Friday, August 21, 2015

This is where I live now

I am getting excited to start things up. Step one is opening all the doors and drawers.  I gave myself a self guided tour of the metals studio before classes start up. I am excited to get some time on some of this equipment. I spent some time taking a visual inventory of all of the stakes and hammers. It is quiet impressive. It seems as if all the equipment is the best of the best.  The lapidary, electroforming, enameling, casting and smithing rooms are making me drool.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Busy hands.

Liz and I have been frantically trying to get the house in order but frankly, we are drowning in boxes. I just wanted to do a quick recap of the last three weeks.

First, before we left Boone we had a chance to hang out with the new metals person at App, Marissa Saneholtz. Marissa and Sara Brown came for a short visit. They both co-organize the Smitten Forum. I think Marissa is going to be great for ASU. It was nice to be able to run around Boone one last time and hit all the high notes before we left for Providence. Liz and I were very sad that we couldn't see everyone before we left. The tight schedule with the packers, then the movers, then zooming off to Washington DC to my father's funeral wouldn't allow it.

So here we are in Providence. So far it is great. We love our neighborhood. We have quickly started setting up the studio. We already have our ventilation setup, our office is ready to go and the house....well the house needs some love. I don't want to glaze over our choice in ventilation. Lots of people probably want to know, being that you may need ventilation in your future. 

A number of years ago I struggled to figure out what to use. I bought a 400CFM Dayton, brand blower motor off of Amazon, wired it up and added some crude duct work. It worked for a while but it was more obnoxiously loud than efficient. We also used a number of stove hoods, window fans etc.  When we moved here, we moved to a quiet neighborhood that would not tolerate the rattling of an exhaust fan.

I looked and looked and finally found a quiet solution (with a little help from the hive mind and Bruce Metcalf). It turns out that the local hydroponics store had the answer. I guess people don't want to get caught growing weed in their basements. Also these exhaust fans need to push a ridiculous amount of heat away from the space. We found a 6 inch 330 CFM, inline, CAN FAN that is super quiet and sucks, in a good way. I grabbed some duct work from that same store and viola, a home exhaust system. I will have to build a hood of some sort soon but for now I am going to just moving the hose around when soldering. The unit cost around $170 but you can get a cheaper/weaker one and it would probably be fine. 

This version is sucking up things off the soldering table.  We bought the higher end one because we are eventually planning on teeing it off with a gate in order to vent the enameling kiln. This model has three speeds and came pre-wired, ready to be plugged in. I just cut a hole in a piece of plywood with a jigsaw and shoved the tube through and sandwiched all of that in the window. Come winter we will have to weather proof it but for now it is working very well. Almost too well.  

We also picked up this incredible work bench from the SAM's club. It makes for a great stand up station. I have never seen a store bought bench that is so sturdy. It says it holds up to 1000 lbs!! CHALENGE!  I think we may buy another one. Our studio is in our attic and there is not a whole lot of head room.  

While we were on our way up to Providence we stopped in Richmond to visit Liz's parents and to take a peek at our rental units. The VMFA had a great exhibit on Japanese tattoos and of course we had to get lunch at Perly's. I always love going to look at the silver collection at the VMFA but was sad to hear that their FabergĂ© collection was out on loan. Also the modern wing was being cleaned so it was a short visit for us. 

I stopped in Williamsburg after the funeral. My mom was so generous to show us how to make dim sum (again). I have to be honest, I am glad it is complicated otherwise I would eat this everyday. I realized that I probably owe a lot to my mother.  She is always working with her hands. She has always, a long as I can remember been baking, cooking, roasting, catering or something. Busy hands.