I Was Just Thinking.....
July 27,2014
An old carving

Every so often I go back through images of art I've created in the past, and sometimes I go WAY back (okay, maybe not that way back, it just seems like it), and the best feeling of all is when I like what I see. It seems it is so easy to be critical of myself, whereas if I was judging someone else's work I wouldn't be nearly so harsh.

In searching for another art work, I came across the images of "Talks With Dogs", and found that I actually really like the way this carving turned out. At the time I was very frustrated with Brazilian Soapstone that fought me at every turn, but I realize now, it was a good learning experience, and taught me a lot as I struggled to complete the commissioned piece. (First lesson, this particular stone was NOT meant for fine carving, bigger is definitely better). It also taught me to carve with patience and care, rather than banging away at the stone...since this stone definitely did not withstand anything other than loving, gentle, patient carving.

As a commemorative piece, the client was absolutely thrilled with the end result, and told me at the time, "it is so much better than I imagined. I can't believe you used the copper as the ball, I never would have thought of that!". At the time I was just grateful that she was so happy with the finished piece, even though I saw so many flaws. Now, years later looking back, I realize that it turned out okay, and was a carving to be proud of. Note to self...stop picking on you!

Peace!Talks With Dogs

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July 26,2014
another gorgeous day

Spent the day outside working...and then napping. The only creating I've done today is in the garden and on the bar-b-q, and that's all right too. Some days are meant for being lazy, and today is one of them. Am currently on vacation, and plan to make the most of it. Soon will be working harder than ever, but doing something I love, so does it count as work?

Wishing laid back calm to everyone out there today :)


Posted by Lydia Podobnik at 07:49 0 Comments
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July 16,2014
Go Big

I've had several long, narrow Kyanite cabochons in my workshop for a long time, and this week, while looking through my inventory, I pulled one out and decided it should be on a ring. Each cab is over an inch and a half long, so the question was, narrow band or wide? I think narrow would be more traditional, but somehow, wide seemed far more appropriate, and so off to work I went. I wanted the stone to be the focus, and yet wanted the balance a wide band would provide. This led to a wide round band, which I then squared, because somehow round didn't look right. After fabricating the bezel cup for the stone and soldering it on, I polished it all up, and wasn't happy with the look. Clearly, a mirror polished band wasn't going to work, and so, heavy needle in hand, I set about texturing the band in a way that matched the striations of the stone. Yup, better. Better than better...good!

Then the fun part, setting the long, narrow, very shallow stone, and hopefully not snapping it. Oddly enough, I don't think I breathe nearly as much as I should while stone setting. No matter how many stones I have set in this lifetime, each one is different, and just like when carving, each stone can hold an unpleasant surprise in the way of unseen fissures, cracks, etc., that usually show up as you're congratulating yourself on being JUST ABOUT finished setting it, and then the devastating feel of that little "snap" just as you're pushing the last part of the bezel over. I don't think there is a jeweler alive that hasn't felt that tiny, almost unnoticeable change in the stone that means disaster. Thankfully, in this case, that did not happen.

It slips on easily, is very comfortable to wear, and because of the soft square band, stays put. And as heavy as it may look, it is actually quite light, which I always strive for in my pieces.

It's always a good feeling to finish a piece without drama and disasters, or having to start over :)

Peace!Kyanite Wide Band Ring

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July 15,2014
Why do we do what we know we shouldn't?

So, yesterday I was working in the workshop, and anyone who lives locally knows we're in the middle of a mini heat wave. Even with the sliding doors and the windows open, it's ridiculously hot in my workshop, so of course I was breaking all the safety rules you can think of. I was in bare feet (actually, my old, worn out flip flops, but they don't really count as shoes), in a sundress, with my hair up and the radio playing. First rule of the workshop...pay attention. Yes, I was singing along to a song on the radio. I set up a piece for soldering, and lit a cigarette. Second rule...no smoking while soldering...and while you're at it, rule number three...use a striker to light the torch, not your Bic lighter. I had already broken another rule and not removed my slightly dangly jewellery while using the Foredom, but that one's not usually a problem, more is the problem when I hold the piece too close to my lap (terrible ergonomics), and catch whatever I'm wearing in the spinning bit! Yes, I've done that on more than a few occasions, and no, I never learn. Thankfully, me feet are pretty fast and I've learned to yank my foot off the foot pedal while simultaneously shooting my hand with the spinning bit/captured clothing as far and fast away from my belly as I can. But I digress. Back to yesterday's soldering adventure. As I mentioned, I lit a cigarette. Then decided the piece had waited long enough and I was ready to solder. So I lit the torch. I heated the piece. I happily smoked (which of course meant that my other hand was busy, and not ready for what happened next). The solder flowed. I quickly removed the torch from the piece. I went to turn off the valve on the tank, and the clasp of that silly, slightly dangly bracelet that has never been an issue before got caught in the embroidery of my lovely summer dress, about six inches below my chin. Oh yeah, the other hand, the one holding the cigarette, was nowhere near an ashtray, and neither was the hand holding the still lit torch while attached to my dress. My first thought was..."Can I reach the fish tank? And if I do, how many fish are going to die because I broke the rules...again?" Thankfully, I have family that are not surprised when I yell from the workshop that I need a little help, and don't ask questions when I am standing there with a lit torch, stuck to my dress, holding out my cigarette so that someone can get it to an ashtray before disentangling me from my dress while I try not to set them on fire with the still lit torch.


And in a few short months, I am going pro.

Let's hope the universe continues to look out for fools. And yes, I am still terrified.


Posted by Lydia Podobnik at 08:13 0 Comments
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July 05,2014
Change is a'comin

So far have spent the weekend gardening, moving boxes, making huge decisions. I guess that's part of being an artist as well...knowing when to take life changing leaps. Yesterday I gave notice at my job. Come the Labour Day long weekend I will be dedicating myself to a full time art career.

I am excited. I am terrified. I am moving on to a chapter that's been waiting far too many years to be written, and am still trying to wrap my head around the changes that are coming.

Good changes. Exciting changes. Absolutely gut wrenching, terrifying, wonderful changes.


Posted by Lydia Podobnik at 07:44 0 Comments
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July 01,2014
Another birthday...

Happy Canada Day!

I got to spend the day in the workshop working and hanging out with the dog, and as much as a long weekend would have been nice, I'll take a Tuesday in the workshop over a Tuesday at a desk any day!


Posted by Lydia Podobnik at 08:12 0 Comments
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