In this special, online workshop hosted by the Craft Guild of Dallas, Victoria will demystify the technique of Russian filigree (filigrana) from the basics of traditional fabrication to the intricacies of her own ground breaking, sculptural work. Students will create several pieces of jewelry, including two pendants and a ring, using both time honored processes and Victoria’s no-fail method for learning how to achieve 3-dimensional filigree.
This workshop is both technique and project based with many in-depth, super detailed, and high resolution 4K demonstrations as well as time for Victoria to coach students on wire forming and soldering. (Second device such as a cell phone required.) All demonstrations and live class recordings will be available for 30 days after the final class.
“Adapting and Thriving” – My work was featured in the latest issue of Metalsmith Magazine
Valina Robinson Glass interviewed me along with Lori Gottlieb and Mark Nelson for this recent article on how artists continue flourishing through physical challenges. It was an honor to have so much of my work featured in print (though the dubious and painful looking dental work pictured on the cover is definitely not mine)!
And in Other News from Lake Victoria…
Thursdays are the strangest of days. They are short and smashed between “hump day” aka Wednesdays and Fridays aka the self-employed person’s delusion of an end to the work week. Technically, they are the same 24 hour long days as Tuesdays, but Thursdays never feel that that way.
Perhaps it’s because Tuesdays feel like super long, get-everything-done days, probably because they provide the illusion of, “It’s the beginning of the week, so I still have lots of time to get everything done.”
By Wednesdays nights all I can do is look at my to-do list and realize there are only 48 hours left in that humanly (and not humanely) contrived weekday thing, and 48 hours will never be enough. If Tuesdays feel up-hill, Thursdays careen toward a fabricated cut-off. The difference is similar to how the trip home takes less time than the trip traveling to somewhere fun. – Remember when we used to go anywhere fun?!?
By Tuesday nights, I get this frantic feeling that there are only 5 minutes until Friday afternoon, and so I forget that Thursdays even exist. The phenomenon extends to my husband’s schedule as well, frequently eliciting the weekly litany of, “Oh, right, tomorrow is only Thursday. I have one more day to do _.” We’ve shortened this to Arthur Dent’s line, “I never could get the hang of Thursdays,” his response to finding out the Earth is about to be blown up to make way for a super galactic highway in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Some days when I read the news, or just look at my to-do list, I can almost understand why Adam’s fictitious ‘Vogons’ believed their construction plan wasn’t such a problem.
As I bitched to my husband about this and the mountain of class prep, all the demo videos, editing, website work, materials lists, workshop descriptions, artwork photography and editing, and the mountain of marketing work involved in having all that actually turn into workshops and income, my husband asked that crazy question: “When are you going to retire?”
“Are you freaking kidding me?!?” I replied in horror.
“Ok, you’ll never stop making artwork. It’s who you are. But I have hope that one day you’ll retire from teaching or selling your work because all the behind the scenes work exhausts you. “How about both of us retiring together (his is a 10 year plan.)”
“I can imagine cutting back if we’re not reliant on the income,” I replied, but I had to admit the thought of getting to do what I want all the time, of never having my astigmatism make all the lines on a spreadsheet go wavy, of never having edit another 12 hours of video down to 4 is all wildly seductive. Suddenly, I found myself wondering if I had 10 years of that pace left in me.
Like most artists, my retirement plan has always been to work until a I fall over dead. In these scary times, that feels potentially more imminent instead of being so far off in some imaginary future. Like any such epiphany, pondering this can make for a reprioritizing of one’s life goals.
I’ve only ever had one close family member actually retire and live to tell the tale, that was my maternal grandfather Eldon. I was just a kid when he hit 65, but I remember the party and how happy he was. Mostly I remember for the next 31+ years he was busier than ever doing only what he liked to do, which was primarily gardening and fixing things, interspersed with a gazillion church and community meetings. A few aunts and uncles have enjoyed retirement, but of the people I was closest too, everyone either kept working or literally died shortly after officially retiring. Small wonder the thought is both enticing and frightening!
The holiday staycation was a hint though, at what might be a pleasant future. Except for some holiday baking, I spent a lot of the time working in the studio on whatever I felt like. I also parked my backside and a stack of books I’m reading on the sofa next to my husband who was doing the same with dogs nestled around us. I did nearly lose a couple of Thursdays in there, but the one and a half weeks were lovely with or without them.