Geometric Skies has moved!

It’s been a hella loooooong time coming, but finally! Geometric skies has a new and official home at www.geometricskies.com!

With a fresh layout and a new creative direction, Geometric Skies’ blog will be your resource packed full of exclusive downloadables, tried and tested business tips and creative ideas to motivate you, help you personally grow and your business flourish on your creative entrepreneurial journey.

So, what are you waiting for? Come join me on this exciting adventure!

#The100DayProject

My project is…. #the100dayproject, #choosemust

My project is…

About a week ago, I happened to stumble across a project called #the100dayproject on Instagram. The looked further into the origins of this project and I discovered that it all began just over a year ago, a lady by the name of Elle Luna, hit publish on a post she titled “The Crossroads of Should and Must.”

Her post described the two paths called “Should” and “Must”. Should is the safe and expected route each of us should take i.e. you should have an education, you should have a 9-5 job, you should settle down and be a house wife, you should bring up kids etc etc. This “Should” route is the exact opposite of your “Must” route. Your must route is your calling. Your passion. Something that is wild, dangerous, exciting and fulfils you. Your must ditch your 9-5 job and pursue your own business. You must continue writing that novel, you must become a musician etc etc. The post continues and wrestles with all the doubts that will fill you and stop you from swaying onto the must route and swaying from the must route, back onto the should route.

It’s a captivating post (and one that landed Elle a book deal, woohoo!) and what she wrote particularly resonated with me, because I feel like I have jumped onto my must route, ever since I left my 9am – 11pm (on a very bad day) job in 2013. I can empathise and understand that although the future is uncertain about my new career path as a jewellery maker and designer, at least I can say I am living life the way I want to and giving my passion a go. I won’t regret waking up at 40 and regretting that I “didn’t give it a go.” Life is the here and now, so I am choosing to be present.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have seen the posts I’ve been contributing towards my project under the hashtag #100DaysOfCreativeMagicByGeometricSkies. It’s my little project to push me to do something creative with the shop everyday and to be kept accountable to it. In the past, I have always found a reason not to do something (even if it’s small) to help grow my shop, so I’m hoping that this project will give me the kick up the bum I sorely need. #The100dayproject is headed up by @elleluna and @greatdiscontent and aims to get makers to create something for 100 consecutive days. Often, the hardest step to achieving anything is taking the first step – so this project will hopefully give you a motivational boost and an opportunity to create something everyday, share it and be supported and inspired by the wider creative community who are also participating in this project.

The best thing is, is that it doesn’t matter if whatever you make isn’t perfect (perfection is overrated.) Often beauty in art is discovered by accident, or comes about by a mistake. As long as you just keep working and keep doing, not only will your skills improve, but also at the end you’d have built up a body of work and you’re a few steps closer to your goal or hopefully have achieved your goal!

So what are you waiting for? This is the kick up the bum that you’ve been waiting for, so join me and participate in the project! If you want to read more about the project, do so here: #The100DayProject.

 

 

How to forge: Part 1

How to forge: Part 1

How to forge: Part 1

Definition of forging:

Heating a piece of metal until it’s red hot and then bashing the life out of it with a hammer. ᕕ༼✿•̀︿•́༽ᕗ

Naturally, I was pretty excited when I found out that we’d be forging this year at TAFE. Yes! We get to heat a piece of metal up with a huge ass oxy-propane torch, until its ridiculously hot – so hot in fact it goes a red and bright yellow colour – then we get to bash it into shape to form a chisel. 💪💪

1) Start out by cutting a long cylindrical rod into smaller pieces (about 10cm long) and linish the edges to get rid of the burs (<3 the linisher)

2) Heat the rod in the little make-shift ‘kiln’ made of stacked up fire bricks, until its red hot. Then use vice grips to hold onto the rod, whilst you pound it with a hammer.

3) When the rod becomes cool and no longer red hot, re-heat it again and so- continue this process until the entire rod is a squarish shape.

4) Once the rod is hammed into a squarish shape, begin to work on one end only and begin to hammer it to form a taper. Heat this end and continue hammering it, to lengthen and flatten it out.

Before I continue, I have to say… forging is hard work!! Not only is holding the torch to heat the thing, damn hot (pun intended), but also the amount of strength, precision and concentration required – is quite something. When my teacher was doing the demonstration, he told us a story about a guy he knew when he was working in Germany. This guy was forging something one day and wasn’t careful with where he was letting the hammer hit. The hammer missed the piece of work, landed on the anvil by accident and the force from the hammer caused it to rebound up and hit him in the face. He broke his face. Ouch. Needless to say, something that took the teacher under 30 mins to do, took me a good hour, haha. Aaaaand the following day, some invisible arm muscles I never knew I had, ached from the pounding. But at the same time, that means my mini guns are growwwwing! 💪💪

Stick around for Part 2, where I twist the chisel to form cool swirly patterns and finish making it!

