Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fun Workshop Saturday: Sawing & Piercing!

Wow, what a day at Brea Bead Works! Pictured above, you can see the store from our bird's-eye-view, high up in the loft classroom that I love so much. I think BBW is one of the prettiest bead stores I've ever visited, and I just love teaching here.
They not only have my porcelain pendants available for sale in the store, but also a gorgeous trunk show of lucite beads and charms (pictured above) in strands for $6 each. Did you know, you can paint these beads with alcohol inks and metallic paints to transform them into unique works of art? If you're in the north Orange County area, take a trip to BBW (across from the Brea Mall) and pick up some of those beads!
Here are some of my happy students from Saturday's class. I was amazed by their individual creativity and their willingness to spend an entire day working on a sawn-and-pierced cuff bracelet. Most worked with copper sheet but one gal brought yellow brass. Everyone did an amazing job!
I started by talking about designing positive and negative shapes for a cuff, pendant, or earrings. We then transferred our original designs to paper that was glued with rubber cement to sheet metal, and the sawing commenced!
This is a perfect class for beginners. Of course, some chose rather intricate shapes and designs that took a looooong time to saw! But others (ahem, like lazy me) chose designs that were a little more basic and easy to saw in just minutes. Below you can see one of the more challenging designs, a work in progress:
The next cuff was also rather challenging to saw and pierce, but my student Cheryl persevered and actually finished her cuff in class. Lots of sawing, piercing, filing and polishing...
... and texturing with her favorite texturing hammer resulted in this beautiful cuff bracelet:
And here's another one finished by another student in class, a variation on my leaf cuff that was beautifully textured and shaped:
One of my favorite designs is pictured below. We did discuss the value of taking lots of photos of architectural elements and ironwork designs while traveling, especially in Europe. These photos (and sketches) are invaluable, for use in the studio at home. You can use such designs to make beautiful jewelry, like the cuff pictured below:
And here it is again, on the wrist of the justifiably proud artist who made it:
Another cuff, this one in brass, made by another talented student who wanted to pursue a modern-art approach to her design. I think it's stunning!
All of these designs are wonderful, but I predict that they will be even more delicious once they've been artificially aged in liver of sulfur, or patinated with a variety of chemicals that can be used with copper and brass. We didn't have time to do that in class but I did include a handout on liver of sulfur in my class packet of workshop notes.
If you'd like to take a day class with me at Brea Bead Works, I have two more coming up in May:
May 11: Vintage Dolly Necklace
May 25: Victorian Netted Cuff
To register for my workshops at BBW, call the store at 714-671-9976
This week I'm hosting a Wild Wire Women retreat in my home in Idyllwild, California. I'm super excited about this one because students have requested lessons in some of my favorite techniques, including sawing & piercing, riveting, and torch enameling. The classes begin on Friday, so be sure to check back here for updates!

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