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Introducing - Fran


#1

Greetings,

After reading posts on this forum for several days, you seem to be a
wonderful group of people! So, I have decided to get over my get
over my shyness about being a stumbling novice and introduce myself.

I’m slowly developing what I hope will become a thriving art jewelry
business in a career/life transition from professional nursing to
health care writing to creating beautiful objects. So far, I have
been selling bead-and-wire earrings (my own designs, worked in
sterling silver and gold-filled wire and opaque stones) and
assembled-from-components breast cancer awareness jewelry. I’m
serious about the quality of my work (I feel like I need to say this
because I’ve seen photographs of some obviously poorly finished
pieces published in bead-and-wirework books and periodicals
recently).

My craft/hobby background is in fiber arts, and I absolutely drool
over many of the pieces in Arline Fisch’s “Textile Techniques in
Metal” (the 2nd version published by Lark Books in 1996). I’ve played
around with the techniques a bit and would like to work with some of
them seriously - knitting and crocheting, at which I’m proficient in
fiber, but I also want to try out weaving, coiling, braiding, and
basketry. Making well-crafted pieces of jewelry with these techniques
will involve some annealing, and being able to solder as well as form
cold connections would be a great help.

I also want to learn how to make chains and how to fabricate
pendants, brooches, fibulae, cuff links, etc., working mostly with
silver and semi-precious stones – but I want to try out some
mixed-media techniques, too. I guess I’m exploring the jewelry field
and have not yet found my passion.

I have dozens of questions – so, first I would like recommendations
about good books to read. I’ve finished Tim McCreight’s “Jewelry:
Fundamentals of Metalsmithing” and “The Complete Metalsmith;” also
"Making the Most of Your Flex-Shaft" by Karen Christians.
Recommendations about videos and DVDs that would be worth investing
in would also be helpful.

I live outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and hope to enroll
in a class in a local community arts center in the Fall. Are there
other members living in the Philadelphia area? Do you teach, or can
you recommend good classes?

Thank you all for everything that I’ve already learned from reading
this list.

Fran
Zemyna Designs
Swarthmore, PA


#2

Hello, Fran:

I’m a refugee from another world too (22 years in software
development) but my education was in art history and studio art so I
have found the manual skills required for jewelry making relatively
easy for me. I started by setting stones and have now advanced to
casting, fabrication from sheet, and soon enameling. I am having
great fun and hoping this endeavor will take me to the point where I
can pitch the software bit for good. As it is, I’m pretty much a
part-time consultant now and spend the rest of my time learning new
jewelry-making skills. I’m in Pennsylvania as you are, but closer to
Gettysburg than Philadelphia.

Oh - I named my business after my alma mater. Some people have
thought I was trying to capitalize on the name of Vassar College, but
believe me, I paid for the privilege. :wink:

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel.: (717) 691-0286


#3

Hello Fran,

I saw your post on Orchid and want to say welcome to the Forum.

You mentioned that you are interested in a variety of techniques,
including crochet, and that you are in the Philadelphia area. If you
are interested in learning how to fabricate a hand crochet chain in
fine silver I have a weekend workshop coming up in September in your
neighborhood.

This class will be held at the Great Valley Jewelry Studio, which is
located at the offices of Lapidary Journal Magazine, in Malvern. The
dates are September 9 - 10, 2006.

Here is a link to the course online:

http://www.lapidaryjournal.com/gvclasses/

I am working with Lapidary Journal on a series of classes I have
developed to teach the fundamentals of goldsmithing and stone
setting. These workshops will also be coming soon to the Great Valley
Studio.

If you have any questions about any of these classes or if there is
anything I can help you with please let me know.

I wish you much success with your artistic endeavors.

Sincerely,
Michael

Michael David Sturlin
www.goldcrochet.com
www.michaeldavidsturlin.com


#4
You mentioned that you are interested in a variety of techniques,
including crochet, and that you are in the Philadelphia area. If
you are interested in learning how to fabricate a hand crochet
chain in fine silver I have a weekend workshop coming up in
September in your neighborhood. 

Michael, your work is stunningly beautiful. You are teaching the
professional techniques that I want to learn! I will register for
the class and am looking forward to learning from you.

I see that you are also teaching at the Wire Fest in Wilmington,
Delaware July 15-16. Since your class is filled, I looked at the
other classes in various techniques. Do you know any of the other
instructors?

Thank you for your good wishes. Your work is an inspiration to me!

Fran
Zemyna Designs
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA


#5
I'm a refugee from another world too (22 years in software
development) but my education was in art history and studio art so
I have found the manual skills required for jewelry making
relatively easy for me. I started by setting stones and have now
advanced to casting, fabrication from sheet, and soon enameling. I
am having great fun 

Brian, thank you for welcoming me.

In spite of my reading, I don’t understand exactly what skills are
included in the term “fabrication” – sawing, piercing, filing,
forming, forging, making cold connections, soldering, sanding,
polishing? Or are some of these skills separate from fabricating?
Are there things I’ve left out?

I’m glad you’re having fun and wish you great success!

Fran
Zemyna Designs
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, USA


#6

Fran,
Your definition of fabrication pretty much covers it, but there is
always room for new techniques, of course.

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055