Tag Archives: sculpture

In the Middle of…Indiana and Other Things

Photo copyright Paul D’Andrea

It’s been twenty years and two months since my family unit moved to Indianapolis from Illinois. Since then, I’ve moved seven times more. The first place was on the very edge of Indy, almost in the country. It was safe and comfortable, and everyone looked like me. Gazing towards the city, I would wonder what went on down there. Driving downtown required a map and nerves of steel. My sweaty-palmed self would grip the steering wheel, craning my neck in advance of every intersection, willing myself to see around corners. I didn’t want to end up on the wrong street! The downtown of 1992 was a far cry from what you see today.
In subsequent moves over two decades, I circled the city, drawing ever closer to it’s center. Like a moth to the flame.  Got familiar with the museums, and even helped build one. Visited many downtown restaurants and a couple of hot spots. Took Yoga classes and attended (and hosted) dozens of art gallery openings. Became active in the arts community.  Soon, I was a mile from the downtown Mile. That’s not a typo. Our downtown is wrapped by four streets, North, South East and West Streets. This Mile Square defines the downtown area.

Dominick Sansone sculpture, photo copyright Paul D’Andrea

I can’t say exactly when I started dreaming of living right smack in the middle of the Circle City. Unthinkable during the day, dreams bring unprecedented possibilities. I envisioned an apartment on Mass Ave., on the top floor of a building, with a parking space of my own. Light and bright. I started putting out feelers. Let me tell you, it’s not easy finding an affordable apartment in this city.  But recently, someone returned a call from the week before. Things happened quickly after that.
So, here I am. Twenty two years and two months later, settling into the apartment of my dreams.  From my balcony, I see fall colors blazing on the trees beyond, and feel the energy of people going places in cars and on foot. This is my new home.  Here is where I have met, and will continue to meet, people who most certainly (and refreshingly) do not look just like me.  Here is where I’ll finish the second half of my book, on a folding table in a nook in my living area. Here is where I’ll lay my head tonight, on a four-poster bed, given to me by my loving family back in Illinois.
As a middle child, I always wanted to be right in the middle of everything. Now, it’s official. I think I’ll stick around for awhile.

Indianapolis sunset collage, copyright Nancy Lee

Like me. Really "like" me!

There will never come a time when I forget about Sally Field’s famous acceptance speech when she won her Academy Award.

You LIKE me! You REALLY LIKE me!

She was sweet and genuine, no matter that it was a little corny and borderline needy. Haven’t we all been there? OK, I’m laughing now. Some of you have not. But I have and these are the only eyes I have with which to view the world, so. I digress.

Nancy Lee Designs Facebook Banner

“Like” has come to mean a whole new thing. In the Facebook world getting a “like” means a friend or stranger is giving your thought, image, or business a virtual thumbs up. With 845 million or so active users*, explaining a “like” seem kind of pointless, because unless you are there, you probably aren’t gonna make it over  here, to my little homemade website with my slow-cooked jewelry and sculpture.
But talking about “like” is my sneaky little way to bring up the “like” subject and to ask you kindly to visit and “like” my page there.
Why did I do it? Facebook rules state that one may not change their business page name. And, because I would prefer to be known as an artist, rather than as a “business” or bricks and mortar building, I felt strongly compelled to create a whole new Facebook page as Nancy Lee Designs.  What I wish to accomplish with it is to spark quick dialog between you and other lovers of handmade things, say a little about me and what goes into my work as it is happening, see progress shots and photos of finished work straight from my camera phone. I will announce shows, talk about tips, tricks, and metalsmithing techniques for those of you who are interested.
All in an effort to continue to build a bridge to you, the person who has found your way here, and about whom I care. So, I do hope you “like” it. Really “LIKE” it! (that is now 5 times I have hotlinked “like” to my new page – SHAMELESS!)
As always, seeking ways to enhance lives and share beauty.
(Check out “Simple Care for Sparking Silver Jewelry“, my first note on my new page.
*http://www.zdnet.com/blog/facebook/facebook-has-over-845-million-users/8332

Successful Indy Artist Awarded Indiana Arts Commission Grant

Listening to NPR at the workbench the other day, I caught portions of a discussion regarding natural athletic talent versus talent gained by hard work, and the success rate of each. The premise is that anyone with the desire to work hard for a very long time can achieve great success at anything they put their minds to, even if their natural abilities do not seem to match up.

Forged Hairpiece by John Cogswell
Forged Hairpiece by John Cogswell, Winter Workshop Instructor

To me, success is a ride. Select the destination and pay the ticket price. Travel on the train of doing what you love, be the “conductor” of it, and have that produce income along the way. I like the notion of being successful NOW. That’s why I went ahead and wrote “Successful Indy Artist Awarded Indiana Arts Commission Grant” as the title for this post. So, what the heck, I’ve decided to create my own success and the details of the journey are simply train-stops to be added to the itinerary.
Next stop? Grant News! Many of you followed my previous newsletter and blog post, as I wondered if I would get the Indiana Arts Commission grant. The grant announcement had been delayed due to State budget reasons. The workshop I was to take got canceled. But in the end, I got the grant – Woohoo!
Once the grant was officially awarded, I needed to find a replacement workshop that would be just the right thing: the right time, price, and content that would apply to my goal of learning more about small scale sculpture fabrication. I found it! A five-day Winter Workshop sponsored by the Florida Society of Goldsmiths that includes three days of hammering technique and two days of working with bi-metals (two metals laminated together). In January – perfect, because it will not hurt my selling season or teaching schedule. Location? Daytona Beach, Florida. Deserving to go to Daytona Beach, Florida, in January? Oh, now, that is definitely something I had to come to terms with. Worthiness. But that’s a whole other blog post…
What is your definition of success? talent? Do you just “have it” or don’t you? I’d love to know what you think, so please post a comment and let me know.

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