Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Visiting Jewelry Instructors 2017

Since putting together a permanent and well equipped jewelry studio, we've been working on bringing in some instructors each year who are nationally known in their areas of jewelry crafting. Once we get them here and get a class together, they have been willing to come and teach again. They tell us they like the studio, appreciate our hospitality, and love our town. I like the opportunity to learn from these master craftspeople face to face in a quiet setting with a small class size. Once you take a class from these folks you realize that they are not just good at their craft, but are excellent at teaching. I have also enjoyed meeting the students these instructors attract from all over the county and quite a few from Canada!

This year we have scheduled four visiting jewelry instructors with national reputations.

Carol Simmons

Carol is our first visiting jewelry instructor whom we met in 2011 when she needed a place to accommodate students who were wait-listed for a class she taught at Maureen Carlson's studio in Minnesota. We were thrilled to invite her here, and she has returned every year since. Being our first, Carol taught us a lot about what is needed to accommodate instructors and students who fly here and stay for a while, and she is adept at creating a casual retreat atmosphere. She will be teaching her unique Mokume-Gane technique for polymer clay which you can slice using our Simmons Slicer.

Sarah Thompson
We found Sarah while searching for an instructor who did not just wire wrapping or wire weaving, but combined it with forging and layering techniques to create the more intricate pieces being done mostly in Europe. When we spoke, she had not yet taught outside of the state of Washington, and her first book was about to be published. Talk about luck! This will be her third year with us, and about half her class was filled before she left here last year. She is incredibly patient and organized, as I guess a Mom with five kids must be. She will be making three pieces again this year.

Richard Salley

Richard is a friend of one of our board members, Lorraine Reynolds, who is a mixed media instructor at some of the same Art Retreats where he has taught. He came to us for the first time last year, and students who came were happy to find a place closer to home to learn in a smaller size class. It is amazing the level of work Richard can get you to do, even if you're a little scared. I personally made some rIngs that I never would have tackled on my own. This year we'll get to make our own stamping tools, and a silver and leathercuff that could be great for a man as well as women.

Jeff Fulkerson

This will be Jeff's first year and we are looking forward to meeting him. We have followed his work in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine, and have seen him associated with many of the best Art and Jewelry retreats and venues in the country. This year he will be teaching a piece with a bezel set stone mounted on another bezel set stone, and include a tube set stone on surrounding forged silver wire. Whew! I can't wait. He is also a lapidary craftsman and will be bringing some of his own cut cabochons.

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