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I'm Back - Been Away


#1

I’m re-subscribed!

Been travelling 4,500km (that’s 2,500 miles for you others)
driving round New Zealand in the last 2 weeks. w Ruth and I went
to Queenstown, where she went on a 3-day tramp up the Caples and
Greenstone river valleys, and where I taught the tourists how to
make jewelry!

Have a look at http://www.adam.co.nz/workshop/index.html

text version

Shot of the workshop on Sat 17 Jan '98
That’s me on the left in the green teeshirt.
Photo by Chris Vile from Vudu Cafe in Queenstown
(click http://www.vudu.co.nz)

Have you ever wanted a go at making jewellery? Try a jewellery
lesson. They were the latest happening in Queenstown’s famous
Beach Street mall at Celia Kennedy Gallery. Working impromptu
with an experienced jewellery artist holiday-makers and locals
alike had a chance to make a useful piece of jewellery for
themselves or for a gift. No experience was necessary - in fact
children were welcome.

I taught lessons over 5 days in January '98, and it was a
rewarding fun experience for all. (Remember it’s high summer
here now.) Most booked in for an hour’s lesson, and in that time
were able (with my help at certain critical times) to make a
silver ring with designs around it as a lot did, or a pair of
earrings of mixed media like titanium and silver.

Who came on the workshops?

Many types of people signed up. Ages from 14 to 75-ish. MOST had
never done any jewelry or anything like it before in their life.
I was teaching jewelry to a banker from Manhattan, two
secretaries from the local airport, a dental surgeon from
Britain, and a roofing contracter from Queenstown - often
simultaneously.

What other things did people make?

Some punters stayed for two hours and managed to set a cabochon
stone on the ring (one person brought along her own piece of 22k
gold for the bezel), and some booked in for a whole day, or
half-day, and were able to do several things. What did the
roofing contracter make? A pair of earrings forged from pure
silver in the shape of telephone handpieces, complete with coily
wire attachments.

People were able to go home with a skill they never thought
they’d get.

I loved it. It was work, but it was fun.

Luckily I unsubbed from Orchid whole I was away, and don’t have
too many emails. Just 485 or so assorted.

Brian
B r i a n ? A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r ?
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://www.adam.co.nz/eyewear/ artworks - spectacles
http://www.adam.co.nz/jewellery/ earrings rings NZ jade
http://www.adam.co.nz/ruthbaird/ Ruth makes her jewellery alongside me


#2

Hey Brian, how many people did you work with at one time. It
surely must be one on one and you must be a heck of an organized
person!

Marilyn Smith


#3
Hey Brian, how many people did you work with at one time. It
surely must be one on one and you must be a heck of an organized
person!

Hi Marilyn, I dealt with 5 max at a time. Sometimes just 3 (See
the photo on http://www.adam.co.nz/workshop/).

I was working hard at times going from one to another, but I found
the time a student needs to get experience between teaching
demonstrations was ample for me to tend to another.

Brian
B r i a n ? A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r ?
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://www.adam.co.nz/eyewear/ artworks - spectacles
http://www.adam.co.nz/jewellery/ earrings - rings - NZ jade
http://www.adam.co.nz/workshop/ NEW - report from Queenstown Jan’98
http://www.adam.co.nz/ruthbaird/ makes jewellery across the bench from me


#4
Hi Marilyn, I dealt with 5 max at a time. Sometimes just 3 (See
the photo on http://www.adam.co.nz/workshop/). 

Gawd you are fast!!! What’s your secret? I’ve been doing this
full time for over six years now – (my full time is usually 12-16
hours a day) – and I can’t design, cut/saw, sand, stamp, polish,
solder, pickle and final polish a ring myself in an hour. I also
teach and I thought it was pretty good that my first time students
could make at least two different bezel set projects in 5-three
hour classes. What are you doing that I want to know how to do?

Nancy
Bacliff, TX USA


#5

Hey Brian:

I think it’s cool to teach. I did something similar for my sons 6th
grade art class. I gave each a coin size piece of green wax and
showed them how to draw the design,cartoon it to the wax,and carve
away. I made a video tape of the rest of the process for them to
watch. On the days I was there I was no sooner done helping one
kid and 4 more would call my name.This is a great way to excite
young minds to create.

