Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mama Goes Back to School

Yesterday was a big day for me. I sent the little one off to playschool and headed off to the Terri McCarthy Studio in Grafton, WI to start another 12-week, hands-on study of metal jewelry fabrication. Since it has been almost two years since I've studied there, I started my day with a tour of the studio and getting a refresher on the equipment.

My favorite tool of the day was the rolling mill. Just imagine a machine that's like a pair of rolling pins on steroids. I don't know the engineering mechanisms involved, but when an annealed piece of metal is rolled through with a textured object, the mill presses the pattern onto the metal. I added texture to sterling silver and turned it into earrings with post backs. I rolled another piece to make a ring with a leather textured shank.

But the very best features of the studio are the lights, vents, outlets and fellow artists! I have a very well-equipped studio at home but it's a bit lacking in the fundamentals. Someday I fear that I am going to trip in the dark on the four extention cords that share the same outlet. Either that or I will pass out from the flux fumes and no one will know that I'm missing. Getting out for 3 hours a week, with other adults and windows, is definitely a good thing.

This is a picture of my instructor, Terri McCarthy. She has been making jewelry since 1988 and opened her own studio four years ago when the local community college stopped offering the metalsmithing class that she taught. She knows everything and I hope a little of her expertise rubs off on me!

11 comments:

Mimi - Image Beads said...

How Fun!!!!

Enjoy your class! - I unfortunally am stuck taking Economics, Biology & a Leadership class. But this summer, I'm taking a class in metalsmithing. I can't wait!

High Desert Diva said...

How wonderful that you have this opportunity!

CopperSpringsLeather said...

Enjoy your class. In the picture of your instructor it looks like she has a halo. =)

Jeannette E. Spaghetti said...

Sounds like a fun class! We have a nice studio in St. Louis, Craft Alliance, but I always gravitate toward their pottery classes. :)

Angie said...

I love your workspace :) thanks for sharing it!

Regina (Lexi) said...

Good luck with your classes. It sounds fantastic!

spiralsun65 said...

Those earrings are fabulous; I love the texture.

ingermaaike said...

I would love to work metal.

knitsteel said...

She is doing a great service to the community by offering classes.
You are lucky to have the opportunity!

Rachel C Miller said...

Thank you for adding me as a friend. Your website is so cool, my daughter loves to make jewelry I am going to share your site with her.
Sincerely
Rachel Charlotte Miller

Simply Wired Custom Jewelry said...

This is great! I can't wait to hear more about your class. I want to take one so bad, but there's nothing near me. I'm hoping my local university will open one up soon...best of luck; keep on sharing!