Recently I had the pleasure of deleting myself from my studio and adding myself to Myra Perrin‘s home studio for two days. She was hosting goldsmith Michael David Sturlin for several days of workshops. My interest was piqued by a “Heavy Bezel” workshop. Without further consideration into what that meant, I enrolled myself. It turns out we were doing exactly what the workshop title promised – we made heavy bezels for gemstones. The examples here show the use of 16 gauge (1.25 mm) sterling silver sheet to make the bezel and 18 gauge (1.09 mm) as a back plate.
In the workshop, all of us students revisited measuring with precision and testing out underused Pi muscles. We filed piles of silver dust – hours of carving away metal to reveal the prongs you’ll see in the photos. No soldering here – these prongs were created simply through the careful sawing and the use of needle files and escapement files.
Most of the time I was intent on doing a lot of talking with Michael, Myra, and my wonderful fellow students. I was like an animal led to water, thirsty for not only knowledge, but the sharing of experiences with like-minded metal lovers. This all led to me not quite finishing the piece I was working on. But, when it’s finally ready, I promise to post a photo of the completed work.
Be sure to check out the photo, below, of the jeweler’s saw frame. Look carefully, and you’ll see a file loaded in the blade location. It represents a tip that Michael passed along. This particular file is called a chenier file, or a joint needle file (and likely known by some more names) and is often used when making a “U” shaped slot into which the knuckles of a hinge are soldered. The edges of this file are slightly rounded and contain the cutting surfaces. The broader, flat sides of the file are normally where you’d see these cutting surfaces. But on this file, they’re smooth, or “safe.” This makes for a very handy tool adaptation to assist in filing level and straight across two bezel surfaces.
A new group is in it’s infancy. Indy Metalsmith was born to offer support to local metalsmiths who may not have a casual outlet to meet other like-minded individuals and share ideas. The group isn’t limited to practicing metalsmiths, however. It’s open and welcoming to those who are interested in this ancient art form, or those who provide products or services in support of the art form.
Meetings will be held on a regular basis and based upon the interests of the group as well as the founder’s ideas about what might be fun. There will be many opportunities to share knowledge, and show the recent work of group members, whether it be jewerly, objects, sculpture or techniques. Meetings will take place at the Circle City Industrial Complex on the Near Eastside. The first meeting will be held on March 5, 2013 at 7:00 PM.
Indy Metalsmith is hosted via Meetup.com. Mark your intention to attend the upcoming inaugural event by clicking on the RSVP link below. Join us!
Indy Metalsmith Group Description
We are a group of creative souls, using metal to give voice to our ideas. If you make jewelry, functional or sculptural objects, or are interested in these, this group is for you. Indy Metalsmith is a safe place to learn, share, show, and grow for all skill levels. The goal is to bring together a tribe of people who like to work with metal and who would otherwise be working in isolation. In groups, we give and receive by offering tips and tricks via live demonstrations, curated product offerings, business and artistic opportunities, hugs, or by whatever means we deem necessary and fun for us to stretch and grow.
***Sponsorship opportunities for Indy Metalsmith are being accepted now! Contact Nancy Lee for more information on how you can be involved.***
The eve of a full moon (in Leo, my astrological friend, Lisa Zimmerman, says) is a powerful event. Most of the time, a full moon has a bit of an impact on me. Typically, it’s a notice a day or two after the event has passed. “Oh, THAT’S what was going on, that’s why I felt a little agitated.” Or, “That’s where all of that excess energy came from!” At least for me.
My sister, Janet, supports my theory of agitation, too. For her, the evidence is obvious from her days working in an emergency room. She reported that everyone in the ER knew to be at the ready during a full moon, which would surely bring in more shootings and injuries of all kinds. Now, that’s some agitation. At least I was armed only with my trusty Pilot G2 ballpoint ink pen.
Tonight is the actual full moon. All of that pent up energy was swirling around me last night, though, in unsettling ways. Not get-my-gun ways. More like cry-to-love-song-ways. Falling into bed later, exhausted, did not bring peace. Eventually, I gave it up, got up, and grabbed my G2 (the ink pen) and wrote a poem. About the stupid full moon that wasn’t even full yet. My fave part was that I found a lovely photo of a full moon over Wyoming by Walter Hawn, of The Daily Photograph (TM).