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Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

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Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Nikki Johns on Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:51 pm

Nikki was by herself in the sculpture lab, working on her first piece of the semester. She had been gathering odd metal pieces and sketching out her ideas for this major work all summer. She had that feeling that she got every once in awhile, where there was a piece of sculpture inside her that just had to get out. So she had asked for and received permission to work in the studio on it. She had laid out all the pieces that she had acquired so far and critically looked at them. She was going to need even more. This was not going to be a small piece. It was going to be at least 5 feet tall and wide enough to support the weight. She picked up a piece of sheet brass and started to sketch out what she wanted with a sharpie so that when she started cutting, she would not make a mistake. There was a beverly shear in the corner for the flat cutting, and then there was always the cutting torch for the larger pieces.

She had finally drawn out what she needed and after putting on her ipod headphones she pulled on her gloves, the metal pieces were sharp and she didn't want to get cut. She walked over to the beverly shear and started cutting the 14 gauge brass. Pulling the long lever down and guiding the piece through the cutting area was a soothing occupation. Working with metal always seemed to help put her in a good place. She started singing with the music blasting into her ears. She was in her groove and all was good. She could forget her problems with her parents, her friends, and the whole world. Nothing at this point mattered but the metal and the music, two of her favorite things in the world.

Working away, listening to her music, she was totally oblivious to the fact that she had been joined in the lab. She turned to get another sheet of metal, and was startled to see someone else there.
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Jane Johnson on Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:02 pm

Jay had finished her homework in record time and was now at a loss over what to do with her time. Her roommates all seemed to have wandered off somewhere and she hadn't been able to find Will either. She had slipped a silly note under his dorm room door instead and had then set out to find something interesting to do. Just in case she didn't find anything particularly exciting, she had brought along her thick, fraying paperback copy of The Stand. A book that she had read far too many times for her own good. It was an old friend, though, and the twisting and turning of the apocalyptic storyline caught her in a way that few other stories ever had. If she ever really got into the business of film, this would be a project she would absolutely die to be a part of. She meandered around the hallways of the school, nose in book, and wondered if she would ever be suited for any of the female roles. She thought it would be fun to pull of the strength and determination of Fran, but the tormented duality of Nadine intrigued her as well. If only there was a woman who hit on Nick, she thought, I would play that role in a second. She laughed, out loud and without shame, at her own thoughts.

The sound was cut by the sharp whirring of a shear and Jay looked around herself, wondering where her feet had led her. She had apparently ended up right outside the sculpture studio, somewhere she would probably spend a lot of time in now for class, and it seemed that somebody was in there working. She sidled the door open, her book held at her side, and entered as unobtrusively as she could. She didn't think she'd be able to live with the idea of having cost somebody a finger or a limb, so she would wait until they were doing something less dangerous to pipe up and say hello. It took her only a moment to realize that the person working was Nikki, a fact that was obvious as soon as she heard the distinct sound of her singing. It took a good deal of her will not to cry out and wave, but she didn't have to wait long to say hello. Nikki went to get a different piece of metal and spotted Jay, who waved gleefully at her roommate. "Hey there, stranger! So this is where you got to." Jay looked around the room, wondering what some of the machines were for, "I think I might get lost in here when class starts. You're so gonna help me in 3D, right?" Jay smiled and walked closer to Nikki and her art, wondering what crazy amazing sculpture her friend had in store for all this scrap.
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Nikki Johns on Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:37 pm

Nikki smiled when she realized who it was that had snuck in while she was busy. She pulled her earbuds out of her ears and called to her friend and roomie, Hi, Jay! Glad to see you! Yeah I have a new project planned for this semester, and the teacher has already approved the drawings, and I couldn't wait to get started. You know how it is when you get something in your mind and it just has to come out. I took a trip out to the dump and found some of the pieces that I will need but some I am just going to have to fabricate myself." She gestured to the pieces that she had already cut. "And of course I will help you with anything, if I can. Just don't ask me to work in something like clay. I need a material that will stay where I put it. I tend to work big and heavy. This one is going to be about 5' tall and about 3' wide. I'm going to call it 'Summer Sonata'. I'm not sure why, but that was the name that came out when I finished the sketch."

