Thursday, October 25, 2012

WWW Retreat: Workshops Chosen!

It looks like the workshops for our next Wild Wire Women retreat have been chosen, and I'm really excited about how ambitious my four students are to learn all these new wirework and metalsmithing techniques! Beginning on Friday morning (November 9), we'll tackle the links shown above in the Silver Sampler bracelet class. Of course, we'll be using copper wire but the bracelets will still come out terrific. I provide all the copper wire and sheet metal needed to make all the projects in our workshops over the weekend.
My signature Biker Chick Bangle pictured above will be the focus of our afternoon workshop on Friday, and besides working with wire and beads we'll also use a pipe cutter to make our own copper beads from refrigerator tubing. These beads are fun to texture with hammers and make them look at beat up and ancient! We'll also find time this weekend to use liver of sulfur, adding a natural dark patina to our metal pieces.
On Saturday morning after breakfast, we'll tackle the etching process using ferric chloride and copper sheet metal. It's fun to etch and you easily find ways to control the process. We'll discuss various options for creating resists on the metal to make a pattern. I think most students will make a simple cuff, but the linked bracelet shown above gives you an idea for how the metal could be used in other ways. Earrings would be cool, too...
After a delicious lunch, we'll tackle fold-forming metal to make earrings, pendants or pins. We'll learn about annealing metal with a torch and making a non-toxic pickle, as well as texturing options. In the past, my students have made some outstanding pieces in this workshop. I tried to enamel the pin pictured above using liquid enamel, and I wasn't really happy with the results of that experiment! But the fold-forming itself is a fun creative outlet, not to mention all the hammering and texturing techniques we'll explore.
On Sunday morning, we take on my popular Ethnic Coin Necklace workshop. I've been teaching this particular necklace for more than a decade, and it's also featured on my Ethnic Style Workshop DVD (available on In this class we'll learn to make some really cool wire links and do some rough copper tack riveting. Fun and educational, that's my favorite type of workshop!
In the afternoon I'll break to demo fine-silver fusing to make a variety of links and charms. Due to the cost of fine silver, my students have elected not to make any links themselves, but I've assured them that once they've seen it demonstrated in class they'll be able to easily duplicate the process later at home.
One of my students really wanted to learn how to make the Vintage Dolly Pendant as featured in my popular eBook, Arty Jewelry IV. But this is an all-day workshop, and the main feature of the pendant is knotless netting with some wire-weaving. So what I plan to do is to demonstrate basic wire weaving and knotless netting on a large pendant stone (as in the Fisherman's Catch necklace pictured above), and then let students take these techniques where they will.
This is a super-packed workshop weekend, and it would be impossible to cover even half of this much material at any bead show or similar venue. We have four students enrolled leaving room for two more, so if you are interested in learning the techniques featured in this blog post please email me right away about registering. The workshop weekend runs from Thursday evening (Nov. 8) with a welcome dinner at Cafe Aroma (included in your fee) through Monday morning (Nov. 12). It is open to adult women who love working with wire and metal and beads.
The cost for the retreat is $825 and includes four nights lodging in my mountain home, a welcome dinner at Cafe Aroma, four breakfasts, three lunches, snacks and beverages, as well as the workshops themselves and all materials needed to make the projects except beads. I'll advise students on which beads to bring, that would be most appropriate for these jewelry pieces.
In class, everyone will have the use of my high-quality tools and access to a huge library stocked with jewelry books and magazines. There is no need to bring anything other than some clothing and personal items, and your beads.
For more information on my Wild Wire Women retreats, click here.
To email me about registering for the next upcoming retreat, click here.
Happy wrapping,


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