Nancy L.T. Hamilton

Welcome to: In the Studio with Nancy
Newsletter - Volume 12, November 2015
Got a Monster Truck?
What would happen if you pushed yourself out of the proverbial box, kicked your preconceived notions out of their warm, snuggly bed or dragged your mind out of its predictable rut?  

  In my experience, a rut is dug by driving, repeatedly, over the same spot.   We compact the earth, get our wheels stuck in that deep groove and find that it's incredibly difficult to escape from it.

Although, we kind of like our ruts:  we know where they will take us, we don't have to think, we feel safe.

But a rut is also boring, predictable and doesn't take us anywhere new.

So, I propose a challenge:  can you drive out of your rut?

I think, that we all need time to explore, to research, to play and that often involves thinking "rutlessly" (new word!).

I've developed a short list (not really) of tasks to challenge yourself with, to give you a leg up, out of the rut.  I'm going to be doing some of these things too so, know, you're not venturing onto the wide-open highway alone.

Here's the list:
  • Design for an imaginary client.  What do they want, look like, do?  What would they wear? Is this client a man, a child, a teen, a princess, a queen, a king, your neighbor, the bagger at the grocery store, a woman, a cat?  
  • Limit your materials.  If you always use silver and gold, use copper and bronze.  If you always use copper, try a little gold or silver.
  • Use steel, aluminum, iron, niobium, tin, pewter, nickel, etc.
  •  Fabiana Gadano (recycled plastic bottles)
  • Create using only found objects.
  • Make a piece of jewelry from trash that you find on the road, in parking lots, near building sites.
  • Tell me something - anything.
  •   Susan Lenart Kazmer
  • If you solder - don't.  If you don't - do.
  • Add gemstones or take them away.
  • Make something wildly ridiculous.
  • Make something hideously ugly.
  • Make something heartbreakingly beautiful.
  •  Holland Houdek  - Untitled reed bracelets
  • Make unwearable jewelry.
  • Make jewelry for a fantasy wedding.
  • Tell a tale, with your jewelry.
  •  Jan Yager“Tiara of Useful Knowledge. City Flora: The Philadelphia Series (2006)”
  • Make a crown or tiara.
  • Design for a fantasy competition or a museum that is clamoring for your work.  This prize is a zillion dollars and everlasting happiness.  What are you waiting for?
  •   Brooke Bowers 
  • Make mourning jewelry. 
  • Make something scary as hell.
  • Create with your non-dominant hand.
  •  Modern cat - Hairball Jewelry
  • Make something from your pet's fur, hair, scales or feathers. (Cat fur felts nicely.)
  • Use only organic (materials made by nature) materials.
  • Illustrate a deep and meaningful concept.
  • Illustrate a silly, ridiculously insane concept
  • Make a political/religious/social statement.
  •  Kerry Howley - Human Hair
  • Create an object that has personal meaning.
  • Create an object that makes you angry.
  • Create an object that makes you laugh/cry/sweat/twitch/wiggle/ill
  • Make something that reminds you of your favorite place/trip/person/pet/home/car/color.
  • Illustrate alternative universes.
  • Explain PI.
  • Create a small scale copy of an object in your studio.
  • Make a tool or a utensil.
  • Make a wearable self portrait.

  Next, rip that rut to shreds (in your new monster truck) and:
  • Enter a competition
  • Enter an online challenge
  • Send an image to a magazine
  • Post a picture to Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, Instagram, etc.
  • Start a blog or website
  • Show someone what you made and ignore any negative or positive comments
  • Look for opportunities to be included in upcoming books
  •  Chien Ching Liao - Felt and Metal
  • Join a metalsmithing group or a felting group, beading group, wire group, belly dancing group, monster truck racing group
  • Notify the press of your success
  • Swim naked in your pool (if you have a big fence or a great body!).
  • Get your work out of the studio and into the world
  • Get into your big truck and drive, drive, drive.

Well, let's see...working on a very cool, secret project.  Releasing a new video tonight:  3 Ways to Tube-Set a Stone.

Lots of new web pages:   Finished designing the new jewelry studio at Chimera.  We are going to start building the desks and structures soon.  Should have room for 8 students.

Mom had cancer surgery (Mohs).  She spent a week with me (it was interesting). I'll spare you the gruesome images.  Let's just say that she looked like Frankenstein for awhile.  Shudder.  She's doing great now.  

 I was thrilled to watch my "Grandson", Jorge, sing at a local event.  He studies Mariachi and drums.  Soon, I'm going to post one of his drum solos.  The kid is amazing! 

  (Me posing with a close relative.) We went to Montana for my nephew's wedding.  It was a lot of fun but, way too cold for me.  Beautiful state with, truly, big skies. Added travel bonus:  we missed our flight home.

  Had a great Saturday with the North Bay Makers Guild.  Bunch of insane women who happen to be very talented as well as good looking (!).  Cooky Schock (who was very patient with the jabbering and constant eating that was going on),  taught us the weave for this bracelet (image is NOT of my work - mine was a little wonkier).  Enjoyed myself immensely and learned a few tricks. 

New Jewelry (there's more but, I don't want to hog the Newsletter too much):    Circles: Sterling, CZ.  This ring is hard to photograph.  You can't see how it overlaps and twists.  Here's the other side: 

 Black Flower:  Sterling, Copper and CZ.

Just read (well, actually listened to - while working) a great book on child rearing.  I wish I had had it years ago!  Have a teenager, or any sized child for that matter?  Buy this book! NurtureShock by Po Bronson.

So, you see, I don't just sit around eating bon bons and watching the soaps everyday like some of you think!  I actually don't watch soaps but, I do like a bit of trash tv with a glass of Sambuca (must also have a cat under my hand) but, only at the legally prescribed hour: beer o'clock! 

I'm going to keep it short, this time (for me it's short) and say goodnight Irene, goodnight.

Thank you all so much: you are my inspiration!


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