Monday, May 28, 2012

A Wild Woman Weekend...

Well, it's the final day of our Wild Wire Women retreat in Idyllwild and as usual I was very sorry to see everyone leave for home today. We had an incredibly productive weekend, learning new jewelry techniques and making lots and lots of samples as well as finished jewelry pieces.
The photo above shows all of our cuffs made by etching copper sheets. We all cut/sawed our own cuff metal and filed and polished (and filed and polished and filed and polished) the pieces until they were perfect before applying various designs with an ink resist and using an etching mordant to permanently alter the metal.
The photo above shows Laura's jewelry collection, just a few of the pieces she made over the three-day weekend. Laura not only etched a beautiful cuff bracelet with her own design, she also made a fold-formed and textured cuff, a heavy-gauge wire wrapped bangle, and a big heart pendant ready to attach to a necklace.
Here's Laura's sampler necklace and bracelet set of wire links. We spent all of Sunday on wire wrapping, after working with sheet metal for two full days. Laura made enameled cage beads and twisted-wire jump rings, various wire links, and coiled bead wraps; she then put everything together in this gorgeous set of ethnic-style jewelry.
Here's a picture of Laura, taking a photo of her fold-formed cuff bracelet. Last night we antiqued all of our jewelry in liver of sulfur, polished it, and then photographed the fruits of our labors. Laura also used her iPad to take several photos and we were very impressed by the quality of her shots.
Torch-fire enameling took up a good part of our first day of the retreat; we not only made enameled cage beads but we also experimented with a variety of different enameled headpins. Kinda funky, don't you think?
My demo piece for the fold-formed copper jewelry workshop is pictured above. I made a fun shield pin with lots of forging, texturing and hole punching.
Here's a closeup of Laura's fold-formed cuff. Love it!
Here's a layout of Sharon's jewelry. She also did a beautiful job with her etched cuff and had a blast working with heavy-gauge wire to make a spiral cuff and wrapped heart pendant. The latter two projects are taken from my book, Wire Art Jewelry Workshop.
Here's Sharon, taking a photo of some of her jewelry. Everyone had a chance to try her hand at laying out a nice photo shoot in the EZ-Cube, using some of my hand-dyed fabrics and fun props. It was one of the highlights of our weekend.
Here's a shot of some of Terry's jewelry. She made a fold-formed leaf pendant with a bail, an etched cuff (the design looks like a real leaf, but it was a rubber stamp!), and some coil-wrapped beads and a worm bead with fine-gauge twisted wire. We did lots of wire twisting yesterday, I can tell you!
Here's Terry, photographing some of her jewelry.
Pictured above you can see some of Terry's enameled jewelry components including headpins and cage beads. She told me she plans on continuing her enameling with a torch once she gets back home. All of the ladies were very excited about pursuing enameling when they get home.
 Several times throughout the weekend, Sparkle begged for water out of the tap. Although I change her water bowl twice a day, she prefers running water. What a spoiled kitty!
Here's Ellen, making breakfast in the kitchen this morning. I always serve a hearty breakfast on our last day and allow each lady to cook her own eggs to her liking. After eating healthy food every day (lots of  yogurt, fruit, salad, etc.) it was kind of fun to eat bacon & eggs for breakfast!
This is a sampling of Ellen's jewelry. She made a Biker Chick Bracelet but then changed it up with her signature look, adding vintage beads and buttons to the mix. Her etched and punched cuff awaits a focal bead. She also made an incredible cuff with a watermelon tourmeline (sp?) attached with a riveted copper holder. Riveting was one of many techniques that I taught over the weekend, and I hope the gals will practice their skills once they get back home...
This is a special pendant that Ellen made for her daughter, Mary. The sun and moon symbols illustrate their love for one another, "more than the moon, more than the sun." Very sweet!
Here's Laurie, making her breakfast this morning. Laurie and Sharon are good friends who came to the Wild Wire Women retreat together.
Sharon is pictured on the left, Laura on the right.
And here's Terry (left) and Sharon, enjoying breakfast before we all went our separate ways. Well, I'm still here doing laundry and dishes (!!!) and general cleanup. I'm so glad the weekend went so well, that everyone had a great time, and that we all learned so much in such a short time. But I feel a little sad now that the house is empty and quiet. I miss my Wild Wire Women!
If you'd like to come up to Idyllwild for a weekend of intensive workshops, great food and new friendships, I have several openings available. All materials (except beads) are provided and you get to use my high-quality shop tools and enjoy my extensive library of art and craft books while you're here. If you're interested, email me here.
Happy wrapping,
Wild Wire Women Retreat Dates:
July 19-23
July 26-30
August 2-6
August 9-13
August 16-20
August 23-27
August 30-September 3
September 6-10
September 13-17
September 20-24
September 27-October 1
October 4-8
October 11-15
November 8-12
November 29-December 3
December 6-10
December 13-17

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