Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bead & Button Show Class

A couple weeks ago, I attended the annual Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee. Very exciting place to be, if you are at all interested in jewelry. I don't do much beading anymore, I've been making jewelry through fabrication techniques, but it's amazing to walk around the colossal show floor and see all the gorgeous things for sale.

What does fabrication mean, you might be asking. Fabricating jewelry involves the traditional jeweler's tools of saw, torch, files, etc., all the fun stuff that gets your hands dirty. Nothing like using a torch and heating metal and seeing that magic moment when the solder flows like a skinny silver thread.

Which brings me back to the B & B Show -- I took 2 classes there in goldsmithing. Not that we worked in gold, we used silver, but when you make an object that's smaller than the human fist it's called goldsmithing, and when it's larger it's silversmithing, regardless of what metal you're using.

The first class I took was taught by Leslie Frumin, and it covered making silver leaves. Here's a picture of the leaf I made:
It's made out of sterling. We started with a photo of a leaf, transfered the design onto metal, and began sawing away. After a whole lot of hammering, bending and soldering, voila! a lovely oak leaf emerged. A quick dunk in a patinating solution, and the amazing color you see above emerged. The addition of some fresh water pearls, and the project was completed. It was a fun class, Leslie is a sweet lady with a great sense of humor. And I walked away with a lovely new pendant. What's not to like? :)

Hope everything is going great for you, and thanks so much for stopping by!

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