March 1-8th I was in Houston for Adorn Me! I had a blast and learned a lot during the workshops. I'll be posting for the next several days on my classes and experiences.
One of the hardest things was deciding what workshops to take. I'm mostly self taught or I've learned from books and magazines. I made my final selections by picking the things I wanted to learn that I thought would be very difficult to learn without an instructor.
Monday was meet the artists night. I also met my roomies for the event: Bren and Julie. They were the best roommates and I am so glad I got to know them. From left to right here's Bren, me, and Julie:
Bren is wearing her trades necklace. Participants brought charms to trade and Bren put hers on a chain necklace. It looked good and garnered lots of attention. Julie is wearing her Window pendant.
DAY ONE: Tuesday
Bren and I both had Richard Salley's "Caught in a Trap" class. We cut our metal with tin snips, learned to foldform copper, then dapped it (domed for your non-jewelry people) and filed an opening for our cabachons. The copper was riveted to a brass backplate.
Richard Salley is a terrific instructor. He's annealing a copper plate here:
I was able to get the pendant finished and got the earrings half done. Bren finished a pendant and earrings. Several of the students got three or four pieces done. Check out the fan photos on Richard's facebook page. There are a lot of photos from this class and some from the Shield class later in the week.
I textured the brass backplate with a hammer and a center punch. I hit the brass with the torch to darken it a little. All of the antique color on the brass and the copper is from the torch. The cabachon is a vintage Czech glass cab from the 1940's.
I left this class with my head spinning with ideas and wanting to get my hands on more cabachons.
I had Thomas Mann's "Learn to Saw" class in the evening. I had never used a jewelry saw before. This was a technical class and we learned how the saw works, not just how to manipulate the saw. Understanding how the saw works is particularly valuable when turning corners. I didn't take any pictures of the little parts I sawed because they looked terrible. My straight lines weren't straight and my curved lines zig-zagged. I sawed very slowly. On the plus side, I only broke one blade.
At the end of the class I figured sawing was something that would take about six weeks of practice before I would end up with something I would want to wear. I had signed up for Mann's two day Found Object Sandwich workshop and was now worried about how bad my FOS might look after I sawed it out. I reminded myself that it was better to have problems when there was an instructor available to help you correct them versus having problems when you're on your own.
Back in the room Julie, Bren, and I finished the evening with show and tell. Getting to see what they made and talking about the classes and what we had learned became a daily ritual and one of my favorite parts of the week.
Next post: my Found Object Sandwich.