Monday, October 13, 2014

Jewelry From Our October Retreat

LOTS to talk about in this post...! My Wild Wire Women retreat (October 9-13) went extremely well, and that's because I had such lovely and talented students attending this past weekend.
Pictured from left (above): Lisa, Joan, Donna, Amrita, and Mona. They're standing behind my "teacher's chair" on the first workshop day of the retreat (last Friday), looking fresh and happy and excited about the next three days to come! By the end of our weekend we were all completely exhausted, but pleased with our accomplishments.
Over the course of three days we explored lots of techniques including metal etching, distressing, forging and foldforming copper sheet, torch enameling, a variety of wire wrapping techniques, and making components for jewelry. It's impossible to describe in detail everything we learned, but the following pictures of our work will give you some idea...
First, pictured below are two of Joan's Metallo del Fiore bangles with forged metal pieces, coil-wrapped wire, handmade clasps, and dangling charms:
Joan's foldformed copper cuff is next. She wanted to explore folding metal in different directions as well as texturing and decorating her cuff, and I think she created a beauty:
Joan also made a fun pendant using forged wire as a base from which to dangle a variety of charms, beads, and metal pieces including a copper-tack riveted coin pendant:
We also tackled fine-silver fusing on our last day. Joan made several fused components that she then fused into one large piece which will form the basis for a lovely necklace:
The "Twining Vines" technique was a favorite this weekend. Here you can see what Joan did with her wire-wrapped pendant:
Donna was also very prolific over the weekend, and although we only have a few photos posted here to show off her talent, she also went home with lots more components to make jewelry in her new home studio.
Pictured below, Donna's Metallo del Fiore bangle with luscious beads, textured metal, and wire that was first run through a tube wringer before it was coiled onto a 12-gauge bangle:
I think this must be Donna's favorite piece from the weekend, a gorgeous foldformed and textured copper cuff:
Some fun pieces, including Donna's flower pendant and Twining Vines pendant:
Lisa made lots and lots of textured components to take home with her, but she also finished a few spectacular pieces. Her Metallo del Fiore bangle bracelet pictured below looks like it includes a purchased flower motif, but Lisa actually drew and cut out this flower herself, filed the edges, and then textured and shaped the flower. The spiral pendant pictured on the right is attached to a wire component that spins around the flower. A very clever design:
And here is one of Lisa's pretty pendants:
Lisa was quite creative with the chasing tools and small dimpling pliers I had on hand in the studio. She made lots of metal components to use in her jewelry, including the pieces pictured below:
Mona, a jewelry and fiber instructor herself, made a TON of jewelry over the weekend! Pictured below, a Metallo del Fiore bangle bracelet that she decided to turn into a pendant:
And here is one of Mona's clever forged wire flower pendants with bead dangles:
Mona's foldformed cuff is absolutely stunning:
And here are some wire components she made using the Jumbo Tapered Round Nose Pliers:
Mona's wire necklace features the Twining Vines technique, Celtic knot links, and a beautiful pendant:
Mona also made Cone Earrings (you can access a free tutorial on these by clicking here) and a gorgeous wire bracelet:
Mona's flower earrings; the flower motif was very popular this weekend:
Here is a picture of the Jumbo Tapered Round Nose Pliers that Wubbers generously supplied my students over the weekend. Patti Bullard very kindly offered them to me at a wholesale price so that I could give each student a pair of these pliers to take home and use in future jewelry projects (thank you, Patti!!!):
Amrita was a delight to teach; like all of my students from this past weekend's retreat, she was very talented, creative, and ambitious to try everything possible in the time we had together. She etched a cuff, wire-wrapped a Metallo del Fiore bangle, created lots of other wire jewelry pieces, and explored enameling:
Here are some more pieces from Amrita's collection, including foldformed earrings, a wire pendant, and some lovely fine-silver fused charms:
One of our favorite techniques was copper tack riveting! Pictured below you can see Amrita's necklace with copper charms riveted to wire links, Celtic knot links, and torch-enameled charms:
Even I was able to make a few sample pieces over the weekend while I demonstrated different techniques using copper sheet metal and wire. Pictured below are two of my bangles featuring textured metal, wrapped wire, and some of my own handmade ceramic beads:
I also made a pair of foldformed earrings for a friend of mine. I have made lots of these earrings but I never seem to tire of this simple design:
Here's a huge S-clasp made from 12-gauge wire on the Jumbo Tapered Round Nose Pliers, embellished with a 16-gauge wire wrapped spiral:
Finally, some funky fine-silver fused heart charms and pendants that I made while demonstrating this technique. The best advice I can give relating to fine silver fusing is to use heavy-gauge wire and to make sure that all of your wire ends connect securely before fusing them! It's lots of fun... but fusing can end in disaster. I guess that's what makes it challenging as well as satisfying.
Obviously we were VERY busy and worked extremely hard over the weekend, but we also had fun, made new friends, and laughed a lot. When we weren't making jewelry, we were eating great food, sipping champagne, and dipping into an endless supply of chocolate! I had such a good time with my students, and I feel sure that we will all stay in touch in the future.
Speaking of the future, this is my last retreat for 2014 and I will be taking a sabbatical from teaching for some time. Taking care of my aging parents has now become a full-time endeavor, so I won't be able to host Wild Wire Women retreats for a while. But I do intend to continue creating fun free tutorials for my blog, which is another way to teach. I hope you'll check back in now and then to see what I'm up to.
Happy wrapping,