Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Page in Holly's Book

I actually completed this page spread the last week of December 2006. A page for the new year. Holly is a party girl, and she knows the delight of a Harpoon, so I thought the focus of this spread was appropriate for the season.

First Metal Class

We got an overview of the class today. A lot of talk on safety and tools and rules and blah blah blah. The instructor is great. Her name is Sandra Bonazoli and she makes really cute kitchen utensils out of pewter. I already knew a lot of what she taught us today, but it was nice to hear the details, and I learned new techniques which is always a good thing.

After all the orientation, we had demonstrations of some of the tools we would be starting out with. The tools that are available for students to use are amazing. The first demo was for the metal sheet cutter, a mammoth machine that is all gravity powered. It cuts large sheets of metal into more manageable pieces, sheets as large as 4 feet by 8 feet. A long foot lever at the bottom to use your body weight to slice the metal. Very impressive.
A short demo of the drill press and I am not talking about a dinky dremel either...this press was an entity all its own, with a steel base floor to top.
Then we had instruction on how to properly cut with a jewellers saw.

After all the demos, we were each given a piece of brass sheet to practice sawing with.

We cut our simple designs out of brass sheet. Very beginner, but I did well with the saw, and I cut out a design of a simple 5 petal flower. I was pleased with the ease of the saw after hearing detailed instruction. I have been hand sawing my own rings, but have been apprehensive to try to saw sheet...I don't know why. I have some 18 ga silver sheet I have been looking at for months. I suspect by next Saturday I will have cut into it.

Next Saturday I will get my student ID, and will have discounted parking and discounts at the Art supply stores but more importantly, I will have access to the studio 4 days a week (limited hours). This access includes the two other Metal jewelry classes (without instruction) on Tuesday nights and Thursday nights, a couple of hours on Monday nights, and all day Saturday after my class is over.

I have already sketched out a design for the next class, but I suspect I will have at least a dozen by the time Saturday rolls around again.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Metals Course at the SMFA

I have been so excited to take my first metal jewelry course, and it starts tomorrow! I hope I can sleep tonight.

I am taking a metalsmithing course at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I think I have gotten as far as I am going to get without any human instruction. The course runs a full semester (1/20 - 4/28) every Saturday morning from 9am - 12:15pm.

Here is the course description taken from the smfa website:

Metals-brass, copper, bronze, and silver-can be shaped, molded, cast, cut, and altered to produce sculptural objects, jewelry, or decorative pieces. Through demonstrations and hands-on projects, this course will explore the fundamental skills and techniques in jewelry making. You will learn processes such as sawing, piercing, riveting, texturing, silver soldering, bezel setting, and simple casting. Projects will allow you to make pieces of your own design. This course is essential for beginning jewelry artists, sculptors in metal, or anyone interested in working with metals.

So, not only have I enrolled in a fantastic metals class, but I have left my Friday night social life to the cobwebs.

I will have one other day a week to work in the School studio with no instruction, either Tuesday nights or Thursday nights. I am really excited to learn how to manipulate silver into beautiful works of wearable art. I am psyched to take my jewelry making to the next level.