For the past several months after graduating, I thought it would be
fun to teach adult education. While this has been incredibly
rewarding, there are questions which come up which I have to
stifle a laugh but are quite legitimate. Mostly, one has to become
very inventive explaining techniques during demos.
On soldering a band ring, I had to get my students to not heat up
the metal in one little area, but rather to heat the whole ring and
then concentrate the last bit on the seam.
This technique is called: Over the Bridge and Through the Tunnel.
All my students are now chanting, over the bridge and through the
tunnel, over the bridge and through the tunnel… I feel like I
am in a class of little Budhhas!
After a what I thought was thorough description of annealing: “When
you anneal metal and it becomes soft, will it harden up overnight?”
Tonight was a kicker. I was trying to show a student that when
you want to cut a curve, you have to keep the sawframe moving up
and down, keep it perpindicular and only move the metal. She was
convinced that if she still sawed, it would cut the metal. So here
I go walking down the classroom, bobbing up and down like a
sawframe, then I stand in place while bobbing up and down and start
turning in place and then start walking again.
I felt so stupid, but my student got the idea and then stopped
turning her saw frame.
What one does to make students understand the mysteries of
One more thing, for you metalsmiths out there, how do you respond
to: Metalsmith? Whazzat?