Friday, August 17, 2007

All Josh Groban, All Day!!!!

When I am creating jewelry in my Studio in Spanish Village...if I have my way...I listen to Josh Groban...all day long. Occasionally, there is live music out on the patio that is loud enough that I have to turn off my stereo in the Studio...that throws off my whole day! There is something about sitting in my beautiful studio, in beautiful Spanish Village (in beautiful Balboa Park...San get the picture!) and listening to beautiful Josh! His music calms me and inspires me. I feel I make more beautiful jewelry because of his music. Probably 75% of the people coming into my studio comment on how much they love the music...a few think it is Bocelli...but most recognize Josh Groban and also love to listen to him. Josh's fans seem to cross over all age and social boundaries. The other day a woman with three small children came into the studio. The youngest...probably 5 or 6 years old looked at me and said..."I like this music...this is the last song on the favorite is number dad plays it in his truck every morning. My favorite is number 7." So I cued up number 7 which is "Canto Alla Vita" and he smiled and said..."This song is in another's my favorite." The boy didn't understand a word of the song, but Josh's beautiful music had touched him...just like the rest of us Josh Groban fans!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Spanish Village Art Center...San Diego's Best Kept Secret!!!!

A few weeks after I moved to San Diego, I discovered Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park. The picture behind my blog title is my studio in Spanish Village. "The Village", as we "artists" refer to it, was built in 1935 for the second California Exposition (World's Fair). It was built, obviously to represent a small village in Spain. When the exposition was over in 1937, the Village was destined for demolition. A group of artists approached the City of San Diego and requested that they be allowed to turn the abandoned Village into a group of working artists' studios. Their request was granted and for the last 70 years, Spanish Village (located between the Natural History Museum and the Zoo) has provided working studio and gallery space, for thousands of San Diego's local artists. The Village is open 7 days a week and holds several special events each year. Yet, not a day goes by that I don't hear some local resident (some living here for 30 years!) say with shock..."What a wonderful place this is! I never knew this long has it been here?" So, the next time you are in San Diego, come to Balboa Park and visit the artists in Spanish Village...and tell your friends! We don't want it to be a secret anymore!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

How Jewelry Designing Chose Me

I always felt I was looking for something "creative" to do to feed my soul. I tried Photography...I liked black and white artsy shots like Ansel friends and family wanted me to take pictures of their weddings, baptisms, babies, parties, etc. On occasion, I think I was on the guest list because I had a camera and I worked for free. Then, I tried Graphic Design...I was so-so at it...I tried Interior Design...I was "pretty good" at family and friends had me help them "design" their living spaces. They all said how good I was at it...of course, my services were free, which, I am sure heightened their excitement about the results! Eventually, I opened my own business, with my partner (partner as in "business partner", not "life partner"...I've recently been told by a friend that these days the term needs further explanation.) It was a Computer Graphics business in Tucson, Arizona...where I was born and raised. Unfortunately, I was the "Administrative" partner, while he was the artist. I eventually began to hate every day of my life. Constantly looking at an empty bank account and trying to find imaginative ways to meet payroll and constantly "chase" technology. One day, Chris, who worked for me, and who was, by the way, quite a pistol, came in and showed me a ring she was wearing...she said she made it...MADE IT! It was sterling silver and had a "cabochon" of turquoise set in a silver bezel...(all terms which were Greek to me!) I asked where she had learned to make something so coool?!! She had taken night classes in Adult Ed through the Parks and Rec Department. It was beginning Silversmithing. I knew I had to try it! I was very intimidated with the idea of designing a piece of jewelry...from the dormant creative recesses buried deep in my subconscious. What if I couldn't do it?!!! What if everything I made was ugly!!! I decided to let loose of my inhibitions and just go for it. It was as if the blank pieces of silver and the stones had a mind of their own...they had some kind of destiny to be something, and they were in control!!! And when I followed their lead, I was always happy with the results. I still pull out my box of stone "cabochons" (stones that are domed on top, flat on the bottom and polished) and my pieces of sterling silver (some nothing more than scraps from another project) and I say, "OK, who wants to become something today?" And I wait till they reveal themselves, and I listen to what they say! I was 45 years old when metalsmithing and jewelry design "chose" me...and I am happy they did!