I can’t tell you how to go to one, but I wanted to let you know
that given the chance you should jump at it. Valerie is a
plique-a-jour master from Russia that moved to the U.S. recently.
Besides being a delightful man he is also a wonderful teacher.
He is also a rather talented all around metalsmith.
I struggled to produce quality plique-a-jour as a student and
gave up on it after some time. It seemed like a vast amount of
time to spend to accomplish pieces of dubious quality compared to
the stuff I had seen in books. He made it seem simple, and it
was, compared to using copper forms or working on mica as I had
tried in the past. If you have a chance to attend one do it.
Even if this is not a primary interest of yours you will find it
a fulfilling event. The little sample pieces even the clutziest
(is that a word!)student turned out were great.
Tip: Valerie showed us a simple little tip that maybe everyone
but me knew and it was great! You can reuse solder pallions you
cut out after they have oxidized and not waste them. He keeps a
plastic baggy next to his torch. When he solders he heats up the
pick, touches it to the baggy and then picks up the pallion of
solder. The plastic acts like glue and allows you to dip it into
flux while it is hot to clean it. Then place it wherever you need
to. It worked well.
The snow is melting in the midwest and now my studio is
getting wet. Whine whine whine.