Thursday, October 31, 2013

Next Week's Retreat Projects Chosen!

I'm super excited about my next Wild Wire Women retreat, which begins on Thursday, November 7 and concludes Monday, November 11. We have three ladies signed up to learn a variety of different techniques as they work on their projects: etching, enameling, sawing and piercing, filing and finishing, wirework, and basic foldforming.
We'll begin our workshop series on Friday morning with an etching project, using ferric chloride on copper sheet metal to make etched cuffs like the ones pictured above, made by previous students during a WWW retreat. And we'll etch some copper tubing beads as well, similar to the ones in the necklace pictured below. This project is taken from my popular book, Arty Jewelry IV:
After lunch on Friday, we'll have a basic introduction to foldforming copper sheet metal. This process involves annealing metal with a torch, quenching, pickling, rinsing, and drying it, and then forging and texturing the small metal pieces to make charms for earrings or bracelets. There will be ample time to use hammers and other tools to add fun texture to our pieces before we turn them into jewelry; my earrings pictured below are a good example of what is possible to achieve in a half-day workshop:
On Saturday, we'll switch gears. I'm going to teach basic sawing and piercing to make metal shapes that can be enameled successfully with a map-gas torch. We'll cover design options, transferring sketched designs to metal, sawing techniques, filing and polishing, and cleaning metal to make a piece suitable for enameling.
As soon as possible, we'll dive right into enameling with the torch. Headpins, small metal components, copper charms and coins, and heavy-gauge wire cage beads are all possibilities:
Old pennies (with lots of copper content) can be used for enameling to make lovely charms for bracelets like the one pictured below:
On Sunday, we'll begin working with wire and hand-cut copper tubing beads to make a mixed-metals bracelet like the one pictured below. Texturing tubes, wrapping them with wire, double-wrapped eye-pin loops, wire charms, punching metal coins, and handmade clasps will be covered in this class.
Sunday afternoon will be devoted to finishing our jewelry pieces and possibly using liver of sulfur to give them an aged patina. Polishing techniques and jewelry photography round out the evening's activities. Everyone will go home with tons of notes, finished jewelry, and lots of inspiration to carry them through the dark winter months that are about to descend upon us! I'm really looking forward to seeing what my students come up with next week.
This will be my last Wild Wire Women retreat for 2013. The next season begins in September, 2014. If you'd like to join us next week, we do have three openings available. Please contact me via email for more information, and visit my WWW blog for lots more details about my retreats in Idyllwild.
Happy wrapping,

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