Friday, September 10, 2010

Watch Out... I Am Manipulating Metal

bezel cab worn 2
bezel cab worn1
bezel cab rings 3
bezel cab rings backs 1
I had an absolutely ammmaayyzing night last night. Before I tell you about it though, you need two brief histories. First, the one between me and metal. Primarily, I am a cold connection kinda gal. I love wire, I love coming up with innovative ways to combine wire into links, I love color, I just love love love what I do. I have been know though, a time or two, to experiment with metals. I have taken classes in PMC, and I have done enameling on metal. But when I have tried to teach myself soldering, frankly, it has been a struggle. I blame the equipment really. I haven't ever had a proper soldering torch. I have always either used the creme brulee torches with solder that melts at too high a temperature for it or I try my hot head which it too bushy a flame and just melts things into oblivion. It was frustrating and it sucked. But I had plenty of cold connections to keep me busy, so I didn't fret too bad. I knew the skills were there, I just needed the right equipment!

Remember that huge bummer of a let down a couple whiles ago? At the core of it was these metalsmithing skills of mine. I am not gonna go into details, but it was one of the main reasons that I decided to sign up for Stephanie Lee's Homesteaders Metalsmithing e-course. (She is having a second session by the way!!) I wanted to expand those skills. I loved working on the class and learned a ton, but more on that another day.

Now, to the second brief history. Rewind to a strange conversation with my husband about a month ago. It went something like this Ron: "Randy at work told his wife about your book and she makes jewelry and wants to talk to you about it. Is it okay if she calls you?" Me: "Of course she can call me." And that is how I met the amazing, Anna Sprague. Anna has been teaching jewelry making (specifically metalsmithing) for 18 years at both the high school and college levels. She is taking a year off from teaching formal classes though to get reacquainted with creating because she *loves* it without being drained by the *have to* creating and exhaustion that can come from teaching. So we chatted for about an hour one nice evening about how to get her jewelry business of the ground online. I was so happy to help! I told her all about my metalsmithing woes and she offered to teach me. It was to be an exchange of sorts, my knowledge for her's. Personally, I think I have the better end of the bargin :)

I had my first class with Anna last night. OH, MY, STARS!!! It was amazing. I couldn't dream of a better instructor in the world and look at the freaking incredible things I was able to create!! I knew that, with the right equipment and getting to see the solder flow for someone, I would be able to do it. I am over the moon I tell ya! I can't thank Anna enough. Next time, we are gonna sweat solder. But first, I told her she needs to work on getting her designs ready to launch an etsy shop and blog!! So, hopefully, in a few weeks, I will have a link to share with you. I got to see some work in progress pieces in person and they are just beautiful. I can't wait to share it with you.

(ps... man my hands need lotion. they look like granny hands magnified!)


Anne said...

Yay, Kerry! The rings look great, and I bet Cassie is proud. Can't wait to see your spoils from Stephanie's course.

jeanette said...

awesome rings, great job!!

Anonymous said...

Amazing!! I can't wait to see what else you create.

deehebard said...

Kerry...I LOVE the rings...that's what i wanted to make with your beads...nobody makes cool lampwork cabs. I had considered cutting beads in half to make them myself...make them to sell! Please!!!!!

Brandi said...

Kerry! Those look great!

And thanks for the head's up about Stephanie Lee's class. I was upset I missed it the first time around - do you think it was worth it? Was the class kit expensive? I'm seriously thinking about giving it a try...

TesoriTrovati said...

Man, Kerry. You know how to rock my world. I, strike that, I NEED to have one of those rings. Perfectly matches one of the pieces in my exhibit (which if it doesn't sell will be mine! MUWAHAHAHA!)

You have some serious mad skillz. And I would seriously love to learn those things too. Or lampwork. Or both. If lived closer to me!

Enjoy the day!

sandi m said...

PS - Kerry,
These are fab!! Now you just need to stamp your John Hancock on them.

sandi m said...

To Brandi,
I checked, Stephanie's basic kit for the class will be $40. Then you'll also need the torch/solder tools unless you have them.

I'm thinking of the class, too.
Hey, maybe we'll be classmates!

rosebud101 said...

Kerry, the rings are awesome! Thank you for the link to the online metal smithing class. I just signed up!

Courtney said...

The rings are amazing! Congratulations. I am envious, this is something I would love to learn, but don't have the space and am pretty sure that my hubby wouldn't like me playing with fire in the basement. Have a great time. I can't wait to see what else you create.

AliBaubles said...

Love them! They're so cool and funky......what skills you've got girl! Like Dee previously said, it is difficult to find cool lampwork cabs......I'm also constantly looking for them to make into rings and pendants.

Soldering and fusing is addictive, and I can't wait to see what you make next!

mairedodd said...

kerry -
love the traditional metalsmithing technique you seem to have mastered so wonderfully! it seems such a natural 'fit' for your glass - clean and shiny, allowing the personality of your work to be showcased... i don't think apologies are necessary... i am certain that nancy recognizes you as a woman of momentum as well... both you and she are talented people - she found a way to set off her stunning porcelain and glazes, you your glass with a standard refined setting... as people who work in a medium where cabs are possible - and who make jewelry in addition to beads - this seems such a natural progression... have fun with the technique! and experimenting with the tweaks you can do with it!

Kerry said...

thank you everyone

a special thank you to mary jane. thank you for recognizing the art and expression of the work is in the voice of the beads.

Alice said...

Your rings are amazing! Such a clean job you did with the torch--I'm impressed! Your beautiful cabs are a perfect match for the bezels!

I'm still working on Stephanie's class. I started late so I'm glad she is leaving it up for a while.