Monday, September 1, 2014

It has been just insane. I have not had a minute to sit down and post anything. 

Liz and I are very excited to be in Boone.  I has been a busy four weeks. We have already had a visitor/visits (Jen Wells and Amy Tavern).  I am happy to report that four out of five rooms in our house are unpacked and "finished".  My office at school needs some help.  It is kind of a wreck.  I did get the makerbot up and running which is great.  Our personal studio is in full swing but it has been hard to work there.  My main work station crashed so I had to build a new computer.  It has been a long time since I had to build a PC from parts so it was a lot of fun but also frustrating.  The laser cutter is installed and fully vented.  I can cut almost anything now without fear of choking myself.  The cats are settling in. Our neighbor's dog keeps them in check for the most part.  We have also discovered some local BBQ and TACOS!  We have only tried one BBQ place so far but it was great! The tacos at the local Taqueria put all of the tacos in Kingston NY to shame.  It is also about a quarter mile from our studio so most of our diet lately has consisted of tacos. 

Yesterday we took a trip to hike Grandfather mountain which was epic.  We saw the largest amethyst found in the US!  They also had an impressive display of hand carved/painted birds which were kind of amazing.  I am proud of myself.  I actually concurred my fear of heights and crossed the swinging bridge (almost a mile up in the air).  I almost stopped in the middle if it were not for liz pushing me across they would have had to call in the choppers.  Grandfather mountain was so close to Penland we decided to pop in on Amy Tavern and in Penland tradition we took her out for pizza and then had ice cream sandwiches! Soooooooo good.  I am proud to say that my sticker installation in lower metals is still there!  

I am about to start my third week of school.  In metals we started sandcasting in pewter.  The students are really enjoying it.  I also have been working hard to make improvements to the studio.  Bit by bit I am whipping this place into shape. Hopefully soon I will be able to take a break. Maybe around Thanksgiving I can relax a bit.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


  So this has been in the works for some time now.  My favorite pliers needed an upgrade.  I am working on some prototypes.  So far so good. Getting the nut out was a huge pain in the ass.  It is almost like they don't want you taking out their jaw.  It took a pair of vise grips and a hammer to get the nut to even budge. 

  I made a couple different versions.  I am going to test them for a while and then probably sell them through my site.  My biggest fear is that they will bend in the thin spots and then not be parallel anymore.  On the upside, they are brass and you can alter the shape of the jaws to fit your needs.  So if you want to file a V in it you can.  Or if you want to make it half round or an inverted half round, you can.  I made a tube cutting jig, longer noses and tapered noses.  

Let me know what you think.  

Aslo, I am slowly making improvements to the studio.  So much to do before the semester starts.  So far I have painted my office, setup the 3D printer, made a new little library section, made a sand paper caddy and moved around the benches.  Fingers crossed, I can get it all done before the semester begins.  


Thursday, July 31, 2014

The big Boone adventure!

So we have arrived.  Boone, North Carolina! As I have mentioned before I accepted a tenure track position starting this semester to be the area coordinator for Metalsmithing and Jewelry design at Appalachian State University.  

Over the years Liz and I have been semi vocal about how much we are not fans of New York.  Truthfully, we met some incredible people!  Those people have turned into life long friends.  It was painful leaving.   But, deep down inside we always knew that we would never settle in New York.  I think that this ultimately prevented us from ever being happy.  So many things; the taxes, the cost of living, politics, peoples attitudes (including my own) all of this and some other things I will keep to myself sealed the deal.  When it came down to it, moving closer to home made sense. Closer to our family, cheaper cost of living, slower lifestyle, closer to our property, a front porch to hang out on, CHICKENS! We are stoked. 

So on to Boone.

So far so good.  It is amazing.  For some reason we thought it would be HOT but apparently it never gets above 80 degrees "except during rare heat waves". We are quickly settling in.  We just built out our studio and we are unpacking all of our crap.  As of this post we have been her for a five days.  

We barely fit all of stuff into one twenty foot Uhaul and Liz's tribute.  Taco had to be drugged right before we left town.  He kind of freaked out on the trip and started getting a bloody nose in the carrier.  After getting a shot he pretty much spent most of the trip with his eyes rolled back into his head.

I have had the keys to my office for one day now and I am already re-arranging things.  I am now painting and building shelves.  I had to pick from the state approved colors so I picked  "agreeable gray"  which I think will work.  It is agreeable.

We are renting an amazing house which is walking distance to work (all up hill).  It has a chicken coop, a front porch and a bath tub.  You know the essentials.

More later as things unfold.  Right now I am frantic.  I have two shows a lecture and a semester to get ready for.  There are million things to do.

The new adventure begins now!

Here are some shots of the metals studio and my office.