Sunday Cay Trail

I arrived in jewelry class with a little pep in my step from having had such a wonderful and social day, mapped by cay breaks and treats at small intervals. The day started out with friends at the Bomonti flea market, where we meandered through tables displaying Ottoman time relics, jewelry, vintage cameras, Ataturk busts, textiles, and even obscene bottle openers. The market is like a small museum with a uniquely Turkish flavor. We took a break for lunch at the gozleme stand, where we sampled potato, eggplant, and spinach gozleme... all delicious! We were treated to a sweet gozleme at the end of our meal, which tasted a lot like a butter and sugar crepe. This one was topped with powdered sugar and pistachio and definitely hit the spot. We washed it all down with fresh juices made by a lovely woman in the adjacent stand. After leaving the flea market and taking another warm beverage break, we walked to Gezi Park and stopped to sketch the church on Siraselviler- Hagia Triada- at a cay garden. It was a quick one, but nice to sit in the sun and take in the view.
I think we need another warm drink...


And another delicious dessert...

Hagia Triada

Did we really have three snow days last week? 
Hagia Triada


I walked down the hill to jewelry class feeling giddy. As is the routine, we all sat down for cay before settling into our work benches and I got to see other people's projects, even those by students in the other class. It is always inspiring to see what others are making, especially since we are all working around the same theme for the upcoming exhibition. I worked on two projects simultaneously. The first was for the exhibition that my teacher is organizing, for which each student is making something that is inspired by a Seljuk design. I decided to make a ring with this design, which I've been working on at home.


Earlier this week, I cut out the design and soldered it onto a back. Then I made a sort of bezel for it, which was a challenge due to its irregular shape. Last weekend in class, I'd worked on setting small stones in a wire for the Franken-ring and I thought I could do the same for this ring as extra practice. So, I soldered the wire at each of the eight angles, and soldered a bottom piece to close off the shape. Soldering each wire was tricky, because I had to find a way to prop them so that they wouldn't tip over in the process. I used a thin craft wire to hold them in place, but had to do them one at a time, because I wasn't able to fix more in place at a time.



When I got to class, I was excited to show my teacher the work I'd done over the last week. He gave me some good feedback. I'm still using too much solder, something that I'm working on modifying. He also told me that I should have placed the solder at the bottom of each wire instead of feeding it at the top, so that it didn't spill into the design. I also was disappointed to find out that the wire I used was too thin to set a stone into, and so instead of setting a stone into each wire, I will dome the tips. Next week, I will work on the band.



The second project I was working on was a mosque inspired ring. I've been playing around with architectural jewelry, something that has been fueled by Istanbul's skyline and sketching buildings around the city. I began to get very interested in jewelry that incorporated houses and other architectural structures in 3 dimensions. I was excited to find photos of antique Jewish wedding rings with small ornate temples like these and started playing around with domes, columns, and different building shapes. Attempting to create these structures meant figuring out various cutting and soldering techniques and was a very engaging puzzle. After having made several structures from brass and sketching the Hagia Sophia, I made a small brass structure that took some inspiration from its dome. When I showed my teacher, he encouraged me to make it in silver and suggested using a cabochon for the dome. I worked on it the following week and over the next few weeks. It's not quite finished, but here is what it looks like so far.


 The whole process has been a fun exploration. I'm still intrigued to make more and to incorporate more  details into the design. The class was a mix of filing, shaping, soldering, all with the tunes of Louis Armstrong urging us along, and of course a cay break in the middle.

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