I knew this would happen. Our first assignment is a granulated ring band. I granulate all the time. It’s something I’m good enough at to be asked to demonstrate for class. So it’s only natural that I would mess up my piece. Multiple times.

On Monday Sarah did most of the granulation demo while I helped with information about how I do it. While she was going through the demo I started questioning my methods. Was my copper solution too strong? Was my flame too hot? Was I creating pits and scars? Argh! I knew that whatever I created was going to be subjected to intense scrutiny so it had to be perfect. Not a problem if I was messing around the studio making something for fun. A big problem if it involved public display and a grade. I talked to Sarah about how I was going to challenge myself in this assignment and decided to create a band with open sections. What I ended up designing is a ring of four sections that will be soldered to a band that will form the rim. I measured everything and cut out the sections to begin granulating. Since Steve was gone Tuesday night I worked in the studio before and after dinner. Things were going well until the third section. I overheated it and melted the piece. I hadn’t done that since my last high-pressure piece which was a custom creation. Grr. Ok, I cut out another section and went on to the fourth section. Granulation went well so I came back to piece #3 and re-granulated it. And melted it again. Now I was really hacked and decided that maybe I should call it a night. I cut out yet another section, formed it and got it ready to granulate on Wednesday.

Things weren’t going well yesterday either but I managed to get the third section granulated. I did get one of the edges a bit overdone, but it was nothing I couldn’t fix. I cut out a sample rim and put everything together to see how it would look. I have to say, I really like the design and am excited about the outcome. I was still feeling pressured and frustrated when I went to class so I took some time to talk to Sarah about my feelings. She laughed (which I knew she would) and told me to chill out. She liked my design and said to continue. She also said I didn’t have to make the second band if I couldn’t since I’m under the gun to finish my other pieces by February 1st for my show at Waverly House. Whew!

Today I have to work my other job so I’m taking a break from classwork. I did start to work on the next project design (designs are due next Wednesday) which is a granulated ring with a stone. I’m thinking of taking a river rock I found while I was at Arrowmont two years ago and setting a granulated section in the stone. Don’t be too impressed with my idea because I saw something similar so it’s not original! Still, I’ve never set anything into a stone so it should be a challenge. I think the organic nature of the stone with the precision of the granulation will create a nice piece. Let’s just hope I don’t continue melting everything!

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