Monday, October 15, 2012

Wild Wire Women Retreat: Finished Jewelry!

Another Wild Wire Women retreat has come to an end, and I was so sad to see my student leave for home last night... I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Sharon and her husband, Allan, both from Ottawa. Sharon was particularly keen on learning to etch metal and fold-form, along with some wire-working skills. We covered it all for her. Above you can see a photo her husband took of Sharon's new etched copper earrings. The design comes from a rubber stamp.
Here's a cute picture of Sharon washing her hands as she scrubs her newly etched earrings, before we antiqued them in liver of sulfur and suspended them from ear hooks. If she looks super-fit, she is! Sharon and her husband gave me lots of useful tips for healthy living, eating nourishing (but still tasty) foods and exercising daily. I think it also helps us "seniors" to stay active mentally by pursuing favorite hobbies such as jewelry making (that would be me and Sharon) and photography (Allan).
Here's a bad photo I took of Sharon's raw etching right out of the bath after she scrubbed it clean. Ready to saw, saw, saw! And pierce out a hole, then filing, sanding, polishing (by hand) until it's absolutely perfect. Sharon told me that she went from not liking sawing metal too much to really loving it. "I love sawing!" she told me more than once by Sunday afternoon. Music to a teacher's ears!
We also pursued wire-work, especially on Saturday. Here you can see the fruits of Sharon's labors, twisting heavy-gauge wire to make jump rings, then twisting very fine-gauge wire to make worm beads (which are found in my book, Wire Art Jewelry Workshop), an S-clasp and a wonderful heavy-gauge hook to suspend her fish pendant. Sharon did a fantastic job, wouldn't you say?
I had to share this picture of Sharon working with her metal piece; she's wearing a professional loop gadget that used to belong to her husband, a retired dentist. Surrounded by tools and metal and wire, Sharon is in heaven...
A closeup of her fish. The "$3,000 necklace" we joked, because it took so long to make it. But that's how it is when you're learning something brand-new: everything takes a long time to make! Once you've learned the techniques, making your jewelry will go much faster.
Finally, a fold-formed pin that Sharon made on Sunday. She really wanted to learn the basics of fold-forming metal and she already owns the classic text on this subject, Fold Forming by Charles Brain, so she was ready to try it out. She also used various tools to texture the piece and made her own funky stick-pin so she can wear her creation on a favorite scarf or jacket.
We had a great time making lots of jewelry and I hope to see Sharon and Allan again someday!
If you'd like to come out to Idyllwild in Southern California for a Wild Wire Women retreat, I still have some openings in 2012:
November 8-12: Two openings
November 29-December 3: Six openings
December 6-10: Six openings
December 13-17: Six openings
For more information, visit
Happy wrapping (and folding and forming),


Julie Panusis said...

I really enjoy reading our blog and keeping up with your activities. Maybe someday I can take another class with you.
You are such an inspiration to me. I have started my own blog and featured you in my post today.

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