Tuesday, January 26, 2016

All that I have learned...

could fill a library (if I could recall it all).  Though as the old adage goes, the more I learn the less I know.  I continue try to fill in the gaps. Sometimes feeling like old Sisyphus constantly pushing that rock up the hill.  To try to stay in tune, up-to-date & relevant just so I can move forward with my life.  A year ago we had a household discussion that if I was going to be truly independent I needed to get more experience in construction management. I wanted to simply get a low-level job with a general contractor & work my way up. Unfortunately with all my years of experience in architecture & engineering, my job search was more like job wishing. I needed some connections with a foot in the door, so I went back to school.  I definitely didn't need another degree though I could of easily transferred my university credits & received an associate degree. I decided on a certificate that I could achieve in two semesters, though the speed shocked the college, I reached my goal.  As of this December I received a Certificate of Architectural Contracts & Materials from Arapahoe Community College.  I'm interning with a General Contractor, which is a little slow paced for me but I'm trying not to complain & learn from what tasks they put on my desk. On the side, I'm contracting with a surveying firm.  More books in my library of learning so to speak.

The real excitement is what I can now do that I'm out of night school. I am now a thrall with the Fjellborg Vikings. I met the leader Lodin at a European festival when we struck up a conversation about medieval carpentry & long houses.  The Fjellborg are not an SCA group but a historical reenactment group true to Viking history from the time of Danelaw in England circa 1000.  I am now apprenticing with Lodin to learn medieval carpentry.  His house has a full carpentry shop, sewing shop, brewing vault, museum & a blacksmithing shed out back.  I had some serious things that I wanted to learn but I have to start from the beginning with him.  Which the beginning means bone carving- a VERY smelly craft. I walk around a medieval workshop looking like X-Files with face mask so I don't inhale any of the bone dust.

This past Saturday we had Tom in town coming from Grand Junction visiting his son. Therefore we had a Bronze making workshop.  Tom knows a lot about PMC (precious metal clay) & brought every tool he owns for us to use.  One stipulation would be that we needed to make something the size of a silver dollar because he didn't bring his kiln with him.  It was a lot of fun just chatting around the work table making amulets & drinking horn tips. Edvin had brought a bottle of his home brewed spiced mead that we sipped while working.
The PMC requires a lot of re moistening because it forms cracks while you work.  That leads to placing it on a hot plate to dry so that you can fire it.  Tom brought map gas torches so that amulets could get fired, filed & polished that day.  Here is what a good firing looks like.
Not every ones came out in one solid piece so when I decided to go big & make a cloak pin, Tom took it back over the mountains to fire in his kiln.  Fingers crossed.

Tonight I go to round two of 3D Printing using SketchUp.  A free class offered at the Denver Public Library. Our tax dollars pay for two 3D printers at the iDealLab in the Central Library.  You can print however much that you want just as long as its using SketchUp.  The main printer uses open source so hence working in SketchUp.  I'm going because I want to see if I can make hat blocks using 3D printing.  An ancient trade using modern technology. Fascinating to myself & the techs that are assisting me.