Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sept. 26-30 Wild Wire Women Retreat: Saturday Results Are In!

After two full days of hard work in the studio, the results are in, and I am impressed!
Pictured above you can see Anne's foldformed and textured earrings, with big overlapping "A"s stamped along the bottom half and cute square holes punched above the folded metal. Anne is absolutely brand-new to jewelry making (before today, she'd never even made a jump ring!), but she took to wirework and metalsmithing and foldforming like a real pro.
Here's Anne, a happy camper at our Wild Wire Women retreat:
And here's C.J., concentrating hard as she holds a small piece of copper on the bench block and hammers the fold:
This is what I call a "happy table"; you can see Anne's notes and sketches, some ear wires she made, foldformed metal pieces waiting to be made into earrings, headpins she made with a torch herself, and lots of bead dangles. My foldformed cuff is pictured in the upper left corner of the photo.
Another "happy table"; this time C.J.'s workshop notes, ear wires, bead dangles, charms, foldformed metal pieces and finished earrings, and sketches:
We tackled torch enameling today, and you can see that Anne is all geared up properly wearing a leather apron, green safety glasses, and particulate mask (I also have a ventilating fan that sucks out all the gas fumes). Here's Anne, learning how to ball up headpins and enamel them with a map-gas torch:
C.J. also took to torch enameling and made lots of colorful charms:
A girl's gotta eat, right? So we took a break for lunch, which included a bountiful salad bar with organic greens, homemade black beans, my famous egg salad (with white truffle oil and capers), fresh raspberries, and pickled sweet beets (yummy!):
More goodies from our salad bar:
And the best part of the meal, my homemade roasted cauliflower soup with cheddar cheese and sour cream garnish:
Back to work, C.J. is sawing out a big heart to foldform and texture later on. Sawing metal wasn't on our original itinerary, but we had time this afternoon so I showed C.J. how to get started. She did a fantastic job; I'll show you her beautiful heart pendant in tomorrow's post.
Everyone made lots of foldformed earrings, but I just made one very simple pair, pictured below. Using a variety of stamps (my favorite supplier is 2 Moon Tools on and dimpling pliers makes it easy to create very unusual and eclectic earrings in just a short time. Super easy, with unlimited creative possibilities!
Pictured below, a pair of earrings made by C.J.:
Another pair of earrings that C.J. made in class:
And here's an interesting wire-wrapped pair of charms made by C.J. I did not teach her this pattern, it's her own design:
Pictured below, some more C.J. samples including bead dangles and enameled filigree beads:
OK, I just had to share this funky ring I made using some beads and wire that I enameled during my demo today:
Pictured below, some sample pieces made by Anne, who loved (LOVED) torch enameling and was thrilled to make her very own twisted-wire worm bead. Like C.J. Anne has a lot of natural talent. Can you believe this is Anne's second day ever making wire and metal jewelry? 
So far, we've explored a TON of jewelry making techniques in just two days. We've made jump rings and bead dangles on headpins, balled up our own headpins with a torch (and enameled some of them), created wrapped eye-pin loops and unwrapped (simple) eye-pin loops, made several wire charms and earring hooks, cut out metal pieces using a jeweler's saw, shears, and a circle punch, filed and polished our metal with jeweler's files and steel wool, punched a variety of different holes in metal, used chasing tools to texture and decorate metal pieces, learned two different foldforming methods (including annealing metal with a torch, quenching, pickling and forging with cross-peen hammers), torch-enameled copper pieces and filigree beads to make a variety of charms, used liver of sulfur to artificially age our jewelry pieces, and polished our jewelry with steel wool.
Woot! I'm tired now, and off to bed...
Tomorrow we tackle a variety of techniques for making copper tubing bracelets with altered pennies, spiral charms, coin charms, and more.
Happy wrapping,

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