So after a 12 hour drive through terrible weather yesterday I arrived in Evansville Indiana, the stomping grounds of my college days. I have maintained several precious friendships with people in the area after moving to Baltimore and I come back as often as I can to see my "adopted family" as I like to call them.
Today I spent time in the metal studio at the University of Evansville with my former pprofessor Francis. I can't tell you, by the way, how great it is to get out of your own creative space for a little bit and enter another. Just being around the other tools and equipment alone makes the creative juices start flowing, but being there with Francis I consider a huge bonus.
I don't think we have worked side by side in the studio since before I graduated from college, but we have had many phone calls over the years and chats over coffee when I am in town. Francis and I now have a reciprocity to our relationship that we obviously didn't have when I was her student. She is, and will always be, so much more knowledgeable than me when it comes to metalsmithing and I will continue to come to her for guidance for as long as she is willing to give it to me. In turn, running Heavens to Bessie has been my job for the last 5 years, which by no means makes me an expert, but there are things that she can now pick my brain about. Francis has just begun her business (http://www.studiofran.com/) and it is amazing! Her website is awesome and her work in incredible. It is so amazing to have someone to talk to about things we have discovered both in the studio and in business, like what works, what doesn't and sometime we come up with ideas or solutions to problems together. The give and take is stellar and so valued!
My Heavens to Bessie energy has been so high lately but being in the studio with such a great artist, mentor and friend for a few hours has me super charged. I played with fire today and realized how much I have missed the feeling of the torch in my hand and can't wait to play again tomorrow.