"Before you ask, my summer was the same as always, my parents pretty much ignored me for the most of the time. They made noises like they wanted me to get a job, but I didn't want to just flip burgers. I made some inquiries but nothing really panned out, and since I was coming back here, after the 4th of July they pretty much gave up. I spent most of my time at the beach or playing on my computer. Dad was able to get me on a beta test of a new game so he felt like I was working at least a little bit. I didn't get paid but Dad increased my allowance. So how was your summer?"
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Jane Johnson on Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:26 am

Jay's smile became even wider in response to Nikki's obvious happiness at seeing her friend. Jay had actually been a little afraid that she was interrupting some important alone time, but it seemed that Nikki was more than happy to have somebody to talk to while she worked. Jay walked farther into the studio and took a seat on a high workbench that was scattered with small bits of metal ans such, listening carefully as Nikki said her piece. Jay didn't mind the way Nikki had of saying everything she had on her mind, she actually kind of liked it. It wasn't just because they'd been roomies for the last six years of their lives, no. The way that Nikki talked reminded Jay strongly of her sister, which was a good thing. "Wow, school's barely started and you're already way above the curve, I should have expected as much!" Jay said, using the small gap Nikki afforded her to at least get a few words in edgewise. She set her book down beside her and picked up a small clipping of copper wire, which she began to twirl around between her thumb and forefinger as Nikki talked. She beamed at her friend when she was assured of a bit of help in 3D. Maybe she could help Nikki out with the clay stuff in return. Their artistic abilities apparently complimented each other very well.

Jay's eyes roamed over the pile of scrap that Nikki had picked out for her 'Summer Sonata' and found herself looking forward to seeing what Nikki would make of it, it was bound to be brilliant. She was about to ask how Nikki's summer had been when she was cut off with an answer to her unspoken question. She beamed again, wondering over the strange telepathy she and her roommates had developed over the years. She wondered if the same thing happened when you got married and lived with your husband for a few years. "Aw that sucks, the job part I mean. The beach part is pretty awesome. My sis dragged me out into the sun a few times, I ended up getting one hell of a burn in July, but other than that I had some pretty good hours at the beach. And beta testing? So jealous! You lucky duckie, you! I didn't do anything nearly as exciting as that, but I did end up getting a summer job. I got myself a job doing odd jobs at a car shop kinda near my house, a real apple of a place. They only do stuff on old cars, and I was right in my element. The guys there were really nice and they new a cool shop up here so they gave me the info, I might end up looking it up and getting a weekend job to help pay tuition or something." Jay shrugged, keeping the fact that she had already contacted the shop to herself. It wasn't really anybody's business what she did to keep herself in the school. "So yeah. Can I help you or anything? I didn't really mean to interrupt your work, but if you need a hand I'm totally up to it."
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Nikki Johns on Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:28 am

Nikki laughed, "I'm jealous that you got a real job working on cars, most I did was take care of my folks cars all summer, you know, oil change and tuneups and that sort of thing. And as for the beta testing, that thing was so full of bugs it took most of the summer to clean it out. I don't know who they had writing that thing but it looked like it was put together by a committee of monkeys with typewriters, I mean, you'll get Shakespeare eventually but you have to wade through a lot of crud to get there." She shook her head. "I have the latest version on disk if you want, it is kinda cool now that they've gotten past all the bugs. We can install it on your system and I've got it on mine so we can either play online or just do head to head battles. They have a small online group already but it isn't advertised yet since it is in beta still. If I ask I'm sure I can get you an account."

