Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Busy Week!!!

It's been a busy week for me. Last Tuesday morning, I left for Valley Ridge Art Studio in Muscoda, Wisconsin, to attend "Metalsmithing Basics," with Thomas Mann. It was a 3-day workshop, and was focused on honing our skills using the jeweler's saw, and different soldering techniques using an acetylene/oxygen torch. We all were taking extensive notes as Tom was explaining in detail the mechanics of what we were going to be doing, and giving us our instuctions for assignments we had to work on during the class.

The workshop was very intensive, and I think a few people were beginning to get a little overwhelmed with the abundance of information given, coupled with a bit of frustration if their assignments weren't turning out as they had hoped they would. However, Tom was an excellent instructor, and went out of his way to really work one-on-one with anyone who was experiencing any glitches or problems with their techniques. And we really needed to hear all the information we were given to properly learn the background of what we were going to be doing. I've never soldered with acetylene before, so the whole soldering experience was new for me, and I can now sweat solder and also attach wire to a metal plate, as well as attach metal balls and jump rings to the end of a piece of wire, which will be extremely useful when making jewelry. I'm certainly going to need to practice a lot, so I get the hang of it better, though.

I loved the workshop, and learned so much! I even 'passed' Tom's test on sawing and soldering!!! So much so, that he approached me the evening before the last day of the workshop, telling me I am a very talented artist, and asking me if I would be willing to stay on for the next workshop he was teaching to be his assistant! I was in total shock! I felt such a sence of pride and honor that he singled me out because he feels that I have what it takes to go to the 'next level' with my abilities. So...after calling my husband to make sure it was OK with him, I eagarly told him I'd love to stay. Kathy, the owner of Valley Ridge, was kind enough to let me do a batch of laundry in her house, so I'd have clean clothes to wear, and I also had the privilege of staying in the 'Artist Quarters' in the main house!!! Their home is indescribably amazing!!!! And Saturday evening, Tom cooked us an absolutely fabulous gourmet dinner!!!

The workshop I assisted Tom with was the "Sandwich Brooch Pin." It was a 2-day workshop, and I had taken that workshop with him last year, so I was familiar with how to create it. The gals taking the class were all very nice, and I found it a lot of fun to help them with all their questions as they began to create their pieces. I think everyone gave me a hug when they left, thanking me for all the help I gave them, and telling me what a good job I did. Tom told me I did a fantastic job assisting him, and said I have a good way with working with others. Who knows, maybe down the road, I'll be able to teach a workshop of my own down at Valley Ridge!!


dogfaeriex5 said...

kudos to you girl!! how exciting for you.. i am so happy for you what an rock!!

kecia said...

hello there girlie! i seem to remember telling you in August that you needed to teach a class! you are very talented and i could so see that happening!