Monday, January 17, 2011

Exciting New Learning Experience..

What an amazing weekend spent learning traditional metal-smithing (with Charmayne Dobbs) and expanding my knowledge of art clay silver (with Ingrid Schloemer) at the Summer Silver retreat in the beautiful seaside arty community of Haumoana, Hawkes Bay.

Exciting new skills picked-up (soldering, 'drawing down' wire, stamping, polishing, drilling, tumbling, forming, hammering, annealing, burnishing to name a few!) , knowledgable tutors, fun classmates, and wonderful food all combined to make a truly enjoyable experience.

There were some frustrations too - soldering scares me a bit and is something I need to overcome - there is something not quite right about holding a flaming torch onto metal till it turns cherry red and the solder goes "pppfffftt", and don't get me started on the acid dip afterwards!

I have also come to the conclusion that I am a technique person - I need to know how to do processes before I can come up with a vision for a piece to make, rather than come up with an idea for something and then learn the techniques to make it . I wonder what that type of learning is called? Anyone?

My Art Clay pieces..

Classmates creating...

Metal-smithed earrings in progress..

Classmate at the soldering bench...

Another work bench...

Hard at work...

Finished goodies ...


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful time :) and your pieces are gorgeous.

  2. Oh my word Mel... how freaking amazing is this! WOW!! What an amazing experience. With those newly acquired skills, ie the metal stamping etc I can just imagine how differently you would look at everything.. Imagine with all the gazillion textures out there.. Oh my word... it all sounds infectiously fabulous ... Well done .. your creations are WOW. I can't wait to see more.

  3. Sounds like you had a fantastic time. I love learning new techniques. Not sure what your learning style is but it is probably a combination of visual and kinesthetic. I can't wait to see what you create with your newfound knowledge :)

  4. Thanks Tania - I did, it was great fun :)

    I know Lorraine, it opened a whole new world of possibilities and I'm already thinking about the basics I need to purchase - tools and raw materials! I have a whole new respect for lampwork artisans too - working with a torch and molten glass - how do you do it!

    I think you could well be on to it there Bobbie - I certainly know I can't be told how to do something and then do it - the visual and kinesthetic combo feels more like me :)

  5. I really like your clay pieces Mel - they're quite charming!! I'm looking forward to see what you will make next...


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