Friday, September 10, 2010
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!)