It's been a while since I've attended to this blog on a regular basis. I enjoyed the link lists I used to do, but I'm not sure that makes sense any more. I'm not sure exactly what this blog will be, but I will try to fill it more frequently.
Lots of things have taken up my time over the past few years. Some of them interesting, some of them not. Much of my shop time has been spent working on some new techniques, primarily deep drawing. I'm closer to being happy with the results of my deep drawing, and I'll be posting more details once I've internalized more of the process. There is a new pen coming out of that work.
In an unexpected turn, I have been thinking more about niello in the past 15 months than I expected. I was invited to write a paper for, and speak at the Santa Fe Symposium, earlier this year. It turns out there aren't many westerners practicing niello work any longer, and this was a great opportunity to get that knowledge back into the world. I'm working on a follow up paper for next year's Symposium, and look forward to sharing the results of my research when I'm done. Last year's paper can be found on the Santa Fe Symposium site, along with all the papers presented over the past 17 years. I encourage anyone interested in metal work, or making in general, to visit the site and look through the past papers. You will be surprised at the depth and breadth of knowledge being shared for free.
Along side the research into new and old techniques, I've had the pleasure of starting a podcast with my friend Jon Edwards. Jon is a watchmaker here in Ottawa, and the two of us have been recording our conversations about a variety of subjects. We're both new to the podcasting thing, so please excuse our rough start. But I think we have some worthwhile things to say about making in general, and our respective arts in particular. You can find Off Hours in your favourite podcast app, including iTunes and Overcast, and the detailed show notes for each episode are on our website. The first two episodes are our origin stories, and a good place to start. New episodes are being released every fortnight on Tuesday morning. I hope you join us, and send us your feedback.