Learning how to raise: Part 1

raising, metal smith, metalsmithing, hammer time, hammering, jewellery making

How to raise: Part 1

One of the technical skills we’re currently learning is how to raise. You may be thinking, what do you mean by “raising”? What are you Monica? Some sort of magician that can raise stuff to float in mid air? Huh?! Fortunately for your sake and everyone else’s, I am no magician. But armed with a hammer and a wooden stake, anything is possible. Including, “raising” a vessel (some sort of hollow container) up from a flat sheet of metal. Yup. From a sheet of metal that is flat like a pancake, once you hammer it like there’s no tomorrow, magically it turns into a vessel. Voila!

1) Start off by cutting out a circle… not with any average saw, but using bench shears! Oh-boy, are these things were sharp! If only we had been introduced to its existence before, it would’ve made life so much more simple…

2) Mark out the circle into 8 segments.

3) Place the circle onto the V shaped stake and from the outer part of the circle, use the hammer and hit inwards towards the centre to make a crimped wave around the entire circumference

4) Once you have finished crimping your work, it’s time to start raising, yay! Using the bigger side of the hammer, hold the work piece at a 30degree angle to the stake and start hitting the crimps in the middle, then on the right side, then on the left side to flatten the crimp down. Keep rotating the work piece in a circular fashion and continue raising in a spiral all the way to the edge of the work piece until all the crimps have been flattened and the walls are raised into a relatively angular but level plane.

5) Using a planishing hammer, start lightly hammering any bumps on the inside of the work piece to smooth things out.

6) You’re ready to start your next level of raising!

 

Back at the bench (YAY)

The beginning of February signalled the start of TAFE again. Thankfully. There was a lot of uncertainty towards the end of last year, especially since government funding was being cut for my jewellery and object design course. A lot of students didn’t know if they could afford to come back and with an estimated 500% increase in course fees from last year, it’s not surprising. (We’re already week 3 into the new year and we still do not have any concrete information about fees, despite having been promised that we were supposed to be notified last November.)

Luckily, despite all this, there were enough students who wanted to come back, to enable year 2 to go ahead. YAY!

We’re currently learning to use the lathe, forge, wax carve and raise.

I’m most looking forward to raising. Yup, that’s right. From a flat sheet of metal, I get to beat the sh*t out of it and hammer it into some sort of vessel.

I’m going to have guns the size of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s by the end of the year, hohohohoho.

 

Thursday 4

Thursday 4, link roundup

Happy New Year 2015!

I hope that everyone had a relaxing, happy and joyous Christmas and New Years period. I was lucky enough to escape the city and spend a few days under the sun, at the beach and a do bit of bike riding (30km in one day is a big deal for me!) in the Central Coast, so I’m feeling recharged and ready to jump back into action!

1) Ever wondered why the average working week is 40 hours? Why was it designed like this, what kind of impact does the 40-hour work week have on our spending habits and what does this mean for the elusive concept of “work/life” balance?

2) If you’re like me, I love watching the American sitcom Friends. Did you look forward to your 20’s thinking it would be exactly like the show? Your friends would be able to hang out at the coffee shop for hours on end, without having to go back to work? You’d be able to afford a kick-ass two-bedroom apartment on the salary of a some-time waitress and some-time chef? It’s the 10th anniversary of the sitcom so read on for 10 Ways Friends Gave You Unrealistic Expectations for Your Twenties.

3) From amateurs to pros, check out some of the works submitted to the annual Sony World Photography Awards. These 15 entries are some of the favourites!

4) What is the secret to Warren Buffet’s success? How did he get to be so smart, successful and business savvy? Read on and learn how The ‘Buffett Formula’ Will Help You Get Smarter Every Day.

Thursday 4

Wishing everyone a very Geometric Skies Merry Christmas! I hope everyone is having a relaxing day, shared with friends and family. :)

1) To kick off today, as we’re all in the holiday spirit and you may be wanting to plan a short trip away to wind down and reflect on the year just passed, I’d like to share an article about 10 smart ways to travel without going broke.

2) With Near Years resolutions just around the corner, do you feel like facing your fears in the new year and actually embarking on something completely different to pursue your dream in 2015? Read on about these 9 brave women who risked it all and succeeded! 

