The workshop began last Sunday, and concludes tomorrow at the Idyllwild Arts campus. My sketchbook is bursting with notes, drawings, quotations, ideas, and inspiration from this class. I don't have much finished jewelry to show for my efforts, but I have had a rare opportunity to put my business life on hold for a few days and simply focus on learning new techniques that I can incorporate into my designs in the future. It's been a worthwhile investment of my time and money, and I would encourage anyone out there who is interested in a "boot camp"-type learning opportunity to take advantage of it next year.
What made this workshop such a success was organizer Deb Jemmott's terrific idea of having rotating mini-workshops with all the teachers who participated in Metals Week. For example, on Sunday we spent our morning with Ken, and then after lunch from 1 to 2:30 pm we had another teacher come to our class to give a short demonstration and answer questions while Ken left to teach another class his own mini-workshop. From 2:30 to 5:30 we were back with Ken Bova again. Each successive day was the same schedule with a different visiting teacher, so we got a little taste of all the participating instructors' teaching style. All were very inspiring, and I think our class felt that we have something to look forward to next summer when we choose new classes with different teachers.
I really enjoyed Connie Fox's earring demonstration, as well as Deb Jemmott's thorough introduction to soldering techniques and technical information. Master teacher Val Link gave a slide presentation and introduction to hydraulic assist die forming, and Fred Zweig taught us a new way to make a fibula and demonstrated his "one-blow riveting" technique.
I was amazed at how much each teacher was able to cram into an hour and a half! And yet we also had time to make little samples, to play (very important!), to create a few finished pieces—others in our class were more successful at this than I—and to learn from one another. It's been an amazing adventure, and I look forward to doing this again next year during Idyllwild Arts' adult summer program.
If you want to know more about it, visit www.idyllwildarts.org.