Saturday, March 16, 2013


I love St. Patrick's Day.  Though it is still cold outside, it always seems like the real beginning of spring to me.  There are bulbs coming up in the yard and the birds are singing louder and there seem to be more of them lately.
It's been a busy winter, full of travel and healing.  My hand has healed nicely and I'm so grateful to my surgeon and my physical therapist.  I spent time in Albuquerque taking two workshops at Rio Grande and then on to the gem shows in Tucson.

Peter Gilroy, demonstrating the Bonny Doon Press.

A few of the things we made in Peter's class.  

My first workshop at Rio was a hydraulic forming class with Peter Gilroy.  It was nice for me as using a press was completely out of my comfort zone.  I learned a lot and mostly that I need to learn a lot more.  There is a lot I could do with a press, especially cutting out blanks.  I may have myself talked into buying a press, but they're not cheap, so I'm shopping around.  I think my best choices are the press that Rio sells (Bonny Doon) and one of the presses from Kevin Potter at Potter USA.  If anyone has any advice for me, I'd love it!

 Bill Fretz, demonstrating an anti-clastic bracelet.

 Maybe my favorite thing I learned all week, the Mobius Strip.  A Mobius Strip is a surface with only one side.  If you're interested or geeky (like my husband) check out the link to learn the origins of the Mobius Strip.

 Synclastic and anti-clastic bracelets and rings.  

This is an anti-clast that we made as the closure of a bracelet, but I'm making these as pendants with gems closed up inside. 

My second workshop was with the rock star of hammers, Bill Fretz himself.  Most of you who love tools (like me) know who this is.  Bill makes the most beautiful hammers known to man.  I picked up several more in Tucson the week after our class, but more on that next time.  Bill rarely teaches, so I knew that I had to grab my chance when it came along.  The workshop was on forming with hammers and stakes.  My experience with stakes was limited, and again they aren't cheap so I didn't own too many.  I was amazed at how much easier forming anti-clastic and synclastic shapes are to make with the right stakes.  This class was one of those rare moments that changed everything about how I work.  I loved forming before and now I'm obsessed.  I'll post some pictures of what I've made since Bill's workshop later on, as well as pictures of my Tucson treasures.

1 comment:

cottasofia said...

Thanks for the information. Really helpful to have it explained and laid out this way.

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