Saturday, September 15, 2012

Journey of an Anvil

As many of your know or maybe not know, I like tools a lot!   So much that I make them! They are a very important part of what I and the rest of the jewelers out there do and thus begins my journey…

I found this used but beautiful little hand-forged anvil at an antique place here in Mexico.  It is quite small 11 inches to be exact.  I suspect it was originally a Farriers anvil (used for making horse shoes).  Since it originally took the abuse of red-hot steel it will hold up to silver quite nicely, and will make a wonderful jewelers anvil, after it is sanded a little.
The little beauty.
Since I already have one just about this size, which I found a number of years back, I offered to sell it to my friend, Kent, that also does some jewelry work here in San Miguel.  He was quick to snap it up.  I then offered to mount it for him if we could find a good dry hardwood stump.  After a little asking around our friend Zach was generous enough to donate a nice big log of Mesquite wood to the cause, which is more than hard enough… and thus the project had begun, not the least of which was cutting this baby in two! 
That 150 year old hand saw my dad gave me still has an awesome tooth and cuts very straight but even so it still took me 40 minutes to get through it!  

Here I am putting wooden pads with bits of leather for stability of the base.

I have feet!!!

Drilling a hole so I do not have to chisel so much wood.

I chiseled a square for the base of the anvil to sit in.

And Violá...mounted and finished!

Not too shabby, eh?  I enjoyed myself tremendously!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cooling Down

I know it has been a while since my last post but I am back!  And let me tell you...I have been VERY busy!!!

It is that time of year again when many places, in the northern hemisphere, where things start to cool down after the long summer heat.  In some places so much that it has started to snow!  I have a few friends that are a little perturbed by that just at the moment over in Europe.  It kind of gets in the way if you are trying to do something like run in the Alps!

Here in San Miguel the temperature is very comfortable because we have had a few months of rainy season so the air is mostly cool and fresh. 
Me working on a buckle.
Like lots of people I had a very busy summer, and especially the last months because along with my professional activities my parents were here and I had a few other friends visiting for a bit as well.  During that time I was working on a group order of different pieces to send north to the states.  My parents make pretty good pack mules for my work that migrates across the border to the states!  Hahaha!  Thanks parents and a big thank you, to all of you, out there that ordered things, your pieces are due to arrive soon!
Wave by Jesse Bert
Along with various pairs of earrings, necklaces, brooches and belt buckles that traveled north I also sent a very fun project back with my other friends to Thomas Mann Gallery I/O in New Orleans… done as a joint project with one of my Mexican friends here in San Miguel; the piece is a Mexican Catrina made out of a stainless steel martini cup!  There are so many things one can make out of a martini cup!  Ha!  I am very honored to be invited to participate in the 3rd annual Triple Martini Show at Thomas Mann Gallery I/O during Art for Arts' Sake. That is where the Catrina is headed.  

For all of you that are there in the New Orleans area, go and enjoy Art for Arts' Sake and visit Ms. Catrina who came from south of the border on October 6th at I/O.
I arrived in New Orleans on the 24th of August and experienced my first hurricane!  I am thankful that we  had minimal damage and I and my neighbors stayed dry.
While my parents were here they had asked me to take them to Mexico City for a few days.  This worked out perfectly because I had to go down to the city to deliver 8 pieces of my work.  I had been contacted a few months ago by the Banamex Foundation which is huge monetary trust set up by the national bank here in Mexico to support the arts.  Every few years they arrange and produce a new major exhibit of artwork by Mexican artists, later followed by a beautiful big coffee table book featuring the artists and their work.  This next exhibition is entitled: Mexican Silver and Design 1880-2012.  After contacting me about submitting pieces for review, they later let me know 8 of my pieces had been accepted!  How exciting!  Just being a part of this exhibition is a major honor, but when I delivered the work I was informed that out of 200 artists who are to participate, I was the only foreign national selected! Wow!  If by some chance you are in Mexico City between September 2012 and April 2013 and have the chance, please go and have a look at the exhibition and my work located in the Palace of Iturbide on the street of Madero.  Oh…and also look at other artists work as well.  Hehehe!
Jasmine by Jesse Bert
Well...that is it for now.  Stay turned for further news from south of the border~ I hope to see some of you here for “Unbuckled” in early November! 

In the meantime try to stay cool and have a great Sunday!