Tag Archives: design inspiration

Jewelry Classes – Check out our Fall+Winter Course Catalogue!

The leaves are turning, the air is crisp, it’s time to get back in the studio and take a class with us!

Make your own Holiday gifts this year in one of our 6-week classes like Intro to Silversmithing , or Intro to Wax Carving

FALL+WINTER 2016 COURSE CATALOG

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Inspiration Artist ~ Nicole Ringgold

After discovering her work on Facebook in the online group Aspiring Metalsmiths, we were so inspired we had to reach out to her about her Botanical Series.  Here’s some great advice from an incredibly talented metalsmith and artist.  Every piece is hand forged, shaped, soldered and finished- pieces by piece, every intricate detail.
Botanical Series
Name:  Nicole Ringgold. Some people ask if I changed my name to fit my profession. Nope, it’s just a happy coincidence.
LJS: Where are you from originally:
NR: I was born in Massachusetts, but grew up in Switzerland and France. I have since lived in various US states, as well as in Niger, W. Africa. My home for the last decade has been in the Methow Valley, a community situated in the North Cascade Mountains in Washington State.

LJS:  Favorite show/movie/song of late?

NR:  My favorite musician is Macklemore…I’m more of an audiobook addict since I spend so much time in my studio. My favorite book of late is The Nightingale.

LJS:  What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made using either metalsmithing or carving techniques?

NR:  I took a couple of silversmithing courses in college over 20 years ago. I made a really fun ring with lost cast wax that I was proud of at the time.

LJS:  What’s a bench tip you’ve learned or figured out recently that’s changed your life?

NR:  My recent collection of botanical jewelry has taught me a tremendous amount about complex soldering, how to use heat syncs, how to heat just enough of the surrounding silver for the filler metal to melt perfectly into targeted seams, and how to make the most use of my pick while soldering.

LJS:  In your botanical series you create so many wonderful pieces, do you have a favorite among them?

NR:  Yes…this one. It’s a larch cone. Soldering on each of the tiny layers presented a challenge.

LJS:  Which piece challenged you the most as a metalsmith?

NR:  These poppy seed pods, primarily because it’s easy to explode a sphere while soldering on the additional components.

LJS:  Who’s your favorite artist, and how do they inspire you?

NR:  I can’t say that I have just one favorite artist, but I’ve recently discovered the work of John Grade: http://johngrade.com. I would love to take him out for a glass or two of wine and listen to his story. As an artists, how did he reach where he is today?

LJS:  We can tell that you find inspiration in nature, do you have any favorite places you go or things you do when you’re needing a little artisitic push?
NR:  I live in the mountains and work inside a greenhouse, both of which give me endless artistic inspiration. I am an avid hiker. I love hiking to high alpine lakes where I can jump in. I take pictures and collect samples of native plants to bring back to my studio. There, I literally dissect the plants to understand how they’re constructed, and attempt to reconstruct them in silver.

LJS:  What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a student just starting out?
NR:  Dive in. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Most errors turn out to be happy accidents.

You can find more of her work at www.nicoleringgold.com

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Class Spotlight: Perfect Pendants!

Stand out from the crowd with a truly unique custom pendant of your very own design!

Saturday + Sunday | July  16 + 17 | 11am-5:00pm | $240 | Register Now!

In this weekend workshop we’ll be exploring different styles and techniques to create your Perfect Pendant.  Learn to construct bezel settings for cabochon, faceted gemstones, and fancy shaped stones.  Working with sterling silver, we use hammer and stamps, as well as high polish, and oxidized finishes to accentuate textures and highlight designs. Students may bring their own stones or purchase from the tutor’s collection. Materials are provided.

Check out some of our students amazing work!!!

 

 

From the Studio – Etching!

Next weekend we’re hosting a super fun Weekend Workshop on Etching!

Saturday + Sunday | Jun 25+26 |11am-5pm | $240 | Register Now!

In this two day weekend workshop students will discover how to create raised patterns in metal without using any special equipment!  You’ll learn how to transfer images onto metal to etch a variety designs using a low toxic and safe method.  Etching is the process of using chemicals to cut a design or pattern into a metal surface. Etching your own designs into metal is a fun and rewarding way to customize your jewelry!

Class covers a variety of resist processes including ink transfer techniques and free hand solutions. We will also be covering basic metalsmithing techniques like drilling, filing, refining, and a variety of polishing and sealing methods, so this class is open to beginners as well as intermediate and advanced students.

Extra materials will be provided.

We spent a little time in the studio perfecting the technique this week, here’s some fun action shots:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s the pieces after they’ve come out:

And here’s a couple styles of the final products!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

From the Studio – Salt Casting!

This weekend we’re hosting a super fun one day workshop on Salt Casting!

Saturday | Jun 11 |11am-5pm | $179 | Register Now!

Salt Casting is the art of melting metal to its molten form and then pouring it over salt. This creates spontaneous forms and unusual shapes. In this workshop we learn how to recycle metal, create many different alloys, pour metal into different forms, and fabricate jewelry out of the salt cast pieces.  Your old jewelry and scraps (gold, silver, copper) can be cast into new and wondrous forms. The salt cast pieces can be made into earrings, pendants, and pins during the workshop. Extra materials will be provided.

We spent a little time in the studio perfecting the technique this week, here’s some fun action shots:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here’s the pieces after they’ve come out:

Studio trials pieces 1b

And here’s the final products!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

SPRING 2015 : We Dream in Silver

 ss15narcisorodriguez_pendant ss15edun_ringhermes_pendant 

Like what you see?! We love the geometric shapes and dramatic proportions of these pieces and can’t wait to put the inspiration to good use! Spring ’15 runway jewels (images clockwise from Edun, Narciso Rodriguez, and Hermes) have us wishing for longer, warmer days AND for the start of our next Intro to Silversmithing class so we can take these ideas to the bench!

Our Spring session of Intro to Silversmithing begins March 18th with just three spots left! Register here to join us.  And as always, 5% discount for full payment at the time of registration.

In this course, you’ll make both a ring and a pendant of your own design in sterling silver and learn to saw, file, solder, size a ring, polish it, and set a stone in the process.

(images from harpersbazaar.com and edun.com)