2014 Albuquerque Workshop January 18-20

Workshop Description:  

As a designer and creator, how do you take an image that captures your imagination all the way to a completed design. In this three day Master Class each student will complete an advanced pendant and chain creation. Prior to the first day of class, each student is asked to prepare a simple personal scrapbook of inspirational images, patterns, shapes and designs. These can be photographs, architectural details, elements from classical paintings or sculpture, maps, fonts, textures, fabric swatches, even patterns from the natural world, such as mineral, sea, plant and microscopic forms.  Ideas from these images will inform the student’s final piece as we move step-wise from conception to construction of the project.

The first day of class will be broken down into two sections.  The morning will be spent exploring ideas from student scrapbooks and from the instructor’s own idea book, selecting a concept or design motif, and designing and sketching the cartoon for the final pendant design. The student will consider the materials in their kit and together we will explore how to approach the piece using the techniques of fusing, riveting, texturing, sawing, stone setting, and using our materials of silver, brass and copper sheet. In the afternoon we will begin construction of the pendant utilizing the skills and materials that are the focus of the class.

On day two we will finish and refine the focal pendant while working through the challenges of implementing student designs, and working within the constraints of the materials and skills at hand.  The student will begin to see how subtle changes in the design are inevitable in the process and how these challenges can foster new ideas and problem solving skills.

During the afternoon of the second day we will embark on advanced chain making adventures. We will deconstruct the techniques and requirements for more complex chain forms that include layering and mixing up link sizes, styles, shapes and wire gauges. Designing the chain is only half the fun; the real challenge comes from solving the puzzles of construction that advanced chain forms require. Some of the chain-making skills we will explore are fusing, hammering, shaping, and texturing.

On the final day students will create a closure for their piece and finalize the assembly of their work. We will work on patination and finish-polishing techniques that are the final flourishes in good craftsmanship that will transform the work into a gallery-ready masterpiece.

Copyright © 2014, Anne Mitchell