This year, we’re shaking things up in more ways than one! Julie will help us flex our metalsmithing muscles with a unique collaborative project that will encourage us to look at design differently, mixing up the elements we incorporate and asking us to isolate and focus on specific steps in the process. Plus, thanks to Jessica and David Cote at Rosy on the Rocks, we’ll be incorporating some of their stunning rose-cut gemstones into our finished pieces!
We’ll use the skills from that project as the springboard into a more complex creation, featuring unique stones and setting options. Both projects will make use of dimensional elements created using found objects “cast” in metal clay, as Julie teaches us how to make and use molds in lieu of casting organic elements. We know: it’s tempting to write off metal clay as a resource for “real” metalsmiths, but we promise you’ll be inspired by the unique potential of the medium when we use it as stand-in for more complex casting processes. Plus, we’ll be torch firing our metal clay components instead of using a kiln, so it’s instant gratification – and we’ll even use fine gold to embellish our work, using a simple and easy-to-use product that packs a lot of punch.
“Having this metal clay option in the studio can be a lifesaver when you can’t fabricate yourself out of a challenging design situation. With this technique you can get what you need at the right time.” – Julie Sanford
Setting free-form stones in organic settings involves thinking outside the box. Julie will show us how to “roll down” wire to a specific shape or gauge, as well as how to think through and plan for fabrication challenges inherent in setting odd-shaped stones. Plus, she’ll show us options for fabricating chain components that can be used alone or combined with commercial chain to create the perfect complement to your finished statement piece.
The bottom line: this week will be jam-packed with new techniques and methods you’ll use over and over again in your own studio.