|Marina and RV park (not a parking lot!) on the Sacramento River|
We recently stopped over in Boise to visit family (my older sister and her kids and their kids) for a week and pick up our Sondors electric bikes (pictures below), regroup and make a plan/review our itinerary/check weather as we head out towards the west coast. Most people know that Boise has been rated as one of the best retirement cities (Forbes) and although I never understood it before (hot in the desert summer heat and cold in the winter), I get it now. Here's some of the things we enjoyed while in Boise of Treasure Valley.
|Maiden rides on the new e-bikes! Thanks so much to my nephew and great nephew for ALL the help!|
|Bikes on the new bike rack and road-ready|
|62-year old biker chick :P And, as always, "safety first" helmet on my biker head!|
Then I took not one but two classes with Kay Seurat, a local jewelry artist who has such an artsy house that it spooked my sister (check her out here http://www.kayseurat.com/). When we drove up to her house/studio, not far from the airport and next to the train tracks (so, very near our noisy RV parking lot), I was intrigued with her metal work outside the house. She used metal ironing boards, attached to the roof to give a "sculpting" edge to the front of her house where you would normally find the gutters and a red car hood installed as a "porch" cover as well as old license plates to frame her entry (unfortunately, I can't find those pictures as I fumble around with my camera and iCloud via iPhone on my iMac right now).....But, in any event, her home is one-of-a-kind unique! She remarked when I asked about the license plates framing her front door, "The license plates I got at the DMV. People think you are supposed to bring your old ones in but that's not true so the DMV takes them and sets them aside. Don't you think it's weird that I had to pay 50 cents each for them when the DMV got them for free?" Yes, I do!
With Kay, on that fist visit, I made a pair of blue and lime green enameled earrings. I have enameled and cut metal with a saw before but it's never been my favorite activity so this was good practice and easy for Kay; she could work away while I spent an hour and a half sawing! For me sawing is kind of like knitting. It's like a projective test where your behavior reflects your mood, think of those ambiguous ink blots that psychologists use to see into your mind based on the image you see......oh that's a bat, no a sumo wrestler. I digress...in this case, if I was tense while knitting (without even noticing it) I would notice when I looked back at my handywork that I had made itty bitty stitches so that the "material" I had made was as strong as steel and yet when I was relaxed I stitched big loosey goosey stitches so open you could stick your finger through and between the stitches with ease. With sawing, it's the same kind of thing. You have to hold the saw gently and just let your wrist do the sawing in an easy up and down fashion and let it all happen with ease vs. clutching the saw white-knuckled like it weights 50 pounds and is on the verge of dropping to the ground. And, so to compensate you use your entire right arm to saw. Using your whole tense arm is not only tiring, but completely effective in cutting through metal (and your saw breaks a lot). And, so it was great practice to saw a pair of lime green and blue enamel colored copper earrings that required lots of turns!
|I have a lime green pair of earrings.|
|I have a lime green and blue pair of earrings!|
|I have a pair of blue earrings!|
Austin was our instructor for 1/2 hour. My sister readily came to this activity and we made round globes; 2 in about 25 minutes. At $13 each this was a bargain and part of the Boise Open Studios weekend that we were lucky to be around for. The space was HOT and dangerous which is what I loved about it. It's what I love about metals work....you can easily get hurt (acid, saws, fire) ....danger and art. What could be better? We assisted Austin by holding the metal rod while the molten glass was in the furnace...I was surprised to learn the glass would only droop, but never drop off the metal rod. You turn it so it evenly warms while in the fire. Then we helped while we dropped this clear glass and very hot glob into colored glass pieces (rolling it around to cover fully) then returned it to the furnace and repeated this process one more time. Then there was some rolling on metal and dropping the glass glob into a mold to shape it and then finally setting it into in silica type material bin where Austin snipped it off the hot rod. He then took a small blob of clear molten glass and dropped it into the little hole created by snipping it off the rod...forming that colorless glob into the hanger. It was a marvelous experience!
|With a glob of clear very hot glass on a hot rod, you roll it in colored glass|
|After adding 2 layers of colored glass, you literally blow into a tube to expand the glass...awesome!|
|My glass globe, cooling in some metal (forgot what he said this was) before annealing in a kiln for 12 hours|
|I think Austin is hiding from these inquisitive little women!|
|Cool bike path right under the main roads of Boise!|
|Boiseans surfing! The day before they were practicing whitewater rafting :)|