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Keum-Boo Workshop @ Kate Wolf's Studio

I just recently finished Jayne Redman’s 2-day Keum Boo workshop at
kate Wolf’s Studio in Portland, Maine, and it was such a fun and
rewarding experience that I felt I had to share it with you. Jayne,
for anyone who doesn’t know, is this year’s hot new production
designer–with articles in Lapidary Journal and AJM, to name a few.
(She would take exception at the “new” part, as she’s served her
dues getting her metalsmithing education at the Portland School of
Art, and then teaching there as well.

She started our class by showing her unique and elegant pieces and
then literally taking them apart to show the construction. Jayne
shared so much about the production design–the way she uses dies in
the hydraulic press to cut out the components, her paper models,
findings sources, pricing formulas–that it was like getting 2
workshops in one. We students had very different projects to
Keum-Boo, from an organic-looking ring, to a piece of reticulation,
to my rolling-mill embossed leaf, which was Keum-Boo’d down the
middle for a half-gold half-silver look. Jayne also demonstrated
using Liver-Of-Sulfur to make the Keum-Boo “pop-out” visually.
For anyone of you who’ve wanted to try this–learn it. It’s very
easy, with a few simple caveats, and gives great “perceived value
added” for very little in dollars added.

Kate Wolf was the Mother Hen in the background making sure that all
needs got taken care of, starting with 4- pages before we even
arrived, covering everything from travel, lodging, directions,
restaurants, all the way down to “bring long pants and a jacket as
it can get cool in the morning.” Both Kate and Jayne treated each
of us with respect for where we were in jewelry-making, taking us
from that place to a more advanced place, with no judging, and
genuine praise for what we had done. None of the instructor
arrogance or student favoritism that I’ve seen in some workshops.
Kate knew that I had done the Wax-Carving class at the GIA in
Carlsbad, CA, so she showed me examples of her work, and the many
hand-made tools she’s designed and teaches her students. Her work
is at an artistic level well beyond the GIA (In all fairness they
have a different emphasis.), which you’d expect from someone who’s
been a Master Model Maker for the Franklin Mint, among others. If
you are an artist-jeweler and want to extend that to wax–take
Kate’s class.

Finally, there’s Portland. It’s a little gem of a city, and must be
one of New England’s best kept secrets. It has a beautiful harbor, a
lovely refurbished Old Port area of quaint shops and cobblestone
streets, and there’s even a lighthouse commissioned by George
Washington. Travel for me (I’m newly in New York City) was not
expensive. There are several airlines, but I took the Amtrak to see
the Fall foliage (about $150 one way), and then the Trailways bus
back (at $50).

We students all had a great experience with Kate and Jayne. I
highly recommend checking out her website: or drop Kate an e-mail at to find out what she’ll be doing next.

(The usual disclaimers: I have no financial interest, etc.)

Gary Strickland, GJG