Category Archives: Arrowmont Notes

Photographs From Arrowmont

Have  a look at these photos I took at the Arrowmont School of arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN, the week I took a metal fabrication workshop and learned how to make a teapot. Actually, two teapots!
I tried and tried to order these progressively, but never could figure it out. But they are all here, and the captions will tell you a bit about where I was in the process. Hover your mouse over and you will see the captions. Final photos of the two teapots are in larger sizes at the end. The Flying Goat still needs patina on the body. Otherwise, please ezjoyyyy!

Handmade Jewelry – Introducing "The Ceremony of Tea "

Just finished several pieces in my new line of jewelry called “The Ceremony of Tea.” Completed just in time for the journey to Arrowmont School in Gatlinburg, TN, to fabricate a teapot from metal in a workshop titled “Delightful, Diminutive Teapots.”

Handmade Sterling and Moonstone Tea Ceremony Necklace by Nancy Lee
Handmade Sterling and Moonstone Tea Ceremony Necklace, alt view, by Nancy Lee
Sterling Silver Tea Leaves Earrings, handmade by Nancy Lee

The whole teapot fabrication thing has been on my mind for weeks! Driven to distraction while preparing for the trip, I decided to create this line as a way to commemorate the impending journey. The instructor is John Cogswell, a fabulous teacher from whom I have received instruction twice before, as a student. This time around, I am happy to be participating as Instructor’s Assistant – and also a little nervous. Will I have time to actually fabricate the teapot I am envisioning? Or will all of my time be spent looking for scribes and hammers and sandpaper? Or maybe I’ll have plenty of bench time, yet my pokey, meandering ways will allow the sands of time to drain from my Cinderella hourglass, and and I’ll go home with a spoutless teapot belly with no soul.
All will be revealed to me in due time. Departing tomorrow morning for Arrowmont, as the next adventure in my story unfolds.
In the meantime, enjoy these photos of my newest work! These can also be found in my online shop – click HERE for more info.

Nancy Lee Makes Her First Silver Box

Binding-Wire Covered Box, Ready for Soldering
Binding-Wire Covered Box, Ready for Soldering
99% Completed Box!
99% Completed Box!
Side View, Open Lid
Side View, Open Lid

News Flash!!! I made my first box of sterling silver, and it only took 71 hours!

It was, at first, a bit of an embarrassment when all the hours spent in the studio learning and doing were tallied and the total was a whopping 71. But that was how much time it took for me to learn how to make a box the John Cogswell way (see previous post for info on that wonderful gentleman) and I do not regret a single solitary second of it. The time went by like a breeze on a summer day, but the memory of the experience will be with me always, always.

The passage of time last week was the topic of not just a few conversations with my fellow students in the Boxes and Hinges class at Arrowmont. Even for experienced metalsmiths, box making  was still a challenge. Lessons were to be learned, steps were to be followed, mistakes were to be made, and jokes needed to be told. Food had to be eaten in there somewhere, too.

These things plucked time from our individual time allotments here on earth. Or, did they? I once read that time has no meaning if you are unaware of it’s passing. I think Deepak Chopra wrote about this phenomenon. For example, you meet up with a good friend that you have not seen in a very long time. You both talk for hours and hours. You may miss a meal, you are so focused on catching up with your friend. Then you notice the clock – six hours have passed! Where did it go? My theory is, it just plain doesn’t count. You and your friend did not experience six hours. You experienced one another for a moment in time that did not leave it’s mark upon you and it did not dip into your finite amount of time on earth. You are now six hours younger than you would have been had you not shared this experience.

That is the theory by which I choose to live life. The result of choosing this way of being means that I am in search of those experiences that make me lose track of time. Getting into the flow. Creating something beautiful does that, as does walking in sunshine, swimming, dancing, spending time with family, friends, dear ones. It’s simple – yet, not sometimes. It is the golden ring toward which I aspire in life, and the memory of those moments that last for hours brings me joy. And this time, joy is a little silver box that closes with a crisp, clear “click.”