read for about an hour; nightly lecture/presentation at 8 pm; work in the metals studio from 9 pm to 10 or 11 pm; go to sleep.
Some days I went for a walk in the morning before breakfast or before dinner. I would check email just after lunch or around dinner time. After meals I would grab a cup of tea and read a few pages from a book on my iPad, most nights by the fire. BTW, it was an 800 page novel I started on the plane ride out and I finished in on the plane going home. Not bad considering everything else that was going on.
Most of the "kids" (all of the other students except one were younger than me by at least 15 years, so I can call them kids) who were in the metals course with me would work in the studio past midnight and some nights they had a bonfire down at the cove with some of the other students as well. I did not hang out with them very much and I tried to eat my meals with different students every time so I met almost everyone in the other courses.
As I said I would also do some reading at night, which was by the fire in the dining hall. Someone or groups of people would hang out there most nights and there were varied and very interesting conversations that would result. Other times I would wander into the other studios just to see what people were working on.
One night the blacksmith group invited everyone up to their shop because they were inflating metal. That was very cool and fun to watch. Several days later we watched the inflated life preserver get tossed into the ocean so it would get a rust patina on it.
Over the weekend, we could do what we wanted. I did some work in the shop, I was invited by the ceramics group to join them in a car pool and we went into town to tour some galleries. Saturday night we had a lobster and clam boil down in the cove.
Another night the class got together with some beer and we showed images of our work. There was some amazing pieces.
On the last night there was a dual auction. The live bidding was on the pieces given by the instructors. The silent auction was for those pieces donated by the students. I won a print of lichen done by a student. I also donated a scarf I wove - it raised over $50! I think, over all they raised several thousand. All the proceeds go to the school for maintenance of the school and their scholarship fund.
There was a visiting writer there as well and there was a writing workshop everyday. I did not go but I did compose my own poem:
A walk in the wood
A tree fell
I heard it
The flight home was uneventful and my sweetie was waiting for me to bring me home!
To see some of my pictures use this link.
Several weeks ago we decided to do a road trip over the Christmas weekend. I had the Friday (Christmas Eve) before Christmas off as it was the official company holiday. I also had a floating holiday available as I worked on Veterans Day, so we added the floater to the lot and I had 4 days off. I decided to use the floater on Thursday so we could get away before the rush.
Then it started to rain that Sunday of the week. We had 6 days of rain which varied from a drizzle to the usual "dump the bucket" rain. We have a rain gauge and we recorded over 11", yes ELEVEN INCHES, of rain for the six days of rain. Luckily, the rain stopped early Thursday morning. We had packed our bags and the food cooler on Wednesday night and just had to put it all in "Babe" the blue Subaru Baja in the morning.
Thursday morning was clear and cool, I started to put stuff in the car and I opened the camper shell which is on the back of the car and there I found.... the Air Tank, yes an AIR TANK. Ok, it is medium sized and fits, but why is this in the back of the vehicle? According to my husband, it is case we get a flat tire. Excuse me, but if you get a flat wouldn't you CHANGE the tire? Then I presented with an explanation that the tire would not be totally flat, you could pump it up and get to a repair shop...[during this I let my mind wander]. Also in the back of the car were two huge plastic tubs with emergency stuff: shoes, waters, towels, energy bars, basic tools, flashlights, and more. Between the air tank and the two tubs there was just enough room for the small suitcases. Oh, and all of this was from a man standing in a T-shirt and shorts while it was 42 F outside. Go figure.
I went back inside and got the maps, Garmin GPS, camera bag, coffee to go mugs, food, and the other stuff I wanted in the actual car with us. Then while trying to get all this organized, I found 2 small flashlights in the pocket in the dash; another 3 in the driver door pocket; 2 more in the passenger door pocket; a large one under each seat (driver and passenger) and one more in the glove compartment. That adds up to 10 flashlights, and does not count the unknown number back in those emergency tubs. Have I mentioned that my husband has a flashlight fetish?
At around 8:30 am we hit the road and headed to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The route was rather easy- up the I-15 to Barstow then hang a right on I-40 and kept going east.
You can't miss it kid, you will run right into it.
Oh, and in Needles we waved at Spike (Snoopy's brother) and kept going. In Williams, AZ we ran into snow on the ground and just a light falling of it coming down. It was 31F outside and my husband is still walking around in shorts and a T-Shirt. We crossed the Continental Divide at an elevation of 7,000+ feet and then headed downhill toward ABQ. At around 10 pm (it was 9 pm for us) we arrived at our hotel and crashed after 13 hours of driving including stops.
Albuquerque was cold and had gray skies and is at about 5,000 foot elevation. We were surprised at how sprawled out ABQ was and that there weren't a lot of tall buildings. During our wanderings, we went to some local museums - specifically ones with Rock and Mineral sections and drove around looking at the city and the surrounding small towns; stopping in various small shops and just having a fun time.
OH, and at one point while going down a hill with a curve, we hear a funny PSSSTT-ing sound coming from the back of the car. Erich looks at me and I knew he was thinking "We got a flat tire, good thing I brought the air tank". I have great hearing and knew it was not a tire but from inside the shell. Sure enough, the tank had tipped over and the emergency valve had been triggered - letting the majority of the air escape. So much for having emergency air in case of a flat tire. Besides, isn't that why we have AAA?
Since we had gotten into ABQ when it was dark, when we left we were able to see the surrounding area that we did not see, on our way in. We rolled into Flagstaff, AZ around 3 pm, found a Chinese restaurant and had a late lunch and afterwards we drove around the town before getting back onto I-40 and heading home.
Go west young man.
Go forth into the gathering twilight.
Don't forget to write when you get work.
It was a dark and stormy night.
Overall we drove about 1800 miles - saw some great scenery, took just a few pictures, and collected a few rocks along the way.
Here are a few of the pictures, you can find more pictures on the Travels page
Laurie lives in central Texas with Erich a.k.a. "the shop elf"- her hubby of 30 years and Cowboy Boots, the cat; her metals studio including 100+ hammers and 300+ chasing tools; her sewing studio which has two sewing machines, a closet filled with fabric, hundreds of skeins of floss in many materials, and Mrs. King the dress dummy; two weaving looms, assorted knitting needles, tubs of yarn; lots of books; plus a plethora of geeky tech gadgets and more.