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Bonny Doon Workshop review

Over 30 years I have been to many classes, workshops, and seminars.
Some wer e excellent and some not so good. Some are designed for those
of us who get ou r hands dirty

Lee Marshall puts on the best of these! Most people connect the name
Bonny Doon with the benchtop hydraulic presses that Lee Marshall
produces - but th e if the workshop he just hosted is any example of
what is to come, well, they’ll be worldclass!

James Binnion was the instructor for the Mokume Gane workshop I
finished yesterday. An awesome instructor. I’ve fooled with Mokume
over the years, bu t put it aside because the results were not always
predictable. Jim continually refines the process to the point at
which it is as perfect as it can get. Ta ke a look at his site. - 'nuf said…

Though there were some failures with the first billets we put into
the furnace, (Jim had predicted this) by the end of the 5 days
everyone left wit h finished usable Mokume. I myself have material to
use in Phil Poirer’s Volum e & Form workshop coming up in 3 days.

With 7 or 8 of us participating, the hammer forging got to be a bit
of a bottleneck, and Lee demonstrated his abilities on the second
day by knocking together a workable drop hammer from scratch in about
5 hours!

Bonny Doon is located a few miles outside the city limits of Santa
Cruz, California. Back when I was a puppy (in a previous
incarnation) I grew up around these parts. I started out as a horse
trainer, farrier, and blacksmith while I liv ed there. Santa Cruz
County has an incredible variety of trees, vines, flowers, and fauna
this time of year.

Combine the quality of the instructors, the surrounding countryside,
the foo d and hospitality that Lee provided - and I’ve never had a
better all around experience at any workshop I’ve ever been to. but
then I LIKE to ge t my hands dirty while I’m learning.

I personally try to add to my skills and stay in the “loop,” by
taking at least 3 educational workshops each year. This year all
three of my choices w ill be at Bonny Doon.

Brian Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts