Memorial

My father graduated from high school in the middle of the Depression.  When  war seemed likely, he enlisted and was finally assigned to Diss England as a member of the 351 bomb squadron, 100th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force.  He said later that this was the first steady job he ever had.

My father’s sentiments on his wartime experiences are best exemplified by the following episode:  In 1992, the movie Memphis Belle came out.  Memphis Belle was about the Eighth Air Force and I thought that my father might want to see it.   I asked him if he was going  and he  sneered and muttered something under his breath.  This was my father’s way of saying no.

I asked him why.  “God dammit!” he exploded, “How the hell could they make a movie about that?  If it was realistic,  all they could show would be a crew of young guys crapping in their pants for two hours!”

In later years, I related this story to  a retired air force corporal who flew fighter planes in China and Burma during the Second World War, and in Korea and Vietnam,  “Your father was right,” he told me.

My father (left) with his brother and sister before he left for boot camp.

Kearney, Nebraska

His lucky flying charm

At Thorpe Abbots

A B17  and autographs of the crew

His reward for surviving

His last reunion

Resin Experiments

I wanted to see what alcohol inks, metal leaf, glitter and bits of metal and glass would do when I suspended them in epoxy resin.  I  got some interesting results!   I used Envirotex Lite and  Easy Cast brand resin, and poured in layers to see what effects I could get.  I made the squares in a plastic pill organizer. I didn’t have to use bead release; I just tapped the edge of the box when the resin was cured and the blocks slid out.

I made my own molds for the bracelets using 100 percent silicone caulk,  glycerin and noise putty I found at the dollar store.  You can get a general idea of how to make these molds  from this article on the Village Garden Website.

If you’re looking for more in-depth information on working with resin,   I recommend  Resin Jewelry by Kathy Murphy.




 

Collage Jewelry

First I cut the clear glass and a piece of stained glass (from scraps) for the back.  The tiny collages  come from my scrap paper collection- magazines, menus, calligraphy,  newspapers, metal leaf, washi paper. (I like to troll the streets on recycling day).  I also used some Dover images of Japanese woodcuts.  (If you are ever in Tokyo, do not miss the Tokyo National Museum where you can almost get your fill of them.) I also used bits of wire, stones and tumbled stained glass that I drilled holes through,  and pieces of twigs colored with Prisma markers and coated with epoxy resin.   The frames are wrapped with copper foil tape and soldered with lead free solder.



Here’s some more from an earlier post.


On Line Learning – Metalsmithing

The Internet is full of resources for  for learning how to do things.    Add the magic of video and a high speed connection and you have a class on your computer.    Many people think that just because they have to pay for something, it isn’t work anything.  Conversely, if they have to pay for through the nose for something, it has to be valuable, right?

Maybe, but maybe not.

Two of my favorite on line metalsmith teachers are Dwayne of Half Dead Oak Jewelry and Luis Morena .    Morena accepts donations, but you don’t have to pay to watch the videos.   They have different teaching styles: Moreno’s videos are silent and he makes one project on each video.  Dwayne offers two multi-part projects with  accompanying narration that explains everything he is doing.    Check them out.