In June of 2019 I attended Soldering Intensive with Jim Richardson at William Holland, Georgia. We learned a lot of techniques from Jim. The standard butt soldering and sweat soldering, making and soldering copper beads, marriage of metals, pin backs, bezels for stones, earring pins, boxes. Jim showed me how to make faux mokume gane, by soldering instead of forging.
In May of 2019 I attended my second class with Chuck Bruce, Doug Mathey assisting, at William Holland, Georgia. This is a continuation of the course I attended in May of 2018. I completed the cuff bracelet that I had started last May. Made a second 1″ cuff bracelet that once again will need to be finished at a later time. I added a handle to another damascus folding knife. Made a inlay pendant with a silver bail and another pendant with a round insert into a stone. Making the 1″ cuff bracelet is the main reason I start learning silversmithing. If you are interested in making this type of jewelry, Chuck Bruce is the person to take a class with!
The class was scheduled to be taught by Tom and Kay Benham, so I was surprised when I heard that they would not be teaching. However, Morning Sherrod quickly put my mind at ease. My first project was the round Celtic trinity emblem on copper. My next project I chose a bird which turned out to be a rather detailed piece. This also was done on copper. I wanted to make a Celtic cross and so this design was my third project. This design was done on sterling silver. You can see these project in the picture. I had a little extra time so I started working on a sea horse which I did not finish. All in all this was a very good class and learned a lot which I can use on my own.
I have just returned from attending the Silver II: Inlay class with Chuck Bruce and Micah Kirby in William Holland, Georgia. I was able to make an inlay box pendant, an inlay box ring, a half inch inlay cuff bracelet, a one inch cuff bracelet (was not able to inlay the stone) and add a handle to a Damascus folding knife. You can see my work in the photo. In the class I learned a unique way for soldering, which I will continue to do from now on. Chuck and Micah were very helpful and I learned a lot.
On March 31 I attended a workshop on enameling with Marissa Saneholtz. Marissa is an instructor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Marissa covered over a dozen different enameling techniques. We were given time to try some of these techniques. I choose to roll print my copper blank and then enamel. You can see the results in the photo.
I recently completed a three day worked with Christine Bossler, where she taught the making of Chasing & Repouse tools. We learned to take different thicknesses of tool steel rods and shape them into the desired shapes using files. Once we had our desired shapes we refined them using sand paper and sanding wheels. Then polished the working edges to a shine. When we were satisfied the tools were ready, we heat treated them (hardening and tempering) for use. Four types of tools were covered: Lining, Pushing, Planishing and Texturing. I the picture you see three types of tools I made. The left two are examples of Liners, the middle one is an example of a texturing tool and the right two are examples of Pushers.
I just attended a two day workshop with James Viste where he revealed the secrets to successfully executing mokume in a home studio without the need for expensive special equipment. Using copper and brass, standard torches, small handmade brick kilns, and hammers. In the picture you see a copper and brass billet. This billet would then be forged to 1/3 its height and then patterned. More forging is done while you pattern the billet.
Again, I just return from William Holland School of Lapidary Art, where I attended my second Silver I class with instructor Linda Searcy. During the week I worked with brass, argentium silver for the first time. We also learned to fuse copper, which I always thought was not possible, however, we did. I also learned to make peacock chain, which is the top three chains in the image.
On Tuesday May 16th I joined the Livingston Gem and Mineral Society of Howell, Michigan. Their website has not been updated in a few years, but they do keep their facebook page up to date. They have a nice size membership of just over 140 members. They have classes in both rock cutting and silversmithing. One of the main reason I wanted to join is that they have a nice workshop for cutting stones that is for member use. I look forward to my membership and to cutting some stones!