First Online Bench Sale – Success!

My first online Bench Sale was week was a success! A heartfelt thank you for all your support! I hope to do one twice a year depending on my teaching, demonstration, and show schedules for I usually do not have enough inventory to do more than one venue!

I’d like to recap this momentous event with pictures of what were available. Happy to share that the majority of the items have already arrived at their new homes! 😀

enchantment_bs2016
Enchantment Series
scheherazade_bs2016
Scheherazade Series
celestial_bs2016
Celestial Series
dragonscale_bs2016
Dragon Scale Series
img_1913
Forged Copper Leaf Shawl Pins

img_1925img_1922

img_1281
Sterling Silver Interchangeable Necklace

 

 

 

Thomas Mann Workshop

I had the opportunity to take one of Thomas Mann‘s workshop at the Mendocino Art Center this summer (after visiting his gallery and studio in New Orleans the month before!) and it was fantastic. Tom was a very generous teacher and shared with us all the different facets of his trade. We did various exercises – some basic, others thought provoking.

His book, Metal Artist Workbench, is an excellent resource for those who are interested, as well as experienced, in metalsmithing.

During this four-day class, we learned the mechanic of sawing and did a quick exercise (left). We learned and practiced soldering and did two skill-building exercises. The first was to solder a piece of six-gauge twisted copper wire seamlessly (right) – this was my second try and still was not done perfectly.

A more complicated project was Wire World – not only did we learn how to solder well, we did it in the most timely manner thus understanding how it was in the “real production world.”

img_1745_wireworldWe learned various cold connection techniques using rivets, machine screws, nuts, tubes, and “stitching” with wire.

After two and half days of demonstrations and exercises, Tom gathered a plethora of found beach debris and rocks down the nearby cliff and challenged the class to create a jewelry object utilizing the techniques learned using some of these found objects.

I picked a piece of broken shell that was etched by the ocean. While I was sawing it lengthwise, one of the halves cracked leading to a pair of asymmetrical earring using the shell pieces, sterling silver, brass screws and nuts, and base-metal findings.

img_1698_thomasmannclass

Stonesetting – Tube and Flush Setting

I began taking metalsmithing class at my local community college Fall of 2014. It was an advanced class so I was a little intimidated with only four days of soldering – all from taking classes – under my belt. Fortunately, we had an excellent teacher and I was taking the class with my buddy, Melissa. Furthermore, in the first session, we had a classmate who was very helpful and supportive. Thank you, Leslie! We couldn’t have done it without you!

The first of the seven-week sessions were all about stonesetting. Beginning with tube setting and flush setting, I decided to go with a couple pairs of earrings. They were very similar in design for I really wanted to concentrate more on the techniques.

Tube Setting

We used 4mm cubic zirconia. I decided to make some simple copper washers and discs and added different color cz. They looked a little plain so a little wire wrapping with sterling silver wire completed the design.

_MG_6299
Tube Setting

Flush Setting

To accommodate the cullet (point) of the cz, Leslie came up with this cool design of soldering a flattened sterling silver ball. I added the same wire wrapped sterling silver wire and added a textured metal clay disc. These had become one of my favorite pair of earrings!

_MG_6300
Flush setting

 

If you are interested in some stonesetting books, Creative Stonesetting by John Cogswell and Gemstone Settings by Anastasia Young are excellent.