It's a bird. It's a plane. It's....

Lucky hears a noise on the street....

...and Superdog hops up on the radiator to check it out.

'Fear not, citizens. All is well with Superdog on the prowl!...Now please help me down.'


J102 Cold Connections - Now with FREE pdf tutorial!

For the second project ('But Rachel', you ask, 'where's project 1?' Fear not, gentle readers...post coming soon - posted here!) in J102 students will learn various cold connections (more info below) to create an amulet bracelet.

I have several examples of bracelets made with cold connections but my favorite one is the one I just completed - my 'Lucky Penny' bracelet. I was thinking of old penny loafers with the slot and the 'find a penny, pick it up' rhyme.

I'm hoping that by wearing it I will attract all sorts of good luck. I'll post the J102 students' pieces when we finish them.

Cold connections include such things as wire rivets, flush rivets, tube rivets and more. You can find the J102 Cold Connections Exercise document I created* for free HERE. You're welcome ;)

*Why, yes, all of those little black and white icons were painstakingly created from scratch in Photoshop (over many many many hours). I am happy to have you share this tutorial or use it in your classroom but please give me credit for its creation. Thank you.


Steampunk-ish at the Des Moines Art Center

This evening concluded a short but intense bracelet workshop I was teaching at the Des Moines Art Center. Luckily we had a very small class and even though everyone was a beginner with no previous metalsmithing experience they were able to learn quickly, be adaptable, hustle and almost finish in the allotted time ;)

Students learned how to add textures to several kinds of metal using stamps, hammers and the rolling mill. They also learned how to use cold connections to finish their neo-rustic steampunk style bracelet.

This basis for this project was found in the Dec. 2007 edition of the Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist magazine and is the property of Helen Driggs. A tutorial on how to make the bracelet can be found here.

Here are a few of the finished bracelets. It's interesting to see how one own's aesthetic taste and method of working changes the final piece despite everyone beginning with the same materials and instruction. I think they did a great job and look forward to seeing everyone again soon!


J101 Fall 2010 edition

And so ends another session of J101. Our happy little group was 4 members strong and what a group. We had every experience level from total novice on up and everyone was very enthusiastic. It was a great time and they did some fantastic work. See their finished projects below....

You can see more students' previous pieces here.