Last night fusing gold to silver at my bench I had the most delicious feeling of being in kindergarten or first grade.
Keum-bo can be detailed, almost tedious work. And yet it isn’t quite repetitive; to reach every little nook, corner and hidden crevice of a tiny textural landscape it takes a certain sensitivity and focus – not pressing too hard, wrists loose and tools held lightly, like a violin bow.
My contact lenses dry out as I hover intently above my kiln; I am careful not to burn myself as I tweezer miniscule objects to and fro. I trace approximate shapes and trim them with fanatical care via miniature scissors; I quench my burnishers often to keep them from sticking to the hot metal and breathe subtly so that I don’t blow the fantastically fragile gold foil into kingdom come. Sometimes, I get impatient.
Mostly, though, it is peaceful, solitary, meditative work. I turn off the music; anything is distracting in this raw late night space. Delicate, specific work; like a surgeon’s or a child’s.
And it reminds me suddenly of that beautiful time I had almost forgotten – a lost long-ago world of concentration and bliss in the coloring of a shape; cutting a twist, a curve and a brutal angle with plastic-handled scissors to join all the other twists and curves; submerging completely into the rich waters of a single, intense pursuit as simple and as and pure as the marking of a line – then another, then another line.
It’s a funny, endearing feeling; to re-remember these beginnings, these sources. I feel completely a child-me as I cut, and place, and burnish, loving the waiting, loving the silence, loving the sweet melting of gold into silver.