I just started some courses at a local University on metalsmithing.
I would like to finally, after 40 years, graduate. I've been
waiting for an opportunity to add metalsmithing and jewelry courses
because I feel that there are many gaps in my education that need to
be addressed. Most of these are just straightforward steps that can
be consolidated into my spending much less time than I have been on
certain things.... :O) It has taken me many years to find my
specific passion in the Art field, having spent many years as a
weaver and basketmaker.
After talking to the professor for a few hours, I learned that the
majority of the students were taking this class to get the credits
to graduate, a filler class for Seniors, or because they thought
they could walk out with wearable jewelry, not to learn the
processes and study the 'art'. She was happy to have a student with
the 'passion' to learn and evolve.
She's a realist, and during her classes, 'speaks' to all with the
passion one has for the process. She knows there are people there
who are just spending time, yet she treats them all with the same
enthusiasm and gives of her time and expertise. This, to me, is a
Our first project was an assignment that familiarized us with the
correct processes of designing, annealing, sawing, finishing etc.
(We're using Tim McCreight's book) I'm sure that there were many
that did not see the importance of the progression of steps. (or as
someone mentioned-a mindless exercise) As the studio time
progressed, there were more and more students actually getting
interested and learning something.
If you cannot get into a class close to you, do try to work with
someone who has the skills you need to enhance. Think of it as
honing your skills. Think of it as learning some new way to improve
your skills-designs-whatever. Don't worry about the 'Diva' in the
class, I'm convinced that there are always going to be Diva's out
there, it's life-concentrate on why you are there-if you spend your
valuable time and money to learn-don't rent space in your mind to
people that are not there to help you-pay attention to the one who
Being the 'Ancient' in this class, I experienced this, and just
smiled and mindlessly nodded my head in agreement when our 'Diva'
pounced on me, and kept on working. When I'm teaching adults to
ride, who are restarting after years off having families or working,
I start with the basics. If they are truly interested in becoming
proficient, they may grumble about the basics, but they know that
eventually we will get beyond the basic stuff to the more technical
aspects of the work-and will understand the progression of my
instruction-the connection and importance of it all-right down to
How To Use A Broom.................
Cheers! Dinah. (who feels very fortunate to have found such a