Phase One: Fun at Cedar Lakes
It's hard to imagine embarking on a craft workshop/rescue mission, much less being able to come home and claim it a success. I mean, it's not often the two are combined is it? So all is well and I can fill you in on it. First of all though, I have to give the praise to my cousin, Karen, who drove those hundreds and hundreds of miles. I think it ended up around 1,600 or so, and most of them in the last two days. She will always be an angel to Frankie and me.
The workshop was divine! I had no idea what making enameled jewelry would entail, or what the instructor would be like. It turns out I had underestimated both! Catherine Crowe has been an enamellist for over two decades; her work is exhibited all over the US and Canada and there aren't any words to describe its many shapes so I will put a link in here for you to check it for yourself. Once you do check out her work you will most likely chuckle at mine, but that's okay because I haven't been doing it for 25 years yet. The scariest part of the whole thing was the kiln. It looks absolutely evil when you open its door and it shows you its 1500 degrees! I won't, can't, go into the steps of the process. But have a peek at some of these pictures.
|Catherine helping a newbie at the kiln.|
|My shawl pin with two translucent enamels on its front.|
Here are some other photos:
|Karen's bling! Her last piece isn't in the mix yet.|
The above photo shows my other pieces, but only two are finished there: the fishbone pin and the totem I made for Frankie (with the cord). The side you see is supposed to be a representation of primitive art, when the artist would blow ochre around their hand upon a wall. On the back I did an enamelled version of a spiral. Working on this little gift made me less anxious and enjoy my time in Cedar Lakes until we could leave for Kentucky. The big yellowish moon/pumpkin is just that. My next step was to sift on some yellowish-green stripes alongside the orangey ones to give the piece more depth. I didn't realize there wasn't a "finished" photo until I looked for one. You'll have to take my word for it that it doesn't look bad! But you can still chuckle, especially after you check out Catherine's website: www.imagocorvi.com You can also check out Cedar Lakes, where all sorts of workshops are held throughout the year, from stained glass to wood carving: www.cedarlakes.com
And so, a good time was had by all as they say! Karen and I didn't burn anything, glue anything with the gum binder that wasn't supposed to be glued, and agreed that we wouldn't mind taking the class again. I would like to think that could only make the wonderful Catherine Crowe happy.
Phase Two: Rescue!
|Biscuit World, here we come!|
|Looks sloppy, but luscious! (Like me.)|
We drove pretty much straight through the 400-plus miles with very few stops to stretch and refresh. I don't know how Karen did it, really. I hate to drive, haven't driven in years if I can help it, and I'm ashamed to say that, but it's true. If Karen hadn't suggested visiting Frankie after our workshop in the first place, I don't know if I'd even have him here now. Other friends have said they would have gotten him, but I feel sort of cosmically looked-after that it all happened as it did. It took us about six hours to finally reach the Job Corps Center. I had some minor freak-outs toward the end when I didn't quite trust the GPS and began thinking the government actually hid the center, like a mini Area 51.
Frankie had called my cell from another
Karen said we'd only stop for the night after we reached West Virginia, but we did stop for supper at a Cracker Barrel where Frankie got French Toast, bacon and eggs. He started talking a bit while there and I think he started feeling better and better as night fell. Just over the border we stopped at a Quality Inn where we got Frankie his own room with a king-sized bed. No more metal, skinny bunks. He showered, then joined us in our room for a chat, then went off to bed. After we turned off our lights I started to doze and I could just hear the sound of his mandolin through the wall. I tried to listen for it, but fell asleep. I slept very well.