Michael Mathews Victoria,Texas USA


#6

Yes well I have to admit that I took along sil in a few forms that
would be useful and interesting -

  8mm x 1.2mm strip stg  
  4.2mm x 2.4mm halfround stg 
  2mm round wire 
  6mm sq fine silver bar

Here’s what I did: Asked them to decide on a ring style based on
the silver resource, hand each as they arrived a piece of binding
wire to wrap round a finger and twist at the back, I snipped that
and straightened it out and said that’s the length we need, mark
the silver and cut a little outside this mark. I found even bankers
and orthodontists could do the sawing well enough with simple
instructions.

I’d come along after a few minutes and finish the job if they were
TOO slow and getting frustrated.

Then tell them to file the edges flat. That’d give me several
minutes with someone else. Periodically I’d check them and inform
them that the file cuts on the way up (forward) not like the saw.
They’d go ‘oh okay, got it’. (better attitude than many jewellery
students I could think of!)

Then comes the creative part - they bang and file ‘designs’ into
the flat shank. A few minutes showing them how a hammer and punch
works, how textures get built up with a simple-looking punch, and
they’re away (on a practice piece of silver first).

Then we round up the shank. I get them to wield the mallet while I
put the shank over a wooden swage block (grooves about 3/4" or so
wide) and they hit a steel bar. By magic the silver strip becomes a
ring-looking shape! They loved this bit!

I have to take some credit here, as although they were the power
behind the hammer, I was placing the shank in just the right
place! You know how you do.

They were doing something, though. I never did much alone. I
always make sure they took part some how. I gave up some of the
power.

I think that was where their joy come from; taking part on all
areas.

Now to align the ends. Weeell, okay I did this bit after they’d
had a go.

Then soldering, I sat opposite them with the soldering board
between us (I was behind a low wall!). They had the torch and I had
the (dry) flux and the (stick) solder.

I instructed them simply: you are the heat source, and we’ll need
to be sure the heat is right. So there are 2 rules: 1/ Never take
the flame off the join as the silver will blacken up and not solder
properly, and 2/ respond when I say back or forward, so the heat
will be cooler or hotter on the join we’re soldering. Something
like that. They got the message.

When the solder flowed it was like wow again. Bang it in the
pickle. Lapsed time so far: 45min. I’d speed the pickling up by
quenching warm a few times. I know it’s dangerous, but these are
bankers and other responsible adults.

‘Finishing’ entailed filing, sanding, and hand-polishing (leather
strip on a stick). This was fine for most. $NZ40

                   <FX: cash register>

Have I missed anything out? Seems too simple. No stones of course.
Well some did attempt pretty fancy footwork on the shank. Tried too
much. But when I pointed out that what they wanted to do was great
and possible but would be a little beyond them at this stage they
accepted that and simplified up.

I anticipated that some would want to do a pretty stone on it, so
just as I was leaving home I grabbed a handful of my 8mm and 10mm
round bezel castings, and some were tickled to have these to solder
onto a shank. Then we set the stone (carnelian or a recon turquoise
or lapis cabochon). Depending on various factors I might inform
those who wanted to do a ring with a stone that thay’d better book
in for a 1.5hr or 2hr session. That was fine too.

The earrings some of them did were sweet too. I took various sizes
of stg wire. Times varied from 1 hr to 3hrs for the roofing
contractor who forged a pair of telephones from fine silver bar:
earrings hung on silver coily earwires! Brilliantissimo.

I think it’s cool to teach. I did something similar for my sons 6th
grade art class. I gave each a coin size piece of green wax and
showed them how to draw the design,cartoon it to the wax,and carve
away. I made a video tape of the rest of the process for them to
watch. On the days I was there I was no sooner done helping one
kid and 4 more would call my name.This is a great way to excite
young minds to create.

Yes. It’s also a great way to get a boost myself.

Brian
B r i a n ? A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r ?
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://www.adam.co.nz/workshop/ NEW - report from Queenstown Jan’98