June 28, 2008
Spending to Get
The view from my windows in my bedroom in my apartment, over looking the first green and fairway at the Legends of Indian Springs Golf course Louisville KY
I have had a very nice weekend having spent much of it sitting before these windows watching the world go by... by that I mean the steady groups of golfers and the steady march of rainclouds as the thunderstorms sweep by in an endless panorama of sight and color. It has cooled down quite a bit and I have my little window open to gather fresh air. Annabelle is asleep on my bed just next to me. She had a busy weekend of grooming and training appointments and is happy to lay and watch the golfers go by
Its been a week of heavy thought. I spent a lot of time journaling about how Woody and I came to the place that we find ourselves in. I wanted the story recorded... The whole story. And how all of this has made me feel.
Being here has given me the freedom to just feel. I dont have to do anything, be anything other than myself, so this was the ideal time to do this. I must say that all of this emoting has not made me feel better. I have felt very depressed this week...grief? maybe...
My lanai It has the same view but a different perspective. The railing is covered with bird netting to prevent Annabelle from taking a flying leap off the the second floor balcony. Its so discreet you cant even see it. I love sitting out here in the breeze. Look who is sharing the sunshine but the little princess who has her own special chair so she can watch the silly humans chasing the little white ball all over the place!
I think a lot of it is disappointment. Things haven't worked out at the school the way I hoped. Charlie has basically said "Review everything" and retreated into his office this past week. He nitpicked what I brought him in review, and was cross about how I managed to do said review. I think its strange that the teacher gives an instruction like that but expects you to read hs mind about how it should be accomplished. I see Maureen doing "review" of things we havent gotten to that she got to before I got there...not because there is something wrong with me but because Charlie in three months has failed to complete the one month program he promised to teach me. He has spent way too much time hibernating in his office. So I took the initiative and did a few projects on my own. When Charlie said that he hadnt seen much review I took everything I had done and he said that while it was good it wasnt review he asked for whatever that was supposed to be and how come I was getting ahead of him?... I am sort of unwilling to stay in week one the whole three months. For the first time...this week I found myself resenting the money that I have spent and the risk I have taken that ultimately have led me to be taken advantage of. Charlie has issues and I dont think he understands just how serious this is. I gave up a job, a life...yes willingly and gladly but not to sit and just fritter away literally 120.00 a day that I will owe up in the future against my house
My first bezel set ring. I did this one rather well...maybe because the stone was not a practice CZ, but one of Charlie's customers 1 carat diamonds...
Needless to say I didnt get to keep this practice ring. He gave me the wrong stone...because he wasnt attentive. Later he blamed me for this. This atmosphere of suspicion and distrust...even downright paranoia is due to a series of horrible events that have happened in the last month. Charlie's home was robbed, his step daughter was pistol whipped and terrorized. Then an attempt was made to rob the school overnight...and finally the son of a jeweler friend, a frequent visitor and graduate of the school is currently the principal suspect in the theft of a valuable diamond from the man's father's store safe... The environment is hostile and weird day in and out
My masterwork, this crucifix is actually mounting for a special artifact. A handmade nail I found in the street in the 900 block of east Broadway in downtown Louisville, while sightseeing with Woody. A professional blacksmith dated the nail to 1780 to 1830 and said that likely it was made by a slave boy, an apprentice to a blacksmith. If the child showed potential he was spared the lifetime of backbreaking field work that most black slaves faced. On top of that a trade like smithing would give a slave a trade that would help him stay free if he braved escape by swimming across the mighty Ohio river to New Albany Indiana and catching the Underground Railroad to a point further north
The cross is a lost wax centrifugal casting in sterling silver. Three dimensional in nature, the wax model was designed around the historic nail in such a way that the nail is heal securely yet can be removed so the silver can be cleaned. The iron nail cannot come in contact with my skin without causing more deterioration so that situation had to be taken into account in the design... By the way I figured it out mostly on my own, and Charlie's son Bryan, a master jeweler himself helped me with the casting and gave me tips. Charlie said he liked it and thought that I did a good job, but he bragged on it as customers saw it on my bench as I worked on it. I knew in my heart that I did good on this one
But does that mean that I can hold my own as a jeweler? Several weeks ago,as I was finishing this up, I spent a saturday afternoon roaming craft and lapadary shops looking for findings ect. Once of the first places that I stopped was a place called "friends" on funky Frankfort Ave. The lady in charge and her Jeweler Jerry looked at the cross and my other work and felt that I could do the repair work that is pouring in there and would I like a job? I would sit on the store and do repairs for a percentage of the job price. Jerry said he'd fill in any gaps on my education and not charge me 120.00 a day. He is a master engraver and was teaching at the Conner School for a while and knew Charlie really well. Said he would be glad to help me and let me have some of the work. Im not into this as a money maker, but I would be ahead if I didnt have to pay the school and extra 3500.00 for the next three months that would be a big help and if I could pay part of my way out of earnings will praise the Lord for that. I still have a couple of weeks paid for at the school so I will try to get as much as I can out of that before telling Charlie that our time is going to be a touch truncated. With the state of Indiana offering Charlie disability for his damaged hands and nerves he should take the money and run.
I feel like his heart is no longer into this, teaching that is. I also think that he is intimidated by me and that makes things strained. I have not gotten over the feeling of contempt that he seems to have for me
I knew what I was getting into when I signed up. I was willing to "spend to get" to receive all of the emenities of this place. It has been worth it. I am willing to spend to get to have the personal and financial freedom I will soon have
PS.7-1-2008 Charlie came to me and asked me about my plans and if I was going to finish out the six month course. It was the opening that I had been waiting and felt that I should work in a real shop rather than sit in his school for another three months. He said that I do learn slower than the other students but once I get the concept I do nice work. He was thrilled at the opportunity that I have to work for a real jeweler. He felt that this was a better way to go and that he was going to miss me. My time will end about the same time that Maureen will be leaving so I think the timing is great. I'm thinking about leaving July 16 and perhaps getting another part time job to fill out my wallet and try some tricks I haave learned. Tha will be grand.
Fellow Student Maureen and shop kitty Fluffy at the Conner School New Albany IN
Labels: Artisans Fine Jewelry Repair, Conner School, Current Events, Dreams, Kentucky