Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recap of WWW Retreat: March 22-26, 2012

I can't believe it's already Wednesday and I'm just getting to posting a blog about our FABULOUS weekend! The first Wild Wire Women retreat of the 2012 season was so much fun and we were all so productive, it boggles the mind. In the photo above you can see a sampling of our jewelry projects completed over the weekend, including an etched copper cuff, fold-formed pendants, stamping and texturing with a variety of tools, and some wirework links, too.
I had five fabulous women in my retreat, each one so different and so talented in their different ways! Some were really focused on enameling with the torch, which we spent an entire day on. Some loved texturing metal with a variety of tools and hammers. Everyone loved our session on etching and all five women made beautiful cuff bracelets using this technique.
I also taught riveting, fold-forming copper metal sheet to make pendants and pins, torch-fire enameling headpins and cage beads, and lots of wire-wrapping techniques. We spent Friday and Saturday focused on sheet metal, and Sunday was devoted to all things wire-related.
In our wire wrapping workshop, we made twisted wire with a drill and then formed worm beads to make earrings and fibula pins. We made Celtic Knot links and Double-Spiral links (you can find these stepped out in my latest book-with-DVD from Interweave Press, Wire Art Jewelry Workshop). We twisted heavy-gauge wire to make beautiful jump rings and everyone learned how to use the jeweler's saw, riveting block, files, and polishing techniques.
Etching was a huge hit and I'm so thrilled that everyone went home with a beautiful cuff bracelet to wear and show off. We also did some riveting, an important basic skill that every metal artist should have.
Making metal forms and incorporating them into finished jewelry designs was also covered. Using our colorful cage beads (as featured in Arty Jewelry IV) in various jewelry designs including bracelets and pendants, making fibula pins embellished with beads and wire wrapping, heat-annealing metal with a torch, fold-forming and shaping textured pieces for pins and pendants... wow, were we busy!
As time permitted, we also artificially aged our jewelry in liver of sulfur, polishing the high points to make jewelry pieces that had the look of ancient artifacts. I love the pendant pictured above, made by Leah Wilson, an artist who flew in to California all the way from North Carolina! She was also a "repeat retreater" who attended one of my very first Wild Wire Women retreats several years ago.
Bracelets, pendants, pins, earrings, cuffs... everyone made lots and lots of jewelry!
Pictured above, another pendant fold-formed and textured with a simple but effective bail ready to hang on a necklace chain.
I didn't have much time to make finished jewelry myself, so pictured above you can see my fibula pin, textured heart (to be converted into a pendant later) and the beginnings of a fold-formed abstract metal piece that will make a gorgeous pin when it's finished.
What fun we had! And our weekend was over too soon, as it always is. I hope that all of my participants will practice their skills once they've recovered from our adventures in Idyllwild. If you would like to participate in a Wild Wire Women retreat, I have several dates scheduled (see below). Be sure to email me as soon as possible to secure your place in the 2012 season!
Happy wrapping,
2012 Wild Wire Women Retreat Dates:
May 24-28
May 31-June 4
June 7-11
June 14-18
July 5-9
July 12-16
July 19-23
July 26-30
August 2-6
August 9-13
August 16-20
August 23-27
August 30-September 3

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