I can't even begin to describe how much I enjoyed attending the workshop "Mokume Gane with the Masters" at Rio Grande in Albuquerque, with James Binnion and Chris Ploof. (Held February 8-13, 2015.) Turns out the big names of mokume are down-to-earth cool guys who just want to share their knowledge and experience with fellow mokume gane enthusiasts. I was one of 12 students eager to delve deep into the geeky world of mokume - science and numbers blending perfectly with big dangerous tools and hot metal.
I also enjoyed getting to see the insides of Rio Grande (where I purchase supplies, tools and metal) and learning what an impressively run company it is. The employees were helpful and welcoming, and we got to test out oodles of cool tools and equipment. It is clearly a fabulous place to work. Our tour of the facility deserves its own blog post - look for it here soon.
This workshop got me fired up (so to speak) about fusing my own mokume again. They demonstrated practical techniques to make the fusing manageable, repeatable and cost-effective. It will take a little time to get all tooled up and kitted out to do it, but now I'm confident of the steps, and am thankful I won't need a power hammer!
Pat Downing at Anneville Studio
March Open Studio! Friday, March 6, 5-9pm
Don’t miss our next Friday Night Liberty! In addition to our live jewelry demos, Anneville Studio will be showing the work of metal artist Pat Downing, known for his fold-formed sculptures and colorful patinas. We'll have multiple copper and steel sculptures on display, as well as smaller works. We'll even have one large sculpture installed in the courtyard for the evening.
Pat Downing is an award-winning metal artist who works out of his studio in San Diego where he creates one-of-a-kind hand-forged sculptures. Pat fuses traditional blacksmithing with contemporary techniques and is especially known for his vibrant patinas and his own unique take on foldforming, the origami-like process of folding heated metal into dramatic shapes.
I'm so enjoying having a different visiting jewelry/metal artist at my studio each month. February was no exception. Rhonda McCarty of La Luz Jewelry brought her spiritually inspired work - everything from buddha feet to St. Christopher medals and goddess imagery graced my table for the evening. Customers were impressed with the quality and reasonable prices, and I enjoyed the company! Next month I'll be hosting Pat Downing and his fabulous fold-forming (March 6, 5-9pm).
Next month I'll be taking my hammers and files on the road and heading to the University of Central Oklahoma. Professor and Assistant Dean Charleen Weidell has invited me to share my love of mokume gane with her jewelry and metalworking students. We'll spend three days exploring the world of mokume gane - history, current trends, and practical demos of stamp and twist patterning. Students will receive their own blank mokume to try their hand at patterning too. As part of the workshop I'll be giving a public lecture on my work and how I transitioned from art student to successful small business owner.
If you are nearby Edmond, Oklahoma on March 12-14, 2015 stop by and say hello!
3/25/15 update - the workshop was a blast! The studio at OCU is fabulous, with an impressive tool collection and dedicated students and faculty. Even the lecture was well-attended and received ~ phew. Might have a video of that in the future, but in the meantime here's some images of the workshop itself:
Studio redesign almost done
Educator, metalsmith, jeweler, maker of custom mokume gane jewelry and wedding rings.