3) To others around the world, it might seem strange for us Aussies, to be in shorts and thongs (ahem! or else known as “flip flops”), throwing some chicken wings and steak on the BBQ to celebrate Christmas. To share a little more our “strange” but oh so normal to me behaviours, here’s 47 instances where Australians totally nailed it on Tumblr. :)

4) As 2014 draws to a close and we’re about to welcome 2015, December is a good time to reflect on the year that has just passed and think about what we have succeeded in and what we can keep working on, for the year ahead. 16 badass ladies have shared their best life advice – it just might give you the guidance and push you’ve been looking for to achieve something magical and totally awesome in the new year!

I’m a legitimate blogger!

As some of you may know, I was invited to do a guest post and share my top “8 tips to market stall success” earlier in October on the CreativeWomensCircle blog. It was a really exciting opportunity for me to interact and start some meaningful conversations with other business owners and customers alike in sharing my (limited) experience and advice in my budding career as an emerging jewellery designer and maker. The article was really well received and even inspired others to overcome their fears and plan for their first market appearance! :) Which leads me to…

I have got some exciting news to announce! I’ve been invited to become a regular contributor on the Creative Women’s Circle Blog during 2015!! EEEEeeeeeEEE!! I’ll be posting regularly throughout the year, so if there’s a particular topic you’re interested for me to cover, let me know.

Looking forward to 2015! :)

market success, how to set up your market stall, packing list

 

Thursday Four

thursday four, link roundup, creative habits, christmas 2014, log, dangerous foods, cute guina pigs

Only 7 more days until Christmas, EEEEEEeeeee!!!

1) To kick this week’s link roundup off, here’s a special Christmas themed one brought to you by the City of Sydney.

If you’re a die-hard Lego Fan you’ve probably no doubt already seen the huge LEGO Christmas tree on Pitt Street Mall. Click through to watch the awesome time-lapse video of how they built and assembled the tree!

2) Do you consider yourself a “foodie”? One who lugs their huge DSLR cameras around, shrieking that no one starts digging into their plate until you’ve taken the “perfect shot” for your instagram or food blog? HA.

If you think you’re a daring foodie, click through to Conde Nast’s traveler where it explores the 10 most dangerous foods you can eat.

3) Only in Japan, does cuteness and order go hand-in-hand together. Check out this adorableeeeeeee link of guinea pigs travelling in orderly lines at a Japanese zoo.

4) They say that creative types often have the weirdest quirks, rituals and habits. Some people wake up early to work, take a nap during the day, then continue working late into the night. Read on for 7 rituals you should steal from extremely creative people. Do you do any of these already?

Thursday FOUR

link roundup, thursday four, funny , inspiring, creative TAFE has ended for the year, Summer has arrived and so I’m finally on holidays! As a new “column” I’m introducing on the blog, I’d like to present: The Thursday 4. Yes, you heard right. Not a Friday 5, but a Thursday 4, because obviously we’re a “want it now” generation, so I’m giving it to you earlier, rather than later, hohoho. I am lame. Please don’t hurt me, I promise the rest of the post won’t be as lame and will be inspirational, enlightening, motivating and funny. Yay! :)

To kick off things, here are a few inspirational/funny/insightful articles I came across in the past week:

1) Business insider shares their “10 Decisions You Would Regret For The Rest Of Your Life”

  • Whenever I tell people that I left my career in the financial services industry – a career where I worked at one of the Big 4 global accounting firms for 3 years and spent 5.5 years of my life studying a double degree to drop it all to pursue jewellery design, I’m told I’m “gutsy.” I just wanted to be happy and working in financial services wasn’t making me happy, so I did something about it.

2) Uncommon goods shares “7 Things You Didn’t Know About Handmade Jewelry”

  • I love handmade stuff and I’m not just saying that because I hand make stuff too. Seeing the fruition of my labour from a lofty idea swirling in my  brain, to some kind of squiggly scribble on a piece of paper to something that is tangible and can be beautifully adorned on the human form is pretty cool.

3) Refinery29 shares “8 Badass Bosses & How They Made It”

  • Choosing to take the creative route can sometimes be disappointing, exhausting and lonely. The financial uncertainty that comes with this type of job, sometimes paralyses us with fear and stops us from quitting our office cubicles and pursuing something creative. Sooo, click through to read about these 8 inspirational women who are kicking some ass in their respective creative jobs and having a blast!

4) Buzzfeed presents: “21 Life Lessons You Learned From George Costanza”

  • Buzzfeed. George Costanza. Life lessons. Enough said. You know it’s going to be a guaranteed laugh and you’ll be glad you clicked through to view the GIFS. Hohohoho

A Happy Thursday BONUS!

Because who doesn’t love a freebie?! (Yes I started a sentence with because, weeeee, I am such a rebel.) Buzzfeed (I love this site, can you tell?) shares “The 32 Dumbest Things That Happened In 2014″.