She picked up one of the pieces she had just cut and took it over to the anvil and picked up one of the shaping hammers and a mushroom stake. Putting the stake in the hardy hole, she started beating on the metal, dishing it from the center out. It was starting to get noisy. "Sorry this is so loud, but I really have to get this done while I have the inspiration, otherwise I tend to look at it later and wonder why I did things that way because it looks like crap. But if I finish it, then I'll like it later." Being an artist was difficult sometimes but when the mania was upon her, she would work until she came to a natural stopping point. Otherwise she would take things apart and redo them in a slightly different manner when she came back to it. "And thanks for the offer, but I'm good, but you can keep me company and hand me things as I need them if you want? If you don't mind the noise when I'm hammering." She yelled over the sound of metal on metal.
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Jane Johnson on Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:33 am

Jay swung her legs happily as she watched Nikki, "Hah, it was kind of fun, but it was still work. I think I just about busted my fingers my first week, I couldn't even touch my keyboard. It was hell. But once I got used to it, it was pretty fun. They didn't really let me do any of the cool stuff, cause I hadn't been there that long, but I got to have a good look at some pretty interesting engines." Jay dropped her piece of copper wire back onto the counter and folded her hands in her lap, "It's kinda cool that you got to point out all their mistakes to them, though. But bugs suck, must have been hard to play with all that crap. Hey, maybe you and I should learn how to program and then we could run circles around those typewriter-monkeys. What do you say? Think we could learn another language and not fail out of Senior year?" Jay chuckled, wondering how many more 'extracurricular activities' (aka goofing off) she could fit into her schedule before she just collapsed from it.

"But yeah, I'd totally love to play it with you! If you don't mind, that is. We can put it on Big M tonight," she said, using her pet name for her beautiful computer, "I'd feel all cool and privileged to be playing an unreleased game, is that silly or what?" She giggled, throwing her head back. Her laugh was soon consumed by Nikki's hammering and she stopped to watch what her friend was doing. "Not a problem, Nikki. I think it's fascinating. I can't wait to see what you make of it." She slid from the workbench and landed lightly on her feet then headed to stand nearer to her working friend, "Sure, just let me know what you need." Jay wasn't sure if Nikki wanted to hold a conversation while she worked, but she thought she could try a bit. "Hey, what was that you were listening to earlier? You know, before I interrupted and stuff." Jay made a little apologetic smile and shrugged her shoulders.
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Nikki Johns on Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:16 pm

"What was I listening to?" she asked, pausing in her hammering so she could be heard. "It was a really funny bluegrass band that I heard with my mom up in Berkeley, a group from Texas, the Austin Lounge Lizards. They do all sorts of topical humor and I put all their cds on my iPod. I was just singing along with the title track of their latest album, "The Drugs I Need". It is so funny and so true. But I don't want to get into the politics of it. Needless to say, Mom loves them, even if they do sing country."

"Yeah as soon as I finish up here, we can go back and load that game. We could have written it better and with a lot less bugs, I'm sure. I know how to program a bit, dad taught me, it was one of the few things we ever did together. I don't know who was doing the programming, I took a look at the code and it had to be the work of 6 different guys all working at home and never talking to each other. There were naming conflicts and all kinds of kludges. I'm surprised that it worked as well as it did, but the graphics are super cool and the game engine is okay so the game play will be there once they catch all the bugs."


She turned back to her project and she looked at what she had done so far with a critical eye. It was alright, but not turning out exactly like the picture in her head. She shook her head. "Let me clean up and we can go, I've lost my muse for now. If I do any more, I will probably just throw it out, 'cause it isn't turning out like I want. I knew this would happen. It always does. I plan and plan and I can see it in my head, but when it comes down to putting the hammer to the metal, I just don't always get it right. Wish we had a hydrolic press, I could dish these pieces how I want them without having to do it by hand, but I guess that is why we don't. They want us to use our hands in creating our pieces, not brute force." she shook her head. She would work on it tomorrow again. It would come out, eventually. "So, computer games? Or did you come in here with something more fun in mind?"
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Jane Johnson on Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:43 pm

Jay nodded her head in encouragement for Nikki to spill about her music, then cocked her head thoughtfully at the title and explanation. "Ooh, sounds like fun! Maybe I should listen to it. I dunno, sounds like something Will would like." she shrugged and smiled, "Of course I'm just going by the title on that one." She laughed shortly then nodded in agreement with Nikki's proposal to hook her up with a new game to waste time on. One could never have enough of those, nuh-uh. "Cool! I can't wait, Max'll be so jealous." She tugged at the strands of hair that had fallen into her face at her dismount from the workbench and began to twist them distractedly, hoping she wouldn't end up causing Nikki to utterly ruin her brilliant creation. Well, non-creation currently cause it wasn't built yet. Potential creation, maybe? Jay pondered this, still twirling her hair, as Nikki surveyed her own work. She was a little relieved but also a little guilty at Nikki deciding to leave her work for now. She wanted to spend time with her roomie, but she didn't want to interrupt her creative process. Of course it was a little to late for that, wasn't it? Jay scolded herself silently, tugging her hair a bit, and then went to help Nikki clean up.

"Mkay, if that's what you want. Sorry for tramping in here and scaring your muse away," she said, grinning and hoping that Nikki wasn't too horribly frustrated with her, "Maybe we can fundraise for some new equipment this year or something." she shrugged. Jay helped Nikki clean up everything, then turned to the task of thinking up something to do. "Fun sounds fun." she said, then shook her head and chuckled at her own redundancy, "Well, it does. Why don't we go to The Bean or something? Or we can go to Fabulous Fabrics and touch everything. Or! We could go to the gym and work on our guns." Jay illustrated this option by flexing one arm and kissing the 'muscle'. "I dunno, what d'you wanna do Nikki?"
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Nikki Johns on Sat Nov 15, 2008 2:28 pm

"Oh, lets go get caffeine at the Bean and then we can do something else fun. Who knows, maybe I'll get inspired again if I drink enough coffee. Get that coffee buzz and who knows what might come out of my crazed brain. But we will definitely have to get that software hooked up. But we can do that later. Right now I think my blood level of caffeine has fallen below critical levels, so I need something to bring the level back up and the Bean is the place to do that. Double shot espresso, mocha latte, sounds really good right now, and nobody makes it like the Bean. I must have been in every coffee shop in the valley at home and not one of them could come close. I'm going to have to either move here to Maine or persuade them to open a franchise in San Jose, or teach me the secret ingredient so I can make them myself. I don't know what does it but no one makes them better." her voice started sounding dreamy.

As she gathered her purse and headed out the door she turned to Jane, "your car or mine? I'll let you ride in the rumble seat if you want, its not raining or snowing yet. I don't mind folding it out but I don't want to get the upholstery wet." She had that upholstery done special in a waterproof finish, real leather treated with special oils and scotchguard, so that the water would roll off instead of soaking in. But it really wasn't waterproof, more like water resistant. If she left it open in the rain, she would have to replace it all again, and that was expensive. But she would ride in Jane's truck if her friend really wanted to drive.
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Jane Johnson on Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:08 am

Jay smiled at the outpouring of words, glad she had a willing partner in crime. Or coffee drinking, at least. "Oooh, I am so up for some Bean caffeine. We should load up to the gills and then have a coffee-fueled late-night computer marathon. Until Audie or Abi unplug us or start throwing things, that is." Jay chuckled, knowing full well that her roommates put up with way more than they should have to, "I think I'll get something with lots of caramel. Or! Like...hot chocolate with about three shots of straight caffeine. Erm, espresso." Jay scratched her chin, her words trailing off as she thought. She wasn't very good at coffee shop lingo, she mostly just made Will or one of her roomies translate her order while the barista looked at them funny. She shrugged, "Anyways we should get a move on so we don't get stuck in line or anything."

It seemed extremely obvious to Jay that Nikki was excited to take her car, and what with the weather holding up nicely Jay would also get a nice ride in the rumble seat of MonaLisa, Nikki's mechanical masterpiece. There was still a very large part of her that insisted that she insist on driving her truck, which had finally arrived from home, but she pushed it back. She'd have plenty of time to rumble around in her baby, Nikki probably felt the same way about MonaLisa. No, strike that, she definitely felt the same way. "Okay, yeah. I don't think it's raining, so I'm so gonna rock that rumble seat! We're all cleaned up, right? Let's head out then." She grinned at Nikki then headed out the door and made her way with her friend to the parking lot to begin their quest for hot caffeinated beverages (and baristas, yum!).
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

Post  Nikki Johns on Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:01 pm

((OOC: Continued here))
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Re: Artistic Endeavors in metal...{OPEN}

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