Craft workshop

Hello everyone. I’ve enjoyed reading all of your questions and
comments. Even though almost all of you are far more advanced
than I, the has been enlightening nonetheless.

I am new to jewelrymaking and metalsmith work. I took a
beginner’s course after I began making evening bags from wire,
and it became apparent that I needed to expand my knowledge
before I could proceed to make the bags I envisioned.

I’ve had quite a bit of success with the bags I’ve created so
far, but I need to learn more. My primary concern right now is
learning how to make hinges and whatever else I need to know so
that I can create decorative clasps for the bags.

I am considering taking a workshop at Peter’s Valley Craft
Education Center in New Jersey. If anyone has any knowledge
about the workshops there, I’d love to hear from you.

Also, if anyone has any ideas about the best way for my to
achieve my ‘clasp design and execution’ goals (kinds of findings
available, courses, books, etc.), I would be very grateful to
hear from you.

Thanks in advance --Judith

Judith, try Charles Lewton-Brain’s web site under Bench Tricks: You’ll find some
sample chapters from one of his books on hinges. Also, beading
suppliers such as Fire Mountain sell purse frames. This is the
part which everything else is attached, such as the bag and the
handle. It’s the mouth of the purse and comes with a clasp
already attached. Good luck! KP in Wyoming

I have heard good thinks about the classes at Peters Valley ,
Judith call and see what is still available the best classes
fill early. I have taken a class at Penland in North Carolina it
was a worthwhile experience although the lodgings were totally
out of date especially for the price. I hear good thinks about
Arromount and Haystack. I am finally taking a class with Lee
Marshal the Bonny Doon Enginer in a few weeks. In the back of
Metalsmith all the craft schools advertise you can pick one up
at any of your better bookstores. I would also check out the
local community colleges jewelry program for a chance to
harnish your knowledge. I started at College of DuPagea local
community college in my area and next year I will have completed
my MFA at Northern Illinois University. The love of jewelry gets
into your blood although college is not for everyone. Goodluck
Jennifer C. Peterson

I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop I took at Peters Valley. The
accommodations were pretty decent as these places go; the
program was good; the atmosphere was friendly; the workshops
were well equipped; the food was surprisingly edible; and the
mosquitoes were voracious! >D<

Hi Judith, Peter’s Valley is a really great place. When I
started making jewelry a couple of years ago, I took the
’Jewelry from the Forge’ course. Although it was
well-instructed, if you don’t take summer heat well, I would
save this course for the cool weather. The heat from the forge
plus the combined heat of July made it about 110 F. in this
course every day from 9 - 5. Everybody lost a good amount of
water weight each day, as well as learning great forging
techniques! The good part about all that sweat and energy
expenditure was that you worked up quite an appetite and Peter’s
Valley is like being at summer camp with great food! The meals
are vegetarian, I believe, and quite delicious. I’ve also heard
from other people that have taken other jewelry courses there
(fold forming, clasps, etc.) and all have had good things to say
about them.

If you’re interested in something more ongoing, the place where
I’ve been studying jewelry-making techniques for the last couple
of years in an excellent place. The name is C. Bauer Studios at
214 West 29th St. in NYC, tel. 212-643-8913. C. Bauer teaches
jewelry-making using ancient Byzantine and Etruscan techniques,
like granulation, fusing, etc. It’s a very well-equipped and
organised studio, the teacher is extremely knowledgeable and
talented, and the class sizes are limited, which is nice,
because you get attention and assistance pretty much when you
need it (well, sometimes there’s a “line,” but the wait isn’t
generally too long!). I’ve studied at other studios in NYC
where I didn’t find the teachers as helpful or knowledgeable as
C. Bauer. She attracts a group of very nice people, too,
something I didn’t find elsewhere as well. Her studio gives
summer intensives which start in July, I believe. Hope this
helps! -Madeline, Arts Umbrella Studio

Judith: As an instructor who has taught at many schools around
the U.S., I’d have to say that Peter’s Valley has come a long
way in the past several years and I really enjoy teaching there.
The facilities are adequate for most workshops and better than
most. I can, therefore, spend more time actually working with
my students and teaching more advanced material.

Housing may be another matter…I have been assured that it is
being improved.

Doug Zaruba

Thanks to everyone who shared their experiences and opinions
about Peters Valley Craft Workshops. It’s invaluable to get
first-hand All in all, everyone had very positive
things to say about the workshops. I’ve decided to take a
workshop there, but not in the summertime. One person brought up
the ‘heat tolerance’ factor, and since I have difficulty working
in hot weather conditions, my decision was an easy one.
Honestly, this is something I never would have thought of
considering, and yet it was the final criteria for my decision.
Again, thanks to all who shared. Orchid is populated by
knowledgeable and generous artists. I hope to be able to
reciprocate soon.

Judith A. Lieber
JAL WireArt Handbags

If heat is an issue, other schools are air conditioned.
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gaitlinburg, TN has a/c
in many dorm rooms, and almost all of the classrooms. Only
things like stone sculpture are outside.