The top 5 must-have jewellery pieces this Christmas

Summer is here (wooo!), the holiday season has kicked off, but you haven’t yet started your Christmas shopping yet? *Gasp!* Don’t worry! I’m sharing my jewellery shopping guide for all the lovely ladies in your life and my take on the 2015 Spring/Summer jewellery trends as a guest blogger at the Lifestyle Lookbook blog.

Be sure to follow the lovely ladies, Carmen and Amanda on Instagram at @lslookbook!

jewelry trends, fashion, style, fashion blog, outfit of the day, ootd, street style, street fashion, lookbook, accessories, luxury jewellery, edgy, sydney, shop local, geometric, fashion jewellery

Landmark Exhibition

The students of the jewellery and objects department at the Design Centre, Enmore hold an end of year exhibition to showcase and sell student work produced during the year.

Each year group is allocated different responsbilities and as a first year, we don’t really get to see the “behind the scenes stuff” the 2nd and 3rd years get up to. Although we had gotten updates throughout the year, it’s hard to wrap your head around it all until you see it with your own eyes. So it was only until the day of bump in, that I finally understood how much organisation holding an exhibition requires.

Wednesday 7.00am

Bump in begins.  Still bleary eyed, the coffee had not kicked in yet. Damn. Our mission was to load white plinths, perspex cases, large, white MDF boards, all the jewellery work to be exhibited, lights, tools, alcohol etc into a truck. We were expecting a large truck, and naturally Murphy’s law kicked in and only 1 small truck arrived. Lovely. A last minute “panic attack” scramble resulted in a second small truck being dispatched and a few students driving their cars to cart the rest of the stuff to Brand X.

8.30am + 40 mins

Traffic.

The first truck arrives at the loading dock and we start unloading the plinths and MDF boards and begin stacking it all into the loading dock lift. Halfway through unloading truck #1, luckily 2 extra removalists arrived to help to unload the rest of truck #1 and truck #2. #Winning!

#MDFboardswereridiculouslyheavyforsomethingthatdidntlookthatheavy

#overloadofminiguns

Side note: Whilst we were unloading literally truck loads of stuff, only 1 of the security guards working in the loading bay helped out. (He was so nice – the one that helped us move stuff). The others were just sitting around, chatting to each other, trying to look all macho and manly, with their arms folded and trying to stick out there chests and sucking in their guts, sucking up to the suits that were visiting. Bleh.

landmark exhibition, landmark sydney, contemporary jewellery sydney, contemporary jewellery, emerging designer, jewellery maker, jewellery designer

Once all the trucks and cars were unloaded, the plinths were organised into place and the perspex boxes matched to the corresponding size plinth and all perspex boxes were wiped down.

Each large MDF board had to have wooden hooks measured, drilled and hung onto the wooden crate lined walls. Extra lights had to be wound around long aluminium strips of metal and strategically secured to the  chains secured to the existing lighting.

Each box of work was then placed onto each plinth. The laser cut decorative styrofoam was placed on each plinth and the work was unwrapped and curated accordingly. Numbers were then stuck next to the work as per the stock list, so the name of the piece, materials, price, artist etc

Did I mention that there were over 500 pieces of work selected for the exhibition?

Now we’re just revealing the tip of the amount of organisation involved on the day before the exhibition…

With all the bump in work behind us…

 

Thursday Opening night – let’s party!

Catered by Miss Chu’s, nom nom Vietnamese rolls circulated around and were washed down by a generous bar tab. Weeeee! Students took shifts to answer queries from guests, sell work, and act as cashiers. There was some really stunning work, such as ahem, handmade kettles! UM HELLO, WOW!! Vagina brooches and #D printed jewellery to name a few.

landmark exhibition, landmark sydney, contemporary jewellery sydney, contemporary jewellery, emerging designer, jewellery maker, jewellery designer, etsyau, etsy, street style, street fashion, look book, accessories

Wabi, Sabi, Suki: Emotion, Unstable

landmark exhibition, landmark sydney, contemporary jewellery sydney, contemporary jewellery, emerging designer, jewellery maker, jewellery designer, etsyau, etsy, street style, street fashion, look book, accessories

Sustainability – Ear Cuffs: Fight Animal Testing

landmark exhibition, landmark sydney, contemporary jewellery sydney, contemporary jewellery, emerging designer, jewellery maker, jewellery designer, etsyau, etsy, street style, street fashion, look book, accessories

Cold Connections: Chiselled necklace pendant

landmark exhibition, landmark sydney, contemporary jewellery sydney, contemporary jewellery, emerging designer, jewellery maker, jewellery designer, etsyau, etsy, street style, street fashion, look book, accessories

Looks pretty smashing eh?

Have you been involved in organising an exhibition?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!