First things first.
I finished the sodalite ring. I had my last beginning silversmithing class this week at the Art Centre. It's hard to believe how fast 10 weeks have gone by. I learned so much.
Remember this from a few weeks back...
This is what it looks like now.
Beautiful. I am proud of this ring, it fits beautifully and is very comfortable to wear.
I met a wonderful lady this week, Kay. She lives here in Christchurch and is another lampwork artist who I was put in touch with by Lisa, the woman who taught me up in Auckland. Kay has her own torch and set-up in her garage. I spent several hours the last couple of days at her house, making beads, having great chats and getting to know her.
Here is Kay at her torch.
I will be picking up my finished beads from her house today, so I'll photograph and post them next time.
Kay's partner, Bob, happens to be an American from New York AND an ex-Antarctican. He is a Vietnam veteran who was one of the Navy Seabees who traveled the globe 'building stuff' in different places in the world. McMurdo Station, Antarctica was one of those places. He spent about eight seasons down there starting in the early 70's, some with the military and some as a civilian.
Bob and I had lots to talk about (as you can imagine), me having also spent the better part of 10 years there as well. To Kay and her friend from the UK, Anna, it must have seemed that we were speaking another language at times, what with all the acronyms and Antarctic slang we were throwing back and forth.
Bob showed me his jacket with some really cool patches on it.
The USAP patch on the upper left is of particular interest. The USAP patch of today is still basically the same design, but the wording is different...and check out the stitching on the old one. No NSF on the old patch either.
Also of particularly notable historic value is the Seabees patch.
Is this just the coolest patch EVER?
Bob calls himself an "SOAE." Super Old Antarctic Explorer. Great meeting you Kay, Bob and Anna. What a small world.
Note by all the sweaters that it is getting a bit chillier in Christchurch. Daylight savings time has ended and winter is